On Tuesday, the film ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ documenting a Heritage Lottery funded research project conducted by students at Stockton Sixth Form College and The Grangefield Academy premiered at ARC in Stockton.
This unique venture which enabled young people aged 11-18 to research the lives of 69 former Stockton Secondary School boys who lost their lives during the First World War, was captured on film by TalkingHead TV.
With every step of the research process was recorded, 30 students participated in a range of research activities locally and farther afield, including a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London and a Battlefield Tour of Northern France.
The project was conceived by Joanna Bailey, Principal of Stockton Sixth Form College, and was enthusiastically supported by Nikki Gibb, Principal of The Grangefield Academy, as they are neighbouring schools and this is where the commemorative plaque detailing the names of the Fallen resides.
CEO of Tees Valley Collaborative Trust and Principal at Stockton Sixth Form, Joanna Bailey said: “We were delighted to be successful in our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund this project. It has given young people in our community the chance to learn about heroes who lived on their own doorstep, and to better understand the sacrifices made by those young men and their families and to share their stories with the local community at the screening at Arc.
“I am particularly proud of the research done by our students and pupils at The Grangefield Academy, who have given up their own time to complete this project. They have learnt so much and gained a new appreciation of the significance of the First World War in the context of their own community.”
“We are grateful for the support of staff from Stockton’s Reference Library and the Preston Hall Museum in developing the students’ research skills.”
The film has already achieved success at the Great Message International Film Festival, winning the Best Documentary Award. It is also entered into a number of film festivals including Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival.
View the full version of the film here. The photographs from the Premiere can be viewed below.