Christ College commemorates the First World War


 The commemoration project will include a variety of opportunities for research and discovery that aim to understand 1914-1918 through the experiences of Old Breconians and their families. The emerging narrative of war will be shared with our school community in a variety of ways, including in pop-up displays, through the creative arts, and on the Christ College website.

Throughout the planning process Ruth Allen, Head of History at Christ College, has remained steadfast to the principle that the events of the war and its impact should unfold year by year, with pupils being involved at each stage. It is especially fitting, therefore, that our commemoration of 1914-1918 began during the Summer term with ‘Battlefields 2014’.

Battlefields Visit

Members of Christ College have regularly journeyed to Ypres since 2003. More recently, an annual visit by all the Third Form has taken place in the summer term. Each Battlefields visit has included Essex Farm Cemetery, the Tyne Cot and Thiepval Memorials, and the Menin Gate. This year’s group will leave for the Battlefields on June 22nd, under the experienced leadership of Mrs Allen. An innovation for the 2014 was an archive and research day in the History department before the visit took place. Pupils learned about the lead up to the war and also had the opportunity to research some of the pupils who left school in 1914 and some of the 137 Old Breconians who had already enlisted by December 1914.
One of these pupils was D C Thomas (Hostel, 1906-1914). He was a School Prefect, a member of the Classical Sixth and in the Football XV, the Hockey XI and the Cricket XI and an Editor of the school magazine. Follow this link to the DC Thomas page to find out why a special collection of photographs from the Christ College Archive was added to the People’s Collection Wales website on March 18th.

War List WW1

To help the process of research ‘War List WW1’ will be soon be published online. At the time of the unveiling of the War Memorial in 1922, it was said that 447 Old Breconians had served in the Armed Forces between 1914 and 1918. By collating a variety of relevant sources in the Christ College Archive, it has been possible to compile a list of 442 of those Old Breconians. ‘War List WW1' includes details of their time at school, together with published service details. By making the information public this way, we hope that it will be a useful source of reference for all those who would like to know more about Old Breconians who served in the armed forces between 1914 and 1918. ‘War List WW1’ will be released on the school website on July 27th, the last day of term in 1914 and, poignantly, the last Prize Day before the declaration of war on August 4th.

The Roll of Honour at Christ College, Brecon

In Michaelmas Term 2014 Dr Glenn Horridge will publish his book about the 57 Old Breconians who are remembered on the Memorial in the ante-chapel. A former teacher of History at Christ College and published author, Dr Horridge, has undertaken an enormous amount of detailed research on behalf of Christ College and we await the publication of his book with eager anticipation.

Community Drama

Michaelmas Term 2014 also saw John Johnson, Head of Creative Arts at Christ College, lead a community drama project that explored the First World War through drama, poetry, song and the experiences of Old Breconians. 'Passing Bells' involved performances from pupils, staff and parents from Christ College and was performed on 23rd October 2014.