It has been 100 years since the end of the First World War, and like so many people, we have been commemorating the end of the war, and all those who died in conflict this week.
The week started with the Head Boy, Head Girl and members of the school council selling poppies and other merchandise, contributing much needed funds to the Royal British Legion and their work supporting Forces families.
Over the week children in all classes learned why Remembrance was so important and created an array of beautiful poppies which were used as part of an art installation on Friday afternoon.
Before that, the children from Classes 3 and 4 walked up to the memorial at St. Giles Churchyard. We counted how many names were on the memorial and placed a large poppy there, along with some pebbles decorated with poppies and the final verse of the poem "Why Wear a Poppy." by Don Crawford.
“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,
“Why Wear A Poppy?” by Don Crawford (alt.)
Here are some photos of how we have commemorated the fallen this week, including our human poppies.