Former pupils, staff and friends of the Sir William Turner’s School will once again pay tribute to lives lost during the First and Second World Wars with a Remembrance Service at Redcar and Cleveland College.

In its 99th year, the annual event brings together the historic school’s alumni with present-day college students and the local community to remember the 103 former pupils who lost their lives during the conflicts.

With the memorial service held online last year due to the pandemic, Chair of the Sir William Turner Foundation, Peter Sotheran MBE, said: "We look forward to this annual opportunity to meet with former friends and colleagues.

"The video of last year’s slimmed down ceremony was much appreciated by a large number of former students and staff who are scattered across the world but nothing can replace meeting one another in person."

The service, originally held at the Sir William Turner’s School, dates back to 1922, when the War Memorial was consecrated, and it has taken place every year since.

Now held at Redcar and Cleveland College, it is an opportunity to reflect on the 48 Old Boys from the school who died in active service during World War I and the 55 who lost their lives in World War II.

The names of those lost in the First World War are on the granite cross that stands at the corner of the college grounds and the names of those lost in both wars are on a bronze memorial plaque inside the building.

With tributes being paid at the ceremony by the college’s current Public Services students, historian and former head of history at Sir William Turner’s Sixth Form College, Peter Chester, said: “I always think that Remembrance is not about remembering the dead, but remembering those who once lived and whose lives were cut short by war.

“These 103 young men, like today’s students, had their lives spreading out before them, full of unknown potential, and their loss is a loss to our community and our society, as much as it was to their individual families.”

Some 350 Sir William Turner’s School Old Boys fought in the First World War and 650 served in the armed forces during the Second World War.

The college’s course leader for Public Services Mark Watts said: “It is incredibly important that our students should recognise all that Remembrance represents. It is a time of reflection not just for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice but those damaged through conflict with physical and mental injuries. We are all grateful for the dedication of those who have served and continue to serve.”

The annual Service of Remembrance will take place at Redcar and Cleveland College on Friday November 12 at 10.30am before the congregation moves to the Celtic Cross War Memorial, where the Last Post will sound, two minutes’ silence will be observed and the wreaths will be laid, along with 103 memorial crosses.

IMG 3389 (1) Peter Sotheran IMG 3375 (1)
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