Special Armistice Day ceremony at former RAF Coltishall for Douglas Bader School
- Credit: Archant
Children from a school named after a celebrated war hero took part in a special Armistice Day ceremony, arranged at their request, on a Norfolk Battle of Britain station.
Pupils from the Douglas Bader School walked a few yards down the road to lay poppy wreaths they had made themselves in the memorial garden of former RAF Coltishall.
The Douglas Bader unit is named after the RAF fighter ace who served at RAF Coltishall during the second world war. It cares for children who are unable to attend mainstream school and pupils had been learning about the two world wars, according to Jenny Bird, engagement lead and teacher at the school.
'They wanted to make a wreath for Remembrance Day and became more and more interested in the meanings behind it and about the name of their school. They asked whether a service was being held locally,' said Ms Bird.
She contacted Spirit Of Coltishall Association (Soca) chairman Dave Welsh who arranged the ceremony especially for them, to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when the Armistice was signed 95 years ago, ending the first world war.
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Soca members, a Royal British Legion standard bearer, cornet player, and Air Training Corps representatives were among the two dozen or so adults, several wearing medals, who joined a party of about 30 children and staff around the marble memorial for a service led by Soca chaplain Rev Elizabeth Bailey.
It began with a short parade to the memorial followed by wreath-laying, the Last Post, a two-minute silence, Reveille, prayer and poems.
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'I think it's wonderful. It brings home to young people what it's all about. It's important to carry that message on to the next generation as originally intended. We're delighted to be involved with the school,' said Mrs Bailey.
Natalie Kerr, 15, joined Emily Northey, 14, Colin Reed, six, and Toby Howes, five, in laying tributes from the school.
'I wanted to remember the people who sacrificed their lives. I didn't know much about it before. It was good,' said Natalie.
At the end of the ceremony Christina Aston stepped forward to lay a cross in memory of her uncle, Tony Bozie, a commander with the Ghanaian Navy. He was shot and killed in strife-torn Sudan in 2006 where he was part of a United Nations peacekeeping force. Ms Aston, who lives in Holland, was visiting a relative who lives in former RAF Coltishall, now called Badersfield.
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