Sent With Love by the Children of Caerleon
As part of their project in commemoration of the Armistice which ended the First World War, the children of present day Caerleon in S Wales imagined the letters and poems they might have written to and from the Front during the war. Both primary schools, Charles Williams Church in Wales School and The Lodge Primary School, spent the 2018 summer term learning about life both at home and at the Front. In collaboration with Caerleon Remembers, which co-ordinated the Remembrance Day events, 150 children were asked to try to compose letters and poems to imaginary WW1 servicemen fighting amongst the bomb craters, barbed wire and mud filled trenches of Flanders, sending the soldiers messages of hope and telling them about life back home in peaceful Caerleon. Some wrote letters to fathers at the Front, some chose to write home to families from the Front. Others wrote poems about the war, and many chose to illustrate their imaginings. Caerleon Remembers decided to include all contributions, in order to show the depth of knowledge these children have taken in about life in the trenches and at home. The result is this deeply moving book. As both Head Teachers say, ‘Fortunately, the children of Caerleon have not experienced the effects of war first-hand and we pray that this remains so. For our children, war and conflict is often confined to books and screens; it is something that happens elsewhere and it is something that only affects adults. This project has allowed our children to begin to understand that war, both in the past and present, affects all people everywhere, including the young, and that its legacy has long-lasting consequences. As imagined letters to and from the front were drafted, our children began to better appreciate the emotional cost of war, the love of family and the sanctity of peace.