THE haunting melody of the Last Post echoed around a memorial garden as a school community remembered the fallen heroes of war, two of who were former students.
Headteacher of Wyvern Academy, Darlington, Mo Wilkinson took up her trumpet as the school marked Remembrance Day.
A moving ceremony was given added poignancy as the family of Flt Lt Steven Johnson, his sister Sharon and mother Ann, laid a wreathe in memory of the former student who was killed in 2006 when his Nimrod reconnaissance plane crashed in Afghanistan.
The school also paid a silent tribute to another student, Pt John King, 19, who was killed in Afghanistan serving his country.
Army Cadets formed a guard of honour in the school’s garden of remembrance watched by civic dignitaries, including Darlington’s MP Jenny Chapman, the mayor Jan Taylor, her escort Chris Taylor, Leader of Darlington Borough Council Bill Dixon, Head of Education, Tony Murphy and the Royal British Legion’s Ken Coates.
War poems were read out by students as part of a special assembly and history teacher and former RAF pilot Luke McVitie recounted an emotional tale about friends and colleagues he had lost serving this country.
“They joined up to make their parents proud and to protect this country,” he said. “These brave people sacrificed themselves so we could be here having our wonderful lives, in a world made better and less evil, where students can become the best people they can possibly be.”
English teacher Daryl Henson added: “We stop to remember those people who fought, suffered and died in war under terrible circumstances and those caught up in recent wars, particularly when this is so close to home.
“But Remembrance Day is also a sign of hope for the future, that we have young men and women prepared to sacrifice themselves to make the world a better place.”