Never Such Innocence (NSI) has successfully engaged almost 7,000 children from over 350 schools in 43 countries in commemorating the First World War through poetry, art and song. Today, the commemorative charity will celebrate its fourth and final centenary competition, in which children from across the world have submitted poems, artwork or songs inspired by the events of the Great War.
NSI launched the centenary competition last autumn and the winners have now been selected from every corner of the United Kingdom, as well as Greece, Malaysia, New Zealand, France, Canada, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda and the USA, to name but a few.
The 2017/18 Competition featured two special bonus strands, Thank You and War in the Skies. In partnership with The Royal British Legion, Never Such Innocence invited young people to pay tribute and say Thank You to the First World War generation, an opportunity for a creative expression of appreciation and gratitude. And together with RAF100, the charity encouraged children to consider the war in the skies as part of their contribution to mark 100 years since the formation of the world’s first independent air force.
Never Such Innocence is holding the 2017/18 Awards Ceremony at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks today, by kind permission of Major General B J Bathurst CBE. The winning children from across the UK and around the world will be welcomed by Never Such Innocence President, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence KCVO CB ADC and awarded their prizes by
General Sir Gordon Messenger, Vice-Chief of Defence Staff.
NSI is honoured to be joined by the Band of the Scots Guards, the Royal Marines Drum Corps and the RAF Queens Colour Squadron. Senior representatives from the across the Armed Forces, High Commissions and Embassies will also be in attendance.
Lady Lucy French, Founder and CEO of Never Such Innocence, commented: “I am constantly overwhelmed and deeply moved by the extraordinary work our Never Such Innocence children produce. To have children around the globe commemorating the Centenary in this way highlights that the Great War was indeed a World War. These children are doing their forebears proud and in doing so, are creating a lasting legacy for generations to come.”
Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence KCVO CB ADC, President of Never Such Innocence, said: “Once again we have had a huge number of entries - even more this year than last - and the standard is exceptionally high. I have great admiration for all those who have entered the competition, whether prize winners or not. Many congratulations to you all.”