Summer 2015

New Rush Hall School, Redbridge


5.05.1917                                                                                 Pvt. Ishar Singh

Dear Nanny,

I miss you so much. I have noticed how difficult it is to be living here. Being a Sikh Solider fighting for a British make me feel very proud but it is not easy being here.

I dreamt that you were with me making my Sunday Dinner, but then wake up to eating the same old rotten Brown Stew day in day, day out, at least it is Food.

I’m terrified. I feel my heart beating so fast. Every time I see a dead body flying across behind me I get that frightened feeling that person is going to be me. I have to think and stay tough. No matter how scared I get.

I need to Fight to the End, but Nanny if you don’t see me after this War I just like to say that I love you and that I will be with you and remain in your Heart Forever.

From your dearest grandson

Ishar Singh

by Dontae

To Nan,

My colleague just passed away and now I am very sad.  Even though I did not like him he was a good soldier.  Many bombs have exploded on each side.  It was very scary for both sides, a lot of people got killed from both sides.  I believe I will not die in this war because I am a very good fighter but there is still a chance I could die.

I hope to see you soon.

From your grandson Kulbir Thapa

by Bradley 

Sgt W.R Clarke

7 Squadron RFC

Dear Friend Benjamin,

It is William Robinson from the RFC, from my hospital bed , I wish to share my story with you. It was scary being the only black pilot in the RFC, the other pilots were wary of me, they tried to keep a distance. Our missions usually meant we had to fly over enemy territory and at any moment we could be shot down. One week we were doing a routine mission and a pilot was shot by a sniper to the chest.  I looked over to see if he was alive but the bullet had punctured his heart. His blood sprayed all over the windshield and his plane began to fall, it then crashed into the forest and exploded.

After the pilot’s death the other pilots were paranoid they were going to die, I also became paranoid so I became a sapper again to calm my nerves. The food I received was a smaller portion than the rest of the pilots, this made me hungry more but it helped in a way because I had less diarrhea when I breathed in the plane fumes.

On my last mission my plane was shot. I was lucky enough to be able to do a controlled landing, As body snatchers carried me away I looked behind at my demolished bomber plane and then I blacked out. When I awoke I found myself in a hospital room I could barely move, I was relieved to be alive so I could returned home to Jamaica and my family.


by Kyle

18.6.1916                                                             Pvt.I.Singh

To my lovely Mum

I miss you so, so much. I wish I could see you one more time. You are everything to me. I love the Family as well. Like the last words I said to you, I am always there like a ghost, I will never die.

The trenches are so dirty and muddy. Where is my life when I need it? I might not have a chance but I bet my life I am coming home. I have seen lots of dead bodies. I’ve been through lots of stress. I know you are at home hoping for the best. Please can you pray for me I love my mum my dad and all of the rest my family. Life’s so horrible its tragic I’ve seen lots of bodies disappear like magic I know its sad but please don’t panic I swear I wont die I just wont have it.

From your loving son

Ishar Singh

by Aqil

My Dearest Mother

I’m in good spirits and so far a German bullet has not touched me, thank God:

But Mother we battle in the muddy cold in the blood soaked trenches without gaining much ground.

There is a minor supply of food I am scared for survival. I have got abused for the colour of my skin but I have not let that hurt me so far.

My feet are freezing because the wood is sinking in the ground with Water up to my knees.

I see my brothers in arms killed and wounded all around me.

If I am killed please will you remember me with honor and dignity.

Mother I could not give in to the German onslaught.

Remember me to all my dear family and friends God bless you all.

I leave my soul in your heart.


I Remain In The Frontline Until This War Is At End.

Send To A.D Blackman

 by Karion

Overall the students all enjoyed the project and have responded well to the cross curricular activities. Some pupils had to overcome fears and concerns to step outside of their comfort zone to take part in activities. I am sure that in the future this will enable them to have more confidence when approaching new things. A very worthwhile and enhancing experience for the pupils at NRHS. – Staff at New Rush Hall School

The pupils were able to create excellent puppets by following the clear and easy step by step instructions. They are very proud of the finished puppets. A year 7 pupil who usually finds it hard to remain in class managed to stay in the workshop for the whole morning. This was a great achievement for him and he felt proud to have managed to complete his puppet. – Staff at New Rush Hall School

A year 8 pupil wrote a very moving letter and was able to express emotions through the letter that he cannot easily do when expressing himself. – Staff at New Rush Hall School

We were very pleased with all aspects of the project and it gave us the opportunity to implement many more cross curricular activities throughout the school. This has given us the chance to work more as a whole school rather than just in working groups. – Staff at New Rush Hall School

I found HMDT Music very accommodating to the specific needs of our school. All of the artists that visited adapted well to the varying abilities and behaviours of the pupils at our school. – Staff at New Rush Hall School

The artefacts session was fun & educational. – Karim

I really enjoyed the music project. – Cameron

The puppet making was creative and fun. It was the best project in my school year. Brein

The best part was when we heard the stories from the world war. – Kyle

In the session I learned how heavy the arsenal was and what it was like to use them. – Justas



Thomas Fairchild Community School Year 5, Hackney

29 June 2015


Dearest Mata,

I’m sorry for not writing for a long time.

How are you? I really miss the Punjab.

I miss the warm breeze, the bright, welcoming sun.

Here in France it’s freezing cold and wet.

The trenches are damp, soggy,

Mouldy and filthy,

Muddy like a pig’s home.


It smells like rotten vegetables,

When we march into the trenches

It is disgusting!

There are dead bodies

And a sea of blood on the floor.


Last week there was a major battle!

There was heavy bombing.

Heavy bombing, loud noises like a heard of

Elephants! (echo)

Shelling and machine guns caused

So much damage, so much damage,

So much damage!

Everyone was getting wounded,

Sharp pieces of shelling went deeply in my back.

I wish this war would end soon,

I wish I could be with you.

All I want is to make you proud,

I will be coming back I promise.

Tell everyone I love them.


The historical context section of the Education Zone was easy to follow, purposeful, with a good range and good links. – Year 5 Staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School

Freya made the performance session really fun and was amazing with the children, the actors were great. Learning the songs beforehand was really enjoyable and children loved doing the show.Wwe had positive feedback from parents and the rest of the school. All of the children took great pride in their performance. – Year 5 Staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School

Children took great pride in making their puppets. – Year 5 Staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School

The project has helped us with understanding of using different elements of expression – art, drama – linking them all into one project. – Year 5 Staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School

We learned that many people from around the world sacrificed their lives for us. – Jessica and Cheznay

The best thing about the composition activity was that everyone took part as a team. I learnt that you have to be confident in yourself and believe in yourself because we all have a different style. – Brandon, Rahman and Sureiya

The best thing about the composition was that we got to combine all of our ideas and diaries together to create one song. It was fun seeing some of our sentences from our diaries come to alive into a song that was created by us. – Hena, Genc and Helin

I had fun and now I know a lot more about World War One. – Sarah

I liked making the puppets because it was much different than what we usually do at school. We got to bring all of the World War 1 characters we looked at alive by making them. – Hena and Helin

I learned how shellshock can affect a persons life… and that soldiers risked their lives for yours. – Christal, Sagoe and Stephanie

I learned that I should never enter war. – Christal


Torriano Junior School, Camden

1 July 2015



Dearest Mother,

These past few days have changed how I feel about the war.

All I hear, day and night, are sounds of bombs, shells and guns,

But worst of all – the screams of death will haunt me forever.

A few days ago, we went over the top to attack.

I was deafened by the sound of gunfire, gunfire, gunfire!

There I was

My life hanging on a thread.

My heart was racing.

I could barely see, barely see.

My heart was pounding.

My heart was thumping.

I peered into the murky distance:

Lying on the cold hard ground, was a soldier still alive!

I could not leave him there, all injured and alone.

I rested by his side, though they might hear him groan.

Groaning, groaning, groaning, groaning, groan…….

He was my brother, my fellow comrade.

I stayed with him all night hoping help would come.

As a new day dawned

I heaved him to a shell crater and returned to fight.

Instead I found two more injured men soldiers.

Now I knew what I had to do.

Without hesitation, I carried them with me,

Desp’rate, desp’rate to somehow reach safety.

Dearest Mother

Do you know what the Germans, our enemy did?

Instead of trying to shoot us, they applauded me on my way.

I knew I would never forget that moment.

Tell me all your news. Please write soon.

All my love,

Your son

Kulbir Thapa

After the artefacts workshop, I had a very clear impression of what WW1 was like. – Ines

I had a very good understanding of ethnic minority soldiers after the lesson, and I enjoyed learning how to salute! – Lea

I liked dressing up in the war clothes to see how it feels. – Caden

I loved the way we composed our own song. – Ines

He helped me understand what it was like to be a soldier. – Tuncay

It felt like we were in the trenches and we found out how hard it was. – Finn

The puppets were fun to make and I really enjoyed the day. – Shelby

An experience I will never forget. – Bella

We got to use acting to express ourselves. – Olive

Our Artefacts Session

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Our Visit from the Costumed Interpreter

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Making our Trench Brothers Puppets

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Thomas Fairchild Community School Year 6, Hackney

30 June 2015


My dearest Sita,


It’s been a long time since my last letter, but do not worry about me.


I miss you and mother.

Tell her I’ve moved into the support trenches. They are safer.

I’m still in Turkey  – it’s hot here, like India sometimes.

It reminds me of home.


I’ve got lots of friends to share the experience.

You lose friends together, walk hand in hand with death together …

We are a family. We are a family.


Last night there was a big bombardment,

Lots of people are dying right now,

The trenches are muddy, infested with rats and lice.


The stench of death lingers in the air.

How long will this last for?


All I want to do it come home, into your arms.

Your loving

Mohan Singh


We got to act and pretend to be the soldiers who fought in World War 1. It was very emotional and gave us a good experience of what happened in the war and what they went through. And so I now respect the soldiers who risked their lives to save our country. Tyler

The best thing about the puppet-making was using the different materials and seeing what amazing things you can make from them. I thought it was an amazing experience. Estela

I love that we got to add our own rhythms to our song. – Haja

The Artefacts Handling was a great activity to immerse the children into the topic. It created a great sense of interest and excitement in the children and having real objects for them to handle really brought the trenches to life. With regards to the pupils’ social and emotional understanding of the topic, handling real objects from the trenches brought home to them the reality of World War One. – Year 6 Staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School

It was great for the pupils to see that soldiers from across the British Empire fought during the war. As professionals, we ourselves have gained a greater understanding of the historical events. – Year 6 Staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School

Children felt a great sense of ownership of their own song and were very proud of themselves when performing the song in front of their friends and family. Seeing the whole performance come together was truly wonderful. Pupils really shone and parents were very proud. The impact has been valuable to the year groups involved. – Year Six staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School

Very well organised in all respects. – Staff at Thomas Fairchild Community School






Berger Primary School, Hackney

3 July 2015


Dear Mother,


I do not know when I’ll write to you again, but tell father that I am terribly sorry for the upsets that I have caused.

The ground is shaking as I write this and I hope you accept my apology.

Let me tell you the reality of this dreadful war.

Where do I start?

Every time I try to lift this pen I feel the warmth of the gun in my hands.

Paralysed, paralysed with fear, paralysed with fear I sit here in pain.

Rivers of tears rush down my cheeks.

Rivers of, rivers of, rivers of, rivers of tears.

Last night I was gassed by mustard gas.

My lungs are badly burnt, but don’t worry, I’m fine.

I was moments away from heading over the top.

I lifted up my rifle and started taking lives.

A fellow British soldier was a loaf of bread after being hit with a hairbrush.

Another friend has gone West,

I can’t feel anger, only sadness.

As I was running across no mans land

I saw a red flower blossom across the field.

It became a distant memory. It was no more.

I’m so lucky, I made it out alive!

One is left with a horrible feeling that war settles nothing.

Please ask Father to forgive me.


Your beloved son

Lionel Turpin

Student letter

Dear Father,

When at first I enlisted, I felt like I was doing the right thing. I’m really thrilled and the second attack is going to start within a few hours. They provided us with badooks and uniforms. I went to France to fight there. I was terrified. Yesterday I went over the top and I saw hundreds of my friends being slaughtered.


The war is extremely loud, so we make little balls and put it in our ears. The Huns are our enemies. The sergeants are going to teach us how to use rifles and how to put on our uniforms. My captain told me that I am going to be working for the infantry regiment in France. Father I joined the army because I felt like I had to defend Britain, but I still   don’t   feel stupid about leaving Georgetown, Jamaica.





Student letter 2

October 21, 1916

Dear Mother,

I am sorry for not writing as I could not bring my hands to write this letter. As every time I try to lift this pen I feel the warmness of the gun in my hands.

As I was running across no men land I saw a red type of flower as it blossomed across the field. It became a distant memory .It was no more.

Dear mother, I do not know when I will write to you again but tell father that I am terribly sorry for what I have caused in the family. Especially arguing with father I hope he finds it in his heart to forgive him as I am lucky to have him as a Father. Tell Roger to never join war as it is a horrifying as your soul will never rest in peace.


From your beloved son,


Student letter 3

Wednesday 10th September 1918

Dear my loving mother,

Where do I start? Paralysed with fear I sit here in pain on the hospital bed as I write this for you to read. Landed here a few days ago after burning my lungs from a flying pig and a shell piece hitting my back. I know what you are thinking. My poor son in that hospital! But you know what? You might think it’s horrible in here but in the trenches it’s a complete living hell. After days away from this long war I am still in full agony from what I have seen as a soldier fighting for Britain. What’s killing me inside; is the amount of finished people I’ve seen. No matter enemy or brother. It still hurts! Just shocking! Every night images of me aiming at a human being’s heart flashes by. Nightmare from reality!

What have I become? An evil machinery programmed to kill. Help me mother. I remembered at the start… everything was sally sunshine until I learnt how to shoot a riffle into a wall but when it was time to go into the battlefield. My first knock out. Traumatizing! From that night the nightmares live on and on. Even now they’re running through my stressful mind.

I still think about that one time you told me regret nothing and I don’t regret joining the war or having that argument with father but do understand and tell dad I’m very sorry. From the bottom my heart and I need to defend for Britain no matter what. I must go now. The nurses are doing a check-up.

From your beloved son,







Everyone was involved and everyone made their own puppets in their own way (which made each puppet special in their own way). – Lisa

This project could be descried by a thousand words – outstanding, amazing and so much more. – William

The performance turned out brilliantly! – Abida

I learned that teamwork can get you wherever you want. – Gorkem

The artefacts session was a brilliant introduction to the project, as it captured their interest. Children were more engaged throughout the project. – Staff, Berger School

The children were very proud of their puppets. The resources were well prepared and the staff from Little Angel were excellent. The lowest attaining pupils were able to make a puppet as good as the highest so this activity had a positive effect on a number of children and developed their confidence. Staff, Berger School

We felt we had more than enough lesson plans with good resources. The website is excellent and we constantly referred to it. Almost everything we needed was on there. – Staff, Berger Primary School

Students have a deeper understanding of how the war affected people on different levels. Seeing children so engaged from the artefacts session and the puppet making has made me determined to try more creative approaches. The project is a fine example of true cross curricular learning. – Staff at Berger Primary School

All artists and teachers were professional and enthusiastic. The project was well structured, I enjoyed it, and I would love to do it again. – Staff at Berger Primary School



IMG_0306 smallerWar Poetry in the Classroom
IMG_0304Commonwealth Countries
IMG_0303 smallerOur Trench Brothers!
IMG_0200Parachute Investigation
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Bomb Crater Investigation


Dressing up as Soldiers


New School Summer 2015

4 December 2014 link here









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Testimonial text – Name


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<strong>LETTER FROM WALTER TULL           </strong>

<strong> </strong>




Before I led men in to a football match, now I lead them in to a war.

The sky is now dark, the goals have changed, my aim is now to survive.

There are still two teams attack and defence,

But the cheer of the crowd is now the shrieks of dying men.


We’re not kicking balls, we’re firing guns,

And we’re not losing goals, we’re losing friends.

And this lush pitch of fresh, green grass is covered by mud, blood and fire; a battle field.

I see that life is not a game any more.

I know my life is not a game any more.


Life in the trenches is terrible especially the rats!

Twice the size of an over grown cat. <em>         </em>

Not to mention the pesky lice, I spend all day scratching.

It’s dark, damp and cold, but never lonely.

The lads are always laughing, cheering us from being in the dumps.


Home now seems a million miles away

How I wish I could be somewhere else.

Edward, if I die or if I survive,

I’ll see you on the other side.


From your loving brother,


Walter Tull.


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Children really enjoyed the music making as it was from their own ideas “I liked it because we got to change the song and the speed of each song” – Staff at Firs Farm School


Puppetry: Excellent imaginative, art skills learnt. Visionary ideas alongside the practical D &amp; T element. – Staff at Firs Farm School

It has added more of the creative, artistic side to our teaching and built our singing confidence. – Staff at Firs Farm School

Creative arts and the theatrical element were fantastic for the final performance. – Staff at Firs Farm School

I learnt how soldiers felt during the war. – David, student at Firs Farm School

The best things was when we got to hold the guns because if we go to a museum we see guns but don’t hold them. – Lucas, student at Firs Farm School

It would of been nice to of held more world war one equipment but I was drawn to the weapons station as I was intrigued with the stunning view of the guns. – Jake, student at Firs Farm School

I liked touching the objects and feeling the feelings that the soldiers had to face. – David, student at Firs Farm School

We got to show what we can do in design and technology. – Yasmin, student at Firs Farm School

I learnt that many, many people risked their lives to protect our country. – Yasmin, student at Firs Farm School

Writing the song was awesome, creative and cool. – Arda , student at Firs Farm School

The overall experience was awesome! – Yusuf, student at Firs Farm School

Trench Brothers is amazing! – Kostadina, student at Firs Farm School

I want to do it all over again! – Brooke, student at Firs Farm School

It was brilliant, fantastic, creative, artistic, interesting – the best! – Student at Firs Farm School

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