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Cheshire children mark the First World War with poems, artwork and music

Centenary project event held at the Duke of Westminster's Eaton Estate

Lily Pilling and Lili Homer from University Church Free School

A special project took place at the Duke of Westminster’s Eaton Estate aimed at engaging young people in commemorating the First World War.

The Eaton Park Roadshow was part of charity Never Such Innocence’s centenary project which saw The Wolf Room on the estate filled with children reading poetry.

NSI was established by Lady Lucy French, great-granddaughter of Field Marshal Sir John French, to engage children with the centenary commemorations of the war.

The charity invites young people aged nine-to-16 from across the British Isles to submit poems, artwork or music inspired by the events of the First World War into a national competition which is free to enter.

The charity is being supported by royal warrant holder Mappin and Webb, who showcased their newly re-issued Campaign Watch Collection, of which 7% of net sales profit are donated to Never Such Innocence, as well as the original Great War Campaign Watches from which the collection takes its inspiration.

The event featured speeches from Lady Lucy, a representative from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Major John Skillen from the Dale Barracks, and children from Eccleston CE Primary School, Saighton Primary School and University Church Free School read poetry inspired by the events of the First World War.

Chair and founder of NSI Lady Lucy French said: “I am very excited that NSI is reaching communities all over the British Isles, and very much look forward to receiving entries from children across Cheshire and the surrounding areas. Getting today’s young people to play their part is very special - they are creating a centenary legacy for generations to come.”

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is responsible for the graves and memorials of the 1.7 million British and Commonwealth soldiers, sailors and airmen who were killed in the two World Wars.

These graves are often overlooked and forgotten and CWGC is keen to support NSI’s initiative by encouraging schools to go and find out the war graves near them and to research their histories.

Details about the competition can be found at www.neversuchinnocence.com.

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