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News > News > Remembrance Sunday 2023

Remembrance Sunday 2023

On 12 November the whole College community came together to mark Remembrance Sunday.
16 Nov 2023
Written by Alex Garnier
Pangbourne on parade
Pangbourne on parade


By Alexandra Garnier


Remembrance Sunday is always a very special and moving occasion at Pangbourne College when the whole community, past and present, as well as friends of the College, remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Each year the College remembers, in particular, the heavy loss of life during World War II when 177 Old Pangbournians and one Governor were killed, as well as the 255 servicemen and three civilians who died in the Falklands War of 1982 and whose memory is not forgotten in The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel.

This year Rear Admiral Nick Washer, Director of Operations, Defence Digital took the Remembrance Sunday salute and Chief Cadet Captain of College, Will Rowton-Lee (Upper Sixth, Hesperus) led the Parade. The preacher at the Remembrance Service before the Parade was The Right Reverend Dr Tim Wambunya, who himself served for seven years in the Royal Navy before training for ordination.

The Remembrance Service was led by The Chaplain, The Reverend Neil Jeffers. During Nimrod, wreaths were laid by Mr Thomas Garnier (The Head), Patrick Roberts (Chair of Governors), Phillip Plato (Chair of the Old Pangbournian Society), Kelley Waters (Pangbourne Parents’ Association), Wing Commander Nick Monahan (RAF Benson), and Stuart Hulley (April Fools’ Club). The Colour Party included Lower Sixth students Dominic King (Hesperus), Moin Chowdhury (Macquarie), and James Pullen (Hesperus). 

The Chamber Choir, conducted by Mr George Picker (Assistant Director of Music), sang a cappella Durufle’s ‘Ubi Caritas’. The College Choir, conducted by Mr Chris McDade (Director of Music), sang Douglas Guest’s ‘They shall grow not old’. Four of the Upper Sixth, Josh Bywater (Port Jackson), John Harper (Port Jackson), Jemimah Nusi (St George), and Finlay Stewart (Hesperus), whose parents are serving in the Armed Forces, read out the names of each of the Old Pangbournians and the Governor who died in World War II.

On the Parade Ground The Chaplain completed The Act of Remembrance, with Eve Allen (Lower Sixth, St George) playing The Last Post from the top of Devitt Tower and SSI Mr Paul Radford sharing the poignant verse of Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For The Fallen’, ‘They shall  grow not old as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them’. 

During the inspection of the College by Rear Admiral Washer, the Marching Band, conducted by Bandmaster Mr Andrew Thornhill (himself a former Director of Music in the Royal Marines), played ‘Rinaldo’ and Theo Stephenson (Year 11, Harbinger) played ‘Highland Cathedral’ on the Bagpipes. Between ‘Scipio’ (the slow march) and ‘Hearts of Oak’ (quick march), RAF Benson provided a flypast. The Marching Band then accompanied the College with ‘This is My Country’ (another quick march) before ending the Parade with ‘Heroes’.




On Remembrance Sunday afternoon, Drum Major Imogen Kingsland (Upper Sixth, Illawarra)  and our Marching Band led the Remembrance Parade through the village of Pangbourne. They performed ‘Oh When The Saints’ on the fifes and drums, ‘Hearts of Oak’, and ‘This is My Country’. Around the War Memorial in the churchyard of St James The Less, local uniform organisations laid wreaths, including James Blandy, Old Pangbournian, for The Royal British Legion. Eve Allen played the Last Post in the Remembrance Service which followed. 

In the churchyard of St James The Less is buried Sir Philip Devitt, the younger of our College’s founders who lived at Pangbourne College during World War II and who experienced first-hand the cost to the College of the lives lost during that major world conflict


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