Every year, The Roche School participates in an act of Remembrance. For the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we wanted to mark the event in a special way so we decided to move the event to All Saints Church in Wandsworth. For us, it is important not only to recall those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom but also to encourage the children to understand the vital necessity of a peaceful world in which young people everywhere can grow up without experiencing the devastating effects of conflict.
Why do we feel it is essential to urge all pupils to take part in the event? Apart from the historical and cultural significance of the two World Wars, it is an opportunity to reflect on the centrality of values such as courage, compassion and friendship. Through a selection of readings and songs, our pupils, staff and parents could reflect on feelings which mirror the values of the school.
We chose poignant music to remember those that lost their lives, such as ‘Abide With Me’. We also included pieces, such as ‘Hush Here Comes A Whizzbang’ from Oh! What A Lovely War, to show how music and humour can lift people’s spirits even in the most horrific situations.
Clifford Ward of the City of London Pipe Band performed the lament, ‘The Flowers of the Forest’ and Gunther Kurmayr accompanied the school choir on piano. Louise Gilmartin played the haunting bugle call, ‘The Last Post’: “It is an absolute honour to play this piece during the period of Remembrance when we remember those who have sacrificed their own lives in order to protect the freedom of others.”