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Commemorating 100th Anniversary of Armistice

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Pupils and staff were joined by Old Girls for the Girls’ Division Armistice Assembly, which commemorated 100 years since the end of the First World War. Headmistress Sue Hincks welcomed alumni to this poignant occasion and spoke about the national memorial service which will take place in London on Sunday 11 November 2018, remembering the lives of those killed or injured in the First World War, Second World War and more recent conflicts.

The service was based around a series of poems read by pupils. It began with Lizzie Lees and Abigail Hughes in Year 11 reading ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, the poem from which the Ode to Remembrance is taken, which was read in full. The congregation then stood to sing the hymn ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’. Afterwards the powerful poetry readings continued with Lizzie Crowther and Charlie Wakefield in Year 12 reading ‘We Shall Keep The Faith’, which Moina Michael wrote as a response to John McCrae’s ‘In Flanders Fields’, promising to remember the fallen with the symbol of the poppy.

Two minutes of silence were observed at 11 o’clock, framed by the Last Post and Reveille played by Year 13 student Ellen Bate.

This was followed by Adithi Prasad and Iman Javaid in Year 8 reading Phillip Larkin’s ‘MCMXIV’, written in the aftermath of both World Wars: a stark reminder that war is not “An August Bank Holiday lark”. Year 10 pupil Laweeza Ali’s reading of Wilfred Owen’s ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ continued this theme, focusing on the brutal reality of war rather than the idealism.

‘We’ll Meet Again’ was sung by Rachel Care in Year 12 at the request of Old Girl Janet Hathaway, who asked if it could be included in the Armistice service as Dame Vera Lynn, who made the song famous in 1939, received a Lifetime Achievement Award this year. The Accidentals also gave a beautiful performance of ‘Tundra’ by Ola Gjeilo.

Miss Hincks led the prayers, remembering all those who have been killed or injured in conflict since 1914 and those affected by war. Old Girl Barbara Ronson, who for a long time was the North West organiser of the poppy appeal and who sadly died last weekend, was also remembered in the prayers.

The service came to a close with the singing of ‘Jerusalem’.

After the service, the Old Girls went on to enjoy Lunch in the Arts Centre with entertainment from Year 7 pupils in the form of an upbeat ABBA medley. Year 7 also invited Old Girls to join in with singing the School Song.

The Senior Boys, Junior Boys and Junior Girls also held Remembrance assemblies on Friday 9 November 2018 to mark the occasion.

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