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Oakham School Archives

Explore the history of the school through the documents and objects that have been left behind...


Also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion, this was a war between the British and the Ndebele people between 1896 and 1897. The Ndebele people were aggrieved with the control that the British South Africa Company had in Zimbabwe and the Prime Minister of Cape Colony’s, Rhodes, view that non Anglo-Saxon people were barbaric and needing civilising.

The spiritual leader of the Ndebele people, Mlimo, generated anger amongst the Ndebele and the Shona people by accusing the British of causing plagues and droughts in their land. The Ndebele timed their campaign well as the British had just sent the majority of their troops away from the away to fight the Transvaal republic in the Jameson Raid.  Nonetheless, British forces were quickly dispatched to the area and ended the rebellion.

Second Matabele War

  • ‘The Matabele Wars’, Military History, <>

Old Oakhamian who fought in the Matabele Wars

Algernon Kirkham Skevington

(1871 – 5th August 1912)

Algernon was the son of Joseph Helby Skevington of Brigg, Lincolnshire.

Life at School

Algernon attended Oakham School between 1885 and 1887. His school achievements are listed below:

  • 100 yards (under 16): 2nd place - Spring 1886.
  • Broad jump (under 16): 1st place - Spring 1886.
  • Football 1st XI: Colours – Winter 1886; Spring 1887.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

Spring 1887 Football review: “Skevington, who plays with Atter on the left wing, varies; he passes well sometimes, at other times he does little.”


After Oakham

Algernon became a member of the Bechuanaland border police and served in the Matabele War.

Algernon is buried in Wrawby Road Cemetery, Brigg, Lincolnshire.