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The Thursday Reflection


In this week’s Thursday Reflection, pupils learned about Remembrance Day.

Armistice Day is on 11 November and is also known as Remembrance Day.

It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, back in 1918. Nowadays, people remember those who were lost in the war by holding a two-minute silence and by wearing a red poppy.

In Remembrance Day services, there are ceremonies at war memorials, cenotaphs and churches throughout the country, as well as abroad. Members of the Royal Family and politicians attended memorial services. The anniversary is used to remember all the people who have died in wars - not just World War One. This includes World War Two, the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The first two-minute silence in Britain was held on 11 November 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe a silence at 11am. This was one year after the end of World War One. He made the request so "the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead".

The red poppy is the most famous symbol used to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives in World War One and conflicts that followed. Wearing a poppy was inspired by the fields of poppies that grew where many of the battles were fought. The red poppy belongs to the Royal British Legion - a charity created by veterans of World War One. They say that the red poppy represents remembrance and hope.

The purple poppy is often worn to remember animals that have been victims of war. Animals like horses, dogs and pigeons were often drafted into the war effort, and those that wear the purple poppy feel their service should be seen as equal to that of human service. In particular, many horses were killed or injured in World War One. Donations to the Animal Purple Poppy Fund go to charities including World Horse Welfare and the Household Cavalry Foundation. The Animal Purple Poppy Fund uses the word poppy with the agreement of the Royal British Legion.

On Friday 11th at 11am the school gathered for two-minutes silence and the school’s Remembrance service is held on Saturday at Winchester College Chapel.

(cf. BBC Newsround (2021) Remembrance Day: What is it? Available at : )

Paul Bryant
School Lay Chaplain & Head of Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Co-ordinator of SMSC


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