Last week we took part in a number of events to commemorate Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, as a means of honouring the soldiers who gave their lives for our country.
First, we took part in the annual Isleworth 390 parade on Sunday 10 November. Now in its sixth year, this local event brings together members of the community for a short parade around Isleworth. On the day, 390 students from across the local schools marched whilst wearing sashes bearing the name of a local person who died during the First World War (WW1). We took 30 students to take part, all of whom are student ambassadors and play a crucial role within the school community.
The event was a great success, and our students were a credit to the school throughout. Involvement in the procession is a great honour, and it was clear that the boys (plus a few of our Sixth Form girls) were well aware of how lucky they were to take part. Two days later, the Isleworth 390 organisation held a launch event for their new book, and we thank Samuel Brace (9Tr) for reading a short excerpt to the assembled audience. You can read more about the Isleworth 390 project here.
On Armistice Day, Monday 11 November, we held memorial services for each year group, giving our students space to remember the sacrifices by soldiers both in WW1 and all subsequent wars. Head of History Mr Rumsey began the assembly by discussing how remembrance began, informing students about the very first Armistice Day one hundred years ago to the day – 11 November 1919, one year after the end of that horrible conflict. He also talked about how important it was to continually remember, and then told the poignant story of the final British soldier to die in WWI – just ninety minutes before the armistice was signed and the war ended.
The stories continued courtesy of Archie Horton and Avi Saluja (both 12ANO), who told the students about two Isleworthians – former students of the school – who had passed during the war. Afterwards, Head Boy Aadi Mudhar (13ANO) read the famous war poem ‘For the Fallen’ before Oliver Hone (9Br) reported on the fantastic Year 9 trip to the Ypres battlefields from a few weeks’ earlier. At the end of the ceremony, two students laid a wreath while David Carter and Matthew Nunan (both 10F) played ‘The Last Post’ beautifully.
Borough Road Memorial
The final portion of the remembrance commemorations took place down at the Borough Road memorial, just around the corner from the school. This local service has been taking place for many years, and specifically remembers former students from the former Borough Road School – now the Academy Place block of flats. We were delighted to take a small group of students to give readings in the service as well as lay our wreath at the base of the monument. David and Matthew played ‘The Last Post’ with aplomb once again. It was an honour to both take part in the service and then host its attendees for a small reception at school afterwards.
Developing our students into thoughtful, active and caring citizens is the Isleworth & Syon way. Events like this are crucial as they give students a vital perspective on the past and how it can affect their actions going forward.