Matthew Burns

SEDBERGH SCHOOL REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY SERVICE

Sedbergh School held its Remembrance Sunday service above the War Memorial and Cloisters on Sunday 13th November, with pupils and staff joined by parents and a number of Old Sedberghians, boarders from Sedbergh Prep, and members of the Armed Forces. 

Headmaster Andrew Fleck gave the first reading, ‘Funeral Oration of Pericles’ and Head of School Maria Mendoza, from Spain, read St Matthew 5: 1 – 12. Reverend Paul Sweeting led the service. Bagpipes were played by Lorne Scott-Dempster, and trumpet by Sarah Long.

Pupils from CCF Army, Navy and RAF sections were present to mark this significant landmark date, the Remembrance Sunday closest to the 100th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme, which was commemorated earlier this year. The wreath layers included Second Lieutenant Nichol of J Sidi Rezegh Battery, 3rd Royal Horse Artillery Regiment. Colonel Bennett, father of Sally Bennett ®, and Sgt J Irvine former J Sidi Rezegh Bty, now our Cadet Training Team Sergeant, from 42 X, also attended the parade. 

This was the 75th anniversary of the awarding of the Victoria Cross to two Old Sedberghians who fought at Sidi Rezegh, part of the British operation to relieve the Siege of Tobruk. Second Lieutenant George Ward Gunn, a troop commander in J Battery, was killed in action. Major General ‘Jock’ Campbell survived. Second Lieutenant Sophie Nichol is the same rank and in the same Battery as that in which Ward Gunn served; she laid her wreath on the side of the VC memorial that bears Ward Gunn’s name.  

The day itself coincided with the 100th anniversary of OS Herbert Shutt (Lupton 1901-05). He is one of the 257 Sedberghians remembered as part of the OS Club Pilgrimage (http://pilgrimage.sedberghschool.org). Over the 2014 – 2018 WW1 centenary commemoration period, the Old Sedberghian Club has pledged to mark the life and death of each Sedberghian casualty.

A biography has been written for each man, a pledge has been made to visit the grave or memorial for each, and a series of ongoing events have been planned to recognise the sacrifice made by a generation of Sedberghians. The full collection of biographies can be viewed on the Old Sedberghian Pilgrimage website.

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