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    Peter Smout Memorial Essay Writing Competition 2023

    We are delighted to announce that our annual Peter Smout Memorial Essay Writing Competition is now open! 

    This competition is for Kimbolton School pupils in the First to Lower Sixth Forms. It has been made possible thanks to the generosity of an anonymous Old Kimboltonian who thought highly of Peter Smout, a much-respected former Kimbolton Senior Master.

    This is an opportunity to:

    • engage with a topical issue
    • complete extensive research
    • construct an argument presenting both sides of an issue
    • come to a well-reasoned, evidence-based conclusion

    Entries will be assessed (considering their age and stage) on:

    • Engagement with a breadth and depth of research
    • Fluency and structure
    • Critical engagement and strength of conclusion

    Entries are in the form of an essay in the region of 1500 words.

    Please read the instructions below on how to enter (also available as a pdf download from the bottom of this page).

    The essay topic for 2023 is: All groups require an uncontroversial totem around which to rally. How far and in what ways do you think King Charles can unify the multi-cultural peoples within the UK and/or around the Commonwealth?

    The coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, took place on 6 May 2023 at Westminster Abbey. Charles acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022 upon the death of his mother, Elizabeth II.

    The coronation elicited both celebrations and protests in the United Kingdom, with surveys carried out in April 2023 suggesting that the British public was ambivalent towards the event and its funding. Celebrations included street parties, volunteering, special commemorative church services, and a concert at Windsor Castle on 7 May. The events in London and Windsor drew large crowds, but were also protested against by republican groups. The response in the other Commonwealth realms was similarly mixed; while there were many celebrations, some governments and indigenous groups took the opportunity to voice republican sentiments and call for reparatory justice.

    Adapted from:  Coronation of Charles III and Camilla - Wikipedia

    Faced with a long list of issues within his realm and a not uncontroversial journey to this point, how can King Charles be a unifying force for good for the peoples both in the UK and overseas?

    More information and some resources to get you started can be found on Showbie (Course code: FK2KU). Resources are also available in the Vanbrugh Library and the librarians have put together a selection of books that you can borrow.

    Entry Deadline

    Entries are due by Friday 8th September and can be emailed to Mr Smith [cws@], or printed and put in his pigeonhole via tutors.


    (Courtesy of a very generous Old Kimboltonian, in memory of Mr Peter Smout, a former Deputy Headmaster of Kimbolton School - see below).

    • Overall winning essay - £200

    There are also four highly commended prizes:

    • Senior Category (4th Form to L6) – 2 x £50
    • Junior Category (1st Form to 3rd Form) – 2 x £50

    Peter Smout 1929-2006

    Peter Smout, former Kimbolton School Senior Master

    Charles Anthony Peter Smout (known as Peter) was born in Birmingham on 14 November 1929. Following school at The Leys, National Service in the Army, a degree at Cambridge and teaching practice at KES Birmingham and Kimbolton, Peter joined the staff of Kimbolton School as an English teacher in 1954. He remained here for 35 years, becoming Second Master in 1964. Many former colleagues and pupils remember him as the originator of outdoor Shakespearian productions in the castle courtyard; now home to a memorial bench bearing his name.

    Peter had many and varied interests, including football, birds, butterflies, the church and opera. The Kimboltonian magazine of 1989 notes: "He always welcomed the opportunity to broaden his already diverse interests, and the Printing Club, the Wine Club, the Paperback Bookshop and the School magazine all benefitted from his enthusiasm and efficiency."

    In addition to his School commitments, Peter also stood three times as parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party in the 1970s, highlighting environmental issues and on one occasion polling over 17,000 votes. A former colleague recalls: "Many of those votes were in addition to any national swing, reflecting personal support gained by diligent long-term canvassing."

    Peter celebrated his golden wedding anniversary in 2004 and remained in good health until his death on 22 December 2006, aged 77. He leaves his wife Mary, two sons and four grandchildren.