THE STORIES of First World War soldiers will be brought to life by sixth form students.
Intimate portraits of heroes whose names are on Havant War Memorial will be put on film thanks to a generous £30,000 grant from the Heritage National Lottery Fund.
Students from Havant Sixth Form College will research the lives of six soldiers for the documentary film Havant’s Heroes, ready for the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War next year.
They will be supported by pupils from local secondary schools and will be given help to write, script, film and edit the documentary by professional film and video production company Millstream Productions.
Steve Murray, curriculum director for the arts at Havant Sixth Form College, said: ‘The students came up with the idea when we started talking about controversial plans to move Havant War Memorial.
‘They realised they walked past the memorial regularly without appreciating what it stood for and it was their idea to research the stories behind the names.
‘The First World War is an abstract concept for many young people and we hope researching these stories will engage them and lead to a better understanding of how the war impacted on families living in Havant.
‘We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for providing the funding to enable Havant’s Heroes to go ahead.’
As revealed earlier this week in The News, the Havant War Memorial, at the crossroads outside St Faith’s Church, has been listed meaning it cannot be moved.
Around half a dozen names from the memorial will be researched and their stories will be included in an accompanying book and website to develop the stories in more detail and feature archive material unearthed during the research for the film.
The launch of the project takes place next Wednesday, at Havant College.
It will feature a number of student workshops including drama sessions by Forest Forge Theatre Company and performance poetry from Joe McQuilken, Portsmouth’s first teenage Poet Laureate.
There will also be re-enactment, war-time food and a morale-boosting sing-along before the event ends with a rendition of the Last Post.