Fifteen-year-old Sam Kaplin, a Year 10 student at University College London, has won first place in a national poetry competition, run by education charity, Never Such Innocence.

His poem, Frontline, Touchline, commemorated the early death of Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Vaughan Marriott, contrasting his experiences in the war with that of a schoolboy rugby player.

The competition, which was open to children from primary to secondary schools, had around 400 entries, and the judging panel were said to be incredibly impressed with their effort.

Judge Anna Trethewey says the poetry shows “real engagement with the experiences of all those involved in the First World War“ and the poems were “thoughtful and poignant“.

Never Such Innocence is dedicated to encouraging young people to remember and celebrate the centenary of the Great War and to take part in related educational activities.

The charity was co-founded by Lady Lucy French, the great-granddaughter of Field Marshal Sir John French, who commanded the British Expeditionary Forces in 1914.

The pilot competition, which launched in September last year, proved so successful the military charity will be having an annual competition in commemoration of the centenary.

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