April 1st 1916

As the term ends and our children disperse for the holidays, there are always a few points of interest to record for the school magazine, which Mr Vassall is busy preparing:

In common with the rest of Oxford, it has been necessary to modify the lights in rooms and corridors. It is one of the minor troubles of the war and it has given us occasional visits from courteous special constables. One was taken to an upper dorm to find a solitary candle on the floor, but the reflection from the white ceiling made the light visible from a considerable distance.

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We have had curious weather this term, ranging from extreme mildness at the beginning of February to an extraordinary fall of snow and a most fearful blizzard right at the end of March. In the teeth of it Mrs Marshall (my daughter, Kit) crossed the Channel from Havre to Southampton for a fortnight’s ‘leave.’

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We have been lucky this term in getting nothing worse than chicken-pox! Almost all the boys have gone up in weight since the end of last term.

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We had a whole school holiday for Mr Watson’s wedding and the boarders went off in a motor-bus to the common between Long Hanborough and Witney, the Ford taking a full load of ladies and lunch – we cooked and ate sausages etc. and then basked in the sunshine.

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Several bike expeditions with the Ford to convey lunch and girls have taken place. The woods at Beckley, the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’ and Shillingford have been the scenes of merry picnic parties.

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GK ChestertonThe senior boys enjoyed a talk on ‘Soldiers’ Songs’ by GK Chesterton.

Mr Chesterton, who lives in Beaconsfield,  is famously both tall and of considerable girth.   A lady in London is reputed to have asked him why he was not “out at the Front” to which he replied, “If you go round to the side, you will see that I am.”

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Jean ClunetJean Clunet, who was here as a boy in 1887/88, is now a surgeon in the French Army. He is a man of many adventures. He was in the thick of the fighting in Morocco in 1912; at the battle of Charleroi; in the battle of the Marne; won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in the Rheims-Soissons sector; was ten months on the Gallipoli peninsula; obtained a few weeks’ leave and was returning to Salonika when his ship, the Provence II, was torpedoed by a submarine. He was one of the survivors and is now ready for further adventures.

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Old Boys have won this term two DSOs, four MCs, one Legion of Honour, one Croix de Guerre and seventeen ‘Mentions in Despatches.’


The Summer Term will commence on May 3rd 1916

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