'Live on' - 2015 Remembrance

Published on 16 November 2015

'Live on' - 2015 Remembrance

At Vandyke the tradition of supporting the work of the Royal British Legion lived on with a week of themed assemblies and an opportunity for Year 9 and 13 students to represent the school at the schools’ remembrance ceremony in Leighton Buzzard. To mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War Two students have been encouraged to view war from the perspective of women.

At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, women did not have the right to vote and the suffragette leadership had campaigned aggressively for this to change. However it wasn’t until the tactical transformation by Emmeline Pankhurst who substituted her support from campaigning to come to the aid of the government and in doing so won trust and respect across Britain. Women also played critical roles as nurses, in the munitions factories and on farms.  Consequently women over the age of 30 received the vote in 1918, and finally on equal terms with men in 1928.

In the Second World War women played an even more dangerous and vital role by working as pilots during the Battle of Britain, as operators at Bletchley Park and as Intelligence Operatives in Nazi-occupied France. Violette Zsabo was one such operative; she was captured and   tortured but never revealed key information about the plans for invading France. Violette subsequently died at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp and received the George Cross for bravery retrospectively.

In assemblies students were asked to consider the current role played by women in the armed services, and the women who support their loved ones while they serve their country. In a poignant Remembrance Ceremony held for schools in Leighton Buzzard Harry Cawood and Rose Smithers delivered touching readings to reflect on the  sacrifices made by men, women and children since the  outbreak of World War One.  A small group of Year 9 students laid wreaths at the War Memorial along with other students from the town’s middle and lower schools.

The Royal British Legion since 1921 have supported families by providing rehabilitation and counselling for injured soldiers and their loved ones.  Thank you to all students and staff who supported this valuable cause by wearing a poppy and observing the minute’s silence on Wednesday 11th November.


Mrs Quinn

Team Leader of History