School remembers WW1 victims

Third joint Anglo-German Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation to remember the zeppelin balloon pilots and civilian victims

Two schools joined forces in a Service of Anglo-German Remembrance and Reconciliation at the German War Cemetery at Cannock Chase on Sunday. Learners from Beacon Hill Academy in Sedgley and the Academy of English in Oldenburg, Germany came together with the Wolverhampton Central Branch of the Royal British Legion to remember the victims of aerial attacks during World War I. Both the Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire and the Mayor of Wolverhampton were in attendance together with other local civic leaders and dignitaries.

Coinciding with the one-hundredth anniversary of the Potters Bar zeppelin balloon attack in October 1916, German and British Learners reflected on the role of air warfare during the First World War. The dual language service took place around the graves of 72 zeppelin balloon pilots, all of whose names were read out by each of the attending German Learners before a joint wreath laying ceremony. Johanna Klauke from the Academy of English and Sarah Paskin from Beacon Hill Academy laid wreaths to honour the crews and civilians lost in the First World War.

In the concluding speech by the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Barry Finlay praised the joint Anglo-German imitative between the Academy of English in Germany and Beacon Hill Academy in Sedgley, stressing the importance to involve young people in the act of remembrance and reconciliation in the centenary of World War One.

The principle organiser of the Anglo-German Services of Remembrance and Reconciliation, Dr. John Goodyear, the Director of Studies of the Academy of English, vowed to continue the events which bring young German and British

Learners together. He said: “This is the third such service we have held and the resonance has been very positive from the schools, local community and civic society.”

The Academy of English and Beacon Hill Academy have been partnered since 2010 with Learners visiting each other’s institutions at least every year for class visits and work experience placements. The next exchange will take place in July 2017 with a group of Beacon Hill Academy Learners visiting Oldenburg to do their work experience placements.