These I have loved:
The sweet cry of a dog seeing his friends go to war all alone
Delicious luscious flat golden pure pancakes dribbling with syrup
My optimistic energetic friends; the cute scrunched up face of my French bulldog George.
The amazing bubblegum flavoured gum I chewed as a teen. Sad times…
I miss the colour of my dreams.

Writing by children from Holt Community Primary School, Norfolk.

I’ve recently been running drama workshops for The Forum, Norwich. In the past weeks I have worked with children from primary and special schools as part of the commemorations for the Battle of Gaza, which took place 100 years ago. Hundreds of local men serving in The Norfolk Regiment fought in this battle and schools from Kings Lynn and North Norfolk are involved in the project.

In my drama sessions I read aloud the poem The Magic Box by Kit Wright. This sparked off funny and poignant personal memories from the children. After a warm up game we made our own ‘box of memories’ out of body shapes and imagination. We also made shapes of objects from the First World War as well as objects that the children would miss when they were away from home. This neatly led into listening to an extract from The Great Lover by Rupert Brooke (see below). The children wrote their own phrases describing things that a soldier might miss when he was in the trenches – leading to the poem I have edited above.

The children from Holt also worked with a historian and two in-role actors before visiting the Finding the Fallen: The Battle of Gaza exhibition and writing postcards to soldiers currently serving away from home. It was a moving experience and great proof of the power of drama for inspiring reflective writing.

These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble;

Extract from ‘The Great Lover’ by Rupert Brooke 1887–1915