Whitehorse Manor Junior School is one of a very small number of schools in this country to have a war memorial on site, due to its history as a boys’ senior school at the time when the First World War broke out. Our war memorial was dedicated in June 1920 and, following restoration work, rededicated on Armistice Day in 1995.
Since 1995 the school has held a special Remembrance Day service at the memorial on the 11th November at 11am, where we lay a wreath, listen to readings and observe a 2 minute silence. This year Amy, Liam and Samuel read ‘In Flander’s Field’ by John McCrae and Mckenzie Brown and Artiola read ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke. Danny laid the wreath this year.
To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we have taken inspiration from the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ art installation at The Tower of London and each of the 390 pupils at the school has made a craft-foam poppy to decorate the lawn by the memorial. The service is always a very moving experience and the children show a huge amount of respect while listening to the readings and observing the 2 minute silence. Members of the Royal British Legion joined us and Father Russell of St Alban the Martyr led prayers of thanks.
We are all very proud of this tradition and are often joined by members of the public who are passing by. It’s lovely that despite the number of years that have passed since pupils at Whitehorse Manor gave their lives during The Great War, our current Whitehorse pupils still remember their sacrifice and pay their respects.