Stonyhurst College First World War remembrance
- Credit: Archant
Stonyhurst College remembered those who died in the First World War when pupils, staff, parents, alumni and local dignitaries attended a special day, which began with mass in St Peter’s Church.
The mass was said by Fr Roger Dawson, who has served in the army and is chaplain for Help for Heroes. In his homily, he spoke of those who had answered the call of duty, showing valour and selflessness. He also spoke of the responsibility of us all to avoid conflict and show leadership in our lives.
After the mass, the congregation processed to the Stonyhurst War Memorial, led by members of the College’s Combined Cadet Force. The Last Post was played by Edward Johnson and a wreath was laid by Chris Magowen.
Stonyhurst history teacher Paul Garlington then gave a talk about the 176 Stonyhurst alumni who had died in the war, describing their school days at Stonyhurst and the circumstances of their deaths - three were awarded the Victoria Cross. The magnitude of the sacrifice was illustrated by a photograph of junior boys celebrating their first communion in June 1906: within a decade most of the 27 boys in the photograph had been killed or injured. As news from the front reached Stonyhurst, portraits of those who had died were displayed along the school’s corridor.
Guests included Arthur French, the nephew of Lt Lieutenant Dease, who was awarded the first Victoria Cross of the First World War. Also in attendance were the Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire, Sir Bernard de Hoghton, the Mayor and Mayoress of Ribble Valley, Councillor Michael and Mrs Janette Ranson and the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Dr Barry Johnson.
The headmaster Andrew Johnson said: ‘This moving commemoration was extremely well attended by alumni of all generations, from all over the world. Stonyhurst’s pupils are very aware of the immense sacrifice which was made by their forebears.’