Falklands hero visits Sudbury school to film BBC show looking into story of school’s former headmaster

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston (right) visited Ormiston Sudbury Academy as part of filming for a BBC television programme on the Imperial War Museum.
Falklands War veteran Simon Weston (right) visited Ormiston Sudbury Academy as part of filming for a BBC television programme on the Imperial War Museum.

The heroism of a former Sudbury headmaster was honoured when Falklands War veteran Simon Weston CBE visited Ormiston Sudbury Academy.

Mr Weston, who suffered severe burn injuries during the 1982 conflict, visited the secondary school with a BBC film crew.

The series focuses on a series of artefacts from the museum including the wallet of Cpt Robert Smylie who had been the headmaster of Sudbury Grammar School and who was killed in the Batlle of the Somme.

The series focuses on a series of artefacts from the museum including the wallet of Cpt Robert Smylie who had been the headmaster of Sudbury Grammar School and who was killed in the Batlle of the Somme.

He was there to make a documentary celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Imperial War Museum.

The documentary, called Britain at War: Imperial War Museum at 100, is to be screened on BBC Two on Saturday at 7.30pm.

It focuses on a series of museum artefacts, including the wallet of Captain Robert Smylie, a former headmaster of Sudbury Grammar School.

Cpt Smylie joined the Army in 1914, aged 40, leaving his wife and three children in Sudbury.

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston (right) visited Ormiston Sudbury Academy. Here pictured with academy director of humanities David Grocott.

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston (right) visited Ormiston Sudbury Academy. Here pictured with academy director of humanities David Grocott.

He was killed on the 14th day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, leading his men in an attack against German lines.

Remarkably, the bullet that took his life pierced his wallet containing images of his family – the same wallet that has subsequently been on display in the Imperial War Museum.

David Grocott, director of humanities at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, who was interviewed by Mr Weston for the documentary, said: “It’s an incredibly touching artefact of loss, duty and wasted life.

“Mr Weston was charming and extremely inspiring; our students loved having the opportunity to talk to him about his personal experience and the incredible story of our former headmaster.”