Welcome from Jo Duncan


In May the country celebrated the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day with a series of events across the UK. I noted in my newsletter piece at that time that the current Covid-19 situation was causing me to reflect on the stories of the Second World War that I grew up with alongside a sense that the current challenges are the closest my generation has come to such a devastating national event.

Every year the Royal British Legion creates a Remembrance theme; in 2020 the theme is ‘Coming Home’. Changes to planned activities have had to be made for obvious reasons and remembering the millions of British, Commonwealth and other men and women whose service and sacrifice secured peace and freedom 75 years ago has been broadened to consider the service and sacrifice of those today who have been working to protect our nation from Covid-19.  Consideration is being given to the shared feelings, emotions and experiences of then and now and while the two events are very different there are similarities between the situations including family separation, concern about the unknown, and a desire to support one another.

‘Service’ is one Wycombe Abbey’s values and asking ourselves if, how and why we serve is important. Other values we promote include trust, encouragement, mutual respect, excellence, dynamism, innovation and balance. I have touched on these at various times over the past year and I will continue to discuss their relevance and practical implication with girls going forward.

Given the pandemic, the annual Remembrance Sunday March past the Cenotaph will not take place this year. However, we will be marking Remembrance this weekend with a pre-recorded service and a two-minute silence at 11:00am on Sunday 8 November and again on 11 November itself. I hope that these two acts of Remembrance will bring us together, both as a community and, more broadly, as a nation at this time.

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.


Jo Duncan MA (St Andrews), PGCE (Cantab)