Chatwin Colloquium: Michael Cannon OM

‘Bruce Chatwin’

– Michael Cannon OM (B2 1954-59) and study companion of Bruce Chatwin)

Michael Cannon began with observations on his experiences of College life, before speaking of the differences between himself and Chatwin: the “sporty and social” speaker versus the eclectic and intellectually mercurial Chatwin. 

Their shared study became a repository for Chatwin’s many antiques bought on cycling outings to Ramsbury and other villages. The study was near the Senior Prefect’s and they became close friends.

Mr Cannon spoke of the influence of Marlborough beaks Huw Weldon and Trevor Gartside on Chatwin, as well as the Head of Classics. After school, the speaker travelled to Chile whilst Chatwin went on his own odyssey – paths diverged. However, Mr Cannon has kept in touch with Elizabeth Chatwin, Bruce’s widow; he also visited Bruce’s mother just after his death. The obituaries were found to be disappointing and Mr Cannon wrote a letter to The Times, putting the record straight.

Mr Cannon has unveiled the commemorative plaque to Bruce Chatwin (designed and made by Ele van Schoor of the College Art Department) and was delighted to take part in the celebration of what talent and determination can at Marlborough College observably achieve.

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