North Yorkshire Champions Report on the Ripon Cathedral Service Pupils’ Remembrance EventBack
Published on November 15th, 2018 | by Pete Ogburn
REMEMBRANCE 2018 The idea for the theme of this year’s special Remembrance Service for our Military Children and Young People came from an email I was sent earlier in the year with information about how to make a bid to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for silhouette soldiers as part of their [&hellip0
The idea for the theme of this year’s special Remembrance Service for our Military Children and Young People came from an email I was sent earlier in the year with information about how to make a bid to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for silhouette soldiers as part of their There But Not There project. The aim of the project was to provide communities and groups with these figures to help bring to mind those who went to war and did not return. For Service Children this idea not only helps them to think about the enormity of World War 1 and its legacy on our world today, but also for them has a day to day relevance in their own lives when their serving dad or mum are so often ‘there but not there’. We were successful in the bid and received our 10 Tommies. From this came the idea to commission a drama company, with the generous support of MKC Heroes National Group, involving some of our young people to bring this theme alive during our annual Remembrance Service and the whole service was built around this theme.
32 schools attended on the day with nearly 700 military children from across North Yorkshire and the City of York. We were supported as usual by the Royal British Legion who attended with 5 of their standard bearers from local branches alongside our 2 MKC Heroes standard bearers from Holy Trinity Juniors and Hipswell Primary School. Other guests included the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Mr Richard Compton, Garrison Commander Col Joe Jordan and Wing Commander Richard Newbould from RAF Leeming as well as senior leaders from North Yorkshire County Council, and military and civic partners. There were performances by the Dishforth Military Wives Choir and the Wensleydale School Choir’s In Flanders Field.
The 10 soldiers were positioned around the cathedral representing all those that were lost. The first part of the drama was 8 students from Bedale High School performing a piece called Yours Lovingly of letters from World War 1:
My Dear Father,
It is a strange feeling to me but a very real one, that every letter now that I write home to you or to the little sisters may be the last that I shall write to you or read. I do not want you to think that I am depressed; indeed on the contrary, I am very cheerful. But out here, in odd moments the realisation comes to me of how close death is to us….
Your loving son
The letters were from and to sons, parents, wives and sweethearts and movingly portrayed the sacrifice and loyalty to home and county of so many thousands of young men sent away to fight. The students used long lengths of ribbon to illustrate the distance to loved ones and that so often at the end of a ribbon was an empty space. The silhouette soldiers illustrated that idea of loved ones lost who failed to return.
The second piece of the drama, later in the service, was of today’s experience of our Service children and young people. Here 4 pupils from RAF Leeming Primary School sat next to their [silhouette] serving parents:
Our parents also go away on deployment for very long periods of time and our mums’ and dads’ jobs are vital in making the whole military system work effectively.
This is my “dad”. and he works in Cyber Electro Magnetic activities. I don’t really know what that is!
They too are ‘there but not there’.
We were delighted to have Padres from the Army and RAF assisting and a great honour to have Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley as well as the very supportive clergy of Ripon Cathedral who again kindly hosted the service.
I hope that bringing together that many Service Children to commemorate and reflect as well as share their experiences will be something they will always remember of their time in North Yorkshire.
Annabel Hall and Nickie Young
Service Pupils’ Champions
Bookmarks made by North Yorkshire Service Children, the winning design was made into the official bookmark for the service.
100 in poppies is from RAF Linton on Ouse using some of the poppies Paula gave us