Matthew Burns

SEDBERGH TOC H LAMP RETURNS TO ARCHIVES OFFICE

Sedbergh School’s Toc H WW1 memorial lamp has been returned by an amateur historian in Bridlington. Toc H was a Christian organisation set up during WW1 that still exists today.

Initially set up in Belgium to provide a rest house and services such a library and chapel for men seeking respite from the front the organisation provided support for returning soldiers in the post war period. Many towns had a Toc H branch which would have helped find housing and work for ex-servicemen. 

The Sedbergh branch was run by pupils who would have offered support to servicemen and charities for service personnel in other ways. Lamps were awarded once the groups organising Toc H in each town were given official branch status, a practise that began in 1922 when Toc H was granted a Royal Charter.

The lamps each have plaques around the side, the wording on the Sedbergh lamp reads ‘In memory of Old Sedberghians who fell in the great war 1914- 1918’ and on the other side ‘First lit in London by H.R.H the Prince of Wales, 27.04.1929’.

It is not known how the Sedbergh Toc H lamp left the town but late last year Mike Wilson from Bridlington made contact with the school to say that an elderly neighbor had given him the lamp knowing of Mike’s interest in WW1 history.

He and his wife felt that the best place for the lamp to be was Sedbergh School and kindly made arrangements to the lamp to be returned. The School plans to display the lamp at WW1 commemoration events and will store it in the archive to ensure all who wish to see it are able to.

If you would like to view the lamp, please contact School Archivist Katy de la Rivière is available on 015396 22275.

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