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10th September 2014

Remembering Exeter’s First World War dead

One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, members of the Exeter College community have been paying their respects to the Exonians who fought and died in the Great War.

771 Exonians served in the First World War and of these 143 died, including two Fellows. This was a huge toll at a time when only around 50 matriculated each year.

Rector Cairncross and Exeter College Chaplain the Reverend Andrew Allen attended a commemorative service for John Norwood VC, the first Exonian to die in the First World War, in St Michael’s Church, East Peckham, Kent in August. They are now visiting graves and memorials of Exeter men buried in northern France and Flanders. You can follow their journey here.

Alumni have also visited graves across the globe, including in Ireland, Turkey and Israel. The Rector and Chaplain would like to encourage Exonians old and new to join them in commemorating the fallen, and you are invited to join them on their journey or to visit war graves near you if you are able. A full list of the burial sites and memorials of Exonians is available in the Roll of Honour.

On 10 September Exonian Ann Nursey (1979, PPP) visited Exeter College to honour her great-uncle, Laurence Hibbs, who came up to Exeter College in 1913, joined the army in 1914, and died in Lapugnoy in 1916. Ms Nursey visited the First World War memorial in the College Chapel, designed by Exonian Sir Reginald Blomfield. She also browsed a selection of material from the College archives, including a photo of her great-uncle taken during the College’s sexcentenary celebrations, his academic report card, and the registration book which includes his signature.

The Exeter College First World War memorial


Ann Nursey peruses archive material from 1913 and 1914, including her great-uncle’s entry in the College register


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