Librarian Jane Kirby and I wanted to commemorate those Bedalians who died in WW1. I suggested we marked the 100th anniversary of their deaths and we agreed this should include a small presentation in the Bedales Memorial Library, the School’s War Memorial, designed by Ernest Gimson and opened in 1921. We have very limited archival resources but close study of The Bedales Record (published annually in September) and, from 1907, The Bedales Chronicle, produced information about most of the OBs. I use my membership of Ancestry.co.uk and other genealogical sites to begin research into family backgrounds and regularly consult surviving material at The National Archives, The British Library and the Bodleian. Many of the OBs feature in published works (usually to be found in our Library), and in several cases I have been loaned material by surviving descendants.
Bedales is unusual in commemorating an ex-pupil, Ferenc Bekassy, who died in the Hungarian Hussars, and an ex-teacher of German, Herr Hinne, who was killed in the German infantry. I have added to the 63 ex-students and 2 members of staff, two ex-members of the domestic staff, previously ignored. 17 people have already been acknowledged (go to History of Bedales: WW1 on the website) so there is still a large task to be completed. If any readers of this Bulletin have information about ancestors who were at Bedales and died in WW1 we would be delighted to receive it.
By Ruth Whiting