In 1917, David Maxwell Fyfe left George Watson's School in Edinburgh, and rather than continuing his Scottish education, became an undergraduate at Balliol College Oxford for four years, studying Greats. Maxwell Fyfe had only visited England once before he went up.
At Oxford he forged his interest in politics, which was later to carry him to ministerial posts such as Home Secretary and
Lord Chancellor. Oddly forgotten by Balliol and the University, he worked to found St Anthony's College and had a spell convalescing at St Hugh's College when it was requisitioned as a hospital during World War II and he was injured in a bomb blast.
A STRANGER IN WW1 OXFORD
THE INSPIRATION OF 65 YEARS OF EUROPEAN FREEDOM
English Cabaret popped up to sing DREAMS OF PEACE & FREEDOM in Blackwell's Marquee during The Oxford Literary Festival, which is held in the heart of the University, in the shadow of the Bodleian Library. This is just 100 yards from Balliol College, where Maxwell Fyfe studied. Across the road in the Weston Library - the Bodleian's newly refurbished wing, 3 original reissues of Magna Carta were on display. Both College and documents were created in the thirteenth century, during the pre-plague renaissance.
English Cabaret visit Oxford from EC Vlog #6
Written, Presented and Edited by
Robert Blackmore and Lily Blackmore
English Cabaret broadcast a series of livestreams of Dreams of Peace & Freedom. This excerpt is sung by Lily Blackmore, Sue Casson and Jessica Holgate with narration by Robert Blackmore.
'Spoken from the heart'
'Superb and moving'
Post show vox pops
Extracts from David Maxwell Fyfe's autobiography
'A Political Adventure'
I had never been to London or Oxford before. Indeed I had only paid one visit to England... I arrived at Oxford in the evening. I was enormously thrilled. I had seen photographs but the collection of college buildings was something that staggered my imagination.
We selected Balliol because of its' great reputation for scholarship and the fame of it's products in the nineteenth century.
The authorities were good enough to take me.
'At that time the war stretched in front of us - limitless and seeming to command an indefinite period in our lives. It therefore seemed better to go to Oxford, and then leave it to the chances of war to see what the future would bring.
My parents showed characteristic courage and kindliness, scraping together everything that could be saved or borrowed to give me this chance.'
Wartime Oxford was a very odd place. The Colleges were indeed full, but full of white-banded cadets who were doing their
Officer-Cadet Battalion training. The undergraduates were mainly those whose health prevented them fom going to war, and a few,
like myself, who were taking a term or two before going into the army.