Rhubarb 2019

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b 24


Let it Roar, Let it Rage, We Shall Come Through By Chris Nathan , School Archivist

its pupils present at the time and those who had left and were fighting and dying. Henry Kendall is the main player in this book. His profile was so overwhelming at the time that he dominated everything at the School and was held in the very highest regard by his pupils, governors, his Common Room, parents and, perhaps above all, his OSE. This adoration was not 100% but his detractors were in the minority and he was undoubtedly the glue that held the School together in very difficult times. Trying to track down all those shown on the School’s Roll of Honour has been a true labour of love and even after many months of effort there are still some gaps in the knowledge of how some met their end. If the Great War book is anything to go by, once this book is published family members or others will come forward with the missing pieces! Wherever possible I have tried to let those at the School at that time have their say and quote them verbatim even if the

This new book is a companion to Members of a Very Noble Friendship (2015) which I wrote about the School and the Great War. Like that book, it is written in a chronological format, tracing events as they occurred from 1939 onwards to 1945 and the immediate post-war years. The storyline follows life on the various war fronts where OSE, Common Room and other staff were fighting, while at the same time giving an idea of what life was like back in Oxford at the School itself. The difference between the two books is that, this time around, there was some ‘living testament’ to tap into which proved invaluable. No less than four OSE living at that time – Theodor Abrahamsen, Derek Henderson, John Woodcock and Michael Barham – were all given early proofs, which they diligently read through before coming back with wise comments and additions.

It is gratifying to note that they all enjoyed the book. Over the last two years I have also interviewed several other OSE, either face-to-face, or by telephone or mail, to learn about their experiences. The school archives were a rich reservoir of information including a wealth of correspondence that I received in 2004, for another more general war book about the School. Many of those correspondents have sadly now passed on. Families, regimental diarists, researchers, school archivists, war authors and knowledgeable people in this arena have been consulted and have been most generous with their fund of knowledge. Although it has been necessary to follow the outline history of the war and include salient leaders, dates and facts, the focus of the book is the part played by the School,

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