Magdalen College School and The Great War
DAVID BEBBINGTON | Pen and Sword Books
  • A gem of a book.

    Author - OxonMA

    Rating :
  • This is a very impressive book which I have been compulsively dipping into since buying it. There have been a number of works on this subject, but I felt that the author of this one was more successful than others in conveying the pre-war life and character of the school and what each of the boys did before the war. Having done some research in this field myself, I was impressed by the archival research done, both from Magdalen College School's records and from army records and battalion war diaries. I thought that he fulfilled to a wonderful degree his avowed aim of bringing to life the individual characters of each of the 50. It is impressive to find two VC winners in such a small (at the time) school, but there is a whole range of other fascinating characters among the 50. I found the story of Joseph Morton especially intriguing, with strong resonance for present day readers. I would also commend the excellent maps and appendices, not least the useful information on medals and ranks, something too many books assume a knowledge of from their readers. I can strongly recommend this as a book to be enjoyed by anyone interested in the First World War and as a model for anyone seeking to write about schools and their experience of the war.
  • A tremendous book.

    Author - Chris Byrne

    Rating :
  • A tremendous book. I pre-ordered this several months' ago and, since it arrived last week, have been dipping into its contents on a daily basis. What these young men did a century ago is staggering: it is just so hard to get our twenty-first century minds around the sacrifices that they made to ensure the continuing freedom of subsequent generations. David Bebbington has researched their lives meticulously and written about them in a style that makes this book eminently readable. It is not just a maudlin list of obituaries but brings the times and those young men alive. There is sadness, certainly, but there is also plenty of humour as, after all, most of these men had only just ceased being schoolboys with all that that entails. There is also, of course, the man referred to in the book's title. Charles Brownrigg was clearly an outstanding schoolmaster and his humanity is evident in so many parts of the book. It must have been so hard for him to receive yet another telegram recording the passing of another of 'his' boys.
  • Highly recommended!

    Author - Oxford girl "Bernie"

    Rating :
  • Whether you are interested in Military History, local History or the role that public schools played in the war effort you will find this book informative, well-researched and beautifully written. The research behind the young boys lives is incredible and it is the details that make this such a great read. I have been dipping in and out of it since I bought a copy this autumn. I really enjoyed reading about Noel Chavasse, a soldier of amazing bravery, but I also loved learning about the other boys and their families. I don't think we can ever tire of reading about The Great War. I highly recommend this book as an invaluable addition to my book shelf.
  • marvellous bit of work!

    Author - RWS, Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Magdalen College, Oxford.

    Rating :
  • ‘, … I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the copy and to say that it’s a ****** marvellous bit of work!!! My hearty congratulations on all the work that’s gone into it and the sheer quality of the product that has come out of that work. It’s better than anything else of that ilk that I’ve read to date.’
  • Awe inspiring

    Author - Deborah Longstaff

    Rating :
  • Awe inspiring. The book provides insights into not only the School in the run up to and during the Great War, but also is a window on education of the time. So many interesting stories, not only Noël Chavasse, double VC winner, but also stories of pioneering flyers, and upcoming sportsmen. I found the account of what one boy, Francis Wilkinson suffered in no mans land a real wake up call to remind us all of how much these young men sacrificed for our sake.
  • Magdalen College's boys remembered,

    Author - Old Soldier Sahib

    Rating :
  • This remembrance of Magdalen College School's fallen from the First World War has been meticulously researched and is well illustrated with photos that will be unfamiliar to most. David Bebbington is to be congratulated on research which must have taken him years to put together; well worth it though, and a fitting memorial to those who did not come back, Double VC winner Noel Chavasse is undoubtedly the best well-known of Magdelen College School's fallen, but there is no favouritism here and all of the men are honoured in equal measure. If it wasn't for the fact that every time I look at the title I'm reminded of an gormless TV 'comedy' programme, this book would have got five stars from me.
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