The Philip Geddes Memorial Fund seeks to recognise, reward and stimulate the best in undergraduate journalism at Oxford with a series of masterclasses, prizes and the prestigious annual Geddes Memorial Lecture

Latest news from the Trust

The winners of the 2020 Geddes prizes have been announced and the trust was delighted to congratulate the recipients at a ceremony ahead of this year's lecture, given by Michael Crick. You can read more about the event here...

About the Geddes Trust

The awards are named after Philip Geddes, a member of St Edmund Hall and a journalist of considerable promise. After graduating he joined the staff of the London Evening Standard, then moved to the staff of the Daily Express. In December 1983 he was in Harrods, the Knightsbridge store, when orders were issued for the building to be evacuated. Realising there was a story to be had, he went to investigate. He was killed by the blast from a bomb planted by the IRA. Philip Geddes was just 24.


A tree and plaque in the gardens of St Edmund Hall commemorate his life, and since 1984 the Philip Geddes Memorial Prize has encouraged promising student journalists on the path to Fleet Street, radio and television. Former prizewinners are employed by the BBC, ITN, Reuters, the Economist, and a wide range of Fleet Street newspapers.


Each year a first prize of £2,500 is given to the most promising student journalist at Oxford University.

Student journalists who specialise in sports writing are also able to compete for The Clive Taylor Prize for Sports Writing, a £2,000 special award in memory of the distinguished cricket writer Clive Taylor. Students can also apply for the Ronnie Payne Prize, a £2,000 prize for foreign reporting given in honour of the acclaimed foreign correspondent Ronnie Payne.

Philip Geddes pictured alongside former prime minister Theresa May in 1978 as part of Oxford University's Edmund Burke Society

The Trustees

Peter Cardwell
Chairman of Trustees

Peter Cardwell is Special Adviser to the Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP. He won The Geddes Prize in 2005 and edited The Oxford Student in Michaelmas of his second year.  He was chief press officer of The Oxford Union and President of the Oxford Media Society. His first job after studying history and politics at St Hugh's College was as a researcher on Newsnight, working closely with Geddes Lecturer Jeremy Paxman in London and Washington. Since then he's worked for BBC Washington, Question Time, Sky News and reported for 5 News, UTV, ITV and BBC Northern Ireland.  He has written for publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Johannesburg Star. Peter also holds a Master's Degree from Columbia School of Journalism, where he was Alistair Cooke Fulbright Scholar. 

Harry Hodges

Harry Hodges is deputy comment editor of the Daily Telegraph. Previously he was associate features editor of the Daily Mail and deputy comment editor and leader writer at the Daily Express. While at Oxford he was the founding editor-in-chief of The Tab Oxford. He was awarded the St Edmund Hall prize in 2013 and after university worked at the Tab's national head office before moving to the Daily Express. He has also written for the London Evening Standard, the Daily Star and the Huffington Post.

Professor Wes Williams
Geddes Fellow, St Edmund Hall

Wes Williams teaches French language and literature, with a particular focus on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; he also teaches European film, and literary theory.  His main research interests are in the field of Renaissance literature: the critical study of genre and of subjectivity; investigations into the politics of literature, experience, and the popular and professional cultures of the early modern period. He is a founder-member and Director of Oxford Amnesty Lectures. Alongside academic work, Wes writes and directs for the theatre. He has co-written and directed a number of solo shows in collaboration with Emily Woof (Sex II; Sex III; Going, going…), Nick Whitfield (Albert Camus, what’s the score?; Roadmovie), and Ed Gaughan (Radioplay). His most recent show is a double act, with Ed Gaughan and Andy Buckley, entitled Saints and Superheroes.

Helen Lewis

Helen Lewis is an English journalist who is currently Deputy Editor of the New Statesman. She won the Geddes Prize in 2004. She has also written for The Guardian, and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily Mail.

Paddy Coulter
Ella BaronTrustee

Paddy has over 30 years professional experience of international media and development communications. Since 2007 he has been the Communications Director for the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) of Oxford University’s Department of International Development. He was previously Director of Studies at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, responsible from 2001/2007 for the Reuters Foundation Journalism Programme.  Between 1990 and 2001 he was Director of the independent television production company, the International Broadcasting Trust, producing programmes for leading broadcasters on global issues. He is a Fellow of Green Templeton College, heading communications strategy for the college’s Emerging Markets Symposium. He currently chairs the international board of the press freedom body, ARTICLE 19.

Christopher Wilson
Emeritus Trustee

Christopher Wilson, author and journalist, is a Founding Trustee of the Philip Geddes Memorial Fund. Philip was working for him at the Daily Express when he was killed by the IRA. Christopher Wilson's assiduous work over 25 years for the fund has been key to drawing donations of more than £100,000 to encourage excellence in Oxford student journalism. He is an elected member of the Senior Common Room at St Edmund Hall in recognition of his efforts. He has a wide background in television and print journalism, having worked as environmental correspondent for ITV, for the Daily Mail, the Sunday Telegraph and as diplomatic correspondent of The Daily Express.

LINK to his site, 

Sandra Barwick
Emeritus Trustee

Sandra Barwick (St Hilda's College) knew Philip Geddes at Oxford, which is how she came to be involved in the prizes. She has had a long, varied career on Fleet Street, mainly as a news reporter, and is also a former News Features Editor of The Daily Telegraph, Home Editor of the Spectator, and a former columnist on the Independent, for which she was highly commended in the British Press Awards, The Sunday Times and Evening Standard. She worked as a staff reporter on the Independent, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, and has also worked in features, on magazines and as a freelance.