College marks the Centenary of the Armistice

Four years ago, College marked the centenary of the beginning of the First World War by planting crocus bulbs around the great tree in the Quad beside the Princess Hall. In springtime, we welcome these delicate flowers as a sign of hope, but on 11th November (Armistice Day) each year we gather in more sombre mood. We lay a wreath, in the same place as the bulbs, to remember and honour all who have lost their lives in conflicts past and present, since what was known as ‘the Great War’.

This year was no exception, but as Armistice Day fell on Sunday, our whole College service to mark the Centenary of the Armistice began with an Act of Remembrance in the Quad. The names of the ten former College pupils who died as a result of the First World War were read and a commemorative wreath was laid by the Senior Prefect, Valentina. Following Isabella's rendition of the Last Post, we kept two minutes’ silence along with communities up and down the UK and beyond.

We moved into the Princess Hall for the remainder of this very moving and poignant service, which included a talk from visiting speaker Revd Dr Sandra Millar and beautiful anthems from College Choir. During one of their pieces, ‘For the Fallen’, 1,000 poppy petals were scattered on stage, many of which carried the names of loved ones that students and staff wanted to remember. Once again, we were pleased to be joined by ex-servicemen from the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Tom and David Lyall. 

At the close of the service the community took part in an Act of Commitment, where we reaffirmed our intention to strive for peace, seek to heal the wounds of war, and work for a just future for all humanity.

‘They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.’ - Laurence Binyon, Ode of Remembrance from For the Fallen.

Revd Josie, College Chaplain

College Choir

As the centenary of the Armistice was marked across the world, College Choir played its part in both College and Town commemorations. As the College community gathered together on Remembrance Sunday for the annual Service of Remembrance, the Choir led the congregational singing at the service, and also performed In paradisum from Fauré’s Requiem and Blatchly’s For the Fallen.

Later that same evening, in a major event for the town of Cheltenham, a specially-commissioned film was projected 50 metres wide directly onto the Municipal Offices on the Promenade.

The film was a collaboration between the Town Council, Everyman Theatre, University of Gloucestershire and Evenlode Productions. It used a mixture of live action, animation, historical photographs and visual effects to tell the stories of local soldiers, nurses and families from the Great War. The soundtrack was by film composer, Tim Mountain, who enlisted the services of our College Choir to provide the choral music in his score. We recorded the music with Tim in October, and it was fascinating to hear it woven into the final production.

The choir can be heard in the last few minutes of the film, as the Roll of Honour of Cheltenham’s fallen is displayed. You can see excerpts of the film here.

Remembrance music also features strongly in the Choir’s CD, IN PARADISUM: Songs of Remembrance and Hope, which is available to order.

“The CD is a real credit to the work of the girls and of you and your colleagues that you can produce singing of this quality… they sing with a real sense of shape and understanding.” - Bob Chilcott, composer

Mr Parker, Head of Vocal Studies

Additional Fundraising projects

The Glenlee girls have been involved in a project to commemorate Remembrance Day. Cindy Parnell, who has worked at College for more then 30 years, organised the project and her encouragement has enabled all the Glenlee girls to create their own poppies using paper, felt and even knitting. Each poppy was then added to a display, which features paintings of poppies and a war horse by Charlene (UC4) and Olympia (UC5). 

Amandine and Lulu (LC2) knitted poppies for the occasion and have raised more than £80 for the British Legion.

Mrs Dobbs, Housemistress