What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

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postwarblue
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by postwarblue » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:48 pm

I'd forgotten about Derek Calam who I think went to Mid A ca.1953. Science Grecian, OBE, Prof of Biological Sciences etc.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by postwarblue » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:50 pm

'Oh blest retirement, friend to life's decline'

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:14 pm

I accept that often the reason for a transfer was to allow a Grecian a study in his new House which he could not have achieved through seniority in his old House. However there were a number of shall we say "less academic" House captains who had the Number 1 Study who could obviously not have been displaced.
On a slightly different topic how much a part did games prowess play in the appointment of such persons to the top job in a House.?
Were there instances where the Senior Grecian of the day, because of heavier commitments elsewhere, was not appointed House captain?
Norman Longmate in his autobiography "The Shaping Season" refers to the unusual fact that although he was a First Parting Grecian was not even a House monitor in Peele A in 1943. Has this ever happened before or since ?

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by seajayuu » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:47 pm

Forgive my ignorance but ................ what in the world is a "first parting grecian"? Life sounds very complicated at Horsham compared with Hertford.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by J.R. » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:08 pm

seajayuu wrote:Forgive my ignorance but ................ what in the world is a "first parting grecian"? Life sounds very complicated at Horsham compared with Hertford.

I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with eventually learning to comb ones hair !!

:oops: :roll: :lol:
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:53 pm

First, Second and Third Parting Grecians or as they were I believe originally called Grecians of the First.Second and Third Parting were in effect Grades 1, 2 and 3 to indicate years from departing from the school. Not all
Grecians reached Grade 1 by any means. The CH Alphabetical Lists later to become the Blue Book at one time
had the number of their grade shown. The latest such list I have in my possession for 1976-77 still shows this.
First partings were allowed to eat their meals separately on the dais at one time and I remember Longmate
sitting up there, a somewhat lonely and unknown figure, everybody wondering who on earth he was.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by alterblau » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:37 am

From my recollections (a few years after Kit Bartlett’s time at CH) the two highest forms at CH Horsham were Deputy Grecians (“deps”) and Grecians (“grecs”). The latter came in 4 different types – Probationary Grecians, First, Second and Third Parting Grecians.

- Normal progression was one year as a dep, then up to 3 years as a grec.
- In principle grecs were considered appropriate for tertiary education. However some did not choose to go to a university, for example going to Sandhurst, Cranwell or Dartmouth instead.
- The prob grecs were usually under the age of 16 and did not have grecians’ coats (“buttons”). They normally became 3rd Parting (P) grecs at the age of 16 and then got their buttons.
- So (prob grecs & 3rd), 2nd and 1st P grecs were in effect first, second and third year sixth formers. It was usual to move up this progression, with the entry into university undergone as a 1st P. However a few very bright lads obtained Oxbridge university scholarships as 2nd Ps (eg Keith Douglas and Jasper Griffin, later a distinguished Prof of Classical Literature and Public Orator at Oxford Univ).
- All 1st Ps ate weekday lunch on the dais, with the headmaster, if he was at CH then, which was usually the case. They rotated their positions to sit next to him every week or so.
- All with buttons could walk on the Grecians’ path (adjacent to study windows and parallel to The Avenue) and cross lawns. Their numbers in a given house varied between zero (rarely) and (even more rarely) 4 or more. Sometimes house captains did not have buttons, but this was unusual.
- House captains were usually 1st Ps, sometimes not. If circumstances permitted, a house master would ensure a 2nd P was made house captain, so that he would be in the running for Senior Grecian in his last (1st P) year. A house master who had a favourite would rarely abuse this practice. This favourite would (as 2nd P) be promoted over someone equally or more worthy to be house captain, so giving the favourite a chance in his last year of becoming Senior Grecian.
- The Senior Grecian was normally a 1st P and hence in his last year, who had been a house captain the year before. Often he was the captain or a member of a first team of a major sport. One glaring and surprising exception to this was Mackenzie in the 50s.
- School Monitors were the Sen Grec and house captains and occasionally one or two others. (For example a pair of twins were house captain and 2nd monitor in the same house. They were both School Monitors.) The School Monitors’ annual photos, dating back to the late Newgate St days, used to be placed in the corridor outside the Headmaster’s office, but they vanished by the 1980s. School Monitors had some extra privileges. Does anyone know what they were?
Last edited by alterblau on Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:30 am

Seaman abolished the concept of 'school monitor' on the grounds that 'all monitors are school monitors' (i.e. had monitorial authority outside their house). He substituted 'member of the house captains' committee'. This usually just meant house captains and the senior grecian, but there were occasional co-opted members, such as myself. The only specific privilege I remember was being allowed to walk on the grass in front of the houses. But we also had tea on the dais, and took it in turns to share the headmaster's table at dinner. Members of the house captains' committee who weren't button grecians were given honorary buttons in their summer term. (E.g. Peter Scott)

Certainly it was true that 2nd p housecaptains had a head start when it came to who was to be senior grecian in their 1st p year. This made the Cousins/Pitcher situation in 1962 all the more piquant.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by J.R. » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:28 am

It gets more complicated by the day !

I'm glad I didn't stay on to reach such lofty heights.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by alterblau » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:43 am

I have been trying to get access to the School Monitor pictures for some time, without success. Some are picturesque (eg the nineteenth century ones in which some School Monitors have moustaches of varying sizes and shapes). At least now I know who to blame for their disappearance – Seaman!

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:39 pm

Certainly by the 1950s (can't say about earlier) the 'school monitor' photos were in fact 'first parting' photos with the inclusion of 2nd year grecian house-captains who were leaving. I don't think anyone ever appeared on more than one, although it was quite possible to be a 'school monitor' for more than one year. For example the photograph on which I appear has 23 people on it. 14 houses makes at most 14 house captains, plus the sg, plus me. But the house captain of MdB (Michael Smith) who was a 2nd p and the next sg was not on it. So there were also eight non house-captains/school monitors. There were, for instance, no less than four people from ColA there (Hitchcock the hc, Cooper, Harris and Hiner).

Incidentally a 2nd-year grecian who got his Oxbridge scholarship and was therefore going to leave became a 1st p.

House captains could 'award' school drills. (I only did this once, when I was taking classes for Jack Massen when he was ill.)
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Goatherd » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:21 pm

The photos were still hanging there in Newsome's day!
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Katharine » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:06 pm

Did all your Oxbridge candidates stay on for the whole of the Third Year Sixth? Apart from our Head Girl, most of ours left at Christmas. In my year, 1965, all the Oxbridge candidates left at Christmas, the first time a Head Girl had done so.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Kit Bartlett » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:15 pm

Did not the Grecians photographs concerned go to the Museum ? Perhaps Ken Mansell could help.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:36 pm

Katharine wrote:Did all your Oxbridge candidates stay on for the whole of the Third Year Sixth? Apart from our Head Girl, most of ours left at Christmas. In my year, 1965, all the Oxbridge candidates left at Christmas, the first time a Head Girl had done so.
In 1962/63 mostly still, although the photograph was brought forward to the Michaelmas term for precisely this reason.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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