Veteran helps students to understand the meaning of Armistice Day

Students in South Wigston marked Armistice Day with a special service on Wednesday, to remember those who have lost their lives through conflict.

(Image courtesy of SLC student Ryan Wyett of Ryan Wyett Photography)

Staff and students at South Leicestershire College came together for the Act of Remembrance, which also saw giant handmade poppies hung from the fourth floor of the building and hundreds scattered over those taking part in the service.

The service was also attended by decorated World War II veteran Jack Beales, 91, who listened to the many readings and poems during the service, before wreaths were laid by College Principal Marion Plant OBE and student Georgia Aldwinkle.

Former Flight Lieutenant Beales was an RAF Spitfire pilot between 1942 and 1947. After being shot in action, he was presumed dead and his family were informed. However, three months later, he wrote to his mother from his hospital bed and they realised he was still alive. Following his service in the RAF he was presented with gold braids, which are now stitched into this uniform, as a recognition of the fact that he was shot in action.

In line with the rest of the UK, the College stood silent for a period of two minutes, to mark and commemorate the millions who have lost their lives as a result of war.

Marion Plant OBE, Principal of South Leicestershire College, said: “We thank Jack for sharing his experiences with us on Armistice Day, a date when we commemorate the lives of all of those who have given or who are giving their lives for their country.

“The students and staff put tremendous effort in our Remembrance Day celebrations, in particular Public Services lecturer Carl Pickering, which underlines the strength of feeling of all at the College and our acknowledgment of those who have sacrificed much so we can live the lives we do today.”