Christmas 1914, part 1

Extract from Christmas, 1914, Part 1

The work of the School has been carried on this term under circumstances which are unique, not only in the history of the School, but in that of the world.  The effect of the great conflict now raging is all prevailing – in the school it is lending additional seriousness to the various duties, for it is felt that anything but steady work would be out of place.

But, quite apart from the war, this year will be remembered as a year of victories, victories which, though won in the lesser field of school life, yet called for the same qualities of discipline, training and determination that will bring us out victorious in the European conflict.  The School has set up a new record by winning the Inter-school championships both in Athletic Sports and in Swimming during the same season.  Also it is pleasant to be able to report that the football XI’s have had, so far, a fair share of success.  This is appreciated the more by contrast with the barren seasons which have been our fortune or rather our misfortune for the last few years.  It is to be hoped that the teams will go on as they have begun.

The House matches have been commenced and an extremely interesting contest seems probable for the championship.  These matches should furnish the material for the teams of the following season.  At this time, football ought on no account to be neglected so that if we are called upon when we are older to take our part in the great struggle we may be fit and ready.

Inter-School Swimming Sports this year found the school very much to the fore.  Its members were prominent not only in the water but out of it, for the considerable number of Handsworth boys present saw no need to restrain their enthusiasm.  The results served again to show what can be done by practice.  May the shield long remain in its present resting place.

The school work has proceeded steadily this term.  In consequence of the departure of Captain Richardson and Lieutenant Thompson on active service two new masters, Mr. Allison and Mr. Brown, have joined the staff.  We offer them a heart welcome.

Much interest was lent to this year’s Natural History Society’s Exhibition by the display of trophies and other objects concerning the war.  The other exhibits were also well worth examining.  A good number of visitors thoroughly enjoyed the evening, during which some excellent colour photographs were shown by Mr. Partridge.  His lecture served to prove how fascinating the subject is and the fact that his series was incomplete owing to the stoppage of supplies by the war furnishes us with another grievance against the Prussians.  It is a pity that the tea cannot end the evening, for the harmless beverage supplied seems to have an exhilarating effect on certain members of the school.

It is with great pleasure that we are able to record that one of the old school societies has been revived.  Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Thomas the suggestion – made in an earlier number of The Bridge – to form a Literary and Debating Society has been carried into effect.  Its reception has proved that the revival in school life is not confined to the athletic side.  We trust that the Society will not again be allowed to fall into abeyance.

The Corps has had a large number of recruits this term, interest having been stimulated by outside events, the keenness of all ranks is satisfactory.  As Captain Richardson is away at Lichfield, Leiutenant England is now in command.  Many of the honorary members of the Corps are serving with the colours and some have succeeded in obtaining commissions.  We are proud of them and wish them luck.  The chief events in Corps life since the last issue of The Bridge have been an extremely eventful camp and the examination for promotion.