Paper 1     |     Paper 2

In a field of over 700 candidates this year there were several outstanding contributions. Just heading the field was Wilf Ward (Twyford), closely followed by Jack Hagger, William Monaghan and Oliver Squire, all from King’s College Junior School, Wimbledon, which could boast seven very strong scripts in all, as well much support lower down.   Lyndhurst House had two candidates in the top ten: Archie Philipps and Humphrey Stanton-Ife.   Others who topped 70 were Arthur Berkley (King’s College Junior School, Wimbledon), William Klemperer (Dragon School), Alex Brown (Brighton College Preparatory) and Isabel McClean (Feltonfleet).   I congratulate all of them.  

In addition to the strong entry from King’s College Junior School, Wimbledon, there was strength in depth from St Paul’s Preparatory, as well as from The Hall.  There were also good entries from Shrewsbury House, Rokeby, Summer Fields and Quainton Hall.   Many other schools had one or two good candidates each.

The best answered questions this year were the ones on monarchs (question 1), historical brothers (4), world history (6), dates (8) and famous ships (12).   The great majority could recognise Hadrian’s Wall (3b), the printing press (3i), the Wright brothers (4e), the Crusades (6c), Boudicca (9a), Sir Francis Drake (9f), Brunel (9l), the Great Fire of London (10a) and the Peasants’ Revolt (11a).   Question 7, on individuals in history, was harder, though many correctly identified David Livingstone, Vincent van Gogh, Anne Frank and Fidel Castro.

Among the less well known answers were the battles of the Boer War (2e), Dunwich (3h), Alexander Selkirk – the real life castaway and supposed model for Robinson Crusoe (7a) and Henry Hunt – the orator at the ‘Peterloo Massacre’ in 1819 (7d).  The Domesday Book (3e) was often confused with Magna Carta; the evacuation of Dunkirk (5h), with D-Day; St Alban (9b), with Becket; and the Blitz (10i), with the Battle of Britain.     The majority of candidates also thought Lady Thatcher was the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons!   In fact, it was Lady Nancy Astor.   I also enjoyed ‘the Vulnerable Bead’ as answer to 9c.

However, the single most surprising answer for me (of the 70,000 I must have seen!) was a response to 2c about Maxim, Lewis and Vickers – names associated with early types of machine gun.   One candidate, possibly more in tune with popular culture than I am, identified the names with modern music performers: Diane Vickers, Leona Lewis and Maxamilian – the last named apparently a hip hop artist!

As ever, my thanks go to all the candidates who took part in Paper One this year and of course to all those who teach them and who uphold the importance of History in our schools.   204 candidates qualified for Paper Two and I wish them the best of luck in the next Paper.

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The Townsend-Warner
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