Past Competitions

These are a selection of the winning art work from the 2014 and 2015-16 Competitions. All winning work is published in the 2014 Winners Booklet and 2015-16 Winners Booklet 

The Never Such Innocence Pilot Competition in 2014 was a huge success across England, and allowed us to discover and assess the level of interest from schools in the First World War centenary. We were enthused and encouraged by the response and thus decided to be more ambitious with our second competition by reaching out across the British Isles, and beyond. Our two competitions have received fantastic press coverage right across the British Isles. 

Every entrant receives a certificate of commendation signed by Lady Lucy French and the Duke of Westminster and the winning entries from our two competitions have been published in the 2014 Winners Booklet and 2015-16 Winners Booklet, respectively.

We produced a resource to inspire and inform entries to the competition, which we add to each year. The resource is available as a free download and free hardcopies are available for schools, on request. The final edition will be published with the winning entries in a special legacy book in 2018!

Email enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com with any queries and to request hardcopies of the resource.

2014 Pilot Competition

In September 2014 Never Such Innocence launched a pilot poetry and art competition for 11-16 year olds at the opening of Marylebone Boys’ School. To encourage and stimulate responses to the competition we produced a comprehensive 56-page resource which explores the different stages of the First World War with topics such as The War at Sea, The Home Front and Women at War. The resource was directly received by over 500 schools and downloaded over a thousand times.

After the submission and acceptance of a late class entry to the art competition, the total number of entries to the Pilot Competition surpassed 600 from 46 schools. This included spontaneous poetry entries received from primary schools.We have plotted all the schools that entered the Pilot Competition on a map which can be viewed here.

We were very pleased with the high calibre of work submitted by schools across England. Our Judging Panels spent many hours deliberating, discussing, disagreeing, and finally deciding the winners.

The Judging Panels for the competition included:

The Poetry Panel: Ambassador of Ireland HE Dr Daniel MulhallStanley JohnsonAnna Trethewey and Androcles Scicluna

The Art Panel: Dr Anthony WallersteinerCaroline de PeyrecaveTim BetjemanCharlie Barton  and Peter Biggs

The winning entries have been published in the 2014 Winners Booklet, and all the winners were invited to a special ceremony, kindly hosted by Jones Day, to collect their awards.

2015-16 Competition

In our second year we decided to be more ambitious, to work with young people from across the British Isles and included a category for primary schools. Never Such Innocence embarked on a roadshow, visiting Reading, the Crown Dependencies (with the support of Coutts), and Glasgow. When we embarked on our Never Such Innocence journey we wanted to be inclusive, reaching out to communities across the British Isles, and so this year we piloted a Gaelic strand to the competition.

We updated our resource to include dedicated country sections on Australia, India, Scotland and the Crown Dependencies, and information on the role of animals, poetry from the Home Front and profiles on two cartoonists.

We worked closely with the Royal Navy during the 2015-16 Competition and are delighted to have been invited to play a part in the official Battle of Jutland commemorations taking place across the British Isles. The commemorative events in Chatham, South Queensferry and Orkney featured representatives from our competition. 

We have seen entries from as far and wide as Western Isles, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, New Zealand and Denver, USA! We have plotted all the schools that entered on a map which can be viewed here. Never Such Innocence has gone global.  We received 981 entries for the poetry competition and 672 entries for the art competition across all age categories from 112 schools. This amounts to nearly three times as many entries from over twice as many schools compared to the Pilot Competition.  

Again, our Judging Panels spent many hours deliberating, discussing, disagreeing, and finally deciding the winners.

The Judging Panels for the competition included:

The Poetry Panel: Greta BrellamacinaEleanor CarterStanley JohnsonAonghas MacNeacail, the Ambassador of Ireland HE Dr Daniel MulhallDr Viv NewmanBrigadier-General Matthew OvertonAndrocles SciclunaDr Martin Stephen and Anna Trethewey 

The Art Panel: Charlie Barton , Jessica CarlisleJim FellowsRicky GrahamRosi ListerWilliam Packer and Nathalie Trouveroy 

The winning entries have been published in the 2015-16 Winners Booklet and all the winners were invited to a special ceremony at the House of Lords, kindly sponsored by the Westminster Foundation, to collect their awards.

Press

Rebecca chosen for Passchendaele role
'It was unprecedented' Battle of Passchendaele remembered
Young Poet Rewarded with invitation to Passchendaele
Youngsters invited to get creative in helping to commemorate 100 years since the First World War
Poetry success for Orkney school pupil
Children to commemorate WW1 onboard ship
'Salonika Remembers' - schools invited to explore CWGC sites in Greece
Brighton student wins international art competition
Rule Britannia with Mappin & Webb's military watches
Island youngsters collect awards at House of Lords
Butt to Barra District News
Broxburn Academy artist celebrating after impressing judges during national competition
Lewis and Harris pupils at House of Lords to receive awards
Around Orkney
St Patrick’s pupil wins poetry award
Josh’s poem about First World War sacrifice makes top five in UK
West Lothian schoolgirl takes top poetry award
Teenager from Overseal chosen to win arts award at House of Lords
Never Such Innocence - Commemorating the Men and Women of the Great War
Aileag: Never Such Innocence
Never forget: Glasgow youngsters remember the First World War
Lest we forget: War charity launches schools competition
Children remember soldiers with poetry
Manx children remember the First World War
Take pride in Great War sacrifice
John Madejski Academy to host launch of nationwide First World War art and poetry competition
Royals attend Never Such Innocence poetry launch
How a new generation remembers - interview with Lady Lucy French, granddaughter of WWI General Sir John French
Charity initiative brings First World War into classroom
Today’s teenage war poets make me proud
Transatlantic Ties to the Special Relationship
Students impress in WWI art contest
Teen poet and University College School student Sam Kaplin wins prestigious national poetry competition
Charity of the week
BBC R4 The World Tonight
The Stage
NSI - House Magazine
A sense of theatre…
Centenary News
How Britain will mark Great War centenary
Town mouse visits Australia House

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