Arnold School was established in 1896 and merged with King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in 2013. In the 1930s the school provided a series of talks for the boys on Saturday evenings. These included such diverse topics as explorers, cowboys, countries such as India, and ‘physics in the Alps.’ The school magazines showed a keen interest in the international issues of the day through its Debating Society, which was inaugurated in 1935. Mr Archer of the League of Nations Union (LNU) had given a lecture on the League of Nations the previous year. The first debate proposed ‘That the League of Nations is striving after an unattainable object.’ Views expressed included the failure of the League in disarmament and that it was a waste of money as it had done very little. Others saw the future role of the League and condemned the press who did not always support it.
The Abyssinian Crisis was the topical subject of a debate in 1935. The motion ‘That Italy’s attitude to Abyssinia has been indefensible’ was carried. A ‘balloon’ style debate was organised in 1936. The merits of Anthony Eden, Gracie Fields, Marconi and Roosevelt were discussed before Fields narrowly won the parachute. Japan’s actions in China were deplored in a debate in December 1937, but they also voted for Britain to remain neutral unless her colonies were threatened. The motion ‘That some form of military conscription in this country is necessary’ in February 1939 reflected the uncertainty of current events. The motion was lost.
Arnold School Magazine, 1931-1939. AKS Independent School Archives.