Helping each other in poignant month

Wensleydale School and Sixth Form services students.
Wensleydale School and Sixth Form services students.

Service children have been supporting each other through the most poignant month of the military calendar.

Students at Wensleydale School and Sixth Form, Leyburn, whose families are in the armed forces, have been sharing their experiences of life with the military.

The mutual support comes as the nation remembered its fallen, including a special service at Ripon cathedral for service children.

Phoebe Whitbread, 13, whose father is a major in the Royal Engineers, said: “We have school friends whose families are not in the military but they can’t really understand what we go through.

“He has had to miss quite a few of my birthdays and he always tries to leave home at midnight, when we are asleep.

“When we wake up he isn’t there.”

Isabelle Bannon, 12, whose dad is a sergeant major, added: “We dropped of my dad at Newcastle Airport to go to Afghanistan. It was then that it hit me, he could die.”

For Lexie Bennett, 13, her worst fears almost came true when her father was reported missing in action for two days.

She said: “I thought the worst, then I came home and he was there, which was such a relief.”

Students said having each other helped their plight and the school was also very supportive. The special service had been emotional but very comforting.

Headteacher Julia Polley said: “Our service children have a strong bond and being invited to the cathedral service also strengthened links with students from other schools facing the same issues.

“Their strength and resilience never fails to amaze me and their empathy with each other is so successful in helping them get through some difficult periods.”