Michael Morpurgo MBE, one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children paid Christ’s Hospital a visit on Saturday, November 30.
He has written over 100 books and won numerous prizes. His novel War Horse has become an international sensation. A former Children’s Laureate, Michael is also the co-founder, with his wife Clare, of the charity Farms for City Children.
In the theatre at Christ’s Hospital, Michael Morpurgo was joined by the outstanding English a cappella trio Coope, Boyes & Simpson for a telling of his moving First World War tale Private Peaceful.
Winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year, Private Peaceful relives the life of a young WW1 soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night, he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in Devon, his exciting first days at school, the accident in the forest that killed his father, his adventures with Molly, the love of his life, and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line.
The performance combined Morpurgo’s evocative readings with the trio’s songs for an atmospheric production that offered a reminder of the human cost of war.
Michael Morpurgo visited Christ’s Hospital – in exchange for one pair of Christ’s Hospitals famous yellow socks.
This was the fee agreed with Year 13 pupil Esther Sorooshian, who lived next door to the Morpurgos as a child.
On Sunday, November 31, a small group of fortunate pupils were invited to join Michael for an intimate Q&A session. For both occasions, Michael proudly sported his Christ’s Hospital yellow socks.
He revealed to the students that he would dearly have loved to have been able to wear the socks himself as a Christ’s Hospital pupil. He knew the school well from his stepfather, who was a prominent Old Blue (former pupil) and a historian of the School.
Christ’s Hospital hopes to match Michael’s generosity with a large donation to his charity, Farms for City Children, which is one of charities the pupils are supporting this year. Donations can be made on the website http://farmsforcitychildren.org.