Trench Brothers is an imaginative and inspiring project taking the incredible story of our Great War ethnic minority soldiers to London’s schools. It is a wonderful synthesis of music, theatre and puppetry engaging young people and challenging them to think about the events of a century ago. Dr Andrew Murrison MP (Government Special Representative for First World War commemorations)
Bringing the First World War to life for students through the experiences and personal stories of Indian Army, British West Indies Regiment and black British Soldiers.
Between 2014-2018, the national schools’ project commemorated their contributions using puppetry, music, artefacts and cross-curricular learning. Each project culminated in performances of a specially commissioned music theatre work by composers Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor and librettist Tertia Sefton-Green, enabling students to develop a creative, artistic response to the stories and immortalise the deeds of these forgotten soldiers.
Trench Brothers reached over 50 schools in London, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Brighton and the South East in those four years and culminated in large-scale performances at the Brighton Dome and the National Memorial Arboretum in 2018, which you can find more information about HERE.
The accompanying Trench Brothers exhibition toured Lancashire before visiting National Memorial Arboretum in July and Newhaven Fort from August – December 2018.
Trench Brothers has had an amazing response from students, staff and the wider community, who have reflected profoundly on their experience of the project.
ToriStudent / Willow Lane Primary School
We loved the performance and it felt good to perform for other people. We learnt that we could perform in front of lots of people. If you do this project then you will have great fun
Simon CloughTeacher / St. Wulstan & St. Edmund's Primary School
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.
GorkemStudent / Berger Primary School
I learnt that teamwork can get you wherever you want.
Just watched a performance of Trench Brothers at the school my son goes to in Lancashire and it was awesome, a magnificent performance by everyone involved. Fantastic and inspirational, great way to get children to interact
Sally AstburyTeacher / Pilling St. John Primary School
It has been an honour to work on this project and the children have got a lot from it. 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!
Elizabeth -Student / St. Wulstan's & St. Edmund's Primary School
[The best thing was] how we all worked as a team and we didn’t get told the tunes and also how the music is different at certain times in the music e.g when we are very upset but then we think of the happy times. I love how we also put our emotions into the music as if we were soldiers in the First World War. [I learnt] that not all thing are hard when you think about it just persevere and don’t give up on the things you know will not be bad and will be fun because now we have a brilliant song to explain life in the First World War.
Thank you for a wonderful afternoon at Pilling St John’s School. A very moving production beautifully told by the children, adults and puppets alike. Thanks again.
TylerStudent / Thomas Fairchild School
I now respect the soldiers who risked their lives to save our country.
ZoeStudent / Stamford Hill Primary School
I learned so much about the First World War that I never knew happened. Normally finding information about the past would be boring, but I was definitely wrong. I am hungry for more, and I love learning from the past now.
WINNER OF THE MUSIC & DRAMA EDUCATION AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MUSICAL THEATRE
WINNER OF THE DAVID BEDFORD MUSIC EDUCATION AWARD
If you are interested in finding out more about the 2014-18 Trench Brothers project please feel free to explore that section of the website. For information on our workshops go to our WW1 workshops page or contact email@example.com to call 020 8882 8825