November is always a very special month for me, because the Remembrance Service that we hold each year serves to remind all of us of the extreme sacrifices that those generations who went before us made, together with those who have experienced areas of conflict around the world in more recent times.

Each year the whole of our community gathers together to remember not just those who gave their lives, but those who were left behind and those whose lives have been terribly blighted both through physical injury and mental turmoil brought about by the horrors of war.

I find it incredibly poignant to think that as we all fell silent at 1100, exactly the same procedure was being replicated all around the country as well as wherever our armed forces were serving overseas. In train stations, shopping centres, supermarkets, on the street, people stopped what they were doing for two minutes to remember.

As the two minutes ended, Harry’s rendition of the Last Post was followed by Amber and Henry reading Laurence Binyon’s famous poem, “For The Fallen”. This was preceded by a lovely song from the Pre-prep and the service was brought to an end with a few words from our guest of honour Warrant Officer Gareth Voice. WO Voice spoke of his military experiences around the world, particularly focussing on how Armistice Day is commemorated in British service camps overseas. He also explained the reason for two minutes’ silence. The first minute is to remember the soldiers who have died and the second minute is to think of those who are left behind, the families and friends of those who have died.

The chapel was virtually full for this very short service, with a very high number of parents and grandparents joining us for the occasion, several of whom were wearing their military medals, awarded in days gone by. I really am very grateful to everyone who found the time to come into school to commemorate this special occasion with us. Their presence added significantly to what was a very moving service.

The following week, 4H added to the occasion with their class assembly in which they talked to the rest of the school on the research that they had done on the soldiers and former pupils of this school whose names are on our role of honour. It was a wonderful assembly, really well researched and very well presented and 4H really should be congratulated.

JG 23.xi.16