Rochdale and Bury are two Lancashire mill towns which sent many soldiers to Gallipoli, both regulars and volunteers. Educational outreach workshops have been delivered by Touchstones Rochdale Museum & Art Gallery in partnership with The Fusilier Museum, Bury. Costumed freelancers Cat Jessop and Daniel Jessop, who we can see below in role with children from Butterstile Primary School (Bury), planned and delivered 10 pairs of workshops to 9 primary schools and 1 secondary special needs school from the same three towns where the WWI soldiers were recruited. The ‘Gallipoli Experience Day’ followed two sides of the Gallipoli story – how it affected the soldiers who served there and what it was like for their families left behind at home.
In addition, freelancer Alison Cooper worked with children from two of the schools in Bury and Rochdale to create this video about the Fusiliers and the education project.
Alison also recorded interviews with the children to remember the story of Gallipoli by reflecting on scenes and stories they experienced during the workshop; read her evaluation report here. She also took the photos below.
Touchstones Rochdale has decided to continue the legacy of the project by offering workshops based on the sessions in their new 2015 -2016 Schools Programme. See an extract from the Touchstones education brochure for more details.
‘They’re going to Gallipoli, we’re staying at home’
This session looked at the story of the soldiers signing up and training before leaving for Gallipoli.
‘Take me back to dear old Blighty’
This session took the story onward to Gallipoli and looked at how we remember those who didn’t come back. They followed the story of Rochdale lad Eric Duckworth, whose father took an oak sapling out to plant near his son’s grave. There’s more on the Gallipoli Oak here.