Inspired by our close connections with WWII, we officially opened our Garden of Remembrance, accompanied by ten Arnhem veterans
Sculpture of Veteran and Children by Jane Pickance
On Friday 30th September we held a very special service to mark the opening of our Garden of Remembrance.
The Garden is a sanctuary of peace and reflection at the school, where children and adults alike can remember loved ones they have lost, as well as those who have fought for our country and freedom. In addition to remembering the 19 Hordelians who are represented on the Memorial Board (still sited in the Chapel), the Garden is also a tribute to those British soldiers who fought at the Battle of Arnhem.
Walhampton school has a close connection with Arnhem, as the headmaster, Titus Mills, along with children and parents from the school, visit the battle ground every year. We were exceptionally honoured to have ten (of the surviving 27) Arnhem veterans with us on the day.
Thanks to generous contributions by Walhampton parents who have visited Arnhem and have a close connection with the Battle and the veterans who fought there, we have a beautiful sculpture cast in bronze as the centrepiece of the Garden. Old Walhamptonian and current Art teacher, Jane Pickance (nee Isaacson), created the Remembrance sculpture which depicts a veteran carrying a wreath of poppies with two children carrying sunflowers (representative of Arnhem). Around the edges of the sculpture are the four school logos: (old) Walhampton, Hordle House, Hordle Walhampton and the current Walhampton. Along one side of the sculpture are 19 headstones representing the Hordelians who gave their lives during World War II.
Representing the 19 fallen school boys was son of Tony Thompson, Ian Thompson, who presented the headmaster with a plant taken from the grave of his father in Normandy, to be placed in the Garden. Accompanying him was Tom Pearson-Chisman, author of 'Remembrance', who read out a poem on their behalf.
The service also paid tribute to staff, friends and family members of the school who have passed away. Poignantly, Richard, the brother of Sarah Stanswood, read a heartfelt poem 'Gone'.
On this cold but sunny afternoon, everyone was quiet in contemplation and listening intently to those who shared thoughts, poems and readings. It was a truly beautiful service that touched everyone who attended.
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