One of the central aims of A Shropshire Lad is to enable the participating communities to share their stories, filling the space with their own histories and reminiscences that will be informed and influenced by the ideas and actions put forward by the show.
This was something we explored a lot in the rehearsal space and I will make a separate page illustrating all of the amazing stories that were shared. For now though here is a short piece by one of our actors Maggie Saunders, who brought this personal connection to the First World War into the room to share with us. She has graciously allowed me to share it here.
My granddad George was 18 when he was sent to the front in 1914.
He was in the Royal Engineers. He was part of the team who dug the trenches and buried the dead. He was wounded twice and sent back to the front twice, which meant that he served the full 4 years of WW1.
He never spoke about what happened to him but I do know he was a difficult man and his relationship with my grandma Ann was hard for her. He hit her.
When my dad became a priest George had a revelation and asked to be confirmed and the last years of his life were much more peaceful. I loved my granddad because he was a brilliant gardener and smoked rollies and I sat on his knee while he did it. I remember his cigarette machine. He was gentle and kind to me.