STUDENTS found creative ways to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in wars on Armistice Day.

Many remembrance celebrations were cancelled or drastically scaled back this year due to the second national lockdown, but students from several Aspirations Academies Trust schools in Dorset found ways to honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

At Bovington Academy, which is next door to Bovington Camp, many of the students came into school dressed in red and poppies were displayed in the windows of the school.

Principal Sara White said: "Many of our children have family who have been or are in the armed forces so the link between the military and the school is of extreme importance to all of us at Bovington Academy.

"Although this year people couldn't come together as in previous years, coronavirus should not stop the spirit of remembrance."

At Budmouth Academy, the first ever Armistice Day parade at the school took place in the outside playground. The socially distanced event, organised by Royal Navy Combined Cadet Force officer Chris Dooley, included a field gun set up with flags, a cadet playing the last post and wreath laying.

Officer Dooley said: "This year's parade is more important that any Armistice Day parade because there have been so many difficulties: getting hold of poppies, the lack of parades and the veterans unable to take part in the Cenotaph parade.

"It's important to show that, despite the restrictions of 2020, the veterans are not forgotten and we recognise their efforts.

"A lot of the students have military families and the parade is a good chance to recognise those that have come before them in the area who went to war to fight for the country."

At Atlantic Academy Primary school, the school was decorated with poppies and students who belong to a uniformed youth organisations, such as Scouts or Guides, were given the option of wearing their uniform to mark Remembrance Day.

Principal Melissa Heppell said: "Any opportunity to bring the community together at a time when we are socially distancing is really important.

"This shows that we still care and we have an understanding for those who have given up their lives."