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Authority record

William Arnold-Forster (1886-1951), politician and artist

  • Person
  • 8 May 1886 - 8 October 1951

Will Arnold-Forster was the youngest son of Hugh Oakeley Arnold-Forster, a Liberal Unionist MP and his wife, Mary Story-Maskeline. He inherited an interest in art from his mother, and studied at the Slade School between 1905 and 1908 where he won several prizes. He moved to Italy in 1911 living in Tuscany. At the outbreak of war he joined the Royal Navy.

After the war, he married Katharine Laird Cox (known as Ka), who was then working at the Admiralty, and they moved to Cornwall where they purchased 'The Eagle’s Nest'. He was an enthusiastic gardener, and his garden at 'The Eagle’s Nest' was described as spectacular. He worked on the Memorial Garden at St Ives, and with the sculptor Barbara Hepworth on her garden there.

As a Labour politician, Arnold-Forster was a strong human rights advocate, and became involved in the creation of the League of Nations (1920). In the interwar period he was influential in foreign policy debates that tried to find an alternative to war and argued for multilateral disarmament. During the Second World War he continued to advance ideas for a new international body with more coercive powers. After the war he continued writing and speaking on internationalism and the United Nations.

As an artist, he first joined the St Ives Arts Club in 1909 and was noted for landscapes and pastels. His work is included in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Will and Ka were interested in progressive education, and they sent their son Mark, aged seven, to boarding school in Switzerland, and two years later to a boarding school in Salem, Baden-Württemberg run by Kurt Hahn. Hahn, a Jew, was imprisoned in Germany, but was released with the assistance of the Arnold-Forsters and fled to Scotland in 1933. Together they were instrumental in the founding of Gordonstoun. Will was the first chairman of the board of directors and Mark was one of the first pupils.

Ka died suddenly in 1938 at the age of 51, while her husband was in North America on a peace mission. The following year he married his friend Ruth Leigh-Mallory (widow of George Mallory). She died three years later of cancer.

Williams, Basil (1867–1950), historian

  • Person
  • 4 April 1867 – 5 January 1950

Basil Williams was born in London on 4 April 1867, the only son of Frederick George Adolphus Williams, barrister, and his wife, Mary Katharine Lemon. He was educated at Marlborough College and New College, Oxford. He volunteered for service in the South African wars and then spent time working in the education department. After returning to England he dedicated himself to a career as an historian.

In 1905 he married Dorothy Caulfeild. They had two sons, one of whom (John) taught George Mallory to ski.

He died at 46 Amhurst Park, Stoke Newington, London, on 5 January 1950.

Willink, Sir Henry (1894-1973), Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge

  • Person
  • 7 March 1894 - 20 July 1973

Master of Magdalene College 1948-1966

Educated at Trinity College.
MP (National Conservative) for Croydon North, 1940-1948
Minister of Health, 1943-1945
Vice-Chancellor, 1953-1955
Created Baronet 1957, ‘for public services’ – he chaired four Royal commissions or commissions of inquiry between 1951 and 1962
Made an Honorary Fellow on his retirement from the Mastership in 1966

Arms in Hall glass, E3.

College Magazine
Article by F.H.H. Clark, College Magazine, No. 70 (1948) pp. 9-11
Article College Magazine No. 17 (1972-73) pp. 3-13
Obituary by R. Hyam College Magazine 1966

Wirgman, Augustus Theodore (1846-1917), Anglican cleric

  • Person
  • 1846 - 15 October 1917

Matriculated in 1866 and took his degree in Classics in 1870. In 1871 he obtained a second class in the Theological Tripos.

Archdeacon of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, having taken up a post in Grahamstown in 1873; canon of Grahamstown Cathedral, 1899; royal chaplain; on active service during the Boer War. Author of many books including Storm and Sunshine in South Africa: with some Personal and Historical Reminiscences

College Magazine
Obituary: College Magazine, No. 26, December 1917

Wollaston, Alexander Frederick Richmond (1875-1930), naturalist and explorer

  • Person
  • 22 May 1875 - 3 June 1930

Dr Alexander 'Sandy' Wollaston was the Medical Officer and Naturalist of the 1921 British Mount Everest Expedition. He was killed by a student in Cambridge in 1930.

Sandy Wollaston was an English medical doctor, ornithologist, botanist, climber and explorer and part of the 1921 Expedition to Everest. After qualifying as a surgeon in 1903, Wollaston decided to spend his life on exploration and natural history, travelling extensively; he wrote books about his travels and work, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1907. He took up an offer from John Maynard Keynes to be a tutor at Cambridge. He was shot dead by Douglas Potts, a deranged undergraduate student, in Cambridge in 1930.

Wood, James (1889-1975), artist

  • Person
  • 1889-1975

Painter, draughtsman, writer and aesthete, born in Southport, Lancashire. From 1908-11 he read history at Cambridge University, then in Paris, after studying etching, pursued painting with Percyval Tudor-Hart before going to Munich. During World War I he was in the army and Royal Flying Corps, later working on battleship camouflage. Among Wood's writings after World War I were The Foundations of Aesthetics, written with C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards. He also wrote on colour harmony, a favourite topic, and in 1926 published New World Vistas, an autobiographical work. From the 1930s Wood became increasingly fascinated by Persian Art; he learn Persian and subsequently became art adviser to the Persian government. His own paintings were influenced by Kandinsky, and he showed at Leicester and Zwemmer Galleries in solo exhibitions. After 1955 he rarely exhibited, but painted several portraits of Cambridge Academics. Throughout the war years Wood lived in a remote cottage above Llantony, Monmouthshire. After the war he lived mainly in his Hampstead house, where his studio was situated, though spent some of his time in his wife’s house in rural Gloucestershire with occasional visits to Llantony. Wood was married to a painter, Elisabeth Robertson, who had previously been the wife of the artist and writer Humphrey Slater. In 1980 Blond Fine Art held a retrospective.

Wray, Sir Christopher (1524-1592), lawyer and benefactor of Magdalene College, Cambridge

  • Person
  • 1524-1592

Although no longer thought to have been educated at Magdalene, he was certainly an important benefactor, building a major part of the west range on First Court, and (together with his wife and daughter) endowing several fellowships and scholarships. He was also a central figure in Elizabethan political history: MP, 1553-1571; Speaker, 1571; Chief Justice of the Queen’s Bench, 1574-1593, presiding over many state trials, including those of St Edmund Campion and Sir Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel; he also received the submission of the Northern Earls, and acted as an assessor at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots.

Arms in Hall glass, W3. Memorial brass in Chapel.

Young, Geoffrey Winthrop (1876–1958), mountaineer and educationist

  • Person
  • 25 October 1876 - 8 September 1958

Geoffrey Winthrop Young was born in 1876 and was the son of Sir George Young and Alice Eacy. He was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was one of the most famous British mountaineers before the First World War. He met George Mallory at a dinner in Cambridge in February 1909 and they remained close friends often climbing together at the climbing parties at Pen y Pass (these were gatherings of leading climbers in Snowdonia). Geoffrey was Mallory's best man at his wedding to Ruth. He served in Belgium and France during the First World War as a war correspondent for the Daily News. He founded and commanded the Friends' Ambulance Unit in Flanders, and served mostly at Ypres. In August 1917 he was severely wounded and had his left leg amputated above the knee. After the War he continued to write and climb with only one leg. In 1918 he married Eleanor Slingsby and had 2 children. He died in 1958 and his ashes were scattered on the peaks above Pen y Pass.

Younghusband, Sir Francis Edward (1863–1942), explorer and geographer

  • Person
  • 31 May 1863 - 31 July 1942

In 1919 Sir Francis Younghusband was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society, and two years later became Chairman of the Mount Everest Committee which was set up to coordinate the initial 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition to Mount Everest. He actively encouraged George Mallory to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest. Younghusband remained Chairman through the subsequent 1922 and 1924 British Expeditions.

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