Charting Churchill: Head Master’s House, Harrow School

by Leslie Hossack

Head Master's House, Harrow School, Harrow on the Hill 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Head Master’s House, Harrow School, Harrow on the Hill 2014

© Leslie Hossack

In 1888, Winston Spencer-Churchill, age 13, entered Harrow School where he studied until 1892, leaving at the age of 18. He won prizes for history, for reciting 1200 lines of poetry, and for a poem he wrote; he took part in debates and joined the Rifle Corps; he competed in swim meets and won the Public Schools’ Fencing Championship; he tobogganed and skated on the lake; he rode his bicycle, collected stamps and shot rounds on the rifle range; he took part in mock battles and signed up for drawing lessons; he played the cello and enjoyed singing; he was reported at various times for unpunctuality, slovenliness, cutting school, disobedience and impertinence; he suffered several illnesses and missed his parents; he collected autographs and sold his own parents’ autographs; he attended lectures by many famous visitors; he took the special Army Class for boys intending to go on to Woolwich or Sandhurst; and in his final term, beginning in September 1892, Winston shared his room at Harrow with his brother Jack.

The photograph above shows the Head Master’s House, one of many at Harrow. Pupils board in one of the houses and it becomes the focus of their school life. Winston was first assigned to Garlands House and then moved to Head Master’s House in May 1889.

The image featured above is part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. She presents locations that chart Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS are part of Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, Stalinist structures in Moscow, contested sites in Jerusalem, a Cold War bunker in Ottawa, NATO’s Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, and buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

To view more photographs, please visit Leslie’s website.  lesliehossack.com

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