Old Herefordians' Club
WW1PoppyField
Every young person leaving HCS walks through the Cathedral Close and out into the world of the unknown and this was never truer than one hundred years ago. Then HCS was a small school of around 70 pupils, then, so many former pupils answered “the call”.  Their names were listed in the Hereford Times weekly, together with boys from all over the County. In 1914 practically all senior boys left HCS in order to join up or go into training and by Sept 1915 so many former pupils had answered “the call” that there was not a single boy of 17 who could pass a medical left in the school.

Their dorms became dug outs, scrum on the rugger field would soon be a scrum to capture an enemy objective. The names learnt in a history lesson on Waterloo, then 100 years old, would soon be places they too had visited and defended. They were transformed from schoolboys to soldiers within a few months.
 
In our archives, The Herefordian magazines of the time recorded not only school life, but published lists of former pupils known to be serving, details of honours awarded and of those killed. It documents debates, extra holidays given to recognise honours awarded, visits from serving OH and the thoughts of the Head at each successive Speech Day. Through it we can see the change in the School’s psyche, echoing the national mood, as the war progressed.

Sadly, former pupils of public schools were often, by virtue of their family background and schooling, healthier and fitter than their contemporaries. The public school system, with its Officer Training Corp and sports, taught team working and leadership and many families already had a long traditional of serving in the armed forces. Thus, former pupils were ideally suited to the role of junior officer. As such they ‘first over the top’ and at the height of the war on the Western Front, this meant an average life expectancy of just six weeks.

For HCS, the toil on former pupils was horrendous. In this “War to end all wars” over 400 HCS boys were known to have served, 4 times the size of the school in 1914. Many were wounded, mentioned in dispatches and awarded medals. Tragically, 70 of that number were killed. It was truly the loss of a generation. OHs served in every branch of the forces and in every arena of the war.
 
Over the next four years we will remember those former pupils and staff who served and those who died 100 years ago. The School will continue to hold its annual service of remembrance, and evening of words and music for remembrance. In addition, we will use the OH archives to add colour and character to the names of those who fell from the details in the OH magazines and photographs of the time so that this generation of HCS pupils find a connection with those young men.
 
We have marked this significant anniversary, starting with the dedication of a plaque of remembrance in St George’s Memorial Chapel Ypres, kindly paid for by the OH Club and Mr Ege Parker and with the planting of a new tree outside No1 Castle Street dedicated to the Fallen. 



 
24/05/2016
Four OH are known to have served in the most significant naval conflict of WW1. Three commanded ships; two were mentioned in despatches and one recomm ...
11/11/2015
School prepares to Remember.
HCS today unveils a moving tribute to the former pupils of the School who have given their lives in conflicts around the ...
19/03/2015
Digby Betram Haseler fought in France in WW1. Whilst at School and during his time in the trenches he wrote poetry. These poems were publised to raise ...
22/08/2014
Between 3rd and 9th November 2014, over 1000 singers from 16 countries around the World took part in a number of fellowship concerts in Flanders, Bru ...
22/08/2014
This is a short film depicting some of the 70 faces of those individuals from the HCS community, who lost their lives as a result of the First World W ...
22/08/2014
This year pupils will visit the battlefields of France in November 2014.
22/08/2014
In the stillness of St George's Memorial Chapel, Ypres the School's Senior Chamber Choir sang most beautifully as they and guests attended a service a ...
22/08/2014
A full Hereford Cathedral heard children from HCS and other local schools sing a number of pieces most wonderfully. Works included extracts from Faure ...
Contact Us : Claire Morgan-Jones 01432 363590 or Helen Pearson 01432 363566
Email : c.morganjones@herefordcs.com or development@herefordcs.com
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