Remembrance Service at CHS

11 November 2016

remembrance 3 webA special act of remembrance was held at the school War Memorial on Thursday 10 November attended by pupils, governors and staff as well as representatives of Cookstown Branch of the Royal British Legion and the Chairman of the Mid Ulster District Council.

The service was led by Rev Dr Isaac Thompson and wreaths were laid on behalf of the school and the Former Pupils’ Association. The Head Girl Jenny Crozier read words from Psalm 90 while the Head boy Denvir Black read the poem ‘We shall keep the faith’ by Monia Michael.  The Chamber Choir sang ‘He will hold me fast’ by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

The last post and reveille were sounded by Deputy Head Boy Ian Brown while the lament was piped by Adam Brimage from Year 8.

In a short address at the start of the ceremony the headmaster Mr Montgomery recalled the life of one of those to whom the memorial is dedicated, Staff Nurse Rachel Ferguson.  After leaving school and completing her nursing training Staff Nurse Ferguson joined the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service.  Although her contract with the service was over she requested, and was granted, an extension until her services were no longer required.  On 26 June 1918 Staff Nurse Ferguson took ill with bronco-pneumonia and was admitted to no 62 General Hospital where she died later that day.

Mr Montgomery concluded by saying, “Staff Nurse Rachel Ferguson did not fall in the heat of battle but she was no less a casualty of war for that.  Her sense of duty caused her to extend her time with the Nursing Service and it was that sense of service to others which placed her in harm’s way and ultimately led to her death. She is an inspiration to the current generation of pupils and staff in the present school.”

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Cookstown High School,  Coolnafranky Demesne, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, BT80 8PQ  
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