Annually in April, Never Such Innocence holds a poetry and art competition for Month of the Military Child. The 2023 theme was ‘Friends Near and Far’. Winners were invited to the Main Building of the Ministry of Defence in London to read their poems in front of a wide variety of guests.

Brigadier Kirsten Dagless said, “It was an honour and a pleasure to present prizes to the army winners of the Month of the Military Child art and poetry competition.  The children’s work was outstanding and it was a joy to hear them present their work on stage.”

Their winning pieces were on display at the Main Building for a month beginning on Armed Forces Day – here are the winning entries from army children:

My Horse Friends Near and Far by Kyla – 11-14 Years Old – Army

To Canada my father flew,
Six months he stayed there for,
It started out as just one ride but soon turned into more.

It started as a hobby,
Just a hobby, nothing more,
But they soon became my whole world, that and so much more.

With my father away in Canada, my mother took me there,
Every Monday after school, for Muffet, the chestnut mare.

It started as a hobby but they soon became my pride,
They soon became my equine friends, standing loyally at my side.

Then finally the months had passed and back my father flew,
Then I learnt that soon I’d have to say bye to my crew.

Bye-bye Muffet, bye-bye Chips, oh how I will miss you,
Bye-bye Mickey, bye-bye Bart, bye-bye Big Bess too.

For father had been posted,
Somewhere far away,
Yet again we had to move, with my friends I could not stay.

But now I have made new friends and together we will thrive,
For it’s when Toby and I are jumping high, that I feel most alive.

Military Children by Ethan – 9-11 Years Old – Army

We are made strong,
We don’t know where we belong,
But we know how to travel long,

As we move from place to place,
Sometimes it’s like a race,
We have to take it in our pace,

We know how to make friends,
But we never know when it will end,
Sometimes we just blend.

Years Away by Sophie – 11-14 Years Old – Army

‘Hey hru?’
the message says, sent to someone,
years and years away.
I haven’t seen her,
how has it changed?
now that we’re years and years away.

We travelled around,
Place to place, far away.
Away from schools, places and friends.
‘I miss you’, quickly brushed off…

… because she’s moved on.
Moved on from our friendship, memories and games.
As if just another day is passing.

She’s years and years away,
A moment gone.
I miss her.

(Delivered, today 12:07)

Friends Far From Home by Henry, Sinjon, Jude, Cora, Shayera – 6-8 Years Old – Army

Friends cheer you up

Shayera is a good friend
Friends help you figure things out
My friend is my mum, she hugs me
My friends is my teacher, she helps me when I’m stuck

I had a friend that moved house
He shared his toys
I have a friend that doesn’t live here, I visit her
My friend Ritchie lives far away, I remember him
I made a friend when I lived in Nepal
We played with a ball

Friends cheer you up

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