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Record 26981

Reading Experience:

'I have been trying to think how far I and my like, middle class schoolboys at the end of our pre-war education, were unquestioning patriots ready to respond to heroics. I think it is true that we were. We were reading now, or having read to us by our English master, the newly published sonnets of Rupert Brooke: 'Now, God be thanked who has matched us with His hour / And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleep.' 'Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead.' and 'Honour has come back, as a king, to earth.' 'If I should die, think only this of me: / That there's some corner of a foreign field / That is for ever England.' We had been prepared for these heights: conditioned may be the right word. Tennyson and Browning (besides Shakespeare, of course) we read in the English lessons and learnt by heart; and it cannot be by chance that there comes to my mind unbidden 'Ulysses' - 'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield' and the well-known 'Epilogue to Asolando': One who never turned his back but marched breast forward, Never doubted clouds would break, Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph, Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, Sleep to wake.'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: Between 1 Jan 1910 and 1 Jan 1914
Country: England
Time: daytime: school hours
Place: city: Berkhamsted
specific address: Berkhamsted School
location in dwelling: classroom
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Harold Edward Leslie Mellersh
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1897
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: schoolboy
Religion: Anglican
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: William Shakespeare
Title: n/a
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown
School textbook - probably owned.


Source Information:

Record ID: 26981  
Source - Print  
  Author: Harold Edward Leslie Mellersh
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Schoolboy into War
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1978
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 26
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Harold Edward Leslie Mellersh, Schoolboy into War (London, 1978), p. 26,, accessed: 30 November 2023

Additional comments:

This is an autobiographical report (1978) of a school reading/listening experience (1910-1914).



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)