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Prime Minister and school pupils attend First World War centenary event

Dozens of school children joined the Prime Minister and high-ranking military officials to mark the centenary of the First World War on Friday.

Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence hosted Never Such Innocence (NSI) at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, in Marlow Road, Maidenhead.

NSI aims to engage children with the First World War and is inviting nine to 16-year-olds to enter a competition by submitting poetry or art inspired by the events of the war.

The event featured performances by pupils from five schools: Cookham Dean CE Primary School; The Piggott School; St Edmund Campion Catholic Primary School; St Nicolas' Church of England Combined and Claires Court School.

Rhiannon Thomas and Bailey Hunt, both 10, from Claires Court, had both written poems about the war.

“We learned about what they would face and that they thought they would be back before Christmas,” said Rhiannon.

Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, described how important it was for younger generations to remember the sacrifice previous generations made before us.

Describing a visit to Passchendaele, in Belgium, the MP for Maidenhead added: “It showed how people gave their lives up, but also just seeing the conditions in which these men fought, and fought for our futures. We should never forget that.”

Lady Lucy French, great-granddaughter of field marshal Sir John French, a senior army officer during the war, and founder of NSI said: “We are continuing our roadshow across the British Isles in 2018 and are hugely grateful for the support we have received from our patrons, partners and most importantly the children and schools.”

Later she added: “All winning entries will be published in a special winners booklet that will then be available for future generations to enjoy.”

Email enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com to request a resource park for your school.

The deadline for entries is Friday, March 16.

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