Remembrance Day sees us remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war, specifically the First World War. It was on 11 November 1918 that the peace treaty to end the four year conflict was signed . The first formal service of remembrance was held in November 1919, at the request of King George V and this year we mark 100 years since the unveiling of the Cenotaph, in London.
On Wednesday 11 November 2020, St Peter’s held a different sort of remembrance service. We gathered, socially distanced, on the Abram field with the wind blowing strong and cold. Poppies in hands or pinned onto blazers. Several children empathised with how cold the soldiers would have been all those years ago.
We had a roll of honour read beautifully by Mrs Johnston, remembering the fallen soldiers who had been students at St Peter’s. We remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives have been taken away in world wars and conflicts past and present. Let us remember them and especially the 18 pupils from St Peter’s who gave their lives in the service of their country:
Flight Officer Quentin Garden – Liberator Captain
Lieutenant Edward Wright of the Royal Engineers
Flight Lieutenant Derek Wainwright – Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Sub Lieutenant Howard Cardwell –Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Lieutenant Owen Gould – Royal Artillery
Lieutenant John Gould – Royal Corps Signals
Lieutenant Harold Holme – Rajputana Rifles
Geoffrey Dawes – Assistant Deputy Commissioner to Governor, Leeward Islands
Flight Lieutenant Richard Roe – Royal Air Force
Captain Percy Wilson Military Cross – Queen’s Royal Regiment
Captain Michael Hogg – Staffordshire Regiment
John Benn – lost at sea off East Africa
Lieutenant Harold Coombe
Lieutenant Bryn Jenkin – Devonshire Regiment
Sergeant Pilot James Colmer – Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Flight Lieutenant Michael Donne – Hurricane pilot
2nd Lieutenant John Sutton (Wallis-Jones) – Devonshire Regiment
Captain Dennis South – Hampshire Regiment
We heard Bertie K play the Last Post and Reveille. Reveille signals the start of a soldier’s day, the Last Post signals its end. It was most poignant, especially as a Royal Marine Merlin helicopter thundered overhead. It was a goosepimple moment.
We heard Max C powerfully read the following poem by Site John McCrae.
We heard silence for 2 minutes, just birds and our thoughts could be heard.
We would like to say our thanks to all the pupils who took their time to remember the sacrifices given and, of course, to the staff involved in the planning, preparation and delivery of this Service. Dr Evans, you really created a very special event safely and yet still together. We remembered.
The early morning Remembrance Service can be seen here.
I leave you with Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Deputy Head Teaching and Learning.