The School observed today’s Armistice Day two-minute silence with a ceremony that was adapted this year because of Covid-19 restrictions.
When boys fell silent at 11am on 11th November it was in their classrooms, while a smaller-than-usual wreath-laying ceremony took place at the World War I Memorial outside the Main School Hall.
The event is an opportunity for all today’s pupils and staff to reflect upon the service and sacrifice of those killed, injured or impacted by military conflicts, including the 113 Elizabethans who lost their lives in the 20th century’s two world wars.
Headmaster Neil Enright said: “While the size of our commemoration here at the School had to be reduced this year and there was no QE Combined Cadet Force representation at Barnet’s scaled-back civic Remembrance Sunday event either, the importance and solemnity of the occasion was undiminished as we collectively marked the sacrifice of Elizabethans from generations past.”
The bugler who played the Last Post and Reveille at the School ceremony was Theo Mama-Kahn, of Year 11, who is studying GCSE Music. The cadet laying a wreath was Lucas Lu, of Year 12.
CCF Contingent Commander Major Mev Armon said: “Due to Covid, drill words of command cannot be given indoors, so Lucas represented the contingent, saluting the memorial on my behalf.”
Among current CCF cadets, Lucas stands out for his prowess in the field, added Major Armon, who is a Biology teacher.
Since not everyone was in earshot of the bugle, three short bell rings sounded at 10:58 as a signal that all boys should place their work aside to stand and prepare for the 11:00 bell ring marking the beginning of the silence. There was a final short bell at the end of the two minutes.
To ensure boys of all ages understood the significance of the occasion, a PowerPoint presentation detailing the history of the day was sent to form tutors to spark discussion among the pupils. It explained the importance of poppies – the first flowers to bloom on the World War I battlefields of Belgium and France – and included the famous poem they inspired, John McCrae’s In Flanders fields. Boys were also invited to watch a video featuring the Last Post.
House representatives throughout the School were involved in selling poppies to the year-group bubbles, including Leicester’s Victor Angelov (Year 11, pictured). The representatives brought the poppies round to the forms, giving everyone a chance to buy one in time for Remembrance Day.