Cirencester College joins together to reflect and remember

On today, Armistice Day, hundreds of students, staff and parents gathered at Cirencester College to hold a service of remembrance for those lost in war.

The service, led by Principal Jim Grant, began with uniformed cadets and Public Services students marching to gather in front of the College’s own cenotaph.
In his welcoming words, the principal reminded students of the significance of the College itself during the Second World War; the site was used as an American military hospital caring for soldiers wounded in the battle for Normandy. Mr Grant also highlighted the sobering fact that many of the soldiers in the First and Second World War would have been of similar ages to the students currently studying at the College.

Those gathered then listened to a reading of the poem ‘On Somme’ from English teacher John Pitt. The poem is particularly significant as the poet, Ivon Gurney served as a private with the Gloucestershire Regiment and was wounded on the Somme.

Student and army cadet Corbyn Walsh and student Charlotte Harper, a police cadet, represented the services by laying a wreath on the cenotaph before the last post was played, signalling the start of a two-minute silence which was observed with respect. Charlotte described laying the wreath as being “an honour”. Following the Reveille, the National Anthem was sung before the service ended.

The service today was the end to a week of programmes held at the College leading up to Armistice Day. As one of the events, students were encouraged to go and experience an immersive soundscape installation set up in the College, an experience that features the sounds of World War I and II.

Last week, Head of Humanities, Aidan Scott delivered a lecture to around 300 students with a guest lecturer, Dr Mark Baldwin, an international expert and professional speaker on the Enigma Machine, the decoding device used throughout World War II.