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Pupils and staff from our Senior School gathered today in an Act of Remembrance. Children in younger years have also taken part in assemblies during the week and mindful activities to acknowledge the occasion.

Senior School pupils contributed to the service in a variety of ways, with a reading of ‘In Flanders Fields’ by pupil Head of School, Omolara, and a message from the Royal British Legion read out by her fellow Head of School, Ayden. Y9 pupil Elijah played the Last Post on the trumpet.

Pupil Heads of School
Pupil Heads of School, Ayden and Omolara read at the service

Henry Shepherd, Assistant Head (Academic) and Teacher of Classics led the Senior School assemblies this week: “For the Remembrance assemblies, I made my theme the doubts and decisions that must have beset people in the run-up to conflict, caught between the competing demands of duty and home.  The life of the poet, Edward Thomas, and his own words about the landscape of the South Downs that he loved and died to protect, formed my focus, in the hope that his story could help pupils think about the sacrifice made by so many, and those they left behind.”

Members of our popular Combined Cadet Force (CCF) provided ceremonial support for the event, which marks an important occasion in their busy year-round schedule. The Senior School Chorale, comprising pupils from Y9-13, sang ‘For the Fallen’ by Douglas Guest.

CCF Sergeant Major, Gabriel
CCF Sergeant Major, Gabriel

CCF Sergeant Major, Gabriel added: “It has been a great honour to be Sergeant Major this year, and Remembrance Day is one of the greatest reasons for this. To take such a role in one of the most significant events of the school year is a source of pride, and over the last week my Colour Party and I have definitely felt the burden of our duty as we have been preparing for the service.

Ultimately, remembering is educational. Few people know how Fabian Ware, an ambulance volunteer, fought the British system to get each individual service person remembered and to start something adopted everywhere, to remind us all of the lesson that war is ever present in human history, and that we need to understand in order to avoid it or minimise its horror.”

The service concluded by laying a Garden of Remembrance at the War Memorial.

Pupils and staff laid poppies
Pupils laid poppies in the Garden of Remembrance

Head Pupil Omolara reflected: “Remembrance Day allows us, as a community, to honour the courage and sacrifice of the heroes who have fought to protect their country. It is a solemn period of reflection for us all.”