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High Street, Oxford: Letters from the Front

Letters from members and the families of those who had gone to war

In the archives at Magdalen College, Oxford University; is a unique collection of over 1,200 letters received by Herbert Warren, President of Magdalen during World War One.

Sir Herbert Warren was President of Magdalen College from 1885 to 1928. By the start of the war, he had been President for nearly thirty years, and as a result knew every member past and present of Magdalen that went off to fight.

He remained in Oxford throughout the war, and kept in touch with those fighting as best he could by writing, and receiving, letters from the front – and from families and widows of the fallen. There are letters written from the trenches, from grieving parents, and from prisoner of war camps.

Robin Darwall-Smith, archivist at Magdalen, describes the man, explains the background to the letters and selects just a few of them, from the boxes that Warren assembled.

Location: Magdalen College, High Street, Oxford OX1 4AU
Readings by Roger Trafford, Lynne Ward and Alexander Jeans
Image: Portrait of Sir Herbert Warren, reproduced by permission of the President and Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford

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