Remembrance assembly for the school community this year was led by Rev Robert Prance and opened with a fitting reading by sixth form student Katie Kirk, from John chapter 15 verses 11-17: ‘Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…This is my command: Love each other.’ This was followed by extracts from ‘For the Fallen’ by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) which have been universally claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of nation:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam
Rev Prance movingly spoke about his own personal connection to the Great War and how it had deeply affected his family: one family member didn’t return, one lost a limb and one was mentally scarred. The whole school stood for the hymn ‘I vow to thee my country’ and to speak the fourth verse of Binyon’s poem once more; a two minute silence followed. The service ended with a prayer and blessing; girls and staff left in silence.