Hear Their Footsteps

King Edward Vii School, Sheffield, And The Old Edwardians In The Great War 1914-18

John Cornwell

Date Published :
December 2016
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
44 photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781911096269
Pages : 72
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The book recounts the story of an elite Yorkshire day school - and its 'Old Boys' who joined the forces - in the First World War. The school was founded by Sheffield City Council in 1905, who finessed an amalgamation of two much older institutions as one of a number of prestigious projects (Sheffield University was founded the same year) to give a great - albeit new - northern industrial city the infrastructure and trappings commensurate with its wealth and importance. The book details the stories of many of the 90 Old Edwardians killed in the war, whilst also relating the war service and subsequent careers of some of those who survived. King Edward’s, like many day schools of its type, provided many of the junior officers for the New Armies after 1915 - mostly serving in local regiments and often losing their lives in the great offensives of the Somme, Arras and Passchendaele. A substantial number served in RFC - daring young men in the newest form of warfare - with one of them winning three MCs and surviving the war. Five Head Prefects were killed - all of them Oxford graduates, or with Oxford scholarships to continue after the war; there had only been nine Head Prefects before 1917. The book also discusses the changes, pressures and upheavals the war caused in the general running of the school, from action taken against Zeppelin raids to Belgian refugees joining as pupils; to taking on female staff for the first time as younger masters joined up. Two staff members were killed during war - and as far as one can calculate, at least 12 percent of all the pupils who were at the school from 1905-17 were also killed in the war. Old Edwardians won 34 gallantry medals during the war - and these are recorded on the honors’ boards at the school.

About The Author

John Cornwell has written a number of books about aspects of local history, as well as a novel set in 1945 Germany and a volume of poems. Born in Hull in 1939, he was educated at Hymers College and read International History at LSE before becoming a schoolmaster in Jamaica, Canada and in Sheffield. For the best part of 20 years, he was a councillor on Sheffield City Council and the South Yorkshire County Council, and was the Deputy Leader of the SYCC from 1982-86. He served on the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1986-90 and was the Chair of Sheffield Theatres (Crucible and Lyceum) from 1988-96. He has chaired a number of local, regional and national committees and organisations over several decades, while his connection with King Edward VII School has lasted since 1992. He was Chair of Governors at the school from 1994-2002 and in 2005 he wrote the centenary history of the school and its forerunners. His interests include cricket, rugby league, writing poetry and reading 20th century military history. He lives in Yorkshire.

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