Youngsters have been inspired by a statue of the Unknown Soldier in London to write him a letter with their thoughts to commemorate this year’s centenary marking the outbreak of World War One.
The statue at Paddington Station depicts the Unknown Soldier reading a letter which could be one of the many that are being written in his honour and as tributes to all those who lost their lives during the Great War.
Pictured, superimposed by the side of the statue is student Willow Young, of Netherthorpe School, Staveley, who wrote to the soldier with her fellow students.
Willow said: “Over the past 100 years many people have been lost in the wars, but nowhere near enough of them are remembered and honoured as they should be; as a hero.
“People forget about these ‘unknown soldiers’ and, in History Club, we decided to change that.
“With only one question in our heads, we set to work, each of us writing our own letter, summing up everything we wanted to say into one letter.
“And, although it was difficult to put our emotions into words, we completed it with great success.
“It is an extremely fulfilling thing to do. Although you may not be able convey to all those lost to the war how you feel, or be able to tell them what you want to say, the meaning is still there.
“You have sat down and taken some time out of your day to thank them for the greatest sacrifice anyone could make. Before you read my letter, I’d like to ask you one thing: What would you say to an unknown soldier?”
Willow’s letter is below:
Do not fret, for you are not forgotten, nor will you ever be. Not to the people who loved you, not to those who cared.
Not to those of us today, who remember you in tenderness. Your sacrifice was not in vain, for you helped create the life we live today.
Dear soldier, for that I thank you, and pray that you will not bear any grudges against those who did you wrong.
You fought with honour, and I hope that now you are at peace. You were not deserving of the fate you received, nobody was, but I do hope that this letter provides you with comfort.
Dear Soldier, just remember this: you may have lost your life to the war, but now you will live forever more, in our hearts, in our minds, in the words I write to you.
In my words, you will never be forgotten.