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Oakham School Archives

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


Britain wanted to make Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo a part of the Federation of Malaysia. They would join Singapore and other states in the Malayan Peninsula.

The president of Indonesia wanted to stop the British influence in the area. In 1962, pro-Indonesian forces tried to capture the Sultan of Brunei. The British responded by sending in forces that were stationed in Singapore (including the Queen’s Own Highlanders and the Royal Marine Commando). The Indonesian forces withdraw and signed a treaty in August 1966.

Casualties: 114 Commonwealth soldiers were killed and 180 wounded.



Old Oakhamian who fought in the Malayan Peninsula

Jonathan James Thomson, CBE, QGM

Life at Oakham

Jonathan attended Oakham School between 1958 and 1963. He was a member of Wharflands house.

  • Rugby under 14: Winter 1958.
  • Interhouse Rugby: Spring 1960.
  • Rugby 3rd XV: Winter 1960.
  • Rugby 2nd XV: Winter 1961; gained Colours – Winter 1962; Captain – Winter 1962.
  • Steeplechase (intermediate): 2nd place – Winter 1958; 2nd place - Winter 1959.
  • Steeplechase (senior): 3rd place - Spring 1960; 2nd place – Winter 1961.
  • Cross-Country: Winter 1959; Spring 1961; Captain - Winter 1962; Summer 1963.
  • Athletics: awarded Junior Colours – Summer 1961; awarded Senior Colours – Summer 1962; Vice-Captain – Summer 1962; awarded Full Colours – Winter 1962; awarded Senior Club Colours – Summer 1963.
  • Leicestershire and Rutland A.A.A. Championship: 12th place – Spring 1962.
  • 880 yards (intermediate): 2nd place – Winter 1961.
  • 110 yards hurdles (intermediate): 2nd place – Winter 1961.
  • Running VIII: Spring 1962.
  • The Mile (senior): 2nd place – Summer 1962; 1st place (4 min 53.7 sec) – Summer 1963.
  • 440 yards (senior): 4th place – Summer 1963.
  • 880 yards (senior): 2nd place – Summer 1963.
  • Hockey 3rd XI: Spring 1962.
  • Hockey 2nd XI: Captain – Spring 1963.
  • Cricket 3rd XI: Summer 1962.


  • Royal Life Saving Society’s Examinations: bronze medallion – Winter 1960.
  • C.C.F.: promoted to Corporal – Summer 1962; promoted to L/Sgt – Winter 1962; Drum Major - Winter 1962; promoted to Sgt – Spring 1963; promoted to C.S.M. – Summer 1963; Certificate ‘A’.
  • Literary Society: Winter 1960.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1963.


  • Head of House: Winter 1962 - Summer 1963.
  • School prefect: Winter 1962 to Summer 1963.
  • Head Chapel Warden: Winter 1962 - Summer 1963.
  • Secretary of the Chapel Council: Winter 1962 - Summer 1963.
  • Nelson Firth Prize for Useful Service to the School: Summer 1963.

Jonathan was an active member of several School Clubs, including​​​​​​​ the 21 Club, the Oakham Play Reading Society, the Oakham School Jazz Appreciation Society, the Sailing & Canoeing Society.


After Oakham

Jonathan was a Second Lieutenant, later Brigadier, in the Royal Marines No. 40 Commando.

Royal Marine Badge

The badge of the Royal Marines.

Jonathan also served in the Malay Peninsula, Northern Ireland, The Falklands War in 1982, the Northern Iraq Operation Safe Haven in 1991, and the Congo in 1997.

He came back to the UK in March 1971 from two years in Malaysia. In 1972 he was stationed at Arbroath with No.45 Commando Group. IN 1967, he made a new Corps record for the Mile at P.T. and S.O., Eastmey. He competed for Great Britain in the International Orienteering Championships. He had three tours of duty in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1973.

Jonathan was mentioned in despatches and awarded a CBE and the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.

Queen's Gallantry Medal

The Queen's Gallantry Medal.