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Dec 24

Robert Henry Koenig

We were recently asked by a relative of Mr Koenig as to whether we had any information on his time as the school. He arrived in Thame as a refugee from Austria at the start of World War 2. Our archivist Derek Turner did some research.

The Tamensian records him arriving in September 1940. However, the terminal list for July 1940 includes him so I suspect that he may have arrived during the summer term and possibly as one of a sudden influx of new boarders: evacuees from London, who disappeared almost as soon as they came, known as Bomb Dodgers, though Robert was presumably dodging more than bombs.  Robert was placed in Form III, a form above the other Germanic arrivals; the Kindertransport Aris brothers were in Form II and P I P Zöpf from Bremen in Form IIb so he was probably a bit older than average, about 14 I’d guess. Younger boys seldom get a mention in the Tamensian.  There’s no evidence that Robert excelled at sport, athletics or academically. However, he may have been quite musical as he performed in the school concert in the spring term of 1942 playing two duet pieces, with D H Cox: Brahms’s Waltz in A flat and Greig’s Norwegian dance. In the summer of 1942 he took school certificate (the equivalent of GCSE today). The Tamensian records that he gained one ‘credit’, roughly equivalent to grades B and C, but doesn’t record how many subjects he took and gained a pass.  His was the least good result of those that took the exam, hardly surprising given he was working in a foreign language presumably.  He left LWGS in July 1942 having reached form V. I didn’t find any information about what he did after leaving.

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