T is the middle of the war. The school does its best to keep up a normal calendar of events but inevitably the shadow of the campaigns in North Africa and the Mediterranean, the struggle at sea, and the bombing of Germany are a constant reminder of the peril faced by so many including our boys many of whom have only just left School. The bulk of this issue is the headmaster's notes about old boys and their part in the war. Sufficent games, athletics, swimming are played to keep the boys fit but other activities are more related to food production, the supply of raw materials and the preparation of boys for the Services. Scholarship takes a back seat with the universities being mostly concerned with officer training. Few of the regular teachers are left and the school recruits retired teachers and non-graduates to fill the gaps.
Captain of the School . . D. C. Blunden
LEWES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. C. Blunden.
MARLETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S. T. Pilbeam.
SEAHAVEN . . . G. R. Satchler, R. R. Charlwood, R. Oxley.
UCKFIELD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N. V. Jarvis.
Captain of Rugby : D. C. Blunden.
Vice-Captain, Secretary and Treasurer : K. Hills.
Form Captains :
IIJ .. Craik. IIB .. Phillips. IIA .. Skinner.
IIIB .. Nicholls. IIIA Newman.
IVB .. Hall. IVA .. Carter.
RemoveB .. Funnell, P. RemoveA .. Walter.
VB .. Vass. VA .. Rogers, R.
Editor of the Magazine : R. R. Charlwood.
Sub-Editors : N. V. Jarvis, R. Oxley, S. T. Pilbeam, G. R. Satchler.
Three years ago the Battle of Britain was being fought in the clear summer skies over Kent and Sussex, and the School building was the silent spectator of many a battle that ended with a machine hurtling down to bury itself in the green turf of the Downs or the blue waters of the Channel.
Today those same skies echo to the thunderous roar of countless Allied aeroplanes winging their way to France or Belgium or Germany itself to take vengeance on the enemy for relatives and friends killed or maimed by German bombs. During those three years the School has had to face many difficulties, but it is with the same determination, and the same confidence as our fighting men, that we look to the future, when it will be possible to turn more of our attention to the School, and make it a fitting memorial to those gallant Old Boys who have lost their lives in the great struggle. We look to the new boys especially to undertake this task and one way to prepare for it now is by cooperating with the School as much as possible in all its activities. May it never again be necessary to have to complain of the lack of individual contributions to the School's Magazine.
The last year has been notable for examination successes, the
most outstanding being those of Burgess, Ford and Oliver, each of
whom won a scholarship to the University. We congratulate them on
such a brilliant beginning to their careers and hope that these
successes are but an earnest of things to come.
R. R. CHARLWOOD.
The number on the School roll for the Autumn Term, 1943 is 37I, a record.
Thirteen is traditionally an unlucky number. Our thirteenth year has been memorable. Old Boys have led the way with a D.S.O., a D.S.C., two D.F.M's. and a D.F.C.
During the year the School made its first broadcast.
Sixty-one School and Higher Certificates have been gained, another record. Three Open Scholarships have been won, two at Oxford and one at London. By including Biology as a Sixth Form subject we have been able to send our first candidate to a London hospital with exemption from 1st M.B.
Of an Upper Sixth of thirteen hoys, seven were recommended by the three Services for University Courses as potential officers. Unfortunately, two were afterwards found medically unfit - our last year's and our this year's Rugger Captains. Of the six boys not so recommended, two were medicul students and therefore exempt, three were under age and one was medically fit only for service on the lower deck. Could there be better evidence of the quality of our Sixth ?
Our Oxford and Cambridge contingent will be strengthened next term by the arrival of Ford, Caton, Preece, Oliver and Williams. The Oxford scholarship which Burgess has won will remain in store until after the war. He is going to Durham University to a Course for Artillery Officers.
The Summer Term brought its usual agricultural activities. We supplied parties to work on farms in the district and for the second time made a hayrick of our own. We had no assistance in carting and about ten tons of hay were gathered by hand.
We have said goodbye to Mr. Hulbert, who has left us to go to Chichester High School. We thank him for his three years of devoted service to the School. We welcome Mr. F. N. Holmes, B.A. (Cantab.), Mrs. Holmes, B.A. (London) and Mr. W. F. Annis, M.A. (Oxon.). We hope their stay in Lewes will be happy and beneficial to all.
[Note: Mrs Holmes was an elderly lady with many interesting tales to tell about her experiences in the Middle East and very popular with the younger pupils. However she was eventually rumbled by the Headmaster who discovered that she was not a graduate and had told many untruths about her previous experience. He sacked her and both of the Holmes left the School.]
House Masters . . Messrs. Hoggins and Larwill.
House Captain . . D. C. Blunden.
To review the achievements of Lewes House during the last year is a most happy task. Though such achievements were the result of energetic team-work, our success was largely due to the excellent leadership of Ford.
Once again we won the Work Shield, but Seahaven gained far too close a second place. If every boy pulls his weight during the next year and minus points are avoided, we shall win the Shield again and by a larger margin. We also won the Games Shield, winning all our Rugger and Cricket matches. It is noteworthy that no fewer than seven members of Lewes House played for the 1st XV, three of these gained their 1st XV Colours, two others having already gained theirs during the previous season. The House also provided five members of the Cricket XI.
Still another success was achieved on Sports Day when Lewes wrested the Athletics Cup from Martlets. Here again much of the credit goes to Ford and also to Hills, who between them literally ran away with the senior events. We came second in the Cross-Country, but our efforts in the Swimming Sports were poor. In junior Soccer we beat Uckfield, drew with Martlets and lost to Seahaven - satisfactory, but not good enough for Lewes. On the whole, however, we can justifiably dub ourselves "Cock House" for the year 1942-3.
Congratulations to our former House Captain Ford on gaining an
Open Exhibition to St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford, the Edgar Povey
Trophy and the School Proficiency Badge. We wish him and all the
other members of Lewes House who have just left, the best of luck
in the Forces and in their post-war careers.
D. C. B.
House Masters . . Messrs. Tayler, Auld and Nicholls.
House Captain . . S. T. H. H. Pilbeam.
This year, 1942-43, starting as it did with the reshuffle of Houses, was a rather unfortunate one for Martlets.
The House found itself deprived of many of its most useful members. Fortunately, however, a large number of excellent juniors joined the House and they did much to compensate for this.
At Rugger we lacked brawn and skill, but not keenness, and the House is to be congratulated on the way in which it hung on against such vastly superior forces. It is one thing to strive with a possibility of success, it is another thing altogether to strive with the certainty of defeat. At Soccer, however, our juniors put up a fine show, winning two matches and drawing the other.
Perhaps the brightest flash of the whole year was the Cross-Country, which we won by some 47 points lead over Lewes, the runners-up. By good work all round, and especially on the part of our juniors, we managed to gain the Cup, which was, to most of us, a pleasant and very welcome surprise. Let us hope that we can do as well next year.
In the Athletics we lost the Cup which had been ours as long as it had existed. It had become obvious that with the passing of years the House's lead had diminished. We congratulate Lewes on gaining it, but sincerely hope that it will soon return to what had become, in our minds, its traditional place.
In the Swimming Sports we obtained second place. It would have been foolish to hope for better. We congratulate Gordon, former member of this House, on gaining the Sinfield Trophy a second time and also Tomlin on the good show he put up.
In the Cricket House matches we did fairly well. We lost to Lewes and Uckfield (the latter winning by three or four runs), but managed to beat Seahaven. The House is to be congratulated that not once did we have to play a reserve, as a full team always arrived. That is the spirit that has been typical throughout the year - a keen desire not to let the House down.
As far as work is concerned, more effort must be made by the greater part of the House if we are to get within striking distance of the Work Shield.
We are sorry to lose Burgess, who captained the House through difficult times, but we were pleased to note that he obtained his School Proficiency badge, as did Pilbeam.
Let us hope that the spirit which animated the House throughout the past year will bring forth fruit in 1943-44.
As we go to press we learn that Burgess has won an Open
Exhibition at Hertford College, Oxford. Heartiest
S. T. H. H. P.
House Masters . . Messrs. Euston and Worman.
House Captain . . G. R. Satchler.
House Prefects . . R. R. Charlwood, R. Oxley and D. Sayers.
This year has seen, for Seahaven, an improvement over previous years' performances probably due to the increase in numbers. The Swimming Cup was carried off in triumph, with a lead of about 1oo points, due, in no small part, to the recent acqulsition of several good swimmers. The Athletics Cup was closely contested, but Lewes managed to hold their lead - better luck next time. Little or no success was obtained during the House matches - all three Cricket matches were lost owing to lack of enthusiasm and the fact that our best players (Dennis, Williams Charlwood Wood, ete.) played for the School Elevens. Only one Rugger match, that against Martlets, was won. Junior Soccer fared better with two matches won, one lost.
On the scholastic side a little more effort would have secured the Work Shield-we must see that we get it this year.
In other spheres of activity Seahaven appears to be doing its bit. Quite a high proportion are members of the A.T.C. - 20, or about one-fifth of our total number, have gained Proficiency Certificates.
This term has seen the addition of nineteen new boys, all
eager, we hope to pull their weight with the others. These small
boys form 20 per cent. of the present membership, so it is even
more the duty of the older members to set a good example. More
enthusiasm and that little extra effort can make this a bumper
year for Seahaven.
G. R. S.
House Masters . . Messrs. Jarvis and Gourlay.
House Captain . . N. V. Jarvis.
The rather dismal results of the past year have been brightened only by our successes in Rugby and Cricket, in each of which we won two matches losing both the others to Lewes. The Cricket XI was unfortunately weakened by the loss, through illness, of some of its best men. However, we managed to put up a good fight and were only beaten by a few runs.
The Soccer results were very poor, and the loss of all three games was due mainly to lack of enthusiasm among the juniors. We came third in all the competitions, except the Works Shield, in which we did more satisfactorily, although here again there is room for a good deal of improvement.
In the Cross-Country Race, the performance of Read and Church, who won the Senior and Junior events respectively, deserves special mention, and it is pleasing to see that all the senior competitors qualified for the two points towards their School Proficiency Badge. Much more practice is required if we are to regain our former superiority in this event.
The number of new boys entering Uckfield House this year is exceedingly low - fewer in fact than half that of one of the old Houses! In the past Uckfield has usually managed, in spite of its numerical inferiority, to hold its own. It is up to everybody, especially the newer members, to keep it so.
We congratulate Oliver on winning an Open Scholarship to Queen
Mary's College, London University.
N. V. J.
In the Cross-Country run at the end of the Spring term a full field in each race produced a good standard of running. The Houses finished in this order : Martlets (588 points), Lewes (541), Uckfield (517), Seahaven (454), The first three in each race were :
Seniors : Read (U), Laker (L), Dennis (S)
Colts : Ellingworth (L), Dorian (M), Reynolds (M)
Juniors : Church (U), Armes (M), Arnold (L)
Twenty-five runners qualified for their points for the School Proficiency Badge.
During the Summer term the Houses competed keenly for
"Standard" points, which were evenly distributed with Lewes 74,
Seahaven 64, Martlets and Uckfield 62. In the Sports at the end
of the term Seahaven gained on Lewes at first, almost drew level,
but Lewes maintained the lead it had from "Standards" and won
comfortably. The Houses were placed : Lewes (156 points),
Seahaven (130), Uckfield (121), Martlets (106). Hills, Ford and
Perkins were oustanding in the Senior events; Galer, Gordon, and
Pink did well in the Colts; Austin won three Junior events.
The Swimming Sports were held on Monday, July 26, and the House Cup was won for the first time by Seahaven, with a total of 226 points. The Individual Cup winner, for the second year in succession, was Gordon.
There was a notable improvement this ycar in the standard of swimming throughout the School. This was due partly to the Day Boarders' scheme, during which the Headmaster himself devoted much time to the senior nonswimmers; partly to the new pointing system, which gave 3 points to any genuine non-swimmer who swam a width before Sports Day; and partly to Mr. Nicholls' untiring efforts with some of the junior forms, during their gym periods. If this improvement is maintained, we should, in a few years, be able to establish a tradition that no boy leaves the School unable to swim.
The Life Saving exam. was conducted in the School bath on July
24 by Mr. E. C. Jones, Secretary of the Sussex Amateur Swimming
Association. The following boys were successful :
Award of Merit (Silver Medal) - Bushnell, Gordon, Merrick, Pilbeam.
Bronze Medallion - Burgess, Dale, Gingell, Greenwood, Jarvis, Michell, Moore, Morgan, Warr, Will, Williams, Wilson.
H. F. T.
The season just concluded proved one of the most succcssful of recent years. The 1st XI won four, lost two and drew one of their fixtures. the 2nd XI won all but the last of their seven games, whilst the juniors won two of the five matches played. The successes of the 1st XI were won almost entirely by bowling strength. It became quite unusual for a side to score more than thirty runs against us. Chiefly this was due to the admirable accuracy of the attack maintained by Dennis and Wood. The former has well served the School in this respect for the last three seasons and will be much missed. Beyond these two bowlers we had little on which to rely and it was fortunate that there was usually no need to make further demands.
The batting has been weak for the last few years and there was little improvement. Again it proved impossible to select a reliable opening pair. Promotion to this responsible and little-sought position in the batting order invariably meant immediate failure. On several occasions an amusing criticism used in one of this season's sporting columns could well have been applied. This was to the effect that "the score owed more to anatomical resilience than to any studied manipulation of the bat."
The poor state of our batting will have disastrous consequence on our results when we can no longer rely to the same extent on our bowlers. Few batsmen deserve mention, consistent form was approached only by Laker. On several occasions the tail-end batsmen showed themselves little, if at all, inferior to those more flattered in the batting order. The fielding and team spirit displayed were uniformly good and all members of the side gave the impression of thoroughly enjoying their cricket, and that is more important than any result based on scrutiny of wins and losses.
1st XI May 15 v. Worthing H.S. at Lewes Won 76-66
May 29 v. Varndean C.S. at Brighton Lost 28-40
June 5 v. Worthing H.S. at Worthing Lost 3o-69
June 19 v. Hove C.S. at Lewes Won 78-22
June 26 v. Bec School at School Won 52-23
July 3 v. Bec School at The Dripping Pan Won 27-21
July ro v. Hove C.S. at Hove - Abandoned
July 17 v. Brighton G.S. at Lewes Drew 73-45 for 8
By the end of the Summer Term the Scout Troop was in a very healthy condition, with a total of some forty members, divided amongst five Patrols. Later in the term the Summer Examinations rather badly affected the attendances of the older boys, who found Ohm's Law and Boyle's Law of more importance than the Scout Law at that time.
The District Association held several community meetings, at which the School Troop was always well represented. At the Fete on Whit Monday, when the Local Association set out to raise money for the Y.M.C.A. Mobile Canteens, our boys managed to collect over £30 towards a total of some £150, and the boys are to be congratulated on a very fine effort.
The first Annual Sports Meeting was held on September 11th, when all the Scouts, Guides, Cubs and Brownies of the district competed for two Sports Trophies. The Shield for Scouts and Guides was won by a Guide Troop. The School came in second, and had, at least, the satisfaction of knowing that they were top of the Scout Troops which competed.
At the time of writing (September) we have just started a new
year. Several of our older boys have left, and a few new boys
have arrived; no doubt more will join us as the term progresses.
We offer them welcome and trust that the Scout Troop will
continue as strong as ever it was.
W. M. G
In spite of increasing difficulty of travel, the A.C.F. has maintained a strength of about forty Cadets. The Summer Term ended with a week's camp at Hurstpierpoint; transport, tents, food and cooks were provided by the Army; training was given by a Canadian demonstration platoon; film shows and concerts were arranged for the evenings. The camp was a most valuable and enjoyable experience.
Facilities for the use of weapons for training, the lack of which has been a handicap, have improved, and the alteration of the time of parades to 4.15 on Wednesdays should make travelling easier for Cadets in the future.
For some time we have had the help of Mr. Nicholls as an
Instructor; now we welcome him as an Officer.
P. L. W.
During the Summer Term new records for saving were made, notably in the "Wings for Victory" week. Our original objective was £300, but as this was passed in three days, it was decided to set a higher objective of £500. The final total for the week was actually £738 14s., easily the best of the three special weeks held so far. A. W. Ford, K. J. Pink and R. A. Russell successfully dealt with much of the secretarial work, and have proved capable successors to R. L. White and A. M. Tompsett. Incidentally, we understand that one of our former Assistant Secretaries now runs a Street Group of his own, and collected over £300 in "Wings for Victory" Week.
Our totals for the three terms of the last School Year,
1942-43, were £302, £285 and £805 respectively
bringing the grand total of savings since the School Group was
started to £2,660.
J. A. N.
Master : J. Warr.
Apprentices : B. Green, E. Lavender, R. L. Browning.
Business during the previous term was confined to 250 tickets for the A.T.C. Dance of July 24.
The Company has lost three of the members who have done so much for it, namely Messrs. Filtness, Strivens and Taylor. Their places have been filled, however, by B. Green, E. Lavender and R. L. Browning.
Business lately has been very slack, and we hope that any
members of the School who need any printing done will avail
themselves of the Company's services.
According to our last census we had about 50 rabbits, but lately some have taken to living underground, making it difficult to give a correct number. Last term was rather disappointing since a local cat had no less than 33 rabbits every one of them free and off the ration! By selling a number of the animals we raised about £5, which went towards the Chapel Fund.
Hay for the hutches comes from the fields around the School,
and when this runs out we are able to collect some straw from two
local farmers, Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Robinson, to whom we are
very deeply indebted. We must also thank Mr. Parkinson for
looking after the rabbits during the School holidays.
R. O., P. E., M. B.
In the summer holidays, Bushnell, Soar, Daglish, Grainger and myself decided to go to a Youth Service Forestry Camp. We went to a small hamlet called Woodend, in Northamptonshire. Our first impression of the camp was not too bright as we were only given two blankets each. However, conditions got better and in the last week when there were only 12 at camp, we lived in clover.
The work was varied and interesting. One week we would be clearing the undergrowth - hazel and ash saplings - and another week we would fell the oaks, which later were cut into pit props of various sizes.
At 6.3o in the morning we used to rise and shine and have breakfast at 7. We then worked from 8 till 12.30 with a break for lunch at about 10.30. We had an hour for dinner and stopped for the day at 4.30. Most evenings we used to cycle to Towcester to the nearest picture-house - 8 miles away. We had all Saturday afternoon off. Northampton was then our favourite place of resort. Here the 6s. a week wages went very quickly. Every Monday evening we had a coach to take us to the pictures, and while we were in camp some sports were arranged in the field in which our tents were pitched.
The camp warden was a doctor, so that any injuries were properly attended to There were no casualties in our party, but some people cut their arms and legs about.
Although rather isolated, our stay at the camp was very
enjoyable and we intend to visit another one next year if
This year I spent my holiday at Cranbrook, in Kent, with Robinson and Walder. All we knew was that we were going to stay at Cranbrook School. Upon reaching Cranbrook, however, we were met by three Camp Officers, who put all our baggage in their cars and left us with directions to get to the School. We were dismayed to find that Cranbrook itself was three miles from the station, and it was lucky we had our cycles.
We found out that we were staying at the Public School, which was opened in 1570 and later given a royal charter by Queen Elizabeth.
The camp was organised by the Bishop of Rochester, and was one of the many camps of this kind in Kent. At this time the farmers were harvesting. Generally we were dispatched in twos and threes at 8.30, each with a packet of food, and cycled to one of the neighbouring farms. Our work consisted mainly of apple and plum picking from huge orchards, some of them half a mile long. At mid-day the farmer's wife generally brought us a huge jug of tea, and fruit on plates. Once a farmer brought us our jug of tea and half a bushel of Victoria plums between eight of us!
Each farmer said when our work was finished that we worked
very well indeed, and he hoped we should be able to come the
J. K. Verrall(Remove A).
Hon. Sec. and Treasurer: G. R. Satchler.
Comd. Officer: R. R. Charlwood.
Librarian: E. Gordon.
The Club was founded jointly by Messrs. Satchler and Charlwood in October, 1942, with the aim of increasing the efficiency of its members in the recognition of aircraft and the maintenance of interest in aeronautics generally. The running of the Club was made possible in no small degree, by the material and moral support of the Headmaster, who obtained the services of Messrs. Bridgeman and Welling, of the R.O.C.[Royal Observer Corps] to give the Club a flying start, and made available the recognition material of the A.T.C.
The primary object of the Club is to enable its members to reach the standard of the N.A.S.C. 3rd Grade Test, which necessitates the ability to recognise 64 of the more important aeroplanes. Twenty-two of the 28 members have already passed this test. This, however is by no means the Club's only preoccupation, though an important one. Many programmes of general interest have been held, and a "News of the Week" feature ensures that members are kept abreast of the times.
One sphere we hope to exploit more in the future is the field of aeromodelling. E. Gordon has been useful in this respect, possessing a large collection of nearly 100 models, and one meeting already has been devoted to scale model aeroplanes.
At the end of July a contest was held between the Club and Bec School. Two of the most proficient members of our team were unable to attend, but the Club managed to win, the score being 114 to 105.
Up to this term 25 meetings have been held (two of which were
terminated prematurely by enemy action) and there is good
prospect of many more to follow. We sincerely believe it to be
essential for the post-war world to be fully air-conscious - a
condition upon which the present air warfare is having very mixed
effects. While directing attention to the air, it is also
producing in many a feeling of revulsion for the cause of such
suffering and devastation as air attack can produce. We only hope
that this Cluh will play its small part in bringing about this
state of air-mindedness.
G. R. S.
The winter of 1942-3 scarcely deserved the name. Hardly were the apple leaves shed when the new fruit-buds loosened their scales and took on the grey-white tint of approaching spring. Snowdrops came for Christmas, yellow crocuses flamed in January and the almond trees broke to blue skies by mid-February. The fuel problem vanished overnight. Never - even in memoria maiorum (and greatly was it exercised to find precedents!) - has spring ridden out so early, or kept the sword of his frost so fast sheathed.
In the School garden work started betimes. Early in February the soil of the new onion bed was workable and the seed (four varieties) was sown in an ideal tilth on the 20th of the month. Excellent germination followed, and by the end of the Spring Term the seedlings were in sturdy growth. At the time of writing (September 17) we have just harvested a fine crop of close on half a ton.
Late March saw a mighty planting of early potatoes. We decided to abandon maincrop varieties almost entirely, and concentrate on earlies, which could be cleared off the ground by the end of July. The yield was just short of two tons.
The flea-beetle was again rampant throughout the season. His permicious activity decimated our early sowings of green crops in spite of copious applications of derris (wartime quality), lime, and other deterrents. In the end, a wettish period diminished his vitality and accelerated a timely sowing over the danger period. So we shall have some winter greens after all.
The quality of work done in the garden has, on the whole, been good. Remove B did most of the heavy work very satisfactorily, though they weren't as intolerant of the presence of weeds as were some of their illustrious predecessors. Excellent though the onion crop proved, the bed was never wholly clean (to the secret joy of Messrs. Lee, Brickell and Read, last season's onion specialists!). Voluntary help after school was always good. Boys from IIIB IVA and Remove A were consistently willing and useful, as also were members of the Upper VI after H.S.C. A gratifying number of boys gained Gardening Points.
Last July we lost a diligent and skilful ally in Mr. Bennett, of Bec. Always harmonious to work with, Mr. Bennett will be happily remembered by both adult and juvenile gardeners of this School. We wish him good luck in London and trust that his Cox's Orange trees will be duly appreciative of his return.
We will conclude by taking note of the persistent rumour which
has it that the keenest horticultural emulation is rampant among
members of the Staff. They will resort (it is said) to any
nefarious practice in order to produce a pod containing a dozen
peas or the longest runner bean. We hasten to add that the
Headmaster is above such pettiness - his moles have seen to
W. H. E.
A discovery of considerable interest was made during the Summer Term. Green, of Remove A, together with some associates, whilst engaged on some nefarious scheme, the import of which we know not, unearthed human bones on the Downs.
These were obviously not the result of recent burial and expert opinion was sought as to their origin. Dr. Eliot Curwen and Dr. Ellis Curwen, of Hove and the Sussex Archaeological Society, examined the bones and gave their verdict. From the meagre evidence of the original find it was thought probable that the remains were those of an Early Bronze Age man, some 3,500 years old. The evidence lay in the apparent age of the bones, the breadth of the skull the medium stature, and the probability of the form of burial having been with up-drawn legs.
At a later date, however more bones were found, and Dr. Ellis Curwen made the journey from Hove to unearth them. It was then found that there were at least three skeletons and seemingly the site of a war grave. There appears to be a possibility that the remains are of much more recent date than at first thought. They may quite feasibly be evidence of an immediate burial after the Battle of Lewes in 1264.
There are no coins, weapons or other accessories at the site and one would not expect to find such things of value in the case of a battlefield burial. Whatever be the final verdict, some evidence of this problem now resides in a cupboard in the History Room, where all interested may view the relicts and form their own judgment as to whether the bones are 3,500 years old or a mere 700!
Perhaps the exhibition may encourage others in more peaceful times to do a little excavating on the Downs, the result of which might conceivably be of such world-wide interest as that of the prehistoric Piltdown skull. We conclude by expressing our grateful thanks to Drs. Eliot and Ellis Curwen for the immediate interest and trouble taken in endeavours to identify the remains.
With a queer sensation in the pit of my stomach, not quite
excitement, not quite anxiety I watched the "Master" preparing to
land. Under-carriage down, flaps down, throttle closing, and as
most people seem to do on such occasions, I wondered for a few
anxious seconds whether it would crash, and only breathed freely
again as it touched down and taxied towards me To hop in, fasten
the straps, close the hood and signal to the pilot that I was
ready took but a few seconds and then we were racing across the
drome, turning into the wind and with a mighty roar from the
powerful engine we began to gather way. Few events of the flight
stand out clearly in my memory; watching a fellow Cadet leaning
perilously, as it seemed, over the side of a Lysander to see all
he could as we flew alongside; the strangely thrilling air
pockets exactly like fast lifts, and above all, the up-turned
faces of other rnembers of the party as I twice hurtled towards
them at over 200 m.p.h.; and then the pilot was circling to land,
the roar of the engine died away to a mere clatter, the wheels
touched the ground, left it again, returned and stayed there to
my heartfelt relief. I scrambled out of the cockpit and my legs
feeling strangely insecure, walked back to the hut to join my
friends. My first flight was over.
Another year has brought a further contingent of Lewes men into Cambridge, and the earlier representatives of the School have gone on to their war service leaving us to carry on a young but inspiring tradition. Cooper, Cronin and Stevens are "on the job" in their respective spheres, while Trinity has welcomed Thomas and Holton, and Caius College has been graced by the presence of Hoad.
The story of moving into our own rooms, of meeting and living with strange creatures called "room-mates" and becoming accustomed to being waked and served by stranger ones called "bed-makers" is one that will be told as long as Freshers continue to arrive in Cambridge. Strange edicts about gowns and tutors, supervision and "walking on the grass" were handed on to us in a bewildering deluge in the first few days. Gradually we became accustomed to making our own tea, barracking our lecturers, and differentiating between the societies to join and those to avoid.
There has probably never been a greater sense of school membership outside Lewes than on that memorable evening when we all met round Bowles' and George's fire to hear a familiar voice leading a Sunday evening Service and the murmur of voices reminiscent of Morning Prayers in Hall. Our pride in an Old Boy's Tie was something very real that evening.
Thomas (B.) and Holton (F.A.) both played rugger for Trinity, though the latter tended more to soccer for the second half of term. Bowles and George are still rowing, of course, and are continually upbraiding the younger brethren for their lack of interest in the noble sport. More serious pursuits also claimed our attention. We all became acquainted with "the Rifle Range", an R.S.M. of ferocious aspect, and the elements of infantry fighting. George rapidly graduated to the Naval Division after a term and now has left that for the N.F.S.[National Fire Service]. We hear the Red Cross are now fighting the Special Police for his services.
Now Prelims. and Tripos are on us, with the river at its most alluring and the willow-trees along the Backs spreading just enough shade for a few hours work. Thomas has left us, having finished his R.E. course, but turned up the other evening with Jimmy Hobden in tow. Jimmy is here for a month's disciplinary course, was looking at Cambridge critically after his sojourn at New College, Oxford. We spent an enjoyable evening, swapping news and experiences.
And now we must wait for the School to send us other representatives, for the time of most of us is nearly finished here, at least for the present. We hope they will realise there is an active branch of Lewes up here, and honour their responsibility in it.
As the war grows in intensity and range, so the price proportionately increases. The School pays its share of the cost in the sacrifice made by Old Boys. The news of each fresh casualty brings its own particular grief. Yet we thank God that these whom we have nurtured have not been found unworthy. In memory they will dwell with us always. Their supreme gift to future generations of boys is their example in the art of giving.
LIEUT. ROBERT WALTER BARNES (1932-36), Pioneer Corps.
Bob Barnes has followed his twin brother Jack, who gave his life on the North-West Frontier last autumn. Bob was drowned in Iraq. He was a pioneer among Old Boys. A Prefect, member of the Rugger XV, and Cross-Country runner, he was our first Old Boy at Cambridge. He was still in residence there when war broke out. At Selwyn College he won the Lyttleton Scholarship for Geography and gained a first in the Tripos. In 1938 he explored Central Europe on a push-bike and in 1939, immediately before the outbreak of war, he hitch-hiked round the Baltic and reached as far east as Moscow. Defective vision compelled him to enter the Pioneer Corps. As a ranker he performed heavy manual duties without complaint, until he was singled out for a commission. Had he lived, he would undoubtedly have had a distinguished career. A double measure of sympathy goes out to Mr. and Mrs. Barnes, who have lost twin sons of high promise and attractive character in the service of their country.
SERGT. GORDON WILLIAM HANCOCK (1936-39), R.A.F.
Gordon Hancock left School, where he had shown great promise as a runner, to enter the regular R.A.F. as an Aircraft Apprentice. He completed his training and could have remained in comparative safety for the rest of the war. Instead he remustered as a Flight-Engineer and was posted to Lancasters. Last spring he came to see us and filled the Common Room with his gay and generous spirit. Now, at the age of 19, he has been shot down in operations over Germany. Another Old Boy lives in the proud and loving memory he has left with us.
SERGT.-PILOT DOUGLAS OLIVER (1933-37), R.A.F.
We heard with sorrow that Douglas Oliver had been accidentally killed on active service. On leaving School he entered the office of Messrs. Watson and Sons, auctioneers and accountants, of Heathfield. He did his flying training overseas, and at its conclusion was offered a commission as an instructor. To have accepted would have meant remaining there. He wished to participate in operations here, and so returned as a Sergt.-Pilot. He had a brilliant flying record and had quite recently again been offered a commission, which he would probably have accepted. His untimely death in an accident is doubly tragic. His memory is commemorated at School in the Henderson-Oliver Cross-Country Trophy.
L.-CPL. SIDNEY WILLIAM PARKER (1932-34), R.A.C.
We believe that Parker was our first Old Boy to join the Tank Corps. His stay at School was not long enough to achieve distinction, but his contemporaries, no doubt, remember his splendid physique and sturdy character. He left School to enter the motor industry and this perhaps explains his choice of a motorised unit in the Army. He was killed in the fighting in Tunisia, a member of the famous Eighth Army. We offer his parents our deepest sympathy.
SGN. ELLIS ARTHUR PILLINGER (1936-38), Royal Corps of
Like Parker, Pillinger's stay at School was comparatively brief, and he was known to fewer than was his elder brother John. For a short time he was in the A.T.C. on its formation, but preferred to serve in the Army. Here he became a despatch-rider in the Royal Corps of Signals. He met his death under most tragic circumstances, receiving fatal injuries on his twentieth birthday a few hours after landing in North Africa. To his family we extend our deep sympathy.
SERGT.-PILOT JOHN SIMMONS (1933-38), R.A.F.
John Simmons has been killed in operations over Germany. We had not seen John since he joined the R.A.F., but we shall always remember him for the good fellow that he was, sincere, hard working, staunch through and through. His o1d friends in Seahaven House, of whom there were many, will join us in offering our deepest sympathy to his parents.
LIEUT. BARRY O'BRIEN TURNER (1934-36), R.A.
Barry Turner always gave of his best, but his was so modest a nature, that few except his most intirnate friends realised how good that best was. Thus at the outbreak of war he was mobilised from his bank at Harrow into the Territorials, which he had joined in 1938. He proceeded to France with the Royal Corps of Signals and was evacuated from Dunkirk. He was invited to apply for a commission and was gazetted to the Royal Artillery. In May 1942, he proceeded to North Africa with the 44th Division and had been with the Eighth Army ever since. He was with the first wave which went ashore in Sicily on July 10th. His friends found his body, killed by German mortar fire, on July 19, by the side of a forward gun of the artillery troop that he commanded. His end was typical of a very gallant Old Boy whose achievement mingles our grief with pride. His Commanding Officer wrote, "He was one of the best officers I have ever had. Every man in his troop admired him." He would have asked for no greater reward.
We are anxiously awaiting news of two more Old Boys who played a prominent part in School life, both of whom are reported missing.
PILOT-OFFICER RONALD CHARLES BLYTHE (1934-41), R.A.F.
Ronnie Blythe was known to everyone of his generation. Captain of the School, of Rugger and Cricket, winner of the Povey Trophy, Sergeant in the A.T.C., he carried on the tradition of the School at Oxford, where he gained a Freshers' Rugger Trial. Modest to a degree, he was a gentleman in every sense. A brother officer told the writer that he was one of a "wizard" crew (he was on Lancasters) and one of the best navigators they had ever had on the station. He is missing from a raid on Cologne.
PILOT-OFFICER DONALD CASTLEMAN STONE (1931-36), R.A.F.
Don Stone, like Blythe, played for the School at cricket and rugby football and was the very embodiment of that gay gallantry that R.A.F. pilots have made a tradition of the Service. His was a sunny nature and one will never think of him without visualising his cheery smile. After he left School he was a stalwart in the Buxted football team. He was, with Blythe, an articled pupil in a Lewes accountant's office. He is missing from operations with Coastal Command. We offer our deep sympathy to the parents of these Old Boys in their anxious periods of waiting.
Since the last issue of the Magazine, letters and visits from Old Boys have continued with accustomed regularity. We have good news of Jack Holman and Dennis Moppett. After many months of silence they are now reported safe but prisoners of war in Japanese hands.
Lieut. E. L. (Gerald)
Cook, R.N.V.R. (1930-32)
Another Old Boy has received official recognition for outstanding service. Gerald Cook, R.N.V.R. (1930-32) has been awarded the D.S.C. The official citation announces the award "for bravery and skill in H.M.S. Kelvin in suceessful operations against the enemy in the Mediterranean". We hope that the pleasure Old Boys will undoubtedly feel on hearing this news will add to Gerald's satisfaction as the recipient of this honour.
And now for our "Briefs" from the "Boys"
Mattocks, after nine months in hospital from a shrapnel wound, followed by skin trouble, is back with his squadron in North Africa - or it may be Italy by the time these notes appear. Harry Bartholomew, Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant, is stationed at a foul spot on the Persian Gulf, where a terrific humid heat only abates three degrees in the winter, and everyone suffers from prickly heat, which, he says, can be painful. We hope he soon gets a move. A. J. Stock is in the Royal Corps of Signals and has been selected for an O.C.T.U. course.
Basil Ingram, R.A.F., has arrived in the Middle East. His chief and only occupation so far has been to keep the desert tidy. Like many other Old Boys, he was favourably impressed with Durban and not so favourably with the smells of Cairo, where he heard a recording of "The Marriage of Figaro" by the Glyndebourne Opera Company. Maurice Willis, in the Middle East, has written to us in a temperature of 110 degs., with sand in hair, eyes and mouth, and describes the joys of sweating beneath a mosquito net and "the hordes of creeping things that torment you." " We don't get much praise (as ground crew), but we do get some satisfaction when we see a kite flying that a short while ago was a bullet-riddled wreck."
Fatty Wynter, in Tunisia, following up like a true rugger forward, arrived on the crest of a hill. The Germans, realising that the result of the war depended on obliterating Fatty, put down a barrage. Fatty took a dive into a nearby slit trench to find that he had landed on a sleeping German, who, having just sustained Fatty's sixteen, or is it seventeen stone, seemed by no means loathe to hand over his arms. Whereupon they settled down together, waiting for the shelling to cease. The German came from Cologne, and so they discussed Oberwesel, where we camped in 1935. At the end of an hour, Fatty was able to emerge with his prisoner. "Smiler" Moore, in a Mortar Company in Tunisia, has found his knowledge of French useful in social intercourse with French families. He has been teaching a small boy English.
Emery, on a frigate, has, in the opinion of his wife, earned the D.S.C. He has sent home three bananas. He gave us news of Clements, who has gone to a new cruiser, and of Griffiths, who is a Pilot-Officer, R.A.F. Lawrence Hope in the Indian jungle mentions the eternal insect symphony the drum beats of the monsoon rains and the steaming earth which welcomes the returning sunshine. He has held the acting rank of Major while filling the post of Second-in-Command of his Battalion. His papers have now gone forward for a regular commission.
Fred White, in a P.O.W. Camp in Germany, has passed the first part of London Matric. and takes the second part in January. Guts and good show. Roger Braidwood has been invalided out of the American Army and has gone to California. Our sincere condolences. Pat Power, Engineer Chief Petty Officer, has been recommended for a commission. Our hearty congratulations to Gates, who went to Southern Rhodesia for his flying training and has returned with a commission. We hope soon to be able to congratulate him in person. Peter Trott still manages to keep cheerful in a P.O.W. Camp, while George Macey, who baled out over Germany, can now get about with the aid of crutches.
Bob Faulkner is back from West Africa, having commanded a motor vessel there. Unfortunately he contracted a bad attack of malaria. He gave us news of Dick, who is at Gibraltar. It would appear that Dick is our first Old Boy to have made an appearance at Lords. He scored 6o for a British Empire XI and a century for the Army and Navy v. R.A.F. Well done !
Hazlerigg has now been commissioned in the R.A.S.C. in Scotland and has paid us a welcome visit as has Eade, who still rejoices in three pips. Brian Cornwall and A. F. Rich have both joined the Royal Armoured Corps and have been in the same training camp. We were glad to welcome together Denis Thomas, who has now gone to West Africa, his brother Brian, who is in the middle of an O.C.T.U. course for Sappers, and Jimmy Hobden, who has gone overseas to do his flying training.
We failed at first to recognise a visitor in peaked naval cap, white collar, black tie, khaki battle dress and white anklets. It was Mantle, who is a Petty Officer in Naval Commandos. Baird has finished a very successful I.T.W. course and is about to go overseas for flying training. Fred Cosstick, in North Africa, has at last made sure of that third pip. Hearty congrats - also on the lady whose photograph we saw. Bliss, in the Army, is in pursuit of a commission. Frank Bevan, W/O, has been busy getting things into shape in a new billet. His main concern was not mosquitoes but fleas. John Hawkins has explored Palestine and, with a temporary third pip, was able to submit himself successfully as a candidate for a regular commission despite his youth. Our hearty felicitations.
We have had very pleasant visits from three Old Boys with their wives: Jarvis, W/O, R.A.F.; Buller-Sinfield, Lieut., R.A.S.C.; and H. F. Sharp, Flying Officer, R.A.F. Jarvis is the proud father of a son aged two. John Edwards is a Flying Officer in North Africa. John Morling, R.A.F., has returned from West Africa and is now in England. He was able to give us news of his brother Will, who is a Sergeant and Chief Draughtsman at G.H.Q., Cairo. We have since heard from Will. He has met MeKimm, who is a Second/Lieutenant, R.A. Randall, Sergt.-Pilot, has returned from the States with a dry sense of humour, and when he called was expecting soon to be flying fighters, Hurricanes or Typhoons. He came to see us with R. J. Barnes, who is a L.A.C., Ground Staff. Desi FitzGerald, after his flying disappointments, is now happily engaged as an Armourer Instructor.
Billson, who has done 400,000 miles without being torpedoed, managed to snatch time for a brief visit from his duties as First Officer on board a tanker. David George, whom we congratulate on his success in the Mechanical Science Tripos at Cambridge, has now joined the staff of the Naval Gunnery School. Frank Bowles, his companion at Cambridge has gone to the agricultural department of Messrs. Boots, having successfully negotiated the Natural Science Tropis Part I.
Wilfred Chilton is a Pioneer Student in the R.E.s. What a Pioneer Student is he does not seem to know, nor does anyone else at Aldershot, except that he gets 6d. a day extra pay and there is some prospect of an O.C.T.U. course at the end of his training.
Alan Scobie, who was at Dunkirk, is now a Sapper in India. Bob Pulling, Leading Writer at Tripoli, has run into Colin Banks, Sammy Smith and Ken Wicks. They appear to have anticipated the re-union dinner that so many Old Boys are looking forward to. Pulling has put in for a commission.
A number of Lewesians are finding their way to India. Arthur Sellens is there as a Sergeant in the R.A.F.; Norman Green, L.A.C., is finding much of interest in that land of mystery; John Cull is a Sapper Lieutenant struggling with Urdu and a Sikh Orderly; Jim Baker has been to Bombay as a R.M.C. Sergeant on a troopship.
Alan Castle has returned from the States with wings and another angelic feature - his smile. We were very pleased indeed to have Alan and Ian Wilkie with us again, Alan in Commandos and Ian a Flight-Engineer in the R.A.F. Brian Colvin was due to bring [the ill-fated Polish General] Sikorski back from the Med. Arrangements were changed. Colvin is glad. So are we. Howes has been to see us. He is a Radio-Airgunner. We wish him good luck. Alan Rogers has got his wings, but we are sorry indeed to hear that he has had a very serious accident. We send our deepest wishes for a speedy recovery.
It is not often that we can welcome father and son both in the Forces. Alan Orchard, Sub-Lieutenant, Fleet Air Arm, called in to see us and brought with him his father, Flying Officer, R.A.F., an old friend of the School. We did not know which to admire most, pere or fils. Alan has now gone to the Middle East. Arthur Metcalfe, busy at the Air Ministry as a teleprinter, visited the School and brought with him the future Mrs. Arthur. Congrats to Ossy Hill and to Erie Cook, both now Flight-Sergeants. Eric has been on the sick list.
Dick Rees is the perfect snotty-our first Old Boy Midshipman. Before receiving his commission he was returning from rugger, clad in shorts, Old Boys' blazer and a matelot hat. He was challenged by a Naval Lieutenant, who, instead of wigging him for his quaint costume, commented on his blazer. It was Bob Faulkner.
Haggar after sterling work as an Old Boy in the A.T.C. has at last left for I.T.W. training in the R.A.F. He is out to avenge the insult suffered last January, when a Jerry bomb left a piece of shrapnel in a part of the anatomy, fleshy and useful, but not ornamental.
Jim Essex was regarded as unfit for executive service in the Navy owing to defective vision. He persuaded the Naval Authorities otherwise. Akehurst continues his technical duties in the Navy and rushes all over the country from port to port. We attributed this ceaseless travelling to the calls of duty. It has suddenly occurred to us that perhaps he has the traditional sailor's attraction at all these places of call. We hope not. Appleby after months of roaming the high seas, during which he has visited America, the Cape and Bombay, in the vital task of carrying the nation's supplies, has paid us a welcome visit. Two recent Old Boys who are serving in the Navy are Leo Wynter and Maurice Phillips. Leo is doing his sea service prior to a commission. Maurice is in charge of a tank landing craft.
David Williams has been giving navigators' practice in night-flying and doctor's experience in curing jaundice. Our commiserations. Flying Officer Basi1 Chandler, when he last came to see us, had done 59 raids on Germany and still was voluntarily carrying on. Over eight days on a dinghy in the North Sea, in the 1,000 bomber raids on Cologne and Essen, a member of one of the crews which bombed Friedrickshaven and then flew on to Africa (the first occasion when this idea was tried out), he continues in his habitual modest and uncomplaining manner.
Fatty Gaylor dodged School Certificate by going for a sailor three weeks before the exam., leaving an envious VA to mourn his departure. He is a Merchant Navy Cadet on a grain ship trading to India, Australia and New Zealand.
Laurie Watts, John Lawrence, Trott, John Howard, Arnold and Austin appear to refuse to allow three years of captivity in Germany to get them down. John Howard's crowd have been holding sports in the village. He did not say whether Seahaven won the pot.
Alec Franklin, who was misrepresented by the Magazine printers in our last issue as "rough" instead of "tough", was sent to Tumsia with the First Army, posted to the Hampshires, who saw such stiff fighting, and was, unfortunately taken prisoner. He is now in Italy. We hope he will soon be free of the Iti's clutches. His brother, G.W., has returned from the States as a Navigator. He was still suffering from the summer heat of Florida when he called to see us. Gordon Hargreaves is training as an Instrument Repairer in R.E.M.E. Hemsley is training for the same job in the R.A.F. and David Greenwood has been doing his preliminary training in the Infantry with ambitions to get posted to the Royal Sussex Regiment.
Bingham, when last we saw him, was expecting soon to join the Artillery. John Brown has gone into the Army, but we do not yet know his Unit. Calwell is a L/Corporal in the Oxford and Bucks L.I., and has all the experience of an "old sweat".
John Holt is sailing the seas on a trawler. Geoffrey Ford manages to see us from time to time when he is not busy with his duties as a Radio Officer. Norman Hancock is back in England after a period of flying in West Africa. Donald Dowden, who, like Hancock, is on fighters has been in West, Central and North Africa, and has spent a short time in Palestine. He hopes soon to be in a position to sample the wines of Italy and Germany. We hope so, too, provided he caters for the writer's needs at the re-union dinner.
Condolences to Dick Morrish, who has been invalided from the R.A.F. We ran into Lawler, looking very fit from training in the Horse Guards, with Bruce Tindale, who was snatching a short leave from the Merchant Navy. By the time these notes appear, Peter Williams (R.A.F.), Bob Ford (R.A.F.), D. A. Caton (R.A.F.), Burgess (Army), Bernard Sharp (Army), and Martin Preece (Navy) will be at the University doing Service Courses with a view to commissions. We sympathise deeply with Dennis and Blunden who, after being selected for R.A.F. Courses, were turned down by the doctor. We congratulate Bernard Sharp on passing the first exam. of the Surveyors' Institution. Donald Howard has completed his job as an Instructor in U.S.A. and has returned to England. When he came to see us he was hoping to get on to fighters. John Turner has gone overseas to do his flying training.
Arthur Siggs, the main prop oF the local Young Farmers' Club, has gone to sea on a new destroyer. We were glad to get news of Joey Creen, especially to hear that he had been fit enough to play rugger in a P.O.W. Camp in Germany. It will be remembered that he received a severe head wouud in France. We have had a most interesting letter from Eric Barfoot, now a Flight/Sergeant in Paiforce. In between his flying he runs a troop of Boy Scouts, and in addition a troop of Girl Guides, all natives. Hero worship!! At his station he has h. and .c. in his room, marvellous food, excellent mess, and oranges at 2s. a sack. We are taking the next train.
M. D. Edwards, when last we heard of him, was a Sergeant in R.E.M.E. and stationed in Lancashire. Fred Ruffie, when he visited the School, had done 24 intruder raids on Mosquitoes and had shot up his fair share of trains. He had a lucky escape at Gib. when a landing tyre burst and his plane crashed. We were glad to welcome S. A. Hills after a lapse of some years. He is married and a Corporal in the Royal Marines. S. G. Aston, who joined the Air Ministry Meteorological staff in peacetime is now a Flying Officer, R.A.F. We congratulate him on his marriage. Read-Collins has been instructing at the Intelligence School, G.H.Q. India. He found, himself competing for the same partner in an "Excuse me" dance with a big gunner officer. It was our Mr. Smith. Collins has been in Burma and had his fifth dose of malaria.
Pip Noel is in charge of a Signal Station in the Suez Canal area. He appears to be very busy. Norman Thorpe, whose flying hours run into four figures, has at his own request gone operational. He is on fighters, and called to see us when on embarkation leave. Peter is in North Africa in R.E.M.E.
Old Boys of 1930 will be interested to hear that Gordon Kenward is a Petty Officer Air Gunner in the F.A.A. stationed in Ceylon. We congratulate him on being a survivor of the Aircraft Carrier Hermes. Kenneth Flint is in the Royal Corps of Signals and would like to hear from contemporaries at School. Dodson has completed his I.T.W. training and is now flying in Southern Rhodesia. John Hall has gone to America in the Navy. Lieut. Keith Lusted has joined Paiforce and has visited Mosul, Baghdad and Kut, all of which smell. He hopes to meet his cousin Bob, last heard of near Basra. Bob has met Victor Page out there. Peter Walder, on his way to India, met on the boat K. R. Chatfield from Chailey. Chatfield is a R.A.F. Sergeant. Peter found Cape Town a grand place. He rejoices in an Indian bearer, feels like a lord and tries to look like one.
Among our big contingent of Old Boys in North Africa is George Hilton in the R.A.F. While engaged in his first boat drill practice on the way out, he was hailed in a good Scots voice - it was Alan Wilkie. Later on he ran into Mr. Page, who had been up at the front but had returned to base for a spell on other duties.
Dawe has been in hospital with jaundice. He had seven days leave in Cairo and stayed in a houseboat on the Nile. He failed to see any "allegories" running about - pace Mrs. Malaprop - but heard a recording of "Don Giovanni" by the Glyndebourne Company.
E. H. Sellwood has explored Palestine, but continuous sunshine makes him long for a London fog or a rain-soaked Sussex meadow. P. J. Cole, in an R.E. Company, was at Medjex-el-Bab and Longstop Hill. He finds that the French he learnt from Mr. Auld comes in useful, but after lapse of time is compelled to confine himself to the present tense. He has a son eighteen months old and is entering him on our waiting list for 1952. He sends his congrats. to Tom Horgan.
Yandell was in the advance from Egypt to Tunis and has now made the long trek back again. He found Tunisia with its greenness and many coloured flowers a change from the desert. From Yandell's father we learnt that Cyril Moss was training as a Pilot in South Rhodesia. Bob Butchers is doing a six months' educational course in London prior to his R.A.F. training. It is as bad, or as good, as being at School. Humphries has been at Miami training for his wings, which he should have by now.
Walters, whose first taste of naval action was the Malta Convoy, came to see us in the middle of an "alert" - small beer to a veteran. Marande, when he last wrote to us, had finished his I.T.W. course and was filling in time pig-cleaning, Commando training and similar delights. He captained his Squadron Rugby team and played several games for the Wing as a full-back. He was also in a R.A.F. gymnastic team, which gave exhibitions during "Wings for Victory" Week. Well done!
Geoffrey Crouch says, "Iraq is a God-forsaken country - vast stretches of flat uninteresting desert where nothing grows. In winter icy-cold winds sweep across the plains, whilst in summer the heat becomes almost unbearable. We hope he will not be there long. When we last heard from Downing he was still in Malta, but had transferred to R.E.M.E. The British Army was pushing towards Tunisia so he was hoping for a quieter time. Jacobs, in the Royal Corps of Signals, did his preliminary training at Ossett with Dewsbury two miles away. He has a poor opinion of the district (as we have, having once motored through it) but we fear what Will Jessop will say. Now he has struck a good job in which a knowledge of French or German is required, but he cannot divulge what it is.
We were glad to make contact with G. C. Baker again. He had got as far as the boat to go overseas, but was recalled to continue aircrew training. He has met Gearing and Dick Morrish, while his father has met Tom Horgan in North Africa.
Kenneth Bartholomew has paid us a couple of visits. He looks very grand in the uniform of the Free French Air Force. Jack Lockyer, in the Middle East, when time permits finds his thoughts wandering back to school days. He has vivid recollections of the Rugger matches with Christ's Hospital and of the famous date cake. Unfortunately, he is having trouble with a leg which he injured at football out there. We were sorry to hear that John Turrell had had a spell in hospital at Halton. We hope he is now better. We have heard that Killick has finally decided to accept a commission in the R.A.F. He was a W.O. Ridley is in West Africa in the Intelligence Corps, as is John Holton in the Artillery.
Peter Hall has gone to the Far East and is working with the F.A.A. Jack Holder has left the Police Force for the Navy. He hopes eventually to get into the Naval Police. He claims to have been the first pupil in the School (he was on the step when the door was unlocked first morning) and the first to have been whacked. We should not think of disputing the fact.
Of Old Boys still in civil life who have written to us or called, Shoulders is one of our munition millionaires; Arthur Evans, after his Naval service, has been playing for Reading University at cricket; Roy Stevens is heart and soul in his work in the East End; Leftwich has successfully negotiated his second Veterinary Exam. and by the time these notes appear will have taken his third and Arthur Holton has just completed a successful first year at Trinity, Cambridge.
Our congratulations are due to Dewdney, Brook and Powell, all of whom have been awarded Engineering Cadetships. Walter Emerson, whose heart is at L.C.S., even though he now attends Spalding Grammar School, has been to see us. We have also had a very interesting letter from G. D. Sutton, who is in the Bank of Montreal in Canada. His letter is worth quoting: "Out here there will be marvellous opportunities for the boy who is able to stick at his job and do the thing that he doesn't want to do when he doesn't want to do it. That in Canada is the first rule of success. . . . Industry will accelerate to an unprecedented volume after this war. There will be executive positions in mining companies, manufacturing concerns, wholesale houses, and, in fact, all branches of economic life. . . . Perhaps you could like to make this known to parents." We are glad to do so.
Last but not least comes news of present and former members of the Staff. Mr Smith is now a Staff Major in India; Mr. Courtney a Gunner-Lieutenant in Gibraltar; Mr. Page, as already mentioned in these notes, a R.A. Lieutenant in North Africa; Mr. Silk is still in the R.A.S.C. in Yorkshire; Mr. Pett, after a long spell at sea as an Instructor Lieutenant, is home for a rest; Mr. Stripe, we have heard, is a Squadron Leader in North Africa; while those who remember Mr. Stevens will be interested to know that he is a Staff Captain.
We apologise for any omissions in these notes. Wherever our Old Boys may be they are remembered. We wish them good luck and will rejoice when they return safely once more.
More items of news have come in while the Magazine was being prepared for the Press. We deeply regret that the body of Blythe [see above] has been reported to have been washed up on the North German coast, and he is now officially reported "missing believed killed." He is our first A.T.C. casualty. Old Boys everywhere will join with many still at School in mourning his loss. We have heard through other Old Boys that Strachan and Pryke have their wings. Colin Banks has written to us from the Med. He mentions the party with Bob Pulling, who had grown a beard. Under the "influence" of the other Old Boys it was removed. He also tells us that Eric Baker is now a Lieutenant, R.E., and that Bartlett has been wounded.
Tom Horgan makes no mention of the fact in his letter but we notice from his address that he is now a Group Captain. Once more we offer him our sincere and hearty congratulations.
More sad news. Bruce Tindale, who has left school so short a time, and was a Cadet in the Furness Withy Line, is missing. His ship has been torpedoed. Tindale was a quiet gentlemanly fellow keen on glaying his part in the war effort, and undoubtedly had the makings of a first class officer. We share his parents' anxiety while awaiting further information. [see Barbican #20 - 1944]
The ban on the South Coast area kept away a number of Old Boys who live nearby. Since it was lifted we have been able to welcome Kenneth Grainger home for a Captain's course on Catalinas; Henson who is Fourth Officer on a Mail Boat; Chilton, who has finished the first part of his R.E. training and has a grip as strong as a bulldozer; Cyster, Radio-operator in the R.A.F.; and John Pillinger, Corporal in the Artillery.
Woods has dropped in before going overseas to continue his flying training. Don Blake, despite the fractured spine he sustained while flying Beauforts, has paid us a cheery visit before flying to Africa with Coastal Command. Read and Brickell left their agricultural pursuits to visit us on market day. Letters from Dawe in Sicily, C. R. Kelley in Malta, and Colvin in Ferry Command have also just come in. They are all well.
Also a line from Boscott in hospital, shot through the back of his tin helmet by a German sniper. Condolences, and congratulations on his escape. Gates is back in England. He is on night-fighters. He tells us that Lobby Hall has gone to Coastal Command. Gerald Hutton is still turning out wireless sets and has passed London B.Sc. with 2nd Class Honours. A great feat for one engaged in a wartime factory. From Mr. Marande we hear that David is training as a Fighter-Pilot at Palm Beach.
Letters, too have come in; unfortunately we have no space except for the briefest reference. Baird is on his way to Canada to train as a Pilot. C. R. Kelley, in Malta, is anticipating a speedy end and a return home. Jim Essex has been in hospital in the Isle of Man. Haggar has done his Grading Course - 12 hours flying. Will Morling, in Cairo, congratulates Seahaven on winning the Swimming Pot. Peter Hall, R.N.V.R., who has been doing a fair amount of flying in the Far East with the R.A.F., says that he is "target for to-night" for every biting creature that crawls. Philip Ridley, in the Intelligence Corps, bemoans his fate in being sidetracked to West Africa and sends some comments on the Native problem and on Vichy French which ought to be read by our planners and legislators.
Finally, as we ended our last notes with the announcement of Tom Horgan's D.S.O., so this time we record a further honour. Kenneth Rabson, Serg./Pilot, R.A.F.V.R., has been awarded the D.F.M. The official citation states that "his courage and skill have earned the entire confidence of his crew." The School send him hearty congratulations and wish him good luck. He is the third Old Boy of Uckfield House to be decorated.
Ken Rabson and Peter Duke are missing.
Basil Chandler has been awarded the D.F.C. and Leslie Carter, of Seaford, the D.F.M.
Old Boys will be interested to know that after the war we hope to erect a School Chapel as a memorial to those members who have given their lives for their country. Our full efforts to rouse money must necessarily wait until the cessation of hostilities. Meanwhile we are quietly laying the foundations of this fund. We are grateful to those who have already generously contributed.
[The accounts that follow show that the total in the Chapel Fund had risen over the year from £1,183 5s 8½d to £1,285 16s 2½d. The largest contribution had been provided by "Dances . . £13" and the smallest by "D. C. Ames (Eggs) . . 2s 6d". A typical entry was "Sale of three Rabbits . . . 14s 11d". ]