Remembrance at the High School of Dundee took on extra significance as pupils and staff commemorated the centenary of the outbreak of WW1.

Alongside the traditional Armistice Parade and Service, which saw guests including the Lord Provost Bob Duncan, local politicians and forces personnel gather as the school’s Combined Cadet Force paraded in front of the school, pupils handed over a cheque for £1500 to Horseback UK.

The money was raised for the charity, which helps physically and mentally scarred servicemen and women rehabilitate through working with horses, by virtue of a unique whole-school event in August, in which approximately 1100 pupils and teachers walked from the School to the War Memorial at the top of Dundee Law to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the conflict.

That imaginative event saw the largest gathering at the top of the iconic landmark since 1925, when the memorial was opened.

Co-founder of Horseback, Jock Hutchison, and Colour Sgt Baz Barrett, who lost his right leg above the knee, several fingers on one of his arms, and suffered serious crush injuries in an IED explosion when serving as a Royal Marine in Afghanistan in 2008, walked up to the summit with the pupils.

Returning to the School to collect the cheque, Jock said, “We are extremely grateful to the School for this financial support and for allowing us to join the pupils on the walk to the top of the Law.

“It was a great experience and hopefully, after meeting us and learning about the work of Horseback, the pupils won’t just see the injuries sustained by people like Baz, they will understand that if something like that were ever to happen to them, they can still lead full, happy lives.

“From the perspective of Horseback, the way we can achieve our goals is by working with groups like school children and extending the support network and understanding of the issues, further into the community.”

Pupils at the High School of Dundee marked the centenary of the outbreak of WW1

The Armistice ceremony, which was observed by the whole school, concluded with a wreath being placed in front of the school’s war memorial by Head Boy Paul Kidd and Head Girl Molly Duncan.

Rector Dr John Halliday said, “Our Remembrance Parade is always a poignant event, even more so this year as we commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of WW1.

“Today we reflect on what happened 100 years ago and remember the sacrifices of all those who have given their lives in the First World War and subsequent conflicts. 4000 men of Dundee died during WW1, 130 of whom were pupils at the High School. We look back at the mistakes of history and hope to learn from them so that we do not repeat them.

“We also remember those who are in the armed forces today, of whom there are a number of former pupils serving and we are delighted to be supporting the charity Horseback UK.”

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