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Selby High School

Selby High School

SHS Welcomes Author, Hilary Robinson

It has been a pleasure to have Hilary Robinson deliver two exceptional presentations about her new book 'A Song For Will: The Lost Gardeners of Heligan' to some of our year 7 and 8 students.

Hilary truly took us back in time to appreciate the hardships and loss of life that WW1 brought to the country. Hilary's new book consists of a series of emotional and informative letters that span from 1914-1918. The letters reveal the stories of the gardeners of Heligan during WW1. They were just thirteen young men that worked on the lands at Heligan in Cornwall before enlisting as soldiers. Hilary researched these men in detail and found a connection between Selby and one of the gardeners of Heligan, John Varey. John was born in Ulleskelf and married a Selby woman and John fortunately returned from the war and lived a happy life as a gardener in Scarborough. Sadly, only four of the thirteen gardeners returned.

Hilary also brought a special surprise with her to Selby High School. John Varey's great niece, Helen Varey, kindly came along with Hilary and spoke about John and passed around photos of John in his regiment uniform. What a fantastic local connection!

Thank you so much to Hilary and Helen. The students were awestruck and compelled by your stories and photos today.