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Newington school children receive 'peace mugs'

Every pupil at Newington CE Primary School near Sittingbourne has been given a souvenir Peace Day mug to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The limited edition mugs were donated and presented to the 171 children by Newington History Group (NHG) on Friday.

It matched a similar gesture by Mrs A Stevens during the village's Peace Day celebrations in July 1919.

Members of the Newington History Group with pupils and their Peace Day mugs at Newington CE Primary School. Picture: Chris Davey (13441701)
Members of the Newington History Group with pupils and their Peace Day mugs at Newington CE Primary School. Picture: Chris Davey (13441701)

Only one of those mugs has been traced. It belongs to villager Margaret Foster whose father Edward Harlow survived the war.

Other mugs may have been handed down by families. NHG spokesman Richard Thompstone said the group was eager to find them.

Friday's ceremony followed the final Centenary Commemoration Service to remember Newington's First World War fallen and was an opportunity to recall 15 'sons of Newington' whose names are not on the memorial despite having connections with the village.

Kara, 10, Maisie, nine, Ben, 10, Lilly, nine and Harrison, 10 at Newington CE Primary School and their Peace Day mugs. Picture: Chris Davey (13441709)
Kara, 10, Maisie, nine, Ben, 10, Lilly, nine and Harrison, 10 at Newington CE Primary School and their Peace Day mugs. Picture: Chris Davey (13441709)

The service completed a six-year project by the school and NHG to acknowledge all 46 servicemen who died.

Mr Thompstone said: "This project was quite a commitment for the history group and school but we saw an opportunity to help a new generation of Newington children find out about the men who gave their lives in the First World War. They can now see them as more than just names on the war memorial from long ago.

"It has been heartening to see how engaged they have been and how knowledgeable many have become, pointing to where the men lived and talking about their families and jobs.

First World War Peace Mug from 1919 donated to Newington school children
First World War Peace Mug from 1919 donated to Newington school children
First World War Peace Mug from 1919 donated to Newington school children
First World War Peace Mug from 1919 donated to Newington school children

"Every year, there's been a new intake of children to discover something about their village's history."

Since 2014, each of the 31 men named on the Memorial Cross has been remembered on the 100th anniversary of their death. Pupils learned about each man's life and handed wooden crosses bearing their name to NHG.

After being laid at the war memorial, the crosses are now on display inside St Mary's church.

Ayomide, 10 with his Peace Day mug at Newington CE Primary School. Picture: Chris Davey (13441698)
Ayomide, 10 with his Peace Day mug at Newington CE Primary School. Picture: Chris Davey (13441698)

This year's Peace Day mugs are available for £3.50 each from NHG by calling 07719 942782 or emailing newingtonhistorygroup@outlook.com.

The history group's next event will be supporting national Heritage Open Days over the weekend of September 14 and 15 from 2pm to 5pm in the parish church.

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