Festivals - Remembrance
Below are ideas and resources that we hope you will find useful for lessons, discussion etc, or as ideas for School Remembrance Services. Some are more suitable for younger children, others for older pupils.
Fiona has created a Powerpoint with some Remembrance photos that she has taken. Use them as worksheets, for discussion, in services, as an on-screen powerpoint and more! We hope they will be a useful tool for you to talk and think about Remembrance Day with young people. Click on the image to view or download the file.
Birkdale School Design & Technology Department made hundreds of poppies in 2018. They displayed them at the school and then families bought them in memory of family members. The money was donated to the Royal British Legion. Birkdale have donated around 20-30 poppies to CaSS for loan and use in other schools. They could be used in displays or when running Remembrance Prayer Spaces. The poppies are made from thick plastic/acrylic and measure 10 cms (4") They can be used indoors or outdoors. Contact us if you'd like to borrow them.
This a display Fiona created at her school in 2019. She asked the pupils to bring in stories of their relatives who had served. There were some amazing stories. They then talked about them in the school's Remembrance Day assembly. It was very moving.
There are many moving and powerful posts on Facebook for Remembrance Day. Take a look by clicking on the links below.
Pause. Reflect. Remember (video) - 1m 46s
Sometimes it's good to know where you stand (photos) - great for Secondary discussion
Lest we forget (video) - 58s
For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill;
Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Source: The London Times (1914)
During WW1 many millions of copies of the Active Service St. John's Gospels were given out to soldiers. Replica copies are available for a donation from SGM Lifewords. This lesson plan for KS2 / KS3 looks at stories from soldiers during the WW1 who were given copies of St John's Gospel. Click on the picture or title to get a lesson plan for using the booklets.
God of grace,
hear the prayers of your people
as we join with you in longing for peace.
On this day we remember
those who have given their lives in war
and those whose lives are marked forever
by the scars of conflict.
We pray for the armed forces,
for all who through duty or love risk their own lives for others,
remembering Jesus who gave his own life that all might live.
We pray for victims of war,
for children, women and men living in fear and for those fleeing conflict,
remembering Jesus who became a refugee in Egypt.
We pray for leaders of nations,
that they might seek peace within their countries and across the world,
remembering Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
May we be courageous in our living,
compassionate in our loving,
and faithful in our serving.
In the name of Christ.
It is estimated that eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died in the First World War. Britain alone is reported to have lost over 484,000 horses, one horse for every two men lost, along with huge numbers of donkeys and mules.
Equines were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front and many died, not just from shellfire but also from the appalling conditions they endured. Horses were used for battle, reconnaissance, carrying messengers, pulling artillery, ambulances and supply wagons. They raised morale among those at the front and the soldiers formed extraordinary relationships with their animals.
Conditions were horrific and terrifying for them – they were killed by artillery fire, suffered from skin disorders like mange and ringworm, became sick from poison gas and many died of exhaustion, colic or were drowned. The sick equines were treated for illness or injury at makeshift vet hospitals and sent back to the front. In just one year 120,000 horses were treated by British vet hospitals alone.
This image is of the War Horse Statue at Ascot. 'Poppy' is a haunting bronze sculpture, her head is bowed and she has a string of barbed wire around her hooves. It is a memorial to war horses that lost their lives during World War One.
There is a great deal of information on horses in warfare on Wikipedia. Click on the image to find out more.
The Bed by Simon Armitage
Sharp winds scissor and scythe those plains. And because you are broken and sleeping rough in a dirt grave, we exchange the crude wooden cross for the hilt and blade of a proven sword; to hack through the knotted dark of the next world, yes, but to lean on as well at a stile or gate looking out over fens or wealds or fells or wolds. That sword, drawn from a king’s sheath, fits a commoner’s hand, and is yours to keep.
And because frost plucks at the threads of your nerves, and your bones stew in the rain, bedclothes of zinc and oak are trimmed and tailored to fit. Sandbags are drafted in, for bolstering limbs and pillowing dreams, and we throw in a fistful of battlefield soil: an inch of the earth, your share of the spoils.
The heavy sheet of stone is Belgian marble buffed to a high black gloss, the blanket a flag that served as an altar cloth. Darkness files past, through until morning, its head bowed. Molten bullets embroider incised words. Among drowsing poets and dozing saints the tall white candles are vigilant sentries presenting arms with stiff yellow flames; so nobody treads on the counterpane, but tiptoeing royal brides in satin slippers will dress and crown you with luminous flowers.
All this for a soul without name or rank or age or home, because you are the son we lost, and your rest is ours.
(Written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior at his grave in Westminster Abbey.)
The Poppy by D Rothwell
Nature created a flower,
With petals of brilliant red.
Who’d have thought such a beautiful flower,
Would be used to remember the dead?
For when all the guns have stopped firing,
And there’s only the mud and the rain;
God sends down his little red flowers,
To cover the lads who remain.
So remember every November,
When we hold our remembrance day;
Of the lads who lie beneath the poppies,
And the price they had to pay.
On November 7th, 1920, in strictest secrecy, four unidentified British bodies were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries at Ypres, Arras, the Asine and the Somme.
None of the soldiers who did the digging were told why.
The bodies were taken by field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-Sur-Ter Noise. Once there, the bodies were draped with the union flag.
Sentries were posted and Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell selected one body at random. The other three were reburied.
A French Honour Guard was selected and stood by the coffin overnight of the chosen soldier overnight.
On the morning of the 8th November, a specially designed coffin made of oak from the grounds of Hampton Court arrived and the Unknown Warrior was placed inside.
On top was placed a crusaders sword and a shield on which was inscribed:
"A British Warrior who fell in the GREAT WAR 1914-1918 for King and Country".
On the 9th of November, the Unknown Warrior was taken by horse-drawn carriage through Guards of Honour and the sound of tolling bells and bugle calls to the quayside.
There, he was saluted by Marechal Foche and loaded onto HMS Vernon bound for Dover. The coffin stood on the deck covered in wreaths, surrounded by the French Honour Guard.
Upon arrival at Dover, the Unknown Warrior was met with a nineteen gun salute - something that was normally only reserved for Field Marshals.
A special train had been arranged and he was then conveyed to Victoria Station, London.
He remained there overnight, and, on the morning of the 11th of November, he was finally taken to Westminster Abbey.
The idea of the unknown warrior was thought of by a Padre called David Railton who had served on the front line during the Great War the union flag he had used as an altar cloth whilst at the front, was the one that had been draped over the coffin.
It was his intention that all of the relatives of the 517,773 combatants whose bodies had not been identified could believe that the Unknown Warrior could very well be their lost husband, father, brother or son...
THIS is the reason we wear poppies.
We do not glorify war.
We remember - with humility - the great and the ultimate sacrifices that were made, not just in this war, but in every war and conflict where our service personnel have fought - to ensure the liberty and freedoms that we now take for granted.
Every year, on the 11th of November, we remember the Unknown Warrior.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.
Lest we forget.
There are red, white, purple and black poppies. BBC Newsround has a great resource explaining what the different coloured poppies mean. Click on the image to find out more.
The Poppy Appeal was first launched in 1921 with red poppies to help remember those who fought in the war.
White poppies are distributed by the Peace Pledge Union - the UK's oldest secular and pacifist group. Created in 1933 - just 12 years after the red version - many people wore white poppies to stress the "never again" message, which emerged after World War One, and which pacifists feared was slipping away. Like the red poppy, the white badge also symbolises remembrance for victims of war. The Peace Pledge Union says the white poppy also represents a lasting commitment to peace and the belief that war should not be celebrated or glamourised.
The purple poppy is a symbol of remembrance in the United Kingdom for animals that served during wartime. The symbol was created in 2006.
The black poppy is most commonly associated with the commemoration of black, African and Caribbean communities' contribution to the war effort - as servicemen and servicewomen, and as civilians.