National Memorial Arboretum Service

National Memorial Arboretum Service

By Jana Bourhill (U6, Q) Head of Army

On Sunday, the Third Form joined the CCF detachment on the annual visit to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Cheltenham College is the only school to have a memorial there, in recognition of the 6000 Cheltonians who have served in the armed forces. The historic military association has created a strong tradition of servant leadership, which remains relevant to the 270 cadets today. A guided tour of the memorials was an excellent opportunity to explore the beautiful arboretum and gain an appreciation of the terrible conditions that many soldiers experienced. The arboretum is special as it enables servicemen and women who have died in combat to be remembered in a peaceful environment. Subsequently, there was a short ceremony parading the Colours. A minutes silence was held to commemorate the 675 Old Cheltonians who were killed in World War One and 363 in World War Two. Knowing that such brave men were educated in the same classrooms as us, sang the same hymns and ate in the same dining room is truly inspirational. The memorial service was a reminder of our ties to the past and a commitment to maintaining traditional values in the College community. We cannot forget that for our tomorrow, they gave their today.

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