Pupils trace soldiers who died in First World War

Newspaper: Express Series (Hemsworth).
Story: Hemsworth Academy students start creating an art installation based on I.D tags carried by World War One (WWI) soldiers, to help mark the 100th anniversary since the battle of the Somme.
Reporter: Don Mort.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 01/03/16
Picture Ref: AB081b0316
Newspaper: Express Series (Hemsworth). Story: Hemsworth Academy students start creating an art installation based on I.D tags carried by World War One (WWI) soldiers, to help mark the 100th anniversary since the battle of the Somme. Reporter: Don Mort. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 01/03/16 Picture Ref: AB081b0316

At dawn on a French battlefield a decorated solider from Hemsworth was hit in the chest by a sniper’s bullet and died.

More than a century later, pupils at the town’s academy traced the history of Bertram Henry Leatham, who was buried in a war grave at Vermelles.

Newspaper: Express Series (Hemsworth).
Story: Hemsworth Academy students start creating an art installation based on I.D tags carried by World War One (WWI) soldiers, to help mark the 100th anniversary since the battle of the Somme.
Reporter: Don Mort.
Photographer: Andrew Bellis.
Photo date: 01/03/16
Picture Ref: AB081d0316

Newspaper: Express Series (Hemsworth). Story: Hemsworth Academy students start creating an art installation based on I.D tags carried by World War One (WWI) soldiers, to help mark the 100th anniversary since the battle of the Somme. Reporter: Don Mort. Photographer: Andrew Bellis. Photo date: 01/03/16 Picture Ref: AB081d0316

He was from the Leatham family of Hemsworth Hall, which became a school and is now the site of Hemsworth Arts and Community College.

Pupil have been working with arts group Faceless on a project to commemorate the First World War and soldiers from the town and surrounding areas.

The project is based on military “dog tags” carried by soldiers to display their names and rank.

Assistant principal Stephen Foster said: “Pupils have been creating replica dog tags using information we got from the war memorial at St Helen’s Church in Hemsworth.

“They did research from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to identify what rank, number, regiment and battle they were involved in. One of the soldiers was Lt Col Leatham.”

Research found he was a keen football player who served in South Africa and Egypt before the First World War and was honoured for “distinguished and gallant service in the field.”

His war record said: “He was killed by a sniper at Hulloch 26 September 1915, shot in the chest at dawn as he took the first opportunity to examine his surroundings as soon as the light was strong enough.”

As part of their project, pupils will be creating art work to commemorate the 100th anniversary Battle of the Somme in July.

“Tags” is a creative project launched to commemorate and document the lives lost during the First World War.

There are more than 300 names on war memorials in Hemsworth, South Hiendley, Ackworth, Ryhill and Havercroft and Fitzwilliam of men who died in the conflict.

During the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme, pupils have been researching names from their local area as part of the project by arts group Faceless.

The Battle of the Somme start on July 1, 1916, and lasted until November that year.

Britain suffered 420,000 casualties including 60,000 on the first day along.

By November Allies had advanced just 8km.