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4 February

OV discovers King’s special edition of Cowper’s Poems Book, dating back to pre-WW1

King’s School Archivist, Harriet Patrick and the Development & Alumni Relations team are always enthralled to receive snippets from King’s School history and OV Clive O’Donnell (Cl 70-77) has very kindly shared with us some interesting articles and photos in the past.  This week Clive sent us an intriguing email:  he had come across a book owned by his late uncle entitled, ‘Poetical Works of William Cowper’. The reason, he believed his uncle (who had not attended King’s School himself) was drawn to the book, was because of an embossed King’s School crest on the front cover, indicating this was a specially printed edition of Cowper’s poems for King’s. Inside the front cover, Clive discovered a wonderful book plate showing that it had been awarded to OV FN Andrews for ‘holiday reading’ by then Headmaster WH Chappel, in October 1911.

Interested in finding out more about the recipient, Clive researched the name in ‘All the King’s Men’, a book created in the lead up to Remembrance Day 2018, in commemoration of 100 years since the end of World War One and written by King’s School Archivist Harriet Patrick alongside local author and historian, Mark Rogers. This well-researched and beautifully presented book records every OV who fought and lost their lives in World War One, World War Two and the Boer War.

Clive was saddened to find that Francis Andrews, a vicar’s son from Trysull, Wolverhampton, had enlisted with the Royal Irish Rifles and died on 11th October 1915 in France, aged 20. Clive says, “This is a book to be treasured and one that I will pass on to Harriet for the School Archive.”

Harriet is always very grateful for any articles or artefacts that relate to King’s School history, so if you have anything to share, or indeed, give to the School, she can be contacted on (Harriet is currently on furlough).

Thank you to Clive for sharing this deeply intriguing but sad discovery about one of our former OVs.


Francis Andrews