World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

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Fitzsadou
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World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Fitzsadou » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:58 pm

There is much information about CH during World War 2 dispersed between wartime issues of ‘The Blue’, certain OBs’memories and elsewhere. One day I hope that it will be collated, preferably while some who lived through this period still are around. Things like exploits of the CH Home Guard, use of the underground passages (Tube) as air raid shelters, etc, deserve to be recorded and may even interest younger Blues.

Here are a few thoughts about CH Horsham teachers then, which include some ideas which I don’t think have been previously published. During the war there was a shortage of suitable young male masters. Their substitutes included a few women (eg Miss M Eller, who left to marry Mr Gerritsen a part time cello teacher, Mrs R Hurst and Mrs B Massen, who both apparently stayed on till a normal retirement age). The women teachers were addressed as, “Sir”, and they taught only the lower classes, especially the Third Form. Also some formerly retired masters came back for the duration (Mr DH Burleigh, etc). Additionally some were engaged, who probably would not have been appointed in normal times (eg Mr P Matthews). Presumably following the policy of the then head master, HLO Flecker, most replacement teachers stayed on post-war, apparently leaving CH when they wished.

Some masters returned after war service to take up posts they held earlier at CH (CF Kirby, EA Littlefield, EG Malins, A Rider and others) and new appointments were made. Up to the 1960s (and beyond?) the school’s non-wartime policy seemed to have been to engage Oxbridge graduates almost exclusively. Perhaps this was partially snobbism. Although today there are well over 100 British universities, then there were far, far fewer (about a score or so). But among the older non Oxbridge establishments a few had some excellent departments. Perhaps the teachers appointed at CH all had superior qualities and so snobbishness played no part. We shall never know. Another observation is that masters seem to have fallen into two clear categories, firstly the intellectuals who could teach Grecians and upper classes. (They were often very competent and inspiring teachers, such as, W Armistead, MT Cherniavsky, RA Dean, DS Macnutt, DS Roberts and others.) Also there were those who either could not teach senior classes, or did not because of personal preference. Examples of this second group are PC Davies, R Rae, JH Edwards and EA Littlefield. They all had important non-teaching activities and were rightly engaged to pursue them. For PCD (then an active international England rugby player) it probably was to aid rugby coaching. RR was very active in the CCF, scouts and later was second master, JHE was most likely engaged to direct gym and swimming activities and EAL to coach school cricket teams. However other such apparent non-intellectuals seemed to have had no important responsibilities (eg F Haslehust, except for his wartime and post-war senior housemanship of Thornton A. He was unusual in several respects, for he was the only CH teacher with no academic qualification at all, having left Oxford before taking his finals. Also his breath usually smelt strongly of booze in the late morning and he was very imaginative in his teaching of classics to lower forms. He never used a text book, always inventing his own English sentences for translation into Latin. During the Korean War they sometimes referred to aeroplane combat [machinae in Korea].)

Why the strong Oxbridge bias? Were those less intellectual teachers, who apparently had no useful non-academic activity, specifically engaged to provide a valuable mix among masters? Were their appointments errors? Were there similar practices at Hertford? Tom

Foureyes
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Foureyes » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:48 am

"...One day I hope that it will be collated, preferably while some who lived through this period still are around."

Are you volunteering?

David

Kit Bartlett
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:16 am

I am still around and do possess a collection of The Blue covering the WW2 period and afterwards although I am not volunteering at this stage but might well be persuaded so to do.
A few points on this interesting subject.
Did Miss M Eller marry L.P. Gerrish a music master rather than a Mr. Gerritsen ?
A 1941 list of Form Masters for the various Grecians show C.A. Humphrey (Maths), A.H. Buck (Classical) A.L. Creed (Science)
C.W.S. Averill (Engineering).
I am interested in the schools attended by various masters. J.E. Massen went to Chigwell, G.W, Pink to St. John's Leatherhead
Blamire-Brown to Sherborne and D.S. Macnutt and Haslehust to Marlborough I believe. Flecker was at Dean Close.
E.C. Aitken never taught the more senior forms.
More to follow.

Foureyes
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Foureyes » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:06 pm

...and then there was Johnstone (johnny) in Lamb A, whose total advice on "life" to his leavers was: "...beware of ladies in shiny raincoats!" Heaven only knows what personal experience gave rise to that! Lamb B was Archbold (Archie) territory - who had been a master pre-war, I believe. His lecture on "life' centred on the mating habits of herrings - or was it haddocks? Then there was Page, known as "crapsack" for reasons I never understood. And Jenkins, known to all as "Basher" for reasons readily explained when viewing his photograph. He had a DSO from his time in the Commandos, and left Housie all too soon to go to the staff at Sandhurst.
There was also a very nice man called Ingledew, who was (as far as I know) the first master in the Manual School to be admitted to the Common Room. He was the Junior Housemaster in Lamb B for a time.
Ah, memories!
David

michael scuffil
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:50 pm

You're right about the Oxbridge bias ('It doesn't matter which university you go to, my boy. They're both very old.'). I soon realized that white silk hoods = Cambridge MA, and crimson silk hoods = Oxford MA, and there were very few other hoods on display at Sunday chapel. Gordon van Praagh of course had a scarlet hood (PhD Cantab.), and some masters never bothered to take their MA (JH Edwards comes to mind). And the music masters were usually BMus, with very fancy fur hoods (still Oxbridge, though).

Of the non-Oxbridge people in c. 1960, I can think of both chaplains (Pullin (Durham) and Whitfield (somewhere Antipodean)); Beaven (ICL?); Richard Fry (where?), PG Matthews (I think).

I think Olive Peto was the first woman to teach Grecians on a regular (though part-time) basis. In fact I think she only taught Grecians. I think she must have had a degree, but I don't know where from. She was good.
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Fitzsadou
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Fitzsadou » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:34 pm

No David I am not volunteering, but I hope that someone else will. You are quite right Kit, it was Mr Gerrish, a part time cello teacher. Thanks. I hope that I have not made other errors.

As for schools, I can offer the following: R Rae (Solihull Grammar), DCF Chaundy and MT Cherniavsky (Westminster), EA Littlefield (Merchant Taylors), A Johnstone (Royal Masonic), G van Praagh (Emmanuel College), A Mackerras (Sydney Grammar) and AH Buck, GME Seaman and GW Deakin (CH), of course. HLO Flecker taught at Marlborough and I think that he also was a pupil there.

As for universities, E Ingledew had a degree (B Tech?) from the Loughborough Technical Institute, now Loughborough University. G van Praagh’s PhD was from the Royal Holloway College, University of London. The London PhD hood is somewhat like an Oxford MA, but a slightly lighter red. F McCracken was at the University of Melbourne.

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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Foureyes » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Fitzsadou writes:

"...G van Praagh’s PhD was from the Royal Holloway College, University of London..."

It's a very minor point, but are you sure that is correct? I am certain that the RHC was all-female until well into the 1950s - perhaps even later. Could it be that VP's PhD was from the University of London, but not RHC? I visited RHC in 1956 and there were lots and lots of girls there then and the only men in sight seemed to be mere visitors.

David

michael scuffil
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:26 pm

G van Praagh’s PhD was from the Royal Holloway College, University of London.

He was an undergraduate at UCL, but went to Emmanuel College Cambridge to do his PhD. This is stated both in his Guardian obituary (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2003 ... reducation), and in the obituary in the Emmanuel College Magazine which I have in front of me. (Plus various other obits which you can google.) As a Cambridge PhD myself, I know what the academic frippery looks like. He wore the gown and the scarlet cloth hood of a Cambridge PhD.

I think John Page was an Old Marlburian too.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

Fitzsadou
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Fitzsadou » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:54 pm

Thanks very much David and Michael for the correction. I apologise. Clearly I mixed Emmanuel College, London (a high school) and Emmanuel College of Cambridge University. Incidentally the Guardian obituary writer, Martyn Berry, was one of GvP’s former pupils, from Mid B. In the 40s or 50s Peggy van Praagh came once to CH with a troupe of dancers from Sadlers Wells Ballet Company (of which she was then director) and they performed in Big School.

michael scuffil
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:54 pm

GvP incidentally played double bass in the school orchestra.

On another tack, how many of these Oxbridge men had sporting Blues? I can only think of JH Page, who had one in that strange sport, Real Tennis* (though he was a keen Lawn Tennis player too, and was, naturally enough, master i/c tennis), and WPC Davies (Rugby). These two together were my housemasters for three years, until WPCD went off to a prep school headmastership somewhere. When I arrived in ThB, he was absent on a British Lions tour of S. Africa (and was deputized for by the very unsporty -- but equally Cambridge -- David Herbert (who played Prof. Higgins in a staff production of Pygmalion, can't imagine WPCD doing that)).

*still played at Cambridge, and quite fun, though mystifying, to watch.
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Foureyes
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Foureyes » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:52 pm

"Incidentally the Guardian obituary writer, Martyn Berry, was one of GvP’s former pupils, from Mid B."
Thanks for drawing attention to the obit. It is, if I may be permitted to say so, a particularly well-written obituary, drawing all the many strands of VP's life and interests together.
David

Kit Bartlett
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Kit Bartlett » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:37 am

Arthur Rider was at Berkhamsted School where he was Head Boy when Flecker was Head Master (1927-30). Incidentally there is a painting of HLOF in the School Hall there commissioned when he could only have been about 34 or so. He looks much as he did in his CH portrait in the Dining Hall of some twenty five years later.
Cecil Cochrane went to Cheltenham College and A.C.W. Edwards to St. Edmund's Canterbury.

michael scuffil
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:51 pm

Was not Mr Tod also from Marlborough? I seem to recall David Jesson-Dibley saying he was there with Louis MacNeice.
Did we have any Etonian, Harrovian or Wykehamist masters?
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Kit Bartlett
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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Kit Bartlett » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:53 am

Viscount Corvedale , later Earl Baldwin, a Master in the 1970s was educated at Eton.

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Re: World War 2, CH Teachers, etc

Post by Kit Bartlett » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:14 pm

L.M. Carey never to my knowledge took the more senior forms and yet became a successful Head Master of Bromsgrove.
Hon. D.S. Roberts went to Greshams School Holt,

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