St John's School, Leatherhead and the Great War, 1914-1919
St John’s School, Leatherhead and the Great War, 1914-1919
By Sally Todd and Neil Pudney
Format: Hardback, 160 pages
Full colour and fully illustrated
Publisher: St John’s School Leatherhead
Publication date: 25 November 2019
Dimensions: 280 x 220mm
P&P (UK only) £4.95 per copy
The story told in this book is one of bravery and service, of tragedy and loss.
To set the scene, the text begins with a brief history of the School up to 1914, the formation of the Officer Training Corps in 1912, the devastating fire of 1913 and the re-opening of the buildings by the Duchess of Albany on Speech Day, 1 July 1914, just a few weeks before the start of the Great War.
First-hand accounts from OJs who were at school during the war provide a vivid insight into the challenges of daily life of a school in wartime. Food and the lack of it was uppermost in their minds. They describe lessons and learning and the excitement of taking part in or watching the various sports and team games.
In addition to their accounts, we relate tales of wartime heroes, including the two OJs who won the Victoria Cross, families who lost loved ones, and the young men who gave up the prospect of a university education to serve their country, only to be killed in action just a few months or years later.
Many of the stories told here are enhanced by brief biographies giving further background information and celebrating the wide range of accomplishments and achievements of these Old Johnians.