STUDENTS and staff at Askham Bryan College fell silent to pay their respects to mark Armistice Day today.

Bagpipes accompanied the college's first Combined Cadet Force (CCF) as they marched across campus to the college flagpole before the formal remembrance service began.

College chief executive Catherine Dixon, a former army officer who served with the Royal Signals, is now the CCF Commanding Officer and led the ceremony with Reverend Geoff Mumford, Vicar of St Giles, Copmanthorpe.

The ceremony follows the college’s first year in the national Cadet Expansion Programme, which aims to increase the number of cadet units in schools to a total of 500 by 2020.

Contingent Commander of Askham Bryan College, Mark Watts, said: “We are proud to join the programme and believe our students will benefit hugely from the experience. Our cadet unit will develop the essential skills in self-discipline, leadership and citizenship to succeed in pursuing a future within the forces. Armistice Day is an important part of our college’s community and we are honoured to have Rev Geoff Mumford attend our service.”

Rev Mumford began the ceremony with a reading of Siegfried Sassoon's ‘Remembrance’ after which staff member Sam Scott played The Last Post on the bugle before the flag was lowered and wreaths laid.

Combined Cadet Force member Olivia Horsfall said: “I have family who have served in the armed forces, which makes the day even more important for me. I think it’s fantastic that the college is involved as a community and I’m excited to be a part of the service.”

Catherine Dixon added: “Remembrance day is part of our culture, heritage and way of life. It is important that we all take time to reflect on the huge sacrifices given by some many who have fought to maintain our way of life, for democracy and to safeguard the rule of law. It is also, for many, a time for personal reflection as we think of family and friends serving in the armed and security forces. Our students know the importance of the day and teaching young people about the day’s meaning is as important as obtaining the many qualifications on offer at the College.”