WW2 hero’s daughter opens Barnes Wallis Academy in Tattershall

Mary Stopes-Roe meets pupils Gabrielle Marshall and Dana Hetfield at the official opening of Barnes Wallace Academy in Tattershall. EMN-140917-162205001
Mary Stopes-Roe meets pupils Gabrielle Marshall and Dana Hetfield at the official opening of Barnes Wallace Academy in Tattershall. EMN-140917-162205001

Innovation and inspiration are key themes guiding the new Barnes Wallis Academy School in Tattershall, which invited the inventor of the bouncing bomb’s daughter Mary Stopes-Roe to officially open the new educational campus.

The school, previously known as Gartree, was named after Sir Barnes Neville Wallis because of his links with Bomber County, the RAF, and the famous Dambusters raid on the Ruhr Valley during the second world war.

The school felt that the inventor, scientist, and engineer was the sort of role model who would inspire young people into innovation and achievement.

Mrs Stopes-Roe said she was very proud to open the school named in her father’s honour and said he would have been over the moon too.

“I’m very proud of my father’s inspirational achievements,” she said. “If he was here today and speaking to children interested in his work then he would have talked for hours and would have been delighted at such enthusiasm that has been shown.”

The 87-year-old, who is the daughter-in-law of family planning pioneer Marie Stopes, was shown around the new school. She talked to students about their work and saw all the site had to offer in facilities and education.

Mrs Stopes-Roe was shown a demonstration from students who made their own versions of a bouncing bomb from plasticine. Their challenge was to make their “bombs” bounce along a tray of water with a target at the end representing the dams that 617 Squadron had to hit.

Ben Peck, head of communications at the David Ross Educational Trust, which manages the school, said it’s guiding principles were to Inspire, Inform and Educate.

Several local dignitaries also attended the event including Coningsby and Tattershall deputy mayor Matthew Mason. He said :”The new school is a great thing for the local community and it is very exciting for such a big RAF community to have such an inspirational role model for young people to look up to.”