Cliviger children commemorate village's First World War fallen

A week of commemorative events saw a village mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Some of the Cliviger pupilsSome of the Cliviger pupils
Some of the Cliviger pupils

“We Will Remember” is a history and heritage project awarded to Burnley Youth Theatre by Cliviger Parish Council.

The week of events started with three performances by the pupils of St John’s CE Primary School, Cliviger.

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The pupils from Years 3, 4 and 5 performed three short pieces of drama depicting key elements from the war for parents, friends and the wider Cliviger community, while the school’s Year 2 pupils and choir performed wartime classic songs.

Burnley Youth Theatre workshop leader Alice Butterfield worked with the pupils, as did artist Sarah Gallagher-Hayes to create an impressive willow installation, which is now installed in the schools grounds.

Michelle Darwin, from Burnley Youth Theatre, said: “The performance started with Year 3 pupils who depicted what signing up and becoming a solider was like, and explored ideas of whether signing up was indeed voluntary.

“The piece ended with the cold reality of soldiers having to leave their friends and family to embark on a uncertain fate.

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“Pupils then performed two classic classic wartime songs wearing uniforms and medals they had designed. Year 4 then took the stage and looked at life back home and how the war would have affected everyone.

“This led perfectly into a performance which depicted life in the trenches and picked out key moments including Christmas Day in 1914 when soldiers left their trenches to observe the day in peace.

“They also depicted the signing of the Armistice on November 11th 1918 and the two minutes silence to mark the end of the war.

“The performance finished with the reading of letters written home and signed off by each of the 24 men who went to war from Cliviger.”

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On Wednesday, 12 local schools came together to take part in music and drama workshops at the ACE Centre in Nelson exploring the impact of the First World War.

The project was funded by ScottishPower Renewables’ Coal Clough windfarm.