Eastbourne teacher to meet atom bomb survivor

Mark Sidley with the students and their art work
Mark Sidley with the students and their art work

A teacher from Eastbourne is travelling to meet a Hiroshima survivor in Japan for the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

Mark Sidley, an English teacher from Cavendish School, will travel to Hiroshima to present 80-year-old survivor Takashi Teramoro with a collage of paintings by six of his students.

Mark was inspired to take the trip after reading accounts of the bombing on August 6 1945 and reached out to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to meet a living survivor of the bomb.

Mark said, “At this point, I shared my plan with several of my classes which included telling them about what happened in those two Japanese cities in August 1945.

“Their interest was such I wanted to build on by getting them involved somehow which is why we have created the gift of a collage of paintings by some of our students.

“The fact this gift will be given to the survivor on the day after the 70th anniversary of the A-Bomb attack on Hiroshima makes it especially poignant.”

Mr Teramoro was a 10-year-old schoolboy when the atomic bomb landed on the city, killing at least 129,000 people.

He will share his experience of the blast and his life afterwards with Mark and his interpreter in a meeting on August 7. In his letter to the museum, Mark wrote, “My philosophy as a teacher is, it is my job not only to impart knowledge necessary to pass exams but also to inspire a love of learning, a curiosity about the world and a desire to travel and engage with people from other nations.

“I strongly believe my students engage more with their learning when their teacher has had first-hand experience of what he is talking about.”

In August 1945, during the final stage of the Second World War, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombings killed at least 129,000 people.

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