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The King's Orphan

    by Martin Paul Roche


Drama Play Script: 'The King'a Orphan' by Martin Paul Roche

During the Great War, 116 young men who had attended Blackburn Orphanage in Lancashire, went to war to fight for their King and their Country. 10 of them never returned. One of them was only recorded by his name, William North... the forgotten orphan.

‘The King’s Orphan’ tells the story of the life of an unknown - or rather, creates for him a life, an opportunity to be remembered. 

It is not a factual account but gives a glimpse of lives through the cracks in history; an orphan who died for King and Country and through theatre, is given a chance to take his place in history.

This is one of many stories of how a generation of ordinary men did an extraordinary thing. But this story illustrates how some men went to war to fight for something bigger – to fight for a family they did not know and for the families of men they could never know.

And in this case, with a set of values, self-respect, dignity and desire for a better life and a better world which all came from one couple; a man and wife that popular history fights to forget: the orphanage founder James Dixon and his wife, Jane.

Their Boys may have been orphans. Their Boys may have given their lives for their King. But they did so having been given a special gift from special people. Hope.

This play is also available in a collection of four of Martin's plays: 'Life, Love, Loss & Laughter, Volume 1'. 


(3m, 2f)

  • William North - 18-30, an orphan and later, a soldier, Lancashire accent
  • James Dixon - 40-50, founder and first Superintendent of Blackburn Orphanage, Scottish accent
  • Jane Dixon - 40-50, James Dixon’s wife, Lancashire accent
  • Maude Thomas - 18-30, orphan and later, William North’s fiancé, Lancashire accent
  • Parsons - 50, can double with James Dixon, Lancashire accent

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