War in the Skies / RAF100 Winners 

We are delighted to present the winners of our ‘War in the Skies’ themed category of the competition, marking 100 years since the formation of the world’s first independent air force.
These winners are eligible for special prizes, courtesy of the Royal Air Force.

You can also find the winners of the main Never Such Innocence international competition here.

First Place Winners

School Years 5-6  /  Ages 9-11


War Brothers
by David Potocnik Hahonina

A56-571 War Brothers .jpg

Nothing Good Comes of War
by Georgia Green from the British School of Paris

Beaming in my smart new uniform, stomach full of butterflies,
I had just finished my training course and was ready to take to the skies,
Props turning, chocs away, runway gleaming in the moonlight,
Throttle back and, like a bird, I soared off into the night, It was all an exciting adventure back then, a child’s game,
Until I saw the real destruction and I hung my head in shame,

And I thought to myself,
What was all of the fighting for,
Nothing good comes of war,

I flew over the sombre soldiers cramped into the winding trenches,
Lifeless and limp, hunger and pain etched on their grimy faces,
The endless blaring thunder of guns grasped their breaths away,
Every inch of bare skin masked in filth standing in the mud and hay,
They sighed at every extreme explosion that stole brave soldier’s lives,
All the great things I was told of war was just a bunch of lies,

And I thought to myself,
What was all of the fighting for,
Nothing good comes of war,

I moved on gliding peacefully into the starry night,
Until I caught a glimpse of an equally frightful sight,
Buildings ruined, people homeless and hurt on the rubble-scattered street,
Forlorn and forgotten, bare and burnt stands a solit’ry tree,
Restless lost souls awake from their slumber howling in the wind of sin,
Grief and hopelessness hovers in the air above the din,

And I thought to myself,
What was all of the fighting for,
Nothing good comes of war,

I swooped above the terrible sights, high in the flawless sky,
Who could be this cruel to their own kind I feel a tear in my eye,
I had to join the war for my country, to help fight,
Now I see that I was out of my mind to think this was right,
But luckily the trying times will pass, as they always do,
This war will have to end soon so put on a smile and you will live through.


School Years 7-9  /  Ages 11-14


The Sopwith Camel
by Freiya Elton from the Malvern St. James Girls’ School

Innocence leads them to the door,
They eagerly anticipate it, striving for more.
Naivety drags them to the plane site,
They get into their sop and fly such a height.
Into a dogfight they go, malice everywhere,
Pilots twisting, turning and diving through the air.
The whirring and the purring,
The sparring the spurring.
The losing, the winning
The falling, the spinning.
Innocence lures them to another fight
Making them decide what’s wrong and what’s right.
Naivety leads them to their death,
The sop shuddering to an end, like their last breath.

The Wind Carries Us
by Tessa Blandin from Ecole Massillon, France


School Years 10-11  /  Ages 14-16

In memory of the war in the sky
by Bianca Gegea from Dobruja, Romania

A1011-213 b.PNG

by Kutloogh Qureshi from The Tiffin Girls’ School

Blue. White. Red
Engine and heart roar as one
Wild metal.
I can taste valour in the air

It’s easy to fly and forget,
Drunk on sunlight
like that six-year-old in a cardboard plane
sodden in the August rain

The sky is free like dreams:
She’s beautiful and sinister
Celestial and raw

And it hurts.
The bitter guns and
Black smoke burn
I see her tortured face

Blue. White. Red
I will defend,
In Person, Crown and Dignity
Courage calls.

And our hearts roar as one
For the barley fields
And the boys in cardboard planes
For freedom.

And I’m not afraid:
Let the wind whisper my story
Of summer days and the
Ones I loved

Capture my colours
In the constellations
They’ll look and remember
What we gave

Through struggles to the stars.

Runners Up

School Years 5-6  /  Ages 9-11


by Kedaton Campbell from California, United States of America

A56-609 Untitled .jpg

The Airman
by Thomas Callander from St. Cedd’s School

A rumble in the sodden streets
A glint of sunlight in the polished propeller
The waxed wing emerging from shadow
And up, up, up, off into the blazing sun

A streak of shadow in the sunlit sky
Sleek shapes define structure and speed,
Weaving between the velvet clouds

A wisp in the wind
A whisper in the trees
A wail in the woods
As down, down he fly’s

Blood encrusting against his dishevelled skin
Curdling around his worn leather booties
Vision blurring


School Years 7-9  /  Ages 11-14

In Flanders Field

In Flanders Field

Sky Battle
by Freya Ling from the Folkestone School for Girls

Hurry, hurry don’t be hasty,
A world above is waiting for you,
The larks fly high as the plane dives.
Bullets dance in the air,
Striking the heart of pounding metal.

Soar in low,
Below the clouds,
Aim and fire without a doubt.
Smoke billows in the air engulfing all in range,
Streaks of metal and lead, heart beats faster pounding ever more,

Pull up, pull up, the atmosphere is thin,
Dive, dive, hit ‘em.
Be careful though,
You might not stick the landing.

Water, water, fills the cockpit,
Better go faster wedge it open,
Lungs screaming,
Heart racing ever faster,
Till it stops be known a martyr.

Diving, swerving for ever more,
Immortalised in feats of glory.
Still the larks fly,
As do I,
In my dreams of pride,
Joy and sacrifice.
The larks fly high in the sky.
Cockpit, mayday, home.


School Years 10-11  /  Ages 14-16


Fragmented Flight
By Catalina Taylor from The British School of Paris, France

Fragmented Flight

by Ayushi Bhat  

When I was young,
I thought they were birds.
Soaring day and night,
Without any fatigue.
Close to each other,
Darting about fearlessly.
Gliding with pride…

Now I am older,
I know they were planes.
With bombs so cruel,
With pilots so valiant.
Risking their lives,
Losing their families.
To keep others safe…

Birds and Planes,
Freedom and Flight.
Duty and Sacrifice,
For Pleasure and Peace.
Beautiful memories cherished,
Haunting feelings entwined.
Forever to be remembered!