St Patrick’s pupil wins poetry award

St Patrick's College student Maeve Loney who has won a poetry competition organised by the charity "Never Such Innocence" to commemorate Word War 1. Maeve's poem entitled 'No Poppies in the Sand' has won a trip to London for  her and her English teacher Mrs Dempsey. INBT 20-100JC
St Patrick's College student Maeve Loney who has won a poetry competition organised by the charity "Never Such Innocence" to commemorate Word War 1. Maeve's poem entitled 'No Poppies in the Sand' has won a trip to London for her and her English teacher Mrs Dempsey. INBT 20-100JC

A moving poem about the Great War written by a Ballymena student has secured top prize in a nationwide literary competition.

Maeve Loney of St Patrick’s College, has won first prize in the ‘Never Such Innocence’ poetry and art competition, with her poem No Poppies in the Sand.

The piece is about the little known Camel Corps which played its part in the Great War in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Maeve and her teacher, Liz Dempsey, travelled to the House of Lords in London on Monday for a prestigious awards ceremony hosted by Baroness Jenkin.

The judges were most impressed by the sophistication and maturity of Maeve’s writing.

Mrs Demspey told the Times that the school are very pleased with Maeve’s achievement, she said: “We are very proud, she worked very hard and with great enthusiasm. I think she did very well.

“We are very excited about the trip to London and it is a great achievement for the school.”

The Imperial Camel Corps was a camel-mounted infantry force operating in the Middle Eastern and African deserts during the First World War 1.

The Corps played an integral role in several First World War desert campaigns, including Palestine and Sinai. and suffered the loss of 246 men.

The competition was established by Charity Never Such Innocence, to help children across the UK play their part in the centenary commemorations of the First World War.

Never Such Innocence has successfully engaged over a thousand children from over a hundred schools in commemorating the First World War through poetry and art.

The commemorative charity launched its national competition last autumn in the UK and the Channel Islands, in which children were invited to submit poems or artwork inspired by the events of the Great War.

With blind judging, winners were chosen from all corners of the British Isles, and even featured a winner from New Zealand and one from the United States

Lady Lucy French, Chair and Founder of Never Such Innocence, said: “I am delighted that the competition has been such a great success.

“We are incredibly proud of what the children have produced for the competition and continue to be astonished by their emotional intelligence.

“They are creating a fantastic legacy for generations to come.”

The competition will run annually until 2018, contact enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com for more information.