CHLF

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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huntertitus
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CHLF

Post by huntertitus » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:57 pm

I have a memory of the Christs Hospital Liberation Front which seemed to be some sort of Communist / Anarchist / Terrorist / Apolitical organisaion whose raison d'etre was to bring down the school and its leaders

It was a very exciting time as being only 11 or 12 I really thought (hoped?) they might have bombs

One frosty morning as we marched in formation to breakfast we all saw the enormous banner that spanned the two towers of big school with the famous legend C.H.L.F.

It was dangerous

It was anarchic

Later several boys were expelled

I never knew their names

If anyone can enlighten me or if anyone remembers this please tell us

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Post by Hendrik » Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:58 pm

an apolitical communist group. interesting.

kind of on the same lines, does anyone remember the F.I.A.? fascists in action?
so let me get this right, they woulndn't let me start a CH-CND (campaign for nuclear disarmament). but they totally IGNORED the F.I.A.? even denying it's existence? come to think of it, i think 'F.I.A.' is still painted on the wall of the CCF hall. (the temptation to name and shame it's members is almost unbearable, dya think i should?).

all this combined with strong masonic/religious ties,
is there something about the school we should know?
The finger to the land of the chains!
WHAT? The land of the FREE?!
Whoever told you that is your ENEMY...

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Re: CHLF

Post by Simon Kerruish » Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:02 pm

huntertitus wrote:I have a memory of the Christs Hospital Liberation Front which seemed to be some sort of Communist / Anarchist / Terrorist / Apolitical organisaion whose raison d'etre was to bring down the school and its leaders

It was a very exciting time as being only 11 or 12 I really thought (hoped?) they might have bombs

One frosty morning as we marched in formation to breakfast we all saw the enormous banner that spanned the two towers of big school with the famous legend C.H.L.F.

It was dangerous

It was anarchic

Later several boys were expelled

I never knew their names

If anyone can enlighten me or if anyone remembers this please tell us
I remember them - I think they were all in Col B. Can't remember the names but there were some expulsions, probably for putting the banner up. If I recall correctly they once got together to deliver a petition of demands to the headmaster (Clarence Seaman) in 1970 or 71. When he walked across the quad to meet them his measured tread apparently put them off and they just dispersed before he got to them. I don't think they ever really did anything apart from the banner.

viejoazul
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Re: CHLF

Post by viejoazul » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:17 am

I came across this short but intriguing thread by chance and know nothing of the incident it describes. It made me recall that the politics of OBs is very varied. Our most successful former politician is, I suppose, Lord Michael Stewart, foreign secretary for Harold Wilson in a labour government. However one of Stewart’s CH contemporaries was Asham Capell. He stood as a candidate in an election for the British Union of Fascists (a strongly pro-Hitler party at one time very popular, especially in London). He failed to get elected. To go to the other extreme, have we any ex-communists?

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Re: CHLF

Post by sejintenej » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:18 pm

Not sure if it is relevant but someone (I don't remember whom) who boasted in this forum that he and other named pupils were in the Aldermaston marches
It is hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

William
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Re: CHLF

Post by William » Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:10 pm

To answer the question about CH having any ex-communists – Yes, there was at least one, Campbell Hunter in the 1920s. He, Michael Stewart (former Foreign Minister), Dom Griffiths (later a Catholic Benedictine monk/priest/author, who lived in India and became a yogi, writing on Catholic-Hindu dialogue) and one other were pacifists. Surprisingly all four were allowed by W Hamilton Fyfe, an enlightened headmaster, to leave the OTC, after they had refused to carry rifles on parade.

In spite of threatening suicide, if not allowed to leave the OTC, Hunter later served with distinction in the armed forces during the Second World War and was wounded. Whether he remained a communist then, I don’t know.

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J.R.
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Re: CHLF

Post by J.R. » Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:22 pm

Yet another very interesting topic.

I don't re-call any such 'parties' being formed during my days at Horsham, but I certainly remember in Coleridge B, a wide range of beliefs, from staunch left-wing to hard line right. It's partly what made maturing at school so interesting.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: CHLF

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:54 pm

Bernard Levin is said to have left school waving a red flag, though of course in later life he became quite reactionary. Sydney Carter was certainly a thoroughgoing pacifist and I think he might have been pretty left-wing too.

As for Aldermaston, certainly in a different thread I mentioned that I'd been on the 1962 one with at least five current Blues (including a future SG) and at least two OBs (both de facto expellees, though one left 'regularly'). But I don't think I boasted about it. The year before, Simon Caulkin (BaA) went on it and summarized his experience with a piece in the Outlook entitled 'Come friendly bomb and fall on Slough.' (Slough was one of the stops on the way, and was notorious for its discomforts.)
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: CHLF

Post by Oliver » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:29 pm

Could you post Caulkin’s poem?

Its title quoted a pre-WW2 poem called Slough by John Betjeman (1906 - 1984) with a first line “Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!” The entire poem can be found at http://www-cdr.stanford.edu/intuition/Slough.html

The following describes Betjeman’s poem and is taken from the above website.
John Betjeman published his poem about Slough in 1937 in the collected works Continual Dew. Slough was becoming increasingly industrial and some housing conditions were very cramped. In willing the destruction of Slough, Betjeman urges the bombs to pick out the vulgar profiteers but to spare the bald young clerks. He really was very fond of his fellow human beings. Slough is much improved nowadays and he might be pleasantly surprised by a stroll there.

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