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Well-versed in war and peace; CHILDREN TO READ OUT THEIR POEMS AT SHOPPING CENTRE ARMISTICE DAY SERVICE BY SPECIAL INVITATION OF THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION.

Byline: SAMANTHA CLARKE

COVENTRY schoolchildren will share their thoughts on Armistice Day when they read out specially written poems during a service in the city centre.

The pupils at St Gregory's and Corpus Christi primary schools were asked to pen the poems by the Royal British Legion.

The aim was to find out how children feel about war and conflict and to encourage peace for the future.

The service, at the West Orchards Shopping Centre, will start at 10.50am on Monday with introductory speeches and prayers of remembrance.

One pupil from each class at the two schools will read out their poems straight after a two-minute silence at 11am.

The service will be attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Coventry, Ken and Mary Taylor, as well as Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Peter Lacy and other representatives of the city council, city churches, the Territorial Army, the emergency services and the Red Cross.

Jim McAllister, from the Royal British Legion, said: "We asked the children to write the poems incorporating their own feelings and views on worldwide conflict.

"They have spoken to their grandparents and family about war and seen conflict on the television and that has shaped their poems.

"Children see that war is stupid because of the waste and heartbreak it causes and are not afraid to say what they think, which makes their poems very direct and heartfelt."

THIS poem was written jointly by students in year 6 of St Gregory's RC Primary School in Harry Rose Road, Wyken.

Remembrance

Soldiers lie in the misty trench Cold and hungry as they await Their frightening fate. As the war pushes on More and more lives are gone But hope cannot be killed. Blood-red poppies sway Like a rippling river in the breeze Why should we remember? Wars have gone before, And wars have happened after: But one thing is the same. They stood brave amidst fear For their families and their country. They died for us. And still the poppies sway. Out of death grew new life. We hope and pray That one day there may Be peace, and love can stand victorious.

THIS poem was written by Eiremay Beatty, aged nine, a pupil at Corpus Christi RC Primary School, in Langbank Avenue, Ernesford Grange.

War

I remember as a child To be able to run wild Then there came the bombs and planes People crying in street lanes Mummy saying 'Don't be scared' As we sat under the stairs Mummy always looked so sad Because she was worried about our Dad. Far away in France he fought Fighting wars that shouldn't be fought Time flew past and Christmas came But it didn't quite feel the same It's my ninth birthday (I remember) Mummy seems a whole lot better Then there was a loud knock on the door Mummy said 'Your presents are here 'Eire, go get the door my dear' There stood a man in green With wide arms open and a great big smile The best birthday present I have ever had On that day it was my dad.

Veterans to walk tall at cenotaph

EX-SERVICE personnel have given their seal of approval to the newly-revamped Coventry War Memorial.

They were the first to inspect the city landmark following a pounds 10,000 public appeal by the Rotary Club of Coventry and the Evening Telegraph to refurbish it in time for Remembrance Sunday.

Ex-service organisations helped support the appeal, which was part of a pounds 40,000 package of improvements to the monument by the city council.

Peter Jones, president and secretary of the Coventry branch of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Association, said: "On behalf of ex-servicemen in this city, we very much appreciate what the Rotary Club has done."

Geoff Wells, chairman of the Reme Association (Coventry branch) and secretary of the Coventry and District Standard Bearers' Association, added: "It was a race against time and I thank all ex-service associations, organisations and private individuals who have contributed magnificently."

Ivor Sherrad, Airborne Forces Standard Marshall (Coventry branch), said: "It's one of the most beautiful war memorials in the country."

CAPTION(S):

TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN:Year 6 pupils at St Gregory's RC Primary School who all had a hand in writing the poem about the horror of the trenches. Picture: LISA CAREY; WORDS: Rhia Stevens-Leach and Sean Coyle, both aged 10, with the poem Sean will read; CENTRE STAGE: Lord Mayor Ken Taylor joins old soldiers for a souvenir photograph at the cenotaph after the cheque was handed over
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 7, 2002
Words:759
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