Lancashire 2017

St. Francis of Assisi Primary School, Skelmersdale

27 April – 12 June


Dear Father,


Things are grim in the trenches and I miss home.


The howling of bullets, the cries of pain; the screams of death:-

This is the war of all wars.


I was manning the guns with my Baluchi comrades

When all of my team were wounded or killed.
I never stopped firing my gun.
Tried to be brave when fighting the Hun.

So many dead bodies – I couldn’t count ‘em.
I pretended to be dead to escape the enemy.


They call me ‘the average Indian boy
Who became a mighty Sepoy’.
The first, whose valour despite pain and loss
Was awarded the Victoria Cross.


Father, I hope I’ve made you proud.


Your son


Khudadad Khan


I loved doing the show because I had the part of the officer. Thank you Trench Brothers

Shannon - Costumed Interpreter

I think the best thing was how he always seemed to stay in character and didn’t ever stop! He made us all laugh at some point and it was also really good when we actually got to learn some of the different phrases.

Lilleigh - Composition

(I learnt) that if we try hard then we will be able to achieve great things

Shannon - Puppet Making

We got to make our puppets in our own way. She told us what we had to do and we did it our own way which makes each of our puppets unique! I also loved what she wrote on our whiteboard! ‘There is no such thing as can’t, TRY!’

Michael - Performance

The best thing about the day was when I heard the professional singers. And when we sung Trench Brothers together. I loved the show keep up the good work 🙂

Keegan - Artefact Handling

I liked when we got to handle the weapons and gas masks and when we got to hold the Victorian cross, there lots of amazing things that they used in WW1

Abigail - Puppet Making

I loved making the head of the puppet because it was the most creative one and Uzma helped me get things right.

Lilia - Costumed Interpreter

The best thing was when he pulled out people for laughing, sniggering or even smiling. The actor was so realistic I actually thought that I was in the real life army. I learned how people were treated in the war, how they got trained, what they were called and even learned some of the Hindu language.

Lilia - Composition

The best thing was when we all sat together and listened to him and made a song. He had a very bubbly personality, and he had a great sense of humour. I learnt how to make music, that the piano is a beautiful musical instrument and that song writing is amazing.

Actors in the final performance pose with veterans that had been invited to see the show.


St. Philip’s Primary School, Nelson

20 April – 15 June


Dear Edna,


I miss you so much, I hate to see you ache with tears.


These comrades of mine are first class thieves.

They would rob your last farthing.

But they’re like brothers to me.

I have never known anyone like them.

We look out for each other.


I can see bombs raining down like snow,

And hundreds of bodies scattered around.

How many bombs and bullets will it take to beat the other side?


I was promoted to Lance Corporal, and looking forward to working with my fellow brothers.

But they didn’t trust or respect me, because of the colour of my skin.

Surely, we all have the same goal?

We need to work as one.


I have already lost my brother Roy.

Words can’t begin to describe how I feel.

My heart aches, I can’t imagine life without my brother Roy.


Dear Edna, you are my shield to protect me.

Your caring words comfort me.


Your loving fiancée


Norman Manley

Jennifer Barnes - Teacher

It was even better than I had imagined. Excellent staffing / great support available from the team. Pleasure to work alongside the team. Fabulous for their confidence! Great also for their writing – we loved the cross-curricular work (diaries / letters). Can’t praise the project enough. Would love to be involved again in the project. Loved the experience from start to finish – the children and I have loved it.

Hadija - Composition

I got to express my voice. The song written was by our school. I was excited to sing the song we had made. I learnt to project my voice. I was able to come up with ideas for the composition.

Dawood - Performance

The best thing was using my puppet and my Auntie was able to watch the performance.

Aminat - Costumed Interpreter

We found out what life was like for soldiers who were at war. I enjoyed being a soldier and doing the marching. I discovered what life was like for soldiers who were away from families.

Jennifer Barnes - Teacher

Providing the children with great range of material to look at (which may normally be behind a glass cabinet in a museum). All were able to discuss the artefacts in a more in-depth way.

Hadija - Artefact Handling

I liked seeing the artefacts from the war (like the weapons and peep holes). The man gave us lots of new information.

Bispham Endowed Primary School, Blackpool

26 April – 19 June


My dearest Mother and Father,


In the trenches, it was filthy, cold and miserable.

Flies buzzing all around us. Stagnant water.

Smells of rotten bodies, rotten food, burning fires and acrid smoke.

But I was proud to be on the front line.


Exploding shells threw earth and mud into the air.

Horrifically injured men were caught up in barbed wire.

I found an old wheelbarrow and used it for a stretcher for one of my British brothers –

Lieutenant George Henderson.

I too was injured when I saved him.


I’m lying in a hospital bed in Brighton, far, far away from home. Feeling anxious.

There’s a stinging pain, a burning and agonising pain in my leg.

But I know I’ve made my Havildar proud.


As I feel life draining from my body, my mind drifts back to my childhood days in our village in the Punjab.

I miss you with all my heart,

I miss you with all my heart.


Your loving son

Manta Singh

Olivia - Artefact Handling

I learnt about the Periscope and they used it so they didn’t have to pop their head up and risk getting shot in the head.

Harry - Costumed Interpreter

The best thing about this activity is that it was realistic. The worst thing about this activity was it was not real.

Lailah - Puppet Making

We learnt how to make the puppets and that you can always try again when you go wrong.

Logan - Performance

The best thing about the day was when we did the actual performance because we had a real audience and it was a lot of fun. The worst part was when it finished. I would like to know more in the future. Children should look forward to this exciting visit.

Stephen - Puppet Making

[I learnt that] it was ok to be individual, all our soldiers looked a bit different and that is ok.

Jamie - Composition

There is nothing that could be better it was the best. I got to learn how to make rhythms and beats.

Evie-Nicole - Costumed Interpreter

I learnt from this activity that the French called the Germans Alboche and the British also called them Boche which means cabbage in French. The French called the Germans cabbage because they have a big round head like a cabbage.

Evie-Nicole - Composition

I learnt that in the trenches they weren’t allowed to write in their letters exactly where they were so they had no privacy.

Maddie - Artefact Handling

I was able to touch things that you can’t touch in museums, which meant I learned a lot more

Willow Lane Primary School, Lancaster

2 May – 23 June


Dear Mother and Father,


This is the last time you will hear from me.

The last of my voice, my writing, my life and soul.


I hear gunfire ringing in my ears

Huge shells make deafening noises…

I bite my lip until I draw dark red blood

The whistle blows, opening a gateway to death.


My friend was shot. He screamed in horror. His eyes shut.

We tried to wake him but we couldn’t.

That night, my eyes melted with tears and I felt like I drowned.


I am troubled in my head and cannot stand the sound of those blasted guns.

They rattle all around in my head until I am nothing but war and ghosts.

But no one will help me for it.

I am lost.

There’s an ocean in my head.

My mind’s a broken nightmare.

I am lost.


Without thought I did something stupid. Very stupid.

I didn’t want to run away. But I had to.

I just couldn’t live like this.

I knew the consequences but I broke the rules.


I am sat in my dark and gloomy cell.

I am to be shot at dawn.


When you read this, I’ll be watching over you.


Herbert Morris

Claire Clarke - Teacher

I cannot fault the team effort on the day. The creative team did a fantastic job sorting the children out. They were a slick, well rehearsed crew who knew how to get the very best out of our children. The children worked hard, listened hard and loved taking part in the show. Please come back and do another one.

Caitlyn - Composition

[The best thing was] that you got to make your own songs and you got all your ideas listened to. [I learnt] how to sing properly and how to actully compose a song and know what its like to compose a song.

Daisy - Costumed Interpreter

Well for one, I learnt that life being a soldier is hard and the drills are very tricky. Secondly I learnt that soldiers are not allowed to pack much when they go to the trenches.

Marcus - Puppet Making

I liked how it evolved from the beginning to how it was in the end – seeing our puppets grow

Claire Clarke - Teacher

Thank you to everyone at HMDT and LCC for their efforts and organisation. We have had a great term learning about WW1 and Trench Brothers. I cannot believe the experiences both children and adults have enjoyed for such a bargain price. We would love to do similar projects in the future. Thank you once again and congratulations on a job well done.

Pawel - Puppet Making

I learnt not to give up and always believe in yourself that you can do great things in life

Tori - Performance

We loved the performance and it felt good to perform for other people. And we loved the t-shirts. We learnt that we could perform in front of lots of people. If you do this prodject then you will have great fun

Caitlyn - Costumed Interpreter

Fun, amazing, flabbergasting (which means the best!) There was nothing bad about this activity. It was just fantasic and we loved it. Thank you for coming!

Callum - Composition

[I learnt] how to compose music (I now want to be a professional singer when I’m older!)

Libby - Artefact Handling

I loved seeing the shot gun it was legendary! and I learned that we shouldn’t laugh about the war because it is sad what happened to the soldiers.

Pilling St. John’s Primary School, Pilling

25 April – 20 June


Doctor White,


How I miss you old chum,


Living in a bombed-out mud puddle,

The night sky explodes with fireworks –

If only that’s what they were….


Oh how I miss London

Oh how I miss London

Even the black factory smoke

The men here, grubbier than the boys from the coal mines.


You would be so proud –

I’m one of the only Jamaicans allowed to drive the field ambulance.

I’ve proved Sir Arthur Slogget wrong

And shown I do have the strength and courage.

I do have the strength and courage.


The soldiers here have a lifetime bond

We’re like brothers

Colour and race do not play a part in the trenches.

But their mood is subdued

And they are petrified

Tomorrow they go over the top


Goodbye my oldest friend

It would mean so much if you could write back to me.


You would be so proud –

I’m one of the only Jamaicans allowed to drive the field ambulance.

I’ve proved Sir Arthur Slogget wrong

And shown I do have the strength and courage.

I do have the strength and courage.


Your old chauffeur


Joseph Clough

Sally Astbury - Teacher

It has been an honour to work on this project and the children have got a lot from it. Some children were disappointed that they didn’t get the chance to get a speaking part. The final performance was very professional and there were many positive comments from parents and governors saying how much they enjoyed it. One parent said that it was the best school performance he had seen!

Twiga - Performance

I learnt that singing in front of a crowd is not all bad. I hope we can do something like this next year.

Kelly - Artefact Handling

I learnt about what they used the war and that Indians came to help England.

Hayley - Puppet Making

I liked making the puppets, seeing everyone else’s puppets different looks and operating my puppet in the performance

Sally Astbury - Teacher

The children were able to experience the process involved in song writing. It demystified it and allowed the children to take ownership of their own song.

Abbie - Composition

I loved the activity, I don’t think there was anything bad about it.

Oliver - Costumed Interpreter

I learnt that soldiers from India wrote a lot of letters to their family members or friends back home. They were proud to fight for England.


IMG_0824 (1)




St. John’s Cliviger C of E Primary School, Burnley

28 April – 13 June


Dear Family,

It’s very cold in France.

I’m so excited to get back home,

I can’t wait to get back home,

And feel the warm sun on my skin.


The cold, muddy, dusty trenches give me pain.

Infested with rats, I’m covered in chats.

Lemon bombs have been raining down.


Dear Family,

It’s very cold in France.

I’m so excited to get back home,

I can’t wait to get back home,

And feel the warm sun on my skin.


I’m feeling funky because my best friend buzzed.

But I have to stay brave –

I am a soldier of the British Army.


I can’t wait until I’m with you again

I miss you every day.

I will stay brave and strong

And I will come home.



George Blackman

Chris Allton - Teacher

The children really got a sense of what it must have been like for new recruits. This developed their descriptive writing immensely. Very impressed.

Zara - Performance

We got to sing with professional singers. I had a very good time and I would like to do it again.

Erin - Puppet Making

Everyone mostly enjoy themselves and everyone got involeved. They also got to share all their ideas

Molly - Costumed Interpreter

[I learnt] what it was like to be in the war and that the leader wasn’t allowed to wear dirty underpants!

Harvey P - Composition

I think that the best thing during this lesson was when we write our own letter then formed it in to a magnificent sound and it also made us think.

Jane - Artefact Handling

I liked it all because I learnt lots of facts and even got to try on some clothes from the First World War. I enjoyed trying on the putties even though they were slightly big . It was hilarious when I tried on some of the glasses they used to wear!

Chris Allton - Teacher

Could not believe the amount of time and resources provided to the school and the final product at the end. The children are fascinated with WW1 now and keen to learn more but also developed a greater understanding and respect. Excellent and highly recommended to any school. The project will give high quality education and more to the children and school as a whole.

Annabelle - Performance

I thought doing the show/performance was the best part. I loved doing mostly everything if it was up to me I wouldn’t change anything about it.

Lucy - Puppet Making

I learnt that you can create anything with a little imagination and some materials.

Erin - Costumed Interpreter

It felt so realistic and it made me feel like I was there and although I knew it was an actor I still enjoyed it.

Simone - Composition

Some of us got to try and play the piano which was fun. Making our own music masterpiece was exciting.

Jessica - Artefact Handling

The best things were trying on the uniforms, when I tried on the glasses and hurting my foot when I tried to kick the really heavy football!

St. Augustine Primary School, Preston

21 April – 22 June


Dear family,


It is very cold in France,

But when I think about you, I feel all warm inside.


Every day more mud covers me up to my knees.

Gun shots whizz through the air like lightning.


A whistle sent us over the top

The grenades just came out of nowhere.

Through the mud, I saw a soldier still alive.

I could not leave him, so stayed with him all night.


Every day more mud covers me up to my knees.

Gun shots whizz through the air like lightning.


At day break I left him safely in a shell crater

But found two more wounded soldiers
And carried them to safety before returning to save my friend.


Every day more mud covers me up to my knees.

Gun shots whizz through the air like lightning.


As I carried them past the wounded bodies and bloodied mud
The Germans stopped shooting and instead, cheered us on.

That moment keeps replaying in my head.


Every day more mud covers me up to my knees.

Gun shots whizz through the air like lightning.


I miss you and pray every day that I will see you again.


Yours lovingly


Kulbir Thapa

Ruby Patel - Teacher

A great understanding and empathy about the British colonies as well as promoting tolerance, identity and pride concerning each other. HMDT Music and their artists were phenomenal to see in action and work with. It is brilliant for children to see specialists in their own field. This has inspired them into thinking about careers in Art, music, singing and acting etc.

Ruby Patel - Teacher

When the children wrote their diary extract, they wrote descriptively and passionately about their experience of being a soldier in the British army.

Harris - Overall

I found everything really good. I don’t think anything needs to be improved – the sound effects of the lemon drop bombs in the play were really scary!

Aleyah - Puppet Making

I enjoyed getting to make the turban for our little puppet. I was so glad we got to use them in the performance and then keep them!

Muskaan - Compostion

I learnt a lot about the First World War and now know a lot more from being able to write a song about the trenches.

Ayhem - Composition

The best thing about the activity was that we learnt even in letters if changed a bit and sung, it actually becomes lyrics to a song. YOU CAN MAKE MUSIC FROM ANYTHING

Michelle - Overall

[I learnt] how much respect people the soldiers had to have for each other.

St. Wulstan’s & St. Edmund’s Primary School, Fleetwood

24 April – 21 June


Dear Aunt, dear Aunt,


I’m writing from the cold, soggy trenches

Where I’m constantly in danger,

But strangely feel protected.


In the silence of the night it is scary;

Foul smelling smoke blowing throughout the frosty winter night.

Rats bite!

As we slumber in our ghastly cubby holes.


Dear Aunt, dear Aunt,


I miss you terribly

And I wish I was at home in the sun,

Playing beach ball

Or eating Jerk chicken.

Playing beach ball

Or eating Jerk chicken.


I miss you, terribly.

But I know I’m earning fam’ly money.


My job is to carry toffee apples and bullets to the soldiers;

I’d rather fight than deliver ammunition.

But us black men, us can’t have guns, which doesn’t seem fair!


On the journey here, we were consumed by a huge blizzard

And most of us were wearing shorts and caught frostbite.

Legs turning black, needing to be amputated.

It was terrible!


Ev’ry day I wake up, and wonder is this my last?


Love from

Eugent Clarke

Stan - Puppet Making

the best thing about this activity was when we made the puppets and played with them. i learnt that i need to take my time when im doing something so i can do it right.

Sadie - Costumed Interpreter

We got to see what life for the solders were like and I think it was a little scary and bossy for them. [I learnt] that life as a solider was very difficult and that they were treated with no respect what so ever; especially for doing the most simplest of things like gnawing, coughing and slouching. They missed their family.

Simon Clough - Teacher

Brilliant singers, organizers and directors. They loved seeing all stage and realistic props as well as costumed soldiers again. Luca is normally shy but got a main part and performed brilliantly.

Ruby R - Composition

The best thing about it was that he described all of the notes and he would play it three time after we finished that section so we could remember and understand the tune. Over all this was my favorite part of working with the Trench Brothers.

Evie - Composition

[It was] creative, pleasurable and heart pounding.

Ruby - Artefact Handling

I liked to see the weapons and things like the glasses and masks also I liked that each table was set out with different topics like the clothes on one table and the food on another

Arabella - Performance

The best thing was to be able to put all our hard work into this play. I also like the fact that I was acting and having a director.

Simon Clough - Teacher

Over and above my expectations. They’ve learnt so much about WW1 and the ethnic minority soldiers who we probably wouldnt have focused on before. I’ve learn lots of new facts and was naive about the impact Commonwealth soldiers had during WW1. Thank you once again “

Jayden - Puppet Making

The best thing was all of it because expands our minds into doing new stuff we have never done before.

Jorja - Costumed Interpreter

[The best thing was] how he acted so realistic and it was so unique and it was exciting. Also all the activities we did were really fun. We learnt that the soldiers from WW1 were really strict and were very hard on the soldiers. Also Thank you !!! for teaching us all of this.

Millie - Costumed Interpreter

I think that the best part was where we got to find out things that we didn’t know and where we got to touch things and look at things that we didn’t really know before like the leg bandages called putty and we had a challenge to try and put them on.

Worsthorne Primary School, Burnley

28 April -16 June


Dear brother,

I hope things are going well with you in Glasgow.
I trust upon my return, you can repair my teeth!


I’m writing to you from a cold, muddy trench.
Sleeping here, in the rat-infested conditions, it’s a living nightmare.


We’re under constant attack, we’re under constant attack!
The sound of gunfire’s even louder than the roar at White Hart Lane.
Conditions are so awful that the land turned into a mud bath
The Germans bombing our trenches like demons.


I’m so proud to become the first black officer to lead white soldiers into battle.
Being a footballer has helped me guide my men
We work as a team and look out for each other.


When I arrived, some soldiers treated me badly because of the colour of my skin.
Just like the match at Bristol
But now I have earned their respect, we are like brothers.


I’m so proud to become the first black officer to lead white soldiers into battle.
Being a footballer has helped me guide my men
We work together as a team and look out for each other.


Dear brother, I must prepare for battle.
I am so proud to lead my brave pals.
Please pray for when we will be reunited.

Your loving brother

Lance – Sergeant Walter Tull

Logan - Puppet Making

It was so important learning about the uniforms by making it ourselves. I learnt what the soldiers looked like and wore and the puppets were accurate so were more fun.

Justine North - Teacher

As a school located in a traditionally ‘White English’ village, we often find our children and families have little knowledge or empathy with other cultures. It has been valuable for our school to embrace the contributions made to the war effort by Black soldiers. thank you – an amazing experience for us all

Freya - Composition

We loved it. Lucy was so lovely and made it easy for us to do.

Lucas - Artefacts Handling

I had lots of fun trying on the uniforms and puttees and looking at the rifle.

Brody - Performance

The best part was performing with the puppets, getting to keep the t-shirt, meeting the actors.

Justine North - Teacher - Composition

They learned that they can be song writers and composers. They gained confidence to sing in front of their peers and were proud to have their ideas included in the song.

Alfie - Artefacts Handling

I liked trying on the uniforms, looking at the footballs and learning about the rifle.

Reedley Primary School, Burnley

19 April – 14 June


Dearest Mother,

I’m writing to reassure you – I’m doing just fine.
The cuts have healed.


You will be so proud that I’m a pilot:
They call me the ‘Flying Hobgoblin’ because of my helmet.
I’m tired and cold, flying so many missions.
But my brothers,
Oh, my brothers are helping me.


Showers of bullets thunder to the ground.
The cries of the wind give an ear piercing sound.
When I am flying up above, I hear the raging battle below.


The nearby trenches are cold and damp,
I feel for the blighters sleeping there, protecting us.
In the blink of an eye, bullets howl to the ground,
The shrieking iron making it impossible to sleep.


Today Britain and India have stood proud,
Smiling like true men.
Our allies stand there, with overwhelming pride,
Patrolling the skies
To keep the horrid Hun at bay.
Arrow hand forward, dismiss to side


Please don’t worry about me – I’m fine.

Your affectionate son

Hardit Singh Malik

Alisha - Composition Session

The best thing was that we got to make the letter into our own song and had actions to remember the words.

Ali- Hamza - Performance

The best part of the day was the acting, as I had one of the main parts and got to interact with the other actors, which may change my life choices to becoming an actor.

Alisha - Puppet Making

The best thing is when we painted the head and added the eyes and lips because you could make the character come to life.

Shehnaz - Costumed Interpreter

We got to experience what the Indian soldiers had to do before the war. I enjoyed learning things in new languages. I learnt the different commandments the Havildar called out in Hindi and Punjabi.

Hafifa - Artefacts Handling

The best thing about this activity was when we held and wore the artefacts because I felt as if I were in the war.

Alisha - Costumed Interpreter

The best thing was that we learnt how to be a sepoi. We learnt the hard way of being the sepoi and how they lived in the war. I learnt how strict the Indian army had to be with their sepois. I also learnt instructions and drills and how they earnt stripes.

Malikah - Composition

I learnt that music is something everyone can.

Hafifa - Artefact Handling

Getting to hold and wear the artefacts felt as if I were in the war.

Shehnaz - Puppet Making

The best part was when we made the head because it was fun and challenging. I learnt how to make a cap using different techniques.

Colette Hardman - Teacher

This project met all my expectations and more. The experience the children have had is something they may not have again. The quality of the staff from HMDT music and Lancashire County Council has been exceptional. They have been in constant contact and produced a high quality of learning. HMDT Music and artists have been fantastic. they have helped every step of the way.



Inspired by the Trench Brothers project, students from Reedley made this fantastically detailed model of a trench.

Reedley6c Reedley5c Reedley4c Reedley3c Reedley2c