The students and staff at Bishop Ramsey commemorated the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the First World War in a week of events and displays organised by Miss Neal, Mr Flynn and Mr Britton.
Mr Flynn led World War One assemblies for each year group. Flags of participating nations were displayed in the Atrium whilst posters and facts of the period were exhibited around the school. A colourful display of students home made poppies and tiles was also prominent. The library held an exhibition which included facsimiles of newspapers of the week leading up to 11th November 1918 and a book of Remembrance to the Ruislip fallen.
Year 7 and 8 students watched part of the film ‘Journeys End’. Based on R C Sheriffs biographical play set in 1918 it portrays the horror of the trenches and the awful conditions the men suffered. The students found it a emotional experience. For the older students there was a showing of Peter Jackson’s ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’.
Garden of Remembrance
On Friday 9th November staff and students planted a garden of remembrance to commemorate the lost generation of the First World War and the fallen of other conflicts.
Mr Britton and Miss Neal led a short ceremony of commemoration accompanied by student representatives from each form. Miss Neal and Oliver Kavanagh explained that on Sunday 11th November at 11a.m it would be exactly 100 years to the minute that the First World War ended. Millions had been killed or injured and every member of the community affected. The majority of the fallen were buried overseas or missing so the Nations dead were commemorated through war memorials including gardens.
The poem ‘Who are These Men’ was excellently read by Rhodri Leach.
Miss Neal and Harry Donovan then planted two trees both red for remembrance. These were joined by a heather and a lavender both white for peace. One student representative from each form then planted wild flowers and meadow grass seeds to represent a Flanders field using the flowers of remembrance – the Poppy for Britain and the Empire, the Cornflower for France, the Daisy for Belgium and the Forget Me Not for Germany. During the planting the name, rank and age of the fallen engraved on Ruislip war memorial were read out by Rowan Gale and Mr Britton, a poignant moment for everyone present.
Following the planting Rosie Castle read the appropriate poem In Flanders Field.
The ceremony concluded with Mr Britton reciting Laurence Binyon’s Exhortation ‘They Shall Grow Not Old…’ and a moments silence was held for all who had suffered through the Great War.
The garden will now become a focal point for commemoration every November as well as being a place of reflection throughout the year. We will watch the trees and flowers grow representing the young and old who never returned.
Service of Commemoration
On Monday 12th November the entire school stood outside to commemorate the end of the First World War in a short service of Remembrance. The service was introduced by Mrs Adamson and then there was a bible reading by Altay Shaw and Philippa Gadsby. The poem In Flanders Field was read and this was followed by the laying of two poppy wreaths by Miss Neal and Mr Flynn. Miles Da Silva ably played the Last Post to signal The Two minutes silence which was held perfectly by the entire school whilst the Union Flag was lowered by the Head boy, Robbie Brown. The short service ended with prayers led by Mr Alan Wright, Lay reader at St Lawrence, Eastcote. A fitting tribute to those who served and fell.
We Will Remember Them.