Haileybury falls silent for its war dead

Old Haileyburians and Haileybury came together on 10th November to remember the School's war dead. The day, including a moving service in the Chapel brought together OHs from many different years.

Remembering the fallen of the First World War - and other Haileyburians lost in conflict Remembering the fallen of the First World War - and other Haileyburians lost in conflict
Saturday 10th November was a day of remembrance and celebration for Haileybury as 150 OHs from many different years and Houses joined together to reflect on the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice.

War Memorials at Haileybury

Following introductory coffee and a welcome from Society President Doug Everard (BF 73), OHs settled down in the Attlee Room to hear an informative talk on the School's war memorials by Haileybury "beak" and Head of Heritage, Archives and Historic Collections, Toby Parker.

The talk, undertaken almost without notes, took OHs through Haileybury's many memorials, from those commemorating losses in the Indian Mutiny, right up to the installation of the Sword of Remembrance - the first such monument in the UK. On the way, he shared with us the debates about what memorials should be, what they should commemorate and what was appropriate to a school such as Haileybury. It was a fascinating and remarkable lecture.

Service in the Chapel

Following the lecture, OHs young and old moved on to Chapel for the main Service of Remembrance, an astonishing and moving celebration. The choir sang evocatively, conducted by Haileybury's Director of Music, Andrew O'Brien, and the congregation was also treated to a beautiful interpretation of Faure's Pie Jesu sung by Fiona Illingworth (BF 76 & Alb). The organist for the day was Simon Bland, Haileybury's Assistant Director of Music.

The Welcome and Bidding Prayer were from Doug Everard (BF 73) and the Master, Martin Collier, with the Act of Penitence read by the Reverend Chris Briggs, Haileybury's Chaplain. Two readings were by Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, GCB, CBE, DL (K 45), Air Commodore Andrew Hine, OBE (Tr 79); prayers were led by Stratton Richey (L 71) of the Old Haileyburian Lodge and Catherine Macleod-Smith (L & Alb 79).

Following  an arrangement of Housman's The Lads in their Hundreds sung by Fabiane Tindale-Geere (K fifths), Society Chairman Chris Darnell, MBE (M 65) read out the names of some of the 740 pupils and staff of Haileybury who died in the First World War. Since 4th November, the names of each these brave fellows had been read out and this was the penultimate list before those to be read out on Remembrance Day itself.

Chaplain Chris Briggs guided the Service throughout, closing with The Act of Remembrance, Address and Blessing before the National Anthem, arranged by Gordon Jacob, CBE, was sung to conclude proceedings.

Lunch and Exhibition

Following the Service, OHs gathered in Dining Hall - itself a grand memorial to the fallen - to join in lunch before moving on to the Galpin Room to study the a display of the Thorne Papers. This moving collection included original letters, cuttings and notes relating to two of Elizabeth Thorne's three sons, Cornelius and his younger brother Marlborough, who both died in the First World War. 

Of particular note, and perhaps most moving of all, is Mrs Thorne's determination to uncover exactly what happened to her sons, down to the most minor detail. No-one viewing this intimate collection could fail to be moved by what they read. Two lives lost out of millions but two lives still kept alive by the determination of their mother.

As well as organising the day on behalf of OHs, the Society has also enabled the publication of a small book, Elizabeth Thorne's Memory Palace, by means of a special donation. Written by Toby Parker, the book summarises the salient correspondence kept by Mrs Thorne; copies were distributed to OHs on the day.
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we will remember them. 

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