West Cornwall Communities in World War 1

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The project engaged with children in Newlyn, Mousehole, Humphry Davy and Cape Cornwall schools in exploring how families from Cornwall were affected by the First World War.
Focussing on stories of individuals, material was gathered from museums, libraries and from local people. Volunteers drawn from the school community and local historical organisations assisted in researching materials, and setting up exhibitions.
The school workshops enabled the children to understand their heritage linked to the conflict and to express this through the creation of letters, diaries, poetry or other medium from the standpoint of those serving ‘away’ and those who stayed at ‘home’ (families of serving soldiers, refugees, reserved occupations).
The picture on the left shows the 'pin' badges made by the students similar to those made during the war to raise funds for the soldiers.
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Using material discovered during the research process students worked with author and literacy expert Sally Crabtree to inspire the students to create work of outstanding originality and quality and which evidenced their understanding of life at home and away during WW1. Her workshops involved instant song writing, creating poetry in different forms (including edible poetry!), book design, and performance poetry and culminated in the students creating a WW1 post office installation to feature their work.

This post-office containing the children’s work was launched at Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance and then later at the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and local community centres.

The reference material, children’s work and exhibition material can be accessed here. If you would like to run a similar project in your school then please contact us to discuss your ideas. Email kate@wordvoyages.co.uk

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