A MOVING account of the Battle of Somme from a German perspective has seen a Dorchester student taste success in a national competition.

Year 9 Thomas Hardye pupil Harry Arnold has been chosen as one of the winners of the Historical Association Historical Fiction Competition 2014. His story ‘Brutality’ is based on the opening days of the Battle of the Somme and was selected as one of the six winning stories from over 100 entries from across the country. All Year 9 students produced stories about the First World War and the best three from the year group were selected for the national competition, which was judged by a panel of historians, teachers and students.

Harry was inspired by Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front and had meticulously researched his story, choosing to write it from the German perspective. Katie Taylor, Harry’s Year 9 History teacher, said: “It is well documented how reading for pleasure increases students’ life chances, therefore the history department are always keen to encourage reading and with such a wealth of wonderful historical fiction for both adults and young adults, the students are spoilt for choice.

“Through engaging narratives and an empathy with character students’ historical understanding can really grow with fiction and this is what happened to Harry.

“After reading the very challenging ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ and in competition with his good friend to write the longest story, Harry wrote his winning epic ‘Brutality.’”

Harry has been awarded an engraved Bath Aqua Glass paperweight and £25 prize, plus a certificate from the Historical Association.