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Blighty Club and a visit from Paul Crone of Granada Reports


Paul Crone was very impressed with Ruby Taylor's independent research at home. She has discovered that her great, great, great grandad, George Franklin, served in World War 1 and was one of the fallen.


Exploring the Box's contents

Having provided these resources, children were allowed to freely explore and discover the contents of the box. Upon investigation, they found out that many famous people helped out in the war effort, even finding a medical discharge form that belonged to a famous poet, Wilfred Owen! In addition, they realised that the King of the time was King George V! Evidence of this was provided by a letter home from the King to bereaved parents of fallen soldiers.


The History of The Blighty Club

Interestingly, from 1914-1918, various clubs in England were reserved for soldiers who had been wounded during the war. Soldiers who had suffered a ‘blighty’ (a blighty, we discovered, was a wound which meant soldiers were sent home). Warrington's Blighty Club was set up in the Conservative Club on Sankey Street by Lady Frances Greenall to provide a place where Warrington's Service men who were on leave, or convalescing, could relax and share their experiences with their comrades.

The men could entertain themselves by playing the piano or games such as dominoes or cards whilst volunteers served up light refreshments. Organised entertainment by artists such as music hall celebrities, George Formby (Senior) catered for larger groups. In commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the Armistice, our Blighty club was founded to recreate the setting and overall feel of the club from WW1! In addition, our school’s foundation stone was laid on 11th November 1914 (at the start of World War 1).


Granada Reports and Paul Crone

Children were filmed by Paul Crone from Granada Reports. Whilst he was filming, children of different groups spoke in front of the camera about their findings on WW1. Additionally, two school council members were given the honour of reading out a page of the Oakwood CP School Log book which dates back to Tuesday 11th November 1918 (The date of the end of WW1). This entry signalled the Armistice and recorded its impact on our school community.

Paul Crone (@croneyitv) made us all feel at ease and so enthused about the Blighty Club. Not only did he interview us all but he also kept us highly entertained with his fantastic sense of humour and jokes. Intermittently, he would share his planned coverage and research of stories linked to World War 1 which is being aired the week beginning 5th November, each week night on Granada Reports at 6pm, including our recording due to be shown on 9th November. This will be an informative and fascinating watch, each night, leading up to the nation’s tribute on 11th November, 100 years on.

This website entry has been written by Dylan Little and Liliana Keating of Year 6. We have enjoyed researching and writing about the Blighty Club.

The Blighty Box

Early in October, our school received a box financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This box was labelled with the title “Blighty Club”, it contained a range of items: artefacts, such as posters and documents from WWI; a variety of traditional games, such as cards, dominoes and board games; a wealth of decorations to dress the club such as flags, table cloths etc. and music from the era to set the mood and entertain.


The meaning of Blighty

The soldiers' nickname for Britain was blighty which came from a Hindi word bilati meaning foreign. Getting a "Blighty one" meant being wounded and sent back home to recover. Astonishingly, after our research, Dylan had a conversation with Miss Ashraf and showed her the link between "blighty" and "bilati". It then made sense to her, after many years, why her dad's family in Pakistan, affectionately call him "bilati".


Recreating Blighty Club

During our Blighty club, children played board games and were provided with refreshments and snacks. Our parents and grandparents were invited and the classroom was decorated to commentate this momentous occasion. Blighty Club will continue up until 13th November 2018. The reason our school has decided to go beyond the 11th is because in our journals, 100 years ago on Wednesday 13th November 1918, our school sang songs and celebrated the end of World War 1, giving thanks to the mayor, soldiers and King. 100 years on, November 13th 2018, our school will be giving thanks to our soldiers for our freedom.

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