Writing success for talented teenagers

Three talented Forest Town teenagers are celebrating their literary success after receiving prizes in a county-wide writing competition to commemorate the Great War.

Garibaldi College students Hannah Mitchell, Rachel Dixon and Rose-Marie Swinfield were among around 500 Nottinghamshire youngsters to enter the county council-run competition.

The youngsters were asked to imagine they were a soldier on the front line and write a poem, diary entry or letter home to loved ones about life in the trenches of France and Belgium between 1914-18.

The initiative is part of the Trent to Trenches campaign, which commemorates local participants in the First World War in the run-up to next year’s 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict.

Hannah, 13, who won the secondary school diary category, said: “It was really shocking to learn about the Great War and what the soldiers had to live through. Some of the soldiers were so young when they went off to war so I have a lot of respect for them.”

Meanwhile Rachel, 14, won the secondary schools letter category and Rose-Marie Swinfield, 14, was runner-up in the letter category.

Rachel added: “It must have been awful for the soldiers on the front line, everyday they would have seen their friends being killed or injured but they still had to keep on fighting.”

The six winners and 12 runners-up were presented with Amazon vouchers at the Nottingham Castle reception last week and praised by the judges for their standard of writing.

County council leader Alan Rhodes said: “Encouraging young people to learn about the First World War is so important.

“It is such a significant part of our history.

“The Great War not only shaped the country but also the county of Nottinghamshire, and I am delighted the council is involved with the Trent to Trenches project.”