In this week of Remembrance, Eltham College, leading independent school in southeast London, has been marking the event with various activities in school and for the local community.
The school has marked Armistice Day on 11th November with a special service in the school Chapel, attended by students and staff, and livestreamed into classrooms for the benefit of everyone in the Junior and Senior Schools.
The service that included musical performances by the Chamber Choir and soloists and readings by the Head Boy and Head Girl. It was led by the Chaplain who also interviewed a special guest, Second Lieutenant Archie Taylor from the Irish Guards.
After the Chapel service, all students and staff gathered in the school’s Garden of Remembrance for the laying of wreaths in memory of former Elthamians who lost their lives serving in military conflicts and two minutes’ silence. The Chapel has also been illuminated in red light in memory of the fallen.
The School has also produced DVDs to share the Remembrance Service with a number of care homes in the local area. Care home residents were also able to watch via the live link on Remembrance Day.
To support these activities, the school also published a special booklet entitled ‘The College at War’. This recounts Eltham’s experience of living through periods of wartime in the last century (WW1 and WW2). Specially written by Andrew Beattie, the School Archivist, it tells the stories and experiences of former pupils called up to serve on the front line, how younger students had to evacuate to the south-west, and how some left behind managed using special air raid shelters. It also looks at how Eltham remembers ‘the fallen’ today. The booklet can be read here.
Guy Sanderson, Headmaster, commented: “Our acts of Remembrance today and ‘The College at War’ booklet are poignant and help us remember the school’s wartime experiences and give thanks to those from our community who served.
“The booklet is being used in assemblies and in form time to help our students understand Remembrance Day, how the school was involved in periods of war time in the last century, and why our act of Remembrance matters today.”
During Remembrance week special assemblies have taken place, Junior and Senior School students have been involved with making hand-made paper poppies; with 34 special gold-leaf poppies, each one representing a former pupil who died serving in the wartime.
Poems have been written by our Creative Writing Club and articles and photos of fallen former pupils have been put together by the Librarian and School Archivist.