Today marks 100 years since the death of OOs John Hugh Jerwood MC and Christopher Francis Atter who were killed in action on the Western Front.
OO Club Chairman and School Archivist Mr Jon Wills said, “They were both extraordinary individuals and their stories are deeply rooted in the heritage of Oakham School. It is important that their lives and their sacrifices continue to be recognised and remembered particularly at this landmark time, coming 100 years after they lost their lives.”
John Hugh Jerwood attended Oakham from 1899 to 1909 and was Head Prefect, 1st XV Rugby Captain as well as 1st XI Cricket Captain. He went on to study at Jesus College Cambridge, where he was a keen member of the College Boat club and rowed to victory for Cambridge in the 1908 Boat Race. His Cambridge Oar was kindly donated to Oakham School and is proudly on display in College House, home of the Archives and the Alumni Association. John's impressive rowing skills saw him selected for the GB Rowing Eight at the 1908 London Olympics, where he and his teamates won a bronze medal. John was killed in action at the Battle of St Quentin, near Cerisy when he was 28. He has no known grave but is remembered on Panel 68-72 of the Pozieres Memorial.
John Hugh’s son John Michael was at Oakham from 1930–1935. After serving in the Second World War he settled in Japan and went on to establish one of the largest cultured pearl dealerships in the world. His love and generosity of Oakham earned him the title ‘The Visitor’ and he became the School's greatest benefactor. Without his support and that of the Jerwood Foundation the Smallbone Library, Lower School Campus and the Jerwood School of Design could not have been built. The Jerwood family have been strong and loyal advocates and benefactors to Oakham School. Many of our buildings and facilities hold their name - including the Lower School (Jerwoods) campus and the Jerwood School of Design. There were also numerous Scholarships and Bursaries supported by the family.
Christopher Francis Atter was at Oakham from 1910 to 1914 and was a member of the 1st XV Rugby team. After Oakham he trained at RMC Sandhurst and was commissioned into the 1st Battalion Leicester Regiment in 1916. He was a platoon commander in C Company when he too was killed in action at the Battle of St Quentin. He was 19. He has no known grave but is remembered on Bay 5 of the Arras Memorial.