Pupil George, 10 , pens poem of to mark Remembrance

A young writer at a Shropshire primary school has won praise for a powerful poem that captures the horror and emotional pain of war.

George Wardle with his poem
George Wardle with his poem

George Wardle, a Year 6 pupil at St John the Baptist Primary School in Ruyton-XI-Towns, penned his moving and thought-provoking prose as part of his class’s work to mark Remembrance Day.

Titled ‘A Soldier’s Sin’, the 10-year-old’s poem is written from the perspective of a soldier reflecting that the ‘enemy’ he is striving so hard to kill is probably no different to him.

George said: “I really enjoy creative writing. What inspired me to write this Remembrance poem is the thought that if World War One hadn't happened, maybe some of the soldiers that fought against each other could have been friends.”

His class have been studying poetry as part of their English work and, over the last week, have tied that work to Remembrance by focussing on some of the great war poets.

This included Shropshire’s own Wilfred Owen – whose brutal work explored the true horrors of trench and gas warfare in the 1914-1918 conflict.

Wilfred Owen’s story is made all the more poignant as he was killed on November 4, 1918 at the age of just 25, and less than a week before the war was ended.

Teacher, Jen Whittingham, said: “George was very much inspired by Wilfred Owen, who we learned about as a local war poet, in particular his poem Futility.

“George was lost in thought for over an hour as he produced this independent piece of work. I am very proud of the maturity and depth of thought he has given not only to the topic, but as a poet too.

A Soldier's Sin - by George Wardle

For if I die, I shall only ask one thing,

I wish to forgive a soldier's sin.

We've shot those who should be our friend,

But still, we are nowhere near the end.

War still rages on,

As we remember the terrible things of which we've done;

We've bombed other fighters,

Who are just trying to make the world lighter,

But now they shall never see sky again.

For if I die, I shall only ask one thing:

I wish to forgive a soldier's sin.

In Flanders Fields the soldiers lie,

The ones we killed while in the sky,

If not for war, they would have been our friend,

But now they've had to face their end.

For if I die, I shall only ask one thing:

I wish to forgive a soldier's sin.

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