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Oakham School Archives

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

Introduction

The Boer War was fought from the 11th October 1899 to the 31st May 1902 between Great Britain and two Boer republics, the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State. This war would be considered the forerunner to modern military battles, highlighting how 19th century tactics were outdated. At the time, it was the largest and most costly wat involving the British since the Napoleonic era.

The British had a force of 500,000 men while the Boers had just 88,000. However such a discrepancy in numbers did not result in the war being one sided. Indeed, the Boers used the difficult local terrain and modern weaponry to their advantage.

The reasons as to why the conflict erupted are much contested by historians. Some argue that Britain wanted to preserve their sovereignty over areas agreed in the Pretoria and London conventions (1881 and 1884). Nonetheless, others are more sceptical and point to the large gold mining complexes in the area and the Great Britain’s increasing dependence on gold within its economy.

Uitlanders (literally Out landers) were people from a non-Dutch heritage and who worked in the gold mining industry. The British wanted a more favourably policy towards themselves from the SAR. To help ease rising tensions, the Bloemfontein Conference was held in May-June 1899. The president of the SAR, Kruger, did offer to make some concessions to Britain but these were rejected as being too insignificant. After the conference, the British requested that more troops were sent to the area.

Alarmed by more troops, the SAR issued an ultimatum to the British on the 9th October 1899, demanding that Britain remove its troops from the border. This was ignored and war began on the 11th October 1899.  At the beginning of the war, the Boers actually had the upper hand against the British. They took key towns such as Ladysmith, Mafeking, and Kimberley. The week of the 10th and 15th December 1899 became known as Black Week due to the shocking defeats suffered by the British. The British were using tactics which were simply ineffective against the Boers such as frontal attacks.

However, the tide soon began to turn when British reinforcements came to the area. In all, over 400,000 soldiers were involved. People at home in Britain volunteered in large numbers to go over to South Africa. This was the first time that people from all backgrounds in Britain joined the army to fight in mass numbers. Troops were also drawn from around the British Empire such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Cape Colony. The British then set about taking back the lost towns. Ladysmith and Kimberly were retaken in February 1900. On the 5th June, Pretoria was regained for the British. The Boers tried to regain the momentum they had at the beginning of the war however, this never fully materialised. This was because the British blocked railway lines and used the scorched-earth policy to destroy farmsteads. The theory was that this policy would deny the Boers a food source.  

Burning of a Boer farmstead

The burning of a Boer farmstead. The National Army Museum, 2000-03-170-27.

The inhabitants and their families of these farms were rounded up and put into concentration camps. These camps were poorly maintained, disease was rife and around 50,000 people died whilst in the camps.

Women and Children in the concentration camp.

Women and children in a British concentration camp. National Army Museum, 1992-03-194-36.

Horrified at what was happening in South Africa, a campaign was launched in Britain by the Fawcett Ladies Commission following Emily Hobhouse's whistleblowing on the conditions in the camps. This pressurised the government into action. By 1901, the Boers were offered peace. It was initially rejected and fighting continued. However, the Boers eventually accepted defeat and signed the Peace of Vereeniging in May 1902. The terms of surrender were that:

  • The republics would become colonies of the British Empire.
  • Prisoners of war would be released.
  • £1 million compensation would be paid.

The Boers were officially integrated into the Union of South Africa in 1910. The war did lead to the modernization of warfare in various forms. The electric telegraph and field telephone were used for the first time. As too were hot air balloons for observation.

 

Bibliography

Old Oakhamians who fought in the Boer War

William Harold Agar

(8th February 1975 – 15th August 1962)

William was born to Edward and Fanny Agar.

Life at Oakham

William attended Oakham School between 1888 and 1892.

  • Christmas concert: sang "Waft her Angels" and "May Dew" - Winter 1888.
  • Chapel: reading of “Edinburgh after Flodden” - Spring 1890.
  • Elocution Society: Spring 1889.

 

  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1889 – Summer 1892.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1891 - William is standing third from right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1892 - William is sitting on the far right, wearing a blazer.

  • Football 1st XI: Winter 1889 – Spring 1892.
  • Tennis: Summer 1891; Summer 1892.
  • Throwing the Cricket Ball: 2nd place – Spring 1892.
  • Hurdle Race (open): 1st place (204/5 sec) - Spring 1892.

 

  • House Scholarship from Oakham School: £15 – Spring 1889.
  • Lower Certificate: Summer 1890.
  • School Prefect : Winter 1890 – Summer 1891.
  • Magazine Committee: Summer 1891 – Winter 1891.
  • Games Committee: Winter 1891 – Spring 1892.
  • Head of School House: Spring 1892.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Winter 1890 Cricket Review: “bats freely, and ought to be very good next year. He catches well, but is too slow in running after the ball, and is occasionally rather sleepy. He may make a bowler if he takes pains”.

Williams Batting Average 1890: 95 runs, 16 innings, 3 times not out, 20 highest score, and a 7.4 average.

Winter 1890 Football Review: “exercises excellent judgment in his kicks, and tackles very well, but is rather given to dribbling too much at times”.

Winter 1891 Cricket Review: “played some useful innings on certain occasions (notably at Oundle), but his batting has hardly improved as much as was expected; fields well, being much quicker than last year; may make a bowler if he tries”.

Winter 1891 Football Review: “has turned out a very food and useful forward, he plays an excellent combination game, and always works hard”.

Winter 1892 Cricket Review: “hardly fulfilled his promise as a bat, but hit hard on the on side, and played some useful innings; an excellent fieldsman and good thrower”.

 

After Oakham

After school, William went to study at University College Hospital London. From there he served in South Africa as a Trooper in the Imperial Light Horse 27916 70 Company, 18th Battalion.

Light Horse Infantry

The cap badge of the Imperial Light Horse Infantry.

William fought in the First World War as a Captain in the Seaforth Highlanders.

Canadian Seaforth Highlanders

The badge of the Canadian Seaforth Highlanders.

He joined the British South Africa Police as a Lieutenant. Outside of military life, William was a fruit farmer and later an insurance broker in Canada.

During the Second World War, William served as a special constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Richard Westbrook Baker

(1864 – 24th August 1920)

RW Baker

Richard was born in Oakham to Edward and Anne Baker. He was the grandson of Richard Westbrook Baker who was the designer of the Rutland Plough and who set up in 1830 the small allotment system. Richard attended Oakham School as a Day boy between 1874 and 1881.

After Oakham

Richard became a Lance Sergeant in the Leicester Imperial Yeomanry, 21847 Company 4th Battalion.

Leicester Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Leicester Imperial Yeomanry.

He served in South Africa in 1900.

On BOard HMS Kenty

Reproduced by kind permission of the Langham Village History Group.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Langham Village History Group.

Baker played cricket for his village and regularly took leading parts singing and reciting stories in village parties. After the war, he became a brewer’s agent and finally a farmer.

 

Bibliography

Herbert Alfred Bates

(1872 – 6th November 1900)

Herbert was the son of Reverend Alfred and Emily Bates.

Life at Oakham

Herbert attended Oakham School between 1888 and 1891 and was a member of School House.

  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1888.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1889 – Spring 1891.
  • Football 1st XI: played as a back, Winter 1889 – Spring 1891.
  • Three Legged Race: 1st place - Spring 1891.

 

  • Confirmation: Spring 1889.
  • Games Committee: Summer 1890 – Winter 1890.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

Spring 1890 Football Review: “Bates has shown himself a plucky back and one whose only fault is his lightness”.

Summer 1890 Football Review: “Bates is a safe back and one of the heaviest members of the team: he is very useful although not a showy player.”

Winter 1890 Cricket Review: “a fair bat with a good leg stroke; a safe catch in the long field, but is too slow in running after the ball.”

Bate’s Batting Average Winter 1890: 134 runs, 17 innings, 2 times not out, 50 highest score, and an average of 8.14.

Bate’s Bowling Average Winter 1890: 16 overs, 3 maidens, 3 wickets, 47 runs, and an average of 15.2.

Spring 1891 Football Review: “a very steady back; tackles well, and never misses his kick; has frequently proved the mainstay of the defence.”

Winter 1891 Cricket Review: “decidedly the best bat in the team; plays very steadily and hits hard at loose balls. His finest innings was against C. Huskinson. Esq’s XI which was without a single fault or chance. A fair change bowler, and good field”.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1891 - Herbert is sitting on the far right in a blazer.

After Oakham

He attended Durham University for just one academic term.

He served in South Africa as a Corporal with the Cape Mounted Rifles. He was wounded when the Boers attacked the British in a guerrilla campaign.

Cap Mounted Rifles

The cap badge of the Cap Mounted Rifles. 

Herbert died of his wounds and is buried in grave 858 at North Road Cemetery, Kroonstad.

Harold Vaughan Blackstone

(18th September 1878 - 1944)

Harold was the son of Edward and Myra Blackstone of Stamford.

Life at Oakham

Harold attended Oakham School between 1890 and 1893.

  • 100 Yards (under 14): 3rd place - Spring 1892.
  • Quarter Mile (under 14): 3rd place - Spring 1892.

After Oakham

Harold served in South Africa with the Lincolnshire Volunteers, The Imperial Yeomanry.

The Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

After the war, he stayed in South Africa as an engineer and director of Blackstone & Co.

Harold Richard Blackwell

(4th April 1880 - )

Harold was the son of Richard and Caroline Blackwell.

Life at Oakham

Harold attended Oakham School between 1894 and 1898.

  • Cricket 2nd XI: Spring 1896 - Summer 1896.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Spring 1896 - Summer 1898.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1897.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Spring 1898 Rugby Review: “possessed a good pace, but little power of defence.”

 

After Oakham

Harold served in South Africa as a Corporal in the Prince of Wales Light Horse and as Acting Sergeant in the 1st Brabants Horse/Imperial Light Horse.

Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales Light Horse cap badge.

Edward Kyme Cordeaux CBE

(7th December 1866 – 16th July 1946)

Edward was the son of John and Mary Cordeaux and was born in Great Coates House near Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Life at Oakham

Edward attended Oakham School from 1881 to 1884. His school achievement are listed below:

  • Umpire at football match between Oakham School and Wreake Valley: Spring 1884.
  • Cricket 1st XI: played one match against Oakham Amateurs - Winter 1884.

 

After Oakham

Edward served between 1900 and 1901 as a Captain in the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment when he was wounded and sent home.

Lincolnshire Regiment

The cap badge of the Lincolnshire Regiment.

He was mentioned in despatches twice and was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with four clasps.

Queens south africa medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with four clasps.

Edward also fought in the First World War with the 10th Battalion Lincolnshire as a Lieutenant Colonel.

E Cordeaux Military Record

The military record of Edward Cordeaux.

He commanded the battalion in July 1916, during the Battle of the Somme.

Extract from the 10th Lincolnshire Battalion “The Grimsby Chums” – 1st July 1916

"At 7 o'clock on the morning of 1st July, the young officers of the Battalion sprang on to the parapet, and the next instant a large portion of the unit was pouring over the top, eager to come to grips with the Bosch. La Boisselle, battered and ruined, lay to their left; in front the ground was pock-marked with craters, the result of a week of gunfire, during which the men had crouched in the trenches, almost stunned by the inferno of artillery, lacking proper meals because the commissariat found it impossible to bring meals through the barrage, and cursing the methods which had made war so horrible. When the moment came to attack there was no need to urge them, for every breast burned with the desire to come to grips with the foe, and fight the matter out. So they swarmed up, over the top, and across No Man's Land, only to discover that in warfare things do not work with clock-like accuracy. The barrage on the enemy's trenches lifted too early, and hereabouts "Jerry" had been anticipating the attack for weeks, and preparing against it with an unlimited supply of machine guns, so that before the "Chums" were far advanced there came a scythe of lead which mowed them down with merciless slaughter. After this they went back to Armentieres and after a spell in Flanders, in reserve, they were dispatched to Arras. Here they took part in the great attack on Vimy Ridge on 9th April 1917 with the 34th Division on the right of the Highland Division, and in that magnificent fight they reached their objective without any great sacrifice. It was on this occasion that Lieutenant Colonel Kennington, then a Major, distinguished himself and won the MC.

"In the last stage of the attack, the Battalion advanced 1600 yards with practically no support and with their flanks "in the air" led by Colonel Kennington. For five days they held the position, five terrible days of snow and sleet, with the cold so bitter that 50 men were taken from the trenches suffering from exposure and exhaustion. Finally they were relieved and brought back to refit and recruit.

"Their next move was about 25th April but we should add that during the period of which we have been speaking, Colonel Cordeaux and Lieutenant Colonel G. W. B. Clark had been in turn in command, and now Lieutenant Colonel Vignoles succeeded to that position. It was under Lieutenant Colonel Vignoles that "The Chums" moved into the line again on 25th April 1917, and joined in the attack on the chemical works at Roeux on 28th April. For the second time in history they were met with a hail of machine gun bullets, all the officers but two being hit, and the casualties numbering about 450. Whilst thus terribly depleted they were counter-attacked, but the remnant stood up to this, repulsed the enemy and brought back some prisoners. Two days later they were relieved and came back to rest and to learn that their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Vignoles had earned the DSO."

Edward transferred into the 12th Battalion Devonshire Regiment in January 1917 and commanded the 57th Labour Group in April 1917. Between 1918 and 1919 he was a Colonel with the 19th Army Corps.

Devonshires

The Devonshire Regiment cap badge.

After his military service, Edward became the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1925, a deputy Lieutenant and a JP. He was awarded a CBE and the Croix de Guerre.

Croix de Guerre

The Croix de Guerre medal.

 

Bibliography

Cyril John Dawson

(June 1873 – 1916)

Cyril was the son of Rev. Richard and Louisa Dawson Sutton of Benger, Wiltshire.

Life at Oakham

Cyril attended Oakham School between 1886 and 1890.

  • 100 yards (under 16): 2nd place - Spring 1889.

After Oakham

Cyril became a bank Clerk before signing up to serve in South Africa.

Maurice Fitzmaurice Day

(29th August 1878 – 26th November 1952)

Maurice was born in Dublin to Rev. Maurice and Charlotte Day.

Life at Oakham

Maurice attended Oakham School between 1890 and 1897.

  • 100 yards (under 14): 1st place - Spring 1892.
  • Quarter Mile (under 14): 1st place - Spring 1892.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1893; Colours - Winter 1894; Winter 1895; Winter 1896.
  • Broad Jump (under 16): 1st place - Spring 1893.
  • Broad Jump (open): 2nd place - Spring 1895.
  • Tennis: won the doubles competition - Summer 1894; Summer 1895.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1894.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Colours - Summer 1895; Summer 1896; Summer 1897.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1895 - Maurice is sitting in the front row, on the right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1896 - Maurice is standing on the far left.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1897 - Maurice is sitting on the far right.

  • Cross Country Steeplechase: 1st place - Spring 1897.
  • The Mile: 3rd place - Spring 1897.

 

  • Confirmation: Spring 1895.
  • Royal Drawing Society Examination: pass - Summer 1895.
  • Drawing Prize: Summer 1895.
  • House Prefect: Summer 1896 – Spring 1897.
  • Games Committee: Summer 1896 – Spring 1897.

 

Oakham School Magazine Review

Spring 1895 Rugby Review: “a clever by light three-quarter, who passes well, but proves too light for a hard fought game.”

Winter 1895 Cricket Review: “Useful bat, good field anywhere”.

Spring 1896 Rugby Review: “a neat and light three-quarter line who passes and tackles well”.

Winter 1896 Cricket Review: “Good bat and excellent field”.

Spring 1897 Rugby Review: “a most effective three-quarter both in attack and defence. A good kick, either drop or place”.

Winter 1897 Cricket Review: “a good bat with a style of his own, always to depended on at a pinch. Excellent field”.

Winter 1897 Batting Averages: 12 innings, 0 times not out, 78 highest score, 281 runs, and an average of 23.41.

Winter 1897 Bowling Average: 6 overs, 0 maidens, 27 runs, 0 wickets.

 

After Oakham

Maurice went to Pembroke College Cambridge. He served in South Africa with the Cambridge University Rifle Volunteers.

Cambridge Rifles

The cap badge of the Cambridge Rifles. 

Maurice served in the First World War as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Yorkshire regiment. He also assisted in the War Office.

The Yorkshire Regiment

The cap badge of the Yorkshire Regiment.

He was awarded the Military Cross and mentioned in despatches four times.

The Military Cross

The Military Cross.

Guydo Dickinson

(27th September 1868 - 1932)

Guydo was the son of Melton Mowbray pie maker Joseph and Caroline Dicksinson.

Life at Oakham

Guydo attended Oakham School between 1882 and 1885.

  • The Mile (open): 2nd place - Spring term 1885.

After Oakham

Guydo was commissioned into the Leicestershire Imperial Yeomanry and served in South Africa.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

He was awarded the Long Service Medal.

Long Service Medal

The Long Service Medal Award.

Victor Henry Wadham Forster

(19th May 1868 - 31st July 1916)

Victor was born in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia to William Forster and Mary Ann Bell. The family came to live in Hastings in 1871, and then in Felixstowe in 1881.

Life at Oakham

Victor attended Oakham School between 1883 and 1885.

  • Debating Society: Spring 1885

After Oakham

Victor was working as a Stock Clerk before serving in South Africa.

Victor died in Zimbabwe at the age of 48. He is buried at Kadoma Cemetery, Zimbabwe.

William Arthur Fosbrooke

(4th September 1870 – 12th November 1918)

William was the son of Leonard and Anna Eliza of Ashby de la Zouche in Derbyshire. William attended Oakham School from 1885 to 1887.

After Oakham

William served in South Africa as Lieutenant in the Imperial Yeomanry. After the war, he remained in South Africa and worked on the railways.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

He died in Durban, South Africa.

Tom Gibson

(3rd October 1879 - )

Tom was the son of George Henry and Matilda Ann Gibson.

Life at Oakham

Tom attended Oakham School between 1895 and 1896.

  • Lower Certificate at the Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board: Summer 1895.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1896.

1896 Rugby 1st XV

Oakham School Rugby 1st Xv, 1896.

After Oakham

Tom worked at St. Thomas’ Hospital as a physician and surgeon. He was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians.

During the Boer War, he was the civil surgeon attached to the army in South Africa between 1900 and 1902.

Walter Gibson

(28th December 1866 - )

Originally from Grantham in Lincolnshire,

Life at Oakham

Walter attended Oakham School between 1880 and 1884.

  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1884.

After Oakham

Walter served as a Surgeon-Captain in the West Australian Imperial Mounted Infantry.

West Australian Imperial Mounted Infantry

The cap badge of the West Australian Imperial Mounted Infantry.

Osborne Arthur G. Gould

(7th September 1878 - )

Osborne was the son of Captain Charles and Annie Gould of Guildford. Osborne went to St. Hugh’s School in Hertfordshire in 1891, before attending Oakham School from 1894 to 1897.

After Oakham

Osborne was commissioned into the Cape Mounted Police and served in South Africa.

The Cape Mounted Police

The cape badge of the Cape Mounted Police.

Frederick John Vavasour Guy

(1870 - 1910)

Frederick was the son of John Charles Guy of Uppingham.

Life at Oakham

Frederick attended Oakham School between 1884 and 1887.

  • Confirmation: Spring 1887

After Oakham

Frederick served in South Africa with Van Allen’s Field Hospital. The Lincoln, Rutland, and Stamford Mercury, Friday 6th February 1903, read:

"Mr. Fred. Vavasour Guy, who saw service with the American Bearer Company in Africa, from the commencement of the Boer war, has obtained an appointment at Kuala Lumpur in the East, and sails from Southampton in the North German Lloyd steamer Sachsen on Feb. 10th. Mr. F. V. Guy is the youngest son of Mr. J. C. Guy, Bank House, Uppingham, and was in part educated at Oakham School."

Extract from 'Records and Recollections,' by J. H. M. Robson, published in Kuala Lumpur, 1934.

"After the war, Frederick served in Uganda and the Malay States managing the Federal dispensary. He was a naturalist by trade. He died after being accidentally shot when being attacked by a panther.

"The late F. V. Guy came to Kuala Lumpur in 1903 to manage the Federal Dispensary. He was interested in all sorts of animals and kept a menagerie in his garden on Bukit Bintang Road. Among his pets which ran loose about the garden were two small orang utan. When Guy had his evening stengah in the garden, three were provided: one for Guy and one for each of the orang utan. Towards the end of 1910 Guy made a trip to Kelantan with the representative of Messrs. Pathè Frères, the cinematograph film manufacturers. He took with him a black panther and a leopard, the intention being to match these beasts against Kelantan buffalo-bulls and obtain a cinematograph picture of the fights. The party duly arrived at Kota Bahru, and proceeded to make the necessary arrangements. It was at first intended that the fights should take place in the enclosure usually used for bull-fights. This enclosure, however, was only five to six feet high, and on top of this was placed corrugated zinc to prevent the animals getting a purchase if they attempted to escape. In the middle of the yard is the gaol. A temporary wall was put up on each side of the gaol proper. The cages containing the panther and the leopard were placed at an opening in this wall similar to that by which bulls are admitted into the arena in the Spanish bull-fights. Guy, who was stationed by the cages, was thus not in the yard itself. On the other side at the junction of the permanent and temporary walls a platform with a kind of cage was erected for the use of the camera man. The operator having taken up his position, and the bull being already in the yard, Guy opened the cage to let the panther in. The beast would not go in at first, and had to be prodded before he would do so. Once in, the panther would not approach the bull, but stalked along the side of the wall looking for some means of escape. Eventually the brute espied a small piece of wood projecting from the flooring of the platform provided for the camera man. It leapt on to this and thence on to the wall of the yard and promptly made off, scattering the native spectators, who were either sitting on the wall or on stands outside. The panther made straight for a compound close by, and Guy, having seen what had happened, took up a gun and followed. Having reached the compound, he got quite close to the brute, and let fire with buckshot. At such short range, the shot did not scatter, and the animal was not badly injured. The panther then leapt and got Guy's right hand in its mouth, the two rolling over on the ground.

"Guy, with his left hand, felt for a knife which he carried in his belt, and meanwhile a European came up with a gun and fired at the panther. As bad luck would have it, the shot, passing through Guy's right thigh, lodged in the left thigh higher up. His would be saviour then dashed up and despatched the panther with a sheath knife. Guy was placed on board the S.S. Boribat, in charge of Dr. Gimlette, to be brought to the General Hospital at Singapore, but succumbed on the boat to his injuries. He remained bright and cheerful until the end, which occurred about 26 hours after the accident. The body was taken on shore at Trengganu, where Dr. Gimlette superintended the interment."

 

Bibliography
  • ‘Frederick Vavasour Guy, Van Alen American Field Hospital – died 1910’, Anglo-Boer War, https://www.angloboerwar.com/forum/7-genealogy-and-family-research/28778-frederick-vavasour-guy-van-alen-american-field-hospital-died-in-1910

Henry Haworth Hardman

(31st October 1879 - )

Henry was the son of John Haworth and Phoebe Anne Hardman.

Life at Oakham

Henry attended Oakham School between 1890 and 1893.

  • Drawing Society of Great Britain and Ireland: commended for a set of three drawings in the London Exhibition - Spring 1892.

After Oakham

Henry fought in South Africa with the Middlesex Mounted Troops, County of London Yeomanry as a Captain.

London Yeomanry

The London Yeomanry cap badge.

After his military service, Henry had a profession as a solicitor.

Robert Day Hardy

(5th March 1880 - )

Robert was the son of William and Charlotte Farmer. He was born in Thistleton, Rutland. He attended Oakham School between 1890 and 1893.

After Oakham

Robert served in South Africa with the Imperial Yeomanry, 22257 Company 4th Battalion.

The Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa medal with two clasps.

Queens South Africa Medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with two clasps.

Robert went on to serve in the First World War as a Trooper in the Leicestershire Regiment. He was wounded at the front.

Leicestershire Regiment

The cap badge of the Leicestershire Regiment. 

After his military service, Robert became a farmer.

Henry Arthur Jerwood

(25th February 1878 – 26th March 1906)

Henry was the son of Thomas Frederick Jerwood. He was born in Little Bowden, Northamptonshire. His brother, John Hugh, also attended Oakham School and lost his life in the First World War.

Life at Oakham

Henry attended Oakham School between 1888 and 1897. He was a member of School House.

  • Headmaster’s Prize for Drilling and Dumb-Bell Exercises and for Single Stick: Spring 1890.
  • Librarian: Winter 1893 – Summer 1897.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1894 - Spring 1897.
  • Prefect: Winter 1894 - Summer 1897.
  • Games Committee: Spring 1896 - Summer 1897.
  • Magazine Committee: Summer 1896 - Summer 1897.
  • Christmas concert: sang a solo, "One more" - Winter 1896.
  • Captain of Singing: Spring 1896.
  • Head Musician: Winter 1895 - Summer 1897.
  • Higher Certificate at the Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board: Winter 1895.
  • Lovett Exhibition at Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge: Spring 1897.

 

  • Rugby 2nd lot: Captain, Winter 1893.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1896.

Oakham School Rugby 1st XV, 1896 - Henry is standing on the far right.

  • Rovers Cricket Club: Captain, Summer 1895.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1897.
  • Kicking the Football (Drop kick): 2nd place - Spring 1897.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Spring 1897 Rugby Review: “combines well with his partner at half-back. Has been very successful in making openings for the three-quarters. A good kick, and improved in defensive play.”

After Oakham

Henry went to study at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and then at Clergy Training School. He would serve in South Africa with the Cambridge University Rifle Volunteers as their Chaplain.

Cambridge University Rifle Volunteers

The Cambridge University Rifle Volunteers cap badge.

Henry was ordained in 1902 and served as the Curate at Oakham between 1902 and 1905.

He would travel over to Burma as a missionary where he died of a tropical fever.

Arthur Reginald Kirby

(26th September 1879 - )

Arthur was the son of William Kirby. He attended Oakham School from 1894 to 1895.

After Oakham

Arthur served in South Africa as a Trooper in the 65th Company, 17th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry. He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa medal with one clasp.

Imperial Yeomanry

The badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

Arthur also went on to serve in the First World War.

Robert Hugh Kirby

(4th June 1878 - )

Robert was the son of William Kirby of Burley. He attended Oakham School between 1894 and 1895.

After Oakham

Robert served in South Africa where he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with two clasps. 

Queen's South Africa Medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with two clasps.

He served as a Trooper in the 65th Company, Imperial Yeomanry.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

After the war, Robert worked as a hotel proprietor.

Thomas Bertrand Marson

(4th April 1880 – 25th February 1958)

Thomas was the son of T. Marson of Higham Hall, Leicestershire.

Life at Oakham

Thomas attended Oakham School between 1894 and 1897 and was a member of School House. His achievements are listed below:

  • Confirmation: Spring 1895.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1895; Spring 1897.
  • Oxford and Cambridge Board Examination Lower Certificate: Summer 1896.
  • House Prefect: Winter 1896 – Summer 1897.

 

  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1896;  Summer 1897.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1896 - Thomas is standing in the centre.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1897 - Thomas is sat on the far left.

  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1896.

Rugby XV 1896

Oakham School Rugby 1st XV, 1896 - Thomas is standing third from the right.

  • The Mile (open): 2nd place - Spring 1897.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Winter 1896 Cricket Review: “Bats in good style; hard working field”.

Spring 1897 Rugby Review: “transferred after Christmas from full back to take L. C. Blackstone’s place in the three-quarter line. Fields the ball well; good kick and safe tackler”. “At back T. B. Marson has been most successful. His kicking is all that could be desired and his tackling is tolerably safe.”

Winter 1897 Cricket Review: “A fine bat on a fast wicket; his driving on the off side being particularly hard and clean; on a slow wicket a little too much inclined to play forward. Good field.”

 

After Oakham

When the war broke out in 1899, Thomas immediately volunteered. He fought in South Africa as a Private in the 7th Company, 4th Battalion, Sherwood Rangers, Imperial Yeomanry.

Sherwood Rangers Badge

The badge of the Sherwood Rangers.

He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with two clasps. He came back before the end of the Boer War due to the death of his father.

Queens South Africa Medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with two clasps. 

From this point until the outbreak of war in 1914, Thomas worked as a Land Agent and took up polo.

Thomas fought in the First World War originally as part of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry. However, he was soon made a second Lieutenant in the 2nd Mounted Division which was posted to Egypt. The division subsequently fought at Gallipoli and took part in the assault of Chocolate Hill. He was shot below the knee and invalided home to Millbank Hospital. After five unsuccessful operations, Thomas’ leg was amputated above the knee. He was given an artificial leg.

However, civilian life was not satisfactory for Thomas. He kept asking the War Office if he could be reposted in Europe. Their initial replies were negative but it seems that Thomas was quite insistent and made a “thorough nuisance” of himself and so he was allowed back into the military in November 1916 but as a member of the Royal Flying Corps.

The Royal Flying Corps

The badge of the Royal Flying Corps.

As a member of the 56 Squadron, Thomas recorded all of the fights that the squadron took part in and the destruction of 232 enemy planes. He was chosen to go on a special mission to the USA in December 1917 to arrange for American machines and mechanics to go to France.  He was also part of the personnel who was part of the Royal Air Force when it was inaugurated as an official force under General Sir Hugh Trenchard.

After the war, Thomas stayed in France until February 1919 when he returned to the UK and took the position for eight years of private secretary to General Trenchard. He retired in 1927 and was awarded the rank of Captain and an MBE.

Thomas gained the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Victory Medal  British War Medal

The Victory Medal.                                                                                         The British War Medal.

After his military retirement, Thomas worked for the Earl of Ellesmere as a Land Agent for his estates in the Scottish Borders. He would become a renowned expert on the Scottish Shorthorn Breed.

TB Marson's Military Card

Thomas's military card. 

In the Second World War, Thomas served as a Wing Commander in the RAF. He later became the president of the RAF selection board until 1944 when he accepted the position of Deputy Commandant of the Scottish Observer Corps. He retired with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal in 1946.

Thomas was mentioned in despatches several times throughout his military career. He wrote about his war experiences in a part autobiography called "Scarlet and Khaki" (1930) as well as several other books on agricultural policy.

Scarlett to Khaki

Thomas' book "Scarlet to Khaki".

Bibliography
  • https://lysosogalawajiloh.helpyouantibiotic.top/scarlet-and-khaki-book-9427ix.php

Robert Henry Palmer

(19th February 1868 - 5th September 1947)

Robert was born in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.

Life at Oakham

Robert attended Oakham School between 1884 and 1885.

  • Debating Society: Spring 1885.

 

  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1885.
  • Football 1st XI: playing as a goal keeper, a right wing or a centre - Winter 1885; Winter 1886.
  • 100 yards (open): 2nd place - Spring 1885.
  • Quarter-Mile (open): 1st place - Spring 1885.
  • Quarter-Mile (handicap): 1st place (10 yards) - Spring 1885.
  • 250 yards (open): 1st place – Spring 1885.
  • Swimming 250 yards (open): 1st place – Summer 1885.
  • Paper Chase: Winter 1885.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

Winter 1885 Cricket: “R. Palmer played very steadily, and sometimes stopped in a long while”.

Winter 1885 Cricket Batting Averages: 94 runs, 2 times not out, 25 in an innings, 16 innings and an average of 6.10.

 

After Oakham

Robert was recommended for a commission and served in South Africa as a Trooper/Corporal for the 27th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry, winning the Queen’s South Africa Medal with two claps.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

Queens south africa medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with two clasps.

He fought in the First World War with the Canadian Infantry Army and was mentioned in despatches. He was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.

Victory Medal  War Medal

The British Victory Medal.                                                                            The British War Medal.

Following military service, Robert was the Chief Forest Officer in Alberta, Canada.

He was awarded the Croix de Guerre and DSO.

Crois de Guerre

The Croix de Guerre.

Robert died at the age of 79 in Victoria. He is buried at Saint Stephen's Anglican Church Cemetery, Saanich, British Columbia, Canada.

Charles Evelyn Parr

(7th September 1883 – 25th March 1953)

Charles was the son of G. Parr.

Life at Oakham

Charles attended Oakham School between 1892 and 1900.

  • Wanderers Cricket Club: Captain - Spring 1895.
  • Wasps Cricket Team: Spring 1898.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1898; awarded his Colours - Summer 1899.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1898; Winter 1899.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1899.
  • Kicking the Rugby Football: 2nd place - Spring 1900.
  • Kicking the Football (Drop Kick): 2nd place - Spring 1900.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Winter 1899 Cricket Review: “Parr promises well as a bowler, keeping very straight, but would fatigue himself less if he took a shorter run.”

Spring 1900 Rugby Review: “one of the most consistent players in the team; always on the ball and always to be depended upon.”

 

After Oakham

Charles served in South Africa as a Trooper with the 27th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

He was awarded the South Africa Medal with two clasps.

Queens South Africa Medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with two clasps. 

After the war, Charles remained in South Africa where he was a farmer and storekeeper. He served with the Zulu Mounted Rifles during the 1906 Zulu revolt. His military career continued when he served during the 1914 Dutch Revolt.

Zulu Mounted Rifles

The cap badge of the Zulu Mounted Rifles.

James Richardson

(16th June 1875 – 1914)

James was the son of James and Martha Richardson of Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Life at Oakham

James attended Oakham School from 1888 to 1893 and was a member of School House.

  • Debating Society: Spring 1892; Spring 1893.
  • Preliminary Examination for Institution of Surveyors: Winter 1893.

 

  • Football 1st XI: Spring 1892.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Colours - Winter 1892.
  • Rugby: played for West Herts - Winter 1893.
  • 100 Yard: 2nd place -  Spring 1893.
  • High Jump: 2nd place (5ft 0 ½ inches) - Spring 1893.
  • Quarter Mile: 2nd place - Spring 1893.
  • Hurdle Race: 2nd place - Spring 1893.

 

After Oakham

James served in South Africa with the Lincolnshire Volunteers and after the war, he remained in the country to work as a surveyor.

The Lincolnshire Volunteer Badge

The badge of the Lincolnshire Volunteers.

Frederick Morris Roberts

(7th November 1874 - )

Frederick was the son of F.G. Adair Roberts of London.

Life at Oakham

Frederick attended Oakham School between 1892 and 1893.

  • Three Legged Race: 1st place – Spring 1892; 2nd place - Spring 1893.
  • The Mile (open): 2nd place - Spring 1892; 1st place (5min 6sec) - Spring 1893.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1892; Summer 1893.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1892; Winter 1893.
  • Throwing the Cricket Ball: 1st place (91yds 1ft 5in) - Spring 1893.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1893.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Summer 1893 Rugby Review: “a splendid half-back, always quick on the ball, who passes well to the three-quarters.”

 

After Oakham

Frederick went on to study a BA at Caius College, Cambridge. He served in South Africa in the 63rd Imperial Yeomanry (Paget’s Horse) and won the Queen’s South Africa Medal with three clasps.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

Queens South Africa Medal 3 Clasps

The Queen's South Africa Medal with three clasps. 

Outside of military service, Frederick worked in business in manufacturing chemists and as the managing director of a sugar refinery.

There is evidence that he served in the First World War with the Air Ministry. He was promoted to a 2nd Lieutenant in 1918. His experience in a chemical factory was seen to possibly by of use in K.B. Section. He was demobilised on the 13th January 1919.

 

Bibliography
  • Roberts, Frederick Morris, The National Archives, AIR 76/428/161

Joseph William Turner Scott

(23rd September 1883 – 2nd March 1954)

Joseph was the son of Joseph William Scott of Bay House, Oakham.

Life at Oakham

Joseph attended Oakham School between 1893 and 1899.

  • Form 3 Classics Prize: Summer 1896.

After Oakham

Joseph served in South Africa as a Sergeant in the Natal Mounted Police. Subsequently, he would also serve in the British army during the Zulu Rebellion in 1905.

Natal Mounted Police

The cap badge of the Natal Mounted Police. 

Joseph emigrated to South Africa. For his service there, he was awarded the King’s medal.

Joseph served in the First World War as a Staff Sergeant in the Royal Engineers. When the war broke out in 1914, he was serving in Malta but was sent to France in 1915 where he became the Staff Quarter Master Sergeant in the 10th Army Corps HQ.

Royal Engineers

The Royal Engineers cap badge.

He was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Belgian Order of Leopold II with palm of silver, and in 1919, the Meritorious Service Medal in the Birthday Honours.

Croix de Guerre  Order of Leopold II

         The Croix de Guerre medal.                       The order of Leopold II. 

He continued his service with the Royal Engineers becoming the Quarter Master Sergeant in Dehli Barracks, South Tedworth and Bordon Camp HQ in Hampshire.  

Ernest Sills

(12th January 1878 – 21st June 1948)

 

Life at Oakham

Ernest attended Oakham School from 1889 to 1896 and was a member of School House.

  • Confirmation: Summer 1894.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1896.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1894 ; Summer 1895; Summer 1896.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1894 - Ernest is standing second from left.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1895 - Ernest is standing third from left.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1896 - Ernest is sitting on the far right.

  • Gymnasium display (including flying rings, parallel bard, horizontal bar, dumb-bells and boxing): Winter 1894; Spring 1895; Winter 1895.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1894; Winter 1895.

Oakham School Rugby 1st XV, 1894 - Ernest is sat on the front row, in the middle.

  • Swimming Running Headers: 1st place - Summer 1895.
  • Kicking Rugby Football: 2nd place - Spring 1885.
  • The Mile: 3rd place - Spring 1885.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Winter 1894 Cricket Review: “has a good style, but rather too fond of playing at the pitch of the ball, and does not watch the ball enough. Has improved in the field.”

Spring 1894 Rugby Review: “An almost untried back, who kicks well with both feet. Must go for his man harder”.

Winter 1895 Cricket Review: “very stylish bat, should watch the ball more. Fair field.”

Spring 1895 Rugby Review: “has justified his removal to the three-quarter line – plays with great confidence, and combines well with Day.”

Winter 1896 Cricket Review: “Sills was a brilliant exception, but though he was seldom out for less than 20, he did not make half the runs he is worth”.  “Bats in fine style, and seldom fails to score”.

 

After Oakham

Ernest served in South Africa as a Corporal in the Sherwood Rangers, 10th Company, 3rd Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

He was awarded the Queens South Africa Medal with four clasps.

Queens SOuth Africa Medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with four clasps.

Ernest also served in the First World War as a Lieutenant in the Lancers and the Royal Field Artillery.

The Lancers

The Lancers' cap badge.

Royal Artillery

The cap badge of the Royal Artillery.

Outside of military service, Ernest was a farmer in South Africa and California, as well as a lumberjack in Canada.

Sir Joseph Oliver Skevington

(2nd February 1873 – 29th February 1952)

Sir-Joseph-Oliver-Skevington NPG x185305

Sir Joseph Oliver Skevington, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, NPG x185305.

Joseph was the son of J. H. Skevington (JP).

Life at Oakham

Joseph attended Oakham School from 1888 to 1890. His school achievements are listed below:

  • The Elocution Society: Spring 1889.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1889; Spring 1890.
  • Confirmation: Spring 1889.
  • Football 1st XI: Colours - Winter 1888; Winter 1889.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1889.
  • Three Legged Race: 2nd place - Spring 1890.
  • Chapel: Reading “Baby in the train” – Spring 1890.

 

After Oakham

Joseph studied at St. Mary’s Hospital, London and achieved an MRCS, LRCP and FRCS in 1898, becoming a surgeon. He spent a period as a Clinical Assistant at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

He served in South Africa as a civil surgeon in the South African Field Forces. He was one of the first doctors to take X-rays in a war.

Joseph served in the First World War as initially a senior civil surgeon with the British Red Cross (Rouen) and then a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was invalided home in 1915.

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross badge.

Royal Army Medical Corps

The badge of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

His medical career saw Joseph become the Senior Surgeon at the King Edward VII hospital in Windsor.

He was part of the Home Guard in the Second World War, using his medical knowledge as a Surgeon Major. He was also Chairman of the Berkshire Local Medical War Committee.

He was awarded a KCVO (Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) in 1919.

KCVO

The KCVO medal.

Joseph retired in 1937 and died at home in 1952.

 

Bibliography

Charles James Slade

(30th March 1866 - )

Charles was born to Rev. James and Emily Slade in Bolton-le-Moor, Lancashire.

Life at Oakham

Charles attended Oakham School between 1879 and 1881. He was a member of School House. He do not possess much information about his achievements at school. He was a School Prefect and was awarded his Cricket and Football Colours.

After Oakham

Charles went to study at St. John’s College Cambridge. He served in South Africa as a Lieutenant in the Volunteer Company of Manchester but afterwards, went on to become a merchant banker.

He went on to serve in the First World War as a Captain in the Manchester Regiment in France.

Manchester Regiment

The cap badge of the Manchester Regiment.

Arthur Lionel Hall Smith

(16th February 1874 - )

Arthur was the son of Dr. Solomon Smith of Halifax. He attended Oakham School between 1886 and 1889.

After Oakham

Arthur went to Caius College, Cambridge to read Medicine. He was the Senior Assistant at University College Hospital, House Physician at the General Lying-on Hospital at Lambeth, House Physician at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Senior House Surgeon, Assistant Physician at General Lying-in Hospital in Lambeth, Grosvenor Hospital for Women, and Lecturer in Gynaecology at King Edward V11 Medical School in Singapore. He was a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and was awarded an MB BChir (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)

He served in South Africa as a surgeon in the South African Field Force.

George Herbert Seneca Steer

(4th August 1877 – 27th November 1964)

George was the son of Rev. G. Steer of Stamford.

Life at Oakham

George attended Oakham School between 1890 and 1896. He was a member of School House.

  • Quarter-Mile (under 14): 1st place (1min 132/5 sec)- Spring 1891.
  • High Jump (under 15): 2nd place - Spring 1892.
  • Rugby C. Killick’s XV: Spring 1894.
  • The Mile (open): 3rd place - Spring 1894; 1st place (5min 11sec) - Spring 1895.
  • Quarter-Mile (open): 3rd place - Spring 1895.
  • Hurdle Race (open): 1st place - Spring 1895.
  • Rugby 1st XV: a forward, Colours - Winter 1894; Winter 1895.
  • Swimming Running Headers: 2nd place - Spring 1895.
  • Swimming four lengths: 1st place - Summer 1895.
  • Swimming ten lengths: 1st place - Summer 1895.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1895.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1896.

 

  • Confirmation: Spring 1892.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1894; Spring 1895; Spring 1896.
  • House Prefect: Winter 1895 – Spring 1896.
  • Games Committee: Winter 1895 – Winter 1895.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Spring 1895 Rugby Review: “A good forward in the line-out and open”.

Spring 1896 Rugby Review: “an energetic forward, better in the open than in the scrum”.

 

After Oakham

George went to Wadham College at Oxford University. He gained his rugby colours at Wadham and was chosen to represent Oxford in the Inter-University Skating match.

He served in South Africa as a private in the 59th company, 15th battalion, Imperial Yeomanry.

The Imperial Yeomanry cap badge.

During the fighting he was commissioned into the King’s Liverpool Regiment.

King's Liverpool

The cap badge for the King's Liverpool Regiment.

He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with five clasps.

The Queen's South Africa Medal with five clasps.

Outside of the military, Steer worked in the civil service in Rhodesia.

George Henry S. Taylor

(1874 – 8th May 1904)

George was the son of Thomas Taylor of Oakham. He attended Oakham School between 1888 and 1889.

After Oakham

George served in South Africa as a Saddler with the 7th Company, 4th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry.

Imperial Yeomanry

The cap badge of the Imperial Yeomanry.

He was awarded the South Africa Medal with four clasps.

Queens South Africa Medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal with four clasps.

Hugh Fawcett Warden

(10th March 1871 - 1951)

Hugh was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Warden of Kirby Londsale, Lancashire. He was born in Easthamstead, Berkshire. He attended Oakham School between 1882 and 1885, having then moved to Haileybury.

After Oakham

Hugh joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1889 and was, a year later, commissioned into the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment as a Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion. In 1892, Warden was transferred into the Royal West Surrey Regiment and served with then in Malta and India. In 1898, Hugh was made a Captain and went out to serve in South Africa. He was mentioned in despatches twice and eventually wounded and invalided back home in February 1900.

Queen's Own Surrey Regiment

The cap badge for the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment.

For his service, Hugh was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with five clasps and the King’s South Africa Medal with two clasps.

     The Queen's South Africa Medal          The Kings Medal with two clasps

                                          The Queen's South Africa Medal with five clasps.                          The King's Medal with two clasps.

He would later go onto to fight in the First World War as a Lieutenant Colonel with the West Surrey. He was awarded a DSO, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

DSO  Victory Medal  British War Medal

                                                       The DSO Medal.                                                                                                 The British War Medal.

Charles Hickson Willan

(31st December 1875 - )

Charles was the son of Dr. George Willan of Corby and  Elizabeth Jane Hickson of Melon Mowbray. His brother, George Thomas, attended Oakham School as well and also fought in the Boer War.

Life at Oakham

Charles attended Oakham School between 1888 and 1893.

  • 100 yards (under 14): 1st place - Spring 1899.
  • Rugby 1st XV: a forward, Winter 1892.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

Summer 1893 Rugby Review: “plays up well, but lacks pace and energy”.

 

After Oakham

Charles served in South Africa with the Border Mounted Rifles.

Border Mounted Rifles

The Border Mounted Rifles cap badge.

Charles wrote a letter to the school Magazine in Summer 1900 regarding his experiences with the South African Border Mounted Rifles.

After the war, he remained in South Africa and would later serve in the First World War as a Private under the South African Army.

South African Army

The cap badge of the South African Army.

George Thomas Willan

(2nd January 1875 – 24th June 1949)

GT Willan 1912

George Thomas Willan in 1912. Reproduced by kind permission of the Wellcome Collection.

George was the son of Dr. George Thomas Willan and brother of Charles Hickson.

Life at Oakham

George attended Oakham between 1886 and 1893. His achievements at school are listed below:

  • Lower VI General Prize: Winter 1891.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1892; Spring 1893.
  • Committee for Athletics: Spring 1893.
  • Oxford and Cambridge Board Higher Certificate: Summer 1893.

 

  • High Jump (under 16): 2nd place - Spring 1889.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1890.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1891 - Summer 1893.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI, 1892 - George is standing on the far right.

  • Football 2nd XI: a right-wing, Spring 1891.
  • High Jump (open): 2nd place - Spring 1892; 1st place (5ft 4 ¾ inches) - Spring 1893.
  • Broad Jump (open): 3rd place - Spring 1892; 1st place - Spring 1893.
  • Hurdle Race (open): 2nd place - Spring 1892.
  • Rugby 1st XV: a three-quarter back, Colours - Winter 1892.
  • Throwing the Cricket Ball: 2nd place - Spring 1893.
  • Hurdle Race (open): 1st place (182/5 sec) - Spring 1893.

George was confirmed in Oakham Parish Church by the Right Reverend Bishop Mitchinson in Spring 1891.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

Winter 1891 Cricket Review: “undoubtedly the best fielder in the team, and is seen at his best at either cover-point or long-field. Bats pluckily in a style of his own, and has been most useful in saving  two or three matches; a fair change bowler, but should avoid bowling  too short at first”.

Winter 1892 Cricket Review: “a brilliant fieldsman, hits out with great determination, but too much in the air, and not always with a straight bat, fair change bowler”.

Winter 1893 Cricket Review: “a very good bat with great hitting power; a beautiful field at cover point”.

George’s batting average: 13 innings, 4 times not out, 242 runs, 57 in an innings, and an average of 26.66.

George’s bowling average: 75 overs, 16 maidens, 209 runs, 8 wickets, and an average of 26.12.

 

After Oakham

George went to study a BA at Emmanuel College Cambridge and Guy Hospital in London before serving in South Africa as a Medical Officer in the 17th Lancers. He was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians.

Willan

Reproduced by kind permission of the Wellcome Collection.

Lancers

The Lancer's cap badge.

George continued his sporting prowess by competing in cricket matches for Guy’s Hospital and Kent Cricket Club and rowed for Cambridge.

Following the Boer War, George set up a medical practice in Milton Regis, Kent and joined the Territorial Army. In fact, it was whilst he was on a training camp with the TA that war was declared with Germany on the 4th August 1914.

Willian ww1

Reproduced by kind permission of the Wellcome Collection.

George volunteered to go to war at once and initially went to France with the 82nd Field Ambulance, 27th Division. He was transferred to Salonika in Greece in 1917 where he was awarded the DSO.

GT Willan's DSO

The DSO awarded to Willan. Reproduced by kind permission of the Wellcome Collection.

He became Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

RAMC

The cap badge of the Royal Army Military Corps.

George was subsequently mentioned in despatches. In 1918, he was wounded and sent back to Britain where, while waiting to go back to the front, he broke his pelvis playing polo. Having overcome an injury which threatened to leave him wheelchair bound, George left the private medical practice to become a doctor for Carre Biscuit Company.

He maintained an interest in his military life by being a member of several veteran groups such as the South African Veterans and the Ypres League. After losing his job because of the great depression, George was offered a partnership in a medical practice in Hove, Sussex.

During the Second World War, he was again linked with the army, running a small casualty reception near Brighton. Wounded soldiers would be brought here awaiting transfer to a bigger, more appropriate hospital.

WW2 Hospital Willan

A photograph of George's hospital staff in the Second World War. Reproduced by kind permission of the Wellcome Collection.

George’s life was dedicated to medicine and helping people and he was visiting patients even on the morning of his death.

Death Newspaper Willan

A copy of the newspaper report announcing George's death. Reproduced by kind permission of the Wellcome Collection.

 

Bibliography
  • Souvenirs of Lieutenant Colonel George Thomas Willan, Wellcome Library, RAMC/1282

John Bainbridge Wood

(9th March 1876 – 1st June 1901)

John was the son of Rev. William and Isabel Wood, the rector of Thorpe by Newark.

Life at Oakham

John attended Oakham School between 1888 and 1893. He was a member of Bank House and then School House.

  • Football XI: played in Bank House team - Winter 1889.
  • Paperchase: Winter 1890.
  • Confirmation: Summer 1891.
  • Three Legged Race: 2nd place - Spring 1892.
  • Rugby XV: awarded his cap for Old Boy - Winter 1892.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1892.

 

After Oakham

John fought in South Africa as a Trooper in Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts. He was killed in action at Pienaars River.

Kitchener's Fighting Scouts

Kitchener's Fighting Scouts cap badge.

He has been buried three times, having been exhumed and moved twice. His final resting place is Petronella Cemetery. His name is featured on a memorial at the cemetery near the city of Tswane.

Arthur Ernest Wright

(25th March 1866 - 13th March 1950)

Arthur was the son of Thomas Wight of The Hollies, Stoneygate, Leicester.

Life at Oakham

Arthur attended Oakham School between 1881 and 1882. Unfortunately, we do not possess much information about his life and achievements at school. He seems to have been awarded his Cricket and Football Colours while a pupil at Oakham.

After Oakham

Arthur worked as a solicitor before he served in South Africa with the Lincolnshire Regiment.

The Lincolnshire Regiment Badge

The cap badge of the Lincolnshire Regiment. 

He would also serve in the First World War as a Major and Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Army Service Corps.

Royal Army Service Corps

The Royal Army Service Corp cap badge.

Arthur died at the age of 83. He is buried at Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester.

Letters written from the front

Easter 1901 Oakhamian vol 17, no. 1. p. 13

Easter 1901 Oakhamian vol 17, no. 1. p. 14

Easter 1902 Oakhamian vol 18, no. 1. p. 9

1902 Oakhamian vol 18, no. 1. pp. 10 - 11

Easter 1902 Oakhamian vol 18, no. 1. pp. 12 - 13

Easter 1902 Oakhamian vol 18, no. 1. p. 14

Summer 1901 Oakhamian vol 17, no. 2. pp. 32 - 33

Christmas 1900 Oakhamian, vol. 16, no. 3 p. 62