On Sunday 1st May an Act of Remembrance took place at the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme, northern France. This was an important way for the School and Old Bedfordians Club to come together to mark the one-hundred-year anniversary of the First World War and specifically the Somme offensive (1st July 1916). In particular, we remembered the sacrifice of the twenty-one OBs listed as ‘missing’ on the Memorial and the 463 who gave their lives through the conflict. The service was conducted by the School Chaplain, the Reverend Shaun Atkins and boys, staff, OBs and their wives all took part.
Over the weekend two tours had taken place, one involving OBs and their partners, and another involving current boys. The oldest Old Bedfordian on the trip, James Kelly (42-50) laid a wreath on behalf of the Old Bedfordians Club and Ollie Crankshaw (4th Form), the youngest boy on the trip and also the son of an Old Bedfordian, laid a wreath on behalf of the School. It was significant that there was a seventy-year age gap between the two!
Both groups enjoyed the tours enormously visiting the Menin Gate and St George’s Chapel in Ypres, Passchendaele and the Somme; the memories no doubt will stay with them for many years to come.
Thank you to all those that joined us. We hope to conduct similar battlefield tours in the future, please look out for the details.