A SCHOOL has asked people to help it create a memorial for former pupils who died during the Second World War.

As part of Henry Box School’s 350th anniversary celebrations, the Witney school plans to unveil a memorial in its grounds in Church Green.

Historian Jane Cavell, who recently wrote a history of the school, has compiled a list of former pupils.

By cross-checking their names against lists of war dead and names on local war memorials, she has found 17 men who died in the Second World War.

The school now wants to find out if there are any more.

Ms Cavell said: “Because the war has been over for 65 years, we are quickly losing that link with the living people that were around then.

“Now, it’s our last chance to find out the names of those boys that died and to make sure they are remembered in the future.

“I think it’s really important to remember that generation and what they sacrificed.

“Some of them died quite soon after they left school, which is really quite a poignant reminder that we don’t know what’s ahead of us.”

The names so far identified are Hubert Desmond Balsam, Harold Edward Busby, (Clarence) Gilbert Calcutt, Arthur Gordon B Clack, Roy Lester Coombs or Coombes, Raymond James Davies, Michael Frederick Haley, (Edwin James) Godfrey Horne, (Ernest) Ivor Jennings, Alexander Stephen Lees, Francis William Looker, William Cyril Marchant, John Edward Millis, Frederick Walter Noakes, Patrick John A Phillips, John Henry G Smith and Thomas Arnold Vaux.

Another victim of the Second World War was Grizzella Frances Evans, maiden name Powell, who is believed to have been a student teacher at the school.

She died in an air-raid on Manchester in 1940 along with her husband.

Annabelle Houghton, one of the organisers of the 350th anniversary, said: “The school needs your help to make sure that the new memorial is as complete and accurate as possible, so that future generations will remember those who died.”

Ms Cavell also found two more names – Archie Hutt and Walter Oakey – to add to the school’s First World War memorial.

witney@oxfordmail.co.uk For more details, call Ms Houghton on 01993 703955 or email 350th.4050@henrybox.oxon.sch.uk