Apr 15

A Short History of the John Hampden War Memorial Fund

The John Hampden War Memorial Fund exists to help students continue their further education through the provision of awards. Recently, a short history of the Fund was put together by the Trustees.

The War Memorial Prize

The earliest incarnation of the Fund was the 1920 presentation of a War Memorial Tablet by GE Shrimpton, Secretary of the OTA to Mr Wykenham, the Chairman of the Governors. It was inscribed with the Arms of the School and the names of the Fallen, whilst a War Memorial Prize was given to the School, to be awarded to the Boy who exercised the best influence in or out of School. The Memorial was unveiled by General Sir Hew Fanshawe, educated at Winchester,a local notable who had been sacked as a Commander of V Corps by General Haig during the first days of the Battle of the Somme, though seemingly not because of military incompetence. The son of a Vicar of Chilworth, he was replaced by his own Brother, also a General. There was another Brother, also a General, in reserve, if required.

John Hampden Leaving Scholarship

After some years of discussion, the John Hampden Leaving Scholarship was established in 1931. Its purpose was to provide financial assistance to encourage Pupils to attend University. A Past President of the OTs, RE Crawford, was the driving force behind the project.
Amalgamation to create the John Hampden War Memorial Fund
World War II created further challenges, At an Extraordinary General Meeting in 1947 it was decided to amalgamate the First War Memorial Fund, seemingly in the gift of the Governors, with the newly launched War Memorial Scholarship Fund, which also absorbed the 1931 Fund. The initial assets took in £255 9s 7d on deposit with the Post Office Savings Bank, and £33 at Lloyds Bank, but the response to the Appeal was sufficiently positive to allow the Trustees to think in terms of a Fund approaching £1,000.
It was decided that the capital and income of the Fund should be applied primarily to the provision of Scholarships and Exhibitions for the benefit of past and present pupils, and the first Scholarship, of £25 per annum, was awarded in 1948, on the advice of Mr Dyer, to Peter Clarke, training as a Vet in Liverpool. Perhaps as the result of an oversight, the Articles did not provide for the provision of a Memorial, and this was funded by the sale of residual assets in the 1914/18 Fund. The new Tablet was designed and made by Maile & Co, of Euston Road, who had produced the First World War Memorial.
There were other elements of continuity. RE Crawford, of whom we have already heard, emerged as the first Chairman of the Fund, and the meeting held at the Spread Eagle in January 1948 was attended by GE Shrimpton, (ditto), as well as Messrs Dyer, Castle, Purser and Syson.
The same meeting also discussed the proposed unveiling ceremony, due to take place on the 26th June after the OTs Cricket Match. Presumably the meeting had been rather “convivial”, and a decision was taken to invite Mr Churchill to carry out the ceremony. Failing which, Lord Greene, the Master of the Rolls, might oblige. Failing him, perhaps Viscount Hampden, AP Herbert or Quinton Hogg.
It was reported at the May meeting, which was shorter, and no doubt less ”cheerful”, that all those actually approached had proved unable to accept  the invitation extended, leaving the Trustees with the option of Quinton Hogg. It was  decided to approach Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Barratt, Inspector General of the RAF and, perhaps more realistically, Col GM Harper, an Old Boy.
Since then, the JHWMF has continued to thrive, grating awards on an annual basis.

1 comment

  1. RS

    Message from Richard Sherwood:

    I recall that R E Crawford latterly lived in Australia.

    The names of those at the 1948 meeting at the Spread Eagle brings back memories. I never met A C Dyer but am pretty sure that I met George Shrimpton who was a partner in the London law firm Radcliffes & Co. (I knew his late nephew Ivor Shrimpton very well, both as an old pupil and as a founder member of Thame Round Table). The late Peter Castle (whose son David has lived in the Falklands for many years) owned Castle’s stationery shop and the Thame Gazette; Eric Syson (another lawyer and partner at Kennedys) was of course a longstanding Chairman of the JHWMSF Trustees and endowed the Syson speaking prize. It makes one wonder whether Shrimpton and Syson, both London solicitors, knew Lord Greene.

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