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Project 72 and 'When in Sleaford...'

Project 72 is a community based project aimed at tracking down the names of the 72 children who attended William Alvey School and then went on to fight and tragically die for their country in WWI. Their names were originally written on a special scroll that the local paper, the 'Sleaford Journal', report was unveiled at William Alvey School on May 24th 1922 (Empire Day). Over the ensuing years the scroll has been lost. The current Alvey children are cross referencing Church and Civic monuments with our old school registers. We are trying to find all 72 names and then we want to  build a permanent memorial at the front of the school. The project will also form part of a larger art trail, 'When in Sleaford' which is being put together by ArtsNK and funded by a grant from the Mukherjee Brothers Trust and the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant.


Other contributors towards our school's involvement include the British Legion (£50), Lincolnshire Diocese of Education (£2000), the Sleaford Renewable Enerygy Plant (£2000) and the Mukherjee Brothers Trust (£8000). Thank you. We have organised a number of fundraising activities ourselves including a film night, chocolate tombola, golden arrow archery competition and a one stop-pop up owl shop. Thank you Parents and Friends for your support.


As you walk past the school, it would be great if in future years, you look at the memorial sculpture and remember those local boys who lost their lives in the service of their country.


In August 2019, our Project 72 plaque and scroll were listed on the Imperial War Museum Memorial Register:  and in September 2019 we started to list the names of the WWII fallen from William Alvey,



Cross referencing old school registers with civic monuments

Request for Help

The 'Lost' Boys

Information from the Commonwealth War Graves website

Sleaford Cemetery

Gravestones in Sleaford

George Veale: War Hero




I have just read about the work you have been doing in the last 12 months or on the Alvey School Project 72.


One of the soldiers, George Veale, was the cousin of my Grandmother.


As part of my family history investigations, I have discovered information about his parents, who owned a cake shop/ café in Sleaford, his early life as a school boy and a mechanic at Holland Brothers. He married the daughter of an Ancaster Publican.


In the Army he served with the RASC with one of the Tunnelling Regiments and it was while serving with them that he was killed in 1916.


He has a grave in the village of Suzanne in the Department of the Somme.




Mike Wotton


Pupil 1955 -1958

Private GEORGE VEALE, Service Number M2/117292 Died 13/02/1916 Aged 27 Army Service Corps attached. 184th Tunnelling Coy Royal Engineers


26/2/1916 Sleaford Gazette



We regret to learn of the death of Driver George Veale, No. 117292, M.T.A.S.C., eldest son of Mr. W. G. Veale, baker, Sleaford, which took place somewhere in France on Sunday Feb 13th. Before joining the Army, deceased was with Messrs. Holland Bros., for some ten years, and after-wards drove Mr. S. Pattinson’s car. Last October, he went abroad with a detachment, and his wife, (formerly Miss Dennis, of the Butchers Arms, Ancaster), received a letter written the day before his death, saying he was hoping to be home by Easter, and that he had received the box which she had forwarded. The deceased was 27 years of age and very popular with his comrades.



Private Veal

Albert Curt: Another William Alvey Hero

Charles Hollingworth: A William Alvey Hero


My name is Elizabeth Chumun nee Hollingworth and I have read about your request for photos from the First World War. My Uncle, Charles (Chuck) Watson Hollingworth, was unfortunately killed in the war and his name is commemorated on the memorial in Sleaford Market Place and in the new memorial at the Alvey School.
He signed up in 1915 at the age of 17, stating that he was 18, the fourth son of the family to enlist. Initially he was with the Lincolnshire Regiment and when his true age came to light, he was sent to Ireland. Later he was posted to the Scottish rifles and in February 1918, he took up post on the Western Front, as a Lewis gunner with the Royal Scots.
Uncle Chuck was killed, along with some of his pals, while taking refuge in an old farm house, on October 21st 1918 aged 20 years. In a letter to his parents, his Commanding Officer wrote that he was well liked for his cheery, pleasant way and would be sadly missed by all who knew him. He is buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium.
I believe many of my Aunts and Uncles went to the Alvey School, as I did, and feel proud that he is remembered there. Although I don’t live in Sleaford anymore, I still see myself as a Sleafordian and I have contact with a cousin and her family who live there. I have always known about Uncle Chuck but a lot of the information I have given to you, was researched by my cousin, Tony Page and told to him by his Mum, Eliza nee Hollingworth (deceased).
I do hope that the photos I have attached may be of some help to you.
With best wishes

Charles William Penson: 72 of 72



12 Jan 1898

Sleaford, North Kesteven District, Lincolnshire, England

DEATH 24 Aug 1921 (aged 23)

Sleaford Cemetery

Sleaford, North Kesteven District, Lincolnshire, England

PLOT S.345

16006000 · 


Aircraftman 1st Class 301407 Airship Station (Howden) Royal Air Force.Died in the 'R38' disaster.
Son of James Ambrose Penson and Eliza Ellen Penson, of 111 Westgate, Sleaford.
Conflict Commemorated: WWI
Last Name: PENSON
First Name: Charles William
Age At Death:21
Rank: Aircraftman First Class
Service Number: 301407
Regiment/ Service: Royal Air Force
Unit: Airship Station (Howden)
Date of Death: 24/08/1921
Cause of Death: Killed
Notes: R38 Airship disaster at Hull, was the first of the major airship disasters. There is a memorial at Hull.


Charlie Penson was still given a war grave under Category One of the war graves commission:- Commonwealth men and women who were still in military service at the time of their death. These personnel automatically qualify for commemoration provided they died within the qualifying dates as follows:

First World War - 4th August 1914 to 31st August 1921



Edwin Cracknell lived at 20 Eastgate and went to The Alvey in the 1890's. Unfortunately, he died in 1915 in France. His mother could have turned her back on the war effort but instead she volunteered as a Red Cross Nurse at the 'Old Place' on Boston Road in 1916.


Evelyn Stanyon worked at The Alvey for over 50 years, joining as a pupil in 1906. Unfortunately her brother, Charles, was one of the Project 72 fallen.

Charles Edward Tasker, attended the school between 1897 and 1902. This time not one of the 72 fallen. Charles is the Great Grandad of one of our current Y6 pupils (Catie), You can see his name, 91 (children on roll), in one of our old school registers.

Thomas Cromer didn't make it onto the memorial because he was a teacher at the school.

David Mackie

Take a look at the work of David Mackie, the artist who is going to help create the Project 72 memorial. Click on the link below.

David's first Workshop at William Alvey.

On Tuesday (23.6.15), David visited Sleaford Museum and St Denys' Church with our Year 6 artists for a second workshop.

The children's art books for 'When in Sleaford' and Project 72 ideas.

David's third workshop involved metal embossing.

When in Sleaford Public Access Workshops

The children who have been working with David put on a special art exhibition for their Parents and other Special Guests in the evening of  16th July 2015. If you click on the 'Gallery' link below and then scroll down to 'Year 6 art exhibition' you can see some more of the photographs.



When in Sleaford and Project 72 School Art Exhibition

Plaque proposal

The Replacement Scroll

'When in Sleaford' draft roundel text

The resin copies of the bronze roundels. We have included a QR code underneath each one.


Our Project 72 plaque was installed today (27.11.16), it so happened that Mrs Ringrose (ex-RAF) and Mr Jackson (RAF), were both there to see it happen.

The Plaque with Pupils.

The Plaque with Poppies.

The framed scroll ready for St Denys'.

On Sunday 12th March 2017 we presented the Project 72 scroll to Father Philip. After the service we followed the 'When in Sleaford' Heritage Trail. We stopped off at the Project 72 memorial and went on to find all 18 roundels.

Colouring Competition 2018

Poppy Pebbles 2018

Project 72 involved finding the 72 soldiers who died in WWI after attending the William Alvey. We have found 19 names so far of children who attended the school that unfortunately fell in WWII.

The Launch of When in Sleaford 8.4.17

Now a Tourist Attraction

St Denys' Colouring Competition 2017

When in Sleaford

It's Catching! (Lloyds Bank)

Sleaford Museum

Explore Sleaford

Part of a photography competition

Peace Assembly Project 72 Monday 12.11.18

Colouring Competition 2018

Scroll in St. Denys' 11.11.18

Town Awards March 2019

We are even on Pokemon GO! May 2019

August 2020: Local artist, Laura Davies, who usually works with paint, has created this sculpture in memory of our Project 72-WW1 Alvey Boys.

May 2019

Sleaford Shining October 2019

Making a difference this morning (6.10.19) in Sleaford. Thank you for your help, all the roundels on the 'When in Sleaford' Town Trail are now glistening.

Cubs, do your best.

William Alvey Roundel Can you remember when we collected 1ps and 2ps and wanted to use the money to pay for a William Alvey roundel to go up in Lloyds Bank in Sleaford? It was when Mrs Mason was in Year 1 and it was her class that collected the most money. Well the roundel is here. Our Premises Manager will put it up in the bank and we will then organise a magnificent 'unveiling'.

Our WWII Fallen



Cross referencing WWII civic records with our school registers



We are going to get a transparent vinyl made for our Covid screen to see how it looks and then think about a more permanent memorial perhaps on our air raid shelter or engraved on a window at the front of the school.

This is Mark Bamford (Sleaford Museum) with John Dale, who with his sister, Linda Bayley, have carried out an incredible amount of research, essentially from the Sleaford Gazette, into the lives of the Alvey Boys, many of whom would have actually stood on the spot where this photo was taken and who went on to fight and tragically die in WWI. They are commemorated on the Project 72 memorial at the front of the school. John presented us with the record of the Project 72 Fallen which includes, personal letters to and from the front, as well as letters of condolences from the Officers the men were serving under in France.





25.12.21 Mrs Mason received this award for all her work bringing history to life, well done and Mr Johnson (Premises Manager) has just put it up, thank you.

Town Trail 2.1.22

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