Rugby School gave the civilized world Rugby Football but important though that was to history, the school did so much more in service of nation and Empire. The British Public School system misnamed because it was a private schooling system, was primarily geared to turning out the administrators and soldiers who kept the Empire together and the nation working. – Most Highly Recommended.
The public school system was to produce the people who ran the public services at home and through the Empire, sending its students on to the great British universities to complete their studies, but it also produced so much more with many of its students becoming academics, or leading figures in the creative arts, the doctors, the farmers, and the engineers. In the years following WWII, the system continued largely unchanged and would have given today's snowflakes an attack of the vapours. It was a tough education system that was rounded, encouraging competition and team spirit in its lessons, its games, and its thirst for knowledge. In particular it taught the confidence to avoid failure. Within this education system, Rugby was a leading school. It produced at least its share of politicians, soldiers, sailors, academics, colonial administrators who served with distinction and occupied senior positions. When the Great War began, Rugbeians flocked to the colours without a second thought. They provided many of the officers in the Army and the Royal Navy but many also just went out and enlisted, serving as Privates and NCOs. For so many Britons from 1914 to 1918, they just wanted to 'do their bit', joining up to serve with the minimum delay. In 1914, few envisaged a war to last bitterly through to 1918 and they just didn't want to miss it. This is a book that no Old Rugbeian should be without but it deserves a far wider readership just as the School did so much more than develop the game of Rugby Football. The author has researched solidly and extensively, the supporting images illustrate the content well and this book encapsulates the best of Britain in 1914. Its a fascinating read.