03 November 2014
As we near the most poignant of Remembrance Sundays, it brings to mind the sheer number of heroic members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in battle. The 4 August 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered one of the costliest conflicts in history – the First World War – with fighting continuing until the 11 November 1918, Armistice Day. It is important that we take time to reflect and think of all that these brave individuals gave and give on a daily basis and take inspiration from them.
Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to have a visit from Tony Lewis,whose son Conrad sadly lost his life in Afghanistan in 2011. He was promoting a song entitled 'Soldier On' which raises money for the 353 Charity, supporting families of bereaved servicemen and women. The pupils were privileged to have the song performed live to them by Andrew James and The Big Secret Sound.
During the Half Term holiday, whilst watching BBC news, I saw a report by Fergal Keane featuring Tony as he followed the footsteps of his fallen son. It was incredibly powerful and moving and made me think back to his visit and the inaugural Invictus Games from earlier in the year.
All 400 competitors were wounded in the line of duty for their respective countries, many with life-changing injuries. However, one thing above all united them, their desire to give their best, never give up and keep believing. Each and every individual demonstrated an inner resilience that was awe-inspiring.
Resilience is a quality that we need to support our children to develop. In the very young, it could be getting up when they have fallen over and hurt themselves. When they are a little older, it may be not to get upset if things do not go their way, eg being selected for a sports team or a part in a play. This is a fundamental life skill, as the journey through life is never a smooth uneventful trip to success. At The Croft we provide each pupil with the support to become more resilient and develop an inner strength to front up to the challenges they will meet in the ever-changing face of the 21st Century.
As we don a poppy in remembrance, it is worth thinking about the resilience that these fallen heroes demonstrated. Let us take courage and inspiration, not just for ourselves, but for our children and help us to develop the inner qualities that we all hold so dear.
And let us remember the final verse from William Ernest Henley's Invictus poem:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.