100 Years

Community News |

On Sunday, 8th November 1920, the Dragon welcomed the Bishop of Oxford and previous Headmaster of Winchester College, Dr Hubert Burge, to preside over a service of dedication of our Memorial Cross. 100 years ago to the day, on Sunday, 8th November 2020, we acknowledge 100 years since the dedication of the Cross.

The idea of a war memorial at the Dragon was first suggested by Lieut-Col Stuart Taylor (OD), known to many as ‘Fluff’ in a letter to the Editor of The Draconian

“…the time has now arrived for the consideration of a memorial to the gallant Dragons who have given and who may be called upon to give their lives for their country in this great war…”

At the time of writing, 350 ODs were serving, of which 39 had lost their lives in service to their country.

Charles Lynam, father of the then Headmaster, Skipper Lynam, designed our sculptured Cross, having been the author of many works on Archaeology and an expert on Old Crosses. Sadly, Charles was unable to attend the inaugural service and a photograph (see gallery below) of the Memorial Cross, in situ, was sent to him and remained on his bedside table until his death.

To this day our Remembrance Service, inclusive of pupils, staff, Old Dragons and friends of the School, is held beside the Cross.

Although this year’s arrangements will be different, we know the Dragon community will come together in their own communities and keep the spirit alive one hundred years on.

On this Remembrance Sunday, 8th November 2020, we remember the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and acknowledge 100 years since the dedication of the Cross. Current pupils Solomon and Olivia, alongside Deputy Head Clare Strickland and Group Captain Martin Johnson RAF (Ret’d) will lay wreaths.

We look back with gratitude and give thanks for the countless men and women who have died in the service of their country and we look forward with hope to a time of peace and reconciliation. The Service will include ‘No Ordinary Sunday’ by Jon Stallworthy (OD 1948), and a reading from the book of Revelation, Chapter 21, describing a time when there will be no more war and when suffering and conflict will give way to happiness and peace. As has been a tradition at the Dragon, the service will conclude with ‘The Rowan Tree (Trad.)’ played by William Morris on the bagpipes.

A recording of this year’s Remembrance Sunday Service can be found here.

The full order of service can be found here.

Every year, B Block work to stage our version of R.C. Sheriff’s Journey’s End, a poignant and honest story of life in the trenches during the First World War. Their intention, each November, is to add context and deeper understanding to the Remembrance Sunday Service. This year, students, teachers and parents were invited to watch the play being performed in Lynam Hall underneath the portraits of past Headmasters, online. [See Gallery]