November 20th 1920

Yesterday we said our final goodbyes to Kenneth Stradling, following his death on November 16th.

Most beautiful flowers were sent by relations and by friends from Osborne and Dartmouth, many wreaths by combinations of boarders, a splendid wreath from ‘the dayboys’, as well as others from masters and friends and individual boys.

At two o’clock, the boys lined both sides of the drive, while the motor-hearse, followed by two cars with the family and the staff (who acted as bearers), passed out on their way to Wolvercote Cemetery. Here a special service – a very beautiful one, sanctioned by the Bishop for use in the case of children – was read by Rev Henry Spurling.

Mr & Mrs Stradling have kindly allowed us to print the this reproduction of their card in memory of their son.

The card also had these most fitting verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (a poem which we also used in our school service on the day following Kenneth’s death).

Yet, O stricken heart, remember, O remember
How of human days he lived the better part.
April came to bloom, and never dim December
Breathed its killing chills upon the head or heart.

Doomed to know not Winter, only Spring, a being
Trod the flowery April blithely for a while,
Took his fill of music, joy of thought and seeing,
Came and stayed and went, nor ever ceased to smile.

Came and stayed and went, and now when all is finished,
You alone have crossed the melancholy stream,
Yours the pang, but his, O his, the undiminished
Undecaying gladness, undeparted dream.

All that life contains of torture, toil, and treason,
Shame, dishonour, death, to him were but a name.
Here, a boy, he dwelt through all the singing season,
And, ere the day of sorrow, departed as he came.

When Kenneth came to the School at the beginning of term, it became clear at once that he was a boy of outstanding qualities. He had not played rugger before, but he took to it at once, and came to the front in every game. He was generally top of his form, and would have had a double move at the beginning of next term. Above all, his delightfully cheery disposition and his tonic smile had won him a place in the hearts of all in so short a time.

 

[The above poem, ‘In Memoriam F.A.S,’ was written in Davos, Switzerland, in 1881. Stevenson wrote it following the death of the 18-year-old son of a friend, who had died from pulmonary disease.]

November 9th 1920

THE DEDICATION OF THE MEMORIAL

TO THOSE WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR

November 8th 1920

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome the Rt. Rev. The Lord Bishop of Oxford to oversee the service of Dedication of our Memorial Cross, who set the tone for the occasion with these well chosen words:

“We are met together today as one family, to dedicate a Cross to the Glory of God, and in thankful memory of those who went out from among us during the late war, and have laid down their lives for their country and for mankind. We shall make mention of their names, commit their souls to the mercy of Almighty God, and give Him thanks for their good example…”

Following the reading out of the names of all those who gave their lives, one of the boys, Percival Mallalieu,  read ‘The Trust’ by Dr Alington. The dedication, prayers, a hymn and readings were followed by the Bishop’s address (which we will publish tomorrow).

We are grateful to an Old Dragon (who prefers to remain anonymous) for this account of the day’s events:

“Many parents and relations of the fallen ODs and a fair number of ODs were able to attend the Dedication of the School War Memorial on Monday 8th November. At 8.30 a.m. there was a special Communion Service at which the celebrant was the Rev. LJ Percival (OD) assisted by the Rev. HW Spurling (OD). In addition to these, the following clergy were with the Bishop of Oxford at the Dedication Service in the afternoon: Rev. HH Arkell (OD), Rev. TT Blockley (OD), Rev WM Merry and the Rev. A Karney.

It was fortunate indeed that Dr Burge was able to dedicate the Cross. As Headmaster of Winchester he had, as he reminded us, known, and been the friend, of many of those whose names it bore, and the simple sincerity of his address helped everyone to feel that the occasion was just the intimate, family gathering which the fallen would themselves have wished it to be. The Bishop addressed himself, as was fitting, to the boys, but perfectly expressed the thoughts of everyone. We cannot be too grateful to him for what he said…

All are agreed that the Cross perfectly expresses the intention of those who raised it. It must make the Skipper’s father happy to think that, at 92, he has been able, by this splendid monument, to crown his long work for a School to which he belongs as much as any of us. And now his work stands in the place of all places where it should, that boys may learn, and, having learnt, remember, the meaning of ‘Pietas’.

It is needless to say more. This Cross expresses thoughts which are the better for being unspoken. But it is a very happy thing to know that future generations of Dragons will possess it as part of themselves. We can trust them to keep it worthily, and to remember the Bishop’s words about the Old Dragons who fell for their country watching them from their graves.”

September 25th 1919

C H R I S T M A S   T E R M   1 9 1 9

Yesterday saw the start of a new school year.

We are delighted to welcome a number of new staff:

JB Brown BA (Hertford College Oxford), ex-Capt. Royal Scots; J Brucker, ex-Capt. Ox & Bucks Light Infantry; Miss Trevelyan LRAM (Music & Singing); Miss Anderson (Music).

We are also pleased to see the return of two Old Dragons: N Sergent, ex-Lieut. French Army and Rev HW Spurling, ex-CF Hants Regiment.

There are 26 news boys and another 7 in the Junior Department. Our numbers total 182 with 20 in the Junior Department.

To help accommodate this increase we have built on two additions to the School House. The Dining Hall has been increased and at School there are two large new classrooms, formed from an Army Hut (which was purchased over the summer), carefully prepared for the purpose, and two Masters’ rooms at the House, heated by hot water pipes, and lighted by electric light, have also been provided by the same means.

 

Huts such as these have been advertised in the newspapers:

A bargain for £10!

December 21st 1915

A number of minor items of interest, concerning the term that has just ended, failed to make these pages. These are now included here, together with some information pertaining to the start of next term:

The first half of term we had practically no illness at all. Later on we had some coughs and colds. Two boarders were rather seriously ill with pleurisy, but it was taken in time and both have quite recovered. One little fellow had to have the operation for appendicitis, but has made a capital recovery (he is the first boarder on record to undergo it).

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The boys have done some excellent knitting. Sock knitting was supposed to be too difficult, but many excellent pairs of socks were produced. Also a large supply of toys and other products of the carpenter’s shop were forwarded to the Albert Hall Exhibition.

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Young Lance Mallalieu’s Marionette Shows have given much amusement on winter evenings.

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It has been most delightful to welcome so many Old Dragons back this term to tell us something of their experiences and hopes. Besides giving the greatest pleasure to us who knew them as ‘kiddies,’ it is a fine thing for the boys to see and hear those who have taken part in the great war. It does us all good to have them amongst us.

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The Ford has taken parties of wounded soldiers to Woostock, Frilford and Stanton Harcourt; more interesting companions than these men ‘home from the war’ it would be hard to find.

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Spurling H

Rev. Spurling

We are sadly losing the Rev. Henry Spurling from our staff. The Hampshire Regiment, which he has joined as Chaplain and interpreter and possibly fighter (he actually starts as a Tommy!) with the hearty approval of the Bishop of Winchester, has for its Colonel Bobby Johnson (OD), for its adjutant Stephen Low (OD), one of its captains Lionel Smith (OD) and a subaltern Wilfred Johnson (OD). The regiment is bound for East Africa.

Henry, together with Bobby Johnson, started our magazine, The Draconian, when they had moved on to Winchester College, their aim being to keep in touch with other Old Dragons and “to tighten the bond of union between friendships that would otherwise be severed…”

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Next term we will perform ‘Hamlet.’ The various parts have been assigned. The words are to be known pat and I shall be grateful if parents and friends will hear them in the holidays. N.B. No books will be allowed on stage at all when we begin the rehearsals on Wednesday Jan. 12th. I hope to have a performance for the Elementary School children on Thursday (13th), one for wounded soldiers on Friday (14th) and the usual two performances for friends on the Saturday (15th).

 

Next term begins on Wednesday 12th January 1916.