Taylor Downing (Class of 1971) 

Taylor Downing is a historian, writer and television producer. He has written several best-selling books and has produced more than 200 television documentaries, many of which have won Awards.

His most recent book “1983 - The World at the Brink” was shortlisted for the Pushkin Prize and his previous book “Breakdown: The Crisis of Shell Shock on the Somme” was one of The Times’ 'Must Read' books of 2016.

After leaving Latymer, Taylor went on to read History at Cambridge, where he achieved a Double First. Taylor then founded Flashback Television in 1982 (one of the leading factual independent production companies in the UK). As Managing Director and Head of History at Flashback TV, Taylor produced more than 200 historical documentaries and a wide variety of other programmes.

In 2015 Taylor was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Taylor has stayed in close touch with Latymer since leaving and has supported its bursary programme for many years. In 2014 he led at tour to the Somme with Jim Nicolson (1971) for members of the Latymer community, and again in 2017. He has also led several tours around the Imperial War Museum to help raise money for the Bursaries Appeal.

"I was lucky enough to be at Latymer when it was a direct grant school, which meant there was a big social mix. It was an all boys school when I was here, we had the sons of aristocracy with the sons of train drivers - we had a complete social mix. I think that's very important in a school environment, that you're with people from all areas of the social spectrum. What's great about the Inspiring Minds campaign is that we're trying to raise money for bursaries to once again get Latymer back to this big social mix from West London."