Wemms as a whole came together to commemorate Armistice Day on November 11, 2022, with a special emphasis on the women who served in the First World War.
Remembrance Day began for most of Wemms students and staff the previous afternoon, when students across the school helped carry their classroom chairs from the main school buildings to the sports hall in preparation for the next day's grand event. The band and those involved in the presentations and wreath-laying ceremony had been preparing for much longer, but for many, those chair carrying trips were the first sign that tomorrow was going to be an extraordinary day.
Like most memorable days, Remembrance Day began as a fairly ordinary day with the only exception of students disappearing out of registration and their first lesson in order to attend some final practice and last-minute instructions. Then, as 10:00 drew near, the whole school trooped down to the Sports Hall and filed into their seats, waiting expectantly for the assembly to start.
The assembly began with an opening address from principal, Joy Wemms, who reminded everyone of the reason why we remember the fallen and those who have given lives, limbs and loved ones to successive wars in order to protect their country's cause. She then handed over to our Assistant Head, Sharon, who told the many stories of women and male civilian volunteers, who had helped in the First and Second World Wars to keep factories going, produced weapons, equipment and food supplies and even risked their lives by flying essential aircraft from the manufacturing plants to the airfield bases where they would be needed the next day. Even the late Queen Elizabeth II got a prime spot in the limelight with her mechanic skills that she never stopped using, whatever stately clothes she might be wearing. We even got told Sharon's best theory about why the Queen might have worn gloves so often when shaking hands on state visits, based on the information given by someone who made the Queen's handbags.
The story-telling part of the assembly was swiftly followed by beautiful, rousing tunes, played by a variety of upper school students, and readings from across the school. The wreath-laying ceremony was done with appropriate solemnity and smartness, and the students respectfully kept quiet during the two-minutes' silence that was held at eleven o'clock.
It was a poignant, heart-warming and inspiring way of remembering those who had given up their normal lives in order to serve their country, even in the most unglamorous and unrecognised ways, but without which, we could not have won the World Wars. We are indebted to all the nurses, soldiers, and civilians taking over food production etc, in order to win these wars, and still serving those caught up in war around the world. And we remember those who lost so much as a result, and those who are still suffering today.