Today, we spent time with a knowledgeable and impressive author, Bill Sergeant. Despite Bill never serving in the armed forces, he has spent much of his life dedicated to sharing the stories of men on the front line and the incredible effort of the women back at home - for this work, he has gained an MBE.
We were all amazed to hear about the stories of a football being kicked along No Man's Land mid-shooting; to hear about the importance of the bagpipes in rallying the men to go 'over the top' as well as to see some artefacts up close. We were shown an artillery shell in addition to some of the lead bullets that would have been concealed inside - causing devastating shrapnel injuries for thousands of men on the Western Front. Bill also showed us some of his impressive collection of medals: some were his own Police medals and prestigious MBE; others belonged to his grandfather who served in WWI.
Towards the end of our session with Bill shared with us a poignant letter that was sent from the front line. However, this letter was tinged with sadness since the letter would only have been received in the case of death on the front line; it was the last opportunity for these young men to write to their families. This artefact served as a reminder of the huge sacrifice that these men made whilst fighting for their country and why they should never be forgotten.