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Keble College, Oxford: Undergraduates Replaced by Officer Cadets

As student numbers plummeted officer cadets moved in to train at Oxford's Keble College

Most would-be undergraduates at Oxford's Keble College were fighting at the fronts during the Great War. But the corridors were anything but quiet, the students' places taken by officer cadets training to join them.

Thomas Armstrong - later Sir Thomas Armstrong - was organ scholar in 1916. In an archive recording, he remembers his training with the Officer Training Corps before leaving for the front in France.

Today's bursar recounts the story of one student who came up in 1913, and would have expected to graduate in 1916 - instead he died that year of wounds received at the battle of the Somme.

Sir Thomas Armstrong survived active service and went on to an illustrious musical career as an organist, composer and principal of the Royal Academy of Music.

Location: Keble College, Parks Road, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PG
Image shows a student at Keble College then and now
Original photograph courtesy of Imperial War Museums
Reporting for the BBC: Jane Markham, Podcats Productions

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4 minutes

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