Remembrance Service and Parade at Gordon’s



Members of the community joined students, parents and staff from Gordon’s in West End, Woking for the Parade and Service of Remembrance on Sunday around the Parade Square at the school, taken by the School Chaplain the Reverend Graham Wright.

Dressed in their Blues uniform and accompanied by the Pipes and Drums – a unique feature of Gordon’s that has been part of the school since its inception over a century ago – the student body marched and remembered the sacrifices of so many, including the 155 former students killed in action during the First World War; 31 in the Second World War and Gordonian Darryl Gardiner and affiliated staff member Steve Curley, both killed in Afghanistan.

Poppy wreaths were laid by Mrs Jane Valner, on behalf of the Gordon Foundation Trustees; Gordonian Jessica Kruger for the Gordonians and Gordon’s School Sergeant Major Isabelle Fleming for students and staff.

Staff, students and their families – many of whom are currently serving their country in the Forces – observed the two minute silence, preceded by The Last Post played by trumpeter Jess Fowler.  The Reveille was performed by trumpeter Ben Hallett. The Exhortation was read by the Chairman of Governors Mrs Jane Valner.

Pipe Major Lucy Massie piped the Lament.

In his address during the Remembrance Sunday Chapel Parade, the Reverend Wright said: “…Sacrifice is the supreme act of love. The exact opposite of the ‘me culture’ where ‘self comes first’. Acts of sacrifice for others are at the heart of the Gordon’s culture. It sums up the true value of stopping today to remember the fallen and taking the time to consider the direction of our own lives…”

Over 8,000 miles away in In the Falkland Islands, Major John Balmer, Contingent Commander of Gordon’s School’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) was laying a wreath at Port Stanley in remembrance of his fallen colleagues. Major Balmer was a section commander in the Third Battalion of the Parachute Regiment and was one of the 26,000 Armed Forces personnel deployed to the islands to fight in the war against Argentina 40 years ago.

The Pipes and Drums, have been out in force over the past few weeks, raising money for the Royal British Legion and performing in 12 engagements connected with Remembrance. As well as playing again for the commuters at Cannon Street Station as part of London Poppy Day, they performed for travellers at Gatwick Airport and took part in the Poppy Appeal Concert alongside the Surrey Police Band on Saturday evening. After marching in the Parade at Gordon’s, some went on to perform at half time at the Aldershot Town FC v Grimsby Town FC v Maidenhead Remembrance Match and others attended the Chobham Remembrance Parade.

Headmaster Andrew Moss commented: “We are proud to honour and recognise the contribution and sacrifice made by students from Gordon’s as well as the men and women from the wider community and across the Commonwealth.“

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