WW1 activity 8: celebrating the life of Walter Tull
Students investigate the story of Walter Tull and draw up plans for an imaginative new memorial for him in Folkestone.
Increased knowledge and understanding of Walter Tull and the important part played by black and minority ethnic communities in WW1.
KS1-4 History (WW1)
KS1-2 Art and Design (Design a memorial to celebrate the life of Walter Tull)
Walter Tull, professional footballer, soldier and war hero, was born and went to school in Folkestone. He is remembered on war memorials in the town, and has a street named after him, but surely deserves to be honoured in a more visible and imaginative way in his home town.
Ask the children to find out about his life and local links and to think about how Folkestone might commemorate him in a more dynamic and imaginative way.
Perhaps they could come up with a design for a piece of public art? A statue or sculpture? Or a film or piece of music inspired by episodes in his life?
Ask them to research other towns and cities that have recently commemorated famous people to see what they did. And to research the work of contemporary artists who might inspire them.
Before creating their design ask the children to think about the following important questions:
How would they depict him?
- As a soldier and war hero?
- As a professional footballer, playing the game he loved?
- Or as a young Folkestone schoolboy attending North Board School (now Mundella Primary School).
Where in the town would they site or host this celebration of Walter’s life?
- At his former school?
- At the town football club?
- At the museum?
- On the Harbour Arm where he and so many others embarked for France?
What materials would they use?
- Would they be weather-proof and durable outside?
- Would they be vandal-proof and meet health and safety requirements?
What could they do online as a virtual celebration of his life for those unable to visit?
And how would they plan and mastermind a big public campaign to influence the council, funders, and local people to support it?
Art project: Create public art
Participants create their designs for a piece of public art to celebrate the life of Walter Tull. These could be displayed on the Folkestone Museum website, perhaps as part of Black History Month or Black History 365 or displayed in the Community Case at Folkestone Museum.
For lots of great ideas and resources for schools about celebrating Black and Minority Ethnic history visit: https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk
Learn with Objects links
Use Learn with Objects WW1 13: Walter Tull for info and images.