On a beautiful morning at St Clement Danes, we welcomed a number of Old Danes, Trustees and Governors to the school to join us for our annual Remembrance Service.
In the KS4 and 5 service, our guests were treated to a moving a cappella rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah before Mr Sutherland gave his first such address at the school. He began by making an announcement that, because of serious issues uncovered during building work, the entire school was going to have to move to temporary accommodation on the Baldwins Lane site in Croxley Green from next September. As shocked students and staff listened, he then went on to describe the probable feelings of students at St Clement Danes back in 1939 when they, too, learnt that they were imminently moving – on this occasion to Oxford because of the war. Having reassured the audience of his deliberate falsehood, he then went on to describe the experiences of St Clement Danes students and staff through the war before linking this year’s message of Rethink Remembrance to the work of the British Forces in supporting the world’s current 64 million refugees. After this, prayers and the Ode of Remembrance, read by Rev Lovegrove, preceded a 2 minutes' silence at 11am.
In the student-led junior service, girls from Key Stage 3 delivered a thoughtful presentation about the role of women in war before guest speakers, Band Colour Sergeant Sarah Hope and A B Kristie Murphy, both from Northwood, spoke about their time serving in the British forces. After 2 minutes' silence, the audience watched a video of the song “Flesh and Blood” which was written and performed by injured service men and women at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in 2016.
At the end of both services, the Last Post was expertly played by Theo Edwards - a moving musical tribute to remember those who died in service.
After the senior service, guests and staff watched as the Head Girl and Boy laid wreaths in the central courtyard before enjoying refreshments and perusing the displays put on in the library by our archivist, Mrs Hirst.
As ever, it was a moving and memorable day; we would like to thank all our guests for coming and congratulate all those involved in putting on the two excellent services.