Sir Hew Strachan visits The Green Ribbon Club

The Green Ribbon Club (Sixth Form History) last week were treated to a visit from Sir Hew Strachan, Chichele Professor of Military History at All Souls, Oxford. He wrote the Channel 4 series on the First World War and sits on the National Defence Advisory Committee, alongside admirals and generals. The Sixth Form were joined by Block 3 as Sir Hew first turned his attention to the younger members to suggest what they should look for on their upcoming visit to the trenches of World War One in Belgium and France. He gave a lucid outline of the importance of Ypres and the significance of The Somme. He covered a huge range of issues in the rest of his lecture and in questions, from the experience of soldiers (not always as miserable as war poets have suggested) to why the war went on so long and whether it was a ‘good’ war and how best to commemorate it. The Press has, over the last 6 months, been filled with speculation and argument as to how the Centenary of the War should be celebrated/commemorated, with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove keen “good war“ protagonists. Sir Hew was the clearest and most balanced of all voices. It is not surprising therefore that he has so far racked up 60 lectures since the commemorations began last year and we were most fortunate to be privileged with his visit for his 61 st.

By Jonathan Selby, Head of History


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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