24 November 2017

Form representatives from each year group proceeded to the Chapel, where the ceremony was to begin. A remembrance service should be very respectful, and the pupils at St Edmund Arrowsmith certainly recognised the solemnity of the occasion. After gathering in the dining hall, we walked outside, each representative carrying a wreath of poppies. These wreaths were very special, as the pupils in each form had written names of deceased relatives and soldiers on each poppy.

Outside, we saw a cross in the grass. We all lined up in military fashion, waiting for the 11am bell which signified the silence, to ring. As it did, an air of stillness and remembrance washed over the whole school.  I watched my fellow peers and our senior members of staff, all with bowed heads, thinking about and remembering the men and women who fought for our freedom, and the ones who sadly died doing so. After the two-minute silence, Maria, our wonderful Chaplain, gave an opening statement. Deacon John read us a war poem, and we were all immersed in the feeling and emotion of remembering the dead.

After the prayers and poems, the wreaths were rested down upon the cross. Then, I had to play “The Last Post”. It was rather strange playing this particular piece on a trombone, as it is traditionally played on a flugelhorn, bugle or cornet. Nevertheless, I played it. As I did, I felt a wave of emotion rushing straight through me, as I am sure did everyone else. For me, to honour the dead this way was a privilege. I was so humbled and I could not even imagine just how awful, perilous and dreadful the conditions must have been for those brave men and women. Some of the uniformed students also paid their respects with a stomp of the boot.

Overall an emotional ceremony, but a very respectful one at that.

by Joel Bird, 10C2