SCHOOL pupils will explore the realities of life in the trenches as part of a community project to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Year eight pupils at Greenfield Community College in Newton Aycliffe have joined forces with Aycliffe Village Local History to pay tribute to the young men who fought and died in the conflict 100 years ago.

Today (Thursday, January 9), chairman Harry Moses and other society members spoke to youngsters about the war and showed them photographs, medals and memorabilia, including helmets, shells and cartridges collected on the battlefield.

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Over the next few months, the pupils will explore the topic further through art, creative writing and historical research.

Their finished work will be showcased at a First World War exhibition at Aycliffe Village Hall in September and in a book, which the history society will publish using a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Katy Milne, of Greenfield Community and Arts Centre, said: “It is all about bringing the First World War to life and showing the pupils that it is relevant today and not just something from history books and films.

“The history society has been won truly inspiring. The pupils were fascinated and asked lots of questions.”

Mr Moses said it was a pleasure to work with the children, adding: “The pupils were so enthusiastic and we look forward to seeing the results of the project in September.”