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SOFO Online Talks – Skipper’s War

Skipper’s War – Archived Video (First Streamed: 07/12/2021)

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Skipper's War - Dragon School, Oxford & the Great War

Online Talk and Live Q&A presented by Desmond Devitt

Watch Online Now (First Streamed Live: 7pm, 7/12/2021)

Skipper’s War’ tells the story of the Oxford Preparatory School and its Old Boys in the First World War, through the speeches and writings of then-headmaster Charles 'Skipper' Lynam and a wealth of historical research.

This 35-minute film highlights an extraordinary cast from what was a small North Oxford School, where Poet Laureate John Betjeman was a pupil from 1917-20. The pre-war England rugby captain, Ronald Poulton Palmer, 2 winners of the Victoria Cross and 3 casualties of the Red Baron & his Flying Circus are all featured.

22 officers that fought with the county's own regiment, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light infantry, during the Great War were also former students of the school, with four tragically losing their lives 'for King and Country and the Dragon School', to quote Betjeman.

Presented by Desmond Devitt, author of The Skipper’s War - Dragon School Oxford & the Great War (foreword by Rory Stewart) and the Skipper's War blog, supported with readings by actors Tom Hollander, Paul Chahidi, Hugh Dancy and Sebastian Croft (all old boys of the Dragon School).

"The contrast between Lynam’s loving, humanist hopes for his pupils and the nihilism of the Somme is deeply moving…" -William Fiennes

  “an incredible bit of historical research” -Rory Stewart

If you enjoy this lecture, please consider a making donation to SOFO Museum.

Your donations not only allow us to continue to run online events like this, they also support us in preserving and presenting stories of people affected by conflict across the county at our Museum in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

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