W.O.W. (William O. Williams) - Kingswood Oxford

Archivist's Corner

October 08, 2021

W.O.W. (William O. Williams)

Happy fall all Oxfordians and Wyverns! You may remember that in a previous Wyvern Tales article from archives about George Nicholson, I mentioned that his ashes are buried under the rock in the upper school circle. Did you know that another gentleman is buried there as well, alongside Mr. Nicholson?!! His name is William O. Williams. He was a student at the Kingswood School in Bath, England. While there, he earned outstanding academic achievement. After studying at London University, he returned to Kingswood, Bath, as a faculty member. He actually taught George Nicholson and later they were colleagues there. Headmaster Nicholson invited him to come to the new Kingswood School, which he did in 1923 and stayed for 19 years until his passing in 1942 at 71 years old.


As well as being a tutor to Kingswood boys who needed some extra help and guidance, he taught some courses in math, science, and French. He was known for wearing his British-cut suits and starched collar and could not get accustomed to driving on the right side of the road.

“He secretly admired what he considered a shocking lack of inhibitions in many of his students, and he rather liked their informal ways”. When it came to traveling, he was quite adventurous and students would come knocking on his door in order to hear his stories. He claimed that he “floated his vehicle across the St. Lawrence on a raft one day because he could not turn it around at the end of a dead-end cattle track, where cows came down to the river to drink”. Now that’s quite an adventure! The boys at both Kingswood schools called him “Wow”.


Mr. Williams never married and considered his colleagues and students as family. How appropriate that Mr. Williams is buried in a place he truly loved! There is a plaque in Alumni Hall that honors his memory. “Omnibus Omnia Docebat”, which is engraved on the plaque (see photo), translates to “he taught all things”.
(Information from)


Thanks to one of our Wyvern Tales readers who, after reading the last issue, inquired about Kingswood’s motto, which was-“In Via Recta Celeriter”, which means “in the right way quickly”.


A huge “thank you” to those of you who have sent donations of memorabilia to Archives where they will be kept safe, environmentally protected, and available for viewing upon request or on special occasions, such as reunions.

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