Glynn works after hours to trace school's war heroes

Share this article

MOST boys his age are more interested in soldiers on a computer screen than the real heroes who fought on the battlefields of the Second World War.

But 12-year-old Glynn Mullen is focusing all his energies on securing a fitting tribute to the soldiers from his school who lost their lives in the 1939 to 1945 conflict.

The Leith Academy pupil has spent months researching the details of the men who died, allowing a board of remembrance to eventually be made and hung in the building later this year.

Glynn, of Halmyre Street, in Leith, said: "My imagination has totally run wild with this. I've been spending quite a lot of time on it after school – my mum and dad keep thinking I have been getting into trouble."

Glynn's interest in the pupils from Leith Academy who died in the Second World War came about when he noticed there was no official remembrance board in the school for them. Although former pupils who died in the First World War have one, there is only a plaque to signify the later conflict.

With the support of youth worker Robbie Huxtable, Glynn set about finding out which pupils went, but never came back, eventually gathering the names of all 75 men, as well as autobiographical material about them.

His research involved old school registers, a book of remembrance donated to the school by South Leith Parish Church in the 1950s, visits to cemeteries and much communication with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

He has also met with relatives of the deceased, and now knows where the men lived in Leith, some details about their families, where and how they died, as well as where they are buried.

Mr Huxtable said: "Glynn has developed a real passion for this – his drive has been second to none.

"But what we really need now is people from the community to come forward with more information about these men as there is so much still to be uncovered."

The pair hope that with extra help from the Leith community, and beyond, comprehensive fact files can be made about each soldier.

Glynn is to help the art department design the commemorative board, before craft and design staff make it.

There are also further hopes to rename the school's 62 tutor groups after the fallen soldiers, as well as naming sporting events after those who excelled at them during their school days.

Leith Academy headteacher Jack Simpson said: "Glynn felt very early on that this was something he wanted to do and has thought very carefully about it, as well as doing a vast amount of research.

"It is great that for somebody of his age, he does not see these men simply as from the dim and distant past. Rather, he sees them as real people and wants to bring that home to the school."

Anyone who can help Glynn with his investigations should contact Robbie Huxtable on 0131-554 0606 or e-mail robert.huxtable@leith.edin.sch.uk

Back to the top of the page