Photos and Video: Barnstaple schoolchildren honour town’s war dead
- Credit: Archant
Youngsters pay their respects at special children’s remembrance service in Rock Park.
HUNDREDS of schoolchildren gathered at Rock Park in Barnstaple today (Friday) to pay their respects to the fallen of the town in the run up to Armistice Day.
Pupils from 11 schools braved heavy rain to attend the 11th annual Children’s Remembrance Service alongside representatives from Barnstaple Royal British Legion and the uniformed services, North Devon MP Nick Harvey and local councillors.
The poignant service was conducted by the Reverend David Fletcher, priest in charge at St Peter and St Mary Magdalene Church, and the Reverend Stuart Rason, chaplain RN at RMB Chivenor.
The Exhortation was read out by Ken Hartnoll, president of Barnstaple RBL, and the Last Post played, followed by the traditional two minutes silence at 11am.
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Ellen Napier and Wren Frost, head prefects at Park Community School, spoke eloquently about the impact the great wars had on the school community over the years.
Seven former pupils of the then grammar school lost their lives in action during the First World War, the first being 19-year-old prefect Stanley Gordon Buckingham, who was killed in France in 1917.
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A total of 44 former pupils of the school lost their lives fighting in World War Two.
Children were then given the chance lay specially-made wreaths at the war memorial as those gathered sang the hymn Once More Stem Along the World I Go.
Following the service, Mr Fletcher said: “It’s a wonderful act for the children to be involved in.
“It’s very important as it keeps them in touch with the past and reminds them of how we fought for the future.”
Mr Rason added: “It’s fantastic to see so many children here especially in such appalling weather.
“This is the first service I’ve known especially for children; it’s important that schools make the effort to carry on the tradition and it’s fantastic to see.
“Unless we pass on the traditions then they will fade.”
* See more pictures by clicking on the gallery link to the top right of this story.
PLUS, click on the link for our Remembrance Day story to find out about other memorial events across North Devon this Sunday.