On Friday 18th June it was an absolute pleasure to welcome OV Marcus Ferrar (Cr 53-63) back to King’s.
During his time at King’s, Marcus was Head of School and involved in Rowing, CCF and Football. Marcus took A Levels in French, German and Latin at King’s before going to the University of London to study French and German.
Marcus is an author and communication consultant who spent over 30 years working for Reuters as both a Foreign Correspondent and in the Senior Management. Books Marcus has written have included Slovenia 1945: Memories of Death and Survival after World War II, A Foot in Both Camps: a German Past for Better and for Worse, The Budapest House: a Life Re-discovered and The Fight For Freedom.
Marcus was with us for the day to meet and speak with our German and History pupils using his vast professional experience and interests.
Armed with information on the curriculum from Head of Modern Foreign Languages Richard Ball (Hon OV) and Head of History Emmah Cameron, Marcus gave three fascinating presentations over the course of his day with us.
The first, to our L6 Germanists, focussed on looking at East and West Germany and what has shaped the modern Germany of today. As the sole Western correspondent in East Germany before the fall of the Wall and as a correspondent based in Europe during the Cold War, Marcus was well equipped to give an overview of this for the pupils who study the cultural life of Berlin and the German political system as a part of their A Level. Marcus even fitted a discussion in German in at the end which gave pupils the opportunity to practice their speaking and to ask questions, which included a discussion about the film ‘Good-Bye Lenin’ that they are studying.
After coffee with Development Director Liz Elliott, Marcus moved into the John Moore Theatre. He spoke with the Upper Remove History pupils, giving his presentation ‘Dresden: Reconciliation after Destruction’, a presentation for the Dresden Trust of which Marcus is Chairman. This put into context the horrendous bombing at Dresden when in one evening – overnight on 13th February 1945 – 25,000 people lost their lives and 78,000 dwellings were destroyed by the British. Marcus explored the moral pros and cons of the British bombing of Dresden and the keys to reconciliation. He took time at the end of the talk to answer many questions from pupils, which covered subjects such as his feelings on the fall of the Soviet Union.
Marcus’s final talk was to all the King’s Germanists where he spoke on modern Germany, giving historical context for their German studies looking at the development of the country from World War II to today. For this talk Marcus used a selection of photographs from 1945 to the present day, covering politics, economics, reunification and much more to illustrate the journey of Germany.
Marcus also enjoyed a tour of King’s with Liz Elliott, including a trip up to Archives at the top of Edgar Tower. Archivist, Harriet Patrick (Hon OV), had found many photographs and items to show Marcus which included him in his school days and also his father Harry Ferrar, who was second Master at King’s. Very impressively, Marcus could remember all the names of his teachers and had memories for each. Marcus particularly enjoyed a visit to the School Library, situated at the bottom of School House, and was interested to hear that one of his books formed part of the reading list for History A level.
Marcus finished the day enjoying lunch with Headmaster Gareth Doodes and a selection of pupils who were able to quiz him further on his interesting career and experiences, as well to share their own King’s experiences.
A big thank you to Marcus for his time and for a day that we shall not forget.