"The Veterans BH Project" is an ongoing joint project for York Normandy Veterans and Everwitch Theatre, using the magical combination of reminiscence and theatre to share the extraordinary experiences of York's last remaining Normandy Veterans and raise awareness of the lifelong impact of conflict trauma.
In 2016 we made a pledge to five Veterans that we would create a theatre play to keep their soon to be lost experiences of D-Day alive for future generations. We did this because the Veterans, who travelled back to Normandy each year on 6th June to pay respects to all their fallen comrades, were concerned that once they were gone, then the young men who lie in unmarked graves would be forgotten. They wanted a way to help future generations understand why we should never forget.
Through 1:1 reminiscence, as well as group reminiscence, we worked with the Veterans to capture their first hand experiences. The play features the first hand testimonies of five of York's Normandy Veterans and highlights the lifelong impact of PTSD/Conflict Trauma.
And since 2016 the remaining Veterans toured with the play, meeting audiences and reaching over 3000 people with their stories & experiences, including 1000 young people from secondary schools & cadet bases, as well as special performances at residential homes in Yorkshire and winning the Summerhall Lustrum Award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.
Please help us continue with the project so that we may carry on through the pandemic, finding new ways to share our Veterans stories with more communities, particularly young people.
The photo shows Veterans Ken Cooke (reading the poem The Veteran) and Ken Smith (who passed away earlier this year), with actors Joe Sample and Carl Wylie at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019.