Saturday, 11th November 2017
PUPILS stand in silence as a former British Army soldier lays wreath to commemorate Remembrance Day
HUNDREDS of pupils stood in respectful silence as a former British Army soldier laid a wreath to commemorate the fallen heroes of war.
Pupils at Haughton Academy, Darlington, watched as school health & safety and premises manger Steve Brown honoured those who gave their lives for their country by placing a circlet of poppies at a plaque commemorating ex-Haughton student SAS Corporal John Newton killed in action in the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict.
Former staff sergeant Brown served with The Queens Royal Hussars for 23 years and saw active service four times in Bosnia as well as in Northern Ireland and in the second Gulf War.
He said: “It is vital that everyone remembers the great sacrifices made by our armed forces. War is not a computer game, war is not glamorous, in war you lose your friends and it is essential that no one forgets those who fought for their country but did not return.”
Mr Brown was presented with the poppy wreath by pupils from the Darlington Churchill Army Cadet Force Detachment, The Newton Aycliffe Air Cadets and the St John’s Ambulance cadets.
Air cadet Hannah Taylor, 13, of Darlington, said: “My dad is in the Royal Air Force so I wanted to follow in his footsteps by joining the cadets.
“It means a lot to represent your country in the military and it is very important to honour all of those who have gone before.”
Army cadet and GCSE engineering student Lexi Hickson, 13, added: “I’m hoping to join the army as an engineer when I leave school.
“I feel very proud to have been involved in the service today remembering the men and women who have given their lives in conflicts all around the world.”
Preceding the traditional two minute silence
PE teacher Adele Norris, who organised the event, said: “Our remembrance service has followed a week of tutor session where all students have been researching British Army conflicts since World War II.
“They have learnt about The Falklands War as well as conflicts in Syria, Iraq Afghanistan and Northern Ireland and for each they have made a wreath from handprints and hand written facts about war.
“It is very humbling to see the whole school come together to remember the courage of those who fought and died for our country and show respect for service personnel past and present.”