We are planning to bring different generations of our ESMS community together 75 years after the end of the Second World War to share memories while at the same time we remember and celebrate the life of John Cruikshank who spent his childhood as a pupil of Daniel Stewart’s College. As a result of the restrictions on gatherings we now have a great opportunity to create a rather unique presentation which can be enjoyed by our whole community around the world in addition to those local to Edinburgh.
Our schools are very proud of John Cruickshank, one of the oldest living Daniel Stewart’s former pupils who is also the last member of the Armed Forces still alive today who was awarded the Victoria Cross in World War 2. John celebrated his 100th birthday in May and I can promise you that you will be astounded and in awe when we share links to the story of the mission which resulted in the award of the Victoria Cross
The fact that John attended Daniel Stewart’s College is significant. Every third year we celebrate the history and traditions of one of our three founder schools – The Mary Erskine School, Melville College and Daniel Stewart’s College – with a special event designed for their former pupils. This year is the turn of Daniel Stewart’s but, given the significance of the year for John Cruickshank, one of its most renowned pupils, we have decided to invite the whole ESMS community to join us.
Our SMC Archivist, David McLeish, is curating a collection of amazing items from the war years at school and we are also looking for your submissions too. If you have family memorabilia from the Second World War, please help us to put together a great presentation for our community by sharing this with us. You can submit entries using the two methods below:
- Send us a photo of your item(s) along with some information about it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Send us a short video of you or your children talking about your item(s) that we can put together with other submissions into a longer video to be published on Sunday 15 November. Because we have restrictions on the size of attachments we can receive, you may wish to use a third party site such as dropbox or wetransfer to send this to us at email@example.com.
If you require support to take videos or imagery, please contact Oana or Tania on firstname.lastname@example.org who will do their best to assist you remotely.
Our lockdown letter-writing initiative, which led to over 200 children and older alumni writing letters to each other, proved so successful and enjoyable that many of those taking part are continuing as pen-friends. The initiative reinforced how much different generations can learn from each other and how much they enjoy interacting. Inviting young and old alike to look out and share family mementoes of a war which ended 75 years ago this year and in which many members of our community fought and in some cases died seems to us like a natural extension of our initiative and one on which we hope to build in the future.
The schools host a very moving Remembrance Ceremony annually which this session will be held on Friday 13th November. We see our own event as an excellent way to complement the schools’ ceremony. We are looking into the possibility of recording the Ceremony this year for the first time and to make it available to our worldwide community.