Numbers on roll according to Howard Brown and Terminal lists from April 1906 (autumn term unless otherwise stated)
1899 22 (6 boarders)
1900 72 (36 boarders)
1901 ?? (39 boarders)
1905/1906 Apr 65
1906/7 Dec 60
1907-8 Dec/Apr 59-69
1908-9 Dec/Apr/Jul 67-76
1909-10 Dec/Apr/Jul 78-73
So it seems that after a big jump in numbers 1899-1901 there was a slight decline until the spring term of 1908 after which the numbers built up steadily again to the 1900 figure and beyond. The reason for this is not clear but is confirmed by the number of new admissions.
Admissions, according to the register (total for academic year)
This appears to show that the popularity of the school started to increase in 1906/7 though this was not reflected in the NOR, presumably because of a large number of leavers – the classes of 1900 and 1901 probably. This is, partially at least, confirmed by the names of the boarders in the 1901 census.
Number of boarders 31 March 1901 – Palm Sunday so presumably still term time. 39
Number of those still at school April 1906 3 (Herbert Conway Joyce, aged 10 in 1901 and the Ostrehan Brothers 10 and 8 in 1901 but shown as day boys by 1906. Born at Aylesbury and presumably still living there in 1906, they were presumably considered old enough by the age of 14 and 16 to travel daily.) It is slightly surprising that the other 9 1901 boarders aged 8-10 had left by 1906.
I have not yet checked the terminal lists against the register beyond 1908 but it at first glance it looks as there is a match between the terminal and register entries. If so the omission of Rhodes appears to be a one-off oversight. Two other pupils in spring and summer term 1908 are also missing from the register but this is understandable. Both were foreigners and only there for two terms. Charles Lecat I’ve already mentioned. In his 1950 letter he mentions as Austrian, but the only obviously foreign name is T Giradi, which sounds more Italian than Austrian. However, as the Austrians still controlled the Tirol, he could have been legally Austrian though effectively Italian.
In April 1906 the 65 pupils were made up of 46 boarders and 19 day boys.
Of the 46 boarders, 10 left in July 1906, a further 19 by December 1907, probably in July 1907, and a 5 in 1908, 12 after that. These leavers these are most probably from the big intake of boarders recruited in 1899/1900 or 1900/1901.
Of the 19 day boys, 7 left in 1906 and another 7 in 1907, 3 in 1908, similarly from the classes of 1900 and 1901.
So there was a big clear out starting in 1906 and accelerating in 1907, to which Shaw responded by recruiting substantially more from September 1906 onwards than he had during the period 1901 to 1906. This suggests that Shaw had no great difficulty in recruiting when he needed to and that the small numbers admitted was not down to a failure to recruit but rather a deliberate policy of maintaining the numbers at 65-70.