Staff and students of De Montfort University paid their respects to the wounded and fallen at their annual Armistice Service this morning.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard led the service outside the Hawthorn Building, speaking about a recently-found Roll of Honour and three former students who served during World War One whilst studying at the university.
The students Prof Shellard referred to were John Mawby, William Henry Grayson and William Davis, who all fought and died along with many other Leicestershire citizens in the Action of the Hohenzollern. The battle was described as “nothing but the useless slaughter of infantry” by the British Official History.
Mr Shellard described the numbers in attendance as “the largest turnout that we’ve had”, and attributed this to the university’s focus on history and heritage in the past year, including students’ discovery of a Roll of Honour from 1919.
He added: “it was a nice secular moment for the university to come together and reflect on the fact that so many people have given their lives from our institution.”
Prof Shellard actually had a great uncle who was a Prisoner of War in Malaya during the Second World War for four years. He referred to his relative as a “big man” who lost nearly 10 stone whilst in the camp.
Dennis Stone, head of security at the university, who previously served in the 3rd Battalion Light Infantry, joined Prof Shellard in addressing the audience.
Mr Stone delivered a short speech about his background and his experiences before proceeding to recite ‘For the Fallen’, followed by the two minutes silence that was adhered to impeccably and respectfully.