By Clare Jarmy, Head of Philosophy, Religious Studies & Ethics
At Dunhurst and Bedales, students commemorated the centenary of the Armistice at a Remembrance Jaw. Jaw at the Bedales Schools takes the place of chapel in more traditional independent schools. It is the time during the week for reflecting on philosophical, spiritual, religious and moral ideas and views.
Remembrance Jaw is the most solemn event in our calendar. The Bedales Archives project creating profiles of those Old Bedalians who died provided the substance for our commemoration. Students heard in much more detail than before about three Bedalians who died in 1918.
We heard about Edmund ‘Gabriel’ Rice, nephew Mrs Badley the founder’s wife. We remembered Ellis ‘Lynn’ Doncaster, who was shot down on the first day of the Battle of Amiens, and hence the start of what was to be known as the Hundred Days Offensive that ended the war. Finally, we remembered Oswald Horsley, known universally as ‘Pump’, a gentle giant, a lot of fun, and a popular choice for Head Boy.
Oswald was clearly an extremely courageous man, injured three times at the Front. In the offensive where he suffered considerable abdominal wounds, he continued to command his troops from where he lay injured. He was the only Officer to survive that day, and was awarded the MC. The day before he died in a test flight, having refused to retire after his injuries made a continued career in the infantry impossible, he came back to Bedales. As he left, he said he’d be back in a week. Tragically, he was right, as his body was brought back to the village for burial.
Our Founder, Mr Badley, wrote this poem dedicated to Oswald, which was read at his burial.
At parting, five short days ago
“This time it’s not for long” you said;
“You’ll see me back within the week.” And lo,
Your comrades bring you dead.
Their task done, each in token how
They prized their sunniest, bravest, best,
Advancing, gives the last salute; and now
They leave you here, to rest,
Where, by the old grey church, the view
Of half a county, weald and hill —
Wide almost as your vision from the blue —
Lies round you silent, still.
Rest, then, where you so loved to be,
Living, and, dead, be with us yet.
You have come back to us again, and so
Like you, we’ll not forget.
— JH Badley