Jessel during his time as Captain of the Boats

The school commemorated the centenary of the end of the First World War by naming a rowing boat after an OW who died during the conflict.

Victor Albert Villiers Zacharias Jessel was killed in action during a reconnaissance mission in northern France, on 6 April 1917.

To avoid persecution for being a Jew, Victor’s family had changed his surname to Jessel and dropped his original surname of Zacharias, at the start of the 20th Century. After his death in The Great War in 1917 aged 21, the family requested the CWGC use his full name on the memorial at Arras, in France, where he fell. The school acknowledged his original name on their war memorial and now 100 years on a boat has been named after the former MCS rower, who was Captain of Boats in his final year of school in 1914, with his full name in all its extended glory.

The new boat was christened by Dr Bebbington, a chemistry teacher at MCS who wrote Mister Brownrigg’s Boys, a history of the MCS OWs who fought and died in the Great War, alongside Master of the Boats Stephen Spowart. The ceremony took place on the Spit,  beside the school's famous white bridges.

Bebbington also spoke briefly on Jessel’s life and time in the school. The naming of this boat comes four years after two others were named in memory of young men who also rowed for the School and fell in the Great War.