I came across the organisation ‘Never Such Innocence’ when my 13 year old daughter, Morrigan, decided to enter their 2018 art competition with her large drawing, ‘Behind Each Man’. The competition’s remit was to get children involved in the First World War centenary commemorations.
Amazingly, Morrigan’s art won first prize in her age group category, and this earned her and her school a substantial cash prize. In addition, we were invited to attend a prizegiving event at the Guards Chapel next to Buckingham Palace, then later in 2018, attended Buckingham Palace, where Morrigan spoke about her art in front of a large and distinguished audience. We were also honoured to be invited to attend Westminster Abbey for the Armistice Centenary Service in November 2018. Wow, what a year!
As part of the attendance to these three events, my daughter was presented with three books: two published by ‘Never Such Innocence’ and one from the Forgotten Heroes Foundation: ‘The Unknown Fallen’.
This book, the full title ‘Volume 1: The Unknown Fallen: The Global Allied Muslim Contribution in the First World War’ is gorgeous and lush with thick paper, stunning artwork, touching photographs and absolutely superb production values. ‘The Unknown Fallen’ makes a beautiful display book, and is crammed full of inspiration, the best of human nature and integrity.
The second book I’d like to mention is ‘Stories of the First World War: The Men, Women, Children and Animals that Played their Part’ published by Never Such Innocence. This is a charming book which is aimed at children aged 9 and above. It gives an ‘objective and insightful account’ of the events of the war, and is presented in an easily accessible style that children will not find intimidating. At the same time, adults can learn a lot from this book. I know I certainly did.
The third book is ‘Never Such Innocence: The Centenary of the First World War: Children’s Responses through Poetry, Art and Song’. This is a glorious book, not only because I’m a proud parent of one of the contributors (Morrigan’s drawing appears on page 142) but because the other artworks are also stunning and poignant, as is the poetry.
For anyone who believes this generation of children are interested only in selfies and social media, please take a look at these volumes, especially the ‘Children’s Responses’ volume. Your faith in humanity will be restored, and your pride in so many of the younger generation will be likewise.
More details of the latter two books can be found at https://www.neversuchinnocence.com/centenary-legacy-books
The Forgotten Heroes Foundation can be found at https://unknownfallen.com
Beautiful creations from two fantastic organisations. Totally recommended.