A schoolboy from the Isle of Harris read a poem to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I.
Hamish Scott (15), was one of 100 young people taken to London by Never Such Innocence, the charity set up to give children a voice in the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.
They attend a tea party at Buckingham Palace in their honour, hosted by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and Hamish performed his poem Scapa Flow on stage at the event.
The children, aged between 9 and 16, were winners of an annual poetry, art and song competition, which was run by the charity over the last four years to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Accompanied by the bands of the Coldstream Guards, the Marine Drum Corps, and the RAF Salon Orchestra, the young winners performed their poetry and songs and showcased their artworks, met high ranking members of the Armed Forces and other dignitaries, and each received a beautiful hardback anthology of the work they entered for the competition.
Scapa Flow was the winner of the Battle of Jutland category of the competition in 2015/16. He was just 12 when he wrote a poem for his local radio station for a centenary project. The radio team suggested he send his poem to Never Such Innocence for their poetry competition. Since then Hamish has won three NSI competitions for his Gaelic Poetry.
Hamish said: ‘Growing up in the Outer Hebrides [a place that proportionally lost the most people during the First World War], surrounded by the Gaelic culture, I was immersed in the songs and poetry telling of the Great War when the men left their families never to return. After a while, it just felt right to put in my own contribution and it was NSI who really gave me that opportunity, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
‘I am especially happy that the Gaelic language has a place in this book, and I am privileged it’s some of my own poetry that fills this role.’
Hamish also be attended the Armistice Centenary Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on Remembrance Sunday, on behalf of the Never Such Innocence charity.
Named after a line from a Philip Larkin poem, Never Such Innocence is the official First World War centenary charity for young people, committed to educating the next generation about the Great War and its continuing impact on our lives today. The poetry, art and song competition was just one initiative organised by the charity, which has engaged over 11,000 young people from around the world in reflection of the events of the First World War.
Never Such Innocence was set up by Lady Lucy French, whose great-grandfather Field Marshal Sir John French led the British Expeditionary Force at the start of the Great War.
Lady Lucy French said: ‘We are so delighted that our principal aim for the charity, to give children a strong and powerful voice during the centenary commemorations, has been fulfilled as we look to the centenary of the Armistice.’