Exeter College War Graves

In the First World War, 771 Exonians served and of these 143 died, including two Fellows. This was a huge toll at a time when only around 50 matriculated each year. Of the 59 who came up in 1911, the same year as JRR Tolkien, 23 were killed, the highest casualty rate of any year.

1914_June (Tolkien leaning on vine)

To pay homage to the College’s War dead, we are travelling to as many as possible of their graves and memorials (mainly in Flanders and Northern France) over the summer, to leave a sprig of rosemary from the College gardens tied in a slip of Exeter ribbon. We hope that students, alumni, or friends of the College will be able to visit some of the memorials in out-of-the-way parts of the British Isles and perhaps the Dardenelles.


The journey will start with a ceremony at East Peckham Church on the centenary of the start of World War I, Monday August 4th. At this church there is a plaque to commemorate John Norwood, VC, the first Exonian to die in World War I. The rector,  chaplain and members of the choir will be present. Any students who would like to come to this ceremony should email andrew.allen@exeter.ox.ac.uk. Further details including the schedule in France and Flanders will shortly be available on this site.  If you are holidaying near by, please consider joining us as we pay tribute to the young Exonians who, in 1914, did not make it through the following four years.