Pupils & staff of Abbey Park Middle School were joined by the Mayor of Pershore and local Veterans from the Royal British Legion and Royal Naval Association on Thursday for a special Service of Remembrance to mark the beginning of the Centenary of the First World War.

After listening to some of the famous WW1 poems as a prelude to the Poetry Competition, the whole school took then part in the reading out of the 101 names on Pershore's Roll of Honour of the men from the Town who fell during 1914-1918.

The Head Girl from Pershore High School, Alice Bull, then expertly played the Last Post and Reveille as the children stood solemnly for a minute's silence

This service marked the start of a special day of activities for the children on the theme of WW1 including writing poems to enter into the Pershore Poppy Appeal Committee's poetry competition.

Honorary Secretary, Mrs Trudy Burge of Pershore & District RNA, helped with the preparation for this day was a special guest of the school for the morning. This allowed her to spend time with the pupils and staff going round each classroom to view all the activities.

Many of the children were engrossed in writing their poem but others were taking part in the planting of poppy seeds in the school grounds, making special paper poppies, studying Pershore in 1914 as compared to 2014 and the lunchtime activity of digging of a "trench" at the top of the school field which gave the youngsters a good idea of just how hard life was back then.

Speaking afterwards Trudy said that she was extremely impressed with the high standard of work. "I knew from the School's Armistice Day last November just how seriously these lovely children take Remembrance and today's service was just as poignant with all the children showing the utmost respect and interest.

"To hear the names of the Fallen memorised and read aloud by the youngsters of the town was very special and I know that all the Veterans felt very privileged to be a part of their special day.

After chatting with some of the children whilst we had refreshments, I then went into the classrooms to hear some of the poems read aloud and I have to say that I was absolutely amazed at the high standard of work that I heard.

"Bearing in mind that WW1 isn't covered by the curriculum for this age group, all the children seem to have a keen understanding of this war which was reflected in the vivid and descriptive language that they individually used in their work.

"Some of the children are just 9 years old but you wouldn't be able to tell that from their poems as they are first-class. I'm not looking forward to having to try and narrow it down to just 3 winners but we've decided that all the poems will be bound into a special book at the school to serve as sort of time-capsule for the WW1 Centenary.

"Hopefully, we can publish some of the entries on the Pershore Poppy Appeal's website but we also plan to have some of the children read out their poems at this year's Armistice Day Service too. I am extremely grateful Mrs Evans, Mr Martin and all the staff for working so hard to put this day together for the children.

"I have to say that the most amusing moment of the day was when I was asked by one of the younger children if I'd served in one of the World Wars!"

The school will continue to cover the Centenary with various events over the next 4 years. Pictured are Head Teacher Mrs Lynn Evans with Staff and Pupils from Abbey Park Middle School together with the Mayor of Pershore (Councillor Tony Rowley) and veterans from Pershore & District Branch Royal British Legion & Royal Naval Association.