Since 2014, Trench Brothers has commemorated the achievements and contributions made by ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War with an education programme for primary schools. Trench Brothers brings the First World War to life for school children through the experiences and personal stories of the Indian army, British West Indies Regiment and black British soldiers, commemorating their contributions using puppetry, music, artefacts and cross-curricular learning, and culminating in performances of a new music theatre work.
Trench Brothers has reached over 50 schools and 3,000 children in London, Lancashire, Staffordshire in the South East and since 2017, has been supported by the Trench Brothers Exhibition offering a creative response by young people to the untold stories of so many voices which have never been heard. Following a tour of Lancashire, and a month at National Memorial Arboretum, the much acclaimed exhibition is currently on display at Newhaven Fort.
Brighton Dome, home to one of the Indian Military hospitals, hosted a poignant centenary performance on 17 October, using music, theatre and puppetry, to bring to life soldiers hopes and fears, their longing for home, their camaraderie, courage and valour. Featuring music by renowned jazz composer Julian Joseph and award-winning composer Richard Taylor and a libretto by Tertia Sefton-Green, the music theatre work was performed by 250 local school children alongside MOBO nominated Cleveland Watkiss, opera singer Damian Thantrey in a unique collaboration drawing together work developed with young people over the past 4 years.
The Trench Brothers Education Zone offers a legacy of 90 arts-embedded Lesson Plans and Activities for Key Stage 2 schools embedding the themes of ethnic minority soldiers in the First World War across the curriculum.