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Photo of Second Lieutenant Brocklebank wearing a uniform with braiding and brass buttons, hands resting on a sword ; a spiked helmet placed at his side Laurence Seymour Brocklebank , killed in action 26 Aug 1914War generally brought out the best in King's students and staff.

Fairly typical of the average King's student during the First World War was Oswald Harland, who writing home from Egypt, complained that he had 'to some extent lost touch with King's. Perhaps, if I pull through safely to the end of the war, I may come back for a year or two's research. Meanwhile, ------ war!'

The College remained for many servicemen an extended family from which they might draw comfort in times of distress.

In memory of the more than 700 students and staff from King's killed during the twentieth century, the College Archives and the University of the Third Age (U3A) have created Lest We Forget, a website commemorating the war dead of King's College and the institutions with which it has merged, including the Medical Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals.

During the Second World War, Capt Pat Reid famously led one break out from prisoner of war camp Colditz. Reid had been an engineering student at King's between 1928 and 1932 although he was sent down for two terms 'owing to a break of discipline'.

Another former King's engineer to do his duty was Cyril Bird, alias the cartoonist, 'Fougasse'. Bird was responsible for many of the most memorable public information posters of the war, memorably including the famous 'Careless Talk Costs Lives' series.

King's also played a unique role in the development of nuclear weapons. The Canadian physicist, Louis Slotin, who had studied at King's in the 1930s, was a key scientist on the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb. Slotin was responsible for arming the very first nuclear device, a procedure in which the plutonium hemispheres are brought close together in order to determine the presence of a critical mass of fissile material.

It was during one such test, known as 'tickling the dragon's tail' because of the great danger involved, that he received a fatal dose of radiation and died in May 1946.

On a less welcome note was the activity of the King's alumnus, William Joyce, alias Lord Haw Haw, the notorious traitor who broadcast Nazi propaganda in English and was renowned for beginning his broadcasts with the catchphrase, 'Germany calling, Germany calling…'

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