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News > The Mitre - Home of the OD Union > Dr Sydney Cullis makes a very historic visit to the graves of fallen ODs in WWII.

Dr Sydney Cullis makes a very historic visit to the graves of fallen ODs in WWII.

He will be presenting a talk at The Mitre on 23 May 2024.
Eric Impey setting the High-Jump Record in 1936.
Eric Impey setting the High-Jump Record in 1936.

On Thursday 23 May 2024, Dr Sydney Cullis will deliver a colloquium at The Mitre as part of the programme to bring interesting topics to ODs.  The Old Diocesans Ambassador Paul Murray hosts at least four colloquia at The Mitre per annum; as well as at least four book discussions with OD authors per annum, together with several other cultural events such as society meetings and concerts.  These are over and above the Class Reunions and OD sport events and the scores of other events held at The Mitre.  ODs interested in attending can contact the ODA Paul Murray [email protected] 

Syd Cullis's talk will centre on the Warsaw Airlift and the ODs involved in. 

While on a trip to the Baltic States in 2019 Sydney visited the military cemetery in Krakow where 40 airmen of the South African Air Force are buried, including two ODs, Eric Impey (1934-36) and Ralph Lawson (1937-40). They died during the Warsaw Airlift in 1944 and are buried in the Rackowicki Cemetery.

They were both very promising students: Ralp Lawson won the Hands Memorial Essay prize in 1940; Eric Impey established the high jump record of 1.57m in 1936 that stood for a long time.

 The talk describes Sydney's visit to the cemetery, the Warsaw Uprising by the Polish Resistance to take control of the city before the arrival of the Russian Army and the suicidal airlift to deliver to them arms, food and medical supplies.

Please join us at

The Mitre 


Thursday 23 May 2024.

The talk is 40 minutes and for those who would like to stay on there is a 20 minute DVD of an an interview with Bryan Jones, navigator on one of the aircraft shot down and Eric Impey's room mate.

We will serve Tea at 10.30am.

Please contact Paul Murray if you would like to attend.  The talk is for ODs and we will send out invites for this as we usually do, but you are welcome to bring guests - please rsvp if you would like to attend [email protected]




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