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The boat crew that was lost to the Great War
8th November 2018

It is an iconic image: Wednesday 4 March 1914, twenty-one past and present members of the Abingdon School Boat Club posed beside the Thames prior to their annual boat race; the 1st IV rowing crew taking on former pupils from the School. The School’s crew – Hilary Donkin, Arthur Davenport, Frank Lupton and Alan Eason – beat the Old Abingdonians ‘easily’.

Five years later nine of the young men in the photograph were dead. Donkin was the only member of the 1st IV from 1914 to survive the war.

It was this photograph and the ensuing loss of such young lives that gave Keith Hoult, father of current Abingdon School pupil, Matthew Hoult, the idea of making a commemorative film for the centenary of the Armistice. It is based on the 1914 1st IV and their coach, the science master Sidney Harold Baker, who was killed in March 1918.

Narrated by the School’s archivist, Sarah Wearne, the film intersperses contemporary footage of Abingdon’s current rowers with images of those who died, creating a poignant reminder of just four of the young lives lost during the First World War over a hundred years ago.

View the film.

Read more about those from the Abingdon community who lost their lives in WW1.

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