Bridging The Gap

Bridging The Gap was an intergenerational residency project between St Mary’s Primary School and sheltered housing residents from Rooftop Housing in Broadway. The aim of the project was for the young people to gather Information about WW1 and other wars from the older people and research how Broadway was connected to the wars. This was done with the help of Rhubarb Rhubarb Creatives.

Singer/songwriter Deborah Rose and Martin Riley worked with the young people to write and produce their own songs based on the research and interviews. These were performed at the school, The Court sheltered housing and the beautiful Broadway Museum and Art Gallery as part of Evesham Festival of Words. Many thanks to Rooftop Housing, Wychavon DC, Worcestershire County Council and Evesham Festival of Words for supporting the project.

Feedback
Mrs Corke Year 5/6 teacher “this has been one of the best things we have done at this school. Thank you for such a fantastic few weeks”
Year 5/6 pupil “they have inspired me” (the artists)
Year 5/6 pupil “it was interesting to listen to the stories from WW1 and WW2”
Year 5/6 pupil “it was fun, it got me over a couple of fears and it was amazing being able to express myself” (about performing)
Year 5/6 pupil “one of the best mornings/afternoons ever!” (about the poetry and interviewing)
Veteran “absolutely wonderful” (about being interviewed)
Veteran, I enjoyed “being able to  convey to the children my war time experience”

The War Songs

WAR IS A TRAGEDY 

VERSE 1 

Once upon a time
Ken got shot in the leg
He was a soldier
South Wales Borderer
2ndBattalion World War One
Brave as can be he got sent to Italy
To a war camp faraway
Every night he would pray

CHORUS

War is a tragedy
In the name of our majesty
War is a tragedy
In the name of our majesty
Oh war
Oh war

VERSE 2 

When he was at war
There was a deadly gas attack
Yelling, screaming, shouting, crying
Snipers, guns, exploding frags
Dead men were all around
Drowning in the haunting sounds
Rashes and blisters from the smoke
One by one the soldiers choked

CHORUS
Bridge

Six months on Ken was missing
Presumed dead
His family mourned
A telegram filled with dread

VERSE 3 

Until one day there was a knock on the door
Ken’s coming home for good
He lays his guns down on the floor
His mother is amazed
Tears of joy she cries
My son he is alive
A miracle before our eyes
(But it doesn’t always end this way….)

CHORUS

My Name Is Leonard William

I was there bent double gazing straight at death
‘Twas my mate there taking his final breath
As he fell from the fire on to the ground
The laughter of the enemy was the only sound
My name is Leonard William
His name is Leonard William

I fought many battles on land and sea
13 medals of honour were given to me
And of all the places in the world that I saw
It was home my heart was longing for
My name is Leonard William

His name is Leonard William
It was 10 years later he was back on the seas
When crashing waves were lashing down on he
“Hey quick boys” he shouted as he gasped for breath
He knew he couldn’t take much more as he faced death
My name is Leonard William

His name is Leonard William
Letting go was easy as the pressure pushed down
Although he made it home to his dear old town
All his families eyes were filled with tears
Looking back he had struggled through all these years

My name was Leonard William
His name was Leonard William
My name was Leonard William
His name was Leonard William