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Armistice Day: Hornchurch pupils hold poignant ceremony to honour fallen

PUBLISHED: 14:45 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:05 11 November 2016

From left, Wykeham Primary School headteacher Una Connolly, pupil Gemma Millard, deputy headteacher Lynette Searle and pupils Jack Marsh and Jerry Pascal

From left, Wykeham Primary School headteacher Una Connolly, pupil Gemma Millard, deputy headteacher Lynette Searle and pupils Jack Marsh and Jerry Pascal

Archant

Children went the extra mile today to show their appreciation for those who sacrificed their lives during the First World War.

Wykeham Primary School pupils laying hand-made wreaths on a cenotaph they created during the week. Wykeham Primary School pupils laying hand-made wreaths on a cenotaph they created during the week.

When the clock struck 11am, pupils and staff at Wykeham Primary School, Rainsford Way, Hornchurch, stood in silence during a poignant ceremony in the school playground.

As stirring music played, children laid hand-made wreaths against a cenotaph they had created to pay their respects on Armistice Day.

Year 6 pupil Gemma Millard, 10, said: “Soldiers in the war gave their lives so we could live our lives here today. That’s why we should remember them.”

Gemma had joined fellow pupils, Jack Marsh and Jerry Pascal, both 11, in reciting excerpts from famous war poem In Flanders Fields, written by John McCrae in 1915.

Jack added: “On this day [soldiers] gave their lives so we could live on and grow old and die of natural causes.”

Jerry continued: “When we are older we can live our lives and the least we can do is celebrate them.”

Headteacher Una Connolly came up with the idea.

“This is my second year at the school and the first time I have ever done anything like this, it’s emotional.”

Deputy head, Lynette Searle, praised the children for the creative efforts.

“It took a week to do this [make the cenotaph and wreaths],” she added.

“Everybody was learning about the men who gave their lives from reception to Year 6.

“They were fantastic. The children were so respectful.”

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