Young poets part of Hartlepool’s Great War exhibition

David Worthington opposite the bomardment painting that forms part of the exhibition at the Museum of Hartlepool.
David Worthington opposite the bomardment painting that forms part of the exhibition at the Museum of Hartlepool.

HARTLEPOOL’S newest exhibition is also a chance for young poets to pen their own thoughts on the Great War.

Artefacts from the First World War have been put on show in a six-month exhibition called Voices of the Bombardment, at the Museum of Hartlepool.

It includes the original painting called The Bombardment of the Hartlepools by James Clark which shows soldiers and civilians reacting as the Germans shelled the town.

The Hartlepool Mail has teamed up with Hartlepool Borough Council to launch a poetry competition which is being held to mark the Bombardment of Hartlepool.

Winning entries will be chosen in two age categories - there are sections for under 11 and 11-19-year-olds.

To get involved, we want you to study James Clark’s definitive painting of the bombardment before writing a poem of no more than 100 words.

And now that the actual painting has gone on public show, it is the perfect chance for children to see it for themselves before penning their entries.

David Worthington, the head of culture and information at Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “It is something that the children of Hartlepool need to be aware off because it is a huge part of their history and they will have known absolutely no-one who was alive during the war.

“We would encourage the children of the town to come along, have a look at this famous painting and to enter the poetry competition and write a piece based upon the painting about what it would have been like to have experienced this kind of momentous event”.

Themes you may want to cover include what it would have been like to have been caught up in arguably the biggest event in the town’s history.

“It could be that you write your poem from the perspective of one of the various types of people illustrated by Clark.

The closing dates for submissions is Friday, October 10, with the Mail publishing as many of the entries as possible.

After that, judges will pick a shortlist and then a winner and three highly commended entries from each categories.

Completed entries should be sent to: War Poetry Competition, Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.