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First World War Commemoration


Cheltenham College, founded in 1841, was divided into Classical and Military sides until the mid-twentieth century.  

With over 3,540 OCs who served in the War, College, like many others, will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War.  

2015 is the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. 41 of College's 675 fallen died over the summer of 2015, fighting to take the Turkish peninsula, and 37 are remembered there.  Three OCs, Thomas Frankland, George Dunlop and George Pownall, were killed on 25 April 1915, the first day of the Allied Landings. 

George Moor (OC) was at the landings on 25 April and was then awarded the VC on 5 June. His citation reads "For most conspicuous bravery and resource on the 5th June 1915, during operations South of Krithia, Dardanelles. When a detachment of a battalion on his left, which had lost all its officers, was rapidly retiring before a heavy Turkish attack, 2nd Lieutenant Moor immediately grasping the danger to the remainder of the line, dashed back some two hundred yeards, stemmed the retirement, led back the men, and recaptured the lost trench. This young officer who only joined the Army in October 1914 by his personal bravery and presence of mind saved a dangerous situation."

First World War Exhibitions at College

If anyone has any letters, diaries or photographs relating to Old Cheltonians who served in the War, or any other artefacts or memorabilia from the War which they would be willing to lend, or allow to be copied, for the Exhibitions, please contact Christine Leighton, College Archivist.

A series of events are occurring in 2015

Ceramic Poppies and In Memory banner display Summer term
CCF trees Summer term
Memorial display board in front of TLG Summer term
CCF 675 display Summer term
History department Third Form Project Autumn term
Third Form trip to NMA Alrewas Sunday 4 October
Literature Festival Event Autumn term 
Gallipoli trip Autumn half term
Remembrance Day  Sunday 8 November 
Centenary Exhibition Monday 9 - Saturday 14 November
College/Prep event  Wednesday 11 November 
College Play G.A.S  Autumn term 
On Sunday 5 October 2014 the Third Form joined the CCF detachment and paraded the Colours at a Memorial Service along with the Association. Since College opened in July 1841 and since that time 14 former pupils have been awarded the Victoria Cross and over 6,000 Old Cheltonians have served their country. The College's ethos is one of servant leadership and the CCF is very well established, with over 260 cadets on strength - it has been running for 152 years. Cheltenham College is the only school that has its own memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, in recognition of the 675 OCs who were killed in the First World War and 363 in the Second World War. 
On Saturday 11 October 2014 College Chapel hosted The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival event Wilfred Owen: Poetry and Music of the Great War. Ruth Matthews (OC, 2011 - 2014, A) had been commissioned to compose a piece, using the words from the diaries of Capt. Sydney Trevenen, MC (1908-1911, Day Boy) held in the College archives. Click here to read the full story. 
On Tuesday 11 November 2014 the College joined together to mark Remembrance Day. It is a rare occasion when the College community needs to step outside the magnificent surroundings of our Chapel, but the legacy of over a thousand lives lost in two World Wars is a powerful one. The number is very close to the current number of pupils across both schools and it seemed fitting for us to assemble on 11 November as a whole College community. We were far too many to fit inside the Chapel itself and so in blustery conditions we gathered on the Chapel Lawn with the Chaplain leading the service from the West door. The stark reality of those who gave their lives quickly became apparent. Of course it was not just the scale of the sacrifice in the war years, but the assembled pupils reminded us all that it was young lives full of potential that were so cruelly cut short. The service was accompanied by a small Colour Party, a brass ensemble and a joint Schools’ choir. A poignant Last Post was played by Luke Knudsen (5th, NH) from the Senior School and Abby Whybrow (Y8) from the Prep School before the moving final hymn of ‘I vow to thee my country'. We left reassured that we had paid an honourable and deserving tribute to those who gave so much on our behalf. 

As additional events are confirmed, the website will be updated. 

Sebastian Bullock, Chair of the First World War Committee at College commented: “The wide range of events being planned are aimed at commemorating Old Cheltonians, as well as helping current Cheltonians understand better the causes and consequences of the First World War.”   

If you would like further details about any of the planned events, please contact Sebastian Bullock on