Clare College Cambridge

November 2011 - Coa-Coa and MacVita

This month's Clare Through Time document is a letter written by Jim Marris, whilst at Clare, to his younger brother Tyrrell who was 12 at the time (ref: CCPP/MARR). Jim Marris was at Clare between 1942 and 1944 during which time he managed to obtain a BA in Mechanical Sciences. Although two years is not a long time in which to take a degree, it was made possible during the early 1940's as part of the accelerated wartime degree programme. 

This letter provides a wonderful insight into the life of a student at Clare during WWII, but despite the age of the letter, it also shows certain elements of being a student have not changed. The sketch of 'sundry drunken persons' on Clare Bridge is of particualrly interest, although Marris claims they were mainly R.A.F. servicemen rather than Clare students.

Marris also observes that a particular man who rows on the river tends not to get very far due to his poor rowing technique. The illustration of this man, I think, clearly shows his frustration at remaining relatively stationary in the river.

For a transcript of the letter please click here