PUPILS became enthralled with Gwrych Castle's history during a special event featuring world war performances, poems and letters.

WWI: Gwrych Castle and The Great War People - a collaboration between Abergele’s Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan and the castle's trust - was held last Wednesday.

A total of 16 Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, from years eight and nine, were involved in the project.

More than 200 people - including members of the public; cllr Shirley Jones-Roberts, deputy mayor, and pupils from Sant Elfod; St George; Ysgol Llanfair Talhaiarn and Ysgol Betws yn Rhos - came to see the pupils present their project in its finality.

Stephanie Brettle, from Emrys ap Iwan, said: "As it is the centenary of the end of The Great War, the plan was to look at people from the Abergele/Gwrych area using local archives. The pupils were more interested in looking at the mental health issues of the Great War.

"Stewart Harris, a former Emrys ap Iwan pupil, Afghan veteran and active members of The Soldiers' Charity, talked to pupils about his experiences and about being badly injured in Afghanistan. Following discussions, the pupils wrote imaginary letters from children to their fathers at The Front.

"These were then turned into dramatic pieces and a moving poem was created called 'Escape?'"

A play, by Aaron Shepherd, about the Christmas Day Truce was acted out. The group also performed an interpretation of Flander's Mud; a poem by Geoff Skellon, a local poet, about his feelings of going to Flanders in 2014 - 100 years after the start of World War One.

Bubbling Stove carried out demonstrations with samples of food from 1914 to 1918 to show the change in diet.

Diane Woodrow, education and community engagement officer for the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, said: "We want to say a big thank you to Shirley Williams of both Fusion Project and the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum for the lone of the authentic WWI uniforms which certainly added to the atmosphere of the day."

Anne Hickey, literacy coordinator at the school, said: "Pupils really got into character and performed their pieces with feeling and respect."

Lee Cummins, headteacher at the school, added: "This was a great piece of work undertaken by our learners and the community at large."