Derby Grammar School and the Old Derbeian Society welcomed Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles KCMG, LVO to the school to deliver the annual David Walker Memorial Lecture on Wednesday 15 November, entitled ‘What Do The Jihadis Really Want?’
Sir Sherard is Her Majesty’s former Ambassador to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. He was then appointed as Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair’s Personal Representative in Kabul for the remainder of the British involvement in the Taliban conflict.
The lecture is an annual event in honour of Derby Grammar School’s co-founder and former Chair of Governors, David Walker, an ex-pupil of the former Derby School. Ralph Holden, President of the Old Derbeian Society, welcomed the audience which comprised staff, pupils and parents from the Grammar School and members of the Old Derbeian Society.
Also in attendance were the Mayor of the City of Derby, Councillor John Whitby; the High Sheriff, Mrs Annie Hall; the Dean of Derby, The Very Revd Dr Stephen Hance, Derby Grammar School original founder John Blackton; and Mrs Brenda Walker, widow of David Walker.
Sir Sherard thanked Mr Holden for inviting him to deliver the lecture and said “I am honoured to be giving a lecture in memory of David Walker.” He continued to address three key themes – what do terrorists want, what do the jihadis want and how should we react? He left the audience with what he believes is the most fundamental belief of all – treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.
Acting Head, Mrs Lesley Reynolds, commented: “this was an insightful lecture which drew on Sir Sherards extensive diplomatic experience. It was wonderful to see the audience hanging on his every word, and the level of discussion this encouraged after the event.”
The lecture finished with a Vote of Thanks by Head Prefect, Robbie Cooper.