Peter the Wild Boy collar & Pocket watch

Posted by Berkhamsted Admin on 06 Apr 2023

Modified by Berkhamsted Admin on 07 Apr 2023

Peter the Wild Boy collar & Pocket watch

2014 marks the 300yr Anniversary of the Hanoverian Dynasty and the Historic Royal Palaces are celebrating with the Gorgeous Georges exhibitions.

The School has, for many years, been the custodian of a collar that was once worn by Peter the Wild Boy. Peter was a feral child found in the forests of Hanover and brought to court in 1726, by Queen Caroline and King George II.

With a request, visit and agreements made, the collar was delivered to Kensington Palace during the Easter break. I was fortunate enough to be shown behind the scenes and meet some of the Curators and Conservators involved in the installation and shown where the collar will be on display for the next year.

Collar close up
Collar close up 2

The exhibitions run from April 2014 – April 2015, for further information about events during this time click here.


With strong links to the OUAC, a request from the Principal, leads us to the second artefact to be loaned.

1914 saw a British foursome become the first team outside America to take part in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia. The members of the 4xmile relay team were A N Jackson, G M Sproule, N S Taber and D N Gaussen, (Bees 1912). Competing against leading USA Universities, the British team won the event by a foot! Gold pocket watches were awarded to each member of the winning team. David Newbold Gaussen had been elected President OUAC, shortly before sailing to America. However, he was commissioned in the Bedfordshire Regiment in August 1914 and was killed in action on 31st July, 1916.


The watch was donated to the School by his twin brother John McCulloch Gaussen, (Bees 1912), who joined the staff in 1940, as a Master in the Junior School. 100 years on, this 24th -26th April, the OUAC 4xmile team of 1914 are being inducted into the Penn Relays Wall of Fame. The watch is being taken to America by two representatives of the OUAC and will feature in the events programme.

I hope to be able to show you the programme in a future update. The School will be acknowledged in both exhibitions. It must be said that loaning artefacts is not a general rule of thumb but I hope you agree, that these two events are exceptions to that rule.


D N Gaussen is pictured fourth from left in the back row. His twin brother, J M Gaussen, is pictured next to him, fifth from left.


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