Lent Term Lecture – Remembering Great Men and Women in History

‘What would you like to be remembered for?’ is a question that requires more than a brief moment of contemplation; indeed, it may even require a lifetime. Nevertheless, the Elstree boys of Years 6-8 were faced with this exact question during their intellectually challenging enrichment lecture on Thursday evening. Entitled ‘Remembering Great Men and Women in History’, the talk brought to light the issues surrounding publicly recognising contentious historic figures, such as the British imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes, and the famed suffragette, Emily Davison. The boys were encouraged to discuss whether or not society should celebrate these ‘great’ figures with statues or memorials in the wider public arena.

Should we update these types of memorials to account for more contemporary figures, such as Attenborough, Hawking or Einstein or should we recognise other forgotten heroes of the past? Put to a vote among the boys at the end of the talk, this certainly seemed to be the general consensus. The willingness of the boys to participate in an open discussion is always pleasing to see and their knowledge of the complex issues of history was perhaps even more impressive.

A big thank you to Mr Jim Reddy, from Uppingham School, for delivering a thought-provoking and enlightening lecture.