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9 November

Remembrance, ‘All the King’s Men’ & more OV news

King’s Remembrance 2018

Pupils, staff and members of the OV community participated in a number of commemorative activities on Friday 9th November to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The day started with a Service of Remembrance in College Hall, with a special address led by OV Commander Durham Hirons (K 83-93). Durham is a Commander in the Royal Navy and has served predominantly at sea in ships ranging from patrol vessels through frigates and destroyers to large amphibious ships and an aircraft carrier. Durham’s address is available to listen to here.

Following the service, Durham joined an RS lesson with Upper Sixth pupils to tell them more about his career, and to participate in a debate on The Ethics of War.







Members of the OV Club, retired staff, former parents and friends of the school were invited to a lecture in the John Moore Theatre, entitled ‘A War Worth Winning’, delivered by OV Jon Palmer (Br 63-70). With an MA in British First World War studies from Birmingham University, and as a member of the Western Front Association and the Douglas Haig Fellowship, Jon delivered a thought provoking and compelling lecture. 

The day concluded with a poignant staged reading entitled ‘Before the Daylight Fades Away’ in the Wightman Studio. The performance focused on the letters from three OV brothers, the Wilmot boys, writing back to their mother, all who died in the war, as well as other famous works of the time, by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.

In the lead up to Remembrance Day, King’s School Archivist Harriet Patrick has been working alongside local author and historian, Mark Rogers to produce a very special book, ‘All the King’s Men’. As we mark the centenary of the end of World War One, this book records every OV who fought and lost their lives in World War One, World War Two and the Boer War.

With generous support from the OV Club, every pupil across the senior school has received a 

copy to take home. We are very grateful to the OV Club and hope that pupils will enjoy and treasure this truly unique piece of King’s history. The books were formally presented by OV Club representative Alec Mackie (Cl 47-56) to the Heads of Houses.


OV FIREWorKS reunion

It was lovely to be sent this photo from Corah Lewis (Ch 07-14) of a wonderful fireworks party in London last weekend which ended up being a bit of a King’s reunion! They watched the Battersea Park fireworks from up on the roof. It was also great to catch up with other OVs, some of whom Corah hadn’t seen since leaving! The evening  was held by an OV in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity and they had a wonderful evening while raising money for a fantastic cause. 


OV making a difference

We were recently contacted by Simon Oldroyd (Cr 71-77) with news about his work as an Advisor with Caplor Horizons.  For the past 4 years, he has been volunteering with Caplor Horizons – an independent charity that works nationally and internationally with other charities to support them in strengthening their leadership, renewing their strategy and improving their influence. Caplor Horizons’ purpose is to ‘inspire and enable leaders to deliver a sustainable future’ and its model is very simple: it only has 3 members of staff, yet has over 50 Advisors who contribute their time on a voluntary basis, thereby offering professional skills and experienced knowledge to charities that couldn’t usually afford the level of expertise that Caplor Horizons provides. Each Advisor is a specialist within their own field and the Advisor team comprises senior business leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, government officials and members of the House of Lords.

Simon originally became involved with Caplor Horizons in 2013, six months before its launch, advising on the organisation’s brand identity and helping to develop its strategic priorities. Since then, Simon has been involved in also helping to deliver some elements of its work with a number of its international clients in the UK, Ghana and Kenya, focusing primarily on leadership and strategy development.

During several of his recent visits to Ghana and Kenya he has worked with university consortiums (whose aim is to put knowledge and learning at the heart of development); NGOs that harness the power of the private sector to help people in the developing world lift themselves out of poverty by building competitive farms and businesses; a faith-based organisation proving education, health, financial and social services within one of the largest slums in Nairobi; and a project focusing on sustainable development by providing opportunities for women in rural communities on the border of Ghana and Burkina Faso.

We always like to hear news from OVs of their latest ventures, so please feel free to drop us a line at  

from student to lecturer

Congratulations to Ilija Rasovic (Cr 03-10) on his exciting new role as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham! Ilija has sent us this great update about  what his new role entails…

'I’m a Lecturer split across the relatively new Liberal Arts & Natural Sciences (LANS) programme and the Engineering & Physical Sciences (EPS) College (encompassing the Schools of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Metallurgy and Materials, Physics and Astronomy). LANS is a unique programme in the UK and allows students to build their own degree alongside core courses focusing on interdisciplinary approaches to tackling big societal questions. I teach, supervise and tutor the students, and organise their Cultural Programme. My remit within EPS covers Science Communication very broadly. As such, I am designing a course and delivering workshops in how to write scientific papers and articles well, how to make engaging posters, and how to give good presentations. Bridging the two worlds of LANS and EPS, I am also engaged in multiple projects that span the gap between the two cultures of the arts and sciences, as well as in public engagement and outreach work with schools. As a materials scientist, I am also keeping up with publishing my work in the field of nanomedicine, looking at how we can use nanomaterials in medical applications.

It’s been a frantic start! But I’m in a very fortunate position with this job and am really excited by the opportunities and flexibility it offers. Being back in the Midlands is a great feeling and UoB is a top university. If anyone in the King’s community wants to discuss potential projects regarding any of the above, I’m always open to ideas and happy to discuss: email me via the alumni office ( or find me in the weird world of academic Twitter (@IlijaRasovic).' 


Phil Mackie (Cl 73-84) is spending 4 months living in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Cath, and youngest daughter Izzy (S UR). Phil and Cath both work for the BBC, and Cath has secured a prestigious Knight Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan for the 2018/19 academic year. Phil has written to tell us something of their life in the US:

‘We are halfway through the semester and enjoying Halloween, while looking forward to Thanksgiving. Fall has arrived with its spectacular colours, but a few weeks ago we were still able to visit the beaches and were wearing shorts. Winter will be fierce, but should not arrive in earnest until after Christmas. It has been a wonderful experience so far. Ann Arbor is a beautiful, and very wealthy, university town on the outskirts of Detroit, which is a city we’ve come to love. As the spouse of a Fellow I can take courses too, and so have returned to the classroom 30 years after I graduated from University.  Michigan is one of the biggest universities in the world and has a tremendous reputation. I am sure The King's School development team will be amazed to hear that its latest fundraising initiative has raised $5 billion, and a third of that will be spend on bursaries and scholarships. We have already toured three of the Great Lakes and popped over to Canada (45 minutes away). Cath is travelling with the Fellows to Brazil next month, and I will join them in February when they visit South Korea. Izzy and I will return to Worcester in January so she can begin to catch up with her school work. She isn’t looking forward to wearing a uniform again! Our eldest daughters, Ellen and Georgie,  will join Izzy and me when we return to Ann Arbor for the month of April."