The First World War is not just history it is a living history. I have discovered that fact in the last 5 years in meeting hundreds of families connected to Emanuel School boys who served in the First World War. One story in particular I have been researching for a number of years. It took many years to complete the full picture and even three months before the Emanuel School at War Exhibition I received a photo album from the family.
Cecil and Ronald Grundy attended Emanuel School prior to the First World War and their younger brothers attended during the war years. The family lived in St. James’s Road, now Drive adjacent to Wandsworth Common Station.
As war clouds approached in July 1914, Cecil, the eldest Grundy boy was working for Burberry in their Argentinian branch. He returned to England a few months after war broke out and enlisted, receiving a Commission in The Middlesex Regiment. Ronald Grundy also enlisted and served with The Middlesex Regiment.
Exclusively for the Wandsworth WW1 Blog you can read their story. It is a story that it would not have been possible to tell without archives, from private archives to the Emanuel School archive and the family. Each household holds its own archive telling the story of their family through the generations.
The Grundy story is now published in a new history ‘Emanuel School at War’ and also features on the BBC World War One at Home Series. Wandsworth Heritage Service was integral to uncovering the story of Emanuel boys’s experiences in both world wars and I would encourage people to explore it and immerse themselves in their wonderful collections.
Daniel Kirmatzis (Historian and Researcher) @emanuelatwar