On Friday 9th November John Willmott School students fell silent to remember the fallen. Derrick Griffin, the Mayor of the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, joined the school in their service of remembrance.
More than 220 students gathered in the school hall and welcomed the Mayor, along with representatives from the Royal Air Force, West Midlands Police, school governors and the JWS Parents Association.
All the visitors were invited to lay wreaths and crosses in memory of those who served their country. Students who are members of uniformed organisations were also invited to attend school in their uniforms and lay crosses on behalf of those groups. One student said: “This was a very special service reminding us of the sacrifice of so many on our behalf’.”
Music for the service was provided by the music department beginning with a beautiful rendition of Ludovico Einaudi’s Nuvole Bianche, by a year 7 student, a spectacular Last Post played by the school band, and a violin solo of ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’.
This service was the culmination of a week commemorating the service of soldiers from Commonwealth countries who fought in the World Wars. The school canteen served food from a different commonwealth country each day including delights from India, Canada and Jamaica.
Earlier in the term Mrs Marriette, Head of History, delivered 550 flags that had been designed and decorated by students, to The National Arboretum, where they were used as part of an art installation commemorating the contribution made by commonwealth soldiers. Flags for the Fallen was developed by Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson of ‘Planet Art’, the flags were added to a giant map of the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Commonwealth countries to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country 100 years ago.
Tracey Peters, headteacher, said:
“It is appropriate that on such a special anniversary the staff and students of John Willmott School undertook their most comprehensive commemoration ever. All 1000 students in the school were involved in recognising the events of 100 years ago, with our final service being a superb acknowledgment of the service of many. We are particularly proud that our students’ work features in a wonderful art installation at The National Arboretum.”