STOVER School had the honour of hosting Admiral Sir Ben Key, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, who joined pupils, staff and parents for the annual Remembrance Service.

Admiral Sir Ben Key has a close connection to Stover as it was his grandmother, Joan Key, who founded the school at its current site, 90 years ago.

Admiral Sir Ben Key joined the Royal Navy in 1984, he qualified as both helicopter aircrew and as a Principal Warfare Officer and as a junior officer saw service around the world in a variety of frigates and destroyers.

He has been privileged to command four ships: the mine hunter HMS Sandown, the frigates HMS Iron Duke and HMS Lancaster, and the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. Promoted to Vice Admiral in February 2016, he was the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander from then until March 2019.

He then served as the Chief of Joint Operations, prior to his appointment as First Sea Lord in November 2021.

He was awarded the US Bronze Star in 2006 for his service in Baghdad, appointed CBE in 2016 and KCB in 2021.

On 8 November 2021 Admiral Sir Ben Key assumed the office of First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.

Before the remembrance service Admiral Sir Ben Key met Stover’s Head Girl and Boy from the Senior School, Elise and Anton as well as the Preparatory School’s Head Boy, Charles.

Shortly after, Year 12 pupil and boarder, Cadet Corporal Feasby, from Stover’s Combined Cadet Force Contingent commanded the honour guard, welcoming the First Sea Lord to the remembrance service.

Admiral Sir Ben Key spoke during the service about his own career and the history and importance of those we shall remember.

Following the service, the First Sea Lord took time to speak to the cadets and staff from the Combined Cadet Force contingent about their aspirations and goals.

Admiral Sir Ben Key then presented the following cadets with promotions: Cadets Mackey and Cherry to Cadet Lance Corporal, Cadet Lance Corporals Feasby and Taylor to Cadet Corporals, a very proud moment for all the cadets.

Wreaths were then laid at the Canadian War Memorial which stands within the school’s grounds.

A school spokesperson said: ‘It was a proud, emotional and inspirational service of remembrance for Stover School.’