SMC History Travels to the Netherlands

Posted on 19th May 2023 in ESMS, Stewart's Melville College

“Never Unprepared”, the motto of Stewart’s Melville College, is inscribed on the grave of our former pupil, Sgt. William Middleton Ward, one of the 440 young men we commemorate every Remembrance Day for giving their lives in service to their country. William Ward’s Lancaster bomber was shot down by a Nazi fighter plane over Dronten in June of 1943 when he was just twenty years old, forever linking the School and the Dutch city.

We continue to celebrate our shared historical legacy with Dronten, and the memory of William Ward. In November 2022, the Mayor of Dronten joined us in Edinburgh for our Remembrance Day commemorations, along with pupils and staff from Almere College. This year, the SMC History Department had the honour of making the journey to Dronten to take part in ceremonies marking the Dutch Liberation Day on 5 of May. Our students and staff represented Stewart’s Melville College, respectfully laying wreaths at the monument comprising of parts of William Ward's recovered aircraft, all in full view of television cameras broadcasting the event. 

During their visit to the Netherlands, the History Department also paid their respects at William Ward’s grave in Amsterdam. SMC History teacher, Mr Clarke, has been delving deep into the life of our former pupil. His meticulous research has been shaped into a short documentary which pays tribute to SMC’s heroic pupil, and the historical heritage of Dronten. Exploring our shared histories fosters enduring ties that, as William Ward’s life story and legacy show, span generations and strengthen bonds across borders.

The documentary is titled Never Unprepared: The untold story of Scottish bomb aimer William Ward, and it is available via the Omroep Flevoland YouTube channel.

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