This month, Watson's will remember those who fell in conflict.
For the first time, the Remembrance Service was broadcast live via YouTube: The stream is now available to view on our channel.
A new Wall of Remembrance will be unveiled in the Senior School entrance foyer, featuring photographs of many of the 598 Watsonians who died as a result of World War I. The same images will form the Field of Remembrance on either side of our War Memorial, placed by pupils in the week leading up to our Remembrance Service.
Monday 5 November will see our Primary 6 and Primary 7 pupils hold a special Remembrance Assembly.
On 9 November, our commemoration will begin with the reading of the Roll of Honour. As this is the centenary of the end of the First World War, the names of all Watsonians who died in that conflict will be read out in the Assembly Hall. Pupils from Nursery to S6 and members of staff, The Watsonian Club and Governing Council will take part in what will be a solemn and moving event.
Following the Remembrance Service, an oak tree (represented on the School badge) is to be planted in front of the Senior School. Watsonians across the world are to be 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 will take part in the Remembrance Day ceremony at Haymarket, before processing to Tynecastle for further commemorations with Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Following this, from 1.45pm to 3.15pm on 11 November, our Symphony Orchestra will lead a global event marking the cessation of hostilities one hundred years ago. The aim is to bring 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. Scottish fiddler Thoren Ferguson has written a piece called Armistice which he has asked our Symphony Orchestra to play in the central concert at Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart Campus (formerly a military hospital in which Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, amongst others, were treated). Through the wonders of digital technology their performance is to be heard around the world, enabling other groups to play along with them in what will be an exciting and fitting project.
In the final act of our Remembrance activities we will be part of the ceremony to unveil a permanent memorial to the Scottish Great War Poets. This memorial will be sited in Makar’s Court, next to the Writers’ Museum. On Friday 23 November 2018 our Pipe Band will lead the procession from St Giles’ up the Royal Mile to Makar’s Court. Senior Office Bearers will help the Lord Provost Frank Ross, a Watsonian (Class of 1976) to unveil the Memorial. The Pipe Band will play a lament and lead the procession back down to a Reception at City Chambers.
The Pipe Band will begin to play outside St Giles’ from 10am. Everyone is welcome to come and witness a poignant part of this season of Remembrance.
Our Remembrance events follow closely on from an emotional Battlefields Trip which took place during the October half-term holiday.
70 pupils in S3-S6 and 10 staff visited historical sites and memorials in France and Belgium, culminating at the Menin Gate with the Pipe Band playing before leading more than 1000 visitors back to the centre of Ypres.