Hampton School’s contribution to World War Two was significant and with that came loss of life. In total over 1,000 former Hamptonians (teachers and pupils) served in the armed forces. The 118 who died are commemorated on the School’s Honours Board and War Memorial in the front entrance. The contribution of Old Hamptonians to the war effort was also publicly recognised: 40 decorations were awarded in the years following, including 17 Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Military Crosses, two Distinguished Service Order medals and a CBE.
A number of our School community were also taken prisoner during the War and held in Prisoner of War Camps as far afield as Poland, Germany and Malaya. The headmaster continued to provide reports of these men during assemblies, and the School gathered donations for boxes that were posted to these men whilst interred. The Lion Magazine of 1945 reported that even after VE Day, the School could not celebrate until it knew these men were safely home.
After the War it was possible to turn attention once again to some regular annual events that had not taken place during the war years. In March 1946, the Old Hamptonians Dinner was held in the still relatively new Main Hall. But the War would not be forgotten: ‘The Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ were played for those alumni who had lost their lives.
Every year, Hampton School holds a remembrance assembly to commemorate all those who have served in wartime.