Cadet gains national recognition for her poem, The Poppy

Posted on July 30, 2018

Poem 1

The creativity of an Armagh schoolgirl has been rewarded with third place in a global competition attracting more than seven thousand entries from as far afield as India, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Rwanda and Greece.

Rebecca Pinkerton, a 15-year-old Cadet with The Royal School Armagh Combined Cadet Force, entered her poem ‘The Poppy’ in 'Never Such Innocence', a creative competition which commemorated the Centenary of World War 1.

Established by Lady Lucy French, whose Grandfather, General John French, led the British Expeditionary Force in WW1, the competition encouraged children and young people to research The Great War and express their feelings about the conflict through poetry, art and song.

More than forty countries and territories participated in the creative challenge, with judges facing their own challenge as they assessed 7,136 entries.

Rebecca, an enthusiastic and capable Cadet Lance Corporal with her school’s Combined Cadet Force, was as surprised as she was delighted to come third overall in the age 14 -16 Poetry Category.

Contingent Commander and Royal School Armagh teacher Major Ruth McDowell said, “This really is an outstanding achievement, but well deserved for Rebecca’s poem is a particularly moving piece, both thoughtful and thought provoking.  We are delighted at her success and also pleased that her brother, another one of our students and a Cadet Corporal with the school CCF, also earned a certificate for his competition entry; a memorable piece of artwork based on the Battle of the Somme and inspired by the Royal British Legion’s “Greatest Thank-You” campaign.”

The pair were presented with their prizes at a formal ceremony on board the historic HMS Caroline at Titanic Quarter in Belfast.  It was a fitting location for the presentation as this celebrated and historic ship, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, has recently been sensitively and fully restored and is now enjoying a new lease of life as a fascinating tourism and educational resource for the city.