Moments of Drama

It was now time for the young volunteers to more fully dramatise the images, action, events, places and especially the people from the stories, rumours and objects they had absorbed. Isabelle, Danny and Richard asked them to create scenes from the front line trenches, the military hospital and the home front of Wolverhampton.

The immediate enthusiasm from the groups was striking as they discussed, analysed, reasoned and refined what to create, how to devise and how to present the moments they had chosen. They had absorbed a lot of information and they revisited striking images in the books, places on the maps and the torn letters in the box.

The mahogany box, the ripped letter and the fading photos
Some young people chose the moment as Jesse Hill was killed whilst on sentry duty at night, with the moment entitled 'A shot in the dark'. They decided he died instantly, and that his fellow sentries were unaware of the death of their colleague. Another moment explored was 'Sleepwalkers', A group of girls decided that the photos of thousands of marching soldiers were sleepwalking to death and destruction far beyond their reason and imaginations. There were particularly intimate and imaginative moments as another group depicted the time that the bereavement letter arrived for Mrs Hill in Peel Street, surrounded by the children that were already fatherless. One of the group, John, wrote how he found the process fascinating and that the work made him question the similarities and the differences between Britain in 1916 and 2016.

A moment of drama
Danny works with a group

We are working with drama teacher Katie Baskeyfield, who is also taking part in the MTL we run with Lecturer Chris Bolton at Birmingham City University.  Katie's first cousin twice removed is John 'Jack' Baskeyfield (1922-1944) of the South Staffs Airborne Division, who was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for 'superb gallantry' and 'supreme fighting spirit' after he single-handedly stopped a Tiger Tank advance in Arnhem on September 20th 1944.

Issy writes down ideas
Katie listens
Matt Hinks