Student George, 10, writes a poem to mark Remembrance

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George Wardle with his poem

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

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

George said, “I really like creative writing. What inspired me to write this Remembrance poem was the thought that if World War I had not happened, perhaps some of the soldiers who fought against each other might have been friends.

Her class has been studying poetry as part of their English work and over the past week has linked that work to Remembrance focusing on some of the great war poets.

This included Wilfred Owen, from Shropshire, whose brutal work explored the true horrors of trench and gas warfare in the 1914-1918 conflict.

Wilfred Owen’s story is 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 ended.

Teacher Jen Whittingham said: ‘George was very inspired by Wilfred Owen, who we discovered as a local war poet, particularly his poem Futility.

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

Because if I die, I will only ask for one thing,

I wish to forgive a soldier’s sin.

We slaughtered those who should be our friends,

But still, we are not near the end.

As we remember the terrible things we have done;

We bombed other fighters,

Who just try to make the world lighter,

But now they will never see the sky again.

Because if I die, I will only ask for one thing:

I wish to forgive a soldier’s sin.

In Flanders Fields the soldiers lie,

Those we killed in the sky,

Without the war, they would have been our friends,

But now they must face their end.

Because if I die, I will only ask for one thing:

I wish to forgive a soldier’s sin.

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