11 November 2021

Remembering Abingdon’s Dead of Two World Wars

Abingdon remembers today the 125 members of the school community, OAs and members of staff, who died in the service of their country during the two world wars – 1914-1918, 1939-1945. At the annual Service of Remembrance, the Head Boys read out the names of those who died before the staff and pupils gather outside Big School where the CCF parade and the two minutes silence is observed at 11 am.

The service and sacrifice of those who died are commemorated by two brass memorial plaques in the School Chapel and, for the First World War, the Waste Court estate, which was bought in their memory. To emphasise this fact, in 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the war, Waste Court House was renamed Austin House after Alan Murray Austin the School’s first casualty who died when his ship, HMS Hawke, was torpedoed in the North Sea in October 1914. War Mem – full name War Memorial Field – commemorates the dead of the Second World War.

There is another memorial, a box of letters and photographs collected in 1918 at the request of the headmaster of the time, William Grundy, who wanted a record for posterity of the duty and service of his former pupils.

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