Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Aireville School pupils recreate horrors of war
9:40am Friday 27th July 2012 in News
Relatives of five men, featured in a play staged at Skipton ’s Aireville School, travelled to the town to watch the promenade performance.
Tunstill’s Men is based on the real-life experiences of Craven volunteers in the First World War. It focuses on five men – Harry Tunstill, Thomas Darwin, Walter Limmer, William Oldfield and Thomas Stockdale Worsley – who were recruited into the 10th battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
Dr Bill Smith, head of the humanity faculty created, produced and starred in the performance, alongside members of staff and students.
The play was staged in the school grounds with the audience moving through the story, which included an old-time cinema, a vintage tearoom, a funeral and the Battle of the Somme. And the torrential rain added to the atmosphere.
And among the audience at last Wednesday’s public performance were members of the Duke of Wellington Regiment, relatives of the 1914 characters – some whom travelled from London – the director of education from North Yorkshire County Council and town mayor Wendy Clark.
“Feedback has been extremely positive,” said Aireville business manager Lisa Hart. “It was a highly emotional subject that was delivered in a respectful and honest way. Our guests were deeply moved throughout the performance, as were the staff and students who took part or helped behind the scenes.
“For me, one of the most memorable aspects of the play was the involvement from the audience. We asked people to wear black for the funeral and everyone really embraced this request. We had people wearing hats, gloves, flowers and funeral suits. It really meant a lot to the school. It was a great project to be involved with.”
The school also raised money for the Duke of Wellington’s chosen charity, strengthening the partnership between the two groups. In fact, the 10th Battalion has invited the school to participate in a number of future events as a way of thanking the pupils.