Fields of Battle Lands of Peace 1914-1918

 

In partnership with School Home Support year 6 were invited to visit a WW1 photographic exhibition at the Guildhall Courtyard in London. We were met by Mike Sheil the photographer who explained how he has documented the battlefields as they are today and how nature has come along and healed the landscape.

 

The children were shown a map of the world depicting all of the countries that were involved in WW1 and reflected on the fact that some of their ancestors may have fought in the war or been affected by it.

 

A re-enactor dressed in a WW1 uniform and kit joined the group and told the story of a soldier recently returning from the carnage of the trenches and what life was like for young people 100 years ago. The children enjoyed being put through their paces when they were given a taste of what military training is really like. Mike explained the training regime has stayed the same since the time of the Boer War.

 

The actor explained what different parts of his kit were used for and the children were especially interested in his rifle and bayonet. A couple of children were allowed to hold the rifle and were surprised how heavy it was. They appreciated how difficult it must have been carrying this weight as well as the kit onto the battlefield. We were also privileged to see the famous London Irish Football which saw action in 1915.

The children were able to share their knowledge and understanding of WW1 and asked some very interesting questions. When asked if they would have joined up to fight in the war they were very honest and said they may have been too frightened or that they did not want to leave their families. We also thought about countries around the world that are in conflict today and all agreed it is better to live in peace.

 

Lee Franklin

Parent Support Adviser

St George’s School

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