Oakham School Archives Blog

Welcome to the Oakham School Archives blog. Here we will update you on news and projects from the archives. If you have any particular interests about the archives or history of the school, please email or call 01572 758 608

Oakham’s Global Outreach – Part 2

In October, we explored some of the Old Oakhamians who were born outside of the UK. This month, we move on from the 19th into the 20th century and explore some of the first non-British pupils at Oakham School.

5000th certificate

Oakham School has a very distinguished history when it comes to the Duke of Edinburgh Award. One of our most notable achievements is becoming the first single unit to achieve 1000 gold awards. In this blog, we shall be taking a look back at the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the year 2000 and the momentous celebration evening for the 1000th gold award.

Map of the World

Today at Oakham the Registrar comments that around twenty nations are represented in the school community. Recently an interesting question has been posed: what is known of the first non-native students at the school and what were their ethnicities?

Food Thumbnail

This month, we explore the delicious food that is served in Oakham School’s canteen. We take a look at two articles, written in 1978 and 2000, and see how feeding the school has changed over the years.

Thank You

School Archivist, Charlotte McCrory, says goodbye to the Archives and Oakham School. 

An Archives Year in Review

September 2020 – July 2021 has been a turbulent year with the pandemic still raging and lockdowns meaning that school life has had to adapt to these new times. Despite frequent stop starts, the Archives have achieved a lot of the past year and we are excited to share some of our behind the scenes work with you.

Tokhamian 2003 pages

To celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the International Baccalaureate at Oakham School, we have decided to take a look back at the how the programme came to Oakham and what it was like for that very first cohort.

1984 Visit Duke of Edinburgh and head girl

The Oakham School community is deeply saddened by the death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh on the 9th April 2021.We offer our prayers and thoughts to Her Majesty The Queen and the whole royal family at this difficult time. 

In this blog, we take a look back at the visits paid to Oakham School by the Duke of Edinburgh over the years. 

School Interior Thumbnail

The Oakham School museum collection stems from the desires of one of the school’s most notable headmasters: W. L. Sargant. 


You may have heard about the ITV mini-series “Quiz”, based on the true story of Charles and Diana Ingram who were accused of cheating on Who wants to be a millionaire? Quiz was one of the most successful series of 2020. But did you know that two Old Oakhamians worked on this show? Andrew Harries (OO 71) was one of the series’ producers, and Mathhew Macfadyen (OO 92) was Charles Ingram on screen. In this month blog post, we will look closely at their school career.


February in recent years would usually have seen our third formers travel across the channel to visit the World War One battlefields of Northern Europe. However, naturally, this year things will be a little bit different and no trip will unfortunately be going ahead.

Chorus Programme Thumnail

Happy New Year! As another year passes and we enter 2021, many of us will be looking forward to the future and (hopefully) a much happier year than 2020. However, we in the archives love to also look to the past and reflect on how much has changed over the years. Therefore, to kick off the year, we are travelling back 100 years through our Oakhamian Magazines to look at how the school was in 1921.

Remembrance Day Video

Oakham School Archives remembers all of those who fought and died in conflicts around the world. Form 6 A Level History pupils Danny, Peter and Lally read out a letter from OO Basil Mogridge, written from the front lines (held in Oakham School Archives).

Rushebrookes House

November 2020 sees Oakham School celebrate the 40th birthday of girl’s boarding house, Rushebrookes. This is the third house this year, along with Buchanans and Wharflands, which is celebrating a milestone birthday.

The History of Buchanans House

Last month, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Wharflands House. This month we turn to the second of our houses who have a special anniversary this year: Buchanans. This year celebrates the 45th anniversary of Buchanans as a school boarding house.

A postcard image of Wharflands House.

This year, we celebrate Wharflands' 100th birthday. In this blog post, we take a look at how Wharflands has evolved over the past century.

Association Football at Oakham School

Did you know that pupils had been able to do Basketball, Boxing, Girls’ Cricket, Cycling, Fencing, Fives, Golf, Gymnastics, Rugby 7s, Sailing, Shooting, Squash, Boys’ tennis here at Oakham School? In this month's blog post, we will explore the history of Football at the school, a sport played and enjoyed by our boys and girls.

Reminiscences of Robert Wade-Gery

Throughout the years, pupils have been writing about their time at Oakham School, whether in diaries, in letters or in articles published in the school magazines. This month post is written by our Volunteer, Mr. Webb, who looked at Robert Wade-Gery's memories of his time at school in the 19th century.

Pupils walking towards Hawthorn Ridge Cemetery

This year again, I had the pleasure of accompanying the Form 3 Battlefields Trip to France. The Archives contributed to the Form 3 Inquiry skills in the winter term, producing booklets on Old Oakhamians who fell in the Great War. This trip is an opportunity for pupils to learn about the First World War, and the Battle of the Somme, and to remember and honour the OOs’ and soldiers’ sacrifice. You can read here some of the highlights of the tour.

Macbeth at Oakham School

Shakespeare’s Macbeth has been performed no less than four times at Oakham School. It is remembered as a play of “firsts”.

The Archives Winter Term Update

As Christmas draws closer and we all prepare to break up for the festive holidays, here in the archives we thought that we would reflect on the previous term and what we have been up to!

In commemoration of Rememberance Sunday and Rememberance Day, the archives are remembering a previously forgotten Old Oakhamian who fought and died during World War Two. 
The 25th October 2019 sees Oakham School celebrate the 50th anniversary of Old School being converted into the Shakespeare Centre. To celebrate and as a continuation from our previous blog, here is the final part in the history of Old School. 
At the end of September, our assistant archivist went on a trip to Norwich for a special training session in book conservation. Here is her account from her trip and how it will help preserve our amazing book collection for many future generations to come.
Sat in the corner of Cutts Close just behind All Saints church, is a building which to visitors of Oakham, is easy to pass by without a second thought. However this building was and still is integral to the school. This building has been known by many names throughout the yearss but is most commonly refered to as Old School. 

It is a tradition over the August month for our school sports teams to go abroad on a sporting tour. Many countries have been the destination for our pupils but perhaps one of the most exciting and lengthy tours in recent history has been the 2001 World Tour. 

This month's blog has been kindly written for the Archives by School Historian, Brian Needham. Mr Needham explores families who have had three generations come to this School. It follows on from our May blog which explored the recent discovery of two four generational families.
It is not known how many Old Oakhamians actually participated in the D-Day landings, either in its planning, in its operation, or in the weeks afterwards as the Allies fought to establish the beachhead. However, it is known that five Old Oakhamians lost their lives during the month of June 1944 while engaged in the invasion.

This month's blog post has been written for the Archives by School Historian, Brian Needham. Mr Needham explores two families who have had four generations come to this School. 

This month's blog has been written by our voluntary, honorary assistant archivist, Nigel Webb. Mr Webb has explored some of our earliest archives that describe what Oakham School was like under the headmastership of Dr. Doncaster in the mid-19th century. 


At the beginning of the year, the Archives team helped with the Form 3 study skills project in which pupils were given a booklet on an Old Oakhamian and had to use this as a gateway into researching the First World War. 

Rugby has always been an important part of school life here at Oakham. As the Guinness Six Nations Championship started last weekend, we are looking this month at OOs who took part in the competition.

To begin the New Year off, I thought it would be nice to take a look at some of the dogs that have been a valued member of Houses throughout the years. 
November 2018 commemorates an important milestone in world history: on the 11th it will be 100 years to the day that an armistice was called, ending World War 1.