POIGNANT poems reflecting the horrors of war were read by the children who wrote them at an event to mark Armistice Day.

Bradford's Young War Poet was a competition run by the Kirkgate Shopping Centre and charity Reading Matters that asked the district's young people to articulate the topic of war.

An emotive poem written by 13-year-old Aamna Rafaqat from Bradford Girls’ Grammar School won the district-wide competition, and she performed it live at the shopping centre on Saturday - Armistice Day.

In second and third place were year six student from Wellington Primary School, Katie Hammond (10), and Finlay Cooper Butters (7) from Horton Park Academy.

Acclaimed poet Anthony Anaxagorou had judged the competition, and said the young people showed “talent beyond their years."

He told the Telegraph & Argus: "There was a very high standard, particularly for their ages. Their poems were impressive as war is something it can be difficult for kids to get their head around. For me it was about expressing the futility of war and the loss of life.

Aamna's poem, The Fate of The Soldiers, dealt with the feelings of uncertainty those on the front line must have felt.

She said the poem had been inspired by her history teacher, who had encouraged pupils to write poems based on what they had learned about the war. She added: It just came naturally."

Prizes include an iPad, tickets to see War Horse and Kirkgate Shopping vouchers.

The poems were read at the centre's Armistice Day event,, which observed the two minute silence with The Royal British Legion at 11am. It also included an exclusive performances from Mr Anaxagorou, who devises programmes to help engage students who are underachieving due to low literacy rates.

He added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this campaign, the children have clearly been inspired to express themselves through poetry as the level of entries was outstanding. It was so hard picking only three winners, especially seeing how young some of them were.

“Aamna’s poem was incredibly well organised in both its form and economy, a neat and emotive poem which captured the trepidation of soldiers. Katie’s was another excellent entry and I really enjoyed the form her poem took with how it subtly hints at despair without saying too much. Finally, I loved Finlay’s use of metaphor and the quiet lament found in lines, another poignant piece. A huge well done to all entrants, it’s very exciting to see the writing talent coming from the next generation of poets in Bradford.”

Catherine Riley, centre manager at Kirkgate, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with The Royal British Legion so we’re thrilled to share the day with the wonderful fundraising team. We believe it’s important that the district’s young people can truly get involved in Remembrance Day weekend so having the ‘Bradford’s Young War Poet’ event adds a new and engaging element for them.”

The day also featured an exhibition from the Bradford WW1 Group which tells the story of the city in the Great War.