Myles Fairhurst, a Year 7 student from Richmond School and Sixth Form College, has been presented with a number of special items linked to the First World War after he recently impressed in a trailer for his upcoming war inspired film.
In the trailer for The Lost Soldier Myles starred as a World War One soldier, played by the 11-year-old star, who finds himself lost in the open countryside, as previously reported in The Yorkshire Post.
Local Richmond policeman Sean Godfrey - a World War One history enthusiast and chairman of the Cleveland Branch of the Western Front Association - was so impressed by Myles' performance and the youngster's passion for history that he presented him with a number of remarkable items.
The artefacts include a shrapnel from high explosive shells, the nose cone of an artillery shell, part of the fuse of an artillery shell, the base of an artillery shell, a British Lee Enfield bullet case and a German Mauser.
A World War One Princess Mary tin - one of 426,000 decorative brass tin which Princess Mary sent and distributed to serving members of the British, Colonial and Indian Armed Forces on Christmas Day 1914, was also presented to Myles.
Sean said he spends a week each year walking around the Battlefields of France and Belgium while the landowners and farmers allow him to gather and collect many original pieces from the conflict.
“When I heard about Myles’ story, I was greatly impressed with his enthusiasm, creativity and passion. I was blown away that at just 11 years old, he is producing his own film and has such an incredible knowledge about the history of World War 1," he said.
Myles, originally from Aycliffe Village near Darlington, said he was "overwhelmed" on receiving the gifts and he said they were made all the more special because of his own family history.
The aspiring actor comes from a long line of male family members serving in the Armed Forces, with his Great Grandfather, James McAndrew, serving the Durham Light Infantry and finished his career in the cavalry during World War One.
Another Great Grandfather, Albert Blakey, served as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery during World War Two, while his Great Grandfather, Mr Senior, was in the Canadian Regiment and was one of only two men out of 60 in one regiment that survived during the Battle of Passchendaele during World War One.
Myles said: "“I was speechless, I really couldn’t believe that I was holding pieces of shrapnel and bullets that were discovered at the Battlefields.
"I cannot thank Mr Godfrey enough for giving me these amazing books and information which I can’t wait to read through. He has also kindly offered to find out more about my Great Great Grandfathers who fought in World War 1, which will be so interesting.”
Myles also received an original First World War postcard that soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry would send to their families from the trenches, as well as folders on the Somme and Passchendale, featuring copies of original documents from the battle, including three aerial pictures of Passchendale where Myles’ Great Great Grandfather fought.
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