Monday, 2 May 2016

Remembering HSD Civilian Casualties of 1916

As part of The High School's 1916 commemorations, Transition Year Construction Studies pupils and their teacher Mr L Middleton have designed and created a poignant 3D art piece which is now on display at the 1916 Sackville Street Art Project at the Botanic Gardens.  The objective of this project is to remember each of the 262 civilians killed in the 1916 Rising. Two High School past pupils, both of whom worked at Guinness's Brewery, are counted among the civilian casualties.  However, the pupils focused on one of the men, Mr Holden Stodart, a 33 year old volunteer superintendent with the St John Ambulance Brigade who was shot near Northumberland Road as he tended to a soldier.  The other was Mr William John Rice, a 35 year old night watchman at Guinness’s Brewery who was arrested as a volunteer when he arrived for his shift and was taken out and shot. Concerned for his welfare, his colleague and housemate, Mr Cecil Dockery went to the brewery next morning to search for his friend and he was executed too. Stodart, Rice, and Dockeray were all Guinness employees, the former two were High School past pupils.  However, in an ironic twist, we recently learned that the third man, Mr Cecil Dockeray too has a High School connection.  He is the grandfather of retired High School deputy principal, Mrs Joan Geoghegan.  The old school building
in Harcourt Street was turned into an impromptu hospital during the Rising, and this fact is represented in the pupils’ project.  Pupil Sarah Morley (4B) explains: ‘The team of pupils working on the project wanted Stodart's house to show the different aspects of High School's story during the Rising. So we designed the ground floor to be a High School classroom during 1916. The middle floor represents the school's connection with the St John Ambulance Brigade, while the top floor features soldiers in combat, some of whom were High School past pupils too.’  Stodart, Rice, and Dockeray, and all those civilians who died in 1916 have corresponding houses in the 1916 Sackville Street Exhibition which continues at The Botanic Gardens until 24 April.

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