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The Derbeian Winter 2019/20 Edition

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The Winter 2019/20 Edition of The Derbeian Magazine, a magazine about all things Derby, past and present that also doubles up as a useful, local business directory

THE

THE Derbeian | Winter 2019/20 Visits made to WW1 and WW2 Belgium and French Cemeteries Having now covered the history of Derby School during several decades of the 20th Century and more recently the 19th Century when we created a two-part story, it was considered readers may like to read about what the Old Derbeian archivists have been doing more recently. It is considered we should enlarge on what we have recently been undertaking in connection with the school’s unique ownership of the War Memorial situated in front of St. Helen’s House in King Street in Derby. The original thinking by the three archivists started way back in 2012 when the government originally announced that as a country, we should remember in 2014 the very beginning of World War 1 on 4th August 1914, exactly one Century before and subsequently every year thereafter until the armistice. It is not generally appreciated the uniqueness of the fact this old school in Derbyshire and within the East Midlands actually had built their own obelisk as a War Memorial after deciding way back in 1920 through their ‘old boys’ Society to erect a permanent memorial for posterity to all their boys who were killed or died during WWI. This started with a public subscription addressed to both existing pupils and masters, then to all ex pupils and masters and included the general public of Derby. The result ninety-nine years later thankfully is that in 2019 we have an outstanding piece of history and design. Plus, with the passage of time has also seen that in 1945 previous ex-pupils on the Old Derbeian Society Committee professionally had after the end of WWII the addition of a further three slate memorial slabs engraved with the 49 additional boy’s names. To further extend their ‘old school’ archives it was agreed to try and visit the mainland of Europe and seek extra facts and details of where many ‘ex pupils’ had been lain to rest and so record for posterity additional facts. As a consequence steps were taken to travel further afield and This is the original elevation drawing as published within the school’s in-house magazine entitled ‘The Derbeian’ in April 1921showing Blomfield’s proposals we started by visiting graves and headstone’s connected with both World Wars. World War II casualties – Mitton and Young and D Day 6th June 1944 landings – 75 years on. Suffice to say after that short introduction the Society’s team of three archivists collected together as much information, facts, records, census records, photographs, press reports and family background they could in order to remember and 46 | The Old Derbeian Society

Winter 2019/20 | THE Derbeian record these boys ultimate sacrifice. Within the United Kingdom we have a rather unique and immense source of details and facts within what is entitled nationally as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). Through modern IT technology which is open to public viewing for every recorded death in both WWI and WWII are many details and one that is particularly viewable and shown here are the tens of thousands of unique individual Certificates, a typical example with a bearing with Derby School is shown here. Interestingly this one only shows a general view of the actual cemetery known as Bannerville- La-Campayne War Cemetery. which is just less than 20 miles (32 kilometres) from the D Day landing beaches of Sword, Juno and Gold. to leave on behalf of the OD Society a small wooden Cross complete with poppy at each headstone. Whilst dealing with one victim of WWII let us also concentrate for a while upon another person who was killed in the weeks following the D Day Landings of 6th June 1944, namely Kenneth Peter Mitton of the South Staffordshire Regiment. As occasionally happens in the World Wars his sole brother Flight Sergeant Harold Bertram Mitton, aged 22 years, also who had been a Derby School pupil, was killed just five months earlier on 14th February 1944 during a raid on targets in Europe, whilst flying with a Halifax crew. An actual local press cutting has been unearthed relating to Harold’s service with additional details. These Certificates, which this one is a good example, first shows the full name of the soldier, plus his Army service number, rank, regiment or Corps plus where and when killed, his age at death and wherever known his parents details including address. With this type of record only available the archivists wanted to be far more personal and so an idea was born that during 2019 we would try and visit both Belgium and France and seek additional details. One immediate result was a visit a few months ago to the very cemetery in the Normandy Beach-Head area where we took a photograph of his actual headstone. We also arranged Private Kenneth Peter Mitton his headstone - especially remembered October 2019 A photograph was taken of the actual cemetery amongst an area of mature trees and this is shown alongside the special directional road sign placed there by the French authorities. Kenneth in the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment was killed on 16th July 1944, at the age 19, five weeks after the actual D Day landings, during the allies break-out from the Normandy area.. He was the son of Dr James Bertram and Mrs Alys Mary Mitton of Littleover. Fontenay-le-Pesnel War Cemetery October 2019. Derby Evening Telegraph 14th February 1944 relating to Flight Sergeant Harold Bertram Mitton Signpost to War Cemetery October 2019. Continued over. The Old Derbeian Society | 47

Current Edition and Featured Article for The Derbeian Magazine

The Derbeian Winter 2019/20 Edition
Winter 2019/20 Featured Articles

All Past editions of The Derbeian Magazine

The Derbeian Magazine Autumn 2019 edition
The Derbeian Magazine Summer 2019 Edition
The Derbeian Magazine Spring 2019 Edition
The Derbeian Magazine Winter 2018/19 Edition
The Derbeian Magazine Autumn 2018 edition
The Derbeian Magazine Summer 2018
The Derbeian Magazine Spring 2018 Edition
The Derbeian Magazine Winter 2017/18 Edition
The Derbeian Magazine Autumn 2017
The Derbeian Magazine Summer 2017
The Derbeian Magazine Spring 2017 Edition
The Derbeian Magazine Winter 2016/2017
The Derbeian Magazine Summer 2016 Edition

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