8 November 2021

Rochdale students Remember Together

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School students marking Remembrance in Rochdale this week will have a new perspective on our annual tradition of commemoration, following a ground-breaking new project to uncover the hidden histories of black and Asian WW2 service from among their own community.

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Steve Ballinger
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Students at Falinge Park High School in Rochdale reached out to their own local community to uncover the family stories of Second World War service from black and Asian soldiers. The students then became historians themselves, conducting filmed interviews with family members and documenting these stories – through video, family photos and medals and other memorabilia – on their school website.

In the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday they launched a short film of the project, sharing some of the local family stories that the students uncovered.

Teacher Vacas Ahmed, who led the project at Falinge Park High School in Rochdale, said:

“The project brought history to life for our students. It shows how our past shaped the diverse community that they live in today. Soldiers of all creeds and colours, from across the Commonwealth, served together in the world wars. We should remember them together today.”

Ahsan, a student at Falinge Park High School, said

“Everyone is more connected to World War Two than we thought. Now I know that it wasn’t just white British people, it was all of us.”

Amin Janjua from Rochdale, speaking for the project about his father Fazal Karim, said:

“I’m glad you’ve given me the chance to show to the world that our people, my dad, they fought for their lives, for Britain. They’re the Pride of Britain, those commonwealth soldiers.”

You can find out more about the stories uncovered by the Falinge Park students at www.falingepark.com/community-heroes/

The Rochdale project was supported by British Future as part of the Remember Together initiative, which aims to make our national tradition of Remembrance a moment that brings people from different backgrounds together to commemorate our shared history. Remember Together also worked with an East London school on a similar project this year – you can read more about the stories they uncovered here..

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