The Project

Since 2012, the Bristol Grammar School Archive Department has been attempting to correct and update the Roll of Service, originally printed in the July 1919 School Chronicle. While doing this, stories, documents, and people, previously unknown, have been identified. They vary from Leonard Raven Hill, a famous punch cartoonist, to William Ivor Castle, who was appointed the first Official War Photographer for Canada, and include the composer Cyril Rootham. 

 

Currently, the Roll of Service is being uploaded, with an overview of each individual. In time, we hope to have a detailed account of each individual's history and service.

 

As part of this research, we have visited 124 of the graves and memorials of those who gave their lives, across Britain, France Belgium, Germany, and Poland. Information about the trips, and the cemetery locations and details will be available in the 'Cemeteries' section.

 

We are constantly discovering new material, and updating the information. However, this is very much an on-going project, and any mistakes you find, or any advice, or extra information, which you may be able to offer, would be very much appreciated. We would love for you to get in contact if you have any interest, or additional information.

 

Eventually we hope to have visited the graves of every one of the Old Bristolians who gave their lives, found a photograph for as many of the serving as possible, and to have all of our research available to those who are interested.

The Book

Prior to producing this website, a book was produced, with the intention that this would be sufficient to include all of our research. It became apparent after the book reached over 400 A5 pages, that this was a gross under-estimation. At this point, in August 2014, it was decided to halt progress on the book, and to begin production of a website. Although the information in the book is now largely out of date, there are a number of stories and tid bits which have not yet made it onto the website, which are very interesting. The links below can be used to access the online version of the book.

Part 1
Part 2

During the summer of 2012, the Headmaster presented the Archive Department with a survey from Anthony Seldon and David Welsh, for a book written by the same, entitled “Public Schools and The Great War, The Generation Lost”. The survey asked for basic data on the OBs during the Great War – how many of the OBs had served, how many killed, decorations, and more. At this point, the only readily available source was the War Memorial, and the Roll of Service in the School Chronicle. It was immediately apparent that there were discrepancies, as the numbers didn’t add up. As we began to delve deeper into the research the project grew exponentially.

 

In the last two years, we have carried out research, in order to update and amend the Roll of Service, and to document the records of those who died, the records of decorations. While doing this, stories, documents, and people, previously unknown, have been identified. They vary from Leonard Raven Hill, a famous punch cartoonist, to William Ivor Castle, who was appointed the first Official War Photographer for Canada, and include the composer Cyril Rootham. 

 

As part of this project the Department went on two road trips to France and Belgium in 2013 & 2015, in order to visit and photograph as many of our OBs’ graves and memorials as possible. So far, we have visited 124, out of 156 graves and memorials.

 

We have constantly been discovering new material, and trying to keep everything up to date. However, this is very much an on-going project, and any mistakes you find, or any advice, or extra information, which you may be able to offer, would be very much appreciated.

 

Moving forward from the current documents made in July 2014, available, we are compiling everything we know about each individual. In addition, we hope in time to be able to find a photograph for at least each of the fallen, and as many as possible of those who served.

 

Elizabeth Pearce

 

Please send any information or pictures to the Archivist, Anne Bradley, at archives@bgs.bristol.sch.uk