Student members of the Pipes and Drums at Gordon’s School, playing as part of the National Youth Pipe Band of England, took to the stage of a packed arena at the NEC, Birmingham on Saturday in the ‘Lest We Forget Children’s Concert’, honouring and remembering those who lived, fought and died in the First World War.
Dressed in their Blues, they joined over 2,000 other young singers and musicians from across England and Wales at the national concert to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The event, part of the government’s four year centenary programme, included music and songs and featured readings from diaries and letters written at the time as well as archive film footage.
Opening the Pipes and Drums part of the programme, Pipe Major Oliver Henderson played solo the haunting tune of Amazing Grace. This was followed by the entire band with two retreat marches ‘I see Mull, The Land of my Youth’ and ‘Castle Dangerous’.
The concert was conceived by children’s author and retired education expert Dr Ron Dawson who commented: “If the spirit and duty of Remembrance is to endure, it must be passed on from generation to generation. The ambition of the Children’s Centenary Concert is to renew that remembrance, educate and show our eternal gratitude to those who lived, fought and died in that terrible war a century ago.”
Minister for Faith and Integration, Lord Bourne said: “It is vitally important that each new generation is encouraged to remember the enormous sacrifices made in defending the liberties we take for granted today. The stories of individual bravery and the terrible losses experienced by countless families must never be forgotten.”
In the past, Gordon’s School Pipes and Drums have played not only for the School’s nine annual ceremonial parades, but at Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey and the Caledonian Club. On Saturday (10th November) they will join the Red Hot Chilli Pipers at a concert and on Sunday Piper Edward Lee will play the lone piper lament ‘Battle’s O’er’ at the top of the Tower of Guildford Cathedral.
The Pipes and Drums will join the rest of the school on Sunday in their Remembrance Parade at the school in West End, Woking.
Gordon’s School Deputy Head Rob Pavis commented: “We are delighted and honoured that our students in the Pipes and Drums played a part in such an important and historic event. “