Poignant remembrance poem by Outwell pupil wins competition as it highlights the fragility of war
"The perfect, peaceful poppy dances nearby…a few frozen moments to say goodbye".
Those are the words from a poem written by Outwell pupil Preston Harrison to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice at the end of the First World War.
The Year 6 student from Beaupre Community Primary School entered the poetry writing competition organised by the village’s parish council.
More than 30 entries were received from talented children at the Church Drove school to be in with a chance of winning £50.
The poem continues: “Death, death, death the pointless Great War…What is it for?
“I see strangers gone from hero to zero paralysed in the dirty, damp sludge.”
Preston was also invited to attend the remembrance service on November 11 at the village War Memorial to read the composition.
The £50 prize money, sponsored by local company Bloom and Wake, was split down the middle with a charity of the child’s choice.
“As this is a special year, the parish council thought it would be a nice way to mark the anniversary and involving the younger generation,” said parish council chairman Fred Keer.
“We were delighted with the response and judging the entries was a tough job and we would like to congratulate our winner Preston Harrison.”
Preston was presented with his prize of £25 and decided that the other half would be sent to Cancer Research on his behalf.
A service of remembrance was held at the village’s War Memorial, in the grounds of St Clement’s Church, on the afternoon of Sunday, November 11 when a procession of the Royal British Legion colours was led to the village memorial.
A short service was held, poppy wreaths laid and Preston read his poem.
There are 36 names of men from the village who died as a result of the Great War, including five pairs of brothers who never returned.
Charles and William Daniels, both aged 27, Alfred and Percy Doubleday 23 and 19, George (Harry) and Herbert Feetham (ages not recorded), Harry and Walter Venni, aged 22 and 20 and Herbert and Archibald Wright aged 24 and unknown.
All the poems have been put on display in the parish church of St Clement’s where they can be seen along with a cascade of poppies also created to mark the anniversary.