Remembrance Day Service 2023
On Friday 10 November, we welcomed back to the school members of the Reigatian community to join us for the Service of Remembrance. Our guests were offered refreshments in the Wright gallery as they greeted old friends. The relentless rain hindered the ability to join the school in the playground, instead a smaller service took place in the Old Library, in what many of our guests remembered as the old gym in days gone by. Students watched a video of Remembrance from their classes whilst those of us in the Old Library were led in prayer by Reverend Phil Jackson, before Sai M, beautifully recited the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae. We were honoured to be joined by guest speaker and RSM teacher Capt Retd Annette Wright AGC to read the Act of Remembrance:
“Let us remember before God, and commend to his sure keeping, those who have died for their country in war; those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure; and all who have lived and died in the service of others. They shall not grow 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 bugle call of The Last Post signalled the two-minute silence. Following Reveille, the Polyphony sang beautifully, ‘Abide With Me’ and Headmaster Shaun Fenton read the prayer of dismissal before our Corps of Drums, who will be marching in the Lord Mayor’s show tomorrow in London, played ‘God Save the King’.
As it was too wet for our Remembrance party to attend a private service and laying of the wreaths at the memorial garden, a wreath will be laid in memory the following week. Devon M laid a wreath at the memorial outside the Old Library to commemorate the Reigatians that fell during conflict.
Following the service, our guests were treated to a warming glass of sherry and a mince pie as Headmaster Shaun Fenton, thanked everyone for coming to our Service of Remembrance and spoke of how we as Reigatians are all connected by the invisible thread that binds us to the same values we share at RGS. Jonny Hylton (RGS ’99) followed on from Shaun and spoke about the importance of building our community and how one example of connections is supporting small business. Robert Wilson (current parent) and Officer Commanding (Army) in CCF at RGS, has launched RV1 Veteran gin and spoke of how Remembrance isn’t just about one day in November, it is something we should remember no matter the date.
RV1 Veteran gin, is a smooth sipping gin and comes in a clear bottle with an image of the Grenadier Guards standing guard. Each bottle comes with a dog tag label with the name of a Reigatian that fell in the First World War. Upon opening the bottle, a toast should be made to the soldier on the label.
To get your commemorative bottle of gin, email email@example.com. Bottles can be purchased for a £40 donation.
For photos from the event, click here.