Wednesday 24th June saw the finals and prize giving of our Annual Children’s Art Competition at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth. Twenty six shortlisted finalists and their families and teachers attended a tea party where their pictures were on display and the winners were announced. The theme this year was SEA SOLDIERS to celebrate 350 years of the Royal Marines.
The winners in their different categories were:
Under 5 yrs old
1st Lucy Wills ‘Badge of Honour’
2nd Orla Brady ‘Sea soldiers on a ship, Sea soldiers doing ice breaking in Norway, Sea soldiers in the jungle’
3rd Gregory Kakovin ‘Helicopter’
6-9 yrs old
1st Thomas Wills ‘Around the globe for 350 years’
2nd Henry Woods ‘Royal Marine’
3rd Evie Ferris ‘A day in the life of a sea soldier’
10 and over
1st Sam Shefras ‘Ambush’
2nd Frida Kenning ‘Sea Soldiers’
3rd Robert Berrisford-Smith ‘Invasion’
Two of the children that won in their respective categories were a brother and sister, Thomas and Lucy Wills. Their uncle was a Royal Marine who had died ten years ago almost to the day of the prize giving. When the family received the leaflet about the competition they got out all of his service memorabilia and medals and talked to the children about their uncle, whom they had never met, and his life. The resulting pictures really showed this emotional story. The family attended the prize giving and on the Friday, the anniversary of his death, were visiting his memorial.
Major Mike Wills RM joined the Royal Marines as an 18 year old in 1978, and during his 25 years in the Corps he served in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Sierra Leone and Georgia. Mike was a keen skydiver with over 6000 jumps, and during the 1980s he was a member of the Royal Marines Free Fall Team. In August 1986 the team broke the world record with a 200 feet high stack of 24 canopies – a record that still stands today. Mike died in a skydiving aircraft crash in Devon in June 2004, and ten years later his nephew Tommy Wills and niece Lucy Wills were amongst the prizewinners at the RNRMCF painting competition to celebrate 350 years of the Royal Marines. By Patrick Wills, Mike’s brother and father of Tommy and Lucy.