Tags at Gosport school remember the fallen

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STUDENTS penned poignant messages as part of a commemoration to those who have lost their lives in war.

Youngsters at Brune Park Community School in Gosport honoured the fallen from across the area by writing their names on a gift tag. On the back they put messages to those that died.

143333_TAGS_17/11/14''(l-r) Alice Higginson, Ashley Jerrard, Caroline Dearden deputy-head with Chloe Baker and Peter York. ''Students at Brune Park Community School, have written remembrance gift tags, to pay respect to those who have fought for our country. The tags are tied to tress in the grounds of the school. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143333-760) PPP-141117-144358001

143333_TAGS_17/11/14''(l-r) Alice Higginson, Ashley Jerrard, Caroline Dearden deputy-head with Chloe Baker and Peter York. ''Students at Brune Park Community School, have written remembrance gift tags, to pay respect to those who have fought for our country. The tags are tied to tress in the grounds of the school. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143333-760) PPP-141117-144358001

The idea came from the recent marking of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

A total of 1,437 tags were tied to bushes and trees outside the school with the names of those in the armed forces who died – each representing a person in Hampshire killed in conflict over the past 100 years.

Chloe Baker, 15, is in Year 11. She said: ‘It’s a good idea to have the tags in place because not only do we have the minute’s silence, but we have the remembrance every time we walk into school.

‘It will give us a reminder of what has happened and how we are here because of that.’

Alice Higginson, 16, said: ‘It’s beautiful and beneficial because it brings so many people together.

‘It proves that all of those people are so important even though they aren’t here any more.

‘If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.’

Ashley Jerrard, 15, added: ‘It’s an amazing idea.

‘The symbolism with the falling leaves and the fallen soldiers is a perfect way to honour the people of Hampshire who lost their lives so we could be here today at this school.’

Deputy headteacher at the school Caroline Dearden said: ‘With it being 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, as a school we wanted to commemorate the fallen who are local and we know a number of our school community have lost people in conflict over the years.

‘Each of the tags has the name of somebody in Hampshire who fell in conflict from the First World War right through to the Afghan war.

‘On the other side the students were invited to write a message to those who fell or they’ve written a personal message to someone who is dear to them whom they have lost.

‘We’ve got a great deal more empathy for what it was like.

‘The young people of the school have already recognised that many of the people who died in the conflict were not much older than they are.

‘They have been thinking deeply about what that sacrifice has meant in terms of the freedom they enjoy today.’