Last week the College marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
In the week’s reflection, Canon Andrew shared some of the stories of those from Epsom College who gave their lives in service to others.
This 360-degree panoramic picture was taken by Head of Chemistry, Mr Jamie Styles. It shows commemorative Vs mown into Chapel Lawn by the Epsom College Grounds Team.
Reflections from the Chaplaincy
On 8 May 1945 the war in Europe ended. Families had lost loved ones, many communities were torn apart and countries ravaged. In Europe, it is estimated that at least 70 million people, military and civilian, were killed. At least 21 million people lost their homes and became refugees. As one commentator put it, “One million, six million, seventy million. Spoken or written, these numbers
become … incomprehensible.”
Here at Epsom College during World War Two times were hard. The Headmaster, Henry Franklin, (who led the College between 1932 and 1963) would have known many, if not all, of the 151 Old Epsomians who died on active service.
There were of course many who served and did come back. They somehow picked up their lives from before the war and carried on. It cannot have been easy. Indeed, I have heard many stories where people did not talk about their experiences until much later in life.
Last week I referred to the idea of vocation – serving others before thinking of oneself. Today, on the 75th anniversary of peace returning to Europe, we remember the sacrifice of those who gave up so much.
It is right to say thank you to all those who served and for the many who did not come back. With their example in mind, let us commit ourselves to promote a peaceful, harmonious and inclusive society.