The school community participated in a number of Acts of Remembrance over the weekend. All different in format, but equally significant. This year the commemorations had a special focus on marking the centenary of the World War I Armistice.
The Chapel Choir commenced things with a special performance at the Royal British Legion Bedfordshire Festival of Remembrance at the Corn Exchange on the evening of Friday 9th November. On the Saturday morning, we gathered for a service in the Great Hall which was particularly poignant as it involved both the Prep School and Upper School, the CCF, along with a number of senior Old Bedfordians.
The day started early on Sunday with the school hosting the Bedford Pipe Band as part of the “Battle’s Over” tribute. Then at the Sunday morning service, we were delighted to welcome back former member of staff, the Reverend Don Stevenson as guest preacher, and Captain Alex Walsh RL (01-08) who laid wreaths in memory of Old Bedfordians, both in the Chapel and outside the Memorial Hall. The Reverend Stevenson reminded all of us how important it is to pause and reflect, and that “hope” is a vital quality in dark times. At the services, the Head Master continued the tradition of reading out the names and details of Old Bedfordians who had never returned from war. The scale and youthful ages of those involved as always made a large impact.
Special congratulations should go to the CCF on parade, the Chapel Choir, brass ensemble, and, in particular, Charlie Hicks and Henry Poppleton should be congratulated on their trumpet playing. The new school Chaplain, Neil McCleery, should also be praised for navigating his way through these important events early in his first year.
One could not help but feel moved by the part Bedfordians have played in times of war and reflect on how fortunate we all are due to the sacrifices of those that have gone before us. It is vital that in the uncertain world we live in, we remember the horror of war and the potentially terrible consequences when political solutions cannot be found.
* This year a small booklet called “Bedford School Remembers” has been produced marking the link between current boys and Old Bedfordians listed in the Memorial Hall. You can see it here.