St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Lichfield

1 May – 4 July


Dear Father,


How are you coping at home?
I am so sorry about our argument and  I regret leaving  you.


The war is very windy; rapid fire, rapid fire
Artillery repeated over and over, over and over
The crash of the shells is deafening me.
It’s so different from Georgetown in these soggy trenches.
But sometimes as I hear the flying pigs at night, I look up and remember the sky at home.


Try not to worry but I’m in a medical tent recovering from wounds in my head
I can’t shave because of shrapnel in my face.
As I watch the medics, cleaning soldiers’ wounds,
I think of you cleansing my cuts when I was hurt as a boy.
Lots of my friends have got shell shock.
My best friend, is now pushing up daisies.


I am writing this letter as the sun is rising.
If I don’t make it home, please know how sorry I am.
When you look at the palm trees back home,
Think of me under my poplar tree near the Somme,
Trying to shelter from a lemon bomb.


Your son


Lionel Turpin

What did students and teachers say about the residency?

Laila - Peformance

The best part for me was definitely the final performance and when we saw the soldiers marching and doing their parade. I thoroughly enjoyed it because we won’t ever get the 100 years anniversary again and it was a really special moment, which will be remembered forever.

Mary - Performance

They were amazing and showed us so much in two days

Sorcha - Performance

The best thing about the day was actually getting to perform what we had learnt to more than 600 people because it was super fun and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Owen - Performance

Fun, fantastic, interesting

Lola and Anna - Composition Workshop

We loved the workshop and we think the song sounds amazing and thank you for sending our teacher the track for us to practice it. We shall give you a big thank you from us and our class and also the teachers. Thank you very, very, much!!


Heidi - Costumed Interpreter

The best thing about this activity was learning the army and drills and knowing just how tough it could be in the army. Also, I loved learning the different languages such as French and Indian.

Aidan - Performance

Thank you, Mr Turpin for coming to teach us!

Melissa Briers - Teacher, on Artefacts Handling

Brilliant for the children to experience such a wide range /variety of objects

Melissa Briers - Teacher on Costumed Interpreter

The children were ‘in awe’ of the costumed interpreter. They were fully engaged and it really helped to set the scene and introduce the project in an inspiring way.