19 October 2021
Welcome to the latest edition of Hampton@Home, in which the main focus is upon our School’s digital commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Under the excellent leadership of my History department colleagues, we have been running a special Hampton School Remembers week to recognise the admirable and selfless service of so many during the Second World War.
One aspect of this is the launch of Hampton’s World War Two Trail. This identifies locations around the School site that played important roles during the war years. In September 1939, our School had only days earlier relocated to Hanworth Road and there must have been considerable anxiety among pupils, parents and members of the (far smaller) Common Room when prime minister Neville Chamberlain announced on the radio that Great Britain was at war with Germany. If you follow the trail linked below, you will discover that our wartime pupils displayed characteristic Hamptonian resilience and ingenuity as fire wardens and in other important roles. The Headmaster, Arthur Mason, encouraged the boys to cultivate 50 allotment plots to support the celebrated ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign; the area of our current Sports Hall was home to the School’s livestock and editions of The Lion magazine reveal that Pig Club was a prominent co-curricular activity!
Throughout this week, we have been sharing on social media and our website some of the poignant and extremely moving family wartime stories sent in by members of our School community. You can read more about these via a link in this e-newsletter. Both my own grandfathers, Arthur Knibbs and John Robbins, were involved in active service during the Second World War and it is important that we use anniversaries such as these to reflect on the courage and resourcefulness of all those who lived through such a tumultuous historical period. We are enormously grateful to everyone who has contributed to Hampton School Remembers.
While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means that we are living through undeniably testing and extraordinary times, the circumstances endured by our relatives between 1939 and 1945 perhaps provide useful perspective on our present-day challenges. If we can emulate the fortitude and stoicism displayed by our grandparents’ and great grandparents’ generations then this should serve us well. One of my favourite poets, Robert Frost, famously wrote: ‘the best way out is always through,’ and that’s where we find ourselves today, pushing on through, looking forward to the time when we surface into a more recognisable form of normal.
Thank you to our boys, their families and my Common Room colleagues for continuing to push through, and for making so many uplifting, creative and good-humoured contributions to our collective experience of e-Hampton so far. There are certainly more of these to enjoy in this week’s H@H.
I hope you all enjoy a relaxing and restorative bank holiday weekend.
With kind regards and best wishes
Interviews with prominent historians
Through interviews with leading experts on WW2, Hampton's History Department has been exploring what life was like, locally and nationally, for those who lived through the war.Read More
Hampton School Remembers
You may be interested to hear...
- From our History & Archives Club about the making of the WW2 Trail
- About two prominent figures in the War Pupil Vlogs
- Our Year Group Blogs can be found here
- Greatest Sporting Moments: next week’s group
- Our Guess the Workspace features – week three
- Looking for some healthy workouts and activities this weekend? click here