A FALMOUTH schoolgirl was among the winners of a short story competition who were presented with their prizes in the Great Cabin of Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.

The presentations were made by HMS Victory’s Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Brian Smith on Sunday, March 3.

Eleven year-old Eva Reid from Falmouth won first prize in the 7-11 individual entry category, while another Cornish girl Lilyanne Fletcher aged 11, a pupil at Wadebridge Primary School, was runner-up in the 7-11 school entry category.

The competition attracted nearly 300 entries judged in three age categories, the story writers coming from London and south west counties located along The Trafalgar Way.

Judged by a panel that included BBC historian Dan Snow, competition entrants were invited to write an original short story entitled An Urgent Message.

The Trafalgar Way, an initiative of The 1805 Club, is an educational charity which raises awareness of the historic land route taken by Lt John Lapenotiere, bringing news of victory and of Nelson’s death after the Battle of Trafalgar, which was the inspiration behind the competition’s theme.

Eva’s winning story, Jasper, is about a scared young girl and her dog who venture into the night to apologise for her drunken father’s absence from lookout duty on the English coast during wartime.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “We welcome The 1805 Club’s work in raising awareness of The Trafalgar Way, and taking this important naval story back to the towns and villages that first heard it.” Lt Cdr Brian Smith commented: “Being in command of HMS Victory, the oldest commissioned warship in the world and Flagship of the First Sea Lord, is a huge privilege and having greatly admired Admiral Nelson since childhood, it is a great honour and pleasure to present the prizes to winners of The Trafalgar Way Story Competition.”

All the winning stories from the competition will feature in a special Trafalgar Way book, to be published this summer.