AN ACT OF REMEMBRANCE AND A CELEBRATION OF THE LIVES OF ALL THOSE THAT MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE At 3.00pm on the eleventh of November the Old Carolians, Kidderminster High School for Girls OGA and Old Elizabethans joined together to commemorate past pupils of their schools who gave their lives in two World Wars and in more recent military conflicts in the Falklands and Afganistan
This was the first time I had been to the old school site since 2017. As seen in the Magazine, there is a new housing development, many of the old King Charles buildings have disappeared, the only one’s remaining are the old School Hall, the 4A and Sixth form building and those rooms attached to the Hall. The Dance School which now uses the Hall, has been extremely obliging in providing us with a warm friendly welcome. The transformation of the hall into a Dance School with sprung floor, mirrors and bars the whole length, is nothing short of excellent. There are display cabinets filled with splendid trophies won by the School.
President Stephen Wyre welcomed a large group of King Charles, Kidderminster High School, Old Elizabethans and other friends to the Remembrance Service. All attendees were handed a commemorative booklet of the Service - a superb addition. There was an introductory Prayer, followed by the President’s reading of “Attack“ by Siegfried Sassoon. The names of those who died from the 3 schools in the First World War, were read by the President, Senior Vice President Martin Wall and Junior Vice President, Laura Hutchins Payne. Richard Woolley then read “Remorse“ by Siegfried Sassoon and Norman Broadfield read “ In Flanders’ Fields “ by John McCrae. The names of those from the schools who died in World War 2 were read by Dave Laverty, Peter Guy, and Stephen Wyre whilst Ken Ryder gave a very emotional reading of “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” Finally Laura Hutchins Payne read the names of male and female scholars who had died in World War 2, the Falklands War, and the war in Afghanistan.
Stephen placed the wreath underneath the Memorial Window in the Hall whilst the Collects for Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday were read. Past President Arthur Miller led us all in Prayers followed by a Blessing. The Traditional “God Save the Queen” ended the Ceremony. Special thanks are due to all those who played such a large part in the success of the Schools’ Remembrance Day - Arthur and Richard for the striking booklet, Peter Picken for contacts with M and M, the research work done by Dave Laverty and Margaret Miller, the printers from Worcester, and last but not least, the Dance School contacts who provided the very welcome refreshments on such a cold November day.
You may have read recently, that a 14 year old Tenbury pupil was tasked at school to write a poem for Remembrance Day 2019. The poem went viral on the internet and it is printed here. I wish I could lay claim to this creativity when I was 14.
ONE THOUSAND MEN ARE WALKING.
One thousand men are walking, walking side by side
Singing songs from home, the spirit as their guide,
They walk towards the light milord, they walk towards the sun
They smoke and laugh together, no foes to outrun.
These men live on forever in the hearts of those they saved,
A nation truly grateful for the path of peace they paved.
They march as friends and comrades but they do not march for war
Step closer to salvation, a tranquil steady corps.
The meadows lit with golden beams, a beacon for the brave
The emerald grass untrampled, a reward for what they gave.
They dream of those they left behind and know they dream of them,
Forever in those poppy fields, there walks one thousand men.
Peter Vaughan : Carolian Armed Forces Correspondent