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War & Peace

Three Songwriters Tell Doncaster's Story

Whilst not yet as famous as the book of the same name, 'War And Peace' still tells an important story about the effects of war, both as it's happening and through the brokered peace that follows. Three great songwriters, Bella Hardy, Findlay Napier and Greg Russell come together to tell the stories of Doncaster and how it was affected by the war to end all wars.

"With the premiere at Cusworth Hall, this concert tour is putting Doncaster's wartime people in the spotlight as never before," says Jude Holland, project manager for Doncaster 1914-18. "It recognises the contribution that the borough made to the war effort, but the performances will also be an extraordinary celebration of everyday folk across the country - real-life families and neighbours - who sacrificed, and achieved so much during the First World War."

Jude adds: "Throughout the centenary, people have been getting in touch with Doncaster 1914-18 to share hundreds of amazing family stories of love, loss, camaraderie and community spirit. Stories like that of the Wheatley soldier, Albert John Drury, whose life was saved by the cigarette tin in his top pocket, and who brought back his faithful dog, Armentiers Vic, all the way from the trenches of the Western Front to Doncaster. Or Doncaster's conscientious objectors like Oswald Clark who captured national news headlines by refusing to fight, being sent to prison as a result. We're really excited to see how Findlay, Bella and Greg bring these stories to life through song."

The concert tour includes the following four dates:
15 May, 6.30pm - special premiere performance for 'Museums at Night' at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster. Tickets £10, available from Cusworth Hall or by phoning 01302 782342
4 June, 7.30pm at Heath Street Baptist Church, Hampstead, London. Tickets £14, https://www.wegottickets.com/event/459717
5 June, 7.45pm at Cast Theatre, Doncaster. Tickets £13, https://www.castindoncaster.com/whats-on/war-and-peace/
7 June, 7.45pm at The Hive, Shrewsbury. Tickets £12, https://www.hiveonline.org.uk/uptownfolk

Greg Russell, one of the tour's musical trio said, "I'm so looking forward to War & Peace. We've already had a fascinating day with three local historians, surrounded by the fantastic wartime archives and artefacts of Doncaster Museum, and hearing about the experiences of people in the area, often drawn from original, personal accounts. I can't wait to turn these stories into songs and bring them to a wider audience."

Even though the centenary of the First World War is drawing to a close, the Doncaster 1914-18 project is urging local people to continue sharing their own family or neighbourhood stories and photographs about the First World War, both on the home front and the front line. They're not only helping to piece together Doncaster's wartime past, but also building an everlasting digital memorial to the nation's First World War heroes, free for everyone to use and share.

The War & Peace project, supported by Arts Council England, is a partnership between Doncaster 1914-18, Sounds Just Fine, and Heritage Doncaster.

To find out more about the War & Peace performances, visit www.warandpeaceproject.com.

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