Following the OWMT War memorial opening last year, the Trust along with St Cecelia’s Staff organised a Remembrance Service on Friday 11th November. We owe a big thank you to Les Herbert (OWMT Secretary) and Revd Annie Kurk (St Cecilia’s School) for all their hard work in making this event happen.
On Friday 11th November 2016, 12 Old Wandsworthians attended St Cecilia’s School for the first laying of a Poppy Wreath.
Before the main event we were invited to join their Head Teacher Niall Gallagher and staff for lunch.
Here we enjoyed a classic school meal of fish and chips with mushy peas! This was followed by a short tour of the school, which was lead by their Head boy – Calum O’Toole and Head Girl – Chimna Orji. Here we all found ourselves explaining to these two pupils our memories of what the school looked liked in our days. We were then all taken to the school chapel and seated for the start of the remembrance service.
The service was opened by the Revd Annie Kurk St Cecilia’s School Chaplain, who explained to the 120 year 7 pupils what the service was all about. This was followed by a short presentation from Trustee, Les Herbert, on the history of the OWMT and the story behind the War memorial.
We then held an open session asking the students if they had any questions! Surprisingly we had several questions from them, lucky for us we had a few senior members who could answer, Questions, like “What was Southfields like back in the 40s/50s” Or “What was your school like compared to now” and “How big was it”?
Following this presentation a small procession took place, where two year 7 pupils carried the wreath to the War Memorial Plaque, followed by all Old Wandsworthians and their Head teacher.
Here a short service was held, which was televised back in the school chapel, watched by over 120 staff and pupils.
Following prayers, the following was read out by the most senior Old Boy on the day Ian Maclean:-
They were young, as we are young,
They served, giving freely of themselves,
To them, we pledge, amid the winds of time,
To carry their touch and never forget,
We Will Remember Them.
The wreath was then laid by Dick Moody and two year 7 pupils (Maria Almonte and Rashad Eastman), this was followed by a minute’s silence. Then came the chilling part when the Last Post was played by a former pupil James Gregg. After the service all twelve Old Wandsworthians were invited to join all pupils in their refectory for afternoon tea and biscuits. Here many of us mixed with the pupils talking about our old school Wandsworth and how we are working with St Cecilia’s School. At the end of the day, Niall Gallagher (Headteacher) stated that he would like this to become an annual event, apart from the Old Wandsworthians remembering their former pupils who gave their lives in conflict. He wants all pupils of St Cecilia’s to have a better understanding of what the remembrance service is all about.