Six hundred pupils and staff from across the Harpur Trust schools and the charity’s headquarters will gather at St Paul’s Church in Bedford later this month, to give thanks to the legacy left to the town by Sir William Harpur.
The event will mark the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Harpur trust, established in 1566, when Queen Elizabeth was on the throne.
Guest speaker at the event will be Squadron Leader Charlotte Thompson-Edgar, dubbed the ‘Angel of Afghanistan’ after rescuing more than 600 wounded troops by helicopter in Helmand Province.
Last year she was awarded the Royal Red Cross Second Class for exceptional services and devotion to duty - nursing’s highest honour.
Charlotte is a former pupil of Bedford High School and will talk about the values she gained while at school, and how they have shaped her in her career.
Pupils from the four schools - Bedford School, Bedford Girls School, Bedford Modern and Pilgrims Pre-preparatory, will perform together with an anniversary choir and orchestra, formed specially for the occasion.
A child from each school will also lay a wreath on the tomb on Sir William Harpur, who is buried in the Trinity Chapel of the church.
More public events are planned throughout this annniversary year.