Two Acts of Remembrance recently took place at the School which brought our community together and highlighted the sacrifice made by many Old Bedfordians, servicemen, servicewomen and civilians from around the world.
The first was our annual Remembrance Sunday Service in the Chapel and Wreath-Laying Ceremony outside the Memorial Hall. At the service, the School Chaplain, Neil McCleery, gave a thought-provoking sermon about the two Chavasse brothers, one of whom was awarded two VCs. Although neither are OBs, the family have strong links to the School as their second cousins were here in the 1940s and 50s. We are also honoured to share the story of Old Bedfordian Major Charles Pulley who was at the School in the 1890s and whose wartime diary was recently loaned to us. You can read a portrayal of his extraordinary experiences in the story here. A special thank you to Major Stuart Gilbert (99-04) who laid the wreath on Sunday on behalf of the Old Bedfordians Club.
This was followed by an Armistice Day Assembly in the Great Hall for the whole School on Monday 11th November, where those present observed a two-minute silence. Ten years ago, the tradition of reading out the names of OBs who had fallen in the First World War was started. The Head Master pointed out that, ten years on, we had only reached the names of those starting with the letter ‘P’ highlighting just how many OBs had made the ultimate sacrifice.
The CCF Colour Party looked very smart and on both occasions the Chapel Choirs’ singing was very moving, with a number of people, in particular, commenting on the anthem ‘Exhortation’, which uses the words from “For the Fallen” written by Laurence Binyon. The playing of the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ was also very touching.
These events will, without doubt, make many of us reflect on the horrors of war and the need, in the world we live in, to do everything possible to find peaceful solutions with a focus on reconciliation rather than conflict.
See photos from the Wreath-Laying Ceremony here.