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Iconic war hero to be celebrated in school

WAR HERO: Walter Tull

THE LIFE and legacy of pioneering black Briton Walter Tull will be explored in a new educational project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Short Films 4U.

Launched on November 13 at Action for Children’s Headlands School in Penarth, the project is designed to bring Tull’s story to young people and inspire them to achieve ‘great things’, said one of the curators.

Created by writer Phil Vasili, artist Elaine Taylor and filmmakers Rory Gault and Graham Dickinson, the projects will see pupils creating drama productions about Tull’s life.

Vasili, who has been researching and writing about Tull since 1992, said: “Long forgotten, Tull is now being remembered and celebrated for his incredible achievements, accomplished in the face of enormous obstacles.”

Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Walter Tull’s story of achievement and bravery is an inspiration to us today. I’m proud that Action for Children played such an important role in nurturing Walter Tull as a child - Thomas Stephenson’s example of working in the service of children still guides us today.”

Tull is celebrated as the first black British combat officer and England’s second ever-black professional footballer when he signed for Tottenham Hotspur.

He went on to play for Northampton Town and was about to sign for Rangers when war broke out in 1914. He joined the Army in 1917 despite this being against Army policy at the time.

The icon was killed fighting on the Western Front in March 1918.

Posthumous tributes in his honour include a road named after him in the town where he was born, a limited edition £5 coin and a blue heritage plaque unveiled last year at the site where he lived while playing for Tottenham Hotspur.

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