Special service of Remembrance at Sutton Veny School
On Thursday November 6th 2003 staff and children gave a very warm welcome to a visiting party from Australia.
The party of 29 World War Two veterans along with representatives from today’s Australian, Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Military padre.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Australian Veterans Service, Australian War Memorial and Returned Service League.
The party enjoyed morning tea served by the Friends of the School
Children from class six chatted to the veterans, mesmerised by the medals that adorned each before escorting them into the church for the Remembrance Service.
Repatriation Commissioner, Rear Admiral Simon Harrington gave a brief outline to staff and children for the reason behind the visit to the U.K.
Merchant Navy veteran Ron Ware whose father came to Sutton Veny during WW1, presented the school with 12 little Koalas.
Dr Richard E Reid presented the school with a signed copy of his book ‘Australians in Britain’
The school also received a copy of the book ‘Australians at War’ along with 5 copies of a book from Toowoomba presented by one of the veterans, hats, badges, stickers, scarves and coasters.
A plaque was presented to head teacher Mrs Christine Folker with the inscription,
‘Presented to the
Sutton Veny Church of England
By the Australian Veterans Group
On the occasion of the Commemorative Mission to Great Britain
To dedicate the Australian War Memorial, London
The service began with the Representatives from the Australian Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines who made up the CataFulque party taking up their position at the altar. (A catafalque party is a guard mounted over a catafalque on any one of the following occasions at a memorial or special occasion such as ANZAC Day or Remembrance Day).
Reverend Hugh Hoskins welcomed all to the service this was followed by a prologue from the representative of the Returned Service League.
The singing of the hymn ‘Lord of all Hopefulness’ followed one of our Year six students reading the poem ‘In Flanders Field’.
The Australian Anthem was sung followed by prayers and blessing from the Australian Military Padre.
The older children then escorted the veterans and party to the cemetery to lay a poppy on each of the war graves. The Geraldton Returned Service League sent the poppies from Western Australia.
The younger children took the opportunity to talk to the veterans and military representatives about the medals they were wearing and the rifles they were carrying.
The morning ended with a quick visit to look at the Anzac memorabilia on display in the school before rejoining the coach to travel to the Land Warfare Centre in Warminster for lunch at the Infantry Mess.
Adults and children alike had a thoroughly enjoyable morning and were left with feelings of immense respect for the veterans and humbled by their courage, endurance and experiences.
Sutton Veny School
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