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© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.


A Sound and Light Performance Illuminating Lancashire Stories of the Somme

Presented by the Friends of Lancaster City Museum, King's Own Royal Regiment Museum, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sound & Motion.

RECOMMISSIONED was a programme of public open access activities and performances, exploring the unheard voices and untold stories from the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.  Incorporating and platforming objects relating to the soldiers who served in the Battle of the Somme, this is a new way to explore and open up history.

RECOMMISSIONED linked with the 141 Days: The Battle of the Somme exhibition which ran from July to November 2016 and has now closed.

We were visited by three local schools, Moorside in Lancaster, Sandylands in Morecambe and Ellel St. John in Galgate.  The pupils visited and learnt about the Battle of the Somme, met our First World War soldier character, and were inspired to do some creative writing and screen print larks.

The art installation produced for RECOMMISSIONED was "Larks Ascending".  141 Larks ascend with extracts of responses from the participation of children in workshops, working with Visual Artist Jenny McCabe.

The Battle of the Somme, written by Steve Fairclough, RECOMMISSIONED Learning Co-ordinator.

The Battle of The Somme

Haunting pictures flick through my mind
Like an artist painting death
Screaming shells and mustard gas
Burning a mans last breath

Shattered bodies in no mans land
Terror struck hung on barbed wire
Hearing nothing now in the fighting fields
No chatter of machine gun fire

Mist covered graves scar landscape miles
Raindrops and tears in the mud
Remember the hearts of soldiers here
Like ghosts in a trench of blood

The best of men afraid and frightened
141 days of The Somme
Millions killed a generation gone
At the end of World War One

Now Poppies grow were nothing lived
Sacrificial petals of red
Please take a moment to reflect a while
As you live, remember the dead.

Written by Steve Fairclough
Inspired and collected from writings by Moorside, Sandylands and Ellel St Johnís Primary Schools.


In addition to the exhibition, and the three RECOMMISSIONED performances, there was a programme of walks, talks and other events held in Lancaster.

Talks: Tim Padfield revealed the story of Clementina Addison, a nurse from Caton who served in the First World War with the French Flag Nursing Corps; Anne-Marie Knowles, from Carlisle's Tullie House Museum, told the story of Carlisle in the Great War, and Peter Donnelly told stories of some of the soldiers of the King's Own at the Somme.

Walks: Two guided walks were led by Peter Donnelly, around Lancaster, including the site of Mrs Morland's brothel, Kramners Butchers, the War Memorial and Chapel of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.

RECOMMISSIONED performances, each of 15 minutes length, were held as part of Light Up Lancaster on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th November 2016, with additional performances held on Friday 11th November.  The story of the Battle of the Somme was told through light, sound, text and movement, this promenade performance will illuminate stories of those who trained, fought and experienced the battle of the Somme

In the RECOMMISSIONED performances, the audience heard:
Lord Kitchener's Advice, The True Character of a British Soldier
The Special Order of the Day, From the Even of the Battle of the Somme, by Major General Bridges
Letters to Mrs Owtram, from the relatives of soldiers she had assisted with her kindness.

Everyone who attended, and there was just under 600 people, received a brown envelope on which was the name of a soldier of the King's Own.  At the end of the performance guests were invited to open the envelope and see the fate of the soldier.

Performance photographs courtesy of Darren Andrews.

Performers/Creative Collaborators:
Alex McCaragher
Jamie Mason-Milward
Caoife Turner

Sound & Motion: Louie Ingham & Mark Melville
Curator: Peter Donnelly
Production Manager: Al Parkinson

Louise Bryning
Danny Parsonage
Neil Spencer
Roger Mace
Alan Sandham
Paul Thompson
Anita Taylor
Heather Dowler
Sue Ashworth

With thanks to Sergeant Frank Rogers and Neil Barnett for assistance with costume.





© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2016 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum