Valuable resource for Webster’s pupils

Mr Laird is pictured with head teacher Mrs Esson, Mrs Duncan and Miss Prendergast with S6 students Amber Ogg and Robyn Laird.
Mr Laird is pictured with head teacher Mrs Esson, Mrs Duncan and Miss Prendergast with S6 students Amber Ogg and Robyn Laird.

A cherished collection of war time magazines currently on loan to Webster’s High School has proved a valuable learning resource.

As the nation marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, pupils and staff met with benefactor Mr Ivan Laird to look through the bound copies of The Sphere, which graphically illustrate the major campaigns of the First World War.

Last February we reported how Mr Laird, a keen historian, purchased the magazines at a sale at Lundie Castle 30 years previous. They detail the progression of the war with original photographs, illustrations and rolls of honour.

Mr Laird has 10 books of the magazines which he has read from cover to cover. He has the complete set for the duration of the First World War which are on loan for the next four years.

He said: “I wanted to loan this to the school for the duration of the 100 year commemoration of the First World War.

“The Battle of the Somme is very poignant to me. I lost three of my second cousins - who were all brothers - in the First World War. One of them was killed at the Somme and has no known grave. Their names are on the war memorial at Carmyllie.

“I donated the books on loan to the history section of the school library as I thought it was better to share them with somebody who might have an interest in them, rather than them just sitting around. They are on loan for the four year duration of the first world war. They have been well received and well used by pupils doing research on the first world war. Some of the teachers are amazed at the illustrations depicting the rise and fall of the ground, which was all done without computers.”