The view of Mill Hill School’s main entrance is curiously different at the moment. No longer masked by the fine wrought iron gates, the formal Gate of Honour is open and will remain so for just three days before it is shut again for the year.
The Gate of Honour forms the School’s war memorial and was erected in 1920, two short years after the First World War and opened by General Horne. This, together with the Roll of Honour list, commemorates 195 deaths due to active service in the First World War
Opening these gates forms part of an important tradition within the School as each year the entire pupil body file through this portal in honour of those who have fallen in conflict. This year, 103 years since the start of the First World War, our boys and girls will participate in this tradition before moving inside for further reflections.
In the chapel service attended by the sixth form there is a further poignant feature when the names of all those who fell in battle are read out, one by one. This year our senior pupils will read the names of those who died between 1939-45 and in the Falklands conflict, and next year it will be those who died in the 1914-1918 war.
This service is a powerful way of marking through actions, and the naming of individuals, the School’s respect for those who died in the service of their country.
Do look up the vintage film of the Gate being opened formally by Lord Horne: