Lord Hutton of Furness delivered a detailed and moving Lord Rosebery lecture on Tuesday evening, based on his research into the life and writings of Henry Owens, an Old Epsomian and hero of the First World War.
A crowd of over 100 students, parents and OEs were enthralled by the narrative of ‘Harry’s’ life, beginning in his childhood and proceeding through his time at Carr House and Epsom College in the early 20th century. Henry became a cavalry doctor and served on front lines as a medic during the entire First World War. even picking up a rifle when called upon.
The audience was captured by Harry’s vivid, compelling descriptions of battles such as Ypres and the Somme from his diary, which were often harrowing to listen to. Perhaps the most moving moment of the lecture was Lord Hutton’s description of Harry’s untimely death after the war at the young age of 31. Some have speculated that Harry’s exposure to poison gas accelerated the conditions which gave way to his early demise.
Lord Hutton finished with a compelling call to remember the values of selflessness and community exhibited by soldiers such as Harry. Harry’s name has been added to our Chapel list in gold leaf, as the evidence suggests that his early death was due to the heroic stance he took in many major battles of WWI.
We are grateful to Lord Hutton for sharing his extensive research and passion for remembering Harry’s life with our College community. The school will make a donation to the charity Combat Stress in memory of Harry.