Jan 13

Leslie Edgar De Pass

OT’s who served in the 1st World War

Whereas Geoffrey roamed the world, Leslie, Geoffrey’s elder brother by two years, seems to have been less ambitious and adventurous. He was born on 2nd July 1894. His early life and schooling were the same as Edgar’s, staying at LWGS and moving to High Wycombe GS in the same years despite their different ages. Unlike Geoffrey his later life is sparsely documented. In June 1926 he married Mabel Olorenshaw in Coventry. In 1939 he and Mabel were living at 92 Hugh Road, Coventry, his occupation a taxi proprietor. A year later he got married again in Birmingham to Mary M Wood. He died at the same address on 25th July 1982.

Jan 13

Geoffrey Pamerel De Pass (boarder)

OTs who served in the 1st World War

De Pass may seem to be an unusual surname but the De Pass tribe were extensive, often wealthy and spread across many countries.  (The Ancestry website lists more than 20,000 references to people named De Pass!) However, thanks to Geoffrey’s unusual second name it is possible to distinguish his life from another Geoffrey, Geoffrey Robert, born around the same time, also the son of a stockbroker living in London, who was probably a cousin.  Geoffrey Pamerel was the younger of two sons from a well-to-do branch of the family, also stockbrokers, living in Buckinghamshire. He was born on 1stNovember 1896 in Chesham, son of Edward and Lizzie. In 1901, his father was absent on census day but the family were living at Blenheim Villa, Hughenden. Geoffrey entered LWGS in 1908, stayed for two years and then transferred to High Wycombe Grammar School. In 1911 he was living with his family at St Anne’s, the Marsh, High Wycombe. He initially joined the 9th (Reserve) Battalion of the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry, transferred to the 5th and served in France from 20thApril 1916, commissioned as a 2ndLieutenant and later promoted to Lieutenant. He was wounded on 3rdSeptember 1916.  On 1stSeptember 1917 he was transferred to the 36thBattalion Training Reserve which explains why, in the autumn of 1917, he was free to marry Audrey A Phypers at Brighton. After the war, on the basis of later evidence, he became an accountant. Where he worked and for whom is not clear though at some point between the wars he joined the Swiss company Nestlé and moved to Vevey in Switzerland. On 29thSeptember 1939, rather mysteriously, he was staying at the Green Man Hotel, St John’s Street, Ashbourne in Derbyshire with his wife Audrey, his profession given as chartered accountant. A few weeks later on 27thNovember he travelled with Audrey and their daughter, three-year-old Sheila, from Southampton arriving in New York on 5thDecember.  The ship’s manifest states that his residence was Vevey, Vaud, along with three other British families from La Tour de Pelz, a mile or so away.  Judging from the occupations of the other heads of family it seems that the firm had decided as a result of the outbreak of war to move to a safer haven in the USA, a theory borne out by the fact that when on 27thApril 1942 Geoffrey enlisted in the United States Army his employer was given as ‘Inredecolne (Nestles)’. Nestlé realised at the start of WW2 that its isolated position within Europe in neutral Switzerland necessitated opening branches in other continents. It is therefore most likely that Geoffrey and the other families were part of the advance guard of this new policy. Geoffrey’s 1942 registration document describes him at that time as 5ft 7 ½ ins, 170 lbs, with hazel eyes, black hair and a scar over his right eye. The family were living at 349 South Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, Connecticut. After WW2, he crossed the Atlantic at least three times between the USA and Europe, recorded as a passenger in 1947, 1951 and 1952. In 1947 he sailed with a new wife, Tillie, a US citizen ten years his junior, and with Sheila, now 18, from New York to Southampton ‘in transit to Switzerland’. It is not known what happened to his first wife but it seems probable that Geoffrey and his new family were moving back to the Nestlé HQ, though not permanently as in 1951 he flew alone to the UK with Pan American Airways, his US residence now recorded as 44 Northern Street, Stamford, Conn. returning in 1952 by ship accompanied by Tillie. 

Jan 13

Luke Dancer

Its who fought in the 1st World War.

Luke was born on 28thSeptember 1898, son of Louise and William Dancer a dairyman farmer, living at 139 St Mark’s Road Kensington but later lived at Pitchcott in Aylesbury. Luke was the fifth of six children but the only boy. In 1911 he was at what appears to have been a boarding school at 7 Union Crescent, Margate, along with 35 other boys aged 10 to 14 and run by Ada Masters. He entered LWGS in 1913 when he was 15 and stayed for two years.  He was in the school cricket team as wicket keeper, and the football team in the 1913/14 season. On leaving school he followed his father into dairy farming. He joined the army in 1917 as an officer cadet in the 28thLondon Regiment, was commissioned as 2ndLieutenant on 28thNovember 1917 and later promoted to Lieutenant. After the war he returned to the dairy business. In 1939 he was a dairy supervisor and ARP warden, living at 4 Park Grove, Hendon, married to Maria Elizabeth née De Kock. Date of death is unknown. 

Jan 02

Admiral Tim Fraser

New military chiefs appointments.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed the new appointments of Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of the Air Staff and Commander Joint Forces Command.

Published 3 December 2018

From: Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

Ministry of Defence Plaque

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is pleased to confirm that HerMajesty the Queen has approved the following senior appointments to the top echelon of the Armed Services:

Vice Admiral Timothy Fraser CB is to be promoted Admiral and appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, in succession to General Gordon Messenger;

Biographies

Vice Admiral Tim Fraser CB

Tim Fraser was educated at Lord Williams’ School in Oxfordshire and joined the Royal Navy in 1982. A surface warfare officer, he has had the privilege of commanding four ships: the patrol craft HMS ARCHER
(1989-1991); the T42 Destroyers HMS GLOUCESTER (1997-1998) and HMS CARDIFF (2001-2003; as the Captain Fifth Destroyer Squadron); and the aircraft carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS (2006-2007).

He has also served as the United Kingdom Maritime Component Commander in Bahrain (May 2010 to November 2011), commanding Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships in the Middle East, and additionally
serving under the Commander US Fifth Fleet as the Deputy Commander of the Combined Maritime Forces.

In between sea and operations appointments he has served as the Surface Flotilla Staff Navigating Officer, as an Assistant Director in the Navy’s Personnel Strategy Directorate and as the Head of Navy Resources and Plans on the Central Staff (2007-2010). On promotion to
Rear Admiral in January 2012 he led the Navy Command HQ Defence Reform implementation in 2012 prior to serving as the Senior British Military Advisor at CENTCOM HQ in Tampa, Florida (September 2012- January 2014).

On return from the States he spent three years in the MOD as the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Capability and Force Design), which included SDSR 15. He was appointed as Chief of Joint Operations in June 2017 on promotion to Vice Admiral.

Tim Fraser attended the UK Higher Command and Staff Course in 2006 and the US Pinnacle Course at the Joint and Coalition Warfighting Centre in April 2012. He was made a Companion of the Bath (CB) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Dec 18

Thame’s town crest and Lord Williams.

In the earlier post about swimming at LWS prior to the construction of the swimming pool, it noted that this took place at Jemmott’s Hole on the Thame river. (Or Jemmett – as the spelling varies in the records.) The Jemmott family owned the land where the river passed through – hence the nickname. (We say nickname as no contemporary map has been found with that name marked.) In the 19 century, John Jemmott’s profession in all the census was land proprietor or land owner. On his marriage certificate he is noted as a farmer, as was his father.

The British History online has a mention of John Jemmott of New Thame a grazier in 1688 so the name certainly can be found in Thame in the mid- 17 century so perhaps the place on the Thame dates back some considerable time. 

A more recent mention of Jemmott’s Hole was in 1943.

THAME GAZETTE – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD, 1943

It was a unique occasion in the history of Thame, thanks to Sir C Peers, the design or crest on the plaque (which will probably be adopted by the town ) is of very antique and historic interest, such crest forming part of a ring found by Mr Willcocks Mackenzie, a lorry driver and Thame man, on the left bank of the River Thame (near Jemmott’s Hole ) as recently as April 21st, 1940. He, being an honest man, reported his find to the local police, who in turn reported it to the Coroner for this part of the County, an inquest being held on this and other rings and coins included in the discovery, which valuables were declared to be treasure-trove and duly surrendered to the Crown. On representations being made to the Government, and in view of the local interest in the hoard, these interesting and valuable rings and coins were acquired by the Ashmolean Museum. Experts have decided the ring referred to must probably have belonged to Robert King, who was elected Abbot of Thame in the year 1529. Robert King was a friend of Wolsey and, it is suggested that his appointment was in a sense a diplomatic move to make the surrender of the abbey to the king (Henry VIII) easier than it might otherwise have been. The surrender was made in 1539. Whether the treasure referred to was buried or lost in flight is a matter of conjecture.

The article records that the current Thame crest only came into being in 1943, with the design based on the double barred cross found on the ring. It should be noted here that there are some erroneous on-line accounts such as that by Thame Remembers that claim the crest came into being by 1941. (They are also erroneous in calling it a Patriarchal Cross, which is of a different design. All these things are important in ensuring that the correct facts are recorded for future historians.)

However, it would now appear unlikely that the ring belonged to Robert King and Thame Abbey. The Ashmolean only say that ‘it is suggested’ that it was King’s, and more recent research published in The Society of Antiquaries of London 2016 says ‘A holistic understanding of the landscape, topography, contemporary institutions, places and events is used to interpret the hoarded material. It is advocated that the hoarded rings and coins were probably the property of Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire, not Thame Abbey as has been thought, and that they were rescued from Thomas Cromwell’s Commissioners in 1538 for burial at a place of cultural significance.’

Thame Abbey was in a dire state at the time, and was falling down of its own accord without the help of Henry VIII and his policy of closing down these hot houses of Popery. Now that doesn’t mean it would not have its treasures of course but it had been a long time since the Abbey flourished.

It seems far more likely that the hoard was dropped (possibly buried) from someone coming from Notley rather than Thame Park, and crossing the river at this point as this was the route from Notley into Oxfordshire. (It does seem strange that a monk from Thame Abbey would chose this place to bury the items (if it was a deliberate act) rather than anywhere around Thame Park.)

On the other hand the ring may have no association with either establishment. The road that crossed the River Thame at this point was an important route and so the hoard’s origins could be from anywhere.

The school archivist notes a possible John Williams connection. If in the albeit unlikely event the ring belonged to Robert King, a Williams connection with the hoard and ring is intriguing and plausible. Williams was involved in the suppression of Thame Abbey. He was certainly interested in money and jewels though it seems a bit far fetched to think that he was party to hiding some of the Abbey’s wealth – unless he was going to get a rake-off! However Abbott King’s brother William was married to Williams’s sister so the two were certainly connected. But both King and Williams would surely not have forgotten the buried treasure and would have recovered it later, so my guess is that it was more likely another monk who buried the hoard and perhaps then died. Neither King nor Williams, both arch ‘trimmers’ were ever short of wealth so probably would not have noticed or bothered about a bit of missing treasure.

Conversely Notley Abbey was significantly wealthier, indeed was one of the richest and largest in the region. By the time of the Dissolution the Abbey lay under the direct patronage of the Crown, and the final act of submission took place in an orderly fashion with pensions and benefices allocated to the abbot and the dozen or so remaining canons. Henry granted the abbey lands to Sir John Williams and others in 1542.

Perhaps the hoard was being taken to William’s residence at Rycote.

This is all conjecture of course, although a reasonable conclusion is that the hoard’s link to Thame, the town, is tenuous if not accidental.

Dec 13

Bathing at Lord Williams’s Grammar School, 1900-1928

From Derek Turner, School Archivist.

This short history, based on entries in the school magazine The Tamensian, begins in 1900 with the first mention of swimming in the Thame river and ends with the opening of the school’s own swimming bath in 1928.

It is probable that that boys swam in the river Thame from the time that the school moved in 1879 to its new premises in Oxford Road but there are no references to swimming before 1900 when The Tamensian was first published.

The first reference is in issue 2, which describes the school’s ‘aquatic sports day’, taking place in ‘Jemmott’s Hole’, a modest size natural pool in the River Thame, a few hundred yards across the fields opposite the school. The nickname was from the name of the farmers, the Jemmott family, who owned the land. The Jemmott name can be found in Thame at least as far back as the mid 17 century.

The sports day was held on 30th July 1900 and established a tradition of holding the sports near the end of July during the last week of the summer term. In 1900 the events included an 80-yard race and a competitive swimming display, which later entries meant putting together a medley of various swimming strokes and termed ‘fancy swimming’.

It is probable that the aquatic sports day was held annually at the same time but the next reference is not until issue 14, July 1906, which states that bathing began on 4th July with the sports day fixed for the end of the month “and was indulged in at every possible opportunity”. Swimming practice replaced ordinary gymnastics – a popular sporting activity at that time. The Tamensian makes no further reference to swimming until issue 28, July 1911, when the sports day was held on 25th July, despite the level of the water being ‘rather low’. The events included 60 and 30 yards races, ‘fancy swimming’, diving – despite the low water level – and a water polo match. There were only two competitors for the fancy swimming, one of whom, the runner up, was a French pupil, Ferdinand Raillon, who later served with the French forces in WW1. Uniquely until the opening of the swimming bath in 1928, the Tamensian gives a detailed account of the sports day.

John Howard Brown, writing in 1929 about the school during WW1 – he was appointed in 1913 – says: “Swimming was indulged in, by permission of Mr H N Castle when weather and the state of the river allowed, in Jemmett’s Hole, and there the swimming sports were held under difficulties. The reference to Castle suggests, wrongly as it turns out, that ownership had passed to him, but the 1911 census shows that Nathanial Merry Castle, though also living in Priest End, was employed as a ‘farmer’s assistant’. Maybe the Jemmett family had handed over the day-to-day running of the farm to him. Interestingly, the term ‘employed’ is not one that was supposed to be used in the census. The alternatives were ‘employer’, ‘worker’, or ‘own account’; his house had six rooms, excluding ‘scullery, bathroom and closet’, and he could afford a servant, so he was clearly something more than the usual agricultural labourer.the next entry in the Tamensian is not until issue 55, September 1923, which records that poor weather delayed the start of the swimming season. The weather in the summer of 1926 was also bad and caused some of the events on the day of the sports, July 27th, to be curtailed.

The year 1927, by implication as there is no mention in the Tamensian was the last in which boys from LWGS used the river Thame for bathing. Construction of the school’s own swimming bath probably began later that year as the grand opening was fixed for the remarkably early date in 1928 of 12th May. The pool was not heated so, unless the weather was unseasonably warm, the water must have been distinctly chilly. The reason for the early date is explained in the magazine. The Athletics Sports Day normally took place at the end of the spring term, late March or early April, and the Aquatic Sports at the end of July. The school felt that parents of boarders who often lived quite far away would not be able to visit the school twice within a few months but would not want to miss the grand opening of the bathing pool. The 12th May date was therefore fixed for both athletic and aquatic sports. The opening ceremony is described in considerable detail in the Tamensian, issue 70, September 1928. Thereafter, the swimming gala is regularly described in the magazine, which lists the results. The most gifted swimmer of the 1930s was another non-English pupil, John Octave Claes, always known as Johnny. His mother was Scottish and his father Belgian. In the early 1930s Johnny won almost all the swimming races, setting and then breaking his own records in three successive years. He later became known as a pioneer jazz band leader and Formula 1 racing driver.

Plentiful photographs exist in the school archives of swimming galas but none unfortunately of LWGS boys swimming in the river Thame. However, a photograph from the 1920s shows primary school boys from ‘Thame Church of England School’ swimming in what is almost certainly Jemmott’s Hole. This photograph is reproduced in Malcolm Graham’s, Oxfordshire at School, 1996, where the caption comments that swimming costumes were later painted on to those boys who were swimming naked, presumably because their parents could not afford a swimming costume; a comment on both the 1920s views of propriety and the standards of living at that time.

Oxfordshire at School also features a photograph of pupils of the Girls’ Grammar School learning to swim; not in the river but in their own school swimming bath, part of the High Street premises where the school was located. This photo is undated but most probably was taken about 1909, as part of a set of photos of the school’s buildings and facilities. If so, the Girls School’s swimming bath pre-dated the boys’ by nearly twenty years.

Dec 05

Howard Roscoe Eady

Eady was music teacher at Lord Williams’s in the early 1920s and should be credited for starting the tradition of the school musical. He was also the organist and choir master at St Mary’s Thame and was responsible for re-arranging the school hymn. 

Eady’s background and family are unusual for a music teacher. He seems to have been the odd one out in his family: a gifted musician, an enthusiastic and good teacher of children but less successful in other aspects of his life.

He came from a military family.  His father, Frank Osborne, was a professional soldier, not a front-line soldier but serving for many years in the Army Service Corps. For much of his service time he was a non-commissioned officer, rising to become a Warrant Officer, Quartermaster, but was eventually awarded honorary commissions, promoted to Lieutenant (1901), Captain (1911) and eventually Major (1916). He married Louisa, probably around 1889 as their first son, Leonard Frank was born in 1890. Roscoe followed on 16thApril 1891, and the youngest, Barrington in 1892. All three were born at the Army Service Corps Barracks at Woolwich, where the family were living in married quarters. Ten years later they had moved to Kensington Barracks. 

It is not known in detail where Eady was educated and how and when his musical gifts were noticed and developed.  However he was a chorister at Cape Town Cathedral so it is reasonable to assume that his father was posted there. Probably his first position, around 1911, was as assistant organist at Winchester Cathedral, as he was living as a boarder with the Hone family in Colebrook Street close by. Edward Hone was a schoolmaster, very probably at Winchester College, also close by and another schoolmaster was also boarding there so it is possible that in addition to his organist duties he was employed as a visiting teacher at the college, where he first realised his gifts for teaching young people. Like his elder brother he served during the war, following his father into the RASC, but seems not to have been regarded as officer material as he remained a private.  He was discharged from the army in October 1918 and took a teaching post at St Edmund’s School, Canterbury. It was probably from there that he moved to Thame in 1922 to become organist at St Mary’s and visiting music teacher at LWS.  

In February 1922 Eady produced the school’s first opera, HMS Pinafore, with ‘very effective’ scenery painted by Mr G M Cooper. The review was highly complimentary. The school had no real orchestra but a number of pupil players, together with some adults, provided a small orchestra, with additional accompaniment on the piano by Eady, who was also the conductor.


HMS Pinafore began a short run of ‘G&S’: a year later The Mikado was performed by boys all under 14. This attracted mixed reviews for the singing and acting and equally mixed public attendance at the town cinema hall, a venue never used again. It was notable for the inclusion of extra verses in the ‘stand-out’ ‘List Song’ Ko Ko sung by Ko Ko. In 1924 the opera was ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, another Eady production using younger boys and performed this time in the school hall.

Eady was FRCO (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists) and LRAM (Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music). We know he taught Ron Woolford, who was organist at St Mary’s church for many years from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Ron had been a chorister at the Parish Church and he once told  of an occasion when the St Mary’s choir was taken to sing a service at the chapel in Thame Park, home of the Wykeham Musgraves who were entertaining the Prime Minister. Ron had the privilege of opening a pew door to admit Lloyd George to his seat.

Around this time Eady also composed pieces for the piano that were published, for example Catilena published by Novello & Co. 

Where Eady’s next post was after leaving Thame in 1925 is not known, but some time before 1939 he had moved to Brighton and become a school director of music, most probably at Brighton College. His entry in the 1939 register, however, suggests that at about that point his career took a turn for a worse as he is described as ‘Director of music (school) unmarried, temporarily disengaged’. What happened to him after that is unknown except that he did conduct the Wokingham Choral Society. He died on 19thFebruary 1957 at Chestnut House, High Street, Charing near Ashford in Kent leaving no more than £562 to his brother Barrington, a wealthy dentist.

[born Howard Roscoe, 16thApril 1891 at Woolwich Arsenal, Army Service Corps Barracks, Woolwich middle son of Louisa and Frank Osborne b. 30 Apr 1862, , warrant officer, quartermaster, Hon Lt May 1901, Hon Capt May 1911, Hon Maj 1916, ASC after13 y 341 days in ranks); elder brother Leonard b.1890, younger Barrington b. 1892; 1901 living in Kensington Barracks; 1911 living at Colebrook Street Winchester, close by cathedral, organist, boarding with Sarah and Edward Hone, schoolmaster, and family, along with a schoolmaster; discharged 12 Oct 1918, address St Edmund School Canterbury, 1939 Brighton, Director of music (school) unmarried, ‘temporarily disengaged’, died 19thFebruary 1957 at Chestnut House, High Street, Charing near Ashford leaving £562 to Barrington Eady his younger brother born 1892 (wrongly stated as 1891 in 1939 register), 1939 divorced living with housekeeper, later his wife living at Maribar East End Way, Pinner, dental surgeon, later living at 29 Devonshire Place died Mar 1968 leaving £14,391, Leonard Frank born 1890, in Royal Army vet corps, rank Lt later Capt,in France from 11 Dec 1915, vet in London 1911, died 1942 in Manchester]

Dec 03

The oldest OT and staff member

The oldest OT and member of staff (so far as we know) lived to be 101. 

Edward Herbert Martin Parry was born 11.10.1890 in Todmorden, Yorkshire. His father Edward was a Unitarian Minister and this meant that the family moved around the country. Sometime in the 1890s, the family moved to Illminster, Somerset, and here Edward was educated at Ilminster Grammar, 1899-1903, and then Taunton School from 1903-1908.

It seems possible that he then took up a student teacher post while studying for a BA London (External) degree, which was awarded as a 3rd class in French and English, in 1914.

He enlisted with the Cambridgeshire Regiment during WW1. His medal card in the National Archives gives minimal detail but implies he did not serve abroad.

After the War, he taught first and briefly at Heversham in1920; Soham Grammar (Cambs) 1920-1928; Collège St Joseph Lille 1930 where he also was awarded a License es Lettres Lille in 1930.

He came to Thame and was taken on at LWGS; first on probation 1.1.1931, and then permanently a few months later on 1.5.1931, to teach French throughout school and English to forms I, II and III.

He was a great organiser. In the summer of 1931 only months after being given his permanent post, he organised the first school trip to Paris.

In April 1934 he produced ‘Le Collier Fatal’ in the Library.

In December the same year, he followed this with ‘La Comedie Tamensienne, L’homme qui epousa une femme muette,’ a medieval farce in two acts. It received a lukewarm review. Undaunted, yet another dramatic event followed in April 1935: a triple bill of scenes from Corneille’s Le Cid, Molière’s Le Bourgois Gentilhomme, and La Grammaire by Labiche, the last a 19th century vaudeville comedy. All were performed by members of the French Drama Society. It seems that at least the last of the three was well received.

In the summer of 1935, Parry organised another trip to Paris. (Unknown whether he had organised any trips between 1931 and 1935.)

Parry produced another, better known, vaudeville comedy L’Anglais tel qu’on le parle’ in March 1937.

In the 1939 Census he was living at 52 High Street Thame (possibly a lodging house).

Also in 1939 he was responsible for organising the Modern Sixth Form’s visit to Oxford to hear a lecture from Professor Rudler, the Marechal Foch professor of Fremch given in French on De Vigney’s Maison du Berger; and in the same year the same group went to see a performance by the Comedie Francais in London: L’Ecole des Maris and Le Chandelier.

Rather late in life he married Marjorie Hutson Hawthorn(e) on 14 April 1941 at St Joseph Catholic Church in Aylesbury. She had been born 14 April 1907 and was the youngest daughter of S M Hawthorne who was also a minister in a church but preached in the West Indies and, at the time of marriage, was in Barbados. Marjorie was in the WAAF, and presumably was based nearby Thame. (In 1939 she was with the No 13 Company based in Stanmore Mddx.)

Parry left LWGS and Thame at Easter 1943 after 12 years to take up new post at Atherstone Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Warwickshire. The school magazine noted, “Very many boys must remember with gratitude the trips to France he organised in the Easter holidays. So far it has not been possible to replace him”. It took the school eighteen months to find a permanent replacement as all schools were suffering from staff shortages. Did he leave for a bigger salary? 

The Tamensian magazines for the period are full of woe about staffing problems. One possible explanation for Parry deciding to jump ship: additional to or instead of a salary rise is a failure to find affordable housing – nothing changes in Thame of course!  The Tamensian specifically says that (for obvious reasons) most of the staff were old and married and stayed only a short time because they could not find anywhere to live, housing priority being given to those doing war work.  Not sure who these would have been in Thame but presumably not all the staff involved in hush-hush work at Thame Park could be accommodated in the mansion. Our guess therefore, and only a guess, is that housing at Atherstone was more available and/or affordable. 

Parry died in 1992 at the age of 101 while living in Epsom Surrey.

His wife Marjorie died in 1995 in Wellington, Somerset, aged 88.

Dec 03

Golf 2019


Message from Barry…


2019 is our 25yr anniversary since I started the society in 1994.
Some of you, notably the Studley Wood members, have asked if I could find another course for this special year. So I have been looking around and considering various alternatives within a reasonable travelling distance for all concerned.
I have provisionally arranged for us to play Burnham Beeches. It’s a very good course in a nice setting.
The cost is £75 for: coffee/ bacon roll, 18 holes of golf, and a 3-course meal.
That is the basic cost so I propose to pay for the prizes & medals out of our capital reserve. I have enough funds in the bank to cover these as an exceptional matter.

The majority decision by 5 clear votes is for the match to be played on Wednesday 8 May so please put the date in your 2019 diary & if necessary arrange the day off work.
I will come out with details in the New Year, probably early February.”

Nov 30

Willie Howe, the Narnia Window, and the scholarship

In early 1955, W G Howe, died after a short illness. In the Tamensian the following was written:

‘W G Howe was a sixth former of great promise whose loss came as a great blow to the school. William Howe had a most pleasing disposition; though modest and retiring, he was always cheerful and ready to serve his Hampden House and School to the upmost of his ability. After one term in the Sixth Form, he was already showing great promise for a good academic career, having marked himself out as a potential university student, and was a permanent member of the School XV.’

Sadly Gillian Margaret, his younger sister, too had died in her first year of life in 1945. Both are buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry. This was the church where C S Lewis attended and he too is buried in the churchyard.

The church is known for its Narnia window, which features images from Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. It was commissioned from Sally Scott, a painter and glass engraver, and installed in the north aisle in 1991. It was bequeathed by George and Kathleen Howe (nee Clark), who lived at 38 Grovelands Road in Risinghurst close to the Lewis brothers in memory of their two children, William G and Gillian Margaret.

The window contains a lamp post, the word Narnia, Glimfeather the owl, the flying horse Fledge, the sword, shield, and bottle of cordial from the story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Dawn Treader, the castle Cair Paravel, Susan’s horn and bow with quiver, and the talking animals.

In the top left and right hand corners are the arms of John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame.

The models for the children were local to the church, and included the opera singer Maggie Cooper, who is the girl on the horse, and Rachel Smith with the owl

At the same time, George and Kathleen also left a substantial sum of money to set up a trust at the school so that scholarships could be awarded to sixth form pupils who show particular musical ability and promise. They are known as the Willie Howe scholars, and we are lucky that they perform on Founder’s Day, both in the church and at the school.

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