100 Words for 100 Years

Hampshire Libraries is delighted to announce the winners of its 100 Words for 100 Years competition.

Our judges were impressed by the quality and variety of the writing and found it very difficult to choose the winners. In total over 700 entries were received. Our judging panel was headed up by writer Claire Fuller, along with Lt Col Colin Bulleid from the Royal Hampshire Regiment Trust, Maggie Farran, secretary of the Hampshire Writers’ Society, and Emily Spratt from Hampshire Libraries.

Inspired by the Imperial War Museum’s Centena project, which has commissioned 100 writers to write 100 words about the First World War, we were looking for poems, letters or short stories of exactly 100 words in length.

The 100 Words for 100 Years booklet which features all the winners’ and runners’ up entries.  A limited number of printed copies will be available at Hampshire libraries. The highly commended entries will be featured on our library website. The results are as follows:

Primary School Category


Dear Ma
by Emily Downs

6 October, 1916
Ginchy, France

Dear Ma,
Thanks for your letter. It sounds like you’re enjoying being a postman since all us lads have hung up our hats for helmets! Has the dog at number 29 nipped you yet?

It’s horribly muddy in the trenches and our dug outs are filled with rats. We pushed forward yesterday. Some of us made it to the German’s trench but out of my lads, only Arthur made it. This war must be close to ending, surely?

It’s my turn on lookout now. Give my love to everyone. I miss you all.

Love William

Runner up

Sketches from the Trenches
by Thomas Clark

Runner up

The Great War
by Dimitrios Galinakis

Highly Commended

by Julie Pearce

Highly Commended:

The Battlefield Remembered
by Thomas Cunningham

Secondary school category


The War to End All Wars
by Amalka Slavikova

Those piercing, green eyes. That flawless gaze that makes you forget all that’s wrong with the world. And that soul shattering smile. The one that lets you know that, no matter what, everything will always be alright eventually. He smiled at me one last time, before looking down at his left breast pocket which was newly decorated with a deep red flower. But it was all wrong. He collapsed to the ground, clutching the bullet wound and, in his last words, he whispered hoarsely in my ear, “It’s alright. This is the war to end all wars. No more suffering.”

Runner Up

Letters Home
by Ashleigh McAllister

Runner up

A Love Now Lost
by Elspeth Marsh

Highly Commended

Lost on the Battlefields
by Amelie Chapman

Highly  Commended

I’m Home
by Molly Hainsome

Sixth form students and adults category


Time Out
by Gill Learner

No-one knows which hospital, but family history had it on the Isle of Wight. A shaded-glass back door, rotting wooden steps, five of them, all nip-waisted crispness. One’s my aunt, Adelaide Marie, always known as ‘Bob’. Scarcely seventeen, inside the starched half-halo of her cap, she grins.

Home and beloved piano left behind in Chandler’s Ford, she joined the VADs. Ever the tomboy, she must have struggled to keep that floor-length apron clean, those stiff cuffs white. I imagine her singing softly as she scrubbed bedpans in the sluice, mopped between beds, smiled comfort. But she never spoke of it.

Runner up

Taylor’s Epitaph
by John Plowright

Runner up

The Orchard
by Rebecca Lyon

Highly Commended

Footsteps on the Gravel
by Patricia Kelly

Highly Commended

Two Harvests
by John Cooper

Highly Commended

Hampshire’s Hills
by Russell Sansom