Sedbergh honoured its Fallen on the exact day of the ‘First to Fall’ 100 years ago.

“Uplifting, Saddening, Humbling, Grieving, Inspiring, Bonding, Pride” –  these were just some of the extraordinary, often conflicting, emotions which Old Sedberghians, their partners, Headmaster, Chairman of Governors and Bursar experienced on a memorable visit to the grave of Captain Jonathan Knowles (S 1897-98) of 4th Middlesex Regiment and the site of the Battle of Mons, where Old Sedberghian Peter Munday (P 2002-07), currently serving with the Royal Marines, led a battlefield tour to the place where Capt. Knowles fell 100 years ago to the very day.

The party attended a civic reception and pageant at nearby St Ghislain as guests of the Middlesex Regimental Association, and a Service at St George’s Church, Ypres where a commemorative Club plaque was approved for dedication at a future date.

The party also visited the graves of CH Brewer (SH 1898-1903), FP Herd (DB 1910-15), TS Whitaker (S 1907-11), and LE Atkinson (E 1909-10). Before leaving, they visited the Menin Gate, Ypres where the names of nine Sedberghians are inscribed – WS Turner (S 1898-1901), JC Calvert (SH 1908-10), K McDiarmid (S 1896-1900), EF Squance (L 1902-06), TPA Ritchie (S 1908-13), JL Pumphrey (SH 1904-09), CA Newby (H 1909-1910), AN Sherriff (E 1907-12), TR Scott (L 1896-99).

Neil McKerrow, President, said: “This was a unique tribute undertaken on behalf of Sedbergh by the OS Club. I think we all in our own different ways felt an extraordinary mix of humility and sadness tinged with pride and deepest respect for the immense sacrifice of our Sedberghian predecessors. It was a deeply bonding experience and so many have said how deeply gratified they felt at being part of a totally unique tribute to an extraordinary generation of Sedberghians.”

Headmaster Andrew Fleck said: “No-one could fail to be moved by the moment of Remembrance as we honoured the first Sedberghian to die in the Great War and walked the battlefield where he fell. The Flanders Fields are redolent with history, sadness and sacrifice.

“But there was more to this pilgrimage. Our visit reaffirmed the importance that Sedbergh attaches to those who commit their lives to the service of others; be it the armed forces, medicine, the judiciary or education. With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, “To strive, to serve and not to yield.” This is our credo which continues unchanged today.”

To find out more about the OS Club Pilgrimage click here – www.sedberghschool.org/pilgrimage

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