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Oakham School Archives

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


The Malayan Emergency lasted from 1948 to 1960. In June 1948, The British government declared a state of emergency when the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA) began targeting mines, police, rubber plantations, workers houses and trains with violence and destruction.

In a quick response, the British sent over reinforcements (many National Servicemen) to help with the six Gurkha, three British and two Malay battalions already stationed there.

The MNLA used guerrilla tactics which, although were slowed by the British forces, were never truly stopped.

So, in a non-military manoeuvre, the British built new villages for Chinese squatters (Chinese citizens who lived outside of urban Malayan life). Education, medical care, and good housing were provided in an attempt to remove this influence support base from the MNLA.

The height of the conflict has often been seen as 1951 when the British High Commissioner, Sir Henry Gurney, was killed by the communists. Gurney was replaced by General Sir Gerald Templer. Templer was a keen advocate of a ‘hearts and minds’ policy, continuing the policy of building new settlements for the local population and promising Malay independence following the defeat of the communists. Chinese citizens were granted Malay citizenship. This won Templer a lot of support from nationalists.

In 1960, the state of emergency was declared to be over. 1800 people had been killed during the conflict with the communists losing over 6000 men.



Gurkha's in the Malayan Jungle.

Gurkha's in the Malayan Jungle.

Old Oakhamians who fought in the Malayan Emergency

George Henry Wallace Goode

(13th July 1912 – 2006)

Life at Oakham

George attended Oakham School between 1925 and 1931. He was a member of School House.

  • Prefect: Winter 1929 - Summer 1930.
  • Head Prefect: Winter 1930.
  • Honorary Secretary of the Games' Committee: Summer 1930.
  • Games committee: Summer 1930 - Spring 1931.


  • 100 yards (junior): 3rd place - Spring 1928.
  • Long jump (junior): 1st place – Spring 1928.
  • Quarter-Mile handicap: 3rd place - Spring 1928; 3rd place - Spring 1929.
  • High jump: 2nd place - Spring 1928.
  • House relay: ran for School House B, 1st place - Spring 1928; ran for School House A, 1st place - Spring 1929.
  • High jump (senior): 3rd place - Spring 1929.
  • Rugby 1st XV:  Winter 1929; Winter 1930.
  • Athletics: Captain – Spring 1930.
  • 100 yards (senior): 1st place (114/5 sec)  - Spring 1930; 1st place (11sec) - Spring 1931.
  • Long jump (senior): 3rd place - Spring 1930.
  • High jump (senior): 2nd place - Spring 1930; 3rd place - Spring 1931.
  • 120 yards hurdles: 3rd place – Spring 1930.
  • Quarter-Mile (senior): 2nd place - Spring 1930; 2nd place - Spring 1931.
  • House relay: won division II with Hodge Wing – Spring 1930.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Captain - Summer 1930.


  • O.T.C.: promoted to Corporal - Spring 1929; Certificate 'A' - Spring 1929; promoted to Sergeant - Summer 1929; promoted to Company Sergeant Major - Summer 1930.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

Spring 1930 Rugby Review: “The fastest man in the side but lacking in determination and dash. Very uncertain hands; improved in defence late in the season.”

Spring 1931 Rugby Review: “Has speed and runs with determination, while he has developed a fair hand off. His hands are still uncertain; but his tackling has improved.”


After Oakham

George studied at Worcester College, Oxford and earned an LLB in Law. He went on to become a barrister.

He was a Lieutenant Colonel, later Colonel, in the 1st Battalion The Northern Rhodesia Regiment.

Northern Rhodesia Regiment Badge

The Northern Rhodesia Regiment badge.

George was awarded an MBE, OBE, CBE, DSO, and mentioned in despatches twice.

His portrait can be found in the National Portrait Gallery via this link:

Conroy Olverton Hilditch

(18th March 1914 – 15th May 1985)


Life at Oakham

Conroy attended Oakham School between 1926 and 1932. He was a member of Junior House, and then of Wharflands.

  • Scouts: Patrol leader.
  • O.T.C.: obtained his Certificate A – Winter 1930; promoted to Lance Corporal - Spring 1931.
  • Drama: played in the Oakham School Players' production of "Something to Talk About" - Spring 1931; played in the Oakham School Players' production of "The Little Man" – Spring 1932.
  • Secretary of the Reading Society: Winter 1931.


  • Boxing: reached the second round o the featherweight competition – Spring 1928.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1930.
  • Shooting: Winter 1931.
  • Swimming: Captain - Spring 1932.


  • Trustees' Prize for Christmas term: Winter 1928.
  • Form 4B Latin Prize: Summer 1931.


After Oakham

Conroy was a banker with National Westminster and after his military service, he was the personal assistant to the Bishop of Coventry.

He served in the Second World War as Major in the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Burma. He would continue this role in the Malayan Emergency.

Royal Welch Fusiliers

The Royal Welch Fusiliers cap badge.

Bruce Silverwood Lee

(15th December 1919 – 30th January 1993)

Life at Oakham

Bruce attended Oakham School between 1932 and 1938. He was a member of School House.

  • House prefect.
  • Form IV A Prize: Winter 1934.


  • O.T.C: won the Fenwick Cup an the Bowes Cup with Number 3 Platoon - Spring 1936; obtained his Certificate 'A' - Winter 1936; promoted to Lance Corporal - Winter 1936; promoted to Corporal - Spring 1937; promoted to Sergeant - Spring 1938.


  • Quarter-Mile handicap (open): 3rd place - Spring 1936.
  • 100 yards (senior): 3rd place - Spring 1937; 1st place - Spring 1938.
  • 220 yards (senior): 1st place - Spring 1938.
  • Rugby 2nd XV: Winter 1937.


After Oakham

Bruce went onto study at RMC Sandhurst. He became a Major in the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.

Lincolnshire's Cap Badge

The Lincolnshire's Cap Badge.

Alan Cedric Scott Ross


Life at Oakham

Alan attended Oakham School between 1941 and 1945. He was a member of Junior House and then School House.

  • Scouts: Patrol leader - Spring 1942.
  • O.T.C.: promoted to Corporal; obtained his Certificate 'A'.


  • Steeplechase (junior): 4th place – Spring 1944.
  • Steeplechase (senior): 4th place – Winter 1944.


  • School Certificate.


After Oakham

Alan studied at the London School of Architecture before moving onto RMC Sandhurst and RSME. He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers serving in the Malayan Emergency. He was later made a Brigadier.

Royal Engineers Badge

The Royal Engineers cap badge.

Alan was mentioned in despatches.

David Herbert Kenneth Temple Sharp

(5th September 1921 – 7th July 1981)


Life at Oakham

David attended Oakham School between 1935 and 1939. He was a member of Wharflands. His achievements are listed below:

  • High jump (junior): 2nd place – Spring 1937.
  • Rugby under 14 XV: Winter 1938.


  • O.T.C: promoted to Lance Corporal – Winter 1937; obtained his Certificate 'A' - Spring 1938; promoted to Corporal - Spring 1938; won the Bowes cup with COY H.Q. and no.4 Platoon – Spring 1938; promoted to Sergeant - Winter 1938; promoted to Company Sergeant Major - Summer 1939.
  • Music: performed "Melody in F" by Rubenstein in an Organ recital in the chapel – Summer 1938; conducted the "Creation Hymn" for the school choir - Summer 1939.


  • Music Prefect: Spring 1939.
  • Head Musician: Summer 1939.
  • School Prefect: Summer 1939.
  • Music Prize: Summer 1939.


After Oakham

David worked at the North Thames Gas Board as well as serving in the Indian Army.

Indian Army Badge

The Indian Army Badge.

David was a Major in the Royal Army Service Corps during the Malayan Emergency.

Royal Army Medical Corps

The Royal Army Medical Corps badge.

He was mentioned in despatches.