Tarleton school head enlisted support from across the channel to make sure Armistice service wasn't spoilt by Covid restrictions

When it comes to going the extra mile for his pupils, Chris Upton knows no boundaries.

By Sonja Astbury
Thursday, 12th November 2020, 3:45 pm

But his year the primary school headteacher set himself a new challenge when it came to making sure his school could mark Armistice Day in style.

With Covid-19 restrictions and a national lock down in-place, the Tarleton Community Primary School boss was struggling to to get someone to safely play the Last Post and Reveille at the pared-down memorial service.

So, determined not to let coronavirus spoil things ,he roped in his dad Derek - all the way from his home in the Channel Islands to play his cornet for the children as they made their own silent tributes.

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Pupils from Tarleton Community Primary School with their hand-made wreaths. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Derek usually plays across the island of Jersey, where he lives, each year, and is a member of the Last Post Association.

As Jersey was occupied by the German forces in the Second World War, he is usually very busy with commemorative events in November, however, this year many have been affected by the coronavirus restrictions.

In order to make sure the restrictions spoil the day, Derek joined pupils and staff at the Hesketh Lane school assembly by internet link from his lounge and played live with a back drop of the Cenotaph outside the town hall in Jersey's capital, St. Helier.

Pupils and staff were delighted and the children were very interested to see what their Mr Upton's dad looked like.

Derek Upton played his cornet for Tarleton Community Primary School from his home in Jersey

Chris Upton said:" I was both delighted and proud to have my father join us.

"It goes to show that there are positives from the current situation; this time last year I would never have imagined having the Last Post being played live from so many miles away and the impact that it would have on our school community.

" I had told him prior to the event that if he did a decent job we would book him again next! This is something we will certainly be doing."

The whole school tuned in
Pupils with their wreaths Photo by Kelvin Stuttard