School falls silent to remember war dead

Poppies at memorial

The school fell silent at 11am on Remembrance Day as our recent trip to the first world war battlefields helped us remember those members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

Two-minute silence

Pupils and staff were joined by Old Stopfordians at a service of hymns and readings, during which Ben Carthy played the Last Post to signal the beginning of the two minutes of silence.

Junior remembrance service

Earlier in the day, Niamh Johnson’s Last Post ended headmaster Mr Tim Wheeler’s special junior school assembly on the significance of the poppy, featuring moving readings from the house captains.

Remembrance reunion

Afterwards, Old Stopfordians who left the school between 1930 and 1960 joined us for a reunion lunch and were introduced to our newly-restored war memorial boards by school archivist Mr Stuart Helm.

School chaplain the Rev Liz Leaver read a prayer of dedication before our third and fourth year pupils who visited the French and Belgian battlefields of the first world war spoke about their trip.

Battlefields trip

On the trip, air cadets Oliver Greenwood and Liam Sorah laid a wreath on behalf of the school at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Cadets with wreath

Olivia Cleere, Nathan Eckersley and Oliver McDonald also left wreaths at the Menin Gate in Ypres, with some pupils leaving personal messages to relatives whose names are on the memorial.

Pupils at memorial

While at the Somme, visits to the underground Musee Somme 1916, the Lochnagar crater and the trenches at Newfoundland Park helped the children learn about the conditions in which the soldiers fought and the horrors of the war.

Pupils at graveyard

Over the Belgian border, our pupils also explored the trenches at Sanctuary Wood, the beautiful town of Ypres, and the In Flanders Fields museum, which all complemented their recent history classwork and served as a timely reminder of the importance of remembrance

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