On 9th November 2018 The Coleshill School held its annual Remembrance Service to commemorate former students of the school who lost their lives in active service. We are also remembering those who suffered life changing injuries and mental health problems as a result of the stresses of conflict as well as the families and friends of those who gave so much. It was an extra-special service this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1.
In front of a packed Hall of students and visitors, Sixth Form students proudly read out the names of 27 ‘old boys’ from the first world war, 9 from the second world war and James Munday who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008. Stephen Fagg played the last post which was followed by a minute’s silence.
There were many guests at the ceremony including, Mayor Tony Battle, Simon Toon, Sergeant at Arms, Councillor Hayfield and relatives of the ‘old boys’, including Caroline Baker-Munday whose son James Trooper Munday, 1 Troop, D Squadron, Household Cavalry, was killed in action in Afghanistan age 21 ten years ago.
Unfortunately, Tom Wilson, Headmaster of Coleshill Grammar School from 1956 to 1982 was unable to attend the service for the first time this year due to ill-health. Tom, a former RAF officer and navigator, helped the escape from a prison camp in the Second World War. When Tom was Headmaster he commissioned a plaque listing all the names of the ‘lost boys’ of Coleshill School and this has remained in its original place in the hall ever since, along with the additional plaque for James Munday.
Following the service, guests were entertained with a creative dance display and WW1 poems, created by Year 7 students and primary pupils from Coleshill Primary School and Curdworth Primary School, were read out by the students.
Students also made 141 wooden poppies which were displayed at school, representing one for each fallen serviceman from Coleshill in WW1 and Trooper James Munday. The students made 36 clay doves to represent the 36 ‘lost boys’ on the memorial plaque in the school hall. These were given to guests who attended the ceremony, including family members of the ‘lost boys’.
Mrs Pudge, Art Technician commented “Remembrance in Coleshill is a real community event and our students have been busy making ceramic poppies for the ‘Weeping Poppy’ display at the war memorial at Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul in Coleshill; as well as making the wooden poppies and clay doves for the School Remembrance Service”.
Ian Smith-Childs, headteacher, said:
I would like to thank all our students, staff and guests, including primary schools, for attending our Remembrance ceremony. It was particularly poignant to have some relatives of some of the young men from our community who have lost their lives. This is an important event for the school and community and I am so proud of our students who voluntarily attended the Remembrance Service and were so respectful today to commemorate our lost boys. I would also like to send Tom Wilson our very best wishes”.