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RPA "proud" to be part of official Somme commemoration

posted 29 Jun 2016, 05:49 by Michele Colt   [ updated 1 Jul 2016, 04:58 by Phil Broughton ]
First World War Centenary logo
Ms Underwood and five RPA students will be taking part in the official events in London in commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme. 

The group will attend the national service of commemoration and remembrance at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Following the service a public overnight vigil will take place at the Abbey; RPA will be one of only 16 schools from across the country to participate in this act of remembrance. Throughout the night, in the countdown to 07:30am on 1st July, vigils will take place at the grave of the Unknown Warrior.  The students Shannon, 14, Pear, 14, Charlie A, 14, Charlie M, 14, and Sydnee, 14, as well as History teacher Ms Underwood, will play a central role.

The vigils will be accompanied by a narration to tell the story of the battle through the words of the men and women who played their part 100 years ago. Each vigil will be in memory of one individual, with each school telling one piece of the story. While Shannon narrates the words of their historic individual, Reserve Lieutenant Hermann Kohl, Bavarian Infantry Regiment 17, the other students will join members of the Armed Forces to form part of the formal vigil party.

Ms Underwood, said, "It has been a privilege to be involved with the Legacy Project and the Somme vigil. History plays a huge role in encouraging our students to think about the world they live in and the consequences for real people as events unfold. The events at The Somme and of World War I, in general, are thought provoking for all ages. Being able to take part in events like this will ensure this generation and the next will never forget the incredible sacrifice of British and Commonwealth servicemen and their families."

Ms O'Brien, added, "The power of events like the Somme commemoration in educating young people cannot be underestimated. RPA are extremely proud to be involved."