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Hartlepool Mail - World War 1 Poetry Competition


Senses by Catherine Wates age 15



I woke to the sounds.
The sound of panic from young children,
as they watched their houses crumble.
The sound of air raid sirens,
blaring throughout Hartlepool.
The sound of howling dogs,
laying trapped beneath the rubble.
I heard it all.

I stood to view the damage.
The sight of fire blazing,
destroying the possessions of families.
The sight of the elderly struggling,
without a helping hand.
The sight of houses, broken,
unable to be fixed again.
I witnessed it all.

I turned away,
towards the bed where I remain,
asleep
unconscious
lifeless.

Another sound.
It deafens me.
A light appears.
Clear
pure
kind
walking weightless towards it.
My suffering is at an end.

Jessica Boyes age 15

For months after we still feared.
Would we be targeted again?
Why us
What have we done to deserve this?

Children screaming
Parents panicking
Homes destroyed lives destroyed

It all happened so quick
yet it felt like it lasted forever
Will the pain ever stop
Will the wounds ever be healed?

The booming sound of explosions echoed
like thunder through the streets
stealing the thoughts of helpless victims.


Bombardment by Megan O'Connor age 15



Shrieks from the children
Deafening explosions in my ear
I reach to try to find them
but only succeed in failing

The cool December breeze has been lost
captured,
engulfed by the flames.
I feel the heat slowly cook my skin.

The smoke tortures my lungs
there is no escape,
no release from this prison.
I know that I'm falling
falling to the darkness
will it ever end
or has it already.

White Horses by Emily Morrison age 15

The glare faded,
as the rays wavered
behind the leaden skies.

A child's sweet voice
and a partridge in a pear
drowned as a wave
crashed up. the street- once empty - 
as cloaked in its debris

Storms of sparks reigned
Down over Catherine Street
The wreaths crashed, the coast 
Roared, trees scattered.

But through the noise, whispers
Rode on the wind. Quiet
As a summers breeze, heavenly 
Hosts sang Hallelujah, as snow
Drifted down.

And our little coastal 
town would not
bow to oblivion
The white horses ride on
Through the sand.

Christmas Warfare by Tegan Bratton age 15

Left right, left right, left right
ATTENTION!
A shower of lights cascaded through the sky
It was eight o'clock when it began
Sargeant marched us to our destination 
We were told to stay hidden away from the Christmas lights
To be cautious of the situation around us.
I never saw 100 of them men again.

Beep Beep! Beep Beep!
I noticed a shower of lights cascade through the sky
It was eight o'clock when it began
What greeted me beyond the curtains
Caused fear to creep through my skin.
Christmas is a time for family
Not a time for war
My husband was part of the 100 fallen men.
I never saw him again.

Boom! Boom!
I noticed Christmas lights flash through the sky
It was 8 o'clock when Mother came into my room
I thought Christmas had come early.
Father left that morning
And joined the soldiers in the street
He was part of the 100 fallen men
I never saw him again.

Ding! Ding!
Hartlepool people swept along their street in terror
Eight o'clock on December 16th 1914
The apocalypse had began.
100 fallen men
100 families cry in devastation 
100 men as souvenirs for the Germans
Eight am on December 16th 1914
100 men lost their innocent lives.

Anna Strickland age 15

Light. The lighthouse blinks
on the coast, a beacon of hope
Leading to the safety of home.

More.  Another flash of fire
further along the coastline,
near old Elephant Rock.  Fear.

A child.  The distant screams
echo over the oddly calm waters.
Why is the world not crumbling, collapsing?

Retreat.  Leaving late last night,
hoping Ruth might not wake.
Passing the dark ornate windows of St.  Hilda's.

God.  Where is he now,
When the mothers are missing
and the children are crying.

Darkness the lighthouse gone,
protecting the town.  Killing
me.

Rachel Hanlon age 15


On a winter morning
of 1914
an invasion of terror
swept the country.

The spotlight of the plane
targeted our down
not even the soldiers
could save the distress now