Students, staff, families, Old Eleans and friends of King’s Ely came together in Ely Cathedral to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Hundreds of people gathered inside the cathedral on November 9th for the school’s Act of Remembrance – a moving service of silence, hymns, prayers and readings.
The Chapel Choir sang the Anthem at the service, in which the school remembered 99 Old Eleans (former King’s Ely students) and former choristers who died in 20th Century conflicts. Their names were read out by the Heads of School, Felix Hawes and Maria Campbell, and two School Prefects, Tristan Harding and Alexander Layfield.
The Heads of Wilkinson, Osmond, School and Hereward houses also read out short biographies of four Old Eleans, William Beaumont Burns (1898-1901), Arthur Elsdale Boultbee (1897-1917), Roland George Ingle (1886-1916) and Harold Alfred Ivatt (1893-1918), whose surnames originally took the names of the four houses within King’s Ely Senior.
Each Head of House received a framed photograph to display in their House as a reminder of their time at King’s Ely and the sacrifices they made for their country. Four chairs with old school scarves represented each Old Elean. This year, King’s Ely was awarded a bursary from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund towards some Tommy figures which were displayed throughout the seating in the cathedral.
As ever, one of the most touching moments of the service was when poppies fell from the cathedral’s Octagon during the two minute silence. After the service, Heads of Houses across the whole of King’s Ely were joined by senior management, governors and guests to lay wreaths and poppy crosses at the school’s War Memorial.
In the afternoon, senior citizens were invited to an Afternoon Tea Party at the Old Palace as part of the school’s centenary commemorations. It was wonderful to welcome so many people along to enjoy refreshments prepared by the school’s catering team and King's Ely Junior and Senior students loved chatting with those in attendance. King’s Ely’s Clerk of Works, Fred Duffield and his son, Owen, provided two wartime vehicles that they have lovingly restored.