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Old Warwickians

WS in 110 objects - more exhibits

More exhibits in our virtual museum.
See here for the other 99!

If you would like to nominate an object please email alumni@warwickschool.org, explaining why you have chosen the object and attaching an image if you have one.

  • School Cap

    The 1884 School Rules start with a mystifying directive: Either College caps or hats with the school ribbon are to be worn outside the school. Hats with the school ribbon are preferable on week-days, but College caps should be worn on Sunday. Blue caps may be worn inside the school gates except on Sunday. It is thought that “College caps” are what we are would now call mortar boards, and the “hats with the school ribbon” are what we would now call boaters. But the “blue caps … worn inside the school gates” are the direct ancestors of the caps that generations of later pupils were forced to wear, even if they became several sizes too small by the time they left, These caps were traditionally thrown into the River Avon en masse at the end of the Upper Fifth. Prefects’ caps had gold braid around the base, and house prefects’ caps had a silver one. The compulsory wearing of caps ended in the senior school early in the 1970s, but persisted in the junior school until 1998.

    OB94SchoolCap2).jpg
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    School Cap
    The 1884 School Rules start with a mystifying directive: Either College caps or hats with the school ribbon are to be worn outside the school. Hats with the school ribbon are preferable on week-days, but College caps should be worn on Sunday. Blue caps may be worn inside the school gates except on Sunday. It is thought that “College caps” are what we are would now call mortar boards, and the “hats with the school ribbon” are what we would now call boaters. But the “blue caps … worn inside the school gates” are the direct ancestors of the caps that generations of later pupils were forced to wear, even if they became several sizes too small by the time they left, These caps were traditionally thrown into the River Avon en masse at the end of the Upper Fifth. Prefects’ caps had gold braid around the base, and house prefects’ caps had a silver one. The compulsory wearing of caps ended in the senior school early in the 1970s, but persisted in the junior school until 1998.
  • WWI Water Lily

    The Natural History Society of Warwick School was tremendously active in late Victorian times and the early 20th century. There was a huge thirst for knowledge of the natural world, and expeditions were mounted, and specimens were collected, sorted and labelled. There is evidence that an early “school museum”, containing a wide variety of interesting objects, lined the corridor nearest the chapel. This is very near where the Portcullis Room, containing a school museum set up in 2009, is situated. When the 1957 science block was being emptied prior to demolition in 2007, the entire pressed plants collection of the Natural History Society came to light, with specimens dating from the 1870s to the time of the First World War. Indeed, one of the most touching items is this water lily, collected, presumably in complete ignorance of what was going on in the world around him, by an anonymous pupil on holiday in Norfolk on the day that the First World War started – August 4th, 1914.

    OB96WWIWaterLily2).jpg
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    WWI Water Lily
    The Natural History Society of Warwick School was tremendously active in late Victorian times and the early 20th century. There was a huge thirst for knowledge of the natural world, and expeditions were mounted, and specimens were collected, sorted and labelled. There is evidence that an early “school museum”, containing a wide variety of interesting objects, lined the corridor nearest the chapel. This is very near where the Portcullis Room, containing a school museum set up in 2009, is situated. When the 1957 science block was being emptied prior to demolition in 2007, the entire pressed plants collection of the Natural History Society came to light, with specimens dating from the 1870s to the time of the First World War. Indeed, one of the most touching items is this water lily, collected, presumably in complete ignorance of what was going on in the world around him, by an anonymous pupil on holiday in Norfolk on the day that the First World War started – August 4th, 1914.
  • WWI memorial

    When headmaster H. S. Pyne’s eldest son Eric Wilfrid was killed on active service in 1917, plans for a memorial started to be drawn up, to be paid for personally by the headmaster. This took the form of an enlargement of the 1879 chapel in the form of a balcony, with a vestry underneath. The balcony was to have a large new west window, with the names of the fallen carved in stone along the parapet of the balcony. A young student, Francis H. Spear, was commissioned to design the west window and the smaller vestry windows, and the completed chapel enlargement was opened in 1925. The names of 88 former pupils and two members of staff are engraved on the Memorial. Unfortunately, by the early 1930s behaviour by the boys in the gallery was so bad, hiding, as they did, behind the stone parapet, that the Memorial was dismantled and reassembled in a blank window space, along with the modern carved crest of the school - which had not even been designed in 1925. The balcony was then fronted with metal railings, leaving the boys in the balcony properly exposed to view.

    OB97WWImemorial-compressed2).jpg
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    WWI memorial
    When headmaster H. S. Pyne’s eldest son Eric Wilfrid was killed on active service in 1917, plans for a memorial started to be drawn up, to be paid for personally by the headmaster. This took the form of an enlargement of the 1879 chapel in the form of a balcony, with a vestry underneath. The balcony was to have a large new west window, with the names of the fallen carved in stone along the parapet of the balcony. A young student, Francis H. Spear, was commissioned to design the west window and the smaller vestry windows, and the completed chapel enlargement was opened in 1925. The names of 88 former pupils and two members of staff are engraved on the Memorial. Unfortunately, by the early 1930s behaviour by the boys in the gallery was so bad, hiding, as they did, behind the stone parapet, that the Memorial was dismantled and reassembled in a blank window space, along with the modern carved crest of the school - which had not even been designed in 1925. The balcony was then fronted with metal railings, leaving the boys in the balcony properly exposed to view.
  • WWII medals - CGS Rowan-Robinson

    Cecil Robinson, later Rowan-Robinson, was a pupil of the school from 1930 to 1932. His illustrious 13-year career in the RAF ultimately provided the school with its most decorated war hero. The Wing Commander was unfortunately killed when his Vampire jet crashed into a ploughed field near Marlborough, Wiltshire in December, 1949. The cause of the accident is still something of a mystery. Cecil had been awarded three of the medals, the Gallantry Medals, personally by King George VI in November 1945. Cecil was only 35 years old when he died, and there is a plaque recording his death quite near the chapel, which describes how his surviving brother, Major C. R. K. Rowan-Robinson MC, was planting a tree nearby at the precise moment of the air crash. The three Gallantry Medals, two of them on the top left, are: DSO and bar. The Distinguished Service Order is second only to the Victoria Cross in rarity and prestige, and Cecil earned it twice. DFC, the Distinguished Flying Cross. This is awarded for acts of bravery in the air in war-time. The Dutch Flying Cross, at bottom right, awarded for acts of initiative, courage and perseverance. The General Service Medal (with a clip marked Palestine) is next to the DFC, the Aircrew Europe Star is on the bottom left, the Africa Star is next to it on the bottom row, and finally the War Medal With Oak Leaf is last but one on the right of the bottom row. The oak leaf means that the holder was mentioned in Dispatches for conspicuous actions of gallantry.

    OB99WWIImedals-CGSR-Rcompressed2).jpg
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    WWII medals - CGS Rowan-Robinson
    Cecil Robinson, later Rowan-Robinson, was a pupil of the school from 1930 to 1932. His illustrious 13-year career in the RAF ultimately provided the school with its most decorated war hero. The Wing Commander was unfortunately killed when his Vampire jet crashed into a ploughed field near Marlborough, Wiltshire in December, 1949. The cause of the accident is still something of a mystery. Cecil had been awarded three of the medals, the Gallantry Medals, personally by King George VI in November 1945. Cecil was only 35 years old when he died, and there is a plaque recording his death quite near the chapel, which describes how his surviving brother, Major C. R. K. Rowan-Robinson MC, was planting a tree nearby at the precise moment of the air crash. The three Gallantry Medals, two of them on the top left, are: DSO and bar. The Distinguished Service Order is second only to the Victoria Cross in rarity and prestige, and Cecil earned it twice. DFC, the Distinguished Flying Cross. This is awarded for acts of bravery in the air in war-time. The Dutch Flying Cross, at bottom right, awarded for acts of initiative, courage and perseverance. The General Service Medal (with a clip marked Palestine) is next to the DFC, the Aircrew Europe Star is on the bottom left, the Africa Star is next to it on the bottom row, and finally the War Medal With Oak Leaf is last but one on the right of the bottom row. The oak leaf means that the holder was mentioned in Dispatches for conspicuous actions of gallantry.
  • WWII medals - DPW Rowan-Robinsonmpressed1)

    Derrick Robinson, later Rowan-Robinson, was a pupil at Warwick School from 1933 to 1935. He had the unfortunate distinction of being the first Hampden bomber pilot to be shot down over the North Sea in April 1940 by an enemy night fighter. He had flown out, with seven other aircraft, to lay mines around Kiel. Only five returned, and Derrick’s body was never recovered. He was 22 years old when he died. The Flying Officer’s medals, awarded posthumously, are still in the box in which they were sent to his parents, together with the note pictured: The Under-Secretary of State for Air presents his compliments and by Command of the Air Council has the honour to transmit the enclosed Awards granted for service in the war of 1939-45. The Council share your sorrow that Flying Officer D. P. W. Rowan-Robinson (39173) in respect of whose service these awards are granted did not live to receive them. The medals are, from left to right: The Defence Medal (for service in areas subjected to enemy air attack). 1939-45 Star (awarded to aircrew after two months’ active service). War Medal 1939-45 (awarded to all full-time members of the armed forces). Atlantic Star (awarded to aircrew after two months operational duties over the North Sea).

    OB99Medals-DPWRowan-Robinsoncompressed1).jpg
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    WWII medals - DPW Rowan-Robinsonmpressed1)
    Derrick Robinson, later Rowan-Robinson, was a pupil at Warwick School from 1933 to 1935. He had the unfortunate distinction of being the first Hampden bomber pilot to be shot down over the North Sea in April 1940 by an enemy night fighter. He had flown out, with seven other aircraft, to lay mines around Kiel. Only five returned, and Derrick’s body was never recovered. He was 22 years old when he died. The Flying Officer’s medals, awarded posthumously, are still in the box in which they were sent to his parents, together with the note pictured: The Under-Secretary of State for Air presents his compliments and by Command of the Air Council has the honour to transmit the enclosed Awards granted for service in the war of 1939-45. The Council share your sorrow that Flying Officer D. P. W. Rowan-Robinson (39173) in respect of whose service these awards are granted did not live to receive them. The medals are, from left to right: The Defence Medal (for service in areas subjected to enemy air attack). 1939-45 Star (awarded to aircrew after two months’ active service). War Medal 1939-45 (awarded to all full-time members of the armed forces). Atlantic Star (awarded to aircrew after two months operational duties over the North Sea).
  • WWII medals - Leo Jones

    Public Schools and the Great War by Anthony Seldon and David Walsh, to which Warwick School contributed, shows that 410 Old Warwickians fought in the First World War. The school achieved national publicity when it was calculated that, on the basis of the number of pupils at the school in 1914, it suffered the second highest percentage casualty rate (21.5%) of any public school. These medals belonged to Second Lieutenant Leo Jones, a pupil at Warwick School from 1906 to 1910, whose brother Roy was killed in 1918, and whose diaries were found in the school archives a few years ago. Leo survived the First World War, and, indeed, served in the Second World War, as the two medals on the right (the Defence Medal and the War Medal, 1939–45) show. Leo Jones served as OWA chairman from 1961 to 1962.

    OB98Medalsawardedto2ndLieutLJones-compressed2).jpg
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    WWII medals - Leo Jones
    Public Schools and the Great War by Anthony Seldon and David Walsh, to which Warwick School contributed, shows that 410 Old Warwickians fought in the First World War. The school achieved national publicity when it was calculated that, on the basis of the number of pupils at the school in 1914, it suffered the second highest percentage casualty rate (21.5%) of any public school. These medals belonged to Second Lieutenant Leo Jones, a pupil at Warwick School from 1906 to 1910, whose brother Roy was killed in 1918, and whose diaries were found in the school archives a few years ago. Leo survived the First World War, and, indeed, served in the Second World War, as the two medals on the right (the Defence Medal and the War Medal, 1939–45) show. Leo Jones served as OWA chairman from 1961 to 1962.
  • WWII medals - RAF Mears

    Richard Alic Fielders Mears, from Atherstone in Warwickshire, taught history at Warwick School from 1923 to 1933. He was an extremely successful writer of history books, particularly in collaboration with E. H. Carter, a Chief Inspector of Schools before the Second World War. Their History of Britain stretched to eight volumes, and was released between 1937 and 1951. According to the publisher “this massively popular series tells the story of our islands in a straightforward, chronological narrative. Carter and Mears' writing is fast-paced, muscular and direct, and covers the matrix of British history including overseas events, the arts, religion and major social changes.” It was revised and re-published by David Evans, former head of history at Eton College, who also wrote a ninth volume, taking the time-scale up to 1979. Richard Mears made substantial amounts of money from his writing, and very graciously donated some of the royalties to the school, where they still fund the Mears Scholarship. This is awarded to outstanding leavers to assist with the costs of going to university.

    OB95MedalsawardedtoRAFMears-compressed2).jpg
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    WWII medals - RAF Mears
    Richard Alic Fielders Mears, from Atherstone in Warwickshire, taught history at Warwick School from 1923 to 1933. He was an extremely successful writer of history books, particularly in collaboration with E. H. Carter, a Chief Inspector of Schools before the Second World War. Their History of Britain stretched to eight volumes, and was released between 1937 and 1951. According to the publisher “this massively popular series tells the story of our islands in a straightforward, chronological narrative. Carter and Mears' writing is fast-paced, muscular and direct, and covers the matrix of British history including overseas events, the arts, religion and major social changes.” It was revised and re-published by David Evans, former head of history at Eton College, who also wrote a ninth volume, taking the time-scale up to 1979. Richard Mears made substantial amounts of money from his writing, and very graciously donated some of the royalties to the school, where they still fund the Mears Scholarship. This is awarded to outstanding leavers to assist with the costs of going to university.
  • East window of Chapel, 1902-05

    Stained glass windows started to be inserted in the chapel in 1902, following the building of the body of the chapel in 1879 and its completion, with the erection of the chancel, in 1893. The renowned designer Henry Holiday (1839-1927) visited the school in 1901 and had proposed that he be commissioned to supply a window for the newly-completed chancel. In 1902 the money for the centre light came in the form of a gift from the mother of Cecil Meiggs, a 12 year old boy who had died at the school of septic pneumonia. By 1904 Mr Holiday wrote to the governors to remind them that he had not been paid a penny so far, even for his 1902 work, and was quite keen to receive £114-4s, the whole cost of the window. Above the five main panels we can see 14 angels, some playing musical instruments. The five main panels show the life of Christ. Going from left to right: 1)The birth of Christ. 2)Being taught in the temple, and learning carpentry from Joseph. 3) The Cecil Meiggs memorial window itself, showing the crucifixion. 4)The ascension. 5)The resurrection.

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    East window of Chapel, 1902-05
    Stained glass windows started to be inserted in the chapel in 1902, following the building of the body of the chapel in 1879 and its completion, with the erection of the chancel, in 1893. The renowned designer Henry Holiday (1839-1927) visited the school in 1901 and had proposed that he be commissioned to supply a window for the newly-completed chancel. In 1902 the money for the centre light came in the form of a gift from the mother of Cecil Meiggs, a 12 year old boy who had died at the school of septic pneumonia. By 1904 Mr Holiday wrote to the governors to remind them that he had not been paid a penny so far, even for his 1902 work, and was quite keen to receive £114-4s, the whole cost of the window. Above the five main panels we can see 14 angels, some playing musical instruments. The five main panels show the life of Christ. Going from left to right: 1)The birth of Christ. 2)Being taught in the temple, and learning carpentry from Joseph. 3) The Cecil Meiggs memorial window itself, showing the crucifixion. 4)The ascension. 5)The resurrection.
  • The Roman Barn

    The remains of a previously unknown Roman building were discovered during building work on the new school for King’s High. Wall foundations for a large aisled structure the size of a medieval church were unearthed on the Banbury Road site (formerly a Warwick School rugby/cricket pitch). Archaeologists say the building most likely forms a component of a large villa estate, which must have spread along the banks of the Avon and been connected to the Roman road system. Early indications suggest it developed in the 2nd century AD and probably went out of use in the 4th century. Constructed of local sandstone, over 28m long by 14.5m wide, the villa would have been the largest building ever seen in the region. Corn drying ovens, both inside and outside the structure, attest to an agricultural function, although internal wall divisions at the opposite end of the building probably indicate a suite of domestic rooms.

    TheRomanbarn.jpg
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    The Roman Barn
    The remains of a previously unknown Roman building were discovered during building work on the new school for King’s High. Wall foundations for a large aisled structure the size of a medieval church were unearthed on the Banbury Road site (formerly a Warwick School rugby/cricket pitch). Archaeologists say the building most likely forms a component of a large villa estate, which must have spread along the banks of the Avon and been connected to the Roman road system. Early indications suggest it developed in the 2nd century AD and probably went out of use in the 4th century. Constructed of local sandstone, over 28m long by 14.5m wide, the villa would have been the largest building ever seen in the region. Corn drying ovens, both inside and outside the structure, attest to an agricultural function, although internal wall divisions at the opposite end of the building probably indicate a suite of domestic rooms.