As Armistice Centenary drew near, the College community took part in several services and moments of reflection to remember those who lost their lives.
In the lead up to Remembrance Day, pupils from different year groups paid their respects at the war memorials around the College dedicated to former members of the College Community who lost their lives in conflict. In order to keep the memory of these OCs alive, pupils laid a wreath at each of these places and, alongside our College Chaplain, conducted a small service as an act of remembrance.
Many have verbalized the poignancy of taking part in these services in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday. The College Chaplain believes that small, more personal acts of remembrance such as these helps to make the concept of remembrance a more tangible experience for the pupils of today.
On Sunday 11 November pupils, parents and staff from the Upper School gathered to commemorate the Centenary of the Armistice which brought the First World War to a close. The Combined Cadet Force formed an honour guard as they welcomed people to the Chapel and brought a sense of quiet dignity and occasion to the service.
The College was encouraged to remember that the 'war to end all wars' did not bring the peace that those fighting in it had hoped for and were charged to commit themselves to do everything possible to be peacemakers in our communities. Jonathan Walker, an Old Cliftonian and military historian spoke movingly about the effect of the war on an entire generation of people connected with our College.
After the service, the congregation gathered beneath the Memorial Arch and laid wreaths to remember more than 850 members of the College who lost their lives in conflict around the world. Memorial Arch stands as a timeless reminder of the need to remember with thankfulness the sacrifice made by so many on our behalf.
Armistice Day falls each year, on 11th November, to mark the day in 1918 when the fighting in World War One was stopped. The Allies and Germany signed an armistice in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne in France at 05:00. Six hours later, at 11:00, the conflict ceased.
King George V announced that a two-minute silence would be observed in 1919, four days before the first anniversary of Armistice Day. The silence continues to be observed every year on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.
We shall remember them.