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St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School

Wisdom & Faith

English Lesson

A Lot of Old Codswallop (nonsense)

"At seventeen, he’d found himself marching with his regiment along the straight roads of northern France up to the front line, heads and hearts high with hope and expectation. Within a few months he was sitting huddled at the bottom of a muddy trench, hands over his head, head between his knees, curling himself into himself as tight as he would go, sick with terror as the shells and whizzbangs blew the world apart around him.  Then the whistle would blow and they’d be out and over the top into No Man’s Land, bayonets fixed and walking towards the German trenches into the ratatat of machine-gun fire."

A Lot of Old Codswallop Part 1.mp3

A Lot of Old Codswallop Part 2.mp3

A Lot of Old Codswallop Part 3.mp3

Close your eyes, and picture yourself as a soldier in a trench during World War I. Paint an imaginative picture in your head.


What can you hear?

What is around you?

Are you cold?

Are you wet?

What do you think will happen to you when you go into No Man’s Land?

Are you scared? 


For today's activity, I want you to write a diary entry about your day in the trenches (as Bertie or as another solider in his regiment). Use the questions above to guide your writing and as always, use what you have read in the book to develop the description and detail.