More Than Victims of Horace

Public Schoolboys 1914-1918

Timothy Halstead

Public schoolboys in the Great War were part of a nation in arms. This book explains how their involvement was far more than romantic idealism.
Date Published :
September 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Wolverhampton Military Studies
Illustration :
8 b/w photos, 2 color photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336219
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The involvement of public school boys in the Great War has often been seen in terms of ‘a race of innocents dedicated to romantic ideals’. It has been argued that an education based on the teaching of the classics (based on the deeds of military heroes) and the playing of games underpinned this.

In A School in Arms: Uppingham and the Great War Timothy Halstead demonstrated that in the case of Uppingham this involvement was more nuanced than previously suggested. More than Victims of Horace argues that this was the case for all public schools and looks at the role of those who survived as well as those who died.

The book will examine the professionalization of the British Army in the years leading up to 1914 and how the its relationship with the public schools developed. The rapid expansion of the Army after the outbreak of the war meant that a range of skills were needed to enable it to operate effectively.

This book examines how public schools with their varying approaches were able to support this expansion and prepare their boys for war as well as the common elements to the military training they provided. As part of a nation in arms the schools also contributed to the effort on the home front.

Drawing on the archives of the Headmasters’ Conference and several schools, the book provides the first scholarly analysis of the public schools in the Great War.

About The Author

Timothy Halstead was educated at Uppingham and studied for an MA in British First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham. His MA dissertation examined the public school ethos in the Great War, using Uppingham as a case study. Previously, he has had papers published on Uppingham in War and Society and on the Junior OTC before the Great War in the British Journal of Military History. Future publications include a chapter on the British Army’s Junior Officer Corps in 1916 in a volume edited by Dr Spencer Jones. He is a member of the British Commission of Military History and Treasurer of the Army Records Society. When he is not researching and writing about military history, he advises on data protection matters. Timothy is married with two grown-up children and lives in Hertfordshire.

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