Young historian receives First World War artefacts

Myles Fairhurst and PC Sean Godfrey.

A budding historian — whose interest in the history of the First World War inspired him to create his own film — has been given artefacts from the battlefields.

Myles Fairhurst, a Year 7 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, is creating a film, The Lost Soldier.

After a trailer for the film featured in the local press and on BBC Look North, PC Sean Godfrey, a history enthusiast and chairman of the Cleveland Branch of the Western Front Association, contacted Richmond School with an offer for Myles.

Sean said: “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 One.

“Each year, I spend a week walking around the battlefields of France and Belgium and the landowners and farmers kindly allow me to gather and collect many original pieces from the conflict.

“As the old soldiers used to say, Myles is ‘doing his bit’ to help promote remembrance of those who fought in the war and he is doing it in such an original way.”

Sean presented Myles with shrapnel balls, 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 bullet case.

He 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.

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.”

Sean Godfrey regularly gives talks on the First World War.

For further information on how to book Sean for a talk, please contact

Sean is planning to do a talk on September 15, on behalf of the Richmond Branch of the Western Front Association.

This event will be is open to the public and will be hosted at Richmond Cricket Club. More details will be available soon.

For further information about the work of the Cleveland Branch of the Western Front Association visit