Wagstaff Memorial Ceremony

Posted On: 12/10/17

On Thursday 28th September 2017, a special assembly was held at school in front of the Year 12 students. Trevor Hearn, Old Colcestrian Society President, conducted a ceremony for Douglas Wagstaff, a former pupil of the school who had been killed in the First World War at the age of 18.

Philip Wagstaff, the father of Douglas, presented a trophy to the school on 28th September 1917 to be competed for by the platoons forming the school's Cadet Corps. This trophy was a memorial to Douglas for the many happy days he spent at the school especially with the cadets.

The ceremony, exactly one hundred years after the original presentation, commenced with a pertinent and moving introduction by Deputy Headmaster, Mr Chambers. This was followed by an oration - given by the President - of Douglas' time at the school and subsequent war service. Year 12 student Gorak Rajesh read an extract from the war diary of Douglas Wagstaff, and Alex Canham, a Year 7 student and the great-great nephew of Douglas, read the poem "My boy Jack" by Rudyard Kipling.

A minute's silence was held in memory of Douglas and the 79 other Old Colcestrians who died in that conflict. This was heralded by Year 12 student Harry Hesketh-Paterson playing a Cadet Corps snare drum, which was donated to the school by Old Colcestrian Society Chairman, Colonel Richard Kemp. The silence was ended by Year 12 student Patrick Leahy playing "Reveille" on the bugle.

Invited guests, including descendants of Douglas Wagstaff's family, then viewed the newly-renovated Wagstaff Memorial (Platoon Trophy) in the school library. The President presented the family with a file of extracts from the Colcestrian magazine detailing the exploits of Douglas and his two brothers, Ralph and Cuthbert, from their time at CRGS. School archivist, Laurie Holmes, also presented them with exact replica copies of Douglas' war diary.