We’d unexpectedly discovered a soldier’s grave in a forgotten theatre of war: The Monesse Mystery

May 08, 2014 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
We’d unexpectedly discovered a soldier’s grave in a forgotten theatre of war that from the outside seemed insignificant. We’d become fired by gaining knowledge into a subject few knew about. We’d dug, burrowed and discovered, had two amazing evenings when more questions were raised than we’d imagined. We’d entered a different, older, more sophisticated world leaving behind veneered illusions. We were going deeper, making conscious decisions as young adults, not as kids. This wasn’t school based knowledge, books, slide shows, interactive learning, whatever, borrowed from teachers who might have had a life outside the classroom before teaching. This was knowledge being shaped through our efforts. Events from another country, another time, a set of circumstances fusing facts, episodes and people. Things far bigger than Kevin and I, involving developing relationships. Not as in school, the teacher at the front and the willing, or unwilling, as the case may be, following. This isn’t a criticism of my teachers, but we’d embarked on something very different. Relationships with experts, collaborating with adults as equals, presenting what we knew to them and having our thoughts, our every word, scrutinised. People in France who’d ignited curiosity in Kevin and I. Both aware of the […]

Afterword: The facts behind The Monesse Mystery

May 02, 2014 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
History, the story of others, surrounds us daily. With imagination, past events, personal joys and tragedies, toooften hidden by dry facts, can be brought to life. Human emotions laid bare to reveal never forgotten struggles between those who care for their mates, friends, family, community, country, and those who refuse to rise above their own selfish interests. The Monesse Mystery is backboned by real events, and although Billy and Kevin are fictional creations, they aren’t too far removed from young people I’ve known and worked with over many years. For sure they aren’t by-standers to life: quite the opposite. Starting with the Billy Can Bomb and ending with When the String Breaks, they consciously make decisions — as individuals, and aslife-long friends — to make a positive difference to the circumstances in which they find themselves. This is never clearer than in the Monesse Mystery where they come of age to understand the world as it is. The hamlet of Onesse et Laharie in southwest France, has a well-tended cemetery with a simple plaque on a stark white wall — blinding in summer’s light — marking this place where souls restin solitude. The plaque reads: “Commonwealth War Graves Commission.” Here, […]