This rich history includes a long line of notable alumni, known as Dukies, including senior generals (such as Sir Archibald Nye and Gary Coward), famous musicians (such as Henry Lazarus), sportsmen (like Maurice Colclough), many leading academic scientists (including Professors Paul Shaw, Timothy Foster and Mark Gardiner) and clergymen (James Jones and Bill Ind) and a long list of decorated armed forces personnel.
Founded in 1803 by act of Royal Warrant dating from 1801, the school was until 1892 called the Royal Military Asylum.
The school’s primary purpose was to educate the orphans of British servicemen killed in the Napoleonic Wars of 1793-1815.
Between 18 the Royal Military Asylum was located at what is now known as the Duke of York's Headquarters in Chelsea, London.
The school was co-educational; making the Duke of York's the second co-educational boarding school in the United Kingdom.
The first co-educational institution was the Royal Hibernian Military School in Dublin, which was relocated and merged with Duke of York's after Ireland declared independence.
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Today the Chelsea site is home to the Saatchi Gallery.
The school adopted the "Madras system of education" developed by Dr.
For the duration of World War I (1914–1918), the school was evacuated to Hutton, near Brentwood, Essex.
The reason for the evacuation was to provide the military authorities with a transit point in Dover for troops moved to and from the Western Front.
Andrew Bell, to which Joseph Lancaster made certain improvements.