top of page

2023 Year 6 Second Prize
Life of a match factory girl 
by India

Day by day, fine after fine
I wish for a miracle
A miracle that's mine


Yellow skin, thinning hair
Phossy jaw
Life is simply not fair


Drop a match, have a break
My 5 shillings fades
A full wage seems fake


Us matchgirls take action, start to strike
Protest for hours
But by the owners we are disliked


Our plan to strike now has blown
Punished for our actions
We pay for a statue of gladstone


To parliament we go we’ve had enough
Bryant and May’s rage grows
As us match girls win minds and hearts


The law has changed I’m finally free
No more nasty phosphorus for me.

St Agnes.png

On 1st July 2023, a new musical composition was premiered at the Great Hall of the Peoples Palace at Queen Mary University in Mile End, to commemorate the 135th anniversary of the Matchgirls Strike of 1888. 

The Matchgirls Memorial ran a schools poetry competition to celebrate the event. 

Judges were Tanya Landman, Author, Dr Anna Robinson, Senior Lecturer UEL & Poet, Chris Searle, Retired Teacher, Author and Poet.

India from St Agnes Catholic Primary School won Second prize in the Year 6 category with the poem, 'Life of a match factory girl'.

bottom of page