The bridge project started out just before Xmas 2020 when I and a few students were discussing difficult decisions in history, in particular the dropping of the atom bomb by President Truman in 1945. This discussion grew up into images of war in the Far East and a short story from me about those Sunday afternoon films, one would watch with mum, on the BBC in the early 1970’s. In particular I related the story of the Bridge over the River Kwai. When I was ten years old, the only part of the film that mattered was beating the Japs, Colonel Saito was most detestable screaming, ‘There are no rules. This is war not a game of cricket’ and I am certain I was not alone in hating Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinesss) when he began to reveal the charge wire to the Japs! Now many years on, the film reminds of the difficult often ambiguous decisions we make as humans – especially at war.
The result of all this chatter was that one of my 12 year old students decided he was going to build a replica of the famous bridge out of lollipop sticks and bits of glue and cardboard. Several weeks later, with a little bit of paint, a few models and with a little input from mum and dad - and a scale model of the bridge is before us. The photos in this article show what a great job he made of this undertaking! A big thank you to this one student and everyone else in and around the group who helped out in some way.
The lesson for young historians being perhaps two-fold: that one can achieve great things with very simple materials and like Colonel Nicholson in the film, one may sometimes make bad decisions but the heart and soul of Nicholson was always built on traditional values of honour, pride and loyalty.
For all those who can whistle……wuuu wu wuu wuw wu wu wuuuuuu
Peter John Fyles
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Here is the first of some of our young history 'buffs' from far and wide across the world who have come to our attention.
Today we start with Cara from Sweden. If you would like your work to be featured here, or perhaps know a young person who should be featured here, then just drop us a line anytime!
Welcome Cara - Sweden
Hi, my name is Cara Elize Feely. I live in a small town called Norrtelje which is about 60km north of Stockholm in Sweden. I was born in May 2006. my mum is Swedish and my dad is Irish. I’m an eight grade student at Montessori Gustavslund. History has always been one of my biggest interests and i hope one day to persue a career as a history teacher.