The Chronicle, Autumn 2018
2 ST EDWARD’S CHRONICLE
Word from the Warden
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I am writing this introduction to the autumn edition of the Chronicle on Friday 9th November. On this day 100 years ago, two days before the Armistice that was to bring to an end the relentless suffering and devastation of the Great War, Henry Tarrant Eyres OSE was killed as he returned from a night bombing raid. Henry Tarrant Eyres is perhaps an ideal model for all Teddies pupils who have been killed in conflict. He was at St Edward’s from 1913 to 1915 in Set B (now Sing’s) the last of three brothers. He was bright, sporty and popular – he played cricket in the XI, was a School Prefect and was an NCO in the Corps. All at the age of sixteen… At this young age he left St Edward’s and briefly went up to Bristol University – mainly for the OTC – but transferred then to Sandhurst in 1916; he was commissioned into the Queen’s Royal West Kent Regiment and later transferred to the newly formed RAF, serving on Night Bombers. Alongside Sir Geoffrey de Havilland and Louis Strange he is one of the earliest of those great OSE flying heroes. The following lines are from his obituary by the Marquis De Ruvigny and describe the task he had been set as a pilot: … he was attached to a night bombing squadron, constantly flying backwards and forwards in the darkness across the German lines, attacking points of strategic importance, and helping to throw the German transport and supports into a hopeless condition of confusion, and was killed in action while flying at Roman Camp, St Erme, near Laon, 9th November 1918. Since 2014, I have remembered and honoured the 116 former pupils and three members of staff who died in action by talking in Chapel or Assembly on the anniversary of their deaths about their time at School. The schooldays of these young men were, of course, much like those of our pupils today – they played sport, they were prefects, they played music – they got into scrapes. Hearing of the enormous responsibility these young men faced, and the horrors they encountered, and imagining the anguish of a small school community so regularly having to bear the grief of another young life lost has been sombre but vital. We must never forget.
It would have been hard for that broken community to imagine what the School would become. In the following pages, Chris Nathan, the School Archivist, takes us back to those difficult days exacerbated by the Spanish Influenza epidemic; whilst Chris Jones, Chair of Governors, takes the pulse of the School today. What are our values? What is our vision for the future? From those dark, painful days, St Edward’s has grown to become a great school, a great community – with many ambitions and plans for the future. In this issue in particular, we celebrate the energetic, outward looking, compassionate spirit of Teddies today and dedicate it with heartfelt gratitude to those we lost.
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St Edward’s School is registered in England and Wales as a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered No. 116784. Registered Office: Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 7NN. Registered Charity No. 309681.
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The front cover shows Fergus Flory and Selena Thompson in the Ballet Recital, photographed by Celia Hodgson OSE.
Henry Tarrant Eyres OSE
Rhys Merriman, Matilda Pumfrey, Jenifer Ellis, Max Maddox, Olga Muravitskaya, Ohemaa Dompreh, Daphne Inglis-Jones, Tiggy Jones and Euan English, among others, at the Remembrance Day Service.
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