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Students Take WWII Show To UK May, 2004 Article in The Chronicle Herald (Nova Scotia) By Brian Medel, Yarmouth Bureau Yarmouth – A group of current and former Yarmouth high school students head to England on Thursday to bring the music of the war years to veterans who trained in Yarmouth as Telegraphist air gunners more than 60 years ago. The show is part of Yarmouth Consolidate Memorial High School’s double-credit drama and English course, known as 440 Productions. The drama group gets its name from the high school course, English 440. Eighteen adults and students will make the trip and will deliver musical and dramatic vignettes in a two-hour presentation. “There’s 12 on stage,” said George Egan, who teaches the course and writes and directs the productions. In the past 11 years, 440 Productions has produced six musicals, seven choral presentations, a dramatic stage presentation and nine full-length movies. Three of the stage productions and two choral presentations have also been produced in video format. The Telegraphist Air Gunners Association in England has invited the Yarmouth high school production to perform at their annual dinner on Saturday. Telegraphist air gunners operated under the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. They served until 1950, providing communications by Morse code and manning the rear gun in typically in two-man aircraft like the Fairey Swordfish. During the Second World War, 269 of them were killed in accidents and another 186 in enemy action. This year also marks the 60th Anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. With an aging veteran population and fewer able to take in special events and memorial services, the students wanted to be able to bring their show to the veterans, many of who remember southwestern Nova Scotia. About 100 people have purchased tickets to the dinner show. Of that number, 49 are former TAGs, of whom 21 trained in Yarmouth during the Second World War. “To me the important thing is the reconnection being made between Yarmouth and England,” Mr. Egan said. “We’ve been able to re-establish contact that for some hasn’t been made in 60 years. One of the TAGs asked us if we could search out the (Yarmouth) family that had befriended him during the war.” The group has been able to do just that and will deliver a package from the Yarmouth area family to the British veteran. On Sunday, the group will also attend the annual Second World War memorial service at Lee-On-The-Solent, between Portsmouth and Southampton, England. The trip will cost $40,000, about half of which has been raised by the students, with $5,000 coming from the British High Commission [and other funding from The Province of Nova Scotia, Veterans Affairs Canada and The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce]. The group has also produced a CD of its wartime songs, and sales have been brisk at $10 each.
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Students Take WWII Show To UK May, 2004
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