Barnard Castle School Remembrance parade

Posted: 10th November 2023

THE haunting melody of the Last Post echoed around a school grounds yesterday as hundreds of pupils and staff remembered those who fell in global conflict.


Barnard Castle School bugler Heather Brown played the poignant call as the whole school community turned out for a Remembrance Day ceremony.


A single cross was planted first by senior teacher and head of classics John Gedye to mark the loss of a former colleague who died suddenly at home last week.


Martyn Lewis spent 23-years at Barnard Castle School as school staff instructor with the Combined Cadet Force, as well as a being respected tutor and sports coach.


He joined Barney in 1997, following a decorated military career where he achieved the rank of WO1, and remained a hugely popular figure at the school up to and beyond his retirement in 2020.


Led by a large contingent of the school’s Combined Cadet Force, 721 students, aged four to 18, gathered in front of a large poppy painted on the grass before they and staff each placed a small wooden cross of remembrance.


Headmaster Tony Jackson laid a wreath on behalf of the school’s Old Barnardians, Prep School headmistress Laura Turner laid another on behalf of the school, while housemistress Elizabeth Heward placed one on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham.


Senior and Prep School heads took it in turn to read out the names of 150 Old Barnardians ‘who never came back’.


Mr Jackson said: “This is the only day of the year when the entire school comes together as one – and there is no better sight – to remember our and the town’s fallen. We come to remember the fallen and there is no more powerful an illustration of the impact of war on our community.


“For every pupil standing here today there was an Old Barnardian who fought in conflict. In the Great War of 1914-18, 150 lost their lives, another 58 died in the Second World War and one in the Falkland’s campaign.


“This day isn’t about winning, or losing, or the glorification of conflict, it’s about remembering and acknowledging service and the ultimate sacrifice. And it is with heavy heart that we observe the conflicts that are still going on around the world. Today offers us the chance to thank them all. We will remember them.”


Prayers were led by the Rev Canon Alec Harding and the school sang I Vow to Thee my Country and the National Anthem.

Categories: Barnard Castle School School News