Children's tribute to an old soldier

Our younger generation are often seen as being uninformed about the World Wars and the loss of life incurred.  That is certainly not the case with the children of Whitehawk Primary School. In this Remembrance week they have been engaged in a very special project.

Stephen Rooke, known to children as ‘Uncle Pete’ died last year at the grand age of 83 years.  He was a submariner and had been a volunteer in Brighton and Hove schools for over 20 years.  Schoolchildren were inspired and enthralled with his memories of the war, and would listen spellbound by his stories.  When he died, a memorial bench was placed in Whitehawk Primary School, to remind the children of their special friend.

This year, the children decided to make their own special wreath to be laid in memory of ‘Uncle Pete’, at the  90th Anniversary of WWI Act of Remembrance Ceremony held at Whitehawk School.  The event was attended by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn and many other local dignitaries. Also present was Henry Allingham who is Britain’s oldest man at 112 years old, and a WWI veteran who now lives at St Dunstan’s Ovingdean.

Involving the children in the Act of Remembrance, and sharing knowledge about the history of this country’s conflicts, is surely a really positive way for them to learn about the price paid for our freedom.

Comments about this page

  • Uncle Pete Stephen Rooke was one of 14 children. He was my gran’s brother. When I came across this article I was shocked. I had no idea about any of this. I wish I had got to know him. If anyone can tell me anything about him, that would be great. I am doing my family tree. It would be good to put some information about him on it. Thanks

    By Rachel (20/06/2010)
  • hey Rachel. I was also moved by this tribute to uncle Pete. I’m one of his great nephews and was lucky enough to have met him several times. My nanna was Ann Hanney, nee Rooke. Contact me at as I’m doing a family tree too and have heaps of Fogdens.

    By Andrew (07/07/2012)

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