At the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, the symbolic and mournful sound of the Last Post being played by trumpeters at four special Brentwood School Remembrance Day services echoed around the campus.
Pupils and staff united to remember the men and women who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts, and at the Preparatory School, Chaplain, the Revd Dr Adrian McConnaughie, talked to Brentwood’s youngest pupils, about the importance of peace.
Addressing the School’s oldest students, in Brentwood Cathedral, the Bursar Mr Jeremy Blunden CBE LVO, a retired Royal Navy Commodore, gave a personal reflection of the meaning of Remembrance Day for him as a former member of the Armed Forces.
Headmaster Michael Bond joined the Bursar and the Revd Dr McConnaughie for the moving service which also witnessed the traditional Laying of the Wreath by the student Head of School, Evie McKnight.
A Bible reading, given by Deputy Head of School, Ellen Fasham, was followed by the Headmaster’s poignant reading of lines from ‘For the Fallen (September 1914)’ by Laurence Binyon. Third Year, Ore Fashesin-Souza, played the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ before the packed Cathedral fell completely quiet for the two-minute silence.
The Choir, conducted by the School’s Assistant Director of Music, Mr David Revels, and accompanied on the Cathedral’s impressive pipe organ by Fellow and School Organist, Mr Sam Barber, sang a moving rendition of ‘They Are at Rest’ by Edward Elgar.
The day of remembrance started at 8.45am at the Preparatory School with the Chaplain leading a special assembly. Later in the morning, Brentwood School’s youngest pupils attended a commemoration at the town’s war memorial at 11am.
The Senior School’s Third and Fourth Year pupils took part in a Remembrance Service in the Wessex Auditorium which was led by Mr Ian Kemble, Director of Schools Work at the Brentwood Schools’ Christian Worker Trust, where Fifth Year, Sarah Prior, played the ‘Last Post’.
The Memorial Hall was the setting for the Second Year service which was led by Revd Canon Paul Hamilton. He was joined by Second Year, Jack Williams, who played the ‘Last Post’.
The First Years’ service was held in the School’s Victorian Chapel and led by the Revd Stuart Hull. Daisy Strouts and Ethan Roos gave a reading before Third Year trumpeter Savannah Morrish played the Last Post.
Yesterday’s services followed the annual town Remembrance Day Parade which saw more than 200 cadets from the School’s Combined Cadet Force on parade. A highlight of the morning for Fifth Year student Annabelle Hill was the chance to march with her grandfather, Victor Walker, a 94-year-old Normandy Veteran. Annabelle marched with the CCF Navy section in the annual civic parade while Mr Walker took his place among the handful of veterans.