Orley takes a great deal of pride in making sure that we keep our past alive in order to learn from it and to better inform us about the world that we are building. Today was testament to this as the school community gathered to remember the 37 former pupils who gave their lives fighting in WW1. The Service itself was filled with poignant moments, Year 6 singing Nunc Dimittis, The Last Post and Reveille performed by boys in the Brass Group, the Year 8 recital of ‘In Flanders Fields’ and an address that brought home the vast numbers of lives lost but also the very personal stories of children who walked these corridors, played in our fields and dreamed dreams in their own childhood moments at Orley.
Middle and Upper School then gathered around the small memorial lawn outside the front of the school. Our Year 8 pupils planted a poppy in the ground for each of the 37 former pupils who died in service during WW1 as Mr Wright and Mr Cato read their names. We have added a poppy for each of the 36 former pupils who died in WW2. We concluded our service with a prayer and pledge that this green lawn with 73 poppies will act as a daily reminder for us to play our part in seeking peaceful resolution to conflict.
I know the Pre Prep have done a great deal of work on the meaning of peace over this period. And I am very proud that this generation will know their debt in seeking peace. Today was truly meaningful.