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A Week of Remembrance

29 December 2015

A Week of Remembrance

Wellingtonians were reminded again today of the importance of Remembrance, and the strong ties the College has had, historically and at present, with its many alumni involved in conflicts all over the world.

Our readings today consisted of poetry and prose connected not only by the theme of war but also by that of the suffering individual affected by war. Many vividly dramatic and powerful poems revive battle and pain.

Yet, no less poignant are those which describe the gentle scene as a nurse watches her charges, wounded soldiers sleep by candlelight; or that of a woman who sees little hope in a future without her brother and fiancé as relayed in the poem, ‘Perhaps’ by Vera Brittain.

One of the readings today was an extract, taken from a series of diary entries created by one of our pupils, Sophie Cook. The man, Friedrich, falls in love with a girl, Liesle, of whom his family would not approve. As his feelings grow, so too does the impending rumble of war and the inevitably sad conclusion of their love before it really had a chance to flourish. This extract displays the heartbreaking reality of war, and is applicable to anyone caught in the crossfire of conflict. 

The audience of Wellingtonians and parents showed their deep understanding of the importance of this ceremony, their respect mirrored that of pupils from Wellington in the UK for whom Remembrance has been deeply embedded for over 150 years. The act of remembrance is a powerful reminder of the College’s foundation too, as it began as a school for orphaned boys of fallen soldiers: Herum Filii.

See the photos from the ceremony here.

Kerry Coburn Kerry Coburn is Head of Senior School English. Born and educated in and around West London, Kerry earned her BA and PGCE at Brunel University, staying local to complete her first placement at the well-respected Bishopshalt Secondary School. She remained at Bishopshalt for three years before leaving for Dubai. Kerry often uses art in her lessons as a means to access literature & context and she has been involved in several school and non-school based projects; perhaps one of the most noteworthy being that she edited and helped arrange a book created by Iranian artist Gita Meh which is being published this year in the US.