As we approach the centenary of the end of the First World War, I’d like to draw your attention to the events and resources which we have produced to help us understand more about those from Wellington who fought and died.
Over the last two years we have developed our First World War Memorial Website, which you can find here: http://memorial.wellingtoncollege.org.uk/
The site contains our Roll of Honour, with individual entries for each of the over 700 Wellington students, staff and servants who died during the War. Using it, you can view details of when each man was at College, his rank, regiment, and where and when he died. You can also see the original memorials printed for each one in the College Year Books of the time. In addition, the site contains letters, documents, photographs, extracts from the College Year Books, and pages from the Wellingtonian magazine. Browse the pages of the Wellingtonian and see how the War impacted even the poetry and fiction which Wellington students were writing, and read first-hand accounts of College life during the War.
Then, when you visit the V&A during the month of November, don’t forget to take a look at the special display of archive material and historic objects there, including letters from the Front, and a helmet worn at Queen Victoria’s funeral. All these items are personally connected to Old Wellingtonians involved in the War, and have been generously lent to us by their families. Many of them relate to the Parker family, whose descendant George Shepherd is now in the Benson. Look out for the devotional book belonging to Louise Parker, whose brother Rupert was killed in 1917. On the page for 2nd December she has written ‘Darling Rupert wounded & missing’, and has added a line of poetry, and the memorial notices to him which were published in newspapers.
Lastly, why not come along to the Archives talk next Saturday 10th November, at 1.00 pm in the Driver Lecture Room. I’ll be using material from the website and artefacts from our collection to tell more stories of Wellingtonians in the War, highlighting the range of ages and ranks of those who served, and the many and varied places where they died. Book your place here.
If you’d like to know more about any of these get in touch with our Archivist, Caroline Jones, who will be very pleased to answer your questions.
+44 (0)1344 444 176