Home' Independence : Independence Vol 40 No 1 May 2015 Contents VOL 40 NO 1 MAY 2015 INDEPENDENCE 51
LEST WE FORGET
Brothers in arms
There is no shortage of stories attesting
to the camaraderie among Old Scholars
who volunteered for service in the First
World War, and their strong connection
to the School. Three Old Scholars even
found time – and some tinned fruit – to
celebrate the School Founders’ Day at
Pope’s Hill, Anzac Cove, on 15 July
More extraordinary, perhaps, are the
stories illustrating how the War brought
together the communities of St Peter’s
College and its arch rivals, Prince Alfred
College. Since the 1870s, the two schools
had competed fiercely on the sports
ground, and academically. The sporting
competition between the schools is still
affectionately known as the ‘Intercol’.
In September 1914, both schools held
a combined farewell for those who
had enlisted in the First Expeditionary
Force, as they had done for those
who volunteered for the Boer War.
Addressing the event, the Governor
of South Australia, Sir Henry Galway,
expressed his certainty that the men
would ‘jealously uphold the traditions
of the schools, and cause those
institutions to be proud of their sons’.
Both Headmasters, Mr Frederic Chapple
of Prince Alfred College and The Rev.
Canon Henry Girdlestone of St Peter’s
College, also spoke.
Combined gatherings were held by
those in service in France and England.
Some 160 old scholars of both schools,
serving in the 1st and 5th Divisions of
the Australian Imperial Force, joined
together for a meal at a hotel in Amiens,
France on 7 July 1917 where they ‘sang
old college songs, made speeches, ate,
drank, and made merry’.
Like the stories of respectful exchange
between Australians and Turks at
Gallipoli, or the allies and Germans on
the Western Front, these stories are a
reminder that we all have far more in
common than what divides us. They
nourish hope, and encourage action for
We are tremendously proud that the
St Peter’s College ANZAC Centenary
program this year features a special
luncheon for over 200 present-day
senior boys from St Peter’s College and
Prince Alfred College and distinguished
visitors. The luncheon commemorates
the September 1914 embarkation event
for ‘Old Blues and Reds’ and has been
driven by the schools’ Captains, who are
hosting the event with the support of
the Vice Captains.
As described by historian Katherine Thornton
in The messages of its walls & fields: A history of
St Peter’s College, 1847 to 2009 (2010); Adelaide,
Australia: Wakefield Press.
Kearney, R. (2015) Fallen Saints: The stories of
179 Old Scholars of St Peter’s College, Adelaide,
who gave their lives while serving during the
Great War 1914-1919. Adelaide, Australia: St
3 Ibid., Chapter Three.
Thornton, op. cit., page 164.
5 Editor’s note: The Rev. Bickersteth is
acknowledged as organising in 1928 a meeting
of Headmasters and Chaplains that led to
the founding in 1931 of the Headmasters’
Conference of Independent Schools of Australia,
a forerunner of AHISA.
6 Thornton, op. cit., page 194.
Thornton, op. cit., page 205.
8 Thornton, op. cit., page 200.
9 Kearney, op. cit., Chapter One.
10 From a letter published in the St Peter’s
College magazine, December 1917.
TOP LEFT With the money they would otherwise
have spent on the School’s Founders’ Day
Dinner in 1915, St Peter ’s College Old Scholars
purchased an ambulance (pictured) and travelling
kitchen for use by the British Army.
TOP RIGHT Captain Arthur Seaforth Blackburn
VC began his education at Pulteney Grammar
School, SA and then attended St Peter ’s College
in 1906-09 . He enlisted in the 10th Battalion in
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