The Shrewsbury community marks Remembrance Day
Every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month, we remember those who have served in our armed forces and people around the World who have suffered the devastating consequences or war and conflict.
Traditionally, we remember those men and women who have died in battle, fighting in foreign theatres of war so that we have been able to live free. However, Remembrance Day is also about recognising the work that those do to support the living. Veterans often need support upon their return to civilian life and groups such as the Royal British Legion and Returned Services League provide a channel for servicemen to reintegrate into society. The school's poppy appeal, led by the Junior Heads of School and House Captains, once again raised much appreciated funds for this cause.
This year's whole school commemoration included a moving tribute from Year 8 student Billy Watson-Mackie, whose grandad, Bill ‘Tiger’ Watson was awarded the Military Cross for acts of bravery relating to one of the ‘most daring raids in World War 2’. 'Tiger Bill' repelled attack after attack from the Germans and was wounded in the leg for his troubles and then captured. He was only 20 at the time.
Whilst in a prisoner of war camp, Tiger Bill taught himself medicine by studying books provided by the Red Cross, even passing his pre-medical examination. Upon his release after the war concluded he returned to England, completing his studies at the University of London. He and his wife set up a medical practice in Shropshire, England, and he also became Shrewsbury School's Medical Officer. This is where the story comes full circle as Bill’s daughter is working for the United Nations here Bangkok and her son, today read the poem ‘For the Fallen’.
Shrewsbury students followed this touching moment by playing the ‘Last Post’ and holding a minute’s silence. Choral performers then sang Laura Farnell’s ‘Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep’.
On 10th November, Shrewsbury's choir also had the honour of being invited to the British Club to make their special contribution to the British Embassy's official Remembrance commemorations, and event attended by dignitaries from many nations across the world.