Where are the girls of Arsenal?
Working night and day;
Wearing the roses off their cheeks
For precious little pay.
Some people style them canaries,
We’re working for the lads across the sea,
If it were not for the munition lasses,
Where would the Empire be?
As the performance looms ever closer it is important to remember where our ideas generated from. So a trip to the war memorial in the centre of Lincoln high street, followed by a visit to Lincoln Castle where a World War One re-enactment was taking place, seemed like the perfect way to achieve this.
I found myself completely overwhelmed and quite emotional by the level of respect and remembrance for all the soldiers, wounded, missing or killed in action over the past 100 years. We set out to the war memorial for a photo of the company for our programmes and the sun was shining which was perfect for a photo op. After we took the photo we wandered around the memorial looking at the names scribed on the walls of all the soldiers we lost in World War One, below were lots of poppy reefs from many different organisations with personalised messages to remember our fallen soldiers.
I suppose we have all lost someone we care about in our lives, I’m no exception to this. I have my own way of remembering the important people lost in my life, but it was lovely to see that people who never even knew these soldiers acknowledged their ‘sacrifice’ to the war effort. Personally I feel war is a futile effort shadowed with words of hope and peace, when really it causes more hurt than good.
What I enjoy most about our performance is that it not only recognises the death and sorrow of World War One, but it focuses on the women and their roles in aiding the war effort. We include humour, singing for morale and dancing, three things which indubitably are characteristics of enjoyment. These women were strong, dedicated and loving, without them the war could have been lost. Throughout creating this performance I have been moved by the culture of the era, from the music and dance styles to the act of letter writing and poetry. For me these are things to be remembered and celebrated as well as the bravery of those who gave their lives. The war wasn’t all doom and gloom!
Coleridge, E. (2014) Lincoln Castle World War One Re-enactment. [Photograph].
Coleridge, E. (2014) Lincoln War Memorial. [Photograph].