History Expert – Aidan Dockery

On Friday, collector and historian Aidan Dockery visited the children from Third to Sixth Class with his amazing array of artefacts.  Aidan has one of the best collections of Irish stamps, coins, postcards, artefacts and commemorative booklets in the country.  He introduced us to World War One through two of his uncles, one of whom Joe was killed at the Battle of the Somme.  He started the session with a chilling recitation of the poem The Box by Laschelles Ambercrombie on the danger of war and how it hurts everybody it comes into contact with.  He had the children captivated with insights into the reality of World War One.  Check out the photos above and the poem below.

The Box by Lascelles Ambercrombie

Once upon a time in the land of Hush-a-bye
Around about the wondrous days of yore
They came across a sort of box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labelled, “Kindly Do Not Touch – It’s War.”

Decree was issued round about
All with a flourish and a shout
And a gaily coloured mascot tripping lightly on before
“Don’t fiddle with this deadly box
Or break the chains or pick the locks
And please don’t ever play about with war.”

Well the children understood
Children happen to be good
And they were just as good around the time of yore
They didn’t try to pick the locks
Or break into that deadly box
They never tried to play about with war.

Mommies didn’t either
Sisters, Aunts, or Grannies neither
Cause’ they were quiet and sweet and pretty
In those wondrous days of yore.

Well, very much the same as now
Not the ones to blame somehow
For opening up that deadly box of war.
But someone did
Someone battered in the lid
And spilled the insides out across the floor.

A sort of bouncy bumpy ball
Made up of flags and guns and all
The tears and horror and death
That goes with war.

It bounced right out
And went bashing all about
And bumping into every thing in store.
And what was sad and most unfair
Is that it really didn’t seem to care
Much who it bumped or why, or what, or for.

It bumped the children mainly
And I’ll tell you this quite plainly
It bumps them everyday
And more and more.
And leaves they dead and burned and dying
Thousands of them sick and crying
Cause’ when it bumps it’s really very sore.

Now there’s a way to stop the ball
It isn’t difficult at all
All it takes is wisdom
And I’m absolutely sure
That we could get it back into the box
And bind the chains and lock the locks
But no one seems to want to save the children anymore.

Well, that’s the way it all appears
Cause’ it’s been bouncing round for years and years
In spite of all that wisdom wiz’
Since those wondrous days of yore…
In the time they came upon a box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labelled, “Kindly Do Not Touch – It’s War”

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