Fears Remembrance Day could ‘glorify war’ sees Cambridge University students vote down motion to promote the event – NATIONAL

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Students at Cambridge University have voted down a motion calling for the institute to further promote this year’s Remembrance Day celebrations. 

Members of the Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) struck down calls for the university, its colleges and faculties to be more ‘proactive’ ahead of the centenary of the end of the First World War. 

Cambridge University. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Cambridge University. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

With the motion suggesting that a minute’s silence be held on Remembrance Sunday and sending emails reminding students about the availability of poppies.

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However it was rejected by members of CUSU at the first meeting of the new academic year, the Daily Telegraph reports

The motion, proposed by two members of Cambridge’s Conservative Association, came after an amendment striking references to ‘British Veterans’, ‘poppies’ and ‘Remembrance Day' was voted through. 

This amendment, which was proposed Stella Swain a student activist, called for the ‘reshape of remembrance away from the glorification and valorisation of war’. 

With Ms Swain arguing that ‘all lives lost and affected by war’ should be commemorated and that the focus should not be on just ‘British Veterans’.

As well as arguing that students should be encouraged to participate in ‘productive criticism’ of war.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer said it had brought ‘great shame’ on Cambridge. 

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He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘It is something I find very difficult to comprehend – that [students] can’t be grateful and respectful of previous generations and their sacrifices.  

‘We have an enormous debt to armed forces in this country.’

A spokesman for Cambridge Students’ Union said: ‘Discussions were not about erasing the past, but rather broadening the focus of our remembrance to include those who suffered and died wherever they were in the world.’ 

While today (October 12) Cambridge University have said: ‘Remembrance Sunday will be marked with events across collegiate Cambridge this year, the centenary of the end of the First World War.

‘All College Chapels will be holding Remembrance Sunday services on Sunday, 11 November (times vary, please check College websites for details).

‘For the Clare College service, 199 unique orders of service will be printed, each telling the story of a different soldier, who either did not take up their place at Clare or left midway through or after their studies, and were killed in action.’