Renowned journalist and BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen visited Dauntsey’s school recently as part of the 2016/17 Mercers’ Lecture Series.
Jeremy gave a lecture to pupils and staff entitled Reporting on Conflict. The audience was treated to an exhilarating and engaging account of Jeremy’s career and the lecture was as moving as it was entertaining. He provided a poignant insight into the effects of conflict situations, as he had personally displayed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after the death of a close friend in Israel’s departure from Lebanon in 2000.
Jeremy reflected on his experiences in these conflicts and the fact that, after being in this environment for so long, conflict situations began to feel normal, meaning he felt out of place at home. He stressed the extent to which this affected his personal life.
On a lighter note, he told humorous stories from his time on BBC Breakfast, ranging from interviews with celebrities like Donny Osmond and Christopher Plumber, to guest presenting satirical panel show Have I Got News For You.
Prior to the lecture, Jeremy took part in a discussion with a group of sixth formers. He started by outlining the details of his career before answering questions on current foreign affairs and the conflicts in the Middle East.
Archie Osmond, lower sixth form pupil said: “Jeremy’s talk captured the adrenaline and excitement that his line of work entails and carried the audience through countless conflicts around the world. It was amazing to be in the presence of a man who been to so many places and had seen so much.”
The Mercers’ Lectures are named in recognition of the links between Dauntsey’s and the Mercers’ Company, which go back to Mercer founder Alderman William Dauntesey, Master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, who founded the school in West Lavington in 1542.