Sixth Form student Oliver Dowsett has been awarded an Honourable Mention in the Gonville and Caius College Schools’ Prize Competition in History.

The Cambridge college said it received a very large number of entries this year, of an outstanding quality.

“Oliver’s entry was really superb; our judges were extremely impressed with the standard of work on display,” said Dr Sarah Houghton-Walker, Admissions Tutor for Arts.

“Oliver produced an object biography that was at once highly original and conspicuously academic. The history department are immensely proud of his success, which in turn augurs well for his bright future as a capable historian,” added Mr Paul Murphy, History teacher at Trinity.

Oliver himself said, “I felt very proud of the fact I was able to produce a high-quality short essay that so closely resembles Undergraduate historical study and I that I was able to make my first slightly daunting step beyond purely A-Level study to a more advanced and rigorous interrogation of object history. 

“My essay focussed on the study of object history and its application to objects perhaps considered mundane and insignificant. I picked a pocket watch worn by a Jewish passenger travelling from Southampton to New York in 1912 aboard the Titanic and explored its wider representation of the appeal of American liberty and prosperity to many oppressed Jews living in Eastern Europe at the time, as well as its role in being one of many objects remembering and honouring those who lost their lives on that fateful Atlantic voyage.

What an achievement. Well done, Oliver!


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