Pupils of Mossley Hollins observed the 2-minute silence this morning in honour of the fallen servicemen and women, including one ex-pupil who still has strong ties to the school.
The student cohort made their way to the schools apron and each year group stood attentively to listen as members of each year group read from a passage, in honour of those who had served our country.
The focal point of the service was to remember ex pupil of Mossley Hollins Joseph Etchells. Corporal Joseph Etchells of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 19 July 2009.
The service was also attended by mayor Tafheen Sharif and local councillors, who paid their respects to Corporal Etchells by laying a wreath at the base of a tree that was planted, to dedicate his life. Local PSCO’s also laid a wreath to honour the Corporal.
Andrea Din, headteacher of the school, spoke to us to tell us more about the mornings’ service. “We are paying tribute Armistice Day but of course it hits closer to home for us because of Corporal Joseph Etchells who died in combat in 2009.”
The combat mission ended for the UK in 2014, with the handover of Camp Bastion to Afghan troops. But for Mossley Hollins, the men who gave their lives live on alongside the honouring of Corporal Etchells.
“the whole school community still remember Joey, and many members of our community are related to him,” Andrea said, “so it hits close to home for us as a school community.”
The ceremony also pays tribute to the wider spectrum of all servicepeople who gave their lives, as Andrea continued. “I think it’s good for us all to take the time to remember the sacrifices of people in the past, and to be thankful for where we are today. For our young students, particularly those in the cadets, it is important for them to lay crosses and pay their respects.”
Around about 890 students and 80 staff were present for the, including the special guests. Andrea remarked on this, saying “it was really great to see the mayor and councillors come down today.”