As part of its commemoration to end the First World War St Hugh’s College, Oxford University will be putting on a performance of Dear Chocolate Soldier this coming Saturday 6th April.
Labour Councillor for Leek West, Bill Cawley has been invited to St Hugh’s to take part in the event
The event will centre on a performance of Dear Chocolate Soldier, a docudrama edited and arranged by Kate Glover, a former student of the college whose former alumni include Labour politician Barbara Castle, and present Prime Minister Theresa May. The play is based on the 1916-1918 letters of Leek-born Bombardier Edwin Hassall, who served in the trenches throughout the First World War
The event will also celebrate 100 years since the planting in 1919 of the beautiful Magnolia on Main Lawn of St Hugh’s, which was presented to the Oxford College by the students to mark the end of the First World War. The author of a biography of Ted Hassall, in conjunction with Richard Benefer, Leek West Councillor Bill Cawley has been invited to St Hugh’s to mark the event.
Councillor Cawley said “It is a great honour to be invited down to Oxford to mark the Armistice commemoration to mark the sacrifice of the many service men who laid down their lives to fight the “war to end all wars”. I saw the play at a performance that took place at Westwood College last October. It is a memorable way to preserve Ted’s memory
As Ted wrote in one of his last letters “As a people we are called on to remember the Glorious Dead, but let everyone remember that they made the great sacrifice for the betterment of the whole of mankind, not for the fortunate few, and there first wish would be that there old comrades should be fairly treated and in reasonable comfort to the final Last Post.
Given the way we treat veterans today these remarks made 100 years ago are still timely”.