Main content

Battersea, London: The Boys of Emanuel School

Of the 800 former pupils and staff from Emanuel School in Battersea who served in World War One; at least 145, including three masters and a former headmaster, are known to have lost their lives.

With each year of the conflict the impact on the Emanuel alumni increased – the bloodiest being 1918.

Public schools suffered heavy losses during WW1 because the educated older boys and their masters generally became officers who often were the first to go “over the top” and lead their troops into battle.

As the number of officers recruited from the country’s more elite schools began to diminish, they were replaced by boys from middle class institutions such as Emanuel School.

A memorial to those who died was unveiled at the Emanuel School chapel in 1923.

Among the names are the school’s pre-war headmaster Harold Buchanan Ryley and his son, HB Ryley Junior.

Location: Emanuel School, Battersea, London SW11 1HS
Image: Emanual School Chapel, courtesy of the school

Release date:


6 minutes

This clip is from

Featured in...