Pupils to recreate first Armistice anniversary

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Youngsters on Easdale and Luing are turning the clocks back 100 years as a special act of remembrance.

Next month pupils from both schools will be re-creating a scene from November 11 1919 when all the children at Easdale School were taken into the upper room to have the King’s message read and explained to them.

The school log shows that at 11am, the 23 pupils all stood to attention for a two minute silence before singing the National Anthem and going back to lessons.

Classes were dismissed at 2pm that day acting on instructions from the chairman of the school management committee.

On Monday November 11 this year, lessons will not be finishing early but the children will be joined by members of the Easdale Branch of the Royal British Legion.

As part of the Act of Remembrance, the children will be reading out the names of the men recorded on the Kilbrandon War Memorial.

The week before, children will be welcoming visits from Easdale RBL member Colonel Tim Sinclair and hearing stories from historian Helen Glennie about the fallen heroes from Seil.

Taking part in the anniversary remembrance fits in with pupils’ global citizenship work, encouraging them to confidently help build a sustainable world for future generations to come, says principal teacher Mairi Wright.

On Sunday November 10, Easdale RBL will also be remembering fallen comrades by placing poppy  crosses on the Commonwealth War graves at old Balvicar Cemetery, mustering at the gates at 10am.

Muster for the act of remembrance at Kilbrandon War Memorial will then be at 10.45am with two minutes silence and the laying of wreaths at 11am.

After that at 11.30am there will be a service at Kilbrandon Church with coffee and fellowship to follow.

Easdale’s headmaster Neil MacDougall was granted leave of absence by his bosses on November 2  1915 to go to England and take up military duties before returning three years later on April 14 1919 to pick up his post – that same year on August 12, the school was given an extra week holiday to celebrate peacetime.

The Oban Times records Lieutenant MacDougall also became President of the Easdale branch of The Comrades of the Great War – the forerunner to the Royal British Legion.