Intro - Course

Thomas "Tommo" Peaceful
Charlie Peaceful
Joseph "Big Joe" Peaceful
Tommo, Charlie and Big Joe's Father
(James Peaceful)
Tommo, Charlie and Big Joe's Mother
(Sarah Peaceful)
Charlie and Molly's Baby
Molly's mother
Molly's father
Sarah Peaceful's aunt (who Tommo and
Charlie call "Grandma Wolf" and later "the
The Colonel
The Colonel's wife
Mr Munnings
Miss McAllister
The doctor that deduced Big Joe would be
"no use to anyone".
Jimmy Parsons
Jimmy Parsons' parents
The vicar
The vicar's wife
Farmer Cox
Bertha the foxhound
The pilot who Tommo, Molly and Charlie
met in the field
Nipper Martin
Peter "Pete" Bovey
Robert "Bob" James
Lester "Les" James
Sergeant "Horrible" Hanley
Old Lady who calls Tommo a coward
Captain Wilkes
Anna Sasin
Mr Sasin (Anna's father and the bar
Lieutenant Buckland
Priest of Iddesleigh Church
German that the soldiers captured
The "kind and unknown Fritz" who spared
Tommo's life
Mother Peaceful: A poor but proud woman who cares immensely about her three
boys...a lady who has had many hardships but dealt with it all in her own unique way.
She is loyal and protective of the boys despite their flaws.
Tommo Peaceful: The main character, and the youngest of the three brothers. The
whole book is written from his memories and his ideas. You are looking through
Tommo’s eyes throughout the whole book, watching him grow, love and suffer. He is
slightly shy. He follows his brother, Charlie off to war.
Big Joe Peaceful: One of Tommo’s brothers, he is mentally damaged after having
caught meningitis a few days after he was born. You see him as a loveable child
even though he is the eldest; Tommo’s life revolves around him at home as what him
and Charlie thought of people depended on how they treated their brother. His habit
of singing oranges and lemons at the top of his voice would make the most stoic
reader smile. He’s big, he’s gentle, he’s kind and more than anything he’s happy…
Charlie Peaceful: The middle child, but as far as the main plot goes he is treated as
the eldest. I think Michael Morpurgo can describe him far better than I ever could so
I’ll give you a quote from the book: ‘It’s Charlie who keeps us together, breaks up our
squabbles…and jollies each of us along when we get downhearted. He’s become
like a big brother to everyone. After Sergeant Hanley and the field punishment, and
the way Charlie managed to smile through it all, there isn’t a man in the company
who doesn’t look up to him. Being his real brother I could feel that I live in his
shadow, but I never have and I do not now. I live in his glow.’ He is brave, loyal and is
Tommy's role model
• Molly: A close, childhood friend of Charlie and Tommo, Tommo loves her but
so does Charlie…she gets chucked out of her house when she gets
pregnant out of wedlock with Charlie’s child. They get married in a quick and
hurried service.
• The Colonel: A cruel, malicious man who doesn’t like the Peaceful family
particularly not Big Joe. The boys didn’t make it better for themselves when
they were caught poaching on his land, nor when Charlie nicked his old
hunting dog…He is the rich man of the village and has a lot of power.
Tommo’s father worked for him until he was killed in an accident, owner of the tied
cottage and therefore able to exert influence on the lives of the Peaceful family
• Grandma Wolf: Really the boys Great Aunt but they call her Grandma Wolf
because of her nature and her appearance. She is ashamed to be part of the
peaceful family. She is a cantankerous, vicious, sinister old woman. She does not
appear very often, yet her character makes a stark impression. She appears
important in their younger lives but they realise, as they get older, has no real
power over their family. (‘storybook’ character)
• Sergeant Hanley: A nasty, nasty, nasty piece of work. You grow to hate him,
loathe him…he becomes the poison of the book…he treats both Charlie and
Tommo in such a bad way…He is strict to the stage of harshness. Again
Charlie doesn’t make life easy for himself though…he won’t play along with
the Sergeants games…he isn’t scared of him and shows it. This is the
reason that Sergeant ‘Horrible’ Hanley takes such a dislike to the Peaceful
brothers. He is a cruel, brutal and vindictive officer. He does not treat his soldiers as
human beings. He is Charlie's adversary and his antithesis.
• Mr Munnings: School teacher and precursor of Sergeant Hanley
‘Don’t listen, Tommo. Don’t look. Don’t think. Only
remember.’ This really is the story of a lad who does a lot
of growing up in a very short amount of time….who has
to go from being a 15 year old to being an adult quicker
than most children have to…Has to go beyond childish
dreams and fall head on into a very adult nightmare. ‘If I
had a coin in my pocket, I’d turn it over and make a wish.
When I was young I really believed in all those old tales. I
wish I could still believe in them. But I mustn’t think like
that. It’s no good wishing for the impossible. Don’t wish,
Tommo. Remember. Remembrances are real.’ This really
is a story of innocence and love, courage and
cowardice…It just leaves it up to you to decide who is
courageous and who is a coward.
Tommo starts school. Tommo’s father dies.
Chapter Summary
Big Joe. Molly. Tommo’s Mother goes to work at the ‘Big House’. Grandma Wolf arrives.
Mice. Colonel’s wife dies. Mother out of work. Charlie, Tommo and Molly go poaching. Molly gets scarlet fever.
Tommo and Charlie get caught poaching. Their punishment is to clean out the Colonel’s kennels. Molly gets
well. Charlie and Molly go to work at the ‘Big House’. Charlie steals Bertha the foxhound.
Charlie loses his job, gets new one with Farmer Cox. Tommo gives Molly letters from Charlie. Tommo goes to
work for Farmer Cox. 1st mention of war. Molly’s mother forbids Charlie to see Molly. Bertha goes wandering
and the Colonel shoots her.
Bertha is buried. Big Joe goes missing and is found in the church tower.
More news of the war. Molly pregnant, comes to stay. Charlie marries her. Tommo moves into Big Joe’s
bedroom. Tommo sees marching soldiers. The Colonel decides that every able man on the estate should go off
to war. Charlie has to go to war or they lose the cottage. Tommo decides to go with him. Charlie and Tommo
join up and leave on a train.
Charlie and Tommo arrive in Etaples, after being accepted at recruitment as twins. They meet up with ‘boys’
from school. Sergeant ‘Horrible’ Hanley picks on Charlie. Charlie gets punished for defending Tommo.
Charlie and Tommo are sent to ‘the front’ with Captain ‘Wilkie’ Wilkes. They go to the ‘estaminet’ where
Tommo meets a girl. Life in the trenches is described. Little Les and die on patrol. They take a German prisoner.
Captain Wilkes wounded but rescued by Charlie. Charlie and Tommo visit him in hospital and Wilkes gives
Charlie a watch.
New Company Commander Lieutenant Buckland. Tommo and Charlie sent to Ypres. In the trenches. There is a
bombardment. Lieutenant Buckland dies. Charlie goes missing, then returns injured and is taken to hospital.
Charlie sent home. Tommo goes to the ‘estaminet’ to see Anna. Sergeant Hanley takes over the company.
New recruits join the company. There is a gas attack. Tommo’s life is spared by a German. Nipper Martin dies.
Tommo reads letters from home out to Pete. Tommo finds out that Anna is dead. Charlie rejoins the company.
Tommo gets buried alive by a shell and receives head injuries but is rescued by Charlie. They get stuck in noman’s land. Hanley orders them to continue the attack but Charlie refuses. Hanley threatens a court martial.
The others go and are killed, all except Hanley. Charlie gives Tommo the watch and makes him promise to look
after Molly. Charlie is arrested and court martialled. Tommo visits Charlie. Charlie tells Tommo about the ‘trial’
and asks him to make sure that everyone knows the truth. News that Sergeant Hanley has been killed. Tommo
goes to sit by himself in a barn.
In the barn Tommo thinks about what is happening to Charlie. Tommo goes to collect his belongings and visit
his grave. Other soldiers pay their respects. Tommo sent to the Somme.
• Action-adjective(describes noun)
• Courage is what makes someone capable of facing
extreme danger and difficulty without retreating
even though they may be frightened, pained or
grieved. ( the courage to confront the enemy headon). It implies not only bravery and a dauntless
spirit but the ability to endure in times of adversity (
a mother's courage in the face of her loss).
• Brave to face smt-noun (person, place,thing)
• Bravery is being ready to face and endure danger or
pain; showing courage : a brave soldier | he put up
a brave fight before losing.
Private Peaceful is a story set in 1914 before
and during the First World War, written by
Michael Morpurgo. The story follows the
life of two brothers who have to fight in the
war together and the problems they face
along the way. Throughout the book it
shows different, occurring themes of
bravery and cowardice.
At the beginning of Private Peaceful, the author discusses the
theme of courage when one of the brothers called Tommo,
has to start school. In the book, Tommo says "I dread what
I'm going to...'. This quote shows that Tommo is a really
nervous character at the beginning of the novel. One of
Tommo's biggest fears at his new school is one of the
teachers called Mr Munnings. Charlie - Tommo's elder
brother, helps Tommo and stands up to Mr Munnings to
protect him.
We see a brave side to Tommo when he grows up and decides
to join the army with Charlie. Tommo says, "I was going to
fight in the war with Charlie" he also says, "I have to prove
myself, I have to prove myself to myself". These quotes tells
us that he is trying to prove to himself that he can be
Throughout the novel, Charlie displays courage as he protects
his younger brother from bullies and corporal punishment.
Examples of Cowardice
Towards the end of the book, due to extenuating
circumstances, Charlie cowardly disobeys an order
from his superior. He did not want to “press home
the attack and then hold our ground” like his
sergeant said. Instead, he said “their machine
guns’ll just mow us down” and did not go but
stayed with the wounded Tommo. Charlie is then
given a trial during his court-martial hearing. As a
result of the court-martial, Charlie is found guilty of
cowardice and executed by his own countrymen.
• Charlie disobeyed a direct order from his sergeantmajor, but he did so in order to protect his comrade,
Tommy. Furthermore, Charlie was not given a chance to
present his side of the story. Ultimately, the negligence
of the chain-of-command resulted in the death of an
innocent soldier. His act of ‘cowardice’ is actually
bravery in disguise. He was the only one that stood up
to cruel, brutal and vindictive Sergeant Hanley. The
reasons were to remain with his injured brother, whom
he would not leave behind in no man’s land.
Furthermore, Charlie felt that by following his orders,
he and his company would be shot by the Germans
with their machine guns. He then suggested to wait till
it was dark to get out of the old German dugouts.
Signs of Bravery-Charlie is quite a brave and courageous
character throughout the book. Near the end, Charlie's
bravery really pays off, and saves Tommo's life. For
example, near the end of the book, Charlie stands up
to Sergeant Hanley and refuses to leave the bunker
because Tommo is badly wounded. Charlie knows that
if he leaves the bunker he will get shot by the Germans
surrounding it. Hanley even told Charlie that if he
didn't obey, he would be put before a firing squad, but
Charlie still didn't obey him and said, "I'm not leaving
him. I'll be staying with him. "This shows how brave
Charlie is and how much he cares about Tommo
because he is willing to give up his life for him.
Cowardice-Pg 139-143
• I have stood with the others. I have not run.
• “Y’ain’t a coward, are you?” No old woman, I am not, I am
1. Analysis of Charlie (character and changes) courageous and
sign of bravery. Throughout novel, even during school,
always shown bravery. Even brave.
2. Interaction between C n Sergeant
3. Contrast Bravery and Cowardice, Hanley bullies Charlie,
Charlie stands up to him
4. Counter-argument: During the time when he stood up to
Sergeant ,in the army, it was depicted as a sign of cowardice.
Charlie is actually showing bravery instead of cowardice.
However, if you dwell deeper, he is actually trying to protect
bro + save more lives.
5. Conclusion
Stoic-Somebody who is devoid of all emotion
Vindictive: having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge : the criticism was both
vindictive and personalized.
Cantankerous: bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative : a crusty, cantankerous old
•Stark: unpleasantly or sharply clear; impossible to avoid : his position on civil rights is in stark
contrast to that of his liberal opponent | the stark reality of life for deprived minorities.
Adversary: one's opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute : Davis beat his old adversary in the
Antithesis: a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else : love is
the antithesis of selfishness.
Precursor: a person or thing that comes before another of the same kind; a forerunner : a threestringed precursor of the violin | [as adj. ] precursor cells.
Extenuating: To make a mistake or wrongdoing seem less serious than it first appeared, e.g. by
providing a mitigating excuse for it (partly excusing crime)

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