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Keble and The Great War

The effect of the First World War on Keble College was immense. Student numbers fell dramatically between 1914 and 1918. ‘C’ Company of the No. 4 Officer Cadet Battalion was stationed at the College and although there was a small income from the billeting of these officers and cadets the College suffered huge financial losses, estimated at about £17,000.

Economies were made in an attempt to cope financially between 1914 and 1918. In 1914 the dons agreed to a cut in salary of one fifth; plans for more bathrooms were cancelled and repairs to the organ were postponed.

Several of the College Tutors entered war service: William (Billy) Henry Vincent Reade superintended Red Cross work in Egypt; Arthur Synge (Crab) Owen worked in the Admiralty and Kenneth Kirk served as a Chaplain to the Forces.

In total 966 prospective, current and old members of Keble served in the war and the losses were great. 25 students accepted for admission into Keble were killed prior to their matriculation and 22 students interrupted their studies to join the Military and Naval Forces never to return. Three members of College staff and 124 Keble old members lost their lives during the course of the war.

The pages explore the impact of the war on members of College, including a digital Roll of Honour to all those who served in the Military and Naval Forces and lost their lives.