Old Stopfordians joined pupils on Remembrance Day at Stockport Grammar to remember those members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty, following on from the school’s recent trip to the first world war battlefields for children in the third year.
During a moving remembrance service in the main hall, hymns were sung, pupils made readings and Ben Carthy played the Last Post to signal the beginning of two minutes of silence.
After the service, Old Stopfordians who left the school between 1930 and 1955 enjoyed a special reunion lunch, during which a group of pupils who visited the battlefields spoke about the trip and the wreath they laid on behalf of the association at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, which read:
The Old Stopfordians’ Association is proud to remember those who gave their lives for their country.
vincit qui patitur
Just before the half-term break, 60 pupils from the third year travelled to Belgium and northern France on the History department’s annual tour of world war one battlefields.
On the trip, pupils laid wreaths at the Menin Gate in Ypres where they also attended the moving Last Post ceremony, and, as above, at the Thiepval Memorial, where they learned about Old Stopfordian Stanley Liddell of New Mills, who is commemorated on the monument.
Time spent in the cemeteries commemorating the Pals battalions, who died on the Somme battlefields; in Belgium at Essex Farm, where John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields; German cemetery Langemark and Commonwealth cemetery Tyne Cot helped pupils appreciate the war’s huge loss of life.
The packed three-day trip also included visits to the Lochnagar crater; the trench systems at Newfoundland Park and Hooge; the beautiful town of Ypres and the In Flanders Fields museum, which all helped serve as a timely reminder of the importance of remembrance, as well as complementing the children’s recent classwork.