As soon as war was declared, the people of Liverpool, like those in many towns and cities, began to raise money to help the War effort. Pupils at Liverpool Collegiate School, Shaw Street, Everton were no exception. They helped raise money for a nursing station in Belgium run by two extraordinary British women, Elsie Knocker (Baroness T'Serclaes) and Mairi Chisholm.
Mairi and Elsie were nurses and ambulance drivers and were the only women to nurse on the front line, just 100 yards from the German trenches. They were awarded numerous medals for bravery and for saving the lives of thousands of soldiers on the Western Front.
This mounted German shell was presented to the School as a token of their thanks in 1917. The silver plaque is inscribed, ‘To the Liverpool Collegiate School with grateful thanks from the Baroness T'Serclaes and Mairi Chisholm in recognition of the splendid work they have done during the war to help wounded Belgian soldiers & to carry on the work at the POSTE DE SECOURS (First Aid Post), Pervyse. 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917'.
A statue of the nurses was unveiled in Ypres in 2014.
The shell was saved after the school’s closure in the 1980s by Brian Fitton who taught there from 1962 until its closure, mainly as head of History.
Donated in memory of Brian Fitton courtesy of Marjorie Fitton.