The Beacon School Leaderboard 09/05

Bootham Remembers Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Published by Bootham School on Wednesday 11th of October 2023

Pupils at Bootham School gathered in Morning Meeting to remember the achievements of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Philip Noel-Baker; Old Scholar, Quaker, academic, author, Olympian medalist, politician and peace campaigner.


Philip Noel-Baker was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959 for “his long-standing contribution to the cause of disarmament and peace” and later bequeathed the gold medal to the School in an attempt to inspire other young people. His message resonates more poignantly than ever.


A young Philip was sent to study at Bootham School in 1903 because of its national reputation as a centre of excellence for Maths and Science. He went on to accomplish many things including:



  • An international athletics career which saw him become twice-captain of the British Olympic track team, silver medal winner of 1500 metres, organiser of the 1948 London Olympics and President of the International Council of Sport Science.

  • A political career as Labour MP, Secretary of State for the Commonwealth, Minister of Fuel and Power, Chair of the Labour Party and member of the House of Lords.

  • An academic career as President of the Cambridge Union, Vice Principal of Ruskin College Oxford, Fellow of King’s College Cambridge, Professor of International Relations at London University and lecturer at Yale.

  • A career as a campaigner for peace, founding the Friends’ Ambulance Unit, receiving military medals for bravery from UK, France and Italy, drafting the original charter for the United Nations and co-founding the World Disarmament Campaign.


Today, the School remembers his life and his legacy and continues to encourage pupils to live their lives adventurously and make a positive difference to the world.


As Philip Noel-Baker himself said, on receiving his Nobel Prize: “In the age when the atom has been split, the moon encircled, diseases conquered, is disarmament so difficult a matter that it must remain a distant dream? To answer “yes” is to despair of the future of mankind.”

Bootham Remembers Nobel Peace Prize Winner - Photo 1
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