James Ashworth remembered at Lodge Park Academy
Lodge Park Academy has acknowledged and honoured a former student, James Ashworth, by opening a new house in his name.
The Rt Hon Nicholas Soames MP, Winston Churchill’s Grandson, joined with James’ Mother and David Ross, the academy’s sponsor, to open the new house named after James, who was awarded a Victoria Cross posthumously earlier this year.
Alison Hayes, Associate Principal, said everyone at Lodge Park was deeply proud of the sacrifice that James had made and hoped that, by naming a house after him, his legacy would not be forgotten.
“I taught James during his time at Lodge Park. I looked back over his school reports recently, and it was clear that he had the potential to succeed,” said Mrs Hayes.
Ashworth House will be one of the six houses at Lodge Park, and teachers within the house will be responsible for meeting the pastoral needs of over 200 students.
As part of the official opening, Mr Soames addressed the students in the house and answered questions about his grandfather. The ceremony finished with a minute of applause.
Toby Mullins, Executive Principal, said: “It has been a magnificent day for the academy. Our students wanted to show their respects for James and his family, his being awarded the Victoria Cross has had a positive profound effect on the youngsters here.”
Nicholas Soames and David Ross were greeted by a Guard of Honour from the academy’s new Combined Cadet Force on their arrival, and presented the inaugural Ashworth Award to Ryan Keogh for his oustanding contribution to the academy. Pupils also produced a video saying what James' legacy had been.
James Ashworth was awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross in May, and is only the 10th British Serviceman to receive the award since World War Two.