This morning's Remembrance Assembly began with a reading of Thomas Hardy's poem 'Drummer Soldier'.
The Headmaster then spoke about his recent trip to the Battlefields with his eldest son, Joseph. Together they walked to the Somme. On the third day they made a pilgrimage to the grave of former Prior Park student, Second Lt Ralph Goulstone Gale (class of 1895).
Ralph is one of Prior's 'lost boys'. Carole Laverick, Prior Park Alumni Rep, is aiming to discover all the boys who fought and lost their lives in the Great Wars, in time for the 100 years centenary next year. Within the last week, Carole has also traced William Coffey, killed in Gallipoli, and Herbert Dutton, whose ship was torpedoed in 1942.
Ralph died at the Battle of Arras in 1918, aged 35, leaving a wife and young daughter. Mr Murphy-O'Connor believes that he and his son are the first people from Prior Park to visit Ralph's grave. They chose to make the pilgrimage to find Ralph because Ralph was a Prior boy. He came through the same gates to go to school, studied some of the same subjects and would have left Prior Park with hope and excitement. The Headmaster spoke of his pride and satisfaction in finding Ralph's grave at the Cemetery of Sains-en-Gohelle.
At this time of year, we remember Ralph and all the Prior boys who lost their lives. In 2018, their names will be etched on to a new plaque in the Chapel to commemorate them.
Assembly concluded with the hymn I Vow To Thee My Country.