St Benedict's school in Ealing, west London, unveiled a new war memorial on Sunday November 11th - the centenary of World War I - in remembrance of pupils and teachers from the school who lost their lives in conflict.
The new memorial was unveiled by the Deputy Lieutenant of Ealing, Richard Kornicki, and blessed by the Bishop of the Armed Forces, the Right Reverend Paul Mason. The ceremony was attended by many alumni, current parents, staff and pupils. It began with guard of honour, provided by St Benedict's School CCF and the Last Post was played by a sixth form student.
St Benedict's first memorial was destroyed when a bomb hit the Abbey in the Second World War. Its replacement, crafted in the late 1940s, needed updating as further information about the war dead came to light. The new memorial has been hand-crafted by Luke Chapman and has been placed in the heart of the school, to remind generations of St Benedict's pupils of the sacrifice of their predecessors.
The Headmaster, Andrew Johnson, said: "This is an historic occasion for the school, as we unveil our new war memorial on this most poignant of days:the 100th anniversary of the armistice which ended the Great War. We are grateful to the War Memorial Committee for their careful planning, research and fund-raising."
St Benedict's Classics teacher and Contingent Commander CCF, Shaun Hullis, has conducted a great deal of research, finding new names of pupils who gave their lives: "In 2014, one of my best friends died, a veteran of the Second World War whom I had met through my research into one of his comrades in arms. His death brought home to me more than ever the importance of remembrance, and that September I went to the Headmaster and asked permission to try to raise funds to replace our memorial with something more fitting, accurate, and prominent. Four years later, here it is. Luke Chapman's marvellous re-creation of our memorial will, I hope, remind generations of St Benedict's pupils, parents and staff of the selfless commitment and sacrifice of their predecessors."
A total of 21 students from St Benedict's died in the First World War, when the school was very small. 47 were killed in the Second World War.
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