The poem “The Great Adventure” by Harry Lovelock age 11 of President Kennedy School was one of the two joint-winners of Coventry Peace Poem 2018-19.
About writing the poem, Harry said “I found the ideas for my poem by watching a documentary about the war on the television. The documentary informed me about experiences of the young men who fought in World War One. These experiences included six weeks of training before the war, the trenches in Belgium, duty on the front line and help out away from the front line. Also it informed me about the harsh living conditions such as being surrounded by rats, mud, suffering from trench foot and for the unlucky few, dying. I have also included the British troops helping the German troops to symbolise that we have reconciled now and that peace has been restored. I feel privileged to have been chosen for joint first place in the poetry competition and I am extremely grateful.”
Laura Meyrick, who is in charge of Higher Attainers in the Bridge of President Kennedy School where Harry is a student, explained that “the Bridge delivers a personalised curriculum to support, stretch and challenge President Kennedy School Year 7 students to make a happy and successful transition from their primary to their secondary school.”
The judges said that “Harry Lovelock’s poem The Great Adventure tells a story, it’s simple but effective, it has a natural rhythm to it, it was believable, it flowed well, the word choices were well thought out and we felt the author’s own voice coming through. Also, it is fitting for the centenary of the ending of World War I.”
“The Great Adventure”
“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