Remembrance Day 2017 came as a bright and dry morning, when on Friday 10 November, when the school community was joined by Old Boys of St Bede’s and by the families and friends to remember those of our school who were lost in the wars of the twentieth century.
The service started with the large congregation of people stand in silence at the school’s War Memorial to honour the memory of the one hundred and twenty St Bede’s Old Boys whose names were inscribed there upon.
The college was represented by students for each of the year groups as well as by the whole of the Sixth Form who stood impeccable in silence throughout the outside service.
Fr Sean Molloy, our college chaplain and also an Old Boy of the school led the service and presented a poppy cross and he was then followed by HM Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire Mr David Pearson who laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen. Further wreaths were laid on behalf of the St Bede’s Old Boys Association, The Polar Bears (49th Infantry West Yorkshire Division), the Submariners, the school staff, the students, the local parish of St Cuthbert’s and for Victims of War.
The wreath laying completed, John White; an Old Boy of the school from Cheshire, read out the Exortation:
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.
The Last Post was sounded and as the last clear notes drifted across the valley, the school bell rang to signal the start of the ‘two-minute silence’, a silence not only at the War Memorial but in every classroom across both of our college sites.
The sound of the Reveille broke the silence and the Kohima Epitaph was spoken:
"When you go home,
tell them of us and say,
for their tomorrow,
we gave our today"
The service at the War Memorial completed, the whole community filed into the school hall to celebrate mass.
At the end of mass, the Roll Call was read out containing the names of the ‘boys’ who had died. As each name was read out, students approached the altar, one presenting a cross with that person’s name, one presenting a poppy and a third presenting a red, a blue or a white candle in their memory. This was a very poignant moment so many crosses, so many poppies, so many candles, so old boys to remember.
A thundering rendition of the St Bede’s school hymn ‘Baeda’ finished off a memorable Remembrance Mass.