On November 11th 2016, Portadown College held their annual remembrance assembly. This year’s assembly was extra special due to it being the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme (1916-2016).
Mr Harper opened the proceedings with an address to the staff and pupils of Portadown College. Kerrie Burns (Head Girl) read an emotional poem written by former solider Alan Seeger called ‘I have a rendezvous with death.’ Alan Seeger died on July 4th 1916 while serving for the French Foreign Legion.
After the reading of the poem, Mr Harper read some chilling statistics about the Battle of the Somme. Most shocking was the total number of casualties: 1.3 million. A short video clip showed men going over the top and bodies being described as being ‘like fish in a net’.
‘A commanding officer writes to his wife’ was read by Stuart Hodgen (Head Boy) which further tugged on everybody’s heart strings.
Following this the ATC laid a wreath and Mr Robinson (School ICT Technician and former serviceman) read the words of Flanders Field. This was followed by a minute’s silence and the Last Post.
The assembly was finished by prayers from the vice principals (Miss Gibb and Mr Richardson) and a poignant lament played by year 14 student Dion Boyle on the bag pipes.
Every student left with the words of Flanders Fields engraved in their mind.
‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning.
We will remember them.’
Matthew Walsh Year 12