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Suffolk pupils mark Holocaust Memorial Day

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:10 01 August 2010

Holocaust Memorial Service at St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich.

Holocaust Memorial Service at St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich.

Hayley Mace

A journey which took hundreds of Jewish children to safety more than 70 years ago was marked by schoolchildren from across Waveney yesterday.

About 60 pupils from Lothingland and Gisleham Middle Schools caught a train to travel from Beccles to Lowestoft yesterday morning to recreate part of a journey made by Jewish refugee children as part of Holocaust Memorial Day.

A journey which took hundreds of Jewish children to safety more than 70 years ago was marked by schoolchildren from across Waveney yesterday.

About 60 pupils from Lothingland and Gisleham Middle Schools caught a train to travel from Beccles to Lowestoft yesterday morning to recreate part of a journey made by Jewish refugee children as part of Holocaust Memorial Day.

The children, who carried handmade replica suitcases on the trip, arrived at the station in time for the unveiling of a memorial plaque which commemorates the arrival of a kindertransport train carrying Jewish refugees from across Europe at Lowestoft railway station in December 1938.

Lowestoft mayor Malcolm Cherry, who met the schoolchildren at the station on Wednesday and unveiled the plaque, said: “When this trip was first organised, the young people unfortunately were not as excited as those of you here now. They had come from various countries and could not speak a word of English.

“This is something which we must commemorate as it still happens today in other countries.”

Simon Tobin, deputy chairman of Waveney District Council, laid a wreath at the railway station before the children continued their journey to the Pontins holiday camp in Pakefield, where the Jewish children were originally billeted when they arrived in the town.

At Pontins, they heard readings of accounts of the 1938 evacuations and stories from some of Lowestoft's own wartime evacuees.

At St Felix School in Reydon, near Southwold, pupils hosted an exhibition of art work and old newspaper articles on Monday to remember the arrival of 200 Jewish boys who were billeted to the school in December 1938 and looked after by staff during the Christmas holidays.

The historical displays made for the events will be on show at the Town Hall in Lowestoft High Street for the next two weeks.

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