School’s new plaque remembers the fallen

Pupils and staff of Ripon Grammar School and guests remember the old boys and masters who died in the First World War.
Pupils and staff of Ripon Grammar School and guests remember the old boys and masters who died in the First World War.
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Old boys and masters of Ripon Grammar School who gave their lives in the First World War have been remembered with the unveiling of a centenary plaque.

Nearly 300 former pupils and teachers from Ripon Grammar School served their country in the war but 49 did not come home.

In 1922, the former students’ association, Old Riponians, purchased a field for the school in memory of those who gave their lives in the 1914-18 war, the boundary of which they marked by installing a commemorative stone.

In this centenary year of the war, the current Old Riponians decided to add a second plaque to the stone with the words “Past Riponians Remembered”.

Former pupil Claire Green, whose father, brother, nephew, and uncle – who was killed in the Second World War – also attended Ripon Grammar School, unveiled the bronze plaque which was made by her family’s company HA Green and Sons.

In her address before current pupils, Claire said: “We gratefully acknowledge the part played by the boys and masters who served and lost their lives in the First World War, for their bravery and sacrifice which helped to give us our freedom. We will never forget them.”

Student Shannon Millar, a sixth form boarder at Ripon Grammar School whose father is in the forces serving in Kenya, recited Wilfred Owen’s poem The Send Off.

Martha Barber, 18, of Thirsk, played The Last Post and Patrick Lindley carried the standard on behalf of HMS Heroes, a national peer support initiative for children of service families.

The service children’s champion for North Yorkshire Annabel Hall attended the ceremony, along with headmaster Martin Pearman, deputy head Marita Murray and Old Riponians.

To coincide with the ceremony and Heritage Open Days, the school library hosted an exhibition of photographs, documents, memorabilia and stories of the school’s war heroes.

Old Riponians secretary Derek Crookes and retired teacher Greta Hills carried out painstaking research into all those former pupils and masters who died in the First World War.