Students from the Duke of York’s Royal Military School paid tribute to military personnel who have lost their lives in conflict at Remembrance events in London, Dover and across the Channel in Belgium.
This year, students created 212 clay poppies, similar to the flowers displayed last year at the Tower of London, which were placed in the Dover school’s memorial area, providing a focal point for the traditional parade and chapel service. The number was chosen to represent the school’s 212-year history and the poppies will eventually form part of the school’s planned memorial garden.
In London, three students – Arthur Sutton, from Year 12, Pasangnema Sherpa, from Year 13, and Ramneet Chaudry, from Year 9 – were chosen to read parts of the World Prayer as part of the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast by the BBC last Saturday.
Also in the capital, Executive Principal and Commandant, Chris Russell, students and staff from the Duke of York’s Royal Military School took part in the Torch Lighting Ceremony of the British Torch of Remembrance at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, last Friday. In a service led by the Dean of the Abbey, the Very Rev John Hall, students formed a guard of honour to stand over the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior during the service, as well as a colour party and buglers. Students taking part were Stephen Israel, Jasmin Ashford, Shelley Costello, Danielle Kemp, Aimee O’Keefe, Tadiwanashe Mkonto, Sam Broomfield, Callum Lewis, Nikki Dallas, Robson Phillips and Kiran Pun. The guests of honour, Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon and Belgian Ambassador Guy Trouveroy, spared the time to chat to the Dukies after the event.
Back in Kent, cadets from the school provided a Guard of Honour, buglers and drummers for a Service of Remembrance at Dover Marine Railway Station (now the cruise terminal) in support of the British Torch of Remembrance and railway company Southeastern, as the torch continued its journey to Ostend and Flanders.
Over in Belgium, representatives of the school supported the Belgian Branch of the Torch of Remembrance, visiting the Menin Gate, Flanders Fields and the Kings Day Parade in Brussels.
The school also hosted 160 former students in the school’s dining hall on the Saturday evening for The Dukies’ Association’s (TDA) Annual Reunion Dinner and many attended the school’s Remembrance Day service on Sunday, where Dukies past and present were inspected by Chris Russell, together with TDA chairman Simon Daglish.
The school has a strong military ethos and is popular with parents serving in the Armed Forces. Since 2010, the school has attracted non-military families because of its traditional ethos and academic success.
Chris Russell, the school’s Executive Principal, said: “Many of our pupils have parents serving in the Armed Forces so Remembrance Day has particular meaning and significance to them. We are honoured that our students have been chosen to take part in memorial events at Westminster Abbey, the Royal Albert Hall and in Flanders.”
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