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News > Christ College Archive > Remembrance 2023

Remembrance 2023

We will remember them

The Remembrance Service this year will take place year on Wednesday 8 November, a weekday service that will enable Old Breconians to join the school in a form of service that has been taking place at Christ College since it was first held on 11 November 1919.

Published names are important to a community, as the many village war memorials will testify, and a central part of the Christ College Service of Remembrance is the Roll of Honour. Until his retirement in 1955, the names were read aloud in Chapel by Canon Donaldson who, as long-serving master and Old Breconian recorder, would have known in person almost every single one of them. 

Diligent research over the years has resulted in a Roll that is longer than the list of names on the Memorial tablets in the Antechapel. The additional names, and also that of Lance Corporal Steve Wilson who was killed in Northern Ireland in 1989, are listed on an additional tablet generously presented by the Old Breconian Association in recent years. 

Behind each name on the Roll is a story of courage, and a story of familial loss. Always noticeable are the three Best brothers, listed one after the other on the Memorial devised by their only surviving brother. There are other brothers too: Walter Bomford Davies and Harold Blakeney Davies, brothers together at Oxford; and the Spencer-Smiths and the Akrill-Joneses, whose names seem to fill The Breconian of their era with their sporting and academic achievements. Amongst others, more brothers were discovered by Dr Glenn Horridge while researching his book, ‘The Toll of War’: the second of two Kell brothers, both of whom died in Naval actions; and the second of two Macaulay brothers, both of whom served with the Seaforth Highlanders.

Remaining on the World War One Roll are also two names that tell of the difficulties of communications during global conflict: Harry Dempster, who died from wounds in France in August 1915, attended Brecon County School for Boys and not Christ College at all; Cecil Collins, who survived the war, lived in Canada until his death in 1930 - quite unaware that the Old Breconian community had mourned him for some years. Each in their own way tells a story of war.  

Following official confirmation that he died in 1948 as a result of tuberculosis contracted while a PoW, R D W Harley (School House 1930-1933) was added to the Second World War Roll in 2022. His story, like that of G B P Shapland (Day Boy 1910-1912), who died in 1924, is a reminder that war doesn’t end with an Armistice. They represent the many Old Breconians whose names may never appear on a Roll of Honour but whose lives were unutterably altered by the experience of conflict. 



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