Student members of the Pipes and Drums Band from Gordon’s School, Woking took to the streets of London on Saturday for their annual parade along Whitehall.
The School, which is a national monument to General Gordon of Khartoum - is the only one in the country permitted to march along the central London venue – and commemorating General Gordon’s life has been an integral part of the School’s history.
Some 250 students – ranging from 11 to 18 years old, took part in the parade, dressed in their ceremonial Blues uniform. After marching along Whitehall and past the Cenotaph, students arrived at the statue of General Gordon on the banks of the Thames at the Victoria Embankment Gardens. There they took part in a Memorial Service led by the School Chaplain the Reverend Sarah Norbron, to commemorate the death of the Christian, soldier, hero and philanthropist, General Charles George Gordon.
The School, which is now one of the highest achieving state-funded secondary schools in England, first opened its doors in 1885 as Gordon Boys’ Home at the behest of Queen Victoria, who wanted a fitting National memorial to be created in Gordon’s honour.
To date, the School continues to have the reigning sovereign as its patron and keeps up the tradition of marching, which is undertaken by every student, dressed in ceremonial Blues.
Head Teacher Andrew Moss commented: “As always, we were honoured to be able to uphold our tradition, which is a much anticipated event for the whole school. As the only school granted permission to march through Whitehall once again our students represented Gordon’s School to the highest standard, of which General Gordon himself would have been proud.
“Our thanks go to the City of Westminster for allowing us to continue our tradition, to staff and students for their commitment and dedication and to all the parents who helped organise travel, marshal the event and who continue to support the school and our students.”
The Whitehall Parade, was followed by the annual General Gordon Memorial Service in Guildford Cathedral the next day attended by the whole school, staff and parents. It was led by The Dean of Guildford, the Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams and the preacher was The Right Reverend Peter Hullah, Voluntary director Women's Education Partnership - Sudan and South Sudan.