Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

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Martin
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by Martin » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:59 pm

I was reminded of ‘Uncle’ today when served Cos lettuce at home for the first time in a few years. He grew them, and other vegetables, and these were the highly appreciated rewards to those who did garden work for him (such as Adrian B Scripps of Mid A, who was particularly adept with the motor mower). ‘Uncle’ swore by Cos lettuce and maintained they were far better than the much commoner iceberg variety, being both more nutritious and better tasting. My Cos lettuce today confirmed his high opinion. Of course for the greatest efforts boys expended for him in his garden, he would reward them with a glass of mead.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by sejintenej » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:23 pm

Martin wrote:I was reminded of ‘Uncle’ today when served Cos lettuce at home for the first time in a few years. He grew them, and other vegetables, and these were the highly appreciated rewards to those who did garden work for him (such as Adrian B Scripps of Mid A, who was particularly adept with the motor mower). ‘Uncle’ swore by Cos lettuce and maintained they were far better than the much commoner iceberg variety, being both more nutritious and better tasting. My Cos lettuce today confirmed his high opinion. Of course for the greatest efforts boys expended for him in his garden, he would reward them with a glass of mead.
They don't make them like that any more; they don't allow people to be like that any more.
R.I.P Uncle
It is hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:32 pm

sejintenej wrote:
Martin wrote:I was reminded of ‘Uncle’ today when served Cos lettuce at home for the first time in a few years. He grew them, and other vegetables, and these were the highly appreciated rewards to those who did garden work for him (such as Adrian B Scripps of Mid A, who was particularly adept with the motor mower). ‘Uncle’ swore by Cos lettuce and maintained they were far better than the much commoner iceberg variety, being both more nutritious and better tasting. My Cos lettuce today confirmed his high opinion. Of course for the greatest efforts boys expended for him in his garden, he would reward them with a glass of mead.
They don't make them like that any more; they don't allow people to be like that any more.
R.I.P Uncle

Mores the pity !!!!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by JohnAL » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:46 am

‘Uncle’ always used his own nicknames when speaking to or about habitués, ie those who were often in his lab, whatever age they were. They ranged from small boys who were keen on nature study and did dubious experiments, to senior NCOs in the OTC/CCF Signals Section, who were practising for the advanced morse badge (12 wpm), or doing something else with wireless sets. This qualification and badge were inventions of Uncle to encourage higher standards of morse transmission. If gained, it was rewarded by sewing on the uniform the standard morse badge (an empty circle with stylised lightning coming out of the empty circle) modified by Uncle. The striking modification was to make the circle orange, by being covered with meticulous cross-stitching using the readily available wool for darning Housey socks. Few gained this difficult qualification, which Uncle called the flaming a…….e.

Back to the nicknames. They were often descriptive, but sometimes used a pre-existing name acquired in the house. Many caught on for general non-Kirby use. Regrettably I can remember very few. They are “Cow” (unbelievably not at all derogatory, but affectionate and for a senior sergeant/house captain), “Blossom” (a young chap with pink chubby cheeks), “Weasel” (which was similar to his surname and again affectionate and not derogatory) and “Liz” (a young Cockney who was gentle and a little feminine in manner). Readers may recognise these persons and/or offer other Kirby-nicknames.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:37 am

I remember an occasion when Kirby came into the Dining Hall one Saturday lunchtime, came up to Pat Cullen, who was sitting at the head of ThB table, and said: 'I've just seen Percival Pine driving down the Avenue.' (Boys weren't allowed to drive in bounds, even with parents, as here.)

Pine's name, needless to say, was not Percival (I think it was John), and as soon as Kirby had gone, Pat Cullen burst into uncontrollable laughter (not having heard this nickname before). I doubt if Pine suffered any repercussions.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:02 pm

I don't honestly think I can ever remember Mr. Kirby entering the dining-hall.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by sejintenej » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:16 pm

michael scuffil wrote:' (Boys weren't allowed to drive in bounds, even with parents, as here.)
.
I remember ? July 1960 when a leaver parked his AC Ace at the back between Col A and Col B. I don't know who it was but such a car (baby brother to the Cobra) was a rarity

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:12 pm

J.R. wrote:I don't honestly think I can ever remember Mr. Kirby entering the dining-hall.
The distance from the door to ThB table was about 3 yds. He popped in with this (as I thought at the time, rather unnecessary piece of intelligence) and popped out again.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:17 pm

michael scuffil wrote:
J.R. wrote:I don't honestly think I can ever remember Mr. Kirby entering the dining-hall.
The distance from the door to ThB table was about 3 yds. He popped in with this (as I thought at the time, rather unnecessary piece of intelligence) and popped out again.
..... and as Coleridge B dining-table was the nearest table to the masters dais, I am sure I would have remembered Mr Kirby's presence for eating/socialising.

Being so close to the masters dais, we in Col B, always made sure we knew who was looking down upon us !!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by BEANY » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:33 pm

I was in the OTC at school during WW2.We all had WW1 uniform with the 3ins webbing. I was in the signals
section with MAJOR KIRBY who successfully taught me to use the Aldis lamp and field telephones for signalling. We also used flag semaphore. Some of the team were taken to the ROYAL SIGNALS HQ at
Catterick Camp in Yorkshire during the summer holiday .
I am 88 now and don't use morse (CW) anymore, but am still a licenced amateur G0IOE and G6XTG.
A new antenna has been received as a present and will be erected shortly so I will be on the HF bands again
Meanwhile I use the VHF repeaters around sussex and surrey.
I have recently been to the Brooklands Concorde experience with BBC SURREY so you might hear me next week on a REAL radio as the trip is a major feature prog. then.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by BEANY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:46 pm

I , too was dressed in WW1 uniform with the 3in webbing and puttees.as I was in the school OTC during the war and
the "old man" was Major C F KIRBY , my biology teacher as well as having been in the Royal Corps of Signals so was the officer
in charge of the OTC Signal Section.Where he taught me the morse code as well as all other signals requirements.
My amateur radio Call sign is G0IOE AND G6XTG.I think I am the only person in the \uk to have two callsigns.
I was at C.H. from sept 1936 to dec 1943.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by BEANY » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:31 pm

I was at school during WW2 , having started in 1936, in the signals section of the OTC under Major Kirby.
We all wore WW1 uniform with leg putees and 3ins webbing equip't.
We had field telephones, fullerphones and lamp signalling equip't. as well as
semaphore and morse flags.I think he was a retired major from The Royal Corp Of Signals.
Some of us did go to the army HQ for signallers at Catterick Camp out of term time. He was
always called Major Kirby.
He was an Old Blue .I think from PeeleA...He stated about the time my Father left in 1917.
My ham radio callsigns are G0IOE and G6XTG.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by Martin » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:53 am

How good to hear of ‘Uncle’ Kirby in action at CH during WW2. Thanks Beany. But I understood that ‘Uncle’ spent some (I thought all) of WW2 as a fulltime member of the Royal Signals when he mainly tested/evaluated new models of wireless sets as they were delivered by manufacturers, probably in response to Royal Signals’ published new specifications. His work was presumably of a high standard (he was certainly very bright and ingenious) so he had relatively rapid promotion, ending up as a Major. If he spent much of the war teaching at CH, as Beany implies, then when and how did he attain this rank? I don’t think he served in the Royal Signals out of wartime, except as a Territorial Officer. Incidentally one of his qualifications was “TD” (Territorial Decoration). He was immensely proud of this, not for the obvious reasons, but because very soon after he received it the number of years of service necessary was greatly reduced (from say 20 to 10 – I have invented these figures, to illustrate my point. If a reader knows the correct numbers, please publish them here?)

Someone in this long thread suggested that he was a “failed medical student.” I am sure this is not so. He certainly went to Cambridge from CH as a scholar to read medicine. Then, as now, the medical course is a degree (BA/MA) in the pre-medical subjects, like biochemistry, bacteriology, pathology, etc. Thereafter there were 3 years of clinical studies, which could be taken at a London, or other, teaching hospital to obtain the medical doctor’s qualification, MB, ChB. With a Cambridge BA degree under his belt, he decided to stop studying after obtaining it and to return to CH as a teacher/housemaster. So in no sense was he a “failed medical student.”

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Someone in this long thread suggested that he was a “failed medical student.”

Plead guilty as charged, m'lud, and withdraw the comment unreservedly. I knew he had studied medicine, because he told us so, but manifestly he wasn't a doctor. So I jumped to a totally unwarranted conclusion.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by Avon » Fri May 26, 2017 7:15 pm

Perhaps that explains his highly suspect habit of drawing the bone structure of the human skeleton on naked boys in class?

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