Dorset House Choir remember First World War at Pulborough Station

Dorset House School pupils at Pulborough Station SUS-181120-161829001
Dorset House School pupils at Pulborough Station SUS-181120-161829001

A choir and readers from Dorset House School marked the centenary of the end of the First World War at Pulborough Station last week.

Commuters and other travellers would have been surprised to find the group of 30 children from the Bury school singing songs and reading poetry to mark this occasion.

The choir sang a mixture of fun and patriotic songs including ‘Belgium put the Kibosh on the Kaiser’, ‘Don’t dilly dally on the way’, ‘Pack up your troubles’, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, ‘Danny Boy’, ‘I Vow to Thee my Country’.

And the readers read ‘The Send-Off’ – Wilfred Owen, ‘Adlestrop’ – Edward Thomas, ‘Easter Monday’ – Eleanor Farjeon and ‘I can’t forget the lane that goes from Steyning to the Ring’ – John Stanley Purvis.

Sarah O’Brien, headmaster’s PA and registrar at the school, said: “This is a lovely local poem and very poignant. It was written by a young officer in the 5th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment serving in France, half an hour before ‘going over the top’ to face the guns of World War I.

“Using the pen name ‘Philip Johnson’, John Stanley Purvis later became a clergyman in York Cathedral.

“Two fast trains thundered through the station between the readings and the choir halted during `I Vow to Thee’ to allow passengers to disembark from the Bognor train!”