Local Vicar Pens Play About Chiswick WW1 Heroes

St Michael's Players will perform 'My Darling Boy' during a WW1-themed street party

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One Man's Story In The 'Heroes Of Chiswick' Project


Heroes of Chiswick

Update On 'Heroes Of Chiswick' Project

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The "moving and fascinating" stories of the thirty-three soldiers remembered on St Michael's Church 'Wall of Honour' has inspired its vicar to write a play on the experiences of local people during World War One.

'My Darling Boy', a half-hour play, was written by the Rev'd Martine Oborne, who spearheaded the Heroes of Chiswick project.

The play will be performed by the St Michael's Players during the St. Michael's street party, which takes place on Elmwood Road between 1pm-5pm on Saturday 14th June.

The performance will take place at 4pm and is part of the programme of WW1-themed activities for children, talks with Heroes of Chiswick researchers about local soldier's lives, and displays of work from local schoolchildren who have taken part in the project. The thirty-three men who went to the Great War from Chiswick are listed by name in memorials in the Church on stained glass windows and two pillars. This is the first time that their stories have been told on stage.

According to the Rev'd Oborne, the idea of writing the play came as they began to research the stories of the local soldiers.

"You know how truth can be stranger than fiction? Well, the stories we were discovering were all so moving and fascinating that I thought it would be good to capture the essence of them in one narrative. Given our close relationship with the wonderful amateur dramatics group, St Michael's Players, it seemed obvious to do this in the form of a play.

"The play is short (only about half an hour) and is written from the perspective of those at home in Chiswick with sons and brothers away fighting. It takes us from the outbreak of war, when spirits were high, to the horror of the huge casualties and suffering during the war and on to a time after the war when people both vowed to remember the sacrifices made and also prayed that we would never see a war like this war again.

"I was enormously helped in writing the play by the input of the Heroes of Chiswick research team and especially by Sarah Tonks who had investigated the Gidley family's story."

The street party takes place from 1-5pm Sat 14th June at St Michael’s Church, Elmwood Road W4 3DY

The Heroes of Chiswick project has been funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund's First World War: Then and Now Centenary programme.

Read more about the project at http://heroesofchiswick.com/

Church website;   http://www.stmichaels-elmwoodroad.org/

June 5, 2014

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