During the Coventry Peace Festival leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting of the Second World War, the Committee invited children aged 16 or younger who live or attend school in the city to submit a poem on the theme of peace and/or justice and/or reconciliation. This was the first time that the Coventry Children’s Peace Poem Competition had been run, and over 160 children from nearly 20 different schools sent in their poems.
The joint winners are a class of seven-year-olds from Keresley Grange Academy and an eleven-year-old student Harry Lovelock from President Kennedy School. You can read the winning poems below and all the poems in an ebook which can be found here. You can buy copies of the paperback version of the book on Amazon or from our online shop where we offer discounts on purchases of 5 copies or more.
By a year 3 class at Keresley Grange Academy
Each child in one year 3 class wrote a verse of this poem
Peace makes your life better,
And always believing in yourself.
The dream is everyone showing respect for each other,
The poor laughing with the wealth.
Older children playing games with younger children,
Can be lots of fun to do.
Putting litter in the bin,
Sharing a smile or maybe two!
Accepting people who are different to you,
Friends of different race playing with each other.
Forgiving wrongs and compromising,
Respecting your father and mother.
Different religions dancing together,
Children walking with the old.
Helping animals and looking after plants,
In the warm, wind, snow or cold.
Being calm and positive,
And being content with what you’ve got.
Accepting apologies and forgiving,
Remembering soldiers that others forgot.
Including people that are different,
Making friends wherever you go.
Making someone smile every day,
Feeling comfortable to sometimes say no.
Everyone being nice to each other,
No matter their shape or colour or size.
Giving a hug when someone is sad,
Never telling lies.
Being grateful for what you have,
Your friends, family, food and toys.
Think about those who don’t have as much,
Those families, girls and boys.
And if there is a problem,
Forgiving and saying you’re sorry.
Having empathy for your friends,
And listening to their worries.
Peace is about showing love and compassion,
Having good manners like thank you and please.
Holding doors and saying hi,
Saying bless you when you hear someone sneeze.
What a world it would be,
If everyone could send peace and love to all.
We are here to support each other,
And stand together so we don’t fall.
The Great Adventure
by Harry Lovelock
President Kennedy School
“Are you nineteen lad?” “Yes sir!” I lied,
Six weeks of training, with friends by my side.
My country is calling it’s time for war,
Exciting times ahead, a Great Adventure for sure!
Kitted-up for battle, with helmet and gun,
Be over in six months we’re off to Belgium!
We arrive at the trenches, focused not fear,
Spirits are high, the Great Adventure is here!
Sentry duty of two hours on and two hours off,
Scanning the horizon don’t dare nod off.
Shells exploding above, I see a German gun,
It’s Us versus Them, the Great Adventure is on!
“Take a break soldier, it’s time to rest.”
Lay some tracks, load some trucks, must do my best.
Rain, rats and mud, friends that I miss,
My feet so sore, what Great Adventure is this?
The Final push forward, and calls of “Over the top!”
Tanks and machine guns behind us, just don’t stop.
Some Germans surrender, young and weary men,
Tired like us, will this Great Adventure end?
“Hey Jerry. Let’s swap hats! Try some wine!”
“Cigarette? Have one of mine!”
It’s time to return home, but what will we do?
Another Great Adventure perhaps… but only for a few