Remembrance Service at Cookstown High School
Remembrance Assemblies led by Rev. Andrew Rawding and Rev. Cross were held in the Millar and McClay Halls of Cookstown High School on Friday, November 9.
They were followed by a special act of remembrance at the School War Memorial attended by pupils, governors, staff and members of the community.
At this short service, led by Rev Tom Greer were laid by the Chair of Governors on behalf of the school and by Mr Dennis Miller, the Chairman of the Former Pupils’ Association.
The Head Girl, Rebecca Hill, read the poem ‘We shall keep the faith’ by Moina Michael, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mrs Lynne Dripps read from John 15 v 9 -17.
Following the laying of the wreaths the Head Boy, John Boden, said The Exhortation, taken from those famous words of Laurence Binyon which begin, “They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.”
The Chamber Choir sang ‘No need to fear’ by Graham Kendrick under the directorship of Mrs Fiona Gormley the Head of Music.
The last post and reveille were sounded by music teacher Mrs Heidi Blackwood MBE while the lament was piped by Margaret Hill from Year 13.
In a short address at the start of the ceremony Principal Miss Gwyneth Evans recalled the life of Private Robert Morrow from Newmills, Dungannon, who joined the British Expeditionary Force in 1914.
A quiet, disciplined, hardworking soldier and small in stature, he did not look like a hero, yet when his battalion was fighting, he knew no fear. On 12th April 1915, his Battalion were under heavy shellfire in the trenches in France which buried several soldiers.
Under very heavy gun fire and ignoring the shells landing around him and on his own initiative Private Morrow dug those soldiers out to safety, returning each time to see whom else he could help. Later he died from his wounds having been badly injured in another battle at St Julien. His grave is in White House Cemetery near Ypres.
For this outstanding act of bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross. King George V presented the Victoria Cross to his mother at Buckingham Palace and Tsar Nicolas of Russia also awarded Private Morrow the Medal of St George for his selfless act of bravery.
Miss Evans concluded by saying: “Private Morrow laid down his life for his friends so that our nation could be protected and have freedom which is something that we do not take for granted but rather give thanks for. We draw aside to remember him and all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom.”