November 11th marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that brought the First World War to an end. Signed at the eleven hour of the eleventh day, the Armistice silenced the guns that had killed so many over the four years of the War. On November 11th, 2018, Designing Worlds released a special short film to mark the occasion at 11.10am UK time.
The film was shot on Frideswide, the home in Second Life of the 1st World War Digital Poetry Archive. The special exhibition simulates aspects of life in the trenches on the Western Front during the 1914-1918 war and presents work by the “War Poets” of the period. As visitors explore the simulation, they can listen to the voices of veterans recounting their experiences of the war, view original film footage and photographs from the time, and learn about life on the Western Front, encountering some of the most powerful poetry in English literature by seeing the original manuscripts, and turning the pages of the poets’ war diaries and letters.
You can still visit the Archive in Second Life here (for the training camp) or here (for the Western Front). You can obtain a hud at the training camp to help you navigate around the region. It’s a moving and powerful recreation of the horrors of the Western Front – and we would strongly recommend people visit it.
We also showed our original film about the region in Second Life, created in 2009 for the launch of the 1st World War Digital Poetry Archive.
The song that concludes that episode, Only Remembered, together with the images, is also available as a separate short film. The song was recorded by leading British folk musicians Coope Boyes & Simpson providing the music in their unique and moving acapella style. The song – originally a Horatius Bonar / Ira Sankey hymn from the 19th century, arranged by John Tams – also appears in the play War Horse, adapted by Nick Stafford from the book by Michael Morpurgo.
Only Remembered (Bonar/Sankey/Tams Voice Publishing) is used by permission and is taken from the album “Private Peaceful – The Concert” (No Masters NMCD24, nomasters.co.uk) by Coope Boyes & Simpson (coopeboyesandsimpson.co.uk).