My daughter finished school last Friday with a celebratory day for her year group, the wider school community and a large group of proud and slightly emotional parents.
During the Rector’s address at Speech Day, he spoke about it being the 100th anniversary on Friday morning of the Battle of the Somme. He said that 300 boys who had attended the school had fallen during World War 1 and of these, a significant proportion had died during that first and horrendously bloody day at the Somme. It was a poignant address bringing together the past and present of the school.
When we gathered back at the school for the Leavers’ Lunch, the school’s Pipes and Drums gave a rousing and highly professional display for the assembled parents. As they began to play, the sky darkened and there was torrential rain throughout the entire display. None of them flinched and continued to march, play, stay in regimented lines and showed absolute discipline. As they finished, the rain stopped. A perfect example of Scottish strength, fortitude and endurance.
Some of the parents around me were commenting ruefully on how they were going to get the soaked uniforms dry – the smell of wet wool is never attractive!
I was thinking that one hundred years ago, there would have been a similar proud group of young men playing their pipes and drums in the same place. So many of them would have gone off to war and not returned.
In the midst of the current political turmoil over Brexit, Scottish Independence or not, politicians resigning left, right and centre and divided views from those who voted Remain or Leave, I find myself thinking how right the Queen was to call for people to Keep Calm and Carry On right now. There are clearly lessons in history and we ignore them at our peril.
Felicity MacFarlane is an Account Director at Indigo