Schools pay their respects to the fallen

Tritlington C of E First School pupils with the school's poppy tribute.
Tritlington C of E First School pupils with the school's poppy tribute.

Schools across Northumberland commemorated the fallen in the run-up to or after Remembrance Sunday.

This included a ceremony at King Edward VI School in Morpeth on Monday to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Local army cadets at the KEVI service on Monday.

Local army cadets at the KEVI service on Monday.

Fifty nine former students and one teacher lost their lives. An additional two former schoolmasters succumbed to their wounds in the years following the end of the conflict and the fate of at least one former teacher is not known after he went missing in action in 1918.

Many of the individuals, who lost their lives in Belgium, France, Poland, Italy, and at sea, have no known graves and their average age was just 24.

The school also lost 58 alumni and two members of staff in the Second World War and a further former student in the Korean War of 1953.

All of these individuals were remembered by the laying of wreaths during the service, which was attended by Three Rivers Learning Trust trustees, members of the school’s Edwardians Association, Foundation Governors and Morpeth Mayor Jack Gebhard.

NCS graduate Alex Elliott-Smith with her mental health brochure.

NCS graduate Alex Elliott-Smith with her mental health brochure.

KEVI headteacher Clare Savage said: “We feel it’s vital our current students feel a personal connection to these events, and others, which ultimately led to them being able to live and thrive in freedom and in peace.

“These 123 individuals and their families represent only a tiny portion of all the men, women and children affected by war, past and present.

“As a school community, we wanted to come together in gratitude for them, their service, and their sacrifice.”

A stunning poppy tribute to the fallen heroes of the First World War was created by parents, staff and pupils at Tritlington C of E First School and it was available to view at St Cuthbert’s Church in Hebron over the weekend.

The individual poppies were made from recycled plastic bottles.

In addition, a Ponteland teenager was involved in national commemorations involving members of the Royal family, politicians and veterans.

Alex Elliott-Smith, 18, was among 100 teenagers – all graduates of National Citizen Service (NCS) – who were invited by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to be part of the National Remembrance Service in London.

Welcoming 10,000 guests to the event, Alex and the other NCS graduates helped to ensure it ran smoothly by registering guests and leading the main procession and wreath-laying ceremony.

She said: “Participating in Armistice 100 was a real privilege. After helping with the accreditation process for guests, we made our way to the Cenotaph where I was honoured to lay wreaths on behalf of those who were participating in the People’s Procession.

“I think it is important that young people were involved in the event. The efforts of everyone involved proves that young people see, embrace and commemorate Armistice and the ultimate sacrifices that generations before us made.”