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Family ties bring history to life

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An Australian who traced his grandfather to Dewsbury Moor travelled to the school where he studied – and helped plant poppy seeds to mark the centenary of World War One in which his grandfather died.

While researching his family history, Mike Smith discovered his grandfather Edward Scott had been a pupil at St John’s School in Boothroyd Lane in 1900.

He made a special visit to the school with his wife Jean to meet staff and pupils, and plant the poppies, along with his second cousin once removed, David Prakel, who had also been researching the history of the family.

He told pupils: “My grandfather came to this school for a year.

“He was adopted by the Butler family and at this school he was known as Edward Butler. When he came here he won a prize for regular attendance.”

Edward later returned to his family and took back his birth name of Edward Scott.

He fought in the First World War in the 12th Batallion West Yorkshire Regiment. He went to France in 1916 and the Somme in July of that year.

His battalion was shelled and Edward saved the lives of two of his fellow soldiers – but was killed by shrapnel when he went back to rescue a third.

Edward was posthumously awarded the Military Medal for his bravery.

Mr Smith presented a book he had written about his grandfather to the school.

He helped school council pupils Amaan Khan, Ava Kholwadia and Ella-Mae Murray sow poppy seeds in a planter before placing some more in St John’s Church graveyard.

 

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