STAFF and students reflected on the sacrifices of fallen heroes yesterday as a virtual service was streamed around classrooms to mark Armistice Day.

A single cornet player and four Year 9 students joined a handful of staff  in a ceremony of Remembrance at St John’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Bishop Auckland.

Year 7  musician Michael MacDonald played The Last Post while the Year 9 students laid wreathes in the school’s garden of Remembrance, as the proceedings were streamed live across the school, which was decorated with poppies and silhouettes of soldiers.

The service was led by the school chaplain Emma Ramsey who said: “It was particularly important that we at least tried to do something this year to remember those who died in war and also our much-loved colleague and arts co-ordinator Jaquie Holloway, who was taken by cancer.

“Jaquie was a teacher here for almost 20 years and in 2013 her son Richard, a former student, was killed while serving in Afghanistan. We pray for them both taking comfort in the knowledge that they are reunited and safe in God’s loving embrace.”

The service also traced the origins of the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance and acknowledged the sacrifices of the fallen and the efforts of serving members of the Armed Forces who put themselves in constant danger.

Headteacher Lisa Byron captured the essence of the annual service by reading In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae.

She added: “It is important that we never forget the sacrifice that individuals have made, giving their lives selflessly in order to keep us safe.

“November is also the month when we remember all of our loved ones who are no longer with us. It seems all the more poignant this year as we deal with the pandemic and think of those families and the dear departed who have not had the opportunity to say their final goodbyes.”