As the 11th hour of the 11th day approaches, the pupils and staff of Downside School prepare for the Remembrance Service, an annual service which takes place at the Downside War Memorial.
The service is always very special, with the pupils taking time out of their day to remember the Old Gregorians who fell in battle, and the past few years have been particularly poignant as we’ve marked the centenary of those who fell in the Great War. This year, the Design Department have helped to create a series of crosses, using a laser cutter, to mark each of the Old Gregorians who fell in 1916, and Mr Neill Barrett has worked especially hard to prepare a board marking the locations of where they fell during the Battle of the Somme.
Earlier this year, BBC Radio Somerset recorded a programme in memory of Stephen Hewett, an OG who fell at the Battle of the Somme. The diary extract, read by Hewett’s descendant William Harwood, was brought to life with sound effects of birdsong, gunshots, and more. You can hear it here.
Additionally, you may be interested to read more about the ‘Monks at War’ who served alongside OGs and pupils in the Great War. Archive materials, such as letters, diaries and photographs, are available to view on Flickr. Click here to view the archive of Dom Stephen Rawlinson, Principal Catholic Chaplain on the Western Front.