Romford Pictures: Children take to trenches at Upminster school

18:00 11 June 2014

Children is costume meet the drill sergeant Mr Walsh

Children is costume meet the drill sergeant Mr Walsh


Children ducked for cover while receiving their marching orders from teachers as they learned about the two world wars.

Morgan Snyman writes to her parents from the trenchesMorgan Snyman writes to her parents from the trenches

Pupils at Oakfields Montessori School, in Harwood Hall Lane, Upminster, dressed up in war-era attire last week to learn about what children before them may have experienced.

Deputy headteacher Bill Walsh played drill sergeant for the day and marched the young troops into the courtyard of Harwood Hall, where the school is based, before leading them to the trenches recreated in the school hall.

There they sung songs from the First World War, learned about the colossal loss of life and suffered the noise and shock of a bombardment.

They also wrote letters from the battlefield to their parents, siblings or sweethearts.

Student Morgan Snyman, 11, reported on the poor trench conditions in a message to her parents.

Speaking to the Recorder, she said: “It was actually quite terrifying thinking about what the soldiers were going through before they went to war.”

Headteacher Laura Ciftci also joined in with the historical activities.

She said: “It was a poignant and authentic commemoration of what life was like for soldiers during the First World War.

“Reception to Year 6 immersed themselves in British life on the home front and on the front line.”

Latest News Stories

Borough commander Jason Gwillim told the Recorder it was

The Borough Commander and MPs have welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s decision to scrap cuts to police forces.

Yesterday, 16:10
Recorder reporter Hayley Anderson with her national journalism award

Recorder reporter Hayley Anderson was highly commended in a national journalism awards evening in Birmingham last night.

Yesterday, 15:45
Time FM Steve Allen will host the chat with the Recorder's Chris Carter and Laura Burnip

A swan that got police in a flap, term-time holidays and Havering’s mirocpub were the topics covered on today’s Recorder paper review on Time 107.5FM.

Yesterday, 13:29
Ryan Machin and his mother Michelle Bennett at their home in Romford after Ryan took the last British Airways flight back from Sharm el-Sheikh to London

A 17-year-old who worked in a hotel in Sharm el-Sheikh was one of the last passengers to be repatriated to the UK and calls on people not to be afraid to return to the holiday resort.

Yesterday, 11:28
Two fire engines attended a house fire at an address in Park Lane, Hornchurch on Wednesday evening and a man was rushed to hopistal where he was treated for smoke inhalation

A man was rushed to hospital for smoke inhalation after firefighters were called at a flat in Hornchurch on Wednesday evening.

Yesterday, 10:57
Boys born in Cranham will live healthily for 17 years longer than those in Harold Hill

New statistics show the inequality in expectations for our children

Yesterday, 07:00
A woman was tied up in a burglary

A mother-of-two feared for her life as masked burglars forced their way into the family home and tied her up while her young children played in the living room.

Thu, 16:30
Last night's full council meeting saw decisions being made on the release of £83million to build new affordable homes and the expansion of at least five primary schools

Councillors have agreed to release £83million to provide affordable housing in the borough, expand at least five primary schools to ease the shortage of school places and pledged to ensure more work opportunities for adults with autism in last night’s full council meeting.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder