Gateway School came together this morning to honour those who have served to defend our democratic freedoms and way of life.
We were very lucky to have Group Captain O’Grady (Harry’s Dad), Second Lieutenant Barber (Reception class’ very own Mr Barber) and Commander Bradley (Harriet’s Mum) share their personal thoughts about the importance of Remembrance. Commander Bradley was sadly called away on duty and could not attend in person but still kindly sent her thoughts to be read out in assembly. We heard about her involvement in a ceremony to rededicate graves of Naval personnel who had served in the First World War.
Group Captain O’Grady spoke about the vital role the RAF played in WW1 and the importance of remembering friends and colleagues who have lost their lives and particularly remembering friends of relatives from long ago along with military personnel from other countries.
Harry then beautifully recited a poem chosen by the O’Grady family - ‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Magee.
Mr Barber surprised his class, and indeed much of the school, by appearing in full Army uniform. Unbeknownst to many, he is an Army Reservist in the Royal Logistics Corps and spends many evenings and weekends training and honing his skills to be able to support the Army in their work. He explained how the poppies came to be the symbol of Remembrance.
The whole school then observed a two minute silence - commenced by the Last Post and ended by the sound of the Reveille peeling out around school. Thank you to Mrs Bufton-Green for the atmospheric trumpet accompaniment.
Huge thanks from everyone at Gateway to Group Captain O’Grady, Commander Bradley and Second Lieutenant Barber for presenting such a thought provoking and personal assembly today.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.