Old Boys remembered to mark First World War centenary

Sir John Deane's Honours Board

The Old Boys of Sir John Deane's who gave their lives during the First World War will be remembered this week during a special commemoration at the College.

Throughout Thursday and Friday, students will be asked to leave their messages of remembrance honouring those who died a century ago. The messages will then form part of a special exhibition to go on permanent display at the College.  

Student Jordan Parker who has organised the event with fellow students said: “We feel it is more relevant than ever to remember those who fought for our freedoms and to pay our respects in recognition of their bravery and the sacrifices they made.”

The names of 86 men who gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars are listed on the Honours Board in the College’s historic Brunner Hall serving as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by fellow Sir John Deane’s students and teachers.

Over the summer, Deputy Principal Andy Sumner, travelled the area around Ypres in Belgium, to lay a wreath on the graves and memorials of six of the men from Sir John Deane’s whose lives were lost in the First World War.

He said: “It was a very emotional experience to visit the cemeteries and the Menin Gate where our Sir John Deane’s Old Boys were buried or commemorated.

“It’s difficult for us to understand what it must have been like for the men in the trenches during the First World War many of whom gave their lives fighting for their country and it was particularly poignant that so many of those Old Boys who died were not much older than the students studying at Sir John Deane’s today.

“It was an honour to be able to acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe them and to place a Sir John Deane’s wreath on their graves to show that we do indeed remember them.”

Tomorrow, students will also have the opportunity to purchase a selection of different tokens being sold in The Street, with all monies raised going towards the UK armed forces and military veterans charity, Help for Heroes.

First World War Sir John Deane's Pictured above: The first World War honours board at Sir John Deane's listing the names of the 29 men who lost their lives.