Our annual Act of Remembrance took place in the Great Hall this morning, remembering the 109 Latymerians who gave their lives in the two World Wars and whose names are inscribed on the memorial boards in the Great Hall corridor. We were joined by many from the wider school community including former students, members of the Governing Body and the Rev. Stuart Owen, Vicar of All Saints, Edmonton. Names of the fallen were read out and poppy wreaths presented by the School and the Old Students’ Association, before the Last Post was sounded and a minute’s silence observed.
Chamber Choir performed “Let Beauty be our Memorial”, conducted by Mr Spence, and then senior students Tom, Emma & Stephen gave a moving presentation about three friends who joined Latymer in September 1936. They created a vivid picture of the ordinary Enfield boyhood of Francis Knapp, Vivian James and Maurice Clarkson before the friendship was sadly shattered in 1944 by the deaths in action of both Maurice and Francis. Maurice was killed when his landing craft exploded off the Normandy coast on 20th July and Francis perished when his Lancaster bomber was shot down over Stuttgart on 29th July, killing all on board. Vivian James also served in the RAF but thankfully survived the war. He’s now 92 and still in touch with the school; we used his testimony, and that of Francis’ younger brother Peter (also a pupil at Latymer in the 1930 & 40s) to create our assembly: a big thank you to both men for sharing these very personal and sometimes painful memories.