Teen reads his war poem at Buck­ing­ham Palace

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By LU­CINDA CAMERON

A teenager has per­formed a poem he wrote aged 12 at an event at Buck­ing­ham Palace as part of com­mem­o­ra­tions mark­ing the centenary of the First World War.

Hamish Scott, 15, from the Isle of Har­ris, was in­vited to at­tend af­ter his poem Scapa Flow – writ­ten in Gaelic – won a com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­ised by the Never Such In­no­cence (NSI) char­ity, which was set up to give chil­dren a voice in the com­mem­o­ra­tions.

He was one of more than 100 chil­dren in­vited to the tea party in their hon­our, which was hosted by Vice Ad­mi­ral Sir Tim Lau­rence. The teenager read out an English trans­la­tion of his poem.

The chil­dren, aged be­tween nine and 16, were win­ners of an an­nual po­etry, art and song com­pe­ti­tion which was run by the char­ity over the last four years to mark the centenary. Each re­ceived a hard­back an­thol­ogy of the work they en­tered for the com­pe­ti­tion.

Hamish was 12 years old when he wrote a poem for his lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion for a centenary project.

The ra­dio team sug­gested he send his poem to NSI for their po­etry com­pe­ti­tion and Scapa Flow won the Bat­tle of Jut­land cat­e­gory of the com­pe­ti­tion in 2015/16.

He said: “Grow­ing up in the Outer He­brides (a place that pro­por­tion­ally lost the most peo­ple dur­ing the First World War), sur­rounded by the Gaelic cul­ture, I was im­mersed in the songs and po­etry telling of the Great War when the men left their fam­i­lies never to re­turn.

“Af­ter a while, it just felt right to put in my own con­tri­bu­tion and it was NSI who re­ally gave me that op­por­tu­nity, and I couldn’t be more grate­ful.

“I am es­pe­cially happy that the Gaelic lan­guage has a place in this book and I am priv­i­leged it’s some of my own po­etry that fills this role.”

The teenager will also be at­tend­ing the Ar­mistice Centenary Ser­vice of Thanks­giv­ing at West­min­ster Abbey on Remembrance Sun­day on be­half of NSI.

Ac­com­pa­nied by the bands of the Cold­stream Guards, the Marine Drum Corps, and the RAF Salon Or­ches­tra, the young win­ners per­formed their po­etry and songs, and show­cased their art­works.

Hamish Scott read an English trans­la­tion of his poem

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