Remembering together when we are apart

Senior School Junior School

It was an honour to be able to host our Remembrance Day service via livestream this year.

It was a very moving service and we want to say thank you to all involved. By making the service available 'live' this meant that all of our students, including those who were home at the time, were able to join us for such an important event. Many parents, who would normally not have been a part of the event, were also able to attend. It is events like this that bring together the Bablake family and we all feel a sense of community even when we are apart.

We were honoured to have Captain AJ Tracey, former Bablake pupil, current Bablake parent, and current King Henry VIII School teacher, speak about her family history. She was able to tell us about her great great uncle Private Sydney 'Togo' Bolesworth DCM (1889-1917) who served in the Great War and she shared her insight into the sacrifices we all make. Captain Tracey served in the Army and also worked for the British High Commission overseas. 

You can watch the service on our BalakeSchoolMedia YouTube channel. There is also a separate video which features the Chamber Ensemble with photos of previous Bablake Remembrance services. Photos from this year's service can be found on our Remembrance 2020 Flickr album.

Please find here an excerpt from Captain Tracey's address:

"It is perhaps hard for us to find a frame of reference to something that happened so long ago – even though it is only just out of living memory. When the Great War started everyone thought it would be over by Christmas. No one could imagine it would last four years. That life would be completely disrupted, that everything that was known would become uncertain. That dealing with death on an everyday basis would become normal. That 20 million souls would be lost over that four years and that those that survived would endure trauma that lasted much longer.

And yet, I believe there are very strong parallels to what we face today. 10 months ago, 'it was just a cold' and 'nothing to worry about' but now we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic. Nearly 50 million people are currently infected with Covid-19 worldwide and 1.3 million have already died. Our lives have been disrupted, changed, and the freedoms we take for granted have been impinged upon and curtailed, and yet so many individuals rail against the restrictions – but why? Is it really that inconvenient for us not to go wherever we want, not to do whatever we please, whenever we please. Have we really, in 100 years, become such a selfish generation that we think of no-one but ourselves?

Well, perhaps this is our world war and, perhaps, this is the time that we need to step up, to think of others first, to wear a mask without prompting, to wash hands without being nagged, to behave responsibly and socially distance ourselves because our actions may make a difference for someone more vulnerable than us. I would like to think that the sacrifices we are being asked to make at the moment are small change compared to those who gave their lives so that we can have those freedoms. As we remember all the fallen, perhaps this is the time for us to be brave, make small sacrifices and show compassion for others."

Captain A J Tracey

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