Friday, November 10th, 2017.

Excelsior pupils pictured with members of the Royal British Legion’s Newcastle West branch

Excelsior Academy staged a moving Service of Remembrance for those lost in war and whose lives have been touched by conflict.

Dignitaries led by Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear Lt General Robin Brims, members of the emergency services, armed forces, Newcastle West branch of the Royal British Legion and local community all paid their respects.

A lone piper led members of the Northumbria Army Cadet Force through the academy, the sound of the bagpipes echoing throughout the school building.

Pupils from Excelsior Academy and fellow Laidlaw Schools Trust academies Thomas Walling and Atkinson Road primaries, as well as guests from Sunderland’s Academy 360, led a programme of song, theatre and readings to remember those who laid down their lives.

Acclaimed musician Kathryn Tickell accompanied the Thomas Walling choir with the Northumbrian pipes in a hauntingly beautiful performance of ‘Fallowfield Fell’, while Excelsior students performed a tribute entitled ‘Letters from the Trenches’ showing the impact of war on those on the frontline and their families back home.

Excelsior Executive Principal Craig Taylor welcomed guests and talked of the emotive power of the poppy as a symbol to connect people to the armed forces and the sacrifices they have made for their country.

The Sound of the Last Post was made before a minute’s silence and a laying of wreaths from dignitaries.

Dave Mowbray and Lawrence Hunter proudly represented the Royal British Legion’s Newcastle West Branch with standard bearer Adam Owens.

“We thought the service was brilliant, we wouldn’t miss it,” said Dave. “It’s so important that we continue to remember because it gives us hope for the future.”

Lawrence said: “The service showed the range of activities the school offers its students – we found it very moving.”