A Short History of Rudyard Kipling as a College Student at Westward Ho!..Day 15

A Short History of Rudyard Kipling as a College Student at Westward Ho!..Day 15

Rudyard Kipling United Services College


United Services College, Westward Ho!

Front View of the College Facing the Sea

The college was founded in 1874 by a company of Army Officers. At the time in the heyday of the British Empire, large numbers of Englishmen and women lived abroad for much of their lives, working to run the Empire around the world, in the Armed Forces.

I am very proud to walk in the steps of Rudyard Kipling who was a student here at the United Services College in Westward Ho! from 1878 for a few years. Today, it is now a block of flats whilst “more or less” retaining its charm and personality!

We have friends who live at what is now known as Kipling Court (formerly the College) and of course it has changed considerable. I can see their apartment from our house and the building has lost none of its majesty.

North Devon - Westward Ho 6

Rudyard’s father served in the military army in India and like so many military families at that time, their children were boarded in such places as the College.

The village name comes from the title of Charles Kingsley‘s novel Westward Ho! (1855), which was set in nearby Bideford. The book was a bestseller, and entrepreneurs saw the opportunity to develop tourism in the area. The Northam Burrows Hotel and Villa Building Company, chaired by Lord Portsmouth, was formed in 1863….

Rudyard Kipling Westward_Ho_by_Charles_Kingsley_-_1920_book_cover

Westward Ho! is a historical novel which celebrates England’s victories over Spain in the Elizabethan era. Although originally a political radical, Kingsley had by the 1850s become increasingly conservative and a strong supporter of British imperialism.[2] The novel consistently emphasises the superiority of English mercantile values over those of the Spanish.[1] Although originally written for adults, its mixture of patriotism, sentiment and romance deemed it suitable for children, and it became a firm favourite of children’s literature.[3]

The only village in England to have an exclamation mark after its nameWestward Ho! practically owes it’s existance to the book after which it was named.

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14 Responses to A Short History of Rudyard Kipling as a College Student at Westward Ho!..Day 15

  1. I always appreciate a story that sends me off to look for an atlas!! OK, I’ll be honest – I used Google maps! Thanks for the story, John!
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  2. Barrie Evans says:

    Brings back memories of a holiday in Westward Ho many moons ago. I remember we have a great time, but unfortunately don’t remember much about the buildings. Thanks for sharing John
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