In the centenary year of the Armistice, pupils have marked Remembrance Day with a series of thought-provoking commemorations across the three Bedales Schools.
Children in Year 3 at Bedales Pre-prep School, Dunannie, wrote an inspiring poem, If Only, which they performed at the INSPIRE and Peacemakers’ Service at Chichester Cathedral on 9 November. The service, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, was one of a series of INSPIRE peace-making events held at cathedrals throughout the UK.
Pupils from Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst sewed individual poppies to be displayed as part of installations in the School Reception and on the outdoor school sign on Alton Road. A Remembrance assembly was also held at Dunhurst on 9 November, where pupils heard readings of the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s The Wound in Time, and excerpts from For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon. At the end of the assembly, all pupils and staff were given a one penny coin as a poignant, symbolic reminder of the 50/50 chance of survival of all British troops who fought in World War I.
At Bedales Senior School, students came together for a Remembrance assembly on 7 November, where the Head Students read the names of the 64 former students and staff who served and died during World War I. The school also heard the stories of three Old Bedalians killed in 1918 – Edmund ‘Gabriel’ Rice, Ellis ‘Lynn’ Doncaster and Oswald Horsley – who were three of the school’s former students profiled for the Bedales Archives project. Initiated by Bedales former Head of History, the late Ruth Whiting, as part of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission 'Lest We Forget' campaign, the project involved researching and publishing profiles on the school website of the Old Bedalians who were killed in service between 1914 and 1918. Included in the assembly’s readings was To O.H., a moving poem written by Bedales’ founder John Haden Badley in tribute to former Head Boy Oswald Horsley, who was killed in a test flight after being injured three times at the Front. As they left at the end of the assembly, all students shook hands with all staff in silence.
Bedales’ Remembrance celebrations come as The Telegraph republished an obituary for former Bedales student Sadie Talbot, who died in September 1993 aged 105, and was one of the early women to be awarded the Military Medal.