Leeds children's play about war hero pigeon takes flight

This feathered friend helped schoolchildren prepare to tell the story of an animal hero of World War One.

Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 11:00 pm
Tayyeb Israr, Abigail Stokes and Bobbie Glew, who will be re-enacting the story of Cher Ami

The children from Allerton C of E Primary School in Alwoodley, Leeds, are starring in a play about Cher Ami, a British female homing pigeon who saved a lost British battalion.

The performance, which will be part of community showcase Recipe for Life at West Yorkshire Playhouse on Saturday, will tell how she saved the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the Battle of the Argonne in 1918. The first two pigeons dispatched to take a message to the Allies were shot down by the Germans. Cher Ami was also shot, but managed to take flight again, saving 190 men.

Writer Joe Williams and drama facilitator Leah Francis have been working with the pupils to dramatise the story. Joe said: “Cher Ami’s bravery and determination reflects the sacrifice of many men, women and children around the world to help Britain win the peace we enjoy in Europe today.”

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The showcase, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, has been organised by arts and health charity Space2.

Creative director Emma Tregidden, added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the children to perform in front of a public audience and re-enact a previously untold story about WWI.”