Latest news …


  The Archivist of Radley College spent an afternoon at a local Primary School to talk about education in the Victorian period.  This was part of a term-long project on the Victorians that the children are studying.  She took along the carved desk lid, a prefect’s banner, a letter and photo of Gerald Talbot, and the prefect’s fives bat.

Atkinson, E: The Radley College Beagles: a history 1941-2016

JUST PUBLISHED – Edwin Atkinson: The Radley College Beagles: a history, 1941-2016.  This book was written to celebrate the 75th anniversary of RC Beagles.  The story covers the Masters and hunt officials, the Kennel huntsmen, and traces the heredity of the hounds back to the pack’s foundation.

Much material has been gathered for the school archives for this project, most notably the Hunting Diary of Nat Sherwood (B Social, 1937).  Nat started the diary in 1937 when he first arrived at the school.  It includes some of the earliest runs by RC Beagles in 1942.  The fragile diary has been digitised for us by Archie Clifton-Brown, current Master of the Beagles, so that he and the other Beaglers can read it more easily.


Commemorating the Fallen of WW1.

Winning the Victoria Cross.  The story of Oswald Reid at the Diala River, 6-10 March 1917

The story of a surgeon at the Battle of Passchendaele in August 1917 features as part of our commemoration.

The story of the War Memorial is no. 15 in 100 Radley objects

Radley Soccer XI  won the LB Cup for the second time in the Club’s history, beating Habersdashers’ in the final on penalties in March 2016. They successfully defended the title against Oakham on 24 March 2017, and won for the second year in a row.  ‘How Radley College won the LB Cup‘ in 2011 featured as one of the stories in our ‘100 Radley objects‘ series. We are very pleased to bring that history right up to date.

Review  and video of the match on the school website.

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College

William Wood, DD, Sub-Warden 1855-66 & Warden 1866-70 of Radley College


We are very pleased to announce the publication of the diary of Rev. William Wood, DD. The diary covers the years 1855-1861, a period in which Wood served as Sub-Warden to the notoriously volatile and erratic Founder of Radley, William Sewell:…a long and anxious yet happy time of struggle at Radley, where we tried to check Sewell’s eccentricities and carry out for the best his original and excellent ideas of what a school should be; while he (alas!) … was plunging deeper and deeper into financial difficulties…

The diary has been edited for us by Old Radleian Mark Spurrell and is published by subscription by the Oxfordshire Record Society

A few excerpts are presented here as an occasional blog


Capability Brown by Nathaniel Dance, oil on canvas, circa 1773. ©National Portrait Gallery

 2016.  Celebrating the Tercentenary of Capability Brown. Sir William Stonhouse hired Capability Brown to remodel the grounds and park at Radley Hall in 1770-3. The work is listed in Brown’s Day Books but was not so grand a scheme as to merit extensive records or plans. Today just a few features remain visible. An exhibition has been extended to the end of Michaelmas Term 2016 and will be on show at various times during 2017. The story is No. 16 in 100 Radley Objects: Receipt for £672. 1770

Samson Agonistes, 1958

A poster and photograph of the cast of ‘Samson Agonistes’ perfomed by RCADS at Clocktower on Gaudy 1958.  Rescued from the Old Gym Theatre reconstruction.

JC Horner’s photo in the War Memorial albums

 John Cecil Horner (F 1934) was killed in action in 1943.  He rowed for the 1st VIII as a member of the first Radley crew to win the Ladies Plate at Henley in 1938, and in an exchange trip to row against Tabor Academy in the USA.  His brothers,  David (F 1947) and Stephen (F 1958) have collected together his photos and newspaper cuttings of the trip to America and of the Ladies Plate to create an album in his memory for donation to the Archives

Family letters in England 1852-56

Recently purchased by the Archives.  A bound collection of more than 70 letters written by members of the Talbot family, particularly Charles and Gerald whilst they were boys at Radley, entitled ‘Family letters in England, 1852-56’.  This adds significantly to the Talbot letter collection already held by Radley College Archives which featured as No. 7 Letter home, 1857 in 100 Radley objects

Sessions & Donald with their damaged RE 8 in France, 1917

 This stunning photo has been produced from an original print from a glass plate negative and sent to us by Blair Sessions (A Social 1955), great-nephew of Donald Sessions (B Social 1911) – the pilot sitting on the wheel of his RE 8, near Ypres in 1917.  The story of the four Sessions brothers and this photo will feature in the Old Radleian magazine 2017.  We will remember Donald Sessions, MC, on the centenary of his death on 20th June 1918

Victor, 1979

The story of Reginald Marix, OR, featured as the ‘True Story of Men at War’ in the Victor, 1979.  Purchased by the Radleian Society and donated to the Archives

Peter Way’s memories of WW2

 Oral history – remembering WW2.

An oral history project based on a labour of love.  As Peter Way, OR and Don at Radley, lived through his final year, Hamish Aird, Sub-Warden and a close friend, persuaded him to record his memories of service in WW2.  The transcript has now been added to the Archives

Peter Demetriadi, OR, has also sent us a WW2 memoir.  In the 1980s the Imperial War Museum taped a series of interviews with his father, Michael Demetriadi, A Social 1935.  Peter has donated a transcript of the interviews to the Archives

Radley Veteran Car Rally 1950. Photo by David Holland

 David Holland, D Social 1946, has given a wonderful set of photos taken by himself of the Radley Veteran Car Rally, 28th May 1950

Combined Music and Gymnastics trip to Scandinavia 1970s

 Bob Stoughton-Harris, formerly Don at Radley and Tutor of G Social, has given a collection of memorabilia particularly relating to the trips to Scandinavia he organised in the 1970s and to the Radley Music Society.  We are grateful to his daughter, Rachel Waltham, OR, for organising the gift via the Radleian Society

Social notice board announcements, early 1940s

 Amongst other memorabilia donated by Richard Haddon, A Social 1940, is a collection of the most ephemeral of ephemeral objects – the announcement cards pinned up on the Social noticeboard.  The Haddon Cup, now awarded for the best short play performed by the Shells, is named in his honour to celebrate his contribution to RCADS in the early 1940s

QSL cards 1960s

 A set of QSL cards exchanged between CCF corps at schools around the country in the early 1960s was carefully preserved by Robin Beresford-Evans, D Social 1959, and given to the Archives by his sister, Felicity Wood.

2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the RAF section of the Cadet Corps at Radley. During WW2 the cadets of Radley College, Eastbourne College and Abingdon School combined to form one unit, working with the Home Guard to protect the Thames line. There was an exhibition and dinner in April to mark this history.

The Case of the Seven Percent Solution. Dons’ Play 1982

Amongst a wonderful collection of memorabilia from the late Peter Way, OR and Radley Don, is an album of photos from the Dons’ play of 1982.

Swallows account book, 1927-1984

 Amongst other items donated to celebrate the centenary of rugby being played officially at Radley, was the account book of Radley Swallows, the OR rugby club.  Other items included the ‘Batten Books’, the coaching notes compiled by Jim Batten, a Don in the 1950s-60s: the originals were brought to Radley by his captains so that digital copies could be made. The story of 100 years of rugby at Radley can be read here.
   A collection of copies of memorabilia relating to the exchange programme between Radley College and Kent School, Connecticut, first established in 1927.  Kindly prepared for us and donated by Kent School Archives

EJ Burrows Radley portfolio

Alan Donner, OR, has kindly donated material from the collection of his late father, EJS Donner (B Social 1916).   Alan has allowed us to digitise his father’s personal photo album. All the individuals in the photos were identified, including one of the earliest whole school photos.  In addition, there is a complete volume of EJ Burrows Radley Portfolio.  We have copies of the individual etchings but not the book so it is wonderful to have a copy.

Social Fours at Sandford Mill, 1907

Social Fours at Sandford Mill, 1907

Edward Lethbridge, OR, fortunately spotted this photo in a bookshop in Cirencester, and has kindly donated it to the Archives. It is the best print we have of Radley Social Fours at Sandford Mill in 1907.

Warden & Prefects 1949

Warden & Prefects 1949

A selection of photographs from the late Andrew Marshall (G Social, 1944), Senior Prefect 1948-9. Donated by his family.

Athletics Record

Athletics Record

A selection of Radley memorabilia from the late David Pattison (D Social, 1936), including the Athletics Record Card which commemorates his winning the 220 yards in a record time which stood for several years.  Donated by his family

Public Schools British Empire Tour Cricket Team 1931

Public Schools British Empire Tour Cricket Team 1931

The diary and photo album compiled by Arthur Kershaw (F Social, 1926) when he was selected as opening bowler for the Public Schools British Empire Tour team in 1931, were recently given to Radley College Archives by his family. Radley has donated a digital copy to the MCC Museum at Lords.

Main Drive, c1930

Radley in the 1930s.  A pristine collection of photo postcards from the 1930s.  From the collection of DN Sinclair, H Social 1935, given by his family
The story of the College crest features in 100 Radley objects as No. 19 Grant of arms 1908

Bristowe’s exam

 Everyone loves howlers: a collection of snippets collected from boys’ exams in the 1880s features as No. 17 in 100 Radley Objects: The teachers’ revenge

Capability Brown by Nathaniel Dance, oil on canvas, circa 1773. ©National Portrait Gallery

 The story of Radley’s landscape and Capability Brown is No. 16 in 100 Radley Objects: Receipt for £672. 1770
 CenturyClump003 In July 2016, Radley hosted the Bunbury Cricket Festival. To coincide with the Festival, the Archives published No. 14. in 100 Radley Objects Planting Plan, 1948.  The story of Century Clump and the history of cricket at Radley.

South African War Memorial

South African War Memorial

The South African War Memorial (1899-1902).  Radley College had proportionately more men serving in this campaign than any other public school. Information on the inscription, the obituaries and how The Radleian reported the Boer War are now included here.
 Slide01 Commemorating WW2 – D-Day 6th June 1944.  A photo essay compiled from material in the Archives and from projects written by year 9 (Shells) in advance of their annual trip to the Normandy Beaches.

D-Day photo essay

The Butterworth Memorial

The Butterworth Memorial

Choristers 2007

Music at Radley

The Butterworth Festival. The composer, George Butterworth, taught at Radley in 1909-10. Whilst here he composed part of the Shropshire Lad Suite, founded the choral society and introduced the school to morris dancing. He died in the First Battle of the Somme in 1916. Our commemoration for all those who fell on the Somme was a two-day, whole-school festival of art, poetry and music during which all Butterworth’s works, including his final unfinished ‘Fantasia’, was performed by musicians from the school in collaboration with The English Music Festival, on 26-27 May 2016.

Read about the history of music at Radley.

Choir Reunion on 19th November 2016 brought together Old Radleians, current choir members and choristers in a celebration of choral music to mark the end of Stephen Clarke’s 14 years as Precentor of Radley College. Evensong in Chapel featured music performed on a recent visit to Salisbury Cathedral.

A choral gallery


Henry Taunt. Clock Tower, c1890

Henry Taunt. Clock Tower, c1890

Glass to Digital – An exhibition of historic and contemporary photographs of Radley College by Henry Taunt, Sebastian Aldous & Sam Shepherd in the Art Gallery, 27 February – 19 March 2016. In aid of Winston’s Wish

Review on the school’s website

Sebastian Aldous and Sam Shepherd (two Sixth-formers at the school) recreated a selection of Henry Taunt’s 1880s views of Radley, seeking out the exact location and angle of shot.  Prints, postcards, a calendar for the academic year September 2016-August 2017 and a book to accompany the exhibition are all on sale to support Winston’s Wish.

Order forms for the book and calendar

Henry Taunt’s photographs of Radley College

crisps 1st July 2016. Archives, charity, crisps, crunch together in the sound of a Radley summer’s day. Special edition packs of Tyrrell’s crisp were on sale at Radley’s Gaudy. All proceeds went to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), with the production costs having been donated by Tyrell’s. This was the work of Charlie Milner, a 6th-former, who raised over £15,000 for EACH. The packs feature the 1934 Cricket XI.
Wood ERG100 The town of Bully-des-Mines in France invited us to participate in their Centenary Commemorations for WW1.  The town is the site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery of Bully-Grenay and honoured the men buried there with a major exhibition from 22-29 April 2016.

Among the fallen featured in the exhibition is Lt Ernest Wood, kia 20 July 1918, aged 21.

A pair of prize foils presented to A J
Richards, Radley College, 1862
Source: The Fencing Museum

Christoph Wallendahl has been awarded a prize for his independent research into the History of Fencing at Radley.  Christoph undertook the work out of his own interest in Fencing.  He is one of 7 boys from the school who have been selected to compete at junior level in the Nationals.

Photo source: The Fencing Museum

Update on the Fencing.  Christoph and the team competed in the 2017 Public Schools Fencing Championships.  The account can be read on the school website