Diocesan College

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Group.png Diocesan College  
Diocesan college bishops crest.png
HeadquartersSouth Africa
Interesting for Rhodes Scholarship / Milner group networks; embraced apartheid military role

The Diocesan College, or Bishops as it is more commonly known, is a private, English medium, boarding and day high school for boys situated in the suburb of Rondebosch in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The school was established on 2 October 1849 by the Bishop of Cape Town.


The college was founded by Robert Gray, the first Anglican bishop of Cape Town.[1]

The school's scholarship system was proposed by Lewis Michell, a South African banker, who wanted to represent the British culture in the country and create Anglican church schools based on the English public school system. The school's staff were British and came from an Oxbridge background.[2]

In 1901, in ill health, Cecil Rhodes was persuaded to establish a scholarship system at the school, where successful graduates could progress to Oxford or Cambridge.[3]

More than 800 old boys from the Diocesan College served in battle during World War I, with 112 killed in action. The school has a roll of honour commemorating those who took service.[4]The school also embraced its military role in the apartheid era defense force, with all pupils being compelled to participate in a school cadet system, as well as other activities such as training camps at South African Defense Force (SADF) institutions, in cooperation with SADF personnel. Pupils names were also submitted to SADF authorities for the purpose of military conscription by the school principal (Anthony Mallett, Principal 1964-82) without parental or pupils' consent.


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Gavin W. H. Relly192610 January 1999South AfricaBusinessperson
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  1. Melton, J. Gordon (2014). Faiths Across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History [4 Volumes]: 5,000 Years of Religious History. ABC-CLIO. p. 1475.
  2. Kenny, Anthony (2001). The History of the Rhodes Trust, 1902-1999. Oxford University Press. p. 257.
  3. The Founder: Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power. Oxford University Press. 1988. p. 668.
  4. Buckner, Phillip; Francis, R. Douglas (2005). Rediscovering the British World. University of Calgary Press. p. 293.