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Oakham School Archives

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


Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of its satellite states also broke up in its aftermath. This included Yugoslavia in 1991. A civil war then ensued in the new republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The country was made up of many different ethnicities and the Bosnian Serbs wanted to cleanse their land of non-Serbs. During the course of the war, over 2 million people were driven from their homes.

The UN sent in troops in 1992 to protect aid convoys in the region which were there to support refugees. During Operation Grapple, over 2,400 British troops were deployed to the region. The British found themselves not only with responsibilities to protect convoys but also keep the peace between the Croats and Muslims who had also turned on one another.

The conflict ended in 1994 but hostilities between the different ethnic communities continued. The only way to bring the Serbians to the negotiating table was through NATO bombing campaigns and a major offensive by the Croatian Army.



Old Oakhamians who fought in Bosnia-Herzogovina

Andrew Maxwell Baird MacDonald

Life at Oakham

Andrew attended Oakham School between 1979 and 1984. He was a member of Johnsons and School House.

  • Junior Athletics: Summer 1980.
  • Intermediate Athletics: Summer 1982.
  • Senior Athletics: Summer 1983; awarded Colours - Summer 1984.
  • Hurdles: ran in the final - Summer 1982; won the trophy for best performance in 110m hurdles - Summer 1984; won the County title - Summer 1984.


  • C.C.F.: Visited Weymouth for Royal Navy/Royal Marine day – Winter 1982; 9th place in the Royal Signals National Radio Net Competition – Summer 1983; Port Operating Certificate – Summer 1983; promoted to QMSI  – 1984.
  • Music: played the guitar in a lunchtime music concert – May 1983.


After Oakham

Andrew studied Engineering at Imperial College London, and also studied at RNC Dartmouth. He was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy serving on HMS York during Operations Lodestar, Palatine, and Oculus in the Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict.

Benjamin H. Walsgrove

Life at Oakham

Benjamin attended Oakham School between 1980 and 1987. He was a member of Sargants, Johnsons and School House.

  • School council for Johnsons: Winter 1982.
  • Prefect: Winter 1985 - Summer 1986.
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award: achieved Bronze, silver, and gold awards.
  • Anderson Prize: Summer 1985.
  • Charity: organised the Diana Ridley fun run – May 1987.


  • Rugby Jerwood Colts XV: Winter 1980.
  • Rugby Jerwoods 1st XV: awarded Colours - Winter 1981.
  • Rugby Junior Colts A XV: Winter 1982.
  • Rugby under 14: awarded Colours - Winter 1983.
  • Rugby Senior Colts A XV: Captain - Winter 1984.
  • Rugby 2nd XV: Winter 1985.
  • Rugby 1st XV: awarded Colours - Winter 1985; member of the squad touring New Zealand - Summer 1986; Winter 1986.

Oakham School Rugby 1st XV, 1985 - Ben is standing on the far left.

Oakham School Rugby 1st XV, 1986 - Ben is sat fourth from the right.

Walsgrove rugby

Walsgrove rugby

  • Rugby England under 19: Summer/Winter 1986.
  • Cricket Jerwood Colts XI: Summer 1981; Summer 1982.
  • Rugby Jerwoods sevens: Winter/Spring 1981-1982.
  • Rugby Sevens: Spring 1984; Spring 1986; Spring 1987.
  • Running Junior Colts: Spring 1982.
  • Athletics Intermediate team: Summer 1982; Summer 1983; awarded Colours - Summer 1984.
  • Athletics under 16: Summer 1985.
  • Athletics Boys Senior team: Summer 1987.
  • 400m: best performance - Summer 1985.
  • 100m, 200m and 400m: best performances - Summer 1986.
  • Hockey Junior Colts XI: Spring 1983.
  • Hockey Independent schools under 14: touring to Holland – Spring 1983.
  • Hockey Colts XI: Spring 1984; Spring 1985.
  • Hockey 3rd XI: Spring 1986.
  • Hockey 1st XI: Spring 1987.

Oakham School Hockey 1st XI, 1987 - Ben is sat on the far left.

  • Interhouse Football XI: Spring 1984.
  • Shooting: Winter 1984.
  • Golf: Winter 1984.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Winter/Spring 1981/1982 Rugby Review: “Indeed, Ben scored in all but one game and his personal skills are developing due to his own hard work”.


After Oakham

Benjamin studied Land Management BSc at Reading University. He was a Captain in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment during the Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict, UNHCR operation.

Duke of Wellington's Regiment

The badge of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment.


Ahmici massacre, Bosnia

Ahmici massacre, Bosnia

Bosnia Map

Map of the Bosnia campaigns