CHILDREN were put through their paces to experience first hand what it was like to be a soldier during the First World War.

Pupils from Ysgol Llangoed and Ysgol Beaumaris were marched up and down by a re-enactment drill sergeant, at the Caernarfon Castle Museum on Thursday.

The activity formed part of a series of workshops entitled Music, Mud and Glory, being led by composer Ellen Davies, harpist Mared Emlyn and researcher Bridget Geoghegan.

The workshops aim to encourage children to imagine the lives of their ancestors who lived through the Great War.

From their experiences, the children will be encouraged to write music for a performance of Music Mud and Glory, part of Ordinary Men, an evening of music, poetry and film, written and conceived by Ellen Davies, to be held at 7.30pm, at Beaumaris Church, on November 18.

Ordinary Men was commissioned by the Reverend Neil Fairlamb to support the Great War commemoration at Beaumaris Church. The work has been over two years in the making

There will also be a children’s performance at 1.30pm, on November 16, also in the parish church, which set to be attended by the Welsh-language poet Hedd Wyn’s nephew Gerald Williams.

Ellen Davies said: “I wanted to write about real people and to include visual imagery, archive film and words and poetry. I talked to my grandfather - a Morse code operator in the Second World -) about his idea that Morse Code and Music both communicate through patterns and rhythm.

“I told him I had begun planning a Great War piece which would explore this idea. Shortly afterwards he died and so the work is dedicated to him as well as the “Ordinary Men.

“I visited Hedd Wyn’s cottage near Trawsfynydd. I met his nephew Gerald Williams and saw the Black Chair and photographs of the farmer poet and his peers. This was a powerful and emotional experience and the title Ordinary Men was born.”

Shirley Williams, Caernarfon Castle Museum education officer said: “The children from Beaumaris and Llangoed came to the museum to learn all about the First World War.

They learned about what is was like in the trenches, and they got to dress up as soldiers. They were alsoput through their paces, and marched up and down, by re-enctment drill sergeant, Jerry Bone.

”The museum is all about the Royal Welch Fusiliers regiment throug history, but as it is the anniversary of WWI we are focusing on the period, at the moment, and inviting schools to come along and take part in events and workshops.”

Any schools interested in taking part in events, or for more information, contact the museum on: 01286 673362.