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The Death of Kingsmen


I was lucky enough to do my degree at King's College, Cambridge and one of the consequences of that is that you get sent a copy of the Annual Report every year. The front part is all about what King's is up to now, but the bulk of it is made up of the obituaries of Kingsmen past1.

So once a year we all have the slightly unnerving ritual of working our way through the obits to see if any of our year have died.

We had one early casualty: Will, who was a good friend of mine, fell off a mountain while climbing. Somehow I wasn't surprised and it was, I felt, the sort of way he would have wanted to go if he had to be taken early.

That was probably a decade ago now and since then it's been pretty quiet. The odd mature student but no one I knew. Or at least no one I've spotted as I confess it's not a ritual I've undertaken every year.

Which brings us up to date and they've now stopped sending out the Annual Report to save on cost and trees. Instead it's available it online (Adobe/PDF, 1.1MB).

Which means I can open it and search for "(1979)" and in seconds I find out if anyone from my year has died. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, it seems a little macabre, especially when I discover that two of my year have died, one of whom was someone who was an undergraduate at the same time as me (the other was a post grad so a little older than us).

I'm now plucking up the courage to do the same with the previous year's report (Adobe/PDF, 3.7MB) to see if there's anyone I missed ...

  1. And they are mainly men of course as women weren't admitted to King's until a few years before I went there in 1979.

Tags: RIP Written 03/02/10

Previous comments about this article:

On 04/02/10 at 9:07am Paul wrote:

There wasn't thank goodness, although the fathers of two friends from my year (who were also Kingsmen, there clearly used to be a tradition of King's being passed down through the generations!) had died, but at a ripe old age.

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