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Students Almere College present at Remembrance Day in Edinburgh

Pupils and teachers of Almere College in Dronten and board members of the 4 May Remembrance Foundation Dronten were in Edinburgh from 7 to 11 November to attend the Remembrance Day commemoration at Stewart's Melville College. The reason for this is the connection between the two schools in the person of William Middleton Ward. William Ward was formerly a student at Stewart's Melville College. He died in World War II and the propeller of his plane forms the monument in Dronten.

Students Almere College present at Remembrance Day in Edinburgh

In 2019, Edinburgh school history teacher Dave Clarke discovered how former student William Middleton Ward had perished in the war and what a prominent place this has in Dronten. In 2022, the desire arose to establish an exchange with a secondary school in Dronten. In November 2022, a small group (30 students) left for Edinburgh to attend the Remembrance Day commemoration. Mayor Jean Paul Gebben then laid a wreath on behalf of the community in Dronten. On and around May 4, 2023, 10 pupils from Edinburgh were present in Dronten. Omroep Flevoland's documentary "Never Unprepared" tells the story of William Ward.

Last week a large group (58 pupils, 5 teachers, 5 board members) left for Edinburgh to once again attend the impressive commemoration at the school. A commemoration where besides 2,300 students from the Edinburgh school, invited guests were also present. In addition to the commemoration, the group visited war graves in Edinburgh and received explanations about the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. In addition, a visit to Edinburgh Castle, a tour of the city and there was room for exchange between the students of both schools.

The exchange between the two schools is taking shape. Extraordinary how the story of Airgunner William Middleton Ward in this way creates a connection between Scotland and the Netherlands, Edinburgh and Dronten, young and old, past and future. As 4th of May Remembrance Foundation Dronten we are pleased that in this way involvement of secondary education is realized and that young people, especially at this time, realize that freedom is not self-evident. The visibility of Airgunners in Dronten remains in this way. It is up to us to cherish freedom and pass it on. Lest we forget...

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