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Canadian stories of the First World War coming to Lancashire from across the Atlantic

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A Canadian national theatre is bringing its show based on the letters of a female army nurse across the pond to rural Chorley.

The show from Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, called Our Frances, comes to Hoghton this weekend and is based on eye-opening letters from Canadian army nurse and educator Frances Cluett, from Newfoundland, and their vivid accounts of the horrors of war.

The real Frances Cluett

The real Frances Cluett

Frances joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment and was stations in Rouen, France, where she cared for soldiers from all over the world – and both sides of the conflict.

Gaylene Buckle, general manager of the theatre company, said: “Creating plays to honour the people and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador is part of our mandate and we believe it is important not only to tell those stories in our own country, but to take them to places where there is a connection to the story.

“The people of Newfoundland & Labrador have cultural, historic and family connections with the United Kingdom, including Frances Cluett.”

Gaylene added: “Women of Newfoundland and Labrador joined women throughout the British Empire in making a significant contribution to the Great War effort both at home and overseas.

“By the summer of 1914 there were over 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain.

“Of the 74,000 VAD members in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls and most of these worked in field hospitals close to battlefields and in longer-term places of recuperation back in Britain.”

The show comes to St Joseph’s Parish Hall off Gregson Lane on Sunday. For tickets ring 07795 322761 or visit www.spotonlancashire.co.uk.