Written by Abigail Wharne, Archivist
Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Earlier this month, I gave a short talk to our 4th Form Academic Society. Deciding on a theme was tricky, but since I’d recently worked on the school’s roll of honour – ensuring it was ready for our new memorial statue – the theme of ‘conflict’ seemed fitting.

I thought it would be interesting for our pupils to consider how old staff and alumni experienced war. I consequently picked five ‘treasures’ associated with Old Brightonians, and presented them as ‘mystery objects’. Using high-level questioning and critical thinking, the group successfully rose to the challenge, while learning more about the history of their school.

Throughout November, in celebration of Explore your Archive 2015, I will be using the blog to reveal some of these treasures to you.

The first item is a proclamation, signed by Old Brightonian Sir Harry North Dalrymple Prendergast. Prendergast led the Burma Field Force at the start of the Third Burmese War, in 1885–86. He was a pupil at Brighton College between 1849 and 1850, and a much celebrated soldier. The document triggered lively conversation between current pupils, particularly about the British Empire and how much the world has changed.

Abigail Wharne


Abigail joined the Development team in April 2015, having previously worked for the University of Sussex Special Collections, East Sussex Record Office and Towner Art Gallery. She regularly answers historical enquiries and catalogues archive material, so that it can be accessed by College staff and the public.

Abigail also manages the school’s heritage collections, including rare books and a wide range of artefacts. As a qualified teacher, she enjoys using archives to inspire and educate Brighton College pupils.

Telephone01273 681135

Contact Us

Brighton College
Eastern Road
Brighton, BN2 0AL

+44 (0) 1273 704 250
Registered Charity Number: 307061