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Act of Remembrance Brings School Together

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Remembrance Day at Bolton School brought the whole school community together. Though the events themselves were virtual and socially distanced this year, they were an opportunity for pupils, members of staff and even alumni around the world to stand together for the small but important collective act of reflecting on the price of freedom and the lives lost through war.

The theme of hope at the Girls’ Division Service of Remembrance was expressed through musical performances and poetry, and Headmistress Sue Hincks led the occasion with thoughtful reflection on the similarities between the current global pandemic and wartime. The prayer called on the audience to remember those who have given their lives in the service of others and those no longer with us. Miss Hincks said: ‘We come together not to glorify or celebrate war and conflict but to recognise its cost, and to commit ourselves to be peacemakers and peacekeepers wherever the opportunity falls within our grasp.’

In the Boys’ Division Remembrance Assembly, Dr Holland reflected that although not everyone could be in the Great Hall for the occasion, the whole community did very much stand together in these difficult times. He went on to speak of the historic milestones marked by 2020: it is the 100th anniversary of the laying to rest of the body of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey as well as the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. His address commemorated all those who laid down their lives for this country, not just in the First and Second World Wars, but also in a wide range of other conflicts around the world, and the lives of three former pupils who died in the Second World War were particularly remembered. Sixth Form pupils laid wreaths at the school memorial and Dr Holland concluded the assembly by quoting the words: ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.’

At the heart of both Senior School events was the two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, preceded by the important promise of the ‘Ode to Remembrance’: ‘We will remember them.’

In the Junior Girls’ School, pupils watched a video recording featuring three Year 6 girls talking about the origins of ‘poppy day’ and the importance of Remembrance, followed by a fourth girl reciting the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae. This was followed by two minutes of silence, during which beautiful poppy artwork created by the whole of Year 6 was displayed.

At the Junior Boys’ School, Year 6 led the assembly in the hall, remembering the services of others and the sacrifices made, with the rest of Park Road joining in via Zoom. Pupils wore their poppies with pride and created poppy wreaths in their forms to commemorate members of their own families who have died in war.

All of the children at Beech House, Bolton School’s Infant department, also marked Remembrance Day. Some created wonderful poppy inspired artwork whist others wrote poems inspired by stories of the children in the Second World War.

Even children in the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds observed the two minutes of silence at 11 o’clock. Together they created a poppy wreath and decorated their own poppies to take home in honour of the occasion.


Some of the School’s Remembrance commemorations are available to watch again via the following links:

Senior Boys’ Remembrance Assembly

Senior Girls’ Remembrance Service

Junior Girls’ Remembrance Video

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