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Councillor pens Rushcliffe inspired poem to support DNRC

2 April 2018

A Rushcliffe Borough councillor is encouraging local residents to support the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre’s (DNRC) national poetry competition after penning her own entry paying tribute to those who have suffered injuries whilst serving their country.

‘A Dream of Hope’ was written by Cllr Tina Combellack, who represents the Nevile and Langar Ward in the borough and is the Council’s entry to its poignant competition which marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

It also symbolises the creation of the world leading clinical rehabilitation facility at the Stanford Hall estate in the borough with the councillor referring in her poem to a “tranquil space in Rushcliffe’s green pastures” and “Stanford standing as a haven of hope”.

The competition – called ‘A Poem to Remember’ – is inspired by the Great War Poets of the First World War and seeks to discover the next generation of poems that reflect on humankind’s ability to triumph over adversity.

The winning poem will be installed at the DNRC and read by Patron, The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, at a special event this summer at the Defence facility.

Cllr Combellack said: “I am very pleased to be supporting this most honourable of competitions for everything the DNRC stands for in its efforts to help members of our armed forces recover from injuries sustained in the field.

“To have the national centre based here in our borough later this year will be wonderful and I am sure the winning poem will stand proudly among its features to help our injured troops in the recovery battle they face.”

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion Cllr Debbie Mason praised the entry and competition.

She said: “Cllr Combellack’s entry is a most fitting entry and we’re proud as a council to be associated with it.

“The DNRC will have such a role here locally in Rushcliffe in the years to come and we hope we can support inspiring efforts such as these to reflect the incredible work they will do serve the forces.”

A team of literary experts will review all the entries and produce a long list of 25 poems. 

From this, the best five will be chosen by a panel of high profile judges, chaired by historian and broadcaster Dan Snow, before a winner is decided by a public vote.

The competition is open to anybody aged 17 and over and is free to enter.  Poems should not be more than 25 lines long.

The winner will receive a £2,000 cash prize, and £500 will be presented to the four runners-up.

Poems can be entered by email, online or by post. Full details can be found at

The deadline for entries is Monday 9 April 2018.

The shortlist will be announced in May and the public will have the chance to read the poems and vote for their winner by text or online.

Cllr Combellack’s poem reads:



They came back full of despair

from battles unknown.

Broken and battered with little hope of repair

to a place of retreat.


Can we calm the mind?

Are we able to help?

Let the body unwind

and bring back hope.


Stanford will stand as a haven of hope,

for each wounded soul

who returned to their families,

not yet quite whole.


A tranquil space

In Rushcliffe’s green pastures.

A healing place

away from disasters.


We’ll remember their fight

and duty to Nation,

a passion for right

to see wars termination.


Join with me now in praise,

not that we ever should

forget the sacrifice given

by the brave and the good.