21 November 2016
Sunday 13 November heralded blue skies and sunshine as 132 cadets formed up smartly on parade in advance of the Remembrance Sunday Service, to be inspected by visiting preacher Major General (retired) Peter Williams OBE, ex Coldstream Guards, and the Headmaster.
The Contingent made a very good account of themselves and after a brief speech from the General, the Contingent filed smartly into Chapel. Cadet Sgts Stuart Milner (Upper Sixth, Cobham) and Thomas Mayhew (Lower Sixth, Grafton) carried out their role of Flag Bearers with dignity, leading the procession of General Williams and Reverend Sue, followed by the Headmaster, Lady Stringer (Governor), Jonathon Hall (Chairman of the Old Stoic Society), Head Boy, Jarrod Van der Westhuizen (Upper Sixth, Grafton) and Head Girl, Thalia Felton (Upper Sixth, Queen’s) and CCF wreath layers.
Each wreath layer was accompanied by a cadet escort; Sgt Alex Harris (Lower Sixth, Grafton), Leading Hand Oscar Hill (Fifth Form, Temple), Sgt Lucy Shamash (Upper Sixth, Stanhope), Cpl Matthew Barnes-Murphy (Lower Sixth, Bruce), Sgt Thomas Leach (Lower Sixth, Walpole), Sgt Mar Martinez-Tomas (Lower Sixth, Lyttelton) and Sgt Dily Adilkhanova (Lower Sixth, Stanhope).
Prayers were led by L/Cpl Eleanor Trotman (Lower Sixth, Queen’s), L/Cpl Georgina Vallings (Lower Sixth, Lyttelton) and Cpl Alice Pryse (Lower Sixth, Lyttelton). All three cadets read beautifully with clarity and expression. The choir sang ‘For the Fallen’ with great emotion, conducted by Geoffrey Silver and accompanied by Alexander Aitkin, and the brass and drums section played splendidly from their dizzy Chapel heights. Special mention must go to Finlay Sutherland (Lower Sixth, Grafton) who played the Last Post on a World War I bugle with most impressive skill and precision.
The whole Service was meaningful and beautifully done. General Williams gave a personal, thought-provoking and heartfelt address, hymns were sung with gusto and all cadets, staff and pupils involved felt proud to play their part in what a large number of staff and pupils later commented was a very moving Service, guided and led by our School Minister, Reverend Sue Sampson.
Forty two visitors stayed for a splendid lunch in the State Music Room and a presentation was made to the Major General for coming to Stowe and being part of the Remembrance Service. He wrote “I was very impressed by the turn out and evident enthusiasm of the CCF members. The two girls who hosted me at lunch were absolutely delightful.” Our thanks go to all who took part in the Service.
Photos from the Service can be seen here.
Major Jan de Gale, Adjt/SSI Stowe School CCF