Remembrance Day: Belsize Park schoolchildren reduce teachers to tears with ‘moving’ assembly

Veteran Tom Parkinson with Year 6 pupils. Picture: Polly Hancock

Veteran Tom Parkinson with Year 6 pupils. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Pupils at a private girls’ school had their teachers in tears during their moving performance of First World War poetry in a Remembrance Day assembly.

Year 6 children, all aged 10, put on a play for pupils and teachers at Village School in Parkhill Road, Belsize Park, based around classic war poems like In Flanders Field by John McCrae.

The girls also performed war poetry that they had written in their lessons as part of the drama.

They finished the assembly by sprinkling red confetti, representing remembrance poppies, and reading Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye, a well-loved poem popular at funerals.

Second World War veteran Tom Parkinson, who served in the rifle brigade between 1942 and 1946 in North Africa and Italy, was invited to talk to the girls after the assembly about what it was like to serve in the conflict.

Deputy headteacher Ellen Bolsom, who has organised the annual assembly for ten years, said: “The girls did me proud. I’m so thrilled with them. It was so moving and everyone was in tears by the end.”

Five Year 6 girls from Village School will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall today.