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College ceremony commemorates school Old Boys lost in two World Wars

Redcar & Cleveland College: Annual Service of Remembrance for the former pupils of Sir William Turner’s School - Picture by Doug Moody

The reality of lives lost during the First and Second World Wars will be brought home to students of Redcar & Cleveland College at the Sir William Turner’s School Service of Remembrance.

The event honours the memory of 103 of the historic Redcar school’s former pupils who died in the conflicts.

Now in its 96th year the annual memorial service brings together Old Boys of Sir William Turner’s School and current Redcar students in a tribute to the fallen.

Chair of the Sir William Turner Foundation Peter Sotheran MBE said: “These were young men in their prime who, like hundreds of thousands of others across Europe, gave their lives to defend their country.”

Some 350 Old Boys from Sir William Turner’s School fought in the First World War, 48 of whom died on active service. During the Second World War, there were 650 Old Boys who served in the armed forces, and 55 of them lost their lives. They are commemorated on two War Memorials at the College.

The Remembrance Service on Friday November 9 will see 103 small wooden crosses placed by members of the congregation, each bearing the name of one of the fallen Old Coathamians.

Helping to keep their memory alive, The Sir William Turner Foundation has commissioned a website on which brief historical details of each of those former pupils who lost their lives can now be found.

This year’s ceremony will be particularly poignant as we mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Peter said: “The school that Sir William Turner founded always seemed to have a terrifically strong core that created a sense of belonging.

“The Remembrance Service is an important part of the college calendar and also in the diaries of several hundred former students and staff. There are people who travel the length of the country to join us.”

Redcar & Cleveland College Principal Jason Faulkner said: “We must never forget those who lost their lives for our country. The annual Service of Remembrance for the former pupils of Sir William Turner’s School really brings that message home to us here at the college and also to the wider community of Redcar.

“Sons, brothers, husbands, uncles, fathers and grandfathers, all gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today. The college has a strong partnership with the Sir William Turner Foundation and we are privileged to host the annual remembrance service to remember the pupils of the Sir William Turner School. We will remember them.”

The Remembrance Service will be held in the college’s Higher Education Centre at 10.30am on Friday November 9 at 10.30am. People are asked to assemble at 10am.

Reverend Paul Peverell from Great Ayton, himself an Old Boy of the School, will lead the prayers.

At about 11am, an Honour Guard from the Royal British Legion will lead the congregation to the College’s Celtic Cross War Memorial, on the corner of Corporation Road and Locke Road.

The Last Post will sound before two minutes’ silence is observed and the wreaths and crosses are laid.