Past Competitions

These are a selection of the winning art work from the 2014, 2015-16 and 2016-17 Competitions. All winning work is published in the 2014 Winners Booklet2015-16 Winners Booklet and 2016-17 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 competitions have received fantastic press coverage right across the British Isles. 

Every entrant receives a certificate of commendation signed by Lady Lucy French and our Founding President Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the winning entries from our two competitions have been published in the 2014 Winners Booklet2015-16 Winners Booklet and 2016-17 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 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 include 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.


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