On Sunday, 27 April 2014, saw the return from a 94-year exile of this large WW1 Memorial Board.
One of the Project’s Directors, Denis Kenyon, had been familiar with this board since 1980 as he had noticed it hanging in a corridor at Nevill Holt Preparatory School, where his sons attended.
Because the memorial heading merely says “OLD BOYS”, the general assumption by everyone was that it related to the former pupils of the Nevill Holt school. However, the truth and history connected with the memorial board is far more interesting.
Nevill Holt School closed its doors in 1998 and the property was subsequently sold to a private buyer. Shortly afterwards the board was found stored in St Mary’s Church, Nevill Holt, which is where Denis saw it again (in 2012) propped against a wall. Intrigued, Denis carried out a bit of research and, with a lot of luck, the real history was revealed.
In the early 1900s, housemasters at public schools owned their own boarding houses which they ran as separate businesses from the educational side of the school. In 1919, Uppingham Lower School was owned by a Reverend Bowlker. Following a disagreement with the then Headmaster of Uppingham School, he removed the boys, their beds and the Board to Nevill Holt Hall which had been empty for eight years and set up a new establishment, Nevill Holt Preparatory School, severing all formal links with Uppingham School.
The original Lower School buildings became The Lodge, which is now Uppingham School’s sixth form girls’ boarding house.
When Denis Kenyon approached Drs Stephan and Kyi Muller, the housemaster and housemistress of The Lodge with this story, they were extremely enthusiastic to have it returned to its rightful home.
So, on Sunday 27th April 2014, a rededication ceremony took place in the dining hall where the Board is proudly mounted. There were at least 65 people present including the Headmaster of Uppingham School, representatives of the Combined Cadet Force, representatives of all the other school houses and the girls from The Lodge. Denis and Chris Stephens from the Project were also pleased to attend the ceremony.