On Friday last week, the moving and solemn ceremony at the War Memorial in the courtyard represented the School’s act of remembrance. The wreaths were laid by the Head, the Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Head of the John Carpenter Club, accompanied by the CCF band and choir, led by WO Haskew and Mr Harrison respectively.
However, this was only the start of the remembrance activities conducted by the School CCF. On Saturday, representatives from the CCF carried the War Widows banner, as they conducted their service of remembrance, carried out on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday, as is their tradition. The War Widows Association was founded by those who had lost husbands during British wars, and seeks to improve the conditions of war widows and their families through charitable donations, as well as gathering once a year to remember their lost family. It was, therefore, an honour for CLS cadets to carry the War Widows Standard, accompanied by the Southern Highlanders Pipe Band, the RAF Volunteer Band and many members of the War Widows organisation. Many members of the association have difficulty walking, so other CLS cadets pushed them in wheelchairs. The ceremony ran smoothly, reminding all of the sacrifices made, not only of the war veterans themselves but their families.
Immediately afterwards, the cadets were given the rare opportunity to visit Downing Street. After being security checked, they were able to have their photo taken in front of the famous door of number 10.
The next day, Remembrance Sunday, saw again CLS Cadets in uniform in London. This time, four cadets from the RAF and Navy sections were invited to attend the official remembrance service at Westminster Abbey. This involved choral and organ music, several hymns, and readings from senior priests. The wreath-laying was conducted by several members of the Clergy and the City of London before the last post was sounded by a Bugler from the Welsh Guards. It was a privilege to witness such an important ceremony, and we would like to thank Mr Fernandez, Mr Gregory, Mr Marshall, Sergeant Dave-O (Royal Engineers), Miss Stanley, Sgt Scholes and, Lt McDonough. In particular, WO1 Fernandez and Contingent Commander Gregory have been instrumental in accessing these great opportunities for us to remember as well as help those still in need.
The cadets were given the rare opportunity to visit Downing Street.