Pupils stage evening of remembrance

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Harrogate Grammar School students and staff recently presented an Evening of Remembrance.

As part of the Armistice Centenary students and faculties from across the school contributed to answering the simple question ‘Who Will I Remember?’.

A powerful installation, by Year 7-9 students, of poppies made from newspaper and wire and with added images that were important to them and then personalised with a note of remembrance, greeted visitors. Sandbags dated with 1914-1918 and a silhouette of a soldier completed the work.

The History department had carefully researched students’ ancestry and displayed this information on a map of Harrogate showing connections between students and family members who had served in the wars.

The evening itself began with Year 7 students sharing their poems and letters of war that had been created in their English lessons. Collections of these were placed in the shape of ‘100’. More on page 60

The PE department focused on sport and war, with Jacob Garrett and Sam Dunmore describing how sport transcends war, referencing the Christmas Truce and their own rugby tour anecdotes.

Students shared stories of how the Unknown Warrior story came to be, read letters from soldiers in World War Two and the Iraq war and read poems both old and new.

A school spokesman said: “A poignant moment was the story of Muriel Cundell, read by Elisia Spears, who described a local Harrogate woman linked to the bombing of the Majestic Hotel.

“The History department referenced their work in lessons looking at the ‘ripple effect’ of war on women, the injured, and the economy.

“The Performing Arts faculty contributed a moving drama performance; two stunning duets from Phoebe Kyriakopoulos, Grace Brennan, Esther Fenwick and Benvy Edington, and an incredibly moving performance from the Senior Choir who sounded exceptional.

“The performances were interspersed with films of staff sharing Who I Remember which included Mrs Bradbury and Mrs Scott sharing the story of their father who joined the army at 14, and Mr McKay telling the audience about his son who has served in Helmand Province.”

They added: “As guests left after the last post the students were congratulated on the range of responses to the theme of the evening, and for creating such a personal and poignant evening.”

The Senior Choir performed in a joint Centenary Remembrance Concert at Harrogate Grammar School. They were joined by young musicians from Tewit Youth Band and St Aidan’s Swing Band.