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An Evening at Winchester College’s War Cloister

Christopher Normand, Director of the Winchester College Society, delivering the evening talk in War Cloister.Winchester College shares a profound historical link with The Royal Green Jackets, which is vividly exemplified within Winchester College’s War Cloister, erected shortly after the First World War.

War Cloister features memorial tablets inscribed with the names of Wykehamists who made the ultimate sacrifice during the two World Wars—513 from WWI and 274 from WWII. Notably, 118 individuals served in former regiments of the Royal Green Jackets, with an additional 27 serving in former regiments of the Rifles. The War Cloister was dedicated on 31 May 1924, marking its centenary this year.

War Cloister’s recent refurbishment included repainting and regilting all the coats of arms and cap badges displayed on the walls and beams.

On 2 May 2024, Winchester College hosted an evening for Old Wykehamist Green Jackets and other former members of the Royal Green Jackets to delve into the history of War Cloister and uncover some of its the compelling narratives. Christopher Normand, Director of the Winchester College Society, delivered an engaging talk, unveiling the memorial’s evolution, design, and recent conservation efforts. Normand also shared poignant stories of individuals linked to the Royal Green Jackets and former Rifles regiments. The lecture took place within the newly refurbished confines of the War Cloister, followed by drinks in the Armoury. Attendees had the opportunity to peruse a captivating collection of artefacts which we were delighted to loan to the College for the event—including medals, letters, sketches, and other personal items—bringing to life the experiences of several old Wykehamists. Notably, a striking sketch of Lieutenant Michael Sinclair (26 February 1918 – 25 September 1944) made by a fellow prisoner of war during his internment at Colditz was prominently featured, which you can read more about in our object archive. Additionally, some wonderful cartoons by Major Ian Fenwick

A cartoon drawn by Major Ian Fenwick amusingly illustrating new guidance that 'Brigadiers should learn to ride pillion....'

Major Fenwick’s cartoons illustrate with expressive humour his experiences.

(11 Aug 1910-7th August 1944)  reflecting his experiences and relationships with officers and other members of his regiment were on display, which you can also read more about in our object archive.

This captivating evening offered a poignant blend of education, reunion, and remembrance. The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum was delighted to provide objects for display, and to be able to attend the evening alongside so many familiar names and faces.


For those eager to explore War Cloister firsthand, guided tours are available through the College.

To stay informed about more upcoming events like this, you can sign up for our events and evening talks email list.

If you attended this event at the War Cloister, we’d love to hear about it! Feel free to email us, or to tag us on social media with your thoughts and experiences.