“We Will Remember Them”
On Friday 9 November 2018 Durban High School hosted Old Boys, Veterans, Members of the Defence Force, Grade 8 and Blackmore House Boys and the Staff of DHS at the Annual Remembrance Day Service.
It was 100 years ago on Sunday, the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, that the Armistice was signed to mark the end of the hostilities of World War I. Initially Armistice Day services were held on 11 November from 2019 to mark the anniversary of the end of the Great War and to commemorate those who died in it. After the end of World War II, the name was changed from Armistice to Remembrance Day and services were held to commemorate all who died in wars, and the red poppy became the symbol of remembrance.
At Durban High School a sombre Service was held in the Memorial Courtyard to commemorate the 100 years since the end of the First World War. 85 pupils sacrificed their lives in that conflict alone: A cold statistic until one realises it was almost two boys a month.
Lt Col Greg de Ricquebourg, a former DHS Old Boy and former Officer Commanding of Durban Light Infantry, called the Roll of Honour which includes 222 DHS men who died in the Anglo-Boer War, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and the Border War.
DLI is affiliated to DHS, sharing a long history – DLI being founded in 1854 and DHS in 1866. The history of Durban is entwined with that of the School and regiment. In his address the Head Master, Mr A D Pinheiro, observed that the Wall of Remembrance, washed by countless showers of rain and bathed in the warm summer sunshine, is all we have left of these wonderful Old Boys. But on this day, the school paid tribute to their memory.
The lesson and homily was addressed by Rev Michael Fourie. Mr Norton, Master of Ceremonies for the occasion, announced the names of the wreath layers, which were placed along the Memorial Wall:
Mr Pinheiro (DHS Head Master), Mr Ardé (CEO of the DHS Foundation), and Xhanti Njokweni (2019 Head Prefect) on behalf of DHS,
Lt Col Greg de Ricquebourg on behalf of the DLI,
Lt Col Retired Bryan Dore on behalf of the SA Legion,
Col Steve Bekker on behalf of the SA Air Force Association Durban Branch,
Major T Bolton on behalf of Umvoti Mounted Rifles,
Major Mark Levin on behalf of the Reserve Force,
Captain Nigel Lewis-Walker on behalf of the Officer Commanding of the Natal Mounted Rifles,
Mr Mark Linley and Mr Paul Engelbrecht HC on behalf of the Parabat Veterans, as well as Mr Roy Bowman on behalf of The South African Military History Society.
Obakhe Delubom, Grade 10, sang “Green Fields of France” unaccompanied. The Last Post was then performed by Trumpeter Sergeant-Major Joseph, followed by a two-minute silence, the Reveille and finally a prayer and blessing by Rev Fourie, before the ceremony came to a close.
Thank you to all who attended.