Remembrance at Bedales

Bedales Pre-Prep, Bedales Prep, Bedales Senior

In a poignant ceremony of Remembrance, students and staff across Bedales School came together on Friday 10 November to commemorate those who have lost their lives in war.

Ahead of Armistice Day on Saturday 11 November, members of the Pre-prep, Prep and Senior schools assembled by the steps of the Memorial Library where they honoured the occasion with a Remembrance service composed of poetry readings, a choral performance and a two-minute silence. Built in 1921 to commemorate staff and students who died in the First World War, the Library offered an apt setting for the Bedales community to reflect on the sacrifices made in wars of the past and current.  

The service was led by Head of Bedales Will Goldsmith and Head of Philosophy and Religious Education (PRE) Josh Block. Following short, moving speeches from Will and Josh, Head Student Lilibet Viner gave a reading of The Owl, written by poet and former Bedales parent Edward Thomas. A past resident of Steep, Edward sent his children to Bedales before going away to war, where he sadly lost his life in 1917 at the Battle of Arras.

The ceremony continued with a compelling performance of Henry Purcell’s Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts by the Senior School Choir and a brief account of poet Robert Graves, delivered by Head of Bedales Prep Colin Baty. Pupils from Bedales Prep read Robert Graves’ Two Fusiliers before The Last Post was performed by Prep and Senior trumpeters, signalling the start of the two-minute silence at 11am.

The sounding of the Reveille marked the end of the silence and jointly the Remembrance service, however reflections at the school are to continue. Next Wednesday, Jaw at the Senior School will focus on ‘New forms of Remembrance’, exploring less sombre alternatives to the Act of Remembrance to honour the fallen.   


Picture: Senior School Choir performing Henry Purcell's 'Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts'