In its annual Remembrance Service this year, Omagh High School chose to mark the 75th Anniversary of D Day. The service was organised by members of the Auchinleck House, with participating pupils coming mainly from the Auchinleck House due to its military association. Pupils were greeted at the assembly hall door by two Irish Guardsmen in their full red ceremonial uniforms, complete with bearskin hat. The service began with a ‘March on the Standards’ procession of the Royal British Legion members, Royal Irish and Irish Guards.
The school was privileged to once again welcome World War veteran from the Royal Signals, Sergeant Bob Lingwood, (now 101 years old) along with Canon Robert Clarke, Rector of Edenderry Parish Church, which has a close association with the Auchinleck family and also Rev Irwin who gave the address. The school was also delighted to have representatives from the Royal British Legion and the British Army take part in the ceremony, adding a unique perspective on the service.
Musical items included pipes and drums, as well as a poignant drama presentation by GCSE Drama pupils and a moving solo performance of ‘Bring Him Home’. Pupil readings gave the audience details of the lead up to and impact of D Day, and what it was like for soldiers at that time.
The service began with a ‘March on the Standards’ procession of the Royal British Legion members, Royal Irish and Irish Guards.
Luke Beattie read out the Roll of Honour of past pupils and staff who had made the ultimate sacrifice and Mr Derek Shields, Chairman of the Royal British Legion, Omagh Branch, read the Ode to Remembrance while the Head Boy and Head Girl laid a poppy wreath on the school’s Remembrance Table. This was followed by a two-minute silence, the Last Post and Reveille.
After the service, students in Years 8-10 were invited back into the assembly hall to meet service personnel of the current army and were treated to demonstrations of equipment and presentations by Army Medics, Royal Irish and members of the Irish Guards. Pupils also had the chance to try on items of uniform and kit, ask questions about career opportunities in the Armed Forces as well as meeting the very large Irish Wolfhound, the Royal Irish Regiment mascot. Pupils and teachers were also delighted to have had the opportunity to ask Mr Bob Lingwood questions and in addition hear him share his experiences in a special question and answer session for pupils studying History at GCSE and A level.
Omagh High School would like to thank all the visitors for attending and taking part in the Remembrance Assembly, as well as all the staff and pupils who took part. They are also very grateful to the service personnel from the Army who attended on the day and made the Careers event afterwards such an exciting event.