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From the desk of the Head Master 9 November 2018

Our focus in the latter part of this week has been on the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

Poppies have appeared on lapels, on the grass outside the main school entrance, and they are illuminating the Warwick Hall foyer. We will be marking the anniversary in a number of other ways, the first of which was today with a special Remembrance assembly for the whole Senior School, with music, readings and a two minute silence. Tonight we have The Soldier's Tale, Music and Words of the Great War in Warwick Hall, which promises to be a very moving evening.

On Sunday members of the CCF will parade at the Cenotaph in town after the service in St Mary’s, and we will host our own school Remembrance Service in the School Chapel at 6.30pm. A parallel event will take place at St Mary’s on Sunday evening (comprising pupils from our Foundation schools) - those of our boys who are St Mary’s choristers will be at this service.

In today’s assembly we heard from Gerald Seaman, whose uncle was a member of the 1912-13 Warwick 1st XV (pictured left). The image is haunting: nine of these young men perished in the Great War. What scars the others brought home we do not know.

I know the Junior School set Year 4 boys a half-term task of finding out more about a family member who served in the First World War. As a result I ended up doing my own bit of research into my great-grandfather, a Fleetwood fisherman who joined the Royal Naval Reserve and whose trawler became a convoy escort vessel – he served in both World Wars. These links to that terrible time make it seem less remote and more real and personal.

I will be watching Peter Jackson’s film They Shall Not Grow Old on BBC2 over the weekend, and probably doing a bit more delving into my great grandparents’ roles in the war.