First World War Commemorations

The Royal Alexandra and Albert School has more reason than most to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War. In common with many schools, it lost some of its own pupils to the War. However, as it was an orphanage at the time, it also became home to at least 90 children whose father had been killed in the Great War. Details of the lost fathers and past pupils have been included on a website that the School has created as part of its commemorations

Pupils at the School have created two significant art installations as they prepare to remember the fallen at their two Remembrance Services on 11th November. Firstly there is a field of 900 poppies around the flag pole which will be the centre piece for the first service of Remembrance. These were created by pupils aged 11 to 14 as part of an Art project where they learnt the significance of remembering fallen heroes after studying war poetry and creating various pieces of work in a range of artistic disciplines as tribute to them. Head of Art, Rachael Killen said “Pupils were incredibly engaged in the project and were keen to represent their work as best they could out of respect for those who fought.”

The other piece of artwork is a 20 metre wide depiction of a design by 12 year old Isabella Williamson, which has been used to bring together all the school’s commemoration events. The ‘Gatton Remembers’ sculpture is on the fence of the School’s netball courts and was created by the after-school Art Club using 'plastic baseball poppers'. The sculpture will remain in place for the next four years until the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The School’s cadets marched through Redhill on Remembrance Sunday and they will be called into service again on 11th November when they march from the School’s Chapel to the flag pole and the field of poppies.

Headmaster Paul D Spencer Ellis said “I have been struck by how keen pupils are to wear their Gatton Remembers pin badges. They are committed to marking this 100 year anniversary and have had a very positive approach to rehearsals for tomorrow’s service.”

10 November 2014

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