At exactly 11am whilst on our way to Beaumont, the traffic halted on the
Kingston Bridge over the Thames and was still for two minutes in memory
of the many war dead from in and around that borough.
The grounds around the war memorial at Beaumont were full of
OBs and their families. Some in wheel chairs others wore their
military decorations. The open air Mass concelebrated by three
members of the Society of Jesus was very moving, with the last post being
played and the involvement of St John's choir despite the windy
autumnal conditions. The old school song sung in Latin seemed
an appropriate way to end:
Vocem demus suaviter
Etsi mox pugnavimus
Iam condamus enses,
Seu Romani fuimus,
Numquam sit per saecula
Decus istud vanum:
Vivat sine macula
Exploring the old school again - now converted into a modern conference
centre - evoked many happy memories of boyhood times.
Giles Delaney had laid on an extraordinary welcome for
OBs and familes at St Johns. A lunch fit for royalty ensured
that conversation flowed all round the generations.