Remembrance Service 2021

Remembrance Service 2021

Published on 12 November 2021

George Watson's College marked Remembrance on 12 November.

The proceedings began with the Rededication of the George Watson’s College War Memorial, in commemoration of Watsonians Ruby Grierson (1903-40) and Irene Bathgate (1920-1941).

Ruby was an English teacher at George Watson’s Ladies’ College, who then became a documentary filmmaker. When the war broke out she turned her attention to making propaganda films to support the war effort and boost morale across the country. She made films for the Ministry of Food and her work also focused on the role of working-class British women in the war effort, in her 1940 film, They Also Serve. 

She was killed in the sinking of the SS City of Benares while travelling to Canada to make a government film about child evacuees. 

Irene Bathgate was a pupil at George Watson’s Ladies’ College, who was killed by a stray bomb in Ipswich shortly before she planned to join her father in providing medical care in Nazareth, where he was working as a doctor.

The rededication service was led by former pupil Dr Rev Christine Clark (Class of 1980) where prayers, poems, and reflections were read and wreaths laid in honour of Irene and Ruby.

Melvyn Roffe, Principal at George Watson’s College, said: “This year is the 150th anniversary of the foundation of GWLC and it is particularly appropriate that we add the names of two women Watsonians to our War Memorial.

“The cost of war to many members of our school community was incalculable and it is sobering for us all to reflect on the lives cut short and potential unfilled.”

The Roll of Honour, a list of names of Watsonians who died as a result of conflict, was then read in the Assembly Hall.  

This was followed by the traditional Act of Remembrance where wreaths were laid by the School Captains, Principal and President of the Watsonian Club. A two-minute silence was observed and marked by a bugler playing The Last Post and Reveille.

This was followed by the Remembrance Service in the Assembly Hall.