Brentwood School staff, governors and students past and present travelled to the famous Belgian town of Ypres on the last day of term to rededicate their plaque in St George’s English Church to those who fell in the Great War 100 years ago. The last time the School visited in such numbers was in 2009 to unveil the plaque originally.
In a moving service led by the School chaplain, Revd Dr Adrian McConnaughie, the names of 59 Old Brentwoods who gave their lives were read out by current pupils in the Third Year, who were visiting the region on an annual Battlefields History trip.
Navy Officer, Commodore Jonathan Fry, himself an Old Brentwood, gave a personal and poignant address during the service, paying tribute to the 59, and relating their experiences before call-up to those of current students present in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and Choir. The Headmaster read the exhortation and a wreath was laid at the School’s memorial plaque. Mr Peter West, aged 89, who fought in the Korean War, rededicated the plaque to victims of the Great War and subsequent conflicts.
Later that evening, the School laid 3 wreaths at the atmospheric Menin Gate memorial, joined by members of the CCF, led by Contingent Commander Lt. Col. John Seaman. Commodore Fry read the exhortation as the most senior ranking forces officer that evening.
Reflecting on the weekend’s events, Headmaster Ian Davies tweeted: “A moving and memorable service to remember those who died; to celebrate the end of the First World War and to welcome the continuity of community that exists between Old Brentwoods and current students. “We have all drunk from the fountain and swim in the same river.”