Last Mercers’ Lecture of the Term

On Wednesday 4 November, we were delighted to welcome guest speaker, Kate Adie, for the seventh Mercers' Lecture of the term.

Prior to the lecture, a group of Sixth Form pupils had an engaging symposium and dinner with Kate, discussing her own rise through the BBC and her experiences as a war correspondent, as well as the changes to journalism through the effect of social media and the relatively new phenomenon "24 Hour News". It was enthralling to hear the different points of view on these matters from such a wise and experienced journalist, and inspiring for all those who were interested in a job in the media.

Later in the evening, over 600 guests packed the Memorial Hall for her lecture entitled "Fighting on the Home Front", which was based on the different experiences of and changing attitudes towards women in the First World War. The audience were intrigued and fascinated to hear such a vivid, compelling account of both the women who helped win the war and the legacy they created for women's lives today.

I was particularly captivated to learn about a British woman, Flora Sandes, who fought for the Serbian army; indeed she was the only British woman to officially serve as a soldier during the war. Not only was she a soldier but she was later made a Captain and given a Medal of Honour for Bravery. However while she is taught to all Serbian children at school, she appears to have been forgotten in this country.

I know I speak on behalf of everyone who attended when I offer my great thanks to Kate for coming to Dauntsey's and providing us with such an entertaining evening, and as always our gratitude must go to Mr Spencer for organising yet another excellent lecture.

Will Sims, Upper Sixth