Watson's pupils have attended the unveiling of a memorial to Scottish poets from World War One at Makars’ Court, Edinburgh, marking the end of a series of moving Remembrance events involving George Watson's College.
Led by the Watson's Pipe Band, a procession made its way from St Giles’ up the Royal Mile to Makars' Court, where Senior Office Bearers helped to unveil Memorial on behalf of the Lord Provost Frank Ross, a Watsonian (Class of 1976). The Pipe Band then played a lament and led the procession back down to a Reception at City Chambers.
The memorial has been created to recognise the bravery and sacrifice of the poets as well as the rich body of work they have left behind. Standing over 6ft tall, it is a traditional hand crafted Celtic cross in light grey granite with deep carved Celtic knot work.
The project to create the memorial also saw S3 pupils from Tynecastle High School and Watson's invited to Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart Campus to attend a series of workshops and presentations relating to World War One trauma and creativity.
Pupils learned about the intense environment of the trenches through the words of Scottish World War One poets by visiting the university’s War Poets Collection and attending a workshop delivered by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Other Remembrance events include:
- our Remembrance Service was broadcast live via YouTube for the first time.
- a new Wall of Remembrance will be unveiled in the Senior School entrance foyer, featuring photographs of many of the 599 Watsonians who died as a result of World War I.
- our Primary 6 and Primary 7 pupils held a special Remembrance Assembly.
- on 9 November, our commemoration began with the reading of the Roll of Honour: the names of all Watsonians who died in that conflict were read out in the Assembly Hall.
- following the Remembrance Service, an oak tree (represented on the School badge) was planted in front of the Senior School. Watsonians across the world are being encouraged to plant a 'forest of oaks' (or an appropriate species for their climate) to commemorate the Watsonians who fell in the Great War.
- on 11 November, Principal Melvyn Roffe and the Watson's Office Bearers took part in the Remembrance Day ceremony at Haymarket, before processing to Tynecastle for further commemorations with Heart of Midlothian F.C.
- following this, our Symphony Orchestra led Play4Peace, a global event bringing together musicians from around the world to play a single piece of music at the same time as a symbolic gesture of cooperation, peace and reconciliation.
- During this year's autumn half-term holiday, 70 pupils in S3-S6 and 10 staff visited First World War battlefields, memorials and cemeteries in Belgium and France.