The Spirit of Normandy Trust works in association with the Young Historians Project to run an annual essay competition for Primary, Key Stage 3 and Senior entrants. Essays are accepted when written on the subject of the events leading up to and beyond the Normandy Campaign and examine their historical significance.
This year entries were received from as far afield as Scotland, Yorkshire, Norfolk and Exeter.
Entries are judged by an independent panel of judges drawn from the Young Historians Project under the leadership of Dr. Trevor James. We are grateful, as always, for the meticulous work of the judges in collating and judging the entries.
The prize-giving event was held at the Victory Services Club in London on Saturday 6th October, with the winning and very highly commended entrants attending the event, along with a good number of veterans of the Normandy Campaign of 1944.
The formal presentations were followed by a buffet lunch, which provided an opportunity for the prizewinners and veterans to mix and get to know each other.
It is always encouraging to see young people taking an interest in history and, in particular, history of the Second World War and, this year, there was a high number of very good entries, giving the judges a challenging time identifying the best of the entries.
As the winners were announced by Richard Palusinski, Chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust, the Prizes were presented by Don Sheppard L d’Hon, who is a veteran of the Normandy Campaign.
The Key stage 3 entries were judged to have had two equally excellent entries, so the decision was taken to declare joint winners in that category. The joint winners were:-
- Jelin Fernandez of St Bede’s and St Joseph’s School, Bradford, who produced a detailed analysis of the effects of cracking the Enigma Code
- Emily Leeming of Langley School at Loddon, Norfolk, who produced a thorough and sensitive consideration of the Evacuation.
Both students received a cash prize of £100 and a certificate to record their excellent work.
Also recognised for their very highly commended entries at Key Stage 3 were:-
- Millie Fearnley of St Bede’s snd St Joseph’s School
- Ella Spear of Langley School at Loddon, Norfolk
Both students received a certificate to recognise the high standard of their entries.
Slate plaques were presented to both St Bede’s and St Joseph’s School and Langley School at Loddon, Norfolk, along with cheques for £150.
The prize-giving did not end there….
General Peter Martin Memorial Prize
In addition to the year group prizes awarded each year, the Spirit of Normandy Trust has a special prize that is only awarded if there is an outstanding entry received in the year. The prize is not automatically awarded each year. There needs to be an outstanding entry to earn the prize.
This year the judges identified an entry that was considered outstanding in its approach and content. The award was given to Jed Mussell who spent some time with veteran Ken Hay MBE JP L d’Hon learning about his experiences as a prisoner of war. Jed then wrote a narrative, based on much of what he had learned from Ken, which follows the experiences of a soldier who was wounded in action and taken prisoner. The award was, fittingly, presented by Ken Hay.