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Longbenton Squadron Join the Frontline!

2014-08-05 10:04:23
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By Flt Lt G G Richardson - 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron

Air Cadets from Longbenton joined forces with Northumbria University to put pen to paper to write a book commemorating the First World War.

The young people have been researching and learning about the Flying Aces of the Great War and have been looking at literary works from the era with Dr Katherine Baxter and Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus of University’s English Department.

Cadet Flight Sergeant Jonny Vickers, 19, of Killingworth, explained, “We looked at the poem For the Fallen and had to choose two words from each line of the poem to write our own, and we also looked at some of the Flying Aces. We had to explain what we learnt or what we thought about the stories and poems by either writing lyrics or drawing a picture, or creating a comic script. We looked at articles from the war in The Wipers Times and The Piloteer too,” added Jonny.

Dr Einhaus said, “We had an excellent workshop session with the young people. It’s hard to believe that some are young teenagers when they create some excellent pieces and confidently explain their work. Katherine and I are really looking forward to seeing the book published.”

“I really enjoyed the newspapers from the trenches,” said 14 year-old Alexander Knibbs.

“It was exciting to read what the soldiers were writing in the trenches and it was strange to laugh at some of the articles but they were supposed to funny and cheer people up. I enjoyed drawing my own comic script and hope that the writers of The Wipers Times would have liked it,” said the youngster from Longbenton. 

Squadron boss, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said, “There are many events and projects taking place this year to commemorate the Great War. Operation Frontline aims to allow our young people to independently learn about their history and to then creatively express their thoughts and ideas through a medium of their choosing. The work has been collated into a book and I am extremely proud of the youngsters who have produced some fantastic and mature work whilst also including humour, and I’m sure their families will be proud too. Katherine and Anne-Marie have been a superb support and we sincerely thank them.”

For further information about the book please email  





Thanks-giving, children line the streets,

As England mourns it’s lost,

Through flesh, spirit, life and death,

They fell to save the free.


Listen, the best of the drums,

Songs immortal in time,

Music linked to desolation,

And glory linked to tears.


Sing loud the songs of battle,

Stand steady and true to the cause,

Odds forever uncounted,

But down fell friend and foe.


Who will remember 100 years from now?


Jonny Vickers, aged 19

For more information please visit the Squadron website

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