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Dear Chocolate Soldier : local theatre bringing stories of the First World War to life


  The play Dear Chocolate Soldier is a based on the letters of Edwin Hassall, who served on the Western Front between 1914 to 1918.   During the Great War people in Britain often sent parcels to the troops in France.   In 1916,  six year old Joan Burbidge sent some chocolate out to France. Wanting to make sure that the troops knew who had s…

'Grandad’s War' by Prof. John Bourne


Both my grandfathers were born in 1880, both were coal miners and both had large families. My paternal grandfather (and namesake) John Bourne was, according to my father, a very decent man, but I have rarely shown any curiosity about him. My maternal grandfather, Jesse Sheldon, has always been the most intriguing absence in my life. I think my inte…