All OBs who had served or worked in Iraq and Afghanistan were invited back for a special dinner on Friday 27th February. We do not believe that this sort of event has happened in the past and its main purpose was to recognise the contribution of these individuals and to thank them for putting their lives at risk, whether they were servicemen, civil servants, in business or working for a charity. In one way or another they had all contributed to improving the lives of those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not everybody could join us, but we were delighted that thirty five OBs (who had worked in Iraq and Afghanistan) and a number of guests could attend this event. A drinks reception took place in the Memorial Hall, a building dedicated OB servicemen, and this was followed by a Dinner.
Everybody had a very enjoyable evening, but it is important not to forget that there was a serious side to the proceedings. Mr Sandy Gray, the President of the Old Bedfordians Club, gave the Loyal Toast and the Head Master, Mr James Hodgson, thanked this special group of OBs for their endeavours. Although Bedford School had fortunately not lost an OB in these campaigns he recognised that many gathered at the event had tragically lost friends and comrades. He went on to praise those in our armed services and highlighted the way in which they go about the challenges of their daily lives when on operations, and recognised the stress that it puts on their loved ones,
Since 1552 Bedford School has had a great tradition of service over many generations and I am confident that we are still developing the values in boys so that they too in the future can step up to the mark and play an active part in a changing world.
Colonel Anthony Abrahams (60-70) replied on behalf of the guests and thanked the Head Master for laying on the Dinner. Since returning from Baghdad in 2007 this was the first time that he felt thanked by an organisation outside of the military, and this gesture by the School was much appreciated. Colonel Abrahams then demonstrated that a good sense of humour remains a key component of military life and told one or two amusing stories, mainly at the expense of his son, Flight Lieutenant Tom Abrahams (92-03 ) who had served in Afghanistan and who was also present at the Dinner! Thank you to all those that attended and made this such a special gathering.