Remembrance Day a time to reflect on sacrifice

Eighty years ago, following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Canadian forces answered the call to join England and France as they mobilized to fight in what became the Second World War. Among the first to enlist were several young Trinity College School alumni. Between 1939 and 1945, a total of 855 Old Boys and masters would enlist; 59 of these men would make the ultimate sacrifice. In the memory of the fallen, and in honour all those who have served during conflict, the school community gathered for the annual Service of Remembrance on Wednesday, November 6th.

Led by Major the Revd. Canon Don Aitchison, chaplain of TCS and 32 Canadian Brigade Group, the service began in the Memorial Chapel, a building consecrated in 1951 to the Glory of God and the memory of school community members who died in the wars. In addition to readings and hymns, the ceremony included school prefects sharing the stories of alumni who died in action during World War II. Their lives reflected those of current students – these were young men who played sports on the same fields our students use today; they sang in chapel everyday, lived in residence and ate their meals in the dining hall – making their sacrifice all the more meaningful to our students. The Chapel Choir, under the direction of Mr. Randy Mills, sang a haunting rendition of Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep.

The second half of the ceremony took place outside, under cold, blue skies. As the school community gathered around the Memorial Cross, students bore witness to the small white crosses bearing the names of alumni who died in the Second World War. Prefect Jack Moser read John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, and then Headmaster Stuart Grainger read from the Book of Remembrance. TCS Parents’ Guild President Nancy Sanderson and the head prefects, Roselle Torres and David Pitcairn, laid wreaths at the base of the cross. Special thanks go to musician Roy Fueurherdt for playing the trumpet on Last Post and The Rouse, which served as solemn bookends to a period of silence in memory of the fallen.