Drawing for the war memorial in Round Square
The original memorial plaque
Nicholas Knatchbull's plaque
Additional plaque 1993
Welcome to the Gordonstoun War Memorial web page. This is a digital resource building on the memorial plaques in Gordonstoun House and material housed in the school archives. To find information on those commemorated on the memorial simply click on their name in the right hand panel on the lower section of this page. If you have any questions or comments please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Colour Bearer staircase
The Gordonstoun War Memorial is situated on the wall above the Colour Bearer staircase in the main entrance to Gordonstoun House.The concept of a memorial was conceived when the school returned to Gordonstoun in 1945 and the plaque was placed in it's present position at the request of Count Leopold de Kronenberg who insisted the boys' sacrifice was remembered as soon as possible after the end of the war.
The original intention was to commemorate those who had lost their lives in WWII by dedicating a rebuilt Round Square with a statue and memorial tablet in the centre of the grass. In 1947 this was changed to a memorial door and stairs opposite the entrance arches in Round Square, designed by the school architect, George Kennedy. The door and stairs were actually partially constructed but had to be removed when the Historic Buildings Council intervened. The proposed changes to Round Square are shown on the mural at the top of the Colour Bearer staircase, and the door arch that was constructed for the Round Square memorial stands to the right of the mural. So the plaque was placed in Gordonstoun House as a temporary measure but remains there. Three further names have been added on two separate plaques adjacent to the main memorial: a pupil Nicholas Knatchbul after he was killed in Ireland, and in the early 1990s two names were added to a separate plaque for OGs who died serving in Korea and Northern Ireland.
Lower panel being unveiled in 1993. L - R Andree Cracknell, captain of Mountain Rescue; Mark Pyper, headmaster; John Roberts, father of Simon Roberts.
The information for inclusion on the main memorial tablet was gathered in 1948 by a series of letters sent to the surviving relatives of the twenty two individuals. These and the replies and checking memos survive in the school archive; Jorg von Bonnet was added at the eleventh hour at the insistence of Kurt Hahn. Notwithstanding the effort made to record events in detail there are several inaccuracies of names, dates and places.
Archive material relating to the creation of the memorial has been held in the school records for many years. The idea of creating a book of remembrance was first mooted in a letter from John Kemp to Henry Brereton in 1974. He received a written reply giving memories of the boys who had lost their lives and little more was heard of the scheme. The idea was rejuvenated in the early 1990s in correspondence between David Byatt and a Governor, Grenville Johnston, this correspondence continued at the turn of the century with David Monteith. With advances in information technology the idea grew for the creation of a digital record and the internet provided the means to both investigate and create a more accessible memorial. The intention is to use this information to create a book of remembrance, which will be kept in St Christopher's Chapel.