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Children gather to remember

School children holding poppy wreaths

School children from 18 Farnham schools came together in a collective act of remembrance at the war memorial in Gostrey Meadow on Friday (9 November) to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One.

The primary and secondary school-aged children were joined by Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey Brigadier Roger Hood QVRM TD, the Mayor of Waverley Councillor Denise Le Gal, the Mayor of Farnham Councillor David Attfield and the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, together with representatives from the Royal British Legion, TS Swiftsure Sea Cadets, the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment and 229 (Farnham) Squadron.

Councillor Attfield said: “In this centenary year, it is all the more important to make the time to involve our next generation in remembering the sacrifices made by others for our safety today and that children and young people have the opportunity to reflect and thank the men and women who gave their lives in the First World War and in conflicts since then.”

The ceremony opened with sea cadets, who were joined by members of the Royal British Legion and the 4th Battalion of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, marching to the war memorial followed by a warm welcome from the Mayor of Farnham. Children read war poems they had written before the gathering fell silent for two minutes. The Last Post and Reveille were played by PO (SCC) Gary Newell from the Sea Cadets.

Julie Aldridge, Manager of the Farnham Schools’ Confederation thanked the schools for supporting the event: “Our first collective remembrance in 2014 marked 100 years since the beginning of World War One and involved 14 schools, many from the Farnham Schools’ Confederation. Four years later that number has grown, giving more children the opportunity to represent their school by taking part in laying wreaths, reading poems or simply gathering with others in our community to remember.”

Commenting later on Twitter, Jeremy Hunt MP wrote: ‘Terrific to see Farnham Schools coming together for a Schools’ Remembrance Service – somehow all the more poignant when children participate in the ceremony so thanks to the manyyoung readers for their great contributions’.

The schools’ remembrance service was one of two centenary ceremonies organised by Farnham Town Council in conjunction with the Farnham branch of the Royal British Legion. On Sunday 11 November, Gostrey Meadow’s war memorial was again the focal point as the wider community, local dignitaries and members of the uniformed services joined together for the town memorial service.

See our picture gallery to see more pictures of how Farnham came together to remember.

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