Stewards Academy: We will remember them

STEWARDS Academy places great emphasis on remembrance and reflection; particularly at this point every year. In previous years we have been able to hold a very poignant and moving Remembrance Service outside with our whole academy community. We have also been lucky enough in previous years to invite special guests to join us from the Normandy Vets branch in Hoddesdon and to hear about their experiences.

This year we had planned a Remembrance Service for each of our year groups and invited all of our pupils that are cadets, scouts and guides to wear their uniforms and take part alongside members of the Student Leadership Team. Unfortunately, with the academy closure, due to an incident outside of our control, we were unable to conduct these.

In preparation for the day however and to remind pupils about the significance of Remembrance Mr King, Head of Humanities, led assemblies to each year group on Monday and Tuesday. The assemblies explored our academy history, local history and commonwealth history. Mr King spoke passionately about the topic and also explained to pupils about the different types of poppies that represent people from different communities. He also introduced three individuals that played significant roles but were not widely recognised at the time due to their colour: Lilian Bader, E.I. Ekpenyon and Walter Tull. The pupils sat fascinated throughout and keen to learn more. 

Helen Ginger, Headteacher said: “We are so grateful to Mr King for delivering his exceptional assemblies. All year groups sat spellbound as we listened to the stories of heroism and courage. Of course we were disappointed that we could not hold our services as planned, but as a long standing tradition at Stewards, we know that there will be numerous occasions in the future to do so.”

Stewards Academy also wanted to mark this year the special contribution made by all veterans in fighting for our country but in particular six men who have had a close association with the academy over a number of years. In the picture left to right; Henry William Brown (always affectionally known as Buzz) Harry Joseph Grew, Eric Clark, Richard Jack Edser, John Harrison and William Christopher Martin (known as Bill).

The veterans have made a significant contribution to the Stewards Family over the years attending Remembrance services, afternoon teas and speaking with our students and staff about their experiences. Buzz and Bill particularly enjoyed delivering assemblies to year groups where pupils were mesmerised by their stories and their reminiscences which were equally moving, humorous, startling and really highlighted the realities of war.

Our new permanent display has been created to commemorate these men and as a lasting tribute to the sacrifices made by all. We hope there will be an opportunity in the future to welcome the families to visit the display and our new remembrance garden. For more information about our veterans please visit the Character and Culture section of our website.

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