Standing in the John Davie Room is a new installation. A beautiful oak display cabinet, built specially to house the School's 'Roll of Honour' by our very own Chaplain, George Beverly. Here, George tells us the story of the creation of the cabinet from the plans through to completion and what it means to him...
282 Old Brutonians served in the Great War of 1914-18. 55 pupils and 1 member of staff were killed in action, or died of wounds or from disease or accident. A further 49 were wounded or gas-poisoned. Far more evocative of the horror of battle are the formal and not-so-formal sepia photographs of those brave young men looking earnestly out of the impressive leather-bound Roll of Honour, with a page for each of those who fell. The title page of this volume, headed ‘Old Brutonian Roll of Honour’, simply lists their names, each with rank and regiment. Moving as this unadorned list is, the photographs of the dead soldiers sent in by relatives in response to an appeal from the School when the war was over are heartbreaking. Since becoming Chaplain at King’s, I have often hoped to see the Roll of Honour displayed for pupils, staff, Old Brutonians and visitors to see on a regular basis, so that we can remember these men throughout the year. Thus, prior to the October Half Term Holiday, I submitted some design plans and a financial bid to the Old Brutonian Association, asking them for funds to buy the timber and sundries to make a display cabinet for the Roll of Honour. The OBA agreed and thus I spent three days during the half term holiday building the cabinet.
The cabinet is made from English oak, with brass hinges, a box lock and brass escutcheon plate. The lid contains safety glass that is also UV proof, to stop sunlight causing the photographs to fade. The frame of the cabinet is dowel jointed, whilst the box and lid are biscuit jointed. Most of the edges of the cabinet have a routed finish to make the overall appearance more aesthetically pleasing. The wood has been finished with a few coats of a sanding sealer, which protects it whilst keeping the natural oak colours on show.
I really enjoyed making the cabinet - I have found woodwork to be a great hobby to relax and a fantastic skill to continually develop. Past projects have included making a longcase (grandfather) clock, tavern clock and bracket clock.
It is my hope and prayer that the Roll of Honour will now be regularly seen by many of us throughout the year, and that we will be reminded of the bravery and sacrifice of these young men; and thus remember Jesus Christ’s eternal words that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
George Beverly - Chaplain