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ED 400

Reference code

ED 400


Diaries of John Marriott



Administrative / Biographical history

Son of major-general Sir John Charles Oakes, 1895 - 1978, he was at Eton 1934.3 - 1939.2. His maternal grandfather Otto Kahn was a great patron of the arts, and John intended to make a career in music. The war intervened. He did not join his father's regiment, the Scots Guards, and enlisted as a private. (The Eton War List does not include his name but his diaries make clear that he served).


1933 - 1942

Extent & medium

10 volumes

Content description

Daily record of life at prep school, Eton and holidays. He came to Eton in September 1934 He notes such events as the Coronation of George V and in 1938 and 1939 enters summaries of political events. At the outbreak of war he was abroad, but the entries seem to reflect a very casual attitude to returning home and once home, to the war. A round of shopping, eating and cinema and theatre going continues. The diary ceases in October 1939, when he sailed for Cairo (where his father was stationed) and resumes in 1940. Entries on the war become more detailed but only in August does he himself take a job, with the 'ESB'.He subsequently joins the army and eventually returns to the UK At the end of the 1942 volume pages have been removed and he says he is closing the diary `as I am off to foreign shores with a minute kitbag'.
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