Kings Norton Girls’ School student, Lucy Attrill, moved the audience at The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance on Saturday 10th November
as she recited for poem ‘Thank You’ in front of members of the Royal Family at the Royal Albert Hall.
Lucy’s poem was written as part of a Library lesson based on the creative competition resources provided by The Royal British Royal Legion in partnership with Never Such Innocence, as part of their ‘Thank You’ movement to honour the entire First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world. From over a thousand entries Lucy’s submission won the age 11-14 poetry category and went on to be selected to be recited at the event on Saturday.
Some of the inspiration behind the poem came from Lucy’s Great Grandmother Elizabeth Ellen Riley Calvert who under took work in the Lancashire textile industry from the age of 12 in 1916. Her Great Grandad, George Alfred Attrill also served in The First World War in the Royal Navy. He went into the reserves after the war and then was recalled at the beginning of the Second War. He was too old for active service and served on a Hospital Ship, which was bombed. He was a Chief Yeoman of Signals. After the war he was on the Forts and left in 1947, after 27 years’ service in total.
Lucy’s poem moved the audience at the Royal Albert Hall, as she read her poem’ Thank You’ which summed up the gratitude of the nation: “If you hadn’t given your life in France, If you hadn’t stepped on that Train, Your boys might have had a father, but our world would not be the same.”
Headteacher Nicola Raggett said “We are extremely proud of Lucy for her confident and heart moving recital of her beautiful and poignant poem. It was a real privilege for one of our students to be able to represent the sentiment and gratitude of the nation at such a prestigious event as we remembered those who gave their lives 100 years on”.
Catherine Davies, Head of Remembrance at The Royal British Legion commented “Lucy rose to the occasion on Saturday night and read her winning poem with dignity and elegance in front of members of the Royal Family, The Prime Minister and the national audience watching on the BBC. The Festival commemorates and honours all those who have lost their lives in conflicts and her words were a fitting tribute to the First World War generation who gave so much 100 years ago. Her poem ‘Thank You’ honours the men, women and children who supported the war effort in so many ways on the home front and elsewhere, and those who returned from the war to help rebuild Britain.”