Countdown to Peace

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

1 day until Armistice

A school during wartime

Today we feature: Departing for the Front. In March 1917, D Social study mates George Beard and Christopher Urwick put the contents of their study up for auction before both joined up. George served in France with the Royal Field Artillery. He was wounded in 1918. He later studied at King’s College, Cambridge. Christopher went to RMC Sandhurst, where he was Captain of the VIII 1919-1920. He retired from military service in 1932. Note that the entire contents of the study belonged to the boys, including the carpets.

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

2 days until Armistice

The cost of war

Today we feature: Radley College Chapel Offertory for Lent Term 1916. Charitable giving remained constant throughout WW1 but the effect of the War can be seen in the recipients: Armenian Refugees – fleeing from the genocide in Turkey; charities based at the Front – the YMCA and the Public Schools Hospital; and Prisoners of War, which included several Old Radleians such as HLC Aked who took part in the debate on 2 October 1914, when the motion was ‘This House believes that war is not beneficial to the nation.’

 

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

3 days until Armistice

Brothers in Arms

George Nugee trained at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, became a career soldier serving throughout WW1 in which he won the MC and the DSO. He retired with the rank of Brigadier (Hon) in 1947.

Today we feature George Nugee’s Mentioned in Despatches Certificates. Outstanding or noteworthy acts during war are acknowledged by senior officers’ in notes to higher commands.  These three certificates trace George’s career throughout WW1: 1915 – Lieutenant, 1917 – Lieutenant – now Acting Major and awarded the Military Cross, 8th November 1918 – Captain – still Acting Major. All of them are signed by Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for War

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

4 days until Armistice

Brothers in Arms

Aidan James joined the French Foreign Legion, serving with them in France in 1914-15.  He transferred to the British Army in 1915, serving with the Royal Field Artillery until 1920.  He was wounded twice and was awarded both the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre.  He continued serving with the Territorials after the War.

Today we feature: Medal group awarded to Aidan James. Left to right – Military Cross; Royal Field Artillery Service Medal; 1914-1918 War Service Medal; Great War for Civilisation 1914-1919 Service Medal (France); Croix de Guerre

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

5 days until Armistice

War in your homeland

Today we feature: Radley College Serving Register, 1913-1941. This began life as a list of those Radleians who went into a military career straight from school, but in 1914 events overtook it and all Radleians from 1914-1918 were listed, with a retrospective note of ‘what they did in the War.’

The van der Becke brothers from Antwerp, Belgium came to E Social in September 1914. They returned home in April 1915 and disappear from all Radley records.

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

6 days until Armistice

A school during wartime

Maintaining normal school routines must have been very difficult during the War.  Staff from all areas joined up or were conscripted, leaving the operational side very short-handed, while the teaching staff were replaced by much older, retired teachers or academics from Oxford who had never taught young boys at all.  Parents struggled to find fees, with their own staff or fathers at the Front and rising inflation.

Today we feature: Radley College Revenue Account for the year ending 31 December 1915. The accounts list many boys whose fees were in arrears.  Note the new technology: the College now has a telephone, typewriters and a gas works.

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

7 days until Armistice

A school during wartime

Today we feature: Radley College Musical Society Minute Book. The Society was formed in 1915. They played some music by contemporary composers but were hampered throughout WW1 by lack of instrumental players. By November 1918, with the end of the War in sight, they resolved to re-found the school orchestra who had not played since 1913

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

8 days until Armistice

Today we feature: Radley College Officers’ Training Corps (now CCF) Certificate A. Awarded to Andrew Nugee 1 May 2012. Cert A was a fast track to officer training that allowed young officer cadets to proceed straight to commissions in Kitchener’s New Army in 1914.

AND Radley College OTC cap badge. A replica of this badge will be worn by all the CCF this term in memory of those who fell in WW1. RC Archives Collection

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

9 days until Armistice

Brothers in Arms

Andrew Nugee Andrew was severely wounded in the fierce fighting following the Germans’ first use of liquid fire flamethrowers at Hooge, within one week of reaching the Front.  In 1921 he took Holy Orders and served as a vicar for the rest of his life, including as Chaplain to St Dunstan’s Hostel for servicemen blinded in WW1.

Today we feature: Appointment as a 2nd Lieutenant in the New Army, 2 November 1914. Addressed to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he had just taken up residence as an undergraduate.

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

10 days until Armistice

‘The poets are waiting’

Today we feature: ‘Young England’ by ‘Douglas Strong’, published posthumously 1919. Desmond Cancellor (C 1912) became Senior Prefect in 1916. He wrote ‘Young England’ whilst convalescing from wounds received in 1917. He returned to the Front in October 1918, won the Military Cross and was killed one week later on 1 November 1918.

 The novel is a thinly disguised description of life at Radley: ‘he was no blind lover of a system under which he had risen to the top; he longed for its reform and this book describes his own constructive policy for change along the lines of re-adjustment between games and work, body and brain, but it went beyond and touched the spiritual life of the school. There lay his deepest discontent.’ (From the preface by Cyril Hepher)