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The Boys of Shakespeare's School in the Second World War (Hardback)

WWII P&S History

By Richard Pearson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781781591529
Published: 8th April 2013

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Like the Great War generation before them, the Old Boys of King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon, (known as Shakespeare's School) answered the Nation's call to arms in 1939 with steely determination and, it has to be presumed, an absolute belief in the cause for which they were fighting.

Over the next six years no less than fifty-two of these young men fought and died for their Country. This evocative and carefully researched book tells each one's story. The author paints a picture of the character of the individual concerned, along with his family background, his contribution to the School and, most importantly, his war service and the circumstances of his death.

Some perished in lonely cockpits during the Battle of Britain and the Bombing campaign. Others fought and died at sea whether on Atlantic convoys, the Mediterranean campaign or in the Far East. The soldiers among them fell in the glare of the Western Desert fighting the Germans and Italians and in the unforgiving jungles of Burma repulsing the Japanese. In one case death came in a German concentration camp.

Who can tell what influence the strong ethos of this small grammar school with its enduring values of decency and comradeship will have played during the years of hostilities both on those who made the supreme sacrifice and other who were fortunate enough to survive? What is certain is that the example set by those former members of Shakespeare's School whose stories are told in this book must never be forgotten by their successors.

As seen in Evergreen Magazine, Winter 2013

Across all the stories in this book one cannot but feel the sense of loss to a community, and of a community which felt that loss. Happily, many of them are commemorated in several places, not just at the school. The author prefaces the book with a discussion of 'The Generation' which formed these young men and the cause of for which they fought; and the hope at least that the stories here represent a legacy which will not be lost. It is essential if you have any connection to and/or interest in the subjects, school or to Warwickshire.

Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

Well researched. The author paints a picture of the character of the individual concerned, his contribution to the school and, most importantly, his war service and the circumstances of his death.

Britain at War Magazine

This books looks at the role played by the Old Boys of King Edward VI school, Stratford-Upon-Avon (know as Shakespeare’s School) during the Second World War, telling each of their individual stories.

Military History Monthly
 Richard Pearson

About Richard Pearson

Richard Pearson studied Graphic Arts, History and Economics and has taught History in Lancaster, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon. He was Research Director for an advertising agency in Baltimore and provided research for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He has been the Archivist at King Edward VI School in Stratford for eight years and wrote the History of the School that was published in 2007. His other published works include A Band of Arrogant and United Heroes, the story of Peter Hall’s production of The Wars of the Roses (1992), and The Boys of Shakespeare’s School in the First World War (2010).

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