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Romford Pictures: Children take to trenches at Upminster school

Children is costume meet the drill sergeant Mr Walsh Children is costume meet the drill sergeant Mr Walsh

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
6:00 PM

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

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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.”

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