Video; Edwinstowe teenager made a moving speech on WW1 at the house of Commons
Eddie, 17 made his memorable address during a commemoration of World War One, ahead of the Youth Parliament’s annual debate at the House of Commons on November 14.
The budding politician was named as the regional winner of a competition organised by the UK Youth Parliament.
He produced a powerful video about his great-grandfather, Walter Hopcroft who went to war at the age of 16 with the Sherwood Foresters and survived being gassed.
Eddie of Sherwood Avenue, said: “I was nervous but very excited to have been selected to share my speech in the House of Commons.
“I wanted to get across the huge sacrifice that people made during the War, as well as talk about the experiences of my great-grandfather and the fact that he was only a teenager himself when he fought.
“I am so proud that my entry won and I could talk on behalf of the East Midlands and to represent Nottinghamshire County Council and the Youth Parliament in Nottinghamshire.”
The event was chaired by the Commons Speaker John Bercow MP with key politicians such as William Hague in the audience.
During his speech Eddie said: “Without doubt, World War One was one of the most: terrible, abhorrent, and dreadful events to have affected Europe’s history. It was so significant.
“Firstly, I would like to pay a special tribute to my great grandfather - Walter Hopcroft - who fought for our country in the First World War. He was in Yves (France) when he was gassed, but luckily, he survived!
“He later became a clerk of the peace for my village. It is unbelievable to think at - aged just 16 - he was faced with a war. Could you imagine - as a young person just like you and I - being faced with a world war?
“There can hardly be a city street or village in my area that did not provide men to serve for the Sherwood Foresters regiment. The inevitable consequences of World War One can clearly be shown by all of the war memorials in the East Midlands. Altogether, some 140,000 men joined the Sherwood Foresters regiment. My great grand dad was a proud member of this regiment. Unfortunately, 11,409 men of whom did not return...
“We must remember that these brave men sacrificed their own lives, so that we could live ours freely today. For this reason; we will always remember them. Thank you.”
Eddie worked with Nottinghamshire County Council youth worker Aimee Sharp at Bilsthorpe Young People’s Centre to produce his video entry which also included visits to Sherwood Forest, the Robin Hood statue in Edwinstowe and other locations in the county.