One young student’s efforts to honour veterans has earned him honour as well.
A Grade 9 student at Shuswap Middle School, Deverick Clingwall, has twice won honourable mentions in a Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command Youth Remembrance Video Contest.
Two years ago, the young air cadet was recognized for a poster and for Remember, a video based on his grandmother’s brothers, who were First World War veterans.
This year’s entry, Till the Last Shot’s Fired, is a video he entered as a Grade 8 student.
Some of the short video is based on the diary of First World War soldier Pvt. J.C. McPherson, who described everyday life in the Canadian trenches.
Deverick also includes the German experience, something that worried him initially because he was afraid it would be offensive to some people.
But his mom, BJ, suggested that the two countries are at peace and people need to respect all the lives that were lost on both sides.
“It was quite shocking,” he says, of reading the large weighty diary that spanned about three years. “He couldn’t say where he was, but he writes about bullets flying past his head and exploding at his feet.”
Deverick says McPherson also wrote about being only 60 feet away from the German lines.
“He was in France and he was constantly being given upgraded masks,” he says. “I was quite saddened by it.”
Deverick has already submitted a video for next year’s competition, based partly on McPherson’s diary and on his own feelings.
“I started asking why is war necessary,” he says of Why, the video that again includes journal entries and photos.
Clingwall is already planning another video.
He may be opposed to war, but he believes firmly that those who fought to keep this country free should never be forgotten.