Katie’s poem inspired by veteran visit

Year Five pupils with Keith Houghton MBE
Year Five pupils with Keith Houghton MBE

Youngsters from a local school were so inspired by a visit from a member of the Royal British Legion they decided to write about.

And the work of the pupils from Gilded Hollins Primary School has now been published in a special booklet.

The year five class wrote verses responding to the famous poem In Flanders Fields as part of the remembrance commemorations.

They were prompted to put pen to paper by a visit from Royal British Legion member Keith Houghton MBE, who told them about why poppies are worn and the sacrifices military personnel make.

The project reached further than the classroom as 10-year-old writer Katie Coates’s poem was of such high quality that it has now been published by a national magazine aimed at the armed forces community.

Class teacher and Gilded Hollins assistant head Lisa Whittaker said: “They were inspired a lot by the veterans who came in to do a whole school assembly and speak to the children.

“They also brought in a book pupils at another school had done and I think ours wanted to make a better one.

“I was so impressed by the quality of the poems and how deeply they had thought about the subject and written from perspectives other than their own.

“I think it was impressive how well they empathised with people from that time, and for Katie there can be no greater credit than having other people reading her work and enjoying it.”

Katie had her poem Souls in the Field published in Army and You magazine and on its website after showing it to her auntie, armed forces advocate Linda Fisher who runs the Facebook support page Shoulder To Soldier.