Access Keys:

Cookstown High School, Cookstown

Remembrance Service

12th Nov 2020

A special act of remembrance at the school War Memorial attended by pupils, governors and staff took place on Wednesday 11th November.

At this short service, led by Rev Tom Greer wreaths were laid by the Head Girl on behalf of the school and by Mrs Lynne Dripps the Chairman of Governors on behalf of the Former Pupils’ Association. The Head Girl, Kathryn Carson, read the poem ‘Taking a Stand’ by John Bailey, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mrs Lynne Dripps read from John chapter 15.  Following the laying of the wreaths the Head Boy, Joshua Glendinning, said The Exhortation, taken from those famous words of Laurence Binyon which begin, “They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old”.

The last post and Reveille were sounded by Ivor Clarke from Tamlaghtmore Silver Band.

In a short address at the start of the ceremony, Principal Miss Gwyneth Evans recalled the life of Lance Corporal, Mr George Rollins, from the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, from Cookstown who enlisted in the army at 18 years old and fought and sadly lost his life in the Battle of Monte Cassino. Described as one of the hardest fought battles of World War 2 between 17th January and 18th May 1944, Lance Corporal Rollins endured relentless direct bombardment from Germans who occupied the 14th century monastery. The allies emerged triumphantly but at a cost of 55,000 casualties.  Lance Corporal George Rollins is buried in a grave at Cassino War Cemetery, and is commemorated on Cookstown cenotaph, Stewartstown cenotaph and at St Andrew’s church of Ireland, Ardtrea.  Miss Evans concluded by saying, ‘We owe a debt of gratitude to a true hero who faced immense danger and trials of war and ultimately sacrificed his life voluntarily because he believed in his country and the protection of the liberty and freedom that we enjoy today.’