Sunday, 2 December 2018

Martens' Diary by Kaitlin

Dear diary,
Today me and my Grandpa had some alone time. We went down to the small, dirty pond (which has no sign of life) in the morning. It is mine and grandpa’s favourite place to go. Whenever we go there he tells me our family stories. Today we had a lot of free time so that means he could tell me a lot of stories. The first story he told me was my great grandma’s (whose name is Marie).

When your great grandma was a little girl (which was when the First World War was on). She used to go to the field hospital every day. She would take her little handmade basket - which was full of eggs - down to try and get some money for her family. On her way to the Field Hospital, she would collect some freshly bloomed bright red poppies. It was the same every day, then one day she had not made a lot of money. On her way home she came across a lonely Tommy. In the middle of a field, he was sat on a small, broken, oak wood chair. Writing in a note book, he was using a tree stump as a table.

She went up to him and asked him if he wanted anything. Instead of answering all he did was throw a piece of paper into a puddle. She asked what it was; he told her everything about it (in the end it turns out it was a poem). She bought it home and now we still have that exact poem by the front door.              

Martens' Diary by Harley

Dear Diary,
                    Today, I got out of bed hoping for a tasty breakfast. As I was travelling down the stairs I could smell: eggs, baked beans, bacon and fried bread (tasty). I sat at my table and then grandpa exclaimed, “I have a surprise for you!”
I replied with, “Is it a fried breakfast?”
“Yep just how you like it.”
I was now eating a fried breakfast and my grandpa came in to sit at the table. When he sat down he was starting to tell me a story about Marie - I had never heard the story before but it sounded interesting - so I listened.
Grandpa told me that Marie used to be a little girl your age and she sold eggs to an Essex Farm. He went on to say - one day when Marie was selling eggs she came across a man sitting on a chair with is notebook on his lap so Marie shouted, “Eggs Tommy!” (the only words she knew in English). The first time she shouted the man didn’t hear so she repeated and the second time the man tared a piece of paper out of his notebook and threw it into a nearby puddle. Grandpa says Marie picks up the paper and the man just lets her take it (I didn’t believe that part). Grandpa goes on to say that Marie took it home not recognising it had a world-famous poem on it and as soon as she got home she put it on her wall (she touched it just thinking every day for luck).
I went on that day just thinking how my grandma met one of the most famous writers in the world, John McCrae. That night I could hardly sleep (Marie didn’t even know his name.) because Marie had a big chance of actually knowing one of the most famous writers in the whole world.
From that day forward, whoever I met I had to ask for their names. That was one of the best stories I had ever heard through my entire life.

Martens' Diary by Roxanne

Dear Diary,
                  Today I’m going to tell you one of the best, or maybe AMAZING, stories I know! Honestly – it’s sort of one of my favourites, but maybe that’s because my Grandpa tells them…?
Anyway, let’s get started!
This story was held in 2004 – On Christmas Day – when I was just a tiny baby (Meaning that I didn’t have a clue what was going on!) Apparently, my Papa had gone out for a walk, out beyond the Poppy-Field. – Grandpa always tells me how my Papa LOVED it there….it was his favourite place to go.
So, my Grandpa and Mama were waiting for my Papa – sipping and drinking their tea, and all that ‘posh’ stuff – but when he got back, he looked like he had just seen a ghost! His cane was gripped tight in his left hand, whilst his grey hat was swerved around the back of his head! (He was also breathing quite heavy, so I think he ran home.)
He sat down, near the edge of the table – next to Mama – whilst he took his coat and hat off – he also put his cane away at the exact same time. Since he was shivering out of his right mind, my Mama gave him a toasty mug of water to heat him up. (Well, we don’t want to waste the logs for the fire do we? That was valuable back then!)
After a couple of sips, he began to tell us what had happened, his story was in great detail – each sentence was about 10 breaths long, as his lips were quivering as-well.
He told them both that he had gone to the Poppy-Field, but the thing is that he had no exact clue why – he thinks that he was just suddenly drawn there – but the most important thing he said that he’d saw figures, and that they were talking, shaking hand, and even smoking!
He managed to figure out that they were army soldiers. –By their uniform, but they both looked like darker shades from one another, so he knew that they were on opposite sides.
He stared at them for a couple of minutes – and even watched them walk away from one another – at this point, he obviously knew that this clear of fog he saw was on Christmas Day… or was it the Christmas Truce…?
But just to finish off this story, my Grandpa always likes to imitate my Papa when said this;
“It happened, honest to God! – Right before my eyes….’’

Martens' Diary by Ruby

Dear diary,
Today grandpa told me about my first ever Christmas. I almost cried because Christmas was the day when my papa died. Grandpa told me he went out in the morning fog and heard men’s voices but when he walked towards them he found they had gone. After that mum made papa a nice hot drink papa hopped on his tractor and went to plough the poppy field. Grandpa said, “I watched him drive into the mist and that was the last time I saw him again.” As for me I was fast asleep inside the house I didn’t find out my papa had died until I was older, I guess I was too young to understand then.
I wish I could have met my papa but nothing can stop the shell that killed him. Yes, a shell killed my papa he drove over a shell (from world war one) and boom he was dead. It was so sad, my mum and grandpa never set foot in that field again they were too scared to.
I always go past that poppy field on my bike and I think about my papa as I cycle past. I hope grandpa will tell me another story soon. Grandpa does tell me another story I will make sure I write it down.

Martens' Diary by Jaydon

Dear Diary,
Today, Grandpa remembered it was a special day because it was Remembrance Day so we have a minute silence to remember those in the war.  He started to tell me the story about how my father died so my grandpa helped me to remember him.  Grandpa told me, that my dad put on his boots after breakfast one morning and got on his tractor.  Then Grandpa helped him to hitch up the plough in the farmyard onto the tractor.  Then they watched him ride into the mist then that was the last time they saw him alive because he drove over a World War One bomb shell, BANG, he was gone.  That was how he died.  Even though it was a very said day we will still talk about him now.                 

Martens' Diary by Bradley

Dear diary,
Today, my grandfather told me a story about my great-grandmother (Marie) getting married to my great-grandfather (Pete) let me tell you how it went. Marie was out in town, shopping, until she noticed a service at the Menin gates. There were people playing the bugle, surrounding her.
Beside all the soldiers, a man, a soldier- reciting the poem that Marie had on her wall since she was a girl. The poem read:

In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
Between the crosses row on row
And in the sky, the larks
Still bravely singing,
Fly Scarce heard admits the guns below.

Short days ago,
We lived, felt down, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
And now we lie in Flanders.

After the service, Marie started to head home, until suddenly the Tommy reciting the poem ran over and asked, "How do you know the poem? You were saying it at the same time as me?”
“I met the person who wrote it and now I know it off by heart,” she slowly replied. Before they knew it they were sharing a drink at the town café. Chatting. Chatting a lot.
The two started to feel a lot closer as time went on and Marie told him about how she got the poem in the first place. She took him to her house - where the poem sat and before they knew it they were husband and wife.
So that’s the story about my great grandparents, Marie and Pete, let's hope grandpa tells us another inspirational story tomorrow…

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Letter to a soldier by Joshua D

Walter Dewey
Private 17966
2nd Battalion
Bedfordshire Regiment

Dear Mr Dewey
I am your great-great grandson and my grandad, Roger Dewey, has been telling me all about you. I know you volunteered in November 1914 and after completing a period of training at Felixstowe was later drafted to the Western Front. I imagine that you were sad to leave your family at home and especially your wife and 5 children, who were under the age on 10. I am writing to thank you for fighting for our country during the First World War. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if everyone didn’t fight and the Germans won the war.
I know that after only 8 days active service you were killed in the La Bassée sector on the 16th June 1915. Despite having no formal grave, you are commemorated on three war memorials, at each of Somersham, Witchford and the Le Touret in Pas de Calais, France. My grandad and dad have both been to one of the war memorials in France where you are commemorated. One day I would like to go with my dad and see where your name is. Our family will never forget that you bravely gave your life for the country.
Yours sincerely

Letter to a soldier by Lilly-Ella

Dear Soldier,
I am writing to thank you for serving us in the country, and the dedication to our great nation.
I feel safe knowing you have fought so hard to save our country and appreciate your bravery helping to protect all of our people. You risked your own lives every day to help make the world a better place so we could all live-in peace.
I can’t imagine what fear went through your minds every single day and the not knowing who was going to survive or die. The horrific things you must have seen upset me greatly. I now have a few questions if you don’t mind.
What did it feel like every day when you had to risk your life for our country? How did you get in contact with your families? Did you get in contact with your families?
On Remembrance Day and every other day, we will remember the fallen soldiers and the surviving soldiers who fought in world war 1.
Yours sincerely,

Letter to a soldier by Jessica

Dear Denis Baker,
I am writing to you to ask you some questions and talk about the war. Was the war scary to you? Did you get much sleep? Did you ever fall out with anyone? Did you miss your family? Did you score a goal in the Christmas truce? How old were you when you went to war? And finally, did you lie about your age so you could go to war?
At school we have been learning about the war and it is very interesting. It must have been hard work. I would like to say a huge thank you for fighting for us in the war. You must be willing, kind, helpful, and most importantly brave. It takes a lot to go to war and potentially get killed. War was a horrible thing and it shouldn't have happened. You are a great person.
Your sincerely,

Letter to a soldier by Joshua

Dear Mr Henry Atkins
I am writing this letter to you to say thank you for signing up to be a soldier In the First World War and also thanking you for trying to protect our country in doing so. I bet when fighting in the war you saw some, or many horrendous, sights as a young man? I also bet you lost quite a few friends and comrades fighting at your side?  We will all remember and thank them for all they have done for us in our country.    
I am sorry to hear you lost your life fighting for our country in France and that you died so young at the age of 29. I will remember you every Remembrance Sunday and all you have done for us and your comrades also fighting for our country.
Yours Sincerely