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2016 · ISSUE 5

15

MEMORIES OF DRAGONS PAST

MEMORIES OF DRAGONS PAST

This year’s Old Dragon Reunion was for all those Old Dragons who

were at the School before 1950. Gay Sturt, the Dragon Archivist,

whom many of you will know as an Art Teacher, has gathered

many recollections from that time. We hope, for you who are as

mature as fine port, they bring back wonderful memories of your

time at the School, and that the rest of you will still recognise much

about the Dragon that is still true today.

Deborah Henry, née Barratt Brown (OD

1933) gave one of the earliest accounts of life

at the Dragon that many later generations

would recognise: “I loved my time at the

Dragon School. Things that stand out in my

memory are the early morning exercises in the

playground before school started; the game

of Lurky in the playground; the school plays

- Shakespeare alternating with Gilbert and

Sullivan - each year. It was a classical education,

so that when I went to boarding school I was

well ahead in Latin.”

Nigel Sturt (1941) wrote of the very start

of the war, “We arrived back from our French

holiday. Early the next morning we listened

to Mr Chamberlain - speaking on the radio

- announce that we were now at war with

Germany. The next morning, a friend and I

were cycling around the Dragon fields and

found several members of staff digging a large

hole in the bank just above the swimming

platforms along the bank of the Cherwell.

They told me that they were preparing the site

for an air-raid shelter.”

1939 Late August digging the air raid shelter-a little faster

The previous OD magazine article

triggered a vivid memory for Harry

Goldsworthy (1944) who wrote of the

Canadian mortar platoon who used

the Dragon playground for a military

exercise. ”After a day or two, Joc (probably)

suggested that they might give the school

a demonstration of mortar fire. The whole

school gathered round to watch. The noise

of rapid mortar fire was absolutely shattering

"... and found members of staff digging a large

hole in the bank just above the swimming

platforms... They told me that they were

preparing the site for an air-raid shelter.”