Trench Brothers (Photo: Clive Barda)

'Trench Brothers' teaches schoolchildren about ethnic minority soldiers in the First World War

Posted on on 12 December 2014
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'Trench Brothers' is a First World War project for UK primary schools focusing on the role of ethnic minority soldiers and introducing the war through specially designed cross-curricular activities and lessons. 

Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Prime Minister David Cameron's special representative for the Centenary, visited the 'Trench Brothers' project at Walker School, Enfield, on December 2nd 2014.

This was the second of a week of performances in the north London borough, and the first of many more planned throughout 2015.

The project, set up by Enfield-based HMDT Music, features a new music commission by jazz pianist Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor; a range of workshops in handling artefacts (in partnership with the National Army Museum), and song writing and puppet making (in partnership with the Little Angel Theatre) to help students understand the stories of the Great War. 

Each participating school is given a research toolkit about a specific black British, British West Indies or Indian Army soldier so that the students can find out about his life and WW1 experiences.

Students are also asked to write a letter home from their chosen soldier. The pupils at Walker Primary School learned about members of the Gurkha Rifles who fought in northern France, Ypres, and at Gallipoli in Turkey. 

Dr Murrison said: “Trench Brothers is an imaginative and inspiring project taking the incredible story of our Great War ethnic minority soldiers to London primary 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.”

For more information on the 'Trench Brothers' project, click here

Also, visit the HMDT Music website.

Images courtesy of Clive Barda

Posted by: Hannah Schneider, Centenary News