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Poppy Dedication to 81 Old Boys

Friday, 13 March 2015

Headmaster Mr Philip Britton led a moving tribute to the eighty one Old Boys of Bolton School who lost their lives during World War One.  The ceremony took place in the same week, one hundred years later, that Albert Knowles Wilson lost his life; he was the first former pupil to die in the conflict, which took the lives of almost one million men from Britain. 

Albert Wilson was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment and attached to the Indian Expeditionary Force.  He was killed in action on 12 March 1915 during the first British offensive of the War.  He was involved in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle which cost 11,562 casualties for the gain of just two square kilometres of land.  He died on the first day of the battle aged 25.

Albert’s name, along with the other 80 names of Old Boys who made the ultimate sacrifice, was read out by the Headmaster as Sixth Form boys and girls planted a poppy, which had earlier been part of the Tower of London display, in a mark of respect on the Headmaster’s Lawn.  Over the coming years, the School will remember all 81 former pupils who lost their lives. Later that day the whole of Boys’ Division Senior School joined in tributes to those that lost their lives in a poignant Remembrance Assembly.

You can watch a video documenting the planting of the 81 poppies here.

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School Captain, Paul Greenhalgh, lays one of the 81 poppies in tribute to the Old Boys who lost their lives in the Great War

School Captain, Paul Greenhalgh, lays one of the 81 poppies in tribute to the Old Boys who lost their lives in the Great War

Headmaster Mr Philip Britton read out the names of the 81 fallen as students planted 81 poppies

Headmaster Mr Philip Britton read out the names of the 81 fallen as students planted 81 poppies