A County Durham school has remembered one of its former teachers and a veteran who died at his home suddenly earlier this month. 

On Friday (November 10), Barnard Castle School used its remembrance memorial event to pay tribute to everyone who has lost their life in World War One, World War Two and recent conflicts. 

Among those remembered was a man whom the school community hold deep in their hearts; Martyn Lewis, a teacher at the school for 23 years, who died suddenly last week.

The Northern Echo: Martyn LewisMartyn Lewis (Image: BARNARD CASTLE SCHOOL)

A staff instructor staff instructor with the Combined Cadet Force, Mr Lewis was also a respected tutor and sports coach at the school. 

He joined the school in 1997, following a decorated military career where he achieved the rank of WO1, and remained a hugely popular figure at the school up to and beyond his retirement in 2020.

During the school's remembrance event on Friday, A single cross was planted first by senior teacher and head of classics John Gedye to mark the loss of Mr Lewis. 

Alongside the remembrance tribute, the school has also paid its own separate tribute to its former teacher. 

The Northern Echo: John Gedye plants a cross for Martyn LewisJohn Gedye plants a cross for Martyn Lewis (Image: BARNARD CASTLE SCHOOL)

In a statement, Barnard Castle School said: "Barnard Castle School is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our beloved former staff member Martyn Lewis.

"Martyn influenced the lives of countless Barnardians and Old Barnardians alike over the course of his 23-year career.

"The thoughts of everyone at Barnard Castle School are with Martyn’s family and friends, especially his much-loved wife, Joyce, at this incredibly sad time.

"May he rest in peace."

The Northern Echo: Barnard Castle School during its remembrance eventBarnard Castle School during its remembrance event (Image: BARNARD CASTLE SCHOOL)

Tributes to Mr Lewis marked a poignant day at the school, which was accompanied by the haunting melody of the Last Post that echoed around a school grounds, as school bugler Heather Brown played the poignant call as the whole school community turned out for a Remembrance Day ceremony.

Led by a large contingent of the school’s Combined Cadet Force, 721 students, aged four to 18, gathered in front of a large poppy painted on the grass before they and staff each placed a small wooden cross of remembrance.

Headmaster of Barnard Castle School, Tony Jackson laid a wreath on behalf of the school’s Old Barnardians, Prep School headmistress Laura Turner laid another on behalf of the school, while housemistress Elizabeth Heward placed one on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham.

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Mr Jackson said: “This is the only day of the year when the entire school comes together as one – and there is no better sight – to remember our and the town’s fallen. We come to remember the fallen and there is no more powerful an illustration of the impact of war on our community.

“For every pupil standing here today there was an Old Barnardian who fought in conflict. In the Great War of 1914-18, 150 lost their lives, another 58 died in the Second World War and one in the Falkland’s campaign.

“This day isn’t about winning, or losing, or the glorification of conflict, it’s about remembering and acknowledging service and the ultimate sacrifice. And it is with heavy heart that we observe the conflicts that are still going on around the world. Today offers us the chance to thank them all. We will remember them.”