Abingdon News No.48

The Abingdon Foundation, Park Road, Abingdon, Oxford OX14 1DE 01235 521563 • Edited by Jane Warne – communications@abingdon.org.uk 01235 849123 • Design – www.petergreenland.com Abingdon Out of the Past In November 1904 the School opened its new art room; the Abingdonian proudly boasting of the ‘blinds that you pull down upwards and blackboards made of green glass and visible daylight from the north’ before adding its assurances that ‘it is already successfully incubating a large litter of prospective RAs’. The room is now a Modern Language classroom. On 8 August 1918 the Allies launched a surprise attack along the Western Front, which began to turn the tide of war; 95 days later the war was over. By August 1918, the School had already lost 56 members of its community but there were still 15 more deaths to come. One of these was Arthur Davenport who left school in the summer of 1915 with an open scholarship to read Maths at St John’s College, Oxford. However, he took a commission in the Rifle Brigade instead. Wounded in August 1916, he was out of action until July 1917 when he joined the Tank Corps, serving with the 11th Battalion. Just over a year later, on 23 August, his tank was put out of action at Boyelles and he was killed. Some years ago the archives received a photograph of Davenport and his tank crew. There can be no more than four years between this and the photograph showing him in the 1914 1st XI yet he looks like a different man. Lieutenant Arthur Davenport (seated centre) with the crew of his tank. Arthur Davenport July 1914 in Abingdon cricket 1st XI To the End You can now follow Abingdon School on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. @abingdonschool @ abingdonschool @abingdon_school The second photograph shows an art class in action – not that there’s much action about it. Each boy has a piece of paper on a board, a container of water shared with his neighbour and a paint box similarly shared. Around the walls are plaster casts of ears, leaves and shells for the boys to study and copy. The art master, Mr Charles Octavius Wright, can be seen at the back in the photograph. This pen and ink sketch is one of several drawings Octavius Wright made of the School. In addition to art, Wright also taught gymnastics and maths. A New Art Room