Private Peaceful


Michael Morpurgo

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Thomas “Tommo” Peaceful

Tommo Peaceful is the narrator and protagonist of the novel. Tommo is a kind boy who is fiercely loyal to his brothers Charlie and Big Joe, as well as his mother, Mrs. Peacefulread analysis of Thomas “Tommo” Peaceful

Charlie Peaceful

Charlie is Tommo and Big Joe’s brother, Mrs. Peaceful’s son, and Molly’s eventual husband. He is presented as a fiercely loyal and brave figure throughout the novel. He consistently sticks up for… read analysis of Charlie Peaceful

Tommo’s Mother / Mrs. Peaceful

Mrs. Peaceful is Tommo, Charlie, and Big Joe’s mother and Mr. Peaceful’s widow. She is a kind, loyal, and courageous woman who sets an excellent example to her family, and all… read analysis of Tommo’s Mother / Mrs. Peaceful

Big Joe Peaceful

Big Joe is Tommo and Charlie’s brother and Mrs. Peaceful’s son. He had meningitis as a baby, which left him with brain damage. This makes him a little “different” to Tommo, Charlie, and… read analysis of Big Joe Peaceful


Molly is a childhood friend to Charlie, Tommo and Big Joe, and later marries Charlie and has his baby, whom they name Little Tommo. Both Charlie and Tommo are very fond of… read analysis of Molly
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The Colonel

One of the novel’s antagonists, the Colonel is a mean-spirited man who owns the grand estate in the village. The Peaceful family live in a cottage he owns (prior to his death, Mr. Peaceful worked… read analysis of The Colonel

Grandma Wolf

Grandma Wolf, one of the novel’s antagonists, is technically Tommo’s great aunt, but she likes to be called “Grandma” instead. Tommo, Charlie, and Big Joe, however, prefer to call her “Grandma Wolf,”… read analysis of Grandma Wolf

Sergeant “Horrible” Hanley

One of the antagonists in the novel, Sergeant Hanley is a vicious and cruel man, who is in charge of Tommo and Charlie’s company at their training camp, and then later again in the… read analysis of Sergeant “Horrible” Hanley

Tommo’s Father / Mr. Peaceful

Mr. Peaceful is Tommo, Charlie, and Big Joe’s father, who is tragically killed in an accident when Tommo is a young boy. Not much is revealed about Mr. Peaceful, but he was… read analysis of Tommo’s Father / Mr. Peaceful

Captain Wilkes / “Wilkie”

Wilkes takes over as captain of Tommo’s company for a while, and treats the men very well, earning their respect. He was a choirmaster in England, and thus encourages the men to sing in… read analysis of Captain Wilkes / “Wilkie”


Anna is a teenage girl whom Tommo meets in France. Anna’s father owns the estaminet (a small pub) near the soldiers’ camp, and Anna and Tommo take an instant liking to each other when he… read analysis of Anna

Little Tommo

Molly and Charlie’s child, who is born towards the end of the novel. Charlie briefly gets to meet his son when he returns to England briefly due to injury, but tragically dies before he… read analysis of Little Tommo

Nipper Martin

Tommo and Charlie know “Nipper” from home, and he ends up in the same company as them in the war. He has a slightly cruel yet jovial streak, but he is a comforting presence nonetheless… read analysis of Nipper Martin

Jimmy Parsons

Tommo and Charlie know Jimmy Parsons from school, where Jimmy was always a bully. As a child, he once taunted Big Joe, and both Charlie and Tommo attempted to fight him for it. analysis of Jimmy Parsons

Pete Bovey

A boy from the village who ends up in Tommo and Charlie’s company in the war. He was a thatcher at home, and a great fan of drinking cider. He is a loyal friend… read analysis of Pete Bovey

Little Les James

A friend of Tommo’s from his village, who ends up in the same company as him in the war. At home he is a rat-catcher, a skill that comes in handy in the war… read analysis of Little Les James

Lieutenant Buckland

The second commander of Tommo’s company during the war. Buckland provides another stark contrast to Sergeant Hanley. He is mild-mannered, but respectful of his soldiers.At first, the soldiers think he seems young and… read analysis of Lieutenant Buckland

Anna’s Father

Anna’s father is the owner of the estaminet (pub) near the soldiers’ camp. When Tommo can’t find Anna, he goes to her house, where her father somberly explains that she has been killed while… read analysis of Anna’s Father

Mr. Munnings

Mr. Munnings is Tommo and Charlie’s school teacher, who is very strict and has “raging tempers.” On Tommo’s first day of school, Mr. Munnings tells Tommo that he is now his “lord and master.”… read analysis of Mr. Munnings

Miss McAllister

Miss McAllister is briefly mentioned as Tommo’s infant school teacher. She is relatively kind, but embarrasses Tommo by telling him to tie his shoelaces when he doesn’t know how to. However, her telling Tommo… read analysis of Miss McAllister

Molly’s Father

Much like Molly’s mother, Molly’s father only appears in the story when he is trying to prevent Molly and Charlie from continuing their romance. Molly’s parents despise Charlie because of the spiteful things… read analysis of Molly’s Father

Farmer Cox

The owner of the farm where Charlie and Tommo briefly work, which is just outside of the boys’ village. Working at the farm brings Tommo and Charlie closer together, and it is when they are… read analysis of Farmer Cox
Minor Characters
Molly’s Mother
Molly’s mother is strict and domineering, just like Molly’s father. She tries to ban Charlie from seeing her daughter, believing him to be a bad influence on her. Molly’s mother eventually kicks Molly out when she falls pregnant, but Molly takes refuge in the Peaceful family.
The Colonel’s gruff old bailiff. He captures Charlie and Tommo when they poach on the Colonel’s land.