A pupil from St Ninian’s High School has won a national history prize.
Millie Orton, aged 14, was unanimously chosen by judges to receive the Key Stage 3 award in the Young Historian Project.
The project is run by the Spirit of Normandy Trust, a charity founded in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Normandy campaign that proved so pivotal to the Second World War.
It invites students of all ages to research and write about events that led up to the 1944 campaign and their historical significance. Prizes are awarded in primary, Key Stage 3 and senior categories.
Millie’s project was about her great grandfather, Dougie Orton, who was a member of the Manx Regiment and a prisoner of war during the war. She compiled an illustrated diary of his war.
She said: ‘I interviewed my great gran about my great granddad’s life and mum, dad and nana helped to provide stories and pictures.’
Trevor James, the Young Historian Project’s director, said judges were ‘just so impressed by the way that Millie carried out her research and by the range of materials she presented’.
Dr James described Millie’s success as ‘an important achievement for the school and its history department’, which is headed by Andrew Wilkinson.
Mr Wilkinson said: ‘We are extremely proud of Millie and five other St Ninian’s High School pupils who won certificates of commendation.’
As for Millie, she said she was so surprised when she received a phone call to say she had won the prize that her mum had to pull her car over while they took in the news.
The win has special significance for Millie, as her great grandfather died this year and the project is a fitting tribute to him.
Millie and her mum Polly will travel to the Union Jack Club in Waterloo, London, to receive her £100 prize, plus a shield to be displayed at school, on October 15.
They will be accompanied by D-Day veteran Hector Duff BEM, who champions the prize locally. The presentation takes place on the day of Hector’s 94th birthday.
It’s the second time St Ninian’s has been successful in the prize after Alison Ogden won the Key Stage 4 prize in 2010.