TPYF: Children's war documentaries premiere at Royal Naval Museum

By Graham Pembrey | 15 December 2009
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a photograph of a film-maker giving a child an award

Professional film-maker Anna Farthing awards a pupil for the documentary she helped create. Courtesy Royal Naval Museum

Children who helped to create documentaries about war veterans were given the red-carpet treatment at a special film premiere at the Royal Naval Museum.

The glitzy event saw the first showing of films by pupils from Stamshaw Junior School in Portsmouth who produced the movies with the help of professional film-makers.

The stars of the show were also there – veterans from conflicts like D-Day, Bosnia and the Falklands, who were interviewed by the children in the films.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in this project,” said Falklands veteran Ray Metcalfe. “The children have been brilliant and so keen to learn about all of our experiences."

"I believe it’s so important that pupils have the opportunity to be able to talk in a relaxed and informal way to those who have been actually involved in conflicts rather than just reading about them.”

“A rapport was built up in spite of the great age gap,” said Vic Walker, another veteran who took part. “Communication over a period of some 70 years has proved enjoyable and enlightening to children and veterans alike.”

a photograph of school pupils standing with war veterans

Schoolchildren with war veterans after the screening at the Royal Naval Museum. Courtesy Royal Naval Museum

At the end of the screening, children were awarded 'nellies': the Royal Naval Museum's own version of the Oscars.

Face to Face: Documenting Experiences of Conflict was organised by Their Past Your Future, a Big Lottery funded educational scheme that teaches about 20th century conflicts.

The completed films will be integrated into 'Remembrance Kitbags' that will become a permanent resource to schools, veterans and community groups.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned: