The Private Peaceful Page

This is the place to post your comments on the novel and your personal experiences.

1)  ‘Private Peaceful’ is a novel by my favourite author, Michael Morpurgo. He writes about a boy called Tommo, who lives with his Mum and two brothers. One of his brothers, Charlie, is like his best friend and always looks after him. His other brother, Big Joe is loveable and the things he did were funny. His Mum always looked after Big Joe and would always stand up for her sons.Tommo is telling the story of his childhood.Here is a quote from his first day at school, “Charlie is taking me by the hand, leading me because he knows I don’t want to go.” Tommo was scared to go to school and Charlie helped him.Charlie also helped him do a lot of things, like poaching, swimming and he helped his brother when they went to war too.It was just when the war started when they joined up. By that time Charlie and his girlfriend, Molly were married and expecting a baby. He and Molly quickly got married when they heard about the baby. They had a shotgun wedding.When they are at war in France, Tommo meets a girl called Anna, but later on in the story, Anna dies. She was hit by a bomb. Although Tommo hadn’t known Anna for long, he was falling in love with her.Lots of things happen when they were at war, like when they meet their new Sergeant, ‘Horrible Hanley’. One day when they think they’ve finally got rid of him, he unfortunately comes back. He was always punishing the soldiers for little things that didn’t need punished.It was his fault that Charlie died. He was shot by the firing squad for cowardice. He was not a coward though and was probably the bravest character in the whole story.There are lots of good techniques in this book like alliteration, similes and the main character telling the story, which sounded really good. Private Peaceful’s ending was my favourite part even though I liked Charlie. ‘Private Peaceful’ was a really good book.

   by Claire Bell   

2.The book I read in English, “Private Peaceful” was a novel by Michael Morpurgo. The Children’s Laureate picked a good setting with a lot of potential, the trenches of World War 1.

The basic outline of the story is that the main character, Private Tommo Peaceful, reviewing his life. The chapters are in the time it is when he starts to review certain memories. He remembers back to his childhood when his older brother Charlie stuck up for him at school against bullies and the evil teacher. He remembers how his father was killed by a falling tree. How the Colonel tried to kick them out of their house but their mother managed to work for him so he couldn’t. Tommo also remembers how his evil great aunt Grandma Wolf came to care for them and how she hit his older brother, the lovable Big Joe.

 Once the Colonel’s wife dies, Grandma Wolf, who the Colonel has had something going on with for years, goes to live with the Colonel. Tommo’s mother comes home and everything is ok. Until the family start to run low on money and Charlie, Molly and Tommo have to go poaching on the Colonel’s land. All goes well until they are caught and Colonel wants to give them a hiding. However Mother sticks up for them and instead of being punished by a hiding they are instead made to work in the Colonel’s kennels. There they really enjoy themselves and they especially grow fond of a dog called Bertha.

As they grow up Tommo remembers how Charlie and Molly start to leave him out and become more of a couple. They both get jobs at the Big House where the Colonel lives and Charlie particularly likes his because he gets to work in the kennels. When the Colonel wants to shoot Bertha because she’s getting old, Charlie steals her and hides her in a shack. The next morning Colonel comes around and demands Bertha back. Mother gives him money for Bertha and he leaves after sacking Charlie.

Big Joe becomes attached to Bertha and is distraught when the Colonel shoots her when she is in his woods. He runs away for nearly two days but they find him in the church tower. Colonel spreads word that Charlie is a thief and Molly’s parents forbid Molly to see Charlie again.

However Tommo becomes their go between postman and they write letters to each other in secret. When Molly’s parents find out they are furious. However they still keep meeting and in the end Molly gets pregnant with Charlie’s baby. Molly is kicked out by her parents and goes to live with Charlie.

Then out of the blue Charlie is sent to war along with Tommo by the Colonel. When they arrive in France they immediately make a dangerous enemy of Sergeant Horrible Hanley. They arrive in the trenches and over time Tommo sees his friends die around him. One day they make a charge; Tommo is hit and wakes up in a dugout in the middle of no-man’s-land with Charlie and “Horrible” Hanley. Hanley is ordered to charge and refuses Hanley’s orders. Hanley has him court martial and Charlie is executed. The last meeting between Charlie and Tommo is very emotional and moving.

When the book ends in a way it makes you wish you had not read it but at the same time it is very well written and extremely interesting.

One of the many writing techniques that Morpurgo uses to enrich the novel is alliteration. He uses it on nearly every page.

My personal response to the book is that it’s allowed me to realise just how cruel and uncivilised war is. Also it has taught me that it is not a good idea to join the army.

My conclusion is that Michael Morpurgo is a great author and I believe that his book should be read by anyone who wants war.

If I had to sum this book up in one sentence it would be this, “This is a book that stays one step ahead of the reader until delivering the final blow in the last pages.”

Read this book only if you are intelligent and open minded.

 By William Glasby

3.  This book review is about a book called private peaceful a book by Michael Mourpurgo that is a novel.

This book is about Charly and Tommo two brother and best friends that grew up as friends. Their Dad died by saving Tommo from a falling tree. The two brothers make a new friend called Molly who Charly then marries and they have a baby. Charly and Tommo Join the army and start training then get shipped to northern France to fight in World War 1. But in the trenches Charly stays behind when the rest of his regiment go over to fight the Germans Charly then gets killed by the firing squad for desertion.

The characters are very well chosen. Charly is the oldest brother but doesn’t like being told what to do I really like Charly because he really sticks it to the man.
Tommo is a quite a shy and quiet I don’t like Tommo because he is a woos
Molly sounds like a very attractive woman. I think she is mentally strong. I like molly she sounds kind and a good laugh.
Big Joe is mentally retarded but very caring.

The nanative is told in the first person. There is a narrator taking you back to the 1 world war when Tommo thinks back of all his life.

My personal response to the novel. I really liked the bit with the gas attack I think it was really well written. I didn’t like the ending I think it was rushed at the end.

This novel by Michel Mourpurgo is a very good book it taught me allot about the 1st world war. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes war stories

By Josh Trueman


The author is called Michael Morpurgo, the text that we read as a class is called ‘Private Peaceful’ this book is about Charlie and Tommo! I am going to write many parts of this miraculous story. This is a story of two brothers’ who go into war and one of the boys meets his death.

The story is set in the First World War, an outline of the story is about two brothers who go to war and one of them meet a tragic death and the other has promises to keep.

The first character is Big Joe he is mentally RETARDED!! But he is a very nice person and he always sings “Oranges and Lemons”. I really like this character he is very cool.
The next character is called Molly she is very nice and she get’s very close friends with Charlie and Tommo eventually Molly and Charlie get married and soon after they are expecting a baby. I really like this character because she is very nice and very helpful.
The next character is Charlie he is one of the two brothers and he is expecting a baby has been born; I really like this character because he is a troublemaker like me.
The last character is called Tommo he is the other brother, he gets tempted to join the army by an old lady and he goes to war with his brother and secretly he fancies Molly. This character is very cool and he gets tougher and tougher throughout the war.

The Techniques used are that Tommo is waiting for 6am to wait for the firing squad to shoot Charlie because he disobeyed the Sergeant; he was called ‘Sergeant Hanley but the boys called him ‘Horrible Hanley’ another one is a girl that works in Pop called Anna who Tommo fancies.

I liked when Big Joe went missing and everyone went frantic and the whole village came to look for him and Molly said that he might be at the church because he always points there, so Tommo climbed the stairs and found Joe lying there and they thought he might be dead but he woke up.

This novel from Michael Morpurgo is a very good story, it has showed me what it can be like when you are not comfortable with war and you can get over it and get tougher but overall this book is amazing.


“Private Peaceful” is a book. It is about war. The book was written by Michael Morpurgo. It’s told by a character named Tommo Peaceful. He is staying up all night so he can remember his childhood. At the end of the night Tommo’s brother is killed.The book starts with his fathers death, he remembers the whole thing, him and his dad were in a forest, a tree started falling down it was going to land on Tommo so his father jumped in front of him to push him out the way but by doing this he was killed. Tommo didn’t tell anybody about this because he felt that it was his fault…. WHICH IT WAS! Big Joe was Tommo’s Big brother, he was a tad retarded but it wasn’t his fault…. He loved animals he had loads of pets like lizards, mice and other despicable things. He had got a field mouse for his birthday. But Grandma wolf had found it and killed it and all of Big Joes other animals(Grandma wolf had to move in after there fathers death because there family wouldn’t be making any money so there mother had to get a full time job leaving Grandma wolf in charge.) She was called Grandma Wolf or Wolf Woman because she was EXTREMLY UGLY. Charlie was Tommo’s Big brother and Joe’s little brother, Charlie always looked out for Tommo. Charlie got married to Molly, Molly was Tommo’s girl friend but then Charlie Stole her and got her pregnant (SOME BROTHER… PPPPFFFFT) Charlie, Tommo and Big Joes mother was very nice, I liked her because she always stood up for her Children when they’d been naughty. There were also other characters such as the colonel, horrible Hanley, Mr Munnings ect They were the disliked characters there was one loved character named AnnaJ It’s an unhappy bookLL By Anna Bananaax


“Private Peaceful” was written by Michael Morpurgo. He is known as the Children’s Laureate. The name of the book was inspired by a name on a gravestone in Ypres. It is a story about two brothers who go to war and the ending is very tragic.

The story is written as he remembers back to his childhood. The set of the story starts of in England, and ends in France. Actually the story is started of in France but Tommo is thinking about his childhood in England. He remembers how his father had died when a tree was falling, and his dad had pushed Tommo out of the way, his dad ended up being killed, Tommo always thought that this was his fault, and he caused his fathers death. He remembers having to be a postman, for Charlie and Molly, when Molly’s parents banned her from seeing him. He reminds himself about the time when Molly’s parents chucked her out when they found out that Molly was pregnant with Charlie’s baby. He also thinks about when Grandma Wolf moved in and decided that she was going to get rid of all of Charlie’s precious little animals. The other characters in the story are Charlie, Tommo’s big brother; he always sticks up for his younger brother. Molly, Charlie’s girlfriend and Tommo’s first love. I like Molly because she is friendly towards Tommo. Big Joe who is the oldest out of the peaceful boys, he always sings ‘Oranges and Lemons’ .They are the main characters. There are also some other characters named: Mother, the Colonel, horrible Hanley and Mr Munnings.      Micheal Morpurgo uses techniques which are onomatopoeia, alliteration and simile.   I thought that this story was very sad and because of the fact that Charlie died and left Tommo all alone at war. Private Peaceful is a very moving novel and I enjoyed it very much.         By Lauren Macdonald ♥ 

16. Private Peaceful              Over the past 3weeks our English class has been reading a superb novel by Michael Murpurgo the book is a brill example of World War 1 the book is named “Private Peaceful” the book is about a boy called Tommo who has an older brother Charlie who has something done to him. Michael Morpurgo who is recognized as the children’s writer.           The story is about a boy Thomas Peaceful who looks back on his life the good and the bad. He remembers going to school for the first time and his best friend and brother Charlie sticks up for him even at the cost of getting whipped. He also remembers his dads death that tommo caused while his dad was cutting down a tree in the forest. While at school Tommo falls in love with a girl just older than tommo called Molly. She goes to tommo’s after she loves Charlie and tommo’s older brother big Joe. Big Joe has problems and when he is scared he sings’s “Oranges and lemons”. Charlie and molly leaves school and molly becomes pregnant with charlies baby. Charlie works at the colonels land he leave the colonels land and go’s to work at trhe local farm.Tommo leaves school and go’s to work with Charlie the colonels threatens the family if Charlie doesn’t go to war the poor family would have to move out so Charlie and tommo both go to war even with tommo being too young. They are put though their paces as they meet horrible Hanley who is their sergeant later in the story they sent letters home and receive letters back Charlie disobeys the sergeants’ orders in the trenches at war he is sent to the court martial he is sentenced to death.            The main charters in the book are tommo who plays a narrators role in the book. Charlie is also a main charter in the story because he is a hugh part in tommo’s life. what ever Charlie does tommo is doing what he is, tommo is like Charlies shadow. the other charters in the story are Mum, Big Joe, Molly, Wolf women their anty, the colonel, Horrible Hanley, some friends in the army they all have there individual personality in the book.           The techniques in the book are how Michael Murpurgo leads you to think that tommo life is coming to an end. How he does this is by the titles of chapters and how it is getting closer to six o’clock and we are thinking he is about to die but in the end it’s Charlie who die’s and how we are looking back on tommo’s life but really it’s the end of the dueo           

My personal response to Private Peaceful is that it’s a very emotional story with highs and lows. In some parts in the book I am just about to cry my eyes out and others I feel so happy for them tommo makes me feel happy when he gets his revenge on the colonel by poaching for animals (deer, fish ect) on his land.          

My conclusion, this story has made me want to read more war books 



Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo      

I like “Private Peaceful” because it is a good book and I like the way it is based on world war one and all the characters. It was sad when Charlie got shot by the firing squad.


The story is told by Tommo who is thinking back onto his life. At the start Tommo gets saved by his dad. A tree was falling down on him but his dad pushed him out of the way. His dad died because the tree fell on him. Tommo’s brother Big Joe goes missing. Every body is looking all over for him but his other brother Charlie, remembers that he wanted to be in heaven with bertha his dog when the colonel shot her.

So they went up there looking him and he was there all curled up and scared.

After that Charlie and Tommo joined the army and went to training camp to train for when they went to France to fight the Germans. So of they went off to France to fight. The sergeant Horrible Hanley was very tough on them but Charlie did not care he answered him back all the same.

They got a letter every day of their mum or Big Joe. When they were fighting the enemies they got chased it to an old dig-out and Horrible Handle said to them “Get to your feet.” Charlie said “No I will not leave Tommo because he is injured.” So horrible handle said “Right it will be the court marshal for anyone who stays. That night Tommo and his brother got to the dig-out.

The next day Charlie got sent to the firing squad and he got shot by them.

And that was what happened in the book.


By James O’Brien

   Book reveiw of private peaceful

 The novel ‘private peaceful’was  written by Michael Morpurgo. The title was inspired by the name on a gravestone in Ypres. The story is about a young boy ‘Tommo’ one of the main characters and his brother ‘Charlie’ and ‘Molly’ Tommo’s best friend. The two brothers go to war to fight in the trenches sadly one of the brothers die. About the characters I really liked and despised.Charlie is one of the characters I really liked, he is tommo’s big brother and his best friend he defends Tommo when he is being bullied and takes any punishment people through at him.Another character I really liked is Tommo he is the main character and he is very kind plus he doesn’t judge a book by its cover.Molly was a friend of Tommo and Charlie I liked her because she was a lovely character and she was Tommo’s secret love.Mother is a lookout for her three boys Tommo, Charlie and big Joe she cares for them and that’s why I like this character.Big Joe is a bit disabled but he is loveable to all animals and he loves to sing ‘Oranges and Lemons’ because it makes him feel safe.One of the characters I really despised was Mr Munnings he was the headmaster of the local school he always punished Charlie for sticking up for Tommo plus he is really strict.The wolfwoman is Tommo and company’s auntie who has a crush on the colonel I hated her because she treated tommo’s mother like dirt like she wasn’t perfect (to be honest she wasn’t a gem either) the ‘wolfwoman’ is what Tommo and company called her. I also hated her because she acts like lady muck. The colonel I hated for so many reasons like he always accused Charlie and Tommo for poaching or thieving  even if they did do it , it still wasn’t fair because sometimes he blamed them even when they haven’t done  anything  he shot bertha the old dog that was tommo’s Charlie’s and big Joe’s. Most of Michael Morpurgo’s techniques go through his characters, he uses onomatopoeia and alliteration plus he writes in the first person. My personal response was that I was quite sad when it ended plus when bertha was shot by the evil colonel and when big Joe runs away I felt like we weren’t going to find him. This story was set inn the 1st world war so some of the words I couldn’t understand. Apart from that I really liked this story.                  by sophie moore


Michael Morpurgo wrote Private Peaceful. It is a novel about two brothers who stay together all their life until one of them disobeys the Sergeants orders and gets killed.

            The story it is set over one day while Tommo remembers his child-hood, first love, first kiss, school and Charlie’s death. Tommo remembers his brother as a hero. Charlie asks Tommo to look after his new wife Molly and his new son Little Tommo for him when he got killed.

            Tommo and Charlie go to war after the Colonel says if Charlie didn’t he would put Charlie, Molly, Mother, Big Joe and Tommo out of the house. Charlie decides to go and Tommo goes too. At the training camp Tommo and Charlie meet some old friends and foes from home. Charlie gets field punishment one for yelling at his Sergeant. Sergeant Horrible Hanley did not like Charlie and noticed Tommo was his brother so he took every possible chance to punish him at any chance he could. Tommo and Charlie were relived when then went to France and got a new Sergeant who was very kind. The new Sergeant let the unit go to estaminet they called Pop where you could get the best Egg, Chips and Beer in France. The girl there keeps smiling at him. Charlie, Pete, Little Les and Nipper Martin keep bugging him and teasing him about how they know that she likes him. The next time Tommo goes to Pop she takes him out to the barn and tells him that her name is Anna. Anna kisses Tommo and the rest keep telling him he has to go back and see her as soon as possible. Tommo goes as soon as he could but Sergeant Horrible Hanley is there new Sergeant for Sergeant Wilkie got sent home for he lost all feeling in his legs. When Tommo got to Pop to see Anna there was a new girl serving them and he couldn’t find Anna anywhere. Tommo went to the house to ask Anna’s dad if she was in but her dad said that she had been hit by a shell and had died.         

                        Tommo is remembering his life all through the night. Charlie stays with his brother Tommo all his life until he dies. Big Joe is a mentally retarded brother of Tommo and Charlie Peaceful who has never been to school all his life. Molly is two years older than Tommo and one year younger than Charlie. Mother loves all her children and teaches Big Joe at home. Mother also rocks Big Joe to sleep at night.

                        Michal Morpurgo writes Private Peaceful in first person view through Tommo. He writes it like Tommo’s diary so we can see the time of the things that are happening. Michael Morpurgo uses onomatopoeia, similes and metaphors.

                        I like this book very much and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys war stories and is about 11 and older.


            By Deborah




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