Introduction from Jonathan Gillespie, former Head Master of Lancing College (2006-2014)
To read of the exploits of just one of the Lancing war dead is humbling; to spend time in the War Memorial Cloister beneath the great Chapel at Lancing, reading names and imagining fleeting glimpses of pupils of a bygone age is intensely moving.
Yet to have the opportunity to access the details of all the Lancing dead in one resource is an experience which words cannot suffice in describing. John Hamblin OL has therefore given me an impossible task in trying to write an introduction, but we are greatly indebted to him for all his work in bringing this information together in one place. It is appropriate that the Lancing War Memorial now exists in this electronic format also.
Each year on Remembrance Sunday the Lancing College community gathers in and outside the War Memorial Cloister for the Act of Remembrance which follows the Requiem Eucharist. In recent years the congregation has approached one thousand, comprising pupils, parents, staff and OLs. At the heart of this poignant ceremony following the laying of wreaths, the Heads of School read in turn Lt Col John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields and Moina Michael's response to those famous verses. Certain lines strike me as being of particular significance in our task of educating the current generation of Lancing pupils:
"To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
"Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
with All who died."
We do indeed hold high the torch all these heroes threw and we keep faith with those who died. This website will assist us in so doing as well as ensuring that we remain sincere and true to Laurence Binyon's lines of remembrance which the Chapel Choir sing at the War Memorial each November:
"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."
"Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes.
Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out.
Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore."