A Local Tommy

To commemorate the end of the First World War and made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Year 5 children from Star of the Sea Primary School and Carville Primary School worked with Newcastle University and Cap-a-Pie Theatre company to research, produce and perform a play commemorating the First World War through the archive of a local solider, Thomas Baker Brown.

Our teacher resource pack has been created by Newcastle University Education Outreach team and Cap-a-Pie Theatre Company, to provide a mix of History, English and Drama activities for you to recreate in your classroom.

Download ‘A Local Tommy’ resource pack

The Time Bandits, an historical interpretation group, visited the children in school to teach them about the First World War.

“The thing I enjoyed the most about today was meeting new people and learning new things”

The children visited Newcastle University Library, where they were able to see and handle items from Thomas Baker Brown’s archive including his signallers’ badges, a matchbox, and some of the letters he wrote home to his family.

They worked with comic artist Lydia Wysocki to create their own comics based on the information they had learnt from the archive.

“The thing I enjoyed the most about today was we got to feel objects and listen to experts in History”

“My favourite item in the Thomas Baker Brown archive was the photo of Thomas in his uniform because it meant I could see what he looked like and that makes it all very real”

“The one thing I learned about life in the trenches was that the weather was very liquefied so the trenches were very wet and muddy”

“My favourite item in the Thomas Baker Brown archive was the button cleaner to clean the buttons because I never knew that they cleaned their uniforms’”

“The thing I enjoyed most about today was that we touched really old things!”

“The thing I enjoyed the most about today was making a comic about Thomas Baker Brown”

Back at school, the children worked for a full week with Cap-a Pie Theatre company to co-write and produce their own play about Thomas Baker Brown.

“I am looking forward to being the most perfect actor in the playhouse because I have never acted before in my life!”

“I am most looking forward to performing my play at Whitely Bay Playhouse because of being in front of people doing drama and because my mum will be so proud!”

“Cap-a- Pie theatre company just make it all very enjoyable, like somehow they just make you so happy!”

“The thing I have enjoyed most so far about working Cap-a-Pie Theatre Company is doing the soundscape because it was super fun!”

“I am looking forward to performing our play at Whitley Bay Playhouse because I think I will nail-it because I’ll know what I am doing!”

Related Sources

Thomas Baker Brown

For more information about the services offered by the University Library Education Outreach Team please visit our website: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/services/education-outreach/

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