A SPECIALLY commissioned art installation took pride of place as a school mourned those who died in conflict as well as a much-loved arts a co-ordinator.

The life-size steel silhouette of ‘Tommy’ became the centrepiece of the annual Armistice Day service staged at St John’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Bishop Auckland.

The figure was unveiled on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of popular arts co-ordinator Jaquie Holloway, whose son Richard, a Captain in the Special Forces, was killed in 2013 while serving in Afghanistan.

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School Chaplain Emma Ramsey said: “We always commemorate Remembrance Day and wanted something permanent, an art installation, to remember the fallen and Jaquie. "We are also planning another sculpture in her memory which will be unveiled next year.”

The Tommy figure was created by Russell Taylor, of Kelloe-based RWT Fabrication.

“I had been impressed by similar figures in West Witton Cemetery so I contacted the company to discuss installing our own Tommy,” said Emma.

The Remembrance Service, attended by staff and student representatives, including scouts, Air and Army Cadets, was streamed live into classrooms throughout the school.

Headteacher Lisa Byron read In Flanders Fields, by John MCrae, and prayers were said by Jaquie’s husband Neil and Chair of Governors Ann Wake.

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Head of music Kim Wearmouth played The Last Post on the cornet and the school observed the two minutes silence at 11am.

Mrs Byron said: “The month of November is always a time when we remember our loved ones who have passed away.

"Jaquie and Captain Richard Holloway were part of our St John’s family and they will always hold a special place in our hearts.”


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