Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Share your memories of life at the RGS, stories of masters, etc.
Martin King
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby Martin King » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:37 am

The "Obituary" for PLJones on your website was a little premature, as the article was actually about his final retirement from teaching - the following is from the first few lines.


"Pilgy" - P. L. Jones Retirement

GOODBYE, P.L.J. (1916-64) [Wycombiensian, Sept 1964, p616]

We were all a little saddened last term when it became known that at last P.L.J. had decided to retire completely: for the last three years he has been helping the Maths department during the mornings.


Searching on Ancestry I find thatthe Peter L. Jones whose death was registered in Amersham in 1966 was only aged 10.
However the death of a Peter Lewis Jones was recorded in Amersham in 1970, born in 1892, so I think that is him.

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John Saunders
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby John Saunders » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:00 am

Martin

That looks spot on to me. I'm pretty sure PLJ's obituary must have appeared in the May 1971 issue of Wycombiensian but I don't have a copy as I left in December 1970. But I do have a copy of the Sept 1971 issue and there are OW messages in it about being sorry to read of his death. Can anyone who has a copy of the May 1971 issue scan in the obit and either post it here or send it to me?

I only overlapped very briefly with PLJ - I think he stood in for absent maths teachers a couple of times in my first form class - but he always reminded me a bit of my grandfather. They looked very alike, were both Welsh and had highly individual senses of humour. It now turns out that they were born in the same year. However, there the comparison ends: my grandfather was a gentle old cove who didn't go around pinging boys round the ear with elastic bands or being heavily sarcastic!
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

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Tony Hare
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby Tony Hare » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:17 pm

Martin King wrote:The "Obituary" for PLJones on your website was a little premature, as the article was actually about his final retirement from teaching

Thanks Martin, just proves how true my old School Reports were - "Doesn't pay enough attention to his work"
I have made a slight adjustment to my website so I won't make the same mistake again.

John Saunders wrote:Martin
However, there the comparison ends: my grandfather was a gentle old cove who didn't go around pinging boys round the ear with elastic bands or being heavily sarcastic!

John, "A gentle old cove" is exactly how I remember Pilgy even though, as you say, he did frequently use elastic and sarcasm.
Let me know if you get the May 1971 obit on your website and I'll add a link to it from mine.
Tony Hare
RGS 1951 - 1956 http://www.rgs.tonyhare.co.uk
Many years as an Electronics Engineer and Gift Shop proprietor and now happily retired and enjoying the opportunity for relaxation and travel with my wife.

cliftonhughes
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby cliftonhughes » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:12 pm

I was pleased to see Mr Leggett mentioned in an earlier posting. He was a gentle man who encouraged you to think for yourself and inspired in me a long term love of physical phenomena, mechanics, electronics etc.

But for "Tweet" Nightingale (whom I think of as "Twit") I retain long term scorn. I was a skinny boy and suffered badly from the cold during school sports. One day, when I got out of rugger with yet another excuse, he told me I would end up a weed if I didn't do sports. Years later, when I was working, I discovered squash, and that I was good at it. I regretted the lost years, and blamed his lack of empathy in not suggesting I might try some indoor occupation. At the time there were boys going up to Equity and Law to play squash, but I had no idea what that was.
(I've harboured that grudge now for 50 years; how pleased I am to have shared that story at last!)
Clifton Hughes
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John Saunders
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby John Saunders » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:10 pm

Yes, I have sympathy for Clifton and his 'Ode to a Nightingale': though Tweet had left before I joined the school, gym masters were still very much of his ilk in the mid-60s. Later there was the more easy-going Scot Jock Learmonth.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby John Saunders » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:43 pm

The list below is taken from an appendix at the back of the School History (I had already posted it on the website but thought it might be worth posting here too)

Brief notices of those assistant masters in order of their appointment who by 1961 had taught for at least ten years at the School during E. R. Tucker’s Headmastership. Those whose careers were outlined in the previous chapter are omitted.

E.C. MILLINGTON. M.Sc. (London). 1928. Senior Science Master. Sixth Form Master. Officer in A.T.C. during war. Left to become H.M.I. in 1946.

S. MORGAN. B.Sc. (Leeds). 1930. Senior Geography Master. Librarian until 1935. Housemaster of King’s House from 1935 to 1946. Officer in A.T.C. during war. Second Master from 1946. Secretary of General Games Committee from 1946 to 1953.

W. N. BICKNELL. M.A. (Oxon). 1930. Exhibitioner of Jesus College. Senior English Master. Edited Wycombiensian. In charge of 1st XV from 1939. Housemaster of “House”, later Queen’s, from 1933. Tuckshop Committee from 1931. Commanded A.T.C. Squadron during war. Left in 1944 to take up Headmastership of Tadcaster Grammar School.

C. E. C. EASTMAN. B.A (Oxon). (App. 1930. PT. and Assistant Boarding House Master until 1933 when he went up to Oxford.) Reappointed 1936. History. Commanded O.T.C. from 1937 to 1942, after which he served with K.O.S.B. during war. Took up post in industry without returning to School.

S.E. ALDRIDGE. M.A (Cantab). 1934. English. Librarian from 1935. Officer in O.T.C. during war. Left in 1944 to become Senior English Master at Falmouth Grammar School.

T. H. PRICE. B.Sc. (London). 1935. Senior Chemistry Master. Commanded A.T.C. from 1944 to 1946. Left in 1946, and later became Headmaster of Victoria County Secondary Boys’ School, Watford.

J. O. ROBERTS. M.A (Oxon). 1935. Classics. Assistant Housemaster in School House in 1939/40. Served with R.AF. during war. Commanded air section of C.C.F. of which he was Second-in-Command from 1947. Left in 1951 to become a Housemaster and Senior Classics Master at Hardye’s School, Dorchester.

W. CLARK. M.A (Cantab). 1936. Scholar of Selwyn College. Senior Mathematics Master. Served with R.A. throughout war. Housemaster of Fraser House from 1951 to 1957.

C. M. HAWORTH. M.A. (Cantab). 1936. Scholar of St. John’s College. Senior Classics Master from 1946. Served with Indian Army during war. In charge of Rugby Football from 1947 to 1957. Secretary to General Games Committee from 1961.

R. PATTINSON. T.D., E.R.D., M.A. (Cantab). 1936. Chemistry. Served with R.A. throughout war. Commanded C.C.F. from end of war. Housemaster of Tyler’s Wood from 1948. English golf international.

M. M. DAVIES. B.A. (Swansea). 1937. Modern Languages. Served with Intelligence Corps during war. Officer in army section of C.C.F. Housemaster of Uplyme since 1948. Senior German Master from 1960. Master in charge of tennis since war.

T. E. HOOD. B.Sc. (London). 1937. Biology. Served with R.E., later with R.A., during war. Commanded first naval section in C.C.F. from 1951 to 1954. Left in 1955 to join staff of Torquay Grammar School.

H. W. JOHNSON. (Culham). 1940. Mathematics and Engineering Drawing. Old Boy of School Officer in A.T.C. during war and since in air section of C.C.F. Assistant Housemaster at School House from 1940 to 1946, at Tyler’s Wood from 1948. Housemaster of Queen’s House 1944/5. First Scoutmaster of Boarders’ (25th High Wycombe) Scout Troop. In charge of cricket from 1946. Secretary to General Games Committee from 1953 to 1961.

A. S. HETT. M.A. (Oxon). 1943. Hockey blue. Modern Languages. Served as pilot with R.F.C. in first world war. Absent, teaching at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario during 1947/8.

L.T. HOLLINGWORTH. B.A. (Reading). 1945. English. Housemaster of Disraeli House from 1947 to 1956. Officer in army section of C.C.F. Head of Junior School from 1957.

F. S. ELDRIDGE. B.A. (London). 1945. Modern Languages. Housemaster of Arnison House from 1953. In charge of tuckshop. Left to become Senior Modern Languages Master at Sudbury Grammar School.

R. HOWARD. B.A. (Leeds). 1945. English. Assistant Housemaster at School House from 1946. Scoutmaster of Boarders’ (25th High Wycombe) Scout Troop. Left in 1955 to teach at the British School in Istanbul.

T. V. SHEPPARD. M.Sc. (London). 1945. Geography. Served with R.A.F. during war. In charge of cross-country running from 1946.

G. M. JONES. B.Sc. (Wales). 1946. Mathematics. Housemaster of Youens House from 1951. Left in 1956 to become Second Master at Langley Grammar School.

A. D. LEGGETT. M.A. (Oxon). 1946. Physics. Served with R.A.F. during war. Housemaster of Arnison House 1957/8. Assisted air section of C.C.F. from 1946 to 1950.

S.A. MALE. M.A. (Cantab). 1946. Scholar of Sidney Sussex College. Classics. Served with A.E.C. during war. Secretary of School National Savings Branch from 1948.

E. MEWSE. M.Sc., M.Ed. (Durham). 1946. Senior Science Master. Served with R.A.F. during war. Commanded air section of C.C.F. of which he is Second-in-Command from 1951.

H. SCOTT. MA. (Cantab). 1946. Exhibitioner of St. John’s College. Mathematics. Served with R.A. throughout war. Housemaster of Fraser House from 1957, of King’s from 1958.

G. G. BROWNING. M.A. (Oxon). 1947. Religious Instruction and History. Served with Indian Army, later on Staff, during war. In charge of R.I. from appt. Acted as Q.M. to C.C.F. from 1949. Careers Master from 1958.

L. J. ASHFORD. M.A. (Cantab). 1947. Exhibitioner of Sidney Sussex College. Senior History Master. Served with R.A.S.C. and A.E.C. during war. Schoolmaster’s Studentship at Balliol College, Oxford, 1959. Published History of High Wycombe 1960. Left in 1960 to become Headmaster of Burnham Grammar School (a new school).

E. JONES. B.A. (Cardiff). 1947. Senior Modern Languages Master from 1952.

L. W. PINER. F.R.C.O. 1947. Director of Music from 1952, until shortly before his death in 1957 after a long illness.

N. H. WHITE. M.A. (Cantab). 1948. Modern Languages. In charge of Spanish. Served as pilot with R.A.F during war. Officer in air section of C.C.F. In charge of tuckshop since 1957.

A. C. HILLS. M.A., A.K.C. (London). 1949. Scholar of King’s College. Senior English Master. Librarian. Editor of Wycombiensian.

A. L. RUNSWICK. M.A. (Cantab). 1950. Scholar of Jesus College. English. Assistant Housemaster at School House from 1955 until he left in 1960 to become Senior English Master at University College School.

J. B. BENSON. M.A. (Cantab). 1951. Scholar of Christ’s College. Classics. Served with R.N. during war. In command of naval section of C.C.F. from 1962.

E. J. PERFECT. B.A. (Oxon). 1951. English and Russian. Served with Glider Pilot Regt. during war. Started Russian studies in the School in 1953. Housemaster of Disraeli House from 1958.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

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John Saunders
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby John Saunders » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:11 pm

I always liked AC (Charles, 'Min') Hills as a teacher. Kit Haworth referred to him as 'The Oracle' and he would sometimes consult him during a lesson when asked something abstruse. They were firm friends on the staff.

I've looked him up online (not having the relevant Wycombiensian which holds his obit) and think this must be him:

Arnold Charles Hills, born 25 December 1912, Maidstone, Kent, died (around) March 1995, Wycombe.

On Tony Hare's website someone has explained the derivation of his nickname 'Min' (which was always a mystery to my 1960s generation. It was short for 'The Minister' as early pupils thought he had the air of a clergyman about him. His son JC (John Charles) Hills was a pupil at the school (1960-65) and became a builder/farmer in the Wycombe area (still there, I think).

A generally good-tempered, genial man. Anyone have any reminiscences?
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

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John Saunders
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby John Saunders » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:42 pm

Here are two obituaries of long-serving masters, taken from the September 1971 issue of the Wycombiensian:


Obituary, Emlyn Jones (Wycombiensian, Sept 1971, p723)

When, at the end of the summer term, we were wishing Mr. Emlyn Jones all good things for his well-earned retirement, none of us thought to hear of his death before the end of the first week of the holidays. The news was an immense shock to all who received it, and our deepest sympathy goes to Mrs. Jones (who had herself just completed ten years' part-time teaching at R.G.S.) and to her son Barri. Mr. Jones died of a sudden heart attack while he and Mrs. Jones were in London, preparing for their intended holiday in France.

Mr. Jones was born in South Wales in 1905, and had already reached the retiring age of 65 last September. He was educated at Barry County School, Glamorganshire and the University College, Cardiff, where he took II Class Honours in French. He held only two teaching appointments. After twenty years as Languages master at Cowley Grammar School, St. Helen's, Lancashire, he came to R.G.S. in 1947, and had just completed 24 years here. Although formally retiring this summer, he had intended to go on teaching here on a part-time basis.

As Head of the Modern Languages Department he had established a reputation for dedicated and conscientious teaching of French and German, with qualities of scholarship which commanded the respect of all who knew him, whether as colleagues or pupils. His work was always characterised by a firm seriousness of purpose which alone was sufficient to guarantee him a place as one of the pillars of the Staff. Under his leadership the Modern Languages Department played a significant part in the great scholastic successes of the School that were built up during Mr. Tucker's Headship. Mr. Emlyn Jones was a most loyal supporter of the wider aspects of the School life, and in his passing we lose a most esteemed colleague whose memory will be long preserved in our affections. M.P.S [Malcolm P Smith, headmaster]

Ancestry.com gives his date of birth as 22 September 1905, and death as (approx) September 1971, Paddington, London.

Obituary, LT Hollingworth (Wycombiensian, Sept 1971, p724)

Only days after the sudden death of Mr. Emlyn Jones came the second shock of the very tragic death of Mr. L. T. Hollingworth in circumstances which stunned and shattered all who knew him as a close friend. To his son and daughter Roger and Anne we extend our very special sympathy and concern in the great and poignant blow which befell them in the loss of their father.

Mr. Hollingworth's last few years had been saddened by the untimely loss of his beloved wife. But, with great courage and resolution, with resourcefulness and meticulous care he kept his home going, acting as both father and mother to his young daughter, in a way which won the admiration of all who visited his home. During the last two years or so, worry and anxiety over his many commitments both at home and School had brought on a considerable sense of depression which he found very difficult to throw off, despite the efforts of his friends to sustain him. After a welcome respite this depression returned recently in an acute form. He had been – as he went each year – to the C.C.F. Camp at Sheepstor, where his fellow-officers had done their best to cheer him up and take him out of himself. But alas! it seemed that, as soon as he returned to his empty home the old anxieties overwhelmed him again.

Mr. Hollingworth was a Derbyshire man, born in 1909 and educated at Bemrose School, Derby, and Reading University, where he took a degree in English, History and Latin. After holding teaching posts in Edinburgh, Doncaster and Sudbury, Suffolk, he joined the Staff of R.G.S. in 1945, where, besides being a member of the English Staff, teaching up to Ordinary Level, he was Headmaster of the Junior School. He thus played a major role in the life and work of the School. He was extremely conscientious and methodical about all his School responsibilities. He was a firm and respected figure, even somewhat awe-inspiring to his younger pupils. His complete dependability and efficiency in taking charge of the first two year-groups of the School was greatly appreciated by the Headmaster. After the years of his reign in the ramshackle huts of Uplyme, with the junior School much more separated than at present from the main School, it was with much satisfaction that Mr. Hollingworth was able to re-settle his charges in the new 'Junior Block' in the 1963 building. Mr. Hollingworth served the R.G.S. faithfully and well for 26 years. His loss will be keenly felt by all members of the School community. M.P.S. [Malcolm P Smith, headmaster]

Ancestry.com reveals his full name to be 'Lewis Tom Hollingworth' and his exact date of birth to be 5 April 1909. Note that both birth and death records give 'Tom' and not 'Thomas' for his middle name. His father was a heating engineer in an iron foundry in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, at the time of the 1911 census. Contrary to what was said about his Derbyshire origins in his RGS obit, the census tells us that he was born in Beeston, Notts (birth cert. says Basford, Notts).
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

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Tony Hare
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Re: Masters of the Mid 40's to Mid 50's

Postby Tony Hare » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:25 pm

Thank you John for all your work on tracking down these obituaries. They make for very nostalgic reading.
I was particularly held by the obituary for LTH, which was written with obvious affection and understanding. I was aware of the fate of Holly (long after I had left RGS) but it was good to read more detail.
Holly had a great influence on my path through RGS right from the very first day in form 2A Uplyme.
I remember him as a fairly severe sort of chap, certainly not given to laughter, but I am sure there was no sign of depression in those days.
Above all he managed to instill in me enough interest for the works of Wordsworth, Shakespear et al to make my Eng Lit O level a doddle.
Tony Hare
RGS 1951 - 1956 http://www.rgs.tonyhare.co.uk
Many years as an Electronics Engineer and Gift Shop proprietor and now happily retired and enjoying the opportunity for relaxation and travel with my wife.