Alumni, friends, and their guests, are warmly invited to join us at St Hugh’s for this special occasion, as we celebrate 100 years since the planting in 1919 of the beautiful Magnolia soulangeana on Main Lawn, which was presented to St Hugh’s by the students to mark the end of the First World War.
Our celebrations will centre around a performance of Dear Chocolate Soldier, a docudrama edited and arranged by St Hugh’s alumna Kate Glover, FRSA (Modern History, 1965). The play is based on the 1916-1918 letters of Leek-born Bombardier Edwin Hassall, who served in the trenches of the Somme throughout the First World War. Afternoon tea will also be laid on for our guests.
Please scroll down for further information about the play.
To book your ticket(s), please fill out our online booking form below by 29 March. Ticket prices:
Standard – £15
Current St Hugh’s Students – £7.50
Children (under 18) – Free
It is June 1916. A 6 year old girl, Joan Burbridge, watches as her father wraps up a packet of chocolate for the brave soldiers at the front. A thought strikes her: ‘How will the soldier know the chocolate is from me?’ Her father obligingly writes on the packet: ‘From Little Joan, Whiterock, Wadebridge, Cornwall.’
Six weeks later, a green field envelope arrives, addressed to Joan. Inside is a letter, sent direct from the fighting at the Somme, by Bombardier Edwin Hassall of Leek, Staffordshire.
The story of the letters from ‘The Chocolate Soldier’ to Joan takes us to the Armistice, and is told movingly and amusingly by three actors, with poetry and popular songs from the period.