First World War inspires Durham pupils to wax lyrical

Poetry and artwork by primary school children goes on display at the Durham Light Infantry museum

Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, and Judi Evans, operations director for the North East and Cumbria for the British Red Cross
Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, and Judi Evans, operations director for the North East and Cumbria for the British Red Cross

Colourful art and poetry created by primary school children inspired by the First World War is being exhibited in Durham throughout the month.

The 100-year-old conflict and lives of the men caught up in it was brought home to the youngsters during summer term visits to the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery and their response has delighted teachers at the 10 schools involved.

After learning about the role of the soldiers as well as the lives of women, refugees and war artists, the pupils looked at art and poetry from the time, including some by ordinary DLI soldiers. Then they came up with plenty of ideas to create their own.

The winning picture by a pupil from St Michaels RCVA Primary School
The winning picture by a pupil from St Michaels RCVA Primary School
 

Prizes were given out to the creators of the best poems and artwork among the exhibits currently on show at the DLI where the pupils paid their visits as part of a project involving the museum and Durham Constabulary and which was initiated by the British Red Cross.

The main funder of the partnership project was the Gillian Dickinson Trust which promotes creativity in young people and 10 County Durham primary schools took part in it: St Michaels RC in Ferryhill; Bullion Lane and Newker in Chester-le-Street; Our Lady and St Joseph’s RCVA, and Leadgate Community Junior in Consett; Escomb, Etherley Lane and St Andrew’s, all Bishop Auckland; and All Saints’ Catholic in Lanchester plus Seaham Trinity.

The exhibition has already been admired by Keith Bartlett, First World War expert and cultural director at Durham University, and local author Pat Barker.

It runs until August 31 at the DLI which is open daily during the school holidays except Monday and any visitors similarly inspired will also have the chance to create poetry and artwork to add to the display.

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