Aylesbury's next generation remembers

The Aylesbury Royal British Legion outside Mandeville School
The Aylesbury Royal British Legion outside Mandeville School

The Mandeville School in Aylesbury commemorated this year's Remembrance on Monday morning in a manner truly befitting the occasion.

The Mandeville School in Aylesbury commemorated this year's Remembrance on Monday morning in a manner truly befitting the occasion.

Mandeville School choir

Mandeville School choir

In this centenary Armistice year of the end of the First World War, students, teachers and members of the Aylesbury Royal British Legion (RBL) came together to pay their respects to all those who sacrificed so much.

Principal Andria Hanham said:

“"We always do something but what with it being the centenary we thought we'd do something special.

"We started firing ideas around about what we could do and then we put the team together.”

Kim Henly, Aylesbury Royal British Legion Standard Bearer

Kim Henly, Aylesbury Royal British Legion Standard Bearer

The event began with students congregating in the multi-use games area for the opening of the ceremony by Alderman Ray-James, President of the Aylesbury RBL. He said:

"It gives me great pleasure to see the school go to so much trouble to commemorate not just the First World War but all wars since then.”

An Exhortation by Aylesbury RBL branch chairman Barbara Grant was followed by an immaculately observed two minute silence which was initiated by a Bugler playing The Last Post.

After some students read out tributes to local war heroes, the National Anthem, which was beautifully performed by violinist and member of staff James Ashby, brought this stage of the proceedings to a close.

Mandeville School students at Remembrance commemoration

Mandeville School students at Remembrance commemoration

Standard Bearer Kim Henly then led the RBL procession to the memorial garden where poppy wreaths were laid.

A truly poignant assembly followed, consisting of poems, short films and live music from the school choir which even moved this reporter to tears.

Particular credit goes to Principal Hanham for her emphasis on tolerance and unity. The walls of the assembly hall were adorned with the flags of many different nations and the front stage had the British and German flags laid side by side. Ms Hanham said during her assembly speech:

“A tolerance of different faiths and beliefs, which is really important for society and the world, is something we talk about all the time at Mandeville – accepting our differences and our diverse attitudes and beliefs are part of the school's culture.”

Aylesbury Royal British Legion procession led by Kim Henly

Aylesbury Royal British Legion procession led by Kim Henly

When asked her thoughts on the occasion afterwards, Barbara Grant of the Aylesbury RBL said:

“It was wonderful. I thought it was just going to be a little service but when I walked out and saw them all I got really emotional – I was wondering whether I would be able to get through the Exhortation.”