As part of our events to mark the one hundred year anniversary of the First World War on the 8th October, a lecture took place to recognise and remember the remarkable lives of the five Maclear brothers, Harry, Percy, Ronald, Arthur and Basil Maclear. All except Harry (the eldest) attended Bedford School during the 1890s. The most notable was Basil, a truly outstanding athlete who won his first international rugby cap in 1905 when he was selected for the Irish team. All were brave men who between them saw action in South Africa in the Boer War, and in France and West Africa during the First World War. Tragically only Arthur and Ronald survived. The names of Percy and Basil are now recorded on the walls of the School’s Memorial Hall. A recording of the lecture can be found here.

On this evening U6th Historian, James Smith, gave a very professional presentation and shared with us the highlights of some of his research into the five brothers. This was followed by author Stephen Walker who spoke particularly about Basil Maclear who features in the first chapter of his recent book; ‘Ireland’s Call – Irish Sporting Heroes who Fell in the Great War’. This book was published earlier in the year by Merrion Press. Both James and Stephen gave us moving insight into the lives, achievements and sacrifices of the brothers. Photos from the evening can be seen here.

We were also delighted to be joined by the grandchildren and great grandchildren, pictured above along with Stephen Walker, of Percy Maclear, who kindly brought along a number of family archives and pieces of memorabilia for us all to enjoy. Everybody who attended certainly felt that they had been very privileged to get an insight into the lives of five exceptionally brave men. 

For those interested The OB Club is holding a number of books at the special price of £15 for a limited time, and if you would like to purchase one you are asked to contact Mrs Bev Marshall at or on 01234 362263. See a film clip about Stephen’s book here.

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