First prize £200, second prize £100 and third £50 (all prizes in Sainsbury’s vouchers). There will be plenty of other prizes, too.
I’m Private TW Sweetheart and I want you to come with me on a journey back to the First World War
Terms & Conditions can be found here
Discover your local and family history
Create stories and submit First World War family pictures for a new website
Enter a great competition
Find out more about Folkestone in the First World War
When the First World War began nearly 100 years ago, on 4 August 1914, I was created as a good luck charm, given by girlfriends and wives to some of the millions of men who left the country to go to war.
Not just men, but Red Cross nurses and other people were to travel down Slope Road – now the Road of Remembrance - to the harbour, where they would board a steamboat for the Western Front. Sometimes they could hear the guns firing just across the Channel – it must have been very frightening.
Some of the soldiers carried me in their pocket. As you can see, I have a large wooden head and silver arms that can touch my head. I became known as Touch Wud, and “touch wood” is something that people still say today in the hope that it will bring them luck.
The Step Short charity has asked me to help you understand the part Folkestone – and perhaps even someone in your family - played in the war. We want you to talk to your families, get them to look up their old photographs and then write a story about Folkestone in those days.
I’ve got lots of prizes to give away – and I want to put your stories and pictures here on my new website.
As they passed through Folkestone Harbour, some people signed a visitors’ book in a canteen. Your grandfather or great-grandfather’s name might be in one of the books, so as you think about your story, you might like to have a look at the entries. You can find some of the names or look through the books online at www.stepshort.co.uk
Looking at the names in the books – or talking to your grandparents or great-grandparents – will also help you enter our great competition. I even have my own story which might inspire you to create your own. You can read it here.
Please enter the competition – and look out for me around the town over the next few months. You never know – I may even visit your school!
Here’s how you can win a fantastic cash prize in my great Private TW Sweetheart competition, sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund. There are runner-up prizes and giveaways, too.
Early learners (aged 5 to 7)
I would like you to draw your own picture of me, Private TW Sweetheart – or if you are at an event and would prefer to colour in a picture of me, just tell whoever gave you this flyer.
The best drawings will be featured here on my website.
Older children (aged 8 to 10 and 11 to 13)
I would like you to write a story, including fact and fiction, based on your own research or after talking to your family. Perhaps someone you know has photographs or diaries handed down by someone who took part in the war. That would be a great place to look for inspiration.
Another good place to start would be my website, where you can read about what happened to me before I left Folkestone for the first time. You could write something similar or you could pick up the story where mine finishes. I’d love to know what you think happened to me!
I would like you to include a real photo from the First World War in your story to make it even better – perhaps a family picture if you can find one. There is no upper word limit, but I would like you to write at least 200 words.
As you write your story, think how you can include a little bit of Folkestone’s history or your own family’s story. You are about 90 years too young to know it, but Folkestone played an important part in the First World War and it really is a fascinating story. There are cash prizes for the best stories and I want to feature lots of them here on on the website.
The winning stories will be put on the website and will feature in an event on the Step Short compass area beneath the new commemorative arch being built on The Leas.
The overall first prize is £200, the second prize is £100 and the third £50 (all prizes in Sainsbury’s vouchers). There will be plenty of other prizes, too.
Closing date for entries is Friday, 18 July.
Entry form (please attach to drawing or to written work).
Please note: Written entries can also be emailed to [email protected]. Please include your Name, Address, Email, Age and School, and use “TW Competition” as the subject header.