Warwick Academy Recognize Remembrance Day

November 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

Warwick Academy held a very moving Memorial Day assembly today [Nov 8] as they honoured all those who fought for our freedom and read out all the names of alumni who gave their lives in WWI and WWII.

Principal David Horan reminded the students about the significance of the November 11th and the history of the World Wars. This lead on to Malcolm Hendrickson reading the John McCrae poem, In Flanders Fields followed by the Why wear a Poppy poem by Don Crawford.

The school honoured the alumni who lost their lives by reading their names one by one and this was then followed by Music Teacher Conrad Roache playing The Last Post. Head Boy Ethan Sousa and Brianna Mawer carried the poppy wreath to the front of the school and laid it in front of the memorial plaque.

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“Why Wear A Poppy?” by Don Crawford [alt.]

“Please wear a Poppy,” the lady said,
And held one forth, but I shook my head,
Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,
And her face was old and lined with care;
But beneath the scars the years had made
There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street,
Bouncing along on carefree feet,
His smile was full of joy and fun:
“Lady,” said he, “May I have one?”
When she pinned it on he turned to say,
“Why do we wear a poppy today?”

The lady smiled in her wistful way,
And answered, “This is Remembrance Day,
And the poppy there is a symbol for
The gallant ones who died in war,
And because they did, you and I are free,
That’s why we wear the poppy, you see.

I had a boy about your size,
With golden hair and big blue eyes.
He loved to play and jump and shout,
Free as a bird he would race about.
As the years went by he learned and grew,
And became a man – as you will, too.

But the war went on and he had to stay,
And all I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told of the dreadful plight,
[I can see it still in my dreams at night]
With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,
and the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.

Till at last, at last, the war was won -
And that’s why we wear a poppy, son.”
The small boy turned as if to go,
Then said, “Thanks lady, I’m glad to know,
That sure did sound like an awful fight,
But your son – did he come back all right?”

A tear rolled down each faded cheek:
She shook her head but didn’t speak.
I slunk away in a sort of shame,
And if you were me you’d have done the same:
For our thanks, in giving, is oft delayed
Though our freedom was bought
And thousands paid.

And so when we see a poppy worn,
Let us reflect on the burden borne,
By those who gave their very all,
When asked to answer their country’s call.
That we at home in peace might live.

Then wear a poppy,
And give.

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Remarks from today’s assembly follow below:

Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November [this coming Sunday] in many countries around the world to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany. In Bermuda we enjoy a public holiday on Monday as a result of its significance.

Remembrance Day is our opportunity to remember and to pay homage to those who died to preserve our freedom. We remember soldiers falling beside their friends… we remember sons, daughters, fathers and mothers many whom were loved and lost. We remember these events with great sorry, but we do remember….so that their sacrifices will never be taken lightly nor forgotten.

In this morning assembly we remember all lost in war and in particular Warwick Academy alum who were killed in the first and second world wars. I will read out their names later in assembly but I am sure you have seen the war memorial outside the front of the school which lists the names of those who died and served in the first world war.

We will now hear two poems.

The first called ‘In Flanders Fields’ written by Canadian Physician John McCrae who died in battle in the latter stages of WW1 and wrote the poem depicting the loss of life in war and linking it to the poppies he saw in Flanders fields.

The second poem was written by Don Crawford reminding us why we wear a poppy.

WA Alum who lost their lives

First World War [The Great War] – 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918

Ewart C Brown
John Burrows
A Elliot Doe
F Hervey Frith
Clive W Gorham
Robert Lightbourne
Frederick L Smith
A Richard Thompson
Walter C White
Allan C Wingood

Second World War 1st September 1939 – 2nd Sept 1945

A.J. [Jack] Thomas
Geoffrey Welch
Harold Hutchings
Jim Whitecross
Robert Oatway
Frank Scott

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

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click here Bermuda Remembrance Day

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