As usual the School Chaplain, the Rev Ivan Moore, led the service which took place in the School’s Great Hall rather than the Chapel to allow for increased numbers of those who wanted to join the nation in paying their respects to those who made have sacrifices in conflict.
Major Graham Goodey and Major Laurence Baum, two Old Bancroftians who are currently serving in the forces, read biographies of two Bancroftians who had died in the war. The story of Cuthbert Hickman who, although he sustained many wounds in action, died from influenza just 24 hours after the peace was particularly poignant. Gilbert Waterhouse’s poem “Bivouacs” was also read; Waterhouse was an Old Bancroftian and war poet who was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
Members of the Bancroft’s community had hand-produced over two hundred glazed ceramic poppies, most of which were inscribed with the name of an Old Bancroftian who gave his life in the service of his country. These were “planted” in the School Quad around the Memorial to the 167 Bancroftians who gave their lives during the 1914-18 conflict. They were available to purchase after the service with all monies raised will be split between two charities: Combat Stress, which helps former servicemen and women deal with trauma-related mental health problems, and The Royal British Legion.
Members of the School’s Combined Cadet Force and Sea Scout Troop, which both played an important part in the morning’s events were encouraged to form the date 1918 in the Quad afterwards. Wreaths were laid by on the School’s war memorials by Sixth form members of the Cadet Force, RSM Martin Prusa and Cpl Juliette Balchin.