June 5th 1916

CDF at sea cropped

Lieut. Charles Fisher (RN)

The death of Charles Fisher is confirmed in the papers this morning. He is described as “a well known Oxford tutor… a great cricketer in his day and a man of very remarkable qualities… His death will be deeply felt not only by his comrades, but by many generations of Oxford men.”

Never have truer words been said of our dear friend.

His was a glittering career. He was first in the Westminster Challenge (winning therefore the top scholarship) when he left the OPS in 1889; he won the Slade Exhibition and got a First Westminster Studentship to Christ Church, where he obtained a First Class in Honour Moderations and Second in ‘Greats.’

He was a don at Christ Church from 1901-14. In 1910 he was Junior Censor and then became a member of the Board of Faculty and of Literae Humaniores and finally Senior Censor.

“His authority was based much more on an extraordinary personality than on the powers of his office, though these were great.”

Academically, his special study was Tacitus, on whom he did much work as editor for the Oxford University Press. He was widely read in Modern & Medieval literature, English, French and Italian.

A writer to the Morning Post said, “Charles Fisher towered a very prince among his fellows.  He was of huge stature and splendid in bearing. The formidable shoulders, the active hands, the swinging gait, the characteristic toss of the foot, above all the noble face and head… He loved games and the men who played them, and cricket and cricketers above the rest.”

He achieved his ‘Blue’ at Oxford and played a number of first-class games for Sussex (his highest score being 80 against Worcestershire).

He was present at all our OD dinners from 1908-13 and frequently used to stroll up to the school to encourage and criticise our games. He once told me that he and I had been classed together as the worst dressed men in Oxford – a great honour to me! And he would laugh his glorious laugh and pull out a dirty pipe and tell us some undergraduate story or some anecdote of his many travels; and always a shadow seemed to fall as he strolled away.

That shadow is today a very long one.

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