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WATCH: Award-winning film of life in the trenches using Twitter and Instagram

Chester family commemorates relative's sacrifice with innovative film using social media

Imagine if soldiers in the First World War had access to social media to tell the world the true horrors of the conflict.

This is what the Chester family of a soldier killed in action have realised in a specially made video to commemorate their relative’s ultimate sacrifice.

Peter Coates, deputy headteacher of the Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School in Boughton, is the great nephew of David Tindal, who was killed in action 99 years ago during the Great War.

Her served in France in the Highland Light Infantry in 1915 and 1916.

Mr Tindal is the subject of an innovative short film by TV and film producer Mark Gorton, of the Wirral, who wondered how the war would have been remembered if the men and women who fought and endured it had possessed 21st century technology.

The film presents material from Private Tindal’s diary and letters using modern applications like Twitter and Instagram in a project entitled TWWIter.

Gorton set up an imaginary Twitter account for Private Tindal @davidtindal who tweets and shares video from the front line.

Mr Gorton’s aim was to appeal to a younger audience by using contemporary social media communications and it won two of the Imperial War Museum’s Short Film Festival awards in December last year: Best Creative Response and the First World War Commendation.

Mr Coates’ wife Jo, also a teacher at The Firs School in Chester, shared the video with children at her school, which inspired them to produce their own letters and diary entries expressing their interpretation of life in the trenches.

Mr Coates’ mother Jean, who visited the Firs School to view the children’s display of work, said, “I am so thrilled that the short life of an uncle whom I never knew should be remembered in such a poignant way. That his death 98 years ago should have an impact now is extraordinary and a great honour.”

Deputy headteacher of the Bishops' Blue Coat CE High School Peter Coates shows his mother Jean the display at The Firs School in memory of her uncle David Tindal who was killed in action in the First World War in 1916

Private Tindal was killed by shell fire on June 30, 1916, aged 26.


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