Remembering those who were lost

We invited a number of guests, including the Mayor of Hastings, Trustee governors and governors of the academy to join our staff and students at our annual Remembrance Service.

The service was led by Fr. David Smith, a former army chaplain, who talked to students about ‘The Last Man’, George Edwin Ellison, and posed the question as to should peace begin before the first man is killed rather than after the last man shot.

Fr. David Smith then read a poem ‘ The Goodnight Kiss’.

'FIVE strides apart, five summers past, I saluted you and the old sweats riding to War.

I fell first. And waited: while you mined the frozen mud. Ducked into crump holes.

Pinched lice from your seams. Felt the pear drops’ sting at Wipers. You drink Hannah’s words from home; Jimmy’s walking now. 

Then you’re following the tank tracks from Cambrai. The chase draws you to Mons, where your War began.

In the woods on the eleventh day, a goodnight kiss. Ninety minutes to Armistice. My wait ends.

First and last in a bunker for pals, we lie five strides apart.'

The focus moved to the Remembrance of the dead and the names of William Parker students who lost their lives in The Great War were read out. Head of House, Shelley Clarke played the Reveille on the bugle, which was followed by a minutes silence in respect to those lost in this war and all other wars.

After the assembly two students with the guests laid a wreath at the permanent memorial at the Upper School site.

Mrs Iglinski said “Remembrance is a significant event in the life of the Academy as we remember those that ‘fell’ during the two World Wars who were members of our school community. Young people today need to be able to reflect on the past events so they do not find themselves experiencing this in their own future.”

In February, 36 students will participate in additional act of Remembrance by visiting the WW1 graves.