28th February 2017
The two winners and six runners up of our ‘Letters Home’ Competition will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday 1st March on our Poppyscotland Learning website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Make sure to check out our news page tomorrow to see the results!
Every year Poppyscotland provides schools throughout Scotland with a wealth of resources to support learning around Remembrance and the vital work of the charity today. As part of that, Poppyscotland runs a competition focusing on one of the Learning programme’s key themes.
“Letters Home” was an opportunity for school-age children to reflect on what life was like at the Somme 100 years ago. They were invited to write their own letter home, describing life in a trench and their thoughts on war, while considering the effect these words would have on their families. There were two categories – primary and secondary – with Poppyscotland receiving 1,048 entries from 46 schools across the country.
Last month, the competition judging panel, led by television presenter Kirsty Wark, met to decide on the two winners and six runners-up from the shortlist of 26 entries. The panel also included Mark Bibbey, CEO Poppyscotland, Ruby McCann, Chair of Scottish Writers Centre, and Yvonne Caddell, the Learning & Volunteer Co-ordinator at Poppyscotland.
Ms Wark has a special connection with the competition. Her great uncle, Sergeant James Wark, served with the 47th Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery. He survived the First World War, only to die in France of Spanish flu on November 29, 1918 – 18 days after the Armistice. Before his untimely death, Sgt Wark had been a prolific letter writer from the front line.
Ms Wark commented: “Learning all about this period in my family’s history really has connected me to it. It is now part of the tapestry of my life, so it was very special for me to have been a part of the Letters Home competition. We had so many wonderful entries. It was hard to choose, but, in the end, the decision was unanimous. We congratulate not only our winners, but all of those who took part.”
Mr Bibbey added: “The Letters Home competition provided a great opportunity for children to show what they’ve learned about life at the front. The standard of entries across the board was exceptionally high and we were able to choose some very impressive young writers to award for their stand-out efforts.”