St Cecilia's remembers with past pupils of the former Wandsworth School
When Wandsworth School was demolished in the late 1990's all the war memorial plaques were either lost or destroyed. On the 8th July this year the Old Wandsworthians Memorial Trust held a memorial service and unveiled a new War Memorial Plaque at St Cecilia’s Church of England School, which was built on the former site of Wandsworth School.
The service was attended by 85 people, which included over 45 former pupils and staff of Wandsworth School, along with The Worshipful Mayor of Wandsworth, Lord Dannatt GCB CBE, MC, DL, Lord Swansea, Royal British Legion (Putney), Lieutenant Colonel Ed Moorhouse London Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Smart Royal Marines and pupils and staff of St Cecilia’s School.
Richard Moody (Trustee) Rev Annie Kurk, Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Nicola Nardelli.
|The service was opened by the Trust secretary Les Herbert, a former pupil of Wandsworth School, who also organised the event. He first thanked Niall Gallagher, Headmaster of St Cecilia’s School, for allowing the event to take place at the School. After setting the scene for the service and giving the audience some background of how he managed to find all the lost information, Les also read out a letter from a Company Captain of the London Regiment serving in World War One which was written back in May 1916. It was sadly informing a family of the loss of their second son who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in giving his life in an unselfish and brave act to save other men who had been wounded in battle. It was a very moving account which made the service more personal and there was many a tear in the chapel as a result.
The service was conducted by the Bishop of Kingston The Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham and the School Chaplain Rev Annie Kurk. During the service a reading was given by Niall Gallagher, followed by a short speech from Lord Dannatt who was representing the Armed Forces. In his speech he said the service was a wonderful tribute for all the men who had given their lives for King & Country in both World Wars. He also emphasised the point that these names shall not be forgotten and they will now, once again, be seen by the younger generation attending the school and for many generations to come.
As a further tribute to these young men the song, 'Evening Prayer' by Purcell, was performed by Adrian Thompson, a former pupil of Wandsworth school with musical accompaniment by Glyn Harvey, a former head of music at the School.
This was followed by the national Anthem and then the Bishop of Kingston gave the Final Dismissal. The procession then moved down to the main corridor of the school, where Bishop Richard carried out a short dedication and blessing of the war memorial plaque. The plaque was then unveiled by Lord Dannatt, as seen in the picture opposite.
The whole day was a terrific success and proved a fitting occasion to many brave young men of Wandsworth School, lest we forget………
The borough’s Heritage Service is also urging people to donate photographs, newspaper cuttings or other documents relating to the First World War. Email email@example.com.
For more details about upcoming events, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/ww1centenary.
The old Wandsworth School
July 20, 2015