Remembrance Service 2023
On Friday, 10 November 2023, invited guests, staff, and pupils from across all year groups came together to reflect on those who serve, have served, and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War and subsequent wars at the school’s annual Remembrance Service.
The service was attended by guests from the Reserve Forces and Cadet Association, as well as Old Armachians and some current and former staff. The officiating minister was the Dean of Armagh, the Very Rev’d Shane Forster. Members of the school’s Combined Cadet Force contingent showed guests to their seats in preparation for the service to start at 10:40 am.
Following a welcome from the Vice Principal of Curriculum, Mrs. Murray, the congregation sang ‘Abide with Me.’ This was followed by the Head Girl and Head Boy reading from Psalm 121 and Revelation 22, verses 1-5 respectively. The chamber choir, under the direction of Mr. Boyd, sang the evocative ‘For the Fallen’ by Douglas Guest, after which the headmaster delivered the remembrance address.
During the service, attendees learned about Old Armachian, Flight Lieutenant Samuel John Gordon, who had served with the Metropolitan Police. During the outbreak of WW2, he joined the RAF. It was during a flight training exercise where he tragically lost his life while flying a ‘de Havilland Mosquito’. Flight Lieutenant Gordon was laid to rest in the burial grounds at St. Mark’s Parish Armagh, nestled close to the school that took him through his academic journey.
Following the address, Vice Principal Pastoral Mr. Hooks led the Act of Remembrance before the Rev’d Forster led prayers, which were followed by the Act of Commitment. The service concluded with the hymn ‘When I Survey’ and the blessing. After the service, wreaths were laid at the Great War Memorial in the school and at the cricket pavilion, which is the school’s memorial to the former pupils who perished in the Second World War. Following the wreath-laying, guests were entertained to tea in the dining hall, which was served by prefects.