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Oakham School Archives

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


The invasion of Iraq began in March 2003 when Britain and America sent in troops to depose Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein. The other aims of the war were to eliminate any weapons of mass destruction and to stop the Iraqi support of terrorism.

Named Operation Telic, the invasion began by air strikes on Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. Hussein had been paranoid about the loyalty of his army and repeatedly purged it of people whom he distrusted. This resulted in a weakened and unsure Iraqi force who quickly capitulated against the allied forces. By the 9th April 2003, US troops were in Baghdad and Hussein’s reign was over. However fighting continued with insurgent groups targeting the British and any Iraqi’s who dared to work with them. Many of these insurant had come from Hussein’s Fedayeen paramilitaries.

The war in the UK had been controversial from its inception. Despite pressure and initial plans to reduce British presence in the area to one brigade, it was clear that Iraq needed to be stabilised before the British withdrew. From then on, the British help to train Iraqi police, man checkpoints and undertake patrols. In December 2005, the first democratic elections in decades were held in Iraq. However, the new Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, was hostile to the British. The peak of the violence was in 2006. In 2007, most of the British bases were handed over into the control of Iraqi forces (apart from Basara camp).

With the conflict easing, the new British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced that UK troops would leave Iraq in July 2009. Some British and American training mentors and advisors did remain in the country until 2011.

Casualties: 179 UK soldiers were killed during the Iraq War.

Soldiers in Iraq


Old Oakhamians who fought in the Iraq War

Mark Edward

Life at Oakham

Mark attended Oakham School between 1990 and 1995. He was a member of Wharflands and then School House.

  • Prefect: Winter 1993 - Summer 1994.
  • Hockey Junior Colts B: Spring 1991.
  • Rugby Colts A and B XV: Winter 1991.
  • Rugby under 16 B XV: Winter 1992.
  • Rugby 4th XV: Captain – Winter 1993; Winter 1994.
  • Cross Country Colts: Spring 1993.


  • Drama: played the Prince in "Romeo and Juliet" – Summer 1992; played Penelope’s Uncle and the Bishop of Lax in the Wharflands production of "See How They Run" – Winter 1992.
  • C.C.F.: attachment to the Canadian Army on a leadership course: Spring 1993; awarded an Army Scholarship – Winter 1993.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Oakhamian Magazine Winter 1994: “he captained for the second year and gave an outstanding example of leadership by example”.


After Oakham

Mark studied Politics at Leeds University. He was a Captain and later a Major in the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. He served in the Second Gulf War in Operation Telic 1.

Royal Horse Artillery

The badge of the Royal Horse Artillery.

Mark also took part in Operation Herrick in the Afghanistan conflict.

Simon C. Feek

Feek CCF

Simon in the C.C.F.

Life at Oakham

Simon attended Oakham School between 1988 and 1996. He was a member of Peterborough House, Wharflands and School House. His school achievements are listed below:

  • Drama: played Robin Hood in "Robin Hood Tales from Sherwood Forest" – Winter 1989; Performed in "Bugsy Malone" – Winter 1990; Theatre Sports – Summer 1991; played the Shoe shop owner in "Gregory’s Girl" – Spring 1993; Performed in the Wharflands-Stevens production of “Choice” – Spring 1993; in charge of the lights for the production of “An Inspector Calls” – Spring 1994.

Feek in Robin Hood

Simon in the production of Robin Hood.

  • Rugby Jerwoods Colts XV: Winter 1989.
  • Rugby 4th XV: Winter 1994; Winter 1995.
  • Winter Sports: Middle School ski trip to Zell am See – Winter 1992.
  • Cross-country Senior team: Spring 1993.


  • C.C.F.- qualified to be Leading Cadet – Spring 1993; member of the team that finished 4th in the Tremlett Trophy for the direction of gunnery – Spring 1993; Warrant Officer – Spring 1996.


After Oakham

Simon served in the Second Gulf War as part of Operation Telic 2.

William G. O’Chee

Chee Debating

Life at Oakham

William attended Oakham School between 1982 and 1983. He was in Wharflands and School House.

  • Prefect: Spring 1983 - Summer 1983.
  • Interhouse Public Speaking competition: Winter 1982.
  • Leicester Mercury Schools’ debating: won the trophy - Winter 1982.
  • English Society: Winter 1982.
  • Member of Vox: Winter 1982 - Winter 1983.
  • John Story English Prize: Summer 1983.
  • Rickey Webb Short Story Prize: Summer 1983.
  • Represented the Monster Raving Loony Party in the school elections: Summer/Winter 1983.
    • 1st candidate to submit his name and his policies were “giving of land rights to sperm whales, the abolition of state education, the launching of a campaign to prevent porpoises drink-driving, and the restoration of the House of Tarquin after 2400 years of exile.”
    • “Mr O’Chee appeared at meetings wearing flippers and roamed the floor of the Ashburton carrying a fishing net with a part hat upon his head. He read poetry from the rood of the English Block (unfortunately failing to fall off) and his supporters attempted to convey him to the polls in a bed. His most daring exploit came on the eve of the election when he captured and imprisoned the conservative candidate in a house of ill repute (namely Deanscroft).
    • He came in 3rd position with 8 votes (13%)

Chee Election

  • Debating union: President - Summer/Winter 1983.
  • The International Club: Summer/Winter 1983.

O'Chee Poem


After Oakham

William studied Jurisprudence (LLB) at Brasenose College, Oxford University. He worked in financial services, investment banking, law, as a sustainability consultant, and even as an Australian Senator.

He was a Captain in the Intelligence Corps Australian Army. He served in various Operation Telics in the Second Gulf War.

Australian Army Intelligence Corps

The badge of the Australian Army Intelligence Corps.

Charles Standley

Life at Oakham

Charles attended Oakham School between 1989 and 1997. He  was a member of Peterborough House, Johnsons, and School House.

  • Jerwoods Colts XV: Winter 1989; Winter 1990.
  • Rugby Jerwoods 1st XV: Winter 1991.
  • Hockey under 12 Jerwoods Colts: Spring 1990.
  • Hockey Jerwoods Reserve: Spring 1991.
  • Hockey under 13 B XI: Spring 1992; Spring 1993.
  • Rugby Jerwoods Seven-A-Side: reached the quarter final of the Oakham Sevens and represented Oakham at the National Sevens in London - Spring 1992.
  • Crickey Jerwoods 1st XI: Summer 1992.
  • Cricket 3rd XI: 35 runs in the season – Summer 1995.
  • Crickey 2nd XI: Summer 1996; Summer 1997.
  • Football 2nd XI: Spring 1997.


  • Public Speaking- final of the Inter-house competition for Johnsons – Winter 1994; awarded Best Individual Speaker in the House Public Speaking Competition – Winter 1995.

Oakham School Magazine Review

Oakhamian Magazine Winter 1991: “he was a live wire at hooker and, apart from his throwing-in, had a good season”.

Oakhamian Magazine Summer 1992: “he frequently showed that flighted spin bowling does take wickets”.


After Oakham

Charles studied History at Royal Holloway University. He was a Platoon Commander later Captain in the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment during Operation Telic 8 (Second Gulf War).

Royal Anglian

The badge of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Christian O. L. Wragg

Life at Oakham

Christian attended Oakham School between 1994 and 2001. He was a member of Sargants, Wharflands and School House.

  • Decem: Winter 2000 - Summer 2001.
  • Chairman of the School Council: Winter 2000.
  • Nelson Firth Prize: Summer 2001.


  • Music: Jerwoods choir – Winter 1994 - Summer 1996; played in the band Utopia for O.S.C.A. – Summer 1996.
  • Drama: performed in the Jerwoods plays “The Unlikely Lad”, “The Ghost Writer”, “Wages of Sin” and “Bring up your dead”, all directed by Sixth Form pupils – Spring 1995; played Hare in “The Doctor and the Devils” – Winter 1995; performed in the Jerwoods fantasy plays – Spring 1996; played the Captain of the Guards in “Wyrd Sisters” – Winter 1997.
  • Army: applied for an Army Scholarships and got through the initial interview stages – Spring 1999.
  • C.C.F.: Corporal – Summer 1999; Staff Sergeant – Summer 2001.


  • Rugby Jerwoods 2nd XV: Winter 1995.
  • Rugby under 14 B XV: Winter 1996.
  • Rugby 4th XV: Winter 2000.
  • Athletics: Summer 1997 - Summer 1998.
  • Athletics Senior team: Summer 2000.
  • Cross Country Colts VII: Spring 1998.
  • Cross Country Senior VII: Spring 2000.
  • Steeplechase (Forms 3 and event): 2nd place – Spring 1998.


After Oakham

Christian studied Politics at Sheffield University and then went to RMA Sandhurst. He was a Lieutenant and later a Captain in the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He served in the Second Gulf War in Operation Telic 13.

Duke of Lancaster Regiment

The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment badge.