Bagpipe lament will mark the Duke’s death

GORDON’S School in West End is to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh with a bagpipe lament.

The lament will be played by Pipe Major Owen Carter at 6pm on Saturday (17 April) outside the chapel of the school, whose patron is the Queen. Flags at the school have been at half-mast since the announcement of the Duke’s death last Friday.

The Duke of Edinburgh speaks to Gary Drudge-Coates who presented the Queen with a posy of flowers during the Royal visit to Gordon’s School in 1985

He visited the school several times, including in July 1955 to present a new Colour.

The Duke later wrote that he frequently drove passed the grounds adding: “I have often seen boys in uniform outside. I am delighted to say that they have always been smartly dressed, and, as far as I could see, well behaved”.

Several former pupils have posted on the Friends of Gordon’s School Facebook page about the royal couple’s visit in 1985 for speech day in its centenary year.

Former pupil Paul Ollier told the News & Mail that there was great excitement in the build up to the visit with the boys excited about the extra security with snipers on roofs.

“The Queen and the Duke took a lot of time to talk to a lot of people,” Paul said.

“I felt extremely proud to have the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh right there,” he said.

Paul later became head boy at Gordon’s and now lives in Milton Keynes where he runs UK sales for a large electronics company.

Andrew Moss, Gordon’s Headmaster, said: “A lasting legacy to His Royal Highness is the vast numbers of students here and across the world, who learn new skills and carry out voluntary work through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Scheme.

“It is apt that this year record numbers have joined the scheme this year at Gordon’s with 128 enrolled for Bronze and 80 for Silver. “

Prince Philip wrote in his forward to the book The Gordon Heritage: “There could be no better memorial to this remarkable man than a school for the underprivileged, which has since evolved into a modern boarding school.”

To comply with COVID-19 regulations, visitors will not be allowed at the school on Saturday, but the lament will be live streamed on https://www.facebook.com/GordonsSch

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