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School Life in the Late 30s

A Personal Account

G D Sutton 1936 - 41

M Y birthday being July 23rd, I had just turned eleven when I started at The Lewes County School For Boys in September 1936. Gerald Sutton 1939I think I was the youngest boy in the class. The fees were 14 pounds a year and it cost three pounds for the three term train tickets. Prior to starting school Mother and my Uncle Reg took me to Horne Brothers in Brighton to buy my clothes - a school cap, blazer, tie, house shoes, gym shoes and shorts, socks and knee length grey flannel trousers. The school colours were Oxford blue and Cambridge blue, perhaps because most of the masters had graduated from these two universities, the exceptions being M. Auld, the French teacher, Mr. Larwill, who taught wood and metal working and had graduated from the College of Handicraft, and the art teacher.

Mr BradshawAt the end of August Mother had to take me to the school to be interviewed by the Headmaster. All the boys starting that year were so interviewed to determine whether they should be placed in 2A or 2B. The bright ones went in the A stream which had an enriched program (German, trigonometry, Latin and more intensive courses in other subjects). I guess I didn't impress the Head very much because I was allocated to the B stream. There was a provision that the top two boys in 2B at the end of the year moved up into the A stream. I wasn't one of them and I stayed in the B stream throughout my school career.

There were about 360 boys in the school, divided into four "Houses"- Lewes, Uckfield ( which included boys from as far away as Crowborough and Heathfield), Seahaven, which comprised boys living around Seaford and Newhaven, and Martlets, which comprised those from sundry villages around Lewes. The houses competed in sports and academics and a shield or cup for each activity was awarded to the winning houses at year end. Each house had its own prefects who were allowed to administer punishment for infractions. Legend had it that this could be a caning, but I do not recall any of them ever doing so. Usually they would make you write 100 lines. That was the favourite punishment given by masters, too.

There were a number of us that took the train from Uckfield and special compartments were set aside for us. All too often I would be racing up over the pedestrian bridge that went over the railway tracks and down onto the platform just in time to catch it. At the other end of the journey there was a five minute walk to the school, built adjacent to the ruined Cluniac priory at the edge of Lewes town.

The school had been built in 1929-30 and was quite modern and attractive. It was single storey with covered corridors surrounding open grass quadrangles. The classrooms and labs were on

The School buildings in the 1930s, seen from the South-East

the south and east sides with full windows facing onto the playing fields and the South Downs. The woodworking and metal working shop was on the west side, as were the showers and lockers. On the north was the library, the headmaster's study, the assembly hall, dining hall and kitchen and the art classroom. Two wings on the north-east and south-west contained toilets and in the centre, between the quadrangles, was the gym which was fully equipped with balance beams, wall bars, rope ladders, ropes and frame plus mats, box and horse. On top of the gym was the biology lab.

Years later, in the 1970's, I visited the school with my young family and was horrified to discover that ugly red brick classrooms had been erected in the two quadrangles, destroying the most attractive feature of the school, another example of what we discovered about postwar British architecture, namely that cheapness and convenience governed at the expense of style, attractiveness and usually even durability. However, an attractive memorial chapel had been erected on the East side to commemorate those boys who had died during the war. The school had also become co-educational which seemed strange to me.

The playing fields were extensive. In winter there was room for one soccer and three rugby pitches. In the corner was an open air swimming pool that the boys had helped construct. There was no circulating pump; the water in summer gradually got greener with algae until it got so bad that it had to be drained and refilled. But we loved it and it got a lot of use.

School started at 8.45 am with assembly at which a hymn would be sung - the older boys with their deep voices, the younger ones with their piping sopranos and the ones in between whose voices were changing and uncertain. Prayers were said by the Headmaster (Catholic boys stayed outside and came in after the prayers were over), announcements were made and fortnightly results for each form carried up to the Head by the boy who had come first in the class. The Head always read as a final prayer the collect:

"Oh Lord our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought us to the beginning of this day; defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord".

I knew it by heart, and took great comfort from it, especially the bit about not running into any kind of danger.

Classes went to mid-day with just a 20 minute break. A tuckshop was open during the break at which we could buy chocolate bars, sweets and soft drinks or milk. At lunchtime there were two groups in the dining room: those having a cooked meal and those who brought their own sandwiches. For 9 pence a day you could get the hot meal prepared by the kitchen staff, headed by the caretaker's wife. Each table would have a senior boy in charge who would delegate others to go to the kitchen counter and collect the food, the meat on individual plates and the vegetables in serving bowls for that table. They sat there, with the bigger boys holding their hands over the bowls to get first crack at the vegetables, until the master of the day had gabbled quickly through grace.

"ForwhatweareabouttoreceivemaytheLordmakeustrulythankfulforChrist'ssakesitdown. "

Other boys at the table would collect the dirty dishes and return them to the kitchen while the final group would bring back the plates of dessert - usually a pudding of some kind. The helpings were generous, the food wholesome but the potatoes and gravy lumpy.

About half the boys would bring their own lunches and pay threepence a week for the use of tables, glasses and cutlery, also with a senior boy in charge to maintain order. Some brought their own for financial reasons, others for reasons of diet. There was one senior boy who always had a number of carrots to eat. You can guess what his nickname was. I started off bringing my own lunch but in 1939 Mother shifted me to the hot meal program because Uncle Reg had joined the army and Mother was too busy to make a main meal for me when I got home.

After lunch we would go out on the playing fields. A prefect would be in charge of handing out equipment to those who wanted it - cricket bats and balls in summer and footballs in winter - which had to be returned before classes started again at 2 pm . School was over at 4.0, except for Thursday when we had games on the playing field that ended at 4.30. There were eight 40 minute periods a day and we went from classroom to classroom according to subject. The masters wore gowns most of the time. There were no women teachers. [But see Mr Bradshaw's letter !]

Gym was three times a week and once a week there was a two-period games session, which would be soccer in the II and III forms and rugby thereafter, cricket, swimming or track and field in summer, and in spring either the winter sports or cross-country running - three miles for the two youngest forms and five miles for the older boys. The cross country course was out along the tow path by the River Ouse, over fences, then back through the adjacent fields where we had to jump ditches at every boundary. The ditches were frequented by cows and were rich in pond life.

I wasn't particularly good at sports. Everyone had to participate during the games periods regardless of ability. Early in the season there would be a match between the "probables" and the "possibles" to determine who would be on the school teams. I was always among the "possibles", good enough, however, to serve as a substitute if a member of the team was unable to make a game. In this way I got to visit a few other schools and to play for the school at home. I enjoyed this. At half time we would be handed out slices of lemon to suck, without going off the field, and after the game was over we would shower and go into tea and entertain our guests by politely offering them first crack at the plates of sandwiches and buns prepared by the kitchen staff. I also was on the Uckfield House teams for inter-house contests, which regrettably did not feature tea afterwards.

Rugger was my favourite sport, even though we played in some miserable weather conditions such as sleet. No game was cancelled because of weather and if you complained you were a cissy. My least favourite was cricket; it was that cursed ball with the seam around the middle that cut into your hand when you caught it even though you would swing with the motion. Then there were the ridiculous fielding locations such as "silly mid on" which were close to the batsman and when he clouted the ball you were expected to catch it.

In spring and summer there was track and field. Relay races were fun. Two good runners would be appointed by the master to select teams and they would do so in order, naturally picking the best first and leaving the weak ones to the last.

I think it was in 1938 that the Head had the bright (?) idea of instituting a hobby program. We were presented with a list of hobbies we could choose from, for each of which a master had volunteered or been selected, and the final period of one day was set aside for the purpose. The catch was that the hobby session went on beyond regular school for another 40 minutes.

None of the hobbies listed had any interest for me or for most of us. I finally picked on ornithology. We didn't know what it meant, but the master in charge was Mr. Auld, the senior French master, and we thought he would be a soft touch and we were successful in persuading him that we had to leave early in order to catch our trains.

Mr. Auld brought along a telescope and gave us each a note book and took us on walks out by the river with instructions to look out for unusual birds. Mr. Auld would spot something out of the ordinary and immediately draw our attention to it. We took turns looking through the telescope and noted down our sighting in the book. This was all pretty boring.

After a number of sessions of this weekly walk looking for birds he hit on the bright idea of a debate; subject "can birds think?". He selected Arthur Dodson and me to take the affirmative. I hadn't a clue whether birds thought or not, and no idea where to find out. On the day of the debate Arthur started off by saying he had a dog and he was pretty convinced that the dog could think, giving examples, so he supposed birds could too. The opposition found this hard to refute. Then came my turn and I stood up and said all that I had to say - that I didn't know whether birds could think or not but I thought Arthur had a good point. Mr. Auld was not impressed. Pretty soon the hobby program petered out.

In the classrooms our desks were freestanding, wooden, with a lid that lifted up to reveal a compartment in which we could store our books etc. We sat in chairs. Each form had its "form-room" and its form-master. Although other boys from other forms would sit at your desk while taking lessons I never had a problem with theft or vandalism. We respected each other's property. There were about 30 boys in each form.

I got caned twice. Both occasions were the result of confinement on rainy days. The first time, since we couldn't go out on the playing fields we returned to our form-room and a bunch of us lined up the desks on two sides of the classroom, raised the lids and hurled gym shoes at each other endeavouring to knock a lid down or, if we missed, get someone round the ear. Unfortunately the caretaker passed by, saw the fight and entered the room. He caught one right in the face.

Names were taken and in due course we were summoned to the Headmaster's study. The Head called in the Caretaker and asked him to describe what happened. He testified like a policeman in court, looking at notes from time to time and giving his version of events directly and succinctly. After he had finished the Head turned to us and asked if we agreed with what we had heard. We nodded and said "yes sir". He thanked the Caretaker and told us to wait outside until he called us in one at a time. I was last. Each boy came out shaking his hands as if to get rid of the sting and those of us remaining would anxiously ask what happened, how many strokes, does it hurt? My turn came and I was told to hold out my left hand. The Head raised the cane and brought it down with a cutting motion. It hurt. Once more. Then the right hand, twice. "Thank you sir". Dismissed.

The second occasion was a couple of years later. Same situation only this time we were Spud Tayler in his form-room flinging pieces of chalk at each other. The floor was a mess. We put the desks back in their places hoping the form master, Mr. Tayler, wouldn't notice. He did and demanded to know who were the culprits. Nobody answered. "Very well, the whole class will stay behind after school until those responsible own up." We stayed, and stayed until one boy broke down and admitted he was involved. He wouldn't name anyone else, but in short order the rest of us - six in all - spoke up. This time the caning was on the behind. I had to bend over and touch my toes, the Head raised my jacket and delivered six cutting strokes. Each of us came out vigorously rubbing our behinds. We bore no grudges. We thought we had got what we deserved and had learnt a lesson.

Only the Head administered corporal punishment. Other masters or prefects would give an "imposition", which consisted of writing out 50 or 100 times an epigram, such as 'Distinguish yourself by gentlemanly behaviour', 'A day without a laugh is a day wasted', 'Above all, to thine own self be true', "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise" or, if one had forgotten to do his homework, "Lest we forget, lest we forget".

I never studied for exams. I did what I had to do in the way of homework - and there was homework every night - and read what I was interested in. My marks were usually respectable but I think I came first only once. However, in my first year there was an examination for a scholarship. There were five places to be awarded. The results came out and my name wasn't there, yet I knew in my heart that I had won. I reported the bad news at home but said nothing about my belief. Two weeks later amended results were announced and my name was included. I wasn't in the least surprised, but at first said nothing at home. While we were having tea my chum made some remark about my being lucky, and I said "luckier than you think". Uncle Reg looked at me and asked what I meant by that. I told them about the amended results and that I had won a scholarship which not only paid my way through school but also my train fares every term. They were all naturally delighted, but the promise Mother had made that if I won a scholarship she would buy me a bicycle was not fulfilled. She said she was nervous about my riding a bike on the busy roads. I didn't get a bike until I bought my own to go to my first job in Canada at the age of sixteen.

Once a year the school put on a play. The Headmaster got involved because I think he fancied himself as a director and it was quite a professional production. The first two years I was there it was all done in house with the smaller boys taking the female roles (they had a hard time living that down) but after that the girls' school was invited to participate, which aroused a good deal of curiosity and much peeking in on rehearsals. I remember "A Midsummer Night's Dream", " Macbeth " and Ibsen's "The Pretenders". I wasn't a participant in the plays but enjoyed watching them.

Before Christmas there would be special dinner, known as the "bun fight", and a concert put on by the boys just for the boys. The concerts were very good. We had one boy named Smith who was an accomplished pianist and he would play something classical. There might be a short play ("Androcles and the Lion" was one), songs by the choir (my only participation) and skits by the senior boys. I recall a quartet of prefects singing popular songs such as "The Lady In Red".

In the late spring there was a fete, held on a Saturday, with booths and races such as egg and spoon, three legged, etc., and of course a refreshment booth with tea and buns; for sixpence you could eat all you wanted, which was fine where adults were concerned but dangerous for the profits when applied to healthy, hungry growing boys.

During the summer holidays the school organised a camping trip for those interested. The summer of 1937 it was to Chamonix in the French Alps. The cost was 8 pounds. I went home School Camp at Chamonix excited and said I really wanted to go. Uncle Reg said that was a lot of money and I would have to work and save for it. What could I do? I got an allowance of sixpence a week. He worked out a remuneration package for work: a farthing a log cut (they weren't big logs) so much for washing the car, a job I didn't mind except for the wheels as they were wire spokes that had to be cleaned with a special brush that sprayed water all over me, so much for digging the garden etc. As the time approached I was in despair; I had saved up only about 22 shillings. Then I was told that I could keep that as spending money and they would pay the 8 pounds.

We had been told to get a pair of hob-nailed boots and break them in, so I got them and went for long walks. The sound of the hob nails on the pavement attracted a lot of attention and smiles, but I didn't mind. I was getting ready for the mountains.

It was an exciting trip. Train to Newhaven, boat to Dieppe (my first boat trip), train to Paris, change stations at Paris and dinner in the station restaurant where we were introduced to an eight-course meal of strange dishes, many of which we were convinced were derived from frogs, and then overnight to Chamonix, sleeping as best we could on our kitbags but too excited to sleep much. One boy - Clem Berry - was train sick. On arrival we slept the first night in a barn as the tents hadn't arrived but the next day they came and we got organised. Each bell tent had eight boys with an older boy in charge. The masters and their families had separate tents.

We had to take turns at chores such as cooking and washing dishes and we had to keep the tents neat and aired. Trips were arranged on the Glacier des Bossons, which comes straight down the face of Mont Blanc; the Mer de Glace, where we had to take a funicular railway up to where we hiked across the glacier and where, idly chipping ice with my stick into a crevasse, I nearly fell in; to Geneva, where I signed my name in the League of Nations visitors book (I don't suppose the powers that be noticed it); a hike up to the source of the river that flowed by the campsite and other interesting sites. It was the owner of the property who acted as our guide up the river, where we clambered over rocks spewed down from the glacier at the source. He didn't wear hob nails; he had rubber soled shoes. I found that hob nails were not the best thing for going over rocks but they were great on ice.

Often we would walk into Chamonix, mainly to buy presents for everyone at home, and sit at an outdoor cafe and have a grenadine and soda. There was one cafe where there was an all-women orchestra, dressed in long red gowns, that played in the evening. We would listen to them and watch the setting sun turn the snow on Mont Blanc to a beautiful pink. On one occasion as we walked through the woods we came across some French soldiers on maneouvres. They were relaxed, eating blueberries, and they showed us how to recognise them and gave us some to eat.

When we left Lewes we gave our spending money, in pounds, to a master and when we wanted some we went to him and he would give us francs, keeping careful record in a book. I calculated that I had spent it all, but when we got back to Lewes he gave me a shilling or so back, explaining that the exchange rate had moved in favour of the pound. I didn't understand this, but I didn't argue. It was my first experience of exchange rates.

The next year, 1938, the camp was in Normandy. This time the cost was five pounds and I had the same deal to earn my spending money. We camped near Thury Harcourt, beside the Orne river, and we had a couple of boats at our disposal although we had to persuade an older boy to take us out each time we wanted to go. This was the area of much fighting in World War II. We visited Caen, Bayeux and other places in the area and went on long hikes. In the evening we would walk into Thury Harcourt and pop into a cafe and order Grenadine and Soda and sit and sit while we kept pouring in more soda. The owner didn't make much money out of us! Twice a week a movie would be shown in the village square - in French, of course. Once we bought a bottle of red wine. It was cheap, and we had no trouble buying it. We took it back to the tent, someone borrowed a corkscrew from stores and we opened it. What a disappointment. It tasted sour. We tried adding sugar to make it pallatable but in the end we poured it away.

Mr Jarvis In 1939, with the danger of war breaking out, it was decided not to go on to the continent. We went to camp at Stratford. We saw a couple of plays at the theatre, where I overheard an American girl greeting a fellow countryman with "Why, hello big boy !", visited Warwick castle etc. By this time I was nearing 14. The Deputy Head Master, Mr. Jarvis, brought his wife and two daughters with him. I invited the younger one out for a row on the Avon and she accepted. All I remember of that was that I had to do all the rowing.

I really enjoyed those camping trips. We slept on ground sheets in blankets, and slept well. We learnt some rudimentary cooking (stew was a common dinner, porridge the usual breakfast) and we learnt basic hygiene as we had to dig the latrines and mess pits and fill them in afterwards and leave the field as we found it. We got to know another side of the masters, too, especially the Headmaster, who would often tell stories and organise word games around the campfire at night.

Other one-day trips would be organised from time to time, usually after year-end exams: Oxford, in conjunction with the girls' school, Lewes castle and museum, hikes up on the downs etc. On one hike up to Mount Caburn a bunch of us went down to an old chalk quarry and climbed up the face of it, clutching tufts of grass and stepping carefully on small outcrops of crumbly chalk. The masters didn't try to stop us, but I bet they heaved a sigh of relief as we clambered over the top onto safe grass. Would they allow it today?

In 1940, one Saturday, a group of us went to Brighton to a symphony concert. I remember my Uncle Reg, in uniform, pulling up in the car as we were going to Lewes station to see if I would like a ride home. When I told him we were going to a symphony concert he was astounded, as I had shown no interest in classical music. But I was enthralled, especially with Schubert's overture to Rosamunde, which I came away humming and which has been a favourite of mine ever since.

Year by year we moved up, the whole class - third form, fourth form, the Remove then the fifth form. Nobody had to pass exams to move up. While in the Remove some of us would be invited by a master to stay behind and attend a fifth form function in an evening. Usually there would be a guest speaker. I recall listening to one gentleman early in 1939 who had just returned from Germany and he was convinced there would be no war. The next day the master asked me as we were walking along a corridor how I enjoyed it. I replied "not very much". He was surprised and asked why. "Because I didn't think he knew what he was talking about". I was right.

'Gluey' LarwillAcademically I was OK. If a subject really interested me I would come first in the class, otherwise I would be somewhere in the top half dozen. No one taught me how to study or the importance of studying even those subjects that didn't particularly interest me, and it never bothered me not to come first and not be the one to take up the reports to the Headmaster at assembly. At art and handicraft I was a duffer. Nothing I did in woodwork fitted properly so I asked if I could change to metalwork. The master, Mr. Larwill, once in frustration asked me what I wanted Gluey's woodwork and metalwork craftroom to do when I grew up. I told him I would like to go into the Colonial Service. "Well, Sutton" he said in his broad Somerset accent, "You'll have to learn to be a good deal tidier than that". He allowed me to shift to metal work and challenged me to make an L square. This entailed filing a piece of iron to the right thickness. I filed and filed, session after session, and gradually a series of bumps and hollows developed in the metal that, try as I might, I never did remove. I gave up trying and cut a slot in the top, fitted the thin piece of metal in, bored two holes and hammered in the heated rivets. The L square was complete. But it wouldn't lie quite flat and the angle of the "L" was not quite 90 degrees, so it wasn't much use. But in one English literature exam there was a question regarding Tennyson and I reproduced the entire "Lady of Shallot" to illustrate my points. The master was very impressed.

When war broke out a London school - Tooting Bec, which we thought was a funny name - was evacuated to Lewes and fitted in with us. The curriculum had to be reorganised to accommodate them. We didn't go to school on Thursdays but we had to go Saturday mornings. They had their own masters. Actually it worked out quite smoothly although the dining room was more crowded. Naturally there were contests between the schools and we were confident we could beat them handily. To our chagrin, however, they generally beat us, even in track and field when our star runner, D. Thomas, struggled without success to catch their man in the 440 yards.

We were all issued gas masks shortly before the war which we were to have with us at all times. Air raid shelters were built, some out of concrete sewer pipe banked with earth, others just brick structures (they were still there as of 1998 !) and we practised evacuating the school into the shelters quickly. We could do it in two minutes. After many false alarms from the official air raid warning sirens the Headmaster decided to give the prefects training in aircraft recognition and had two of them stationed on the balcony in front of the prefects' common room. If they sighted an enemy plane they rang a bell and out we went. Once they didn't see it. We heard this whistling sound and Mr. Jarvis, who had been in World War I , immediately told us to get under our desks. We heard the bombs go over us and explode. Naturally, being curious boys, we went over at lunch time to look at the craters, which were near a bridge over the Ouse, and pick up pieces of shrapnel as souvenirs.

One of the masters, Mr. Smith, who was over six feet tall, was called up and sent to France. He was among those evacuated from Dunkirk and we welcomed him on his return to the school for a visit. He seemed in good spirits. Not so happy were two French boys in our class who felt humiliated at the collapse of the French army. As for the rest of us, we had a sense of relief that we were on our own and not stuck with any unreliable allies, and Churchill inspired everyone with his speeches.

In the early autumn of 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, we were in and out of the shelters four or five times a day. It was dark in there and impossible to do much classwork. The masters would organise question and answer sessions and conduct spelling contests.

Having just turned 15 and entered the fifth form I was appointed a train prefect, that is I was in charge of a compartment on the train to and from Uckfield, a journey that took 20 minutes for eight miles with stops at Barcombe Mills and Isfield. I was supposed to maintain law and order and, more especially, take action in the event of an air raid on the train. What action, sir ? "Use your native ingenuity !", was the response.

The Battle of Britain took place over our heads. I would watch the condensation trails of the fighters twisting in and out, and every once in a while a plane would come diving down and disappear - hopefully one of theirs. We were fed daily reports over the radio which were quite misleading and inaccurate, but we believed them. Once, as I was walking through Buxted Park, a Dornier flew low machine gunning anything handy and I ducked behind a tree. At Uckfield we were bombed a couple of times but the only damage we experienced was some broken windows. Some incendiaries were dropped harmlessly in the meadows beside the High Street and I rushed out next morning for souvenirs. We collected ends of incendiary bombs, pieces of shrapnel and bits of parachutes, which often had burn marks, as trophies.

September 15, 1940 there was an invasion alert. Uckfield was occupied by Canadian troops who set up machine gun posts and road blocks. At the Bell Hotel we served them tea and refreshments and allowed them to use our facilities. A chain of brick pill boxes had been built through Kent and Sussex, which struck me as rather useless, and these were occupied. The local Home Guard was also mustered but they didn't inspire much confidence. Late in the afternoon the all clear was announced and the troops went back to their barracks at Maresfield. All kinds of rumours floated about - German bodies washed up on the beaches at Brighton, etc. and an invasion thwarted - but it was a false alarm. Probably a deliberate alarm to test the defences.

The school organised a "Dig for Victory" garden and we boys volunteered as gardeners. We were also taken up on the Downs to create pits and erect poles so as to deter landings by gliders. Digging pits in chalk is hard work and rather messy, but we felt we were doing our bit.

One day an Old Boy visited the school in his Air Force uniform. We goggled in awe. He was, of course, young but he was a Group Captain [Note: It would have been Group Captain Tom Horgan DFC, DSO] with four rings on his sleeve and pilot wings on his tunic. If only the war would last long enough for us to get into action ! Every night the drone of enemy bombers could be heard, preceded by the undulating wail of the air raid siren. We would go down in the cellar and make ourselves as comfortable as we could but sleep was impossible and on more than one occasion I went back up to bed, preferring comfort and sleep to security. The night of the blitz on London we went up the hill to the Recreatiom Ground and saw the red glow in the sky of London burning, forty odd miles away.

Brighton was hit quite a lot and on our trips there we could see the bomb damage. The beaches were strung with barbed wire; the piers had been dynamited and sandbagged positions built along the waterfront. One thursday Bill Blake and I took the train to Brighton for something to do but it was like a ghost town; we wound up going through the rock garden. There was nothing to do there; it was not the Brighton we had known in peace-time.
G. D. Sutton

Note 1: Shortly after leaving School in the summer of 1941 the young Sutton left Lewes and went to Canada. He wrote to the Headmaster telling him of his experiences in the few months since he left. Mr Bradshaw found the time to send a letter in reply telling of the further difficulties that were being imposed on the school and giving news of other Old Boys and their part in the war.

Note 2: We hope soon to add further details of Gerry's life to our biography pages