Pupils learn all about the world wars
SCHOOLCHILDREN learned about the heroics and tragedy of the world wars when an artist and military historian visited their classroom.
Former headteacher Henry Quick, now 72, took a lifetime’s collection of military memorabilia with him to Greenbank Preparatory School.
The military historian and artist is passionate about the world and an avid collector of military uniforms and kit, inspired by his father and uncle’s experiences in wartime.
He said: “I was brought up in what were then the green fields of Wythenshawe and all the kids had dads who had been in the war and we all wore and played with bits of old uniform and kit.
“Ever since then it has been a passion of mine and I’ve read hundreds of books, seen all the films, and visited the battlefields of both the First and Second World Wars.
“Children are endlessly fascinated, particularly by the Second World War.
“I think there are so many heroic figures – the fighter pilot, the submarine captain, the tank commander – that they can identify with.
“Aside from the commando knives, I let the children play with and wear all the kit, even my own father’s and uncle’s bits and pieces that I am most proud of.
“It’s a way for me to talk about the historical facts of the war and explain just what that generation was fighting for.”
Henry, who lives in Great Moor, spent all his working life as a primary school teacher, deputy and headteacher and remembers the latter years being quite stressful.
He added: “Whenever I felt under real pressure, I thought ‘well it’s better than being in a submarine and being depth charged’.”
Now a working artist, Henry’s paintings of the First World War are being exhibited in Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery and will remain on show until February.
Greenbank Year Six pupil and young historian Louis Suchland, aged 11, loved meeting Henry, hearing his stories and playing with his wartime kit.
He said: “I had so many questions to ask but we ran out of time. That’s the best lesson I’ve ever been to.”
Greenbank deputy headteacher Adam Dyson added: “Our Year 6 children handled Henry’s memorabilia with reverence and awe and hung on every word.
“It was the perfect way to conclude our project on the Second World War.”
●●Henry Quick with his Uncle Rex’s air raid warden helmet and pupils from Greenbank Preparatory School