Michael named Freeman of the Borough of West Devon

Michael Morpurgo, co-founder of the first Farms for City Children and Children’s Laureate, has been awarded the historic title of Freeman of the Borough of West Devon for bringing honour and distinction to the value of rural life.

Mr Morpurgo and his wife, Clare, set up the charity for City Children in Iddesleigh in 1976, and, supported by the community, many thousands of children have enjoyed a ‘week of muck and magic’ – a taste of rural farm life they would never experience in their city lives.

Last year the West Devon village of Sheepstor was also chosen to film scenes for the big screen adaptation of Mr Morpurgo’s novel War Horse, a book set in the Westcountry during the First World War, which is currently receiving much acclaim as a play in London’s West End.

Mayor of West Devon, Cllr John Hockridge, said: “Michael and Clare Morpurgo and their team have achieved a remarkable experience for inner city children, introducing them to our rural way of life. I am full of admiration for them and the work they are doing.”

Mr Morpurgo said: “There is no greater honour and privilege than to be a Freeman. It is an honour bestowed by local people, people and friends who have helped me on my way. That makes it so special.”

Mr Morpurgo is only the third person to have been awarded the Honorary Freemanship since the Borough Council received its Royal Charter in 1982. He joins explorer Pen Hadow, who received the award in 2003, and former long-serving West Devon councillor, John Darch, in 2007.

The title recognises the high esteem in which an individual is held by the Council and the people of the Borough.

Other Articles


I Believe in Unicorns 2105 at Vaudeville Theatre Photo Credit: Richard Davenport. Award-winning storyteller Danyah Miller brings best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo’s treasured story to life. This intimate show is set in a library full of books that hold more than stories within their pages. It is a tale of… Read More

Morpurgo’s 80th sees celebratory year of publishing

HarperCollins Children’s Books (HCCB) and Farshore have unveiled a year-long celebratory publishing plan marking the 80th birthday of author Michael Morpurgo with almost 50 titles scheduled and new author branding designed by his granddaughter Alice, illustrations by Dapo Adeola and an introduction from Benedict Cumberbatch. To celebrate the landmark… Read More

Announcing Tales from Shakespeare by Michael Morpurgo

We are delighted to announce Tales from Shakespeare by Sir Michael Morpurgo.This collection features retellings of ten Shakespeare plays, each illustrated by a different artist. It publishes on the 28th September and you can preorder it now from Waterstones. Featuring:Macbeth, illustrated by Dapo AdeolaThe… Read More