New Rush Hall School, Redbridge
STUDENT LETTERS FROM VARIOUS SOLDIERS NEW RUSH HALL SCHOOL
5.05.1917 Pvt. Ishar Singh
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
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
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.
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
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
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