We were so impressed by the standard of entries to our WW1 themed creative writing competition that we chose a winner from two age categories.
‘Love at First Shell’, written by Hope Owen Mcnair, in Year 6 at Fairhaven Primary School, wrote the winning entry for the younger age category. Her short story is very moving, and combines the original diaries of Frank Dunham, a solider, and Jessie Hayward, a nurse, to imagine what might have happened had they met each other in real life.
Here is Hope’s entry:
Alex Good, aged 13, won the older age category. Alex’s poem ‘A War of Two Sides’ reveals both the happiness and sadness in the diary of Frank Dunham. Here is Alex’s winning entry:
A War of Two Sides
See the enemy, the Germans, preparing for battle.
Hear the shots and explosions, cutting off the birds’ song.
Taste the stale rations that nobody wanted.
Feel the rain, in more ways than one.
Smell the stench of rotting corpses in No Man’s Land.
Experience the sadness of the loss of friends.
Don’t hold back from crying, it will not matter,
Yet stay intact till the Great War ends.
See your family running through the gate, smiling.
Hear their cries of sheer happiness!
Taste the victory of survival through wartime.
Feel a strong surge of peppiness.
Smell the glorious scent of country air.
Experience your shoes squelching in the loam.
Don’t forget what was happening days ago,
Yet enjoy the fact that you’re safely home.
As a prize, Hope brought along her school class to the Norfolk Record Office for an Archive Experience. They played the Indenture Game, saw the horrors that are found in records before they are brought to the Archive Centre, went on a behind-the-scenes tour, and looked at some original WW1 related documents.
For his prize, Alex brought his family and friends to a behind-the-scenes tour which included visiting the Conservation Studio. Antoinette, one of our conservators, showed the group her latest work cleaning and repairing charters and seals from King’s Lynn.
Both winners were presented with a certificate by our County Archivist, Gary Tuson.
Well done to everyone who entered!