George Watson’s College has marked the 100th Armistice Day since the end of World War One, commemorating the 810 Watsonians who lost their lives during the conflicts of the 20th Century.
Throughout the morning, pupils, staff and distinguished guests joined together to remember the sacrifice of members of the Watsonian community and all others whose lives have been affected by conflict.
Pupils and staff read the Watson’s ‘Roll of Honour’, the list of names of Watsonians who fell in the First and Second World Wars and in the Korean War. Wreaths were laid at the School War Memorial by the President of the Watsonian Club, Johnny Bacigalupo, the School Captains, Lachlan and Phoebe, the Principal Melvyn Roffe and the Treasurer of the Royal Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh.
A silence was then observed throughout the school and marked by a bugle player sounding The Last Post and Reveille. The ceremony continued in the Assembly Hall where pupils read accounts of the lives and service of several of the Watsonians who gave their lives. The school sang the traditional hymn Abide With Me and the Chamber Choir sang I Would Be True by John Rutter.
The ceremony concluded with the sound of drums echoing around the empty corridors of the Senior School, in reconstruction of the moment one hundred years ago when the loss of those boys who had marched away from our school and never returned was marked in that way.
After the service, guests, pupils and staff were invited to watch a tree planting by Watsonian, Thomas Dykes to honour the service of those who returned from the First World War. Mr Dykes is the grandson of Dr John Alison who was Headmaster of Watson’s throughout the First World War and who led the first Remembrance Service one hundred years ago to the day.
A record of Watsonians who served during WW1, WW2 and the Korean War is available on the website here.