More than Victims of Horace: Public Schools 1914-1918



by Timothy Halstead

The involvement of public school boys in the Great War has often been seen in terms of ‘a race of innocents dedicated to romantic ideals’. It has been argued that an education based on the teaching of the classics (focused on the deeds of past military heroes) and the playing of games underpinned this.

A School in Arms: Uppingham and the Great War (2017) Timothy Halstead demonstrated that in the case of Uppingham this involvement was more nuanced than previously suggested. His More Than Victims of Horace: Public Schools 1914–1918 argues that this was the case for all public schools and looks at the role of those who survived as well as those who died.

More Than Victims of Horace examines the professionalisation of the British Army in the years leading up to 1914 and how the its relationship with the public schools developed. The rapid expansion of the army after the outbreak of the war meant that a range of skills were needed to enable it to operate effectively. It also investigates how public schools with varying educational approaches were able to support this expansion and prepare their boys for war as well as the common elements to the military training they provided. As part of a nation in arms the schools also contributed to the effort on the home front. Drawing on the archives of the Headmasters’ Conference and several schools, More Than Victims of Horace provides the first scholarly analysis of public schools during 1914–1918.


6.1 x 9.2 inches

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