South Shields grandfather creates event to tell the stories of war

Rob Barnes has created an event to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Rob Barnes has created an event to mark the centenary of the First World War.

A grandfather from South Shields has created a unique event describing life during the First World War.

The mark the centenary of the end of the conflict next month, Rob Barnes has produced event ‘One Man’s Story; Songs & Stories of the Great War (1914‐1918)’.

Private Fielding Pickard.

Private Fielding Pickard.

The event will be held at the Sage Two in Gateshead on Sunday, November 11, at 5pm, to tie-in with the annual Remembrance Day commemorations.

The production will be the culmination of Rob’s lifelong interest in the Great War.

It aims to celebrate those who served on the battle front - as well as those supporting them behind the lines.

Mr Barnes was inspired by the story Private Fielding Pickard - a distant relative of his wife Sue, who was with the 7th Auxiliary Mechanical Transport Company of the Army Service Corps 1914-18 conflict.

Postcards sent by Private Fielding Pickard.

Postcards sent by Private Fielding Pickard.

Mr Barnes and his wife came across a set of postcards which had been sent during Pickard’s time on the Western Front and traced his route, taking photos of the places he was at then and now.

The event will also feature stories of life on the Western Front and songs from the time.

Rob will narrate the story with the help of his 11-year-old grand‐daughter, Bella.

Also taking part will be members of Fenham Ensemble chamber choir, conducted by Glenn Davis; Northumbrian piper Kathy Palmer; pianist Ruth Carlisle and Hotspur Primary School Choir based in Heaton.

Rob said: “In this one man’s story, we’re offered an insight into what people were saying, writing, singing about and feeling at that time, not just the soldiers, but the country as a whole.

“It is a celebration of all those who played their part in this ‘war to end all wars’; those who fought for King and country, those who supported them at the Front, those who patched them up and kept them alive, those who kept their homes and the country going in their absence and those who have kept their memory and their actions alive over the last 100 years.

“Every family who has lived in Britain for five or six generations will have their own Fielding Pickard – a family man who went to fight for King and country without a second thought. This could be your family’s story.”

Tickets available by calling: 0191 443 4661 or online at: http://www.sagegateshead.com/event/songs‐and‐stories/