SCHOOL pupils have been encouraged to take part in an art competition which delivers a poignant message.

A charity, called Never Such Innocence, has organised the educational project which helps children and young people aged between nine and 16 to learn about World War I.

Regular readers of our feature, Chronicle of the Past, will be aware that the conflict was at its height 100 years ago and news at the time was dominated by it.

There were obituaries every week in the paper, increasing in numbers as fighting intensified.

Hundreds of local soldiers were among the millions who died during the conflict.

One of those killed was a politician who held a similar office to current MP, Alan Brown, who is inviting local schools to get involved with the art and poetry competition He said: “As we approach Remembrance Day I have learned about my predecessor, William Glynne Charles Gladstone.

“He was MP of Kilmarnock Burghs 100 years ago, and died fighting during the First World War.

“The First World War was such a huge event affecting people of all walks of life, “And its impact and legacy are still evident to this day.”

Never Such Innocence produces a teaching resource available free of charge online or in print, and run a poetry, art and song competition — visit for details.

The top prize is £400 split between the school and pupil, and all entrants receive a personalised Certificate of Commendation.

Mr Brown added: “The cross-curricular competition is a great way to help children engage with their shared history and heritage, and respond to their learning through the creative arts.”

Historian Dan Snow, a regular on several TV programmes, is one of numerous high-profile backers of the competition, including Sebastian Cox and others.

Mr Snow said: “The war changed Britain and the world.

“Only by understanding it and its consequences, can we make sense of the world around us today.

“This resource produced by Never Such Innocence gives us an excellent account of the war.

“And also its effect on society, art and culture.

“It is a great place for young people to start learning and engaging with our shared history.”