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Event Description

A celebration of the life of Richard Spender is the new exhibition of Spender artefacts that will open in Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall on Friday 10th November.


Richard Spender studied at King Edward VI School between 1930 and 1940, where he became Captain of School (Head Boy) in his final year.  He excelled both academically and in sport.  In 1940 instead of proceeding to St Catherine’s College Oxford on a History Exhibition, he enlisted as a soldier.  He saw much action in North Africa, where tragically he was killed in 1953, aged just 21.  However, he had already started to make his mark as a poet, with recognition including publication of his work in The Observer and Times Literary Supplement. 


Sharing both his work and his life story The Laughing Cavalier is edited by Richard Pearson, School Archivist for King Edward VI, and Perry Mills, Deputy Headmaster of King Edward VI School. Spender’s poetry takes readers on a journey from his training days to his posts overseas and the many challenges he faced, experiences which are as relevant today as ever.


The Richard Spender Exhibition at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall will feature original notebooks and writings from the young man.  Copies of the artefacts will be available for visitors to handle themselves to enable them to reflect and draw their own inspiration.


The Laughing Cavalier, taken from the name Richard was affectionately given by a friend in the Parachute Regiment because of his larger than life character and great humour, can be purchased from Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall and Waterstones in Stratford-upon-Avon.


Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is open daily to visitors (11am to 5pm), with the Richard Spender Exhibition included in the ticket price.  For further visitor information visit www.ShakespearesSchoolroom.org