To be classified as a notable Harrovian is certainly a prestigious honour, to be on par with greats like Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Byron and Jawaharlal Nehru whose first inklings of greatness were fostered at our very own Harrow School.
Many pupils have come and gone in the long-standing history of the institution but it’s always worth taking a look at the remarkable alumni that have passed through those gates. So, join me on this brief overview of the famous faces that have made their way onto the notable Harrovian list.
Harrow School is certainly known for its commendable arts departments. So well established are their arts faculties that at a time it once nurtured the likes of celebrity and actor Benedict Cumberbatch and singer and songwriter James Blunt.
Benedict Cumberbatch, the now award-winning actor, felt his first inclinations towards the performing arts as an adolescent at Harrow School. He’d spent much of his formative years performing in Shakespearean plays, joining societies like the remarkable Rattigan and Harrow’s principal club for the dramatic arts, whilst making his standout leading role performance as Eliza Doolittle in a rendition of “Pygmalion”, in which it was said he easily outshone his fellow cast members.
Meanwhile James Blunt, a singer and songwriter best known for his hit singles “You’re beautiful” and “Goodbye my lover”, is also a member of the famous alumni of Harrow School having spent 5 years as a student. His later service under the British Army was undoubtedly championed by the passions he developed during his A-level schooling.
For now, let’s escape the world of arts to go on an expedition with some Harrovians that have garnered acclaim for their scientific contributions.
Intrepid explorer, Tom Avery, is most well-known for his record-breaking polar expeditions, but most would never have guessed that a portion of his schooling took place at our own Harrow School. One of the few people in history to have conquered the Polar Trilogy, a full-length expedition to the South and North Pole and a coast-to-coast crossing of Greenland. Tom Avery is the proud owner of two Guinness World Records and to think such an impulse for adventure was born in Harrow School is extraordinary.
On the other hand, we have another award-winning explorer, Pen Hadow, who in actuality began achieving record-breaking feats while still attending Harrow School.
Being the first person to have made a solo trek, without third-party support, from Canada to the North Pole is by no means a small feat. However, it is a challenge that Hadow, if anyone, is justifiably deft at taking on, having accomplished being the first ever recorded person to run a 20-mile “Long Ducker”, a school tradition, from Harrow on the Hill to Marble Arch and back, in the process raising £101.58 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Fund. It’s not hard to imagine that a person whose record-breaking propensity began during his school years would go on to scale even greater feats in his future.
Let’s leave the intrepid world of exploration and discovery to try our hand at sports, delving into which now famous face was once a patron of Harrow School.
If you’re well informed in your sports knowledge, it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard of the former English Cricketer Nick Compton and his contributions to the sport. Being immersed in cricket from a young age, Compton attended Harrow School on a sports scholarship scheme under the mentorship of housemaster David Elleray. He was quick to impress as captain meanwhile being prolific with his role during the 2000s season for Middlesex’s Under-19 side.
Harrow School has played a part in the formation of many political figures over the years, some of whose faces are very recognisable in public life.
A notable character who received their education at Harrow School is the retired British Diplomat Sir Jeremy Greenstock. The British Politician played a noteworthy part in representing Britain before the United Nations, as well as in Iraq. In his political career, he advocated for anti-terrorism agendas and subsequently lent his expertise to non-governmental organisations.
If this expansive but definitely not exhaustive compilation of characters have demonstrated much is that Harrow school has fostered many memorable faces from the outset. As is the principle of any good academic institution to nurture their patrons towards future success, Harrow School has certainly demonstrated this ability time and time again.