St John’s College remembered the Old Johannians who died in World War I and World War II at the annual Remembrance Day service in The Memorial Chapel. Wreaths were laid at the altar by Mr John Gordon (OJ Nash 1953), Mr Paul Edey, Executive Headmaster, Daanyaal Ballim, Second Prefect and Mr Peter Wright, Second Master in their memory.
The Remembrance Day service has been an institution at the College for the better part of a century, since shortly after the First World War. It commemorates the deaths of the 60 Old Johannians who sacrificed their lives in the First World War and of the 99 Old Johannians who paid the ultimate price in the Second World War. The service also honours the countless people who have died in military and other conflicts around the world.
The service was held in the College's Memorial Chapel, which was built in the 1920s in honour of the Old Johannians who fell in the First World War. The names of these OJs, as well as those who perished in the Second World War, are carved into the wood panels of the All Souls Chapel adjoining the Memorial Chapel. The All Souls Chapel also houses the Delville Wood Cross, which honours the men who died in the Battle of Delville Wood in July 1916. Five OJs were killed in that battle. The names of all these OJs are also recorded in a Book of Remembrance which is kept in the College museum.
The Memorial Chapel was built in the 1920s in honour of the Old Johannians who fell in the First World War. The names of these OJs, as well as those who perished in the Second World War, are carved into the wood panels of the All Souls Chapel adjoining the Memorial Chapel.
The service takes the form of an Anglican mass, during which the Act of Remembrance, common to Remembrance Day services held in most Commonwealth countries, is observed. It was attended not only by the College boys and staff but also by numerous Old Johannians and their families. Wreaths were laid at the foot of the altar by Mr John Gordon (OJ Nash 1953) on behalf of the Old Johannian Association, Mr Paul Edey, Executive Headmaster, Danyaal Ballim, Second Prefect and Mr Peter Wright, Second Master.
A special aspect of the service was the magnificent singing of the College's Schola Cantorum, conducted by the Director of Music, Dr Ben Oosthuizen, and accompanied by the College organist, Mr Cameron Upchurch.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
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.
- John MacRae, 1915