Two school closures confirmed for funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

A Shropshire education trust has confirmed both of its schools will close for the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen's visit to Wrekin College in 1967
The Queen's visit to Wrekin College in 1967

The Wrekin and Old Hall Trust is responsible for Old Hall and Wrekin College, based in Wellington, with the latter being visited by The Queen in 1967.

The trust outlined the plans for Monday in letters to parents, which also includes the opportunity for boarders to come together on the day of the state funeral.

Tim Firth, the headmaster at Wrekin College, said that Wrekinians past and present will want to pay their respects in their own way to someone who embodied duty and service.

“A number of staff will remain in school to look after the boarders and I imagine it will be quite an experience for them too to watch a state funeral unfolding on television,” he said.

Anna Karacan, head at Old Hall School, said the pupils had marked the occasion in several ways which include a book of condolences which would be sent to London to be added to the national collection.

“Last Friday, we held a flagpole ceremony where we came together as a school around the Union Jack which we are currently flying at half-mast," she said.

"The Reverend Lee Plummer spoke to the children about what had happened and we said a prayer to commemorate the event.

“This week we held celebration assemblies in school where we looked at the life of Queen Elizabeth II, her leadership, milestones and exceptional achievements both in our country and across the world.

"We sang the National Anthem twice – one verse in memory of the Queen and one verse to welcome King Charles with a change to the wording which we explained to all of the children.

"Throughout the period of national mourning, we will be holding class discussions, and will create displays across the school to celebrate the life of the Queen.”

A memorial service will also be held at Wrekin College chapel on Friday to commemorate The Queen's life and service.

In March 1967 the Queen visited Wrekin. After opening the new Shire Hall in Shrewsbury that morning, the Queen spent half an hour at the school in the afternoon.

The headmaster at the time, Robert Dahl, greeted the Queen, and in his study presented a specially bound copy of B.C.W Johnson’s A Brief History of Wrekin College.

The head of school, David Franklin, was given the honour of presenting a cricket bat for her sons.

During her visit, she listened to the choir singing and was shown Gordon School and the Memorial Hall.

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