How many remember the medieval University song:”Gaudeamus igitur Iuvenes dum sumus, Post iucundam  Post molestam senectutem, Nos habebit humus”. For those who are not too strong on their Latin these days it translates – “Let us rejoice, therefore while we are young. After a pleasant youth, after a troubling old age The earth will have us”. A fairly sobering thought with the joys of Spring  just around the corner and a song which on the face of it has little to do with Beaumont, however despite the school’s unwarranted demise,  the final verse is more applicable.

“May our Alma Mater flourish which has taught us.

Dear ones and comrades, and those scattered to various places, she brought us together.” Let us hope so in 2018.


To download a PDF version of this Spring 2018 review please click here.











Advance notice that our lunch will take place Monday 8th October at the Caledonian Club. Please put the date in your Diary.






 I regret to inform you of the following deaths: Jonathan Rogers (65), James Melville (53) in June 2016 and one of our best post war cricketers. Major Sir Reginald Seconde (40) Guardsman and diplomat who knew “Winnie the Pooh” by heart. See OBITUARIES SECTION.






I’m the first to admit that as our “seniority” increases there is less news of our activities that we might wish to discuss with others but I would make a plea to share some of your life’s experiences. I have the feeling that too many of ushide our light under a bushel”. ... “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; nor it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven”.


           NB May I remind you (once again) that my Email is now










(or should I say Late News)


The ‘67s Dinner.


David Fettes has sent me the “team” photo taken at their dinner at Beaumont on the 10th November.














The Cake kindly provided by De Vere







I commented to David that this “pic” could be misinterpreted in today’s “Me Too” world.He replied: “Wholly inappropriate Robert, and I am putting in my complaint to the authorities.  I’m sitting on Michael Garstin’s lap - he was the last Captain of the School so I felt honoured and privileged to be assaulted by him”.


David has been busy as he also sent me his “report” on the ‘67s outing at Henley last June:-


On the 28th June 1967, eight frightfully fit, rather manly young men in the Beaumont 1st VIII dragged their boat and, in their opinion, an obese and idle cox down to the start at Henley Regatta where they impressed their apoplectic coach Tony Scott with a practice start resembling a box of frogs in a blender.  




After lying down for half an hour they then presented themselves on the stake boat in the long shadows cast by their opposition, the Groton crew from America, each of whom was at least 6ft 10in and weighing 18 stone. They were seemingly intent on squeezing every advantage by being coxed by an anorexic weighing a few ounces less than an After Eight Mint.




By cheating and going off early, the Beaumont crew led the race for the first foot, giving cause for a few congratulatory words between the now exhausted oarsmen.






Fifty years to the day, the survivors of that crew gathered once more at Henley to celebrate that long ago moment of glory.  Whilst all of them were still recovering from the race, they intrepidly set off down the towpath from Stewards to head for the start by Temple Island.  The Henley reach remained familiar to them since in the months running up to the big day of the first round in 1967 the crew had travelled to Henley every Wednesday to train on the Henley course.  Tony Scott had made arrangements with Peter Sutherland of Upper Thames Rowing Club to train from the UTRC Boathouse at Remenham.




As Temple Island and the stake boats came into view, memories returned to the outing where Mark Stevens the cox redesigned the classical lines of the boat into a more modern, origami version, by steering it into one of the upright pilings at the start, taking out bow and three’s riggers and rendering the occupants of those seats sterile.  The stern four rather masculinely paddled the boat back to Remenham.  Relationships with the bow four took a bit of a dip as they sat back and enjoyed the ride.  Mark had some difficulty overcoming the now boomerang shaped boat’s natural inclination to head for the Phyllis Court bank and thence back to the start.




Having all taken on oxygen and intravenous champagne at the St John’s Ambulance tent, the survivors headed back for the main event of the day, lunch and wine.  More memories were shared and particular reference was made to the fact the American Groton crew were obscenely large and muscular, each knobbed and ridged like a condom full of avocados.  Clearly a diet of steroid infused McDonalds’ fare bestows sporting advantages.




The subject stirred the least impecunious to buy champagne, and glasses of Moet & Condom were raised in memory of that far off day, and of the four who were detained from joining the small gathering due to a long standing prior arrangement to attend the Annual General Meeting of the shareholders of Heaven Plc. 




No tears were spilled but a great fondness was evident for all nine members of that close-knit little band of brothers who had toiled for so many months and terms to make it to the hallowed waters of Henley where it had been their privilege to represent Beaumont.  Brexiteers who wish to have the old England back need look no further than the Stewards Enclosure, a paean to a gentler time of manners and elegance.




In descending order down the boat those attending on the day were:-




2. Ramon Ribó with his wife, Angelika 3. Peter Hammett 5. John Farr


6. Bruce Geddes 7. David Fettes with his wife, Nicola. The absent harpists were:-




Bow. John Fagg, 4 Brian Burgess, Stroke. Nick Sykes-Balls, Cox Mark Stevens.












The late lamented Mike’s lunching club met to continue the tradition at Boodles on the first Friday of December which gave cause for concern as to whether it was a “travelling” Friday. Naturally Mike from his now lofty position had ensured that particular day was the Feast of The Immaculate Conception – a solemn Feast with abstinence removed so we could relish the Club’s “take” on Jugged Hare.







Our host, one time Club Chairman Patrick Burgess with one time Chief Gherkin of the illustrious Ole society Dr Robin Mulcahy.







Passing of the Port







Jerry has just informed Parker that “its 14 units of alcohol per week NOT per day”.







The Baron failed to make it and his place was taken by ……..
















Sadly, the planned trip this summer by the BUEF to cover the “First 100 days” has had to be postponed.






Image result for BEF in retreat images


I’m hoping that this is not a retreat, merely “a re-alignment of our positions” and we will be back in 2019.















Battlefields may be off but GOLF is certainly ON. The BUGS meeting at Westerham takes place on the 30th May. Supporters are most welcome.


 We also have the match against the Old Gregorians at Denham 11th September to look forward to.








The Balfour Declaration




It is just over 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and much has been written in the last few months in the Press and coverage given on television. Nowhere was it mentioned the extraordinary involvement of a number of OBs who helped to produce it and the eventual bringing about of the State of Israel.




It might be the destiny of the Jewish race to be the bridge between Asia and Europe, and to bring the spirituality of Asia to Europe and the vitality of Europe to Asia.” Sykes.


Britain did not have a Jewish problem to the extent of other European countries but in the course of its Great War it began to see itself as having an international Jewish problem that obstructed the winning of its War over Germany and the Ottoman Turks. That is the fundamental reason for the Balfour Declaration aside from strategic considerations.


The Balfour Declaration came about through the existence of some of the most powerful beliefs of Anti-Semitism in high places in England. These were that Jewry in Russia, Germany and the United States had secret and powerful international links in finance and government tantamount to a conspiracy. The implication of such an understanding was that the War could be decided by Jewish influence. So Jewish influence needed to be turned through bribery – hence the Balfour Declaration.


“Those who assisted at the birth of the Balfour Declaration were few in number. This makes it important to bring into proper relief the services of those Englishmen of vision whose services are not widely known, including the OBs Hugh O’ Beirne, Sir Mark Sykes, and General Sir George Macdonogh. Also involved in these events are Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val and Colonel Peirce Joyce.




23 November 1915.


Sykes representing the British Government and Picot start their negotiations over post- war division of the Middle East.


Thursday, 16 Dec 1915


The War Council meets in Downing Street to discuss British policy in the Middle East.  Present are Prime Minister Hubert Asquith, First Lord of The Admiralty Arthur Balfour, Leader of the House of Lords Robert Crewe-Milnes, Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George, Secretary of State for War Horatio Kitchener, Minister at the Foreign Office Hugh O’Beirne and The Middle East Envoy Mark Sykes.


26 Feb 1916


Sykes memo: “I imagine the principle object of Zionism is the realisation of the ideal of an existing centre of nationality rather than the boundaries or extent of territory”. The British approach to the Zionists was rather born out of cynical calculations, shaped by strategic requirements of the Empire in Egypt, the Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq and India. Neither PM Asquith, Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, nor, Mark Sykes and Hugh O’Beirne, was a Zionist by conviction.


28 Feb 1916


Hugh O’Beirne, Minister at the Foreign Office, distributed a minute, summing up the FO's views of the political advantages that adoption of Zionist interests in Palestine could bring to the allies’ cause, especially in the US.


 “If we could offer the Jews an arrangement as to Palestine which would strongly appeal to them we might conceivably be able to strike a bargain with them as to withdrawing their support from the Young Turk government which would then automatically collapse.” (David Fromkin, Peace To End All Peace, p.198.)


He went on to write:-


 “The tremendous political consequence of such a deal are quite obvious. I am told that notwithstanding the indifference or hostility of a great many Jews to the Zionist idea an arrangement completely satisfactory to Jewish aspirations in regard to Palestine might nevertheless have immense attractions for the great body of Jews. The Zionists are opposed to an international protectorate and would wish for a British protectorate, which seems impracticable. But I understand that the idea has been put forward that there might be an American protectorate which would probably appeal intensely to the very influential body of American Jews. While there would necessarily be an international administration of some kind in Jerusalem itself it is conceivable that in the rest of Palestine the Jews could be given special colonising facilities which in time would make them strong enough to cope with the Arab element, when the management of internal affairs might be placed in their hands under America's protection. Meanwhile Palestine outside Jerusalem might possibly be left under the administration of some neutral nationality if the United States would not agree to undertake the administration themselves. The difficulty of Jewish colonists displacing any large proportion of the 6-700,000 Arabs in Palestine, or growing strong enough to administer them, seems to me almost insurmountable”.


 This was the first Foreign Office minute to link the fate of Palestine both with Jewish interests and with British chances of victory in the War.


11 March


Proposal from Britain to Russia and France, drafted by O'Beirne, "the chief architect of the proposal".  Corrected and endorsed by Crewe (who was deputizing for Grey), but issued in name of Foreign Secretary Edward Grey, that 'we could offer to the Jews an arrangement in regard to Palestine completely satisfactory to Jewish aspirations.' Present at this meeting were Lord Crewe, Edward Grey and Hugh O’Beirne.


 This was rejected by the French who may have regarded it as an attempt by the British to use the Jews to undermine French interests in Palestine. The idea of using Zionism was then shelved, while the death of Hugh O'Beirne in HMS Hampshire on 5 June 1916 deprived it of its staunchest supporter.




O’Beirne being greeted by Admiral Jellicoe



 His influence is described in detail in various Zionist books on the evolution of the document. O’Beirne and Lord Crewe devised a formula for a Jewish state that was, in fact, much more Zionist than the eventual declaration. (Of passing interest The Marquis of Crewe’s nephew Gerald Milnes-Fitzgerald left Beaumont in 1895).


16 May 1916.


 The secret Sykes-Picot Agreement comes to fruition. In Palestine, France would control Galilee, Britain Haifa with Jerusalem under International control.


7 December 1916


Sykes renews a pro Zionist initiative with a more interested coalition government headed by Lloyd George and Balfour.


The English Zionist Samuel Landman, in his Secret History of the Balfour Declaration, describes how this happened behind the scenes as Lloyd George took power at the end of 1916:


Secrets of Crewe House image 3.png


“Through General McDonogh, Director of Military Intelligence, Dr. Weizmann was able, about this time, to secure from the Government the services of half a dozen younger Zionists for active work on behalf of Zionism. At the time, conscription was in force, and only those who were engaged on work of national importance could be released from active service at the Front. I remember Dr. Weizmann writing a letter to General McDonogh and invoking his assistance in obtaining the exemption from active service of various key personnel.


A combination of Sykes and MacDonogh was to bring about a number of very able young Zionist spies deployed to occupied Ottoman territory. As MacDonogh was to write: “Allenby knew for certain from these sources the movements of the enemy. He could play his hand with complete confidence: victory was certain before he began”.


28 January 1917.


Sykes meets with Chaim Weizmann now the newly recognised Zionist leader in Britain. He becomes the main channel between the Zionists and the Government and the other allied powers.


3 April 1917


Sykes meets with now Prime Minister Lloyd George who tells him that no pledges should be given to the Arabs concerning Palestine.


Sykes informs Picot that Britain wants suzerainty over Palestine. The search had begun for ways to release Britain from her obligations to France in the Middle East, even before the ratification of the agreement, Sykes moved to explore the Zionist option. France agrees to the altered areas of influence in May.



Image result for cardinal merry del val images



 In April Sykes also visits the Vatican: In a previous visit he had met with the Secretary of State Cardinal Merry del Val who had been supportive, indicating that the Holy See would look benignly on the project. This was now confirmed by Merry del Val’s successor Cardinal Gasparri and later guarded support from Pope Benedict "The problem of the holy places is of extraordinary importance for us. The sacred rights must be protected. We will settle this between the Church and the Great Powers. You must respect those rights to their full extent."


31 October 1917


Sykes, after the final draft of the Balfour declaration has been finally agreed “bounds” out of the Cabinet Office and seeing Weismann in the ante-room announces with glee: “It’s a boy”.


2 November 1917. Balfour declaration


"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."7


The term "national home" is no doubt an ambiguous one. It certainly did not mean a state; it had no precedent in international law. Almost every single Zionist leader in the subsequent decades, together with British officials who came to deal with the Palestine question, was aware of the ambiguity of the term. Even after the founding of the state of Israel, doubts were still lingering about the intent behind the "national home" expression. 


4 June 1918




Feisal (centre) with Joyce



 As The British Representative Colonel Peirce Joyce brings Emir Feisal (later Feisal I, King of Iraq) to meet Dr Chaim Weizmann who has travelled to southern Transjordan for talks. It brought about an informal agreement under which Faisal would support close Jewish settlement in Palestine while the Zionist movement would assist in the development of the vast Arab nation that Faisal hoped to establish.


Macdonough was appointed Chairman of the Palestine Mandate Society when it was formed in the post-war period.


The Palestine Mandate Society was a group of individuals within London who were strongly in favour of the Zionist Cause. It is the prominence of the members within the Society that call into question the official stance of the British Government.  Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald is listed as an Honorary President. What is intriguing about the board members is that they were prominent members of the British Government and of British society. The list of Honorary Presidents in the Mandate Society also includes Lord Arthur James Balfour, Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. The President of the Society was listed as Viscount Robert Cecil of Chelwood, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs between 1915 and 1919. The shift in the parliamentary party politics of the 1920s shows that these men and the roles that they were positioned in, had a dramatic effect on the nation and its policies both foreign and domestic. Since the time of the Glorious Revolution, the British public has placed a dramatic amount of trust with their elected officials in order to accomplish goals that they desired. The Committee of MacDonogh with Blanche Dugdale (wife of author Edgar Dugdale and niece of Arthur James Balfour), Secretary of State for the Colonies Malcolm MacDonald (son of Ramsay MacDonald), Secretary of State for Scotland Sir Archibald Sinclair, feminist politician Ethel Snowden (wife of the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Snowden), Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Josiah Wedgwood. Many of them would dedicate books to the mission of Zionism and the proliferation of their views to each other. This demonstrates that at no point during the creation of or administration of the Mandate was the British Government ever truly impartial. They had convincingly shown that the British Government was for the Zionist cause within Palestine.




The Opinion of the Catholic Church


The Vatican was aware at a very early stage of the secret Sykes –Picot agreement. France   had been for centuries the protecting power for Catholics in the Ottoman Empire, but the Holy See hinted that the Vatican would not be averse to British patronage of the Holy Places. This is what Mark Sykes heard April 11, 1917, from Msgr. Eugenio Pacelli, undersecretary for extraordinary affairs at the Secretariat of State, and a few days later from Pope Benedict XV himself.


 The Pope was to say: "The problem of the holy places is of extraordinary importance for us. The sacred rights must be protected. We will settle this between the Church and the Great Powers. The Holy See would not accept a solution giving extraterritorial status to the holy places.


 The Zionists however were impressed by what they thought was the positive manner of the Church and announced “We have assurances from the highest Catholic circles that they will favour the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine and from their religious point of view they see no objections to it and no reason why we should not be good neighbours”. Nothing could have been further from the truth. By "good neighbours" the Pope probably meant that the Vatican would maintain a presence in the central area of Palestine that was to be internationalized, while the Zionists would remain outside of it in the bordering areas.


At the end of the year 1917 two events dramatically changed the situation of Palestine: the Balfour Declaration of November 2, and the conquest of Jerusalem British troops on December 9.


Cardinal Gasparri clearly expressed opposition to a Jewish state in Palestine when he said on December 18, 1917, "The transformation of Palestine into a Jewish state would not only endanger the Holy Places and injure the feelings of all Christians, it would also be very harmful for the country itself."



De Salis at the Vatican



A few days later, on December 28, the Pope expressed his fear to Count John De Salis, the British Diplomat, that Great Britain might hand Palestine over "to the Jews to the detriment of the Christian interests."


 On March 10, 1919, the Pope convened a secret consistory in the Vatican and said that "it would be a terrible grief for us and for all Christians if infidels [in Palestine] were placed in a privileged and prominent position; much more if those most holy sanctuaries of the Christian religion were given into the charge of non-Christians. The danger that we most fear is the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. We would have found nothing wrong in Jews entering that country, and setting up agricultural colonies. But that they be given the rule over the Holy Places is intolerable for Christians."


 In January 1919, Cardinal Bourne sent a letter to the Prime Minister and to the Foreign Secretary, writing that Zionism had not received the approval of the Holy See, and “if the Jews would ever again dominate and rule the country, it would be an outrage to Christianity and its Divine founder."


It would seem that certain OBs disagreed with him and the stance of the Church.








JOHN JOSS continues his “life Sagas”












Memorial Day; USS Thresher | JessicaFawn.com


Submarine sinkings have special dimensions of tragedy exploited widely in literature, by playwrights and by journalists sensing stories of high public interest. The poignancy of sailors in peril in the mysterious depths of the ocean never fades. THRESHER, SSN-593, a lead boat in her class of attack submarines, was lost on 16 April 1963 during a test dive, due apparently to the failure of a brazed joint in the salt-water piping system and the freezing with ice of valves that could have blown her ballast tanks, a tale of desperation and horror. All 129 officers and crew were lost.


 I was working at the time for Varian Associates of Palo Alto, helping translate physics R&D to wider applications for clients worldwide. One of our developments was a proton magnetometer that could perform magnetic anomaly detection in geophysics and for classified ASW (anti-submarine warfare) applications, soon followed up by a cesium magnetometer. The Naval Oceanographic Office, with offices and scientists in Suitland, Maryland, was prodded by the Office of Naval Research, in Arlington, Virginia. ONR suggested that NAVOCEANO could benefit from trying our technology. After discussions, they bought two proton systems for delivery in May 1963, for geophysical and classified work.


   My story starts earlier, at an Institute of Navigation (IoN) convention in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Present was a close friend, Phil Klass, a genius writer for AVIATION WEEK and a widely respected debunker of UFO phenomena in his spare time. Many attendees were in uniform, including a Soviet Navy Captain of the Third Grade, Lev Torogin, from the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. Phil and I came upon a beleaguered Lev—whom we did not know—attempting to turn aside the Cold War wrath of a uniformed U.S. Air Force Colonel. We explained to the angry Colonel that Lev was approved, in uniform, with appropriate credentials, attending an unclassified meeting. We managed to mollify him. Lev, clearly a thoughtful and intelligent man, was grateful for our intervention. That’s when the trouble started.


   I took his friendship at face value—he was clearly a man of excellent mind and wide experience. A week later he invited Phil and me to a reception for the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet at the Embassy. At the time I held high levels of security clearance. I knew that associating with a Soviet officer could be bad for my career. Lev’s motives were never clear to me but the reader may draw his or her own informed conclusions.


    Phil had no such problems—AVIATION WEEK writers never have clearances, though the magazine’s monicker, ‘AVIATION LEAK,’ is widely known and understood. The magazine, respected worldwide for its technical excellence, often publishes planted, sensitive ‘news’ with which to tweak ‘interested’ nations. Every week’s issue of this powerful and influential magazine was sent to Moscow in the diplomatic pouch for immediate translation into Russian and wide distribution in the USSR.


   I called the FBI. What should I do about the invitations from the good Captain. The answer: they monitor every Embassy visitor; accept, be forever compromised and likely to lose my security clearances, or respectfully decline. I took the latter course. Phil and I discussed the matter; he decided that he had nothing to lose and possibly much to learn. He, too, liked Lev. One day he took Lev sailing on the Potomac in his Rhodes 19, a fin-keeled sailboat. Describing the sail later, he said that he looked around for men in raincoats with binoculars, but saw none.


   Upon hauling out his boat to wash it down after the sail, Phil turned to the Captain, shaking his head ruefully: “Lev, we’ve become friends. I understand and respect your work. I have a confession to make to you. See the fin keel? If you examine it closely you’ll see the carefully concealed, folded, almost undetectable prop blades, driven by a micro-miniaturized nuclear power plant in the fin bulb. The boom? Tiny torpedoes. The mast? Very small rockets. This boat is actually a Navy development craft. I just couldn’t find it in my heart to try deceive you any longer, you being a Navy man.”


   Lev looked at Phil for a long moment and burst out laughing: “Phil, you are—how you are saying it in your slang?—‘son of bitch’.” They remained friends. I have met many Russians over the years, in particular the extraordinary Viktor Belenko, who flew his MiG-25 out of the Former Soviet Union in 1976 in a brave defection, and find that when the politics are removed these are often exceptional individuals. I would like to have known Lev better, but it was not to be.


   When THRESHER was lost, our NAVOCEANO procurement office called. Could we expedite the proton magnetometer systems, in final acceptance tests, and airfreight them to Suitland, to the USS MIZAR oceanographic vessel, for use in searching for the sunken sub? We complied immediately. The proton magnetometer sensing heads, the size of a gallon milk jug, were installed on cables used with underwater TV cameras sweeping the edge of the Continental Shelf for the lost attack boat.


   I asked for permission to go on MIZAR. Denied. I stood on the dock as she sailed, bereft. They found THRESHER two days later in 8,400 feet of water. Our system had helped. The Soviets were also looking for her, but using what a friend—a former attack-boat driver—described to me subsequently as ‘pathetic equipment.’


   Six months later I was in a United DC-8 from Denver to San Francisco, on a business trip, exhausted and trying to sleep. I had a window seat remote from the aisle; the cabin lights were off on this night flight. I felt a tap on my shoulder.


   “Mr. Joss. How are you doing?” I looked up, not recognizing the man accosting me. My lack of identification was clear to him. “You are remembering me? Captain of the Third Grade Lev Torogin, Soviet Navy. Come to back of plane. I wish to speak with you.” I walked to the galley, where he and I scrounged vodkas from the flight attendant. Lev smiled: “Nice work with THRESHER.”


   What did he know about me and the magnetometer programs?—my silence after his compliment was essential. Did I get on some Soviet surveillance list after that IoN meeting? Had he seen me at the Denver airport or was the United passenger list compromised. Had he called some GRU intelligence office that accumulated data on individuals of interest? Was I being tracked? How did he know?


   All this, over the decades, remains a mystery that I realize will never be explained.


These guys are paid to have sensitive noses and sponge-like memory gathering. He knew that I was involved with the only partly classified magnetometers, hence repeated invitations to the USSR Embassy for overtly social functions.


   Phil continued the relationship and, having no security clearance, was quite entitled to chat about his friend—me—while relaxed and sailing. Lev would have done his utmost to learn more about the gear and its obvious military applications.


   Conclusion; head remotely above parapet and you are visible. Schtum is always a priority and walls have ears. Part of the success of diplomats, military especially, is to be charming, (usually) genuinely, and suck out any info. Hence the wartime adage in my home country: "Careless Talk Costs Lives", and pillow talk is potentially lethal.










The Loss of the Thresher and indeed the Loss of the Argentinean submarine Santa Fe last mid-November reminds one of HMS Affray, the greatest loss of life by the Navy in the post War period when she went down in April 1953 which has particular poignancy for the BU as the Second in Command was Derrick Foster (39).


Mary Henry unveils monument


The Local Press 2013:-


Slowly, 86-year-old Mary Henry rose up from her wheelchair and walked to the special stone and plaque draped in the White Ensign. Assisted by her son, David, she was determined to unveil the memorial to HMS Affray that has deep personal significance for her. Her late husband, Lieutenant Derrick James Foster, was among 71 sailors and four Royal Marines who perished in 1951 after their submarine submerged south of the Isle of Wight and never resurfaced. Yesterday, 62 long years later, Ms Henry from Emsworth and other loved ones of those lost in the Affray tragedy had the chance to honour them with a special memorial erected in Gosport. It was from the town’s HMS Dolphin base that Affray sailed for a training exercise – and never came back .She was eventually found sunk with the loss of all hands at Hurd Deep off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands, The Affray tragedy hit the Portsmouth area hard. Ms Henry recalled poignantly: ‘My son was sitting on my knee listening to Listen with Mother when they stopped the programme to say one of our submarines was missing. ‘My husband had told me the weekend before he went away ‘’she’s unseaworthy”. ‘It was a terrible day for everyone. ’Though the memorial symbolises sadness, it’s what relatives have been waiting for. Finally, they’ve been able to have some sort of closure – and now they have somewhere that commemorates their loved ones in, fittingly, the spiritual home of the submarine service. But this is not just about those who have suffered a very personal loss. We believe it is vitally important that we all remember those who have lost their lives in the service of their country. Memorials such as the one to the men of the Affray allow us to do just that.


"Those crew members waited 61 years, they've not had proper recognition, they've never had a dedicated memorial to their name, and the relatives have never been allowed to Hurd Deep to lay a wreath on the graves of their loved ones.


"It's a victory for the relatives and for the memory of the crew members”


"History has not been very kind, there was a lot of controversy about how it happened, accusations of sabotage, Russian spies, it hit a ship, it hit a mine ."It's nice now we can put all this to bed, the men have got the memorial they deserve.


."HMS Affray left Portsmouth on 16 April, 1951 and submerged about 30 miles south of the Isle of Wight at 21:15 BST. It failed to resurface when it was due to at 08:30. A search and rescue operation was launched, involving 26 ships and submarines along with available aircraft.


HMS Affray




It was found off Alderney two months later. No attempt was ever made to raise it to the surface.The Royal Navy's official inquiry concluded HMS Affray sank because the snort mast, the tube through which the diesel engine "breathed" while the submarine was at periscope depth, snapped because of metal fatigue.There had been concerns about the submarine's mechanical condition before it sailed.


Another memorial to the tragedy was unveiled at Braye Harbour in Alderney 2012.


Derrick Foster was the son of an army colonel but opted for the Navy when he left Beaumont in 1939. After Dartmouth, he was posted to destroyers and spent the War on the arduous task of protecting the Arctic Convoys to Russia.  He married Mary at the end of the War and volunteered for the submarine service. He was an experienced and well thought of officer with a bright future when the tragedy took his life.




“There are no roses on sailors graves, Nor wreaths upon the storm tossed waves, No last post from the Royals band, So far away from their native land, No heartbroken words carved on stone, Just shipmates bodies there alone, The only tributes are the seagulls sweeps, And the teardrop when a loved one weeps.”


-Royal National Lifeboat Institution.










Scandal for Mr “Brooklands”




Image result for sir alastair miller motor racing




Sir Alastair Miller (07) made his name as an enthusiastic Brooklands racer, but in 1922 his private affairs reached the newspapers. Bill Boddy of Motor Sport explains why:-


When I wrote about Sir Alastair Miller some time ago, I described him as 'Mr Brooklands', based on the fact that he had raced at the Surrey Track regularly from 1912 until 1931, competing pre-war on big Matchless and Martin motorcycles. He was third in a first heat of an Old Public School Boys' race on the latter and second in a 1000cc Scratch Race, and with a smaller Martin machine rode in the 1921 500-mile race, and drove and broke records with so many successes.


His tally of cars raced includes AC, Alvis, 200hp Benz, Bianchi, Buick, Delage I and II, sports GL Delage, Donnet-Zedel, Lombard, Leyland-Thomas, Mercedes-Benz 36/120hp , Miller-Napier, 1914 GP Nazzaro, 1914 GP Opel, Sunbeam, Talbot, Voisin and the Wolseleys, including the huge 11.7-litre aero-engined Viper of his own devising, and finally a works Riley with which, aged 38, he won the 1100cc class of the BRDC 500-mile race. He was also the entrant in 1939 of a V12 Lagonda. After which he achieved more prizes breeding rare poultry when living in Sussex.


My choice caused some unrest among those who thought I should have given my title to Sir Henry Birkin, Bt, or to John Cobb, and among others who felt the accolade belonged to them, including those who had "nearly beaten Malcolm Campbell" and a person who said she was the first lady ever to race in the rain and on beaded-edge tyres!


Some years before WWI, Miller had ridden bikes on the Southwold cycletrack and shared a primitive aeroplane with a fellow pilot. An ex-Guards officer, he transferred to the RFC during the war, taking his pilot's licence on a Maurice Farman in 1915; his younger brother was killed on the Somme.


As a Flight Lieutenant and then a Captain he flew most types of fighter aeroplane, and he took up luckless air-mechanics in dubious machines. He flew to St Omer from England in BE2c No4100, experiencing a forced landing at Dorking on the way. He looked for a country mansion at which to land, as pilots did, as usually they would be invited to dinner and given a bed; in Miller's case it was lunch. The next day he returned by train, the lady sending her car to fetch him, the mechanics having been wired to rectify the trouble. Resuming the flight involved cutting a hole in a centuries-old hedge to provide take-off space with the lady's permission — "the gallant airman is serving his country".


Soon Miller was invalided home and made Inspector of all RFC aerodromes, which must have made it easy to obtain petrol, rationed from 1916, for his very frequent short and long journeys, both military and private! His RFC driver Corporal Tollerton helped both when on and off duty.


I liked this remarkable character because he was so keen on cars that he noted the make of every one he drove. His lifestyle was also fascinating, as he met very important people such as Count Louis Zborowski, Colonel Charles Jarrott, Sir Henry Segrave, actoraviator Robert Lorraine, George Newman, Sydney Cummings, General Higgins, the son of General Henderson, Commander of the RFC, and many other top-rankers, always in the very best hotels, theatres and night-spots.


I wrote of this under the heading 'The Wartime Diaries of Flying Officer X', which appeared first in Lord Montagu's car magazine Veteran and Vintage and, after that had folded, in MotorSport from October 1979 to March 1981, with a final instalment, covering 1919, in a VSCC Bulletin.


(While I was writing this, by a quite remarkable coincidence, during an episode of BBC2's University Challenge programme, one question, unanswered by the team, was 'Which novelist used the name Flying Officer X for a nom-deplume?'. I didn't know either that it was HE Bates.)


By 1922 the newspapers were engrossed with the 'Racing Driver and Girl-Bride' case, arising from Miller having become married to a schoolgirl of 14, who falsified her age as 16 or 17, without the knowledge of her parents, Major Howard, MP and his wife. They wanted a divorce for the couple and to take custody of the baby son.


The case was heard in the High Court of Justice, Divorce Division, in London, under Mr Justice Hill. Leading barrister for the Howards was Mr Clifford Mortimer, for Miller Sir Ellis Hume-Williams and his junior Mr Talbot Ponsonby. I refer to the case only for the motoring items and I have no idea of the outcome. The witnesses included the Howards, Lady Miller, H J Line who had been works-manager at A J Miller & Co and then in charge of the Wolseley racing cars at Brooklands, J W Line, Miller's secretary, now chief clerk in Wolseley's Competition Department, Sidney Cleophas Cull, who looked after Miller's two Delage racing cars when working for T Gardner & Sons of Highgate, Captain Eliot de Pass, Flt Lt J W Woodhouse, DSO, MC and two bars, and George Newman, soon to race Salmsons and who went on his honeymoon in an Avro 504.


When Miller requested an adjournment of the trial for a day as he had to be at Brooklands the Judge allowed it, presumably because he knew the status of the Surrey Track — or did this enable him to get in a round of golf? When Miller made a similar request because he was competing in a hillclimb, the Judge asked whether it was important. "Yes, my Lord," was the answer. "I am riding a motorcycle of our manufacture." The event was obviously the 1922 Kop public-road speed-hillclimb; Miller seems to have had charge of the Martin works in Stubbs Lane, London. Zborowski's Ballot made FTD of the cars, but how did Miller fare?


Later the Judge said he knew nothing of such things but enquired whether, with due respect, Miller was like a jockey riding owners' horses to earn money. Miller was quick to explain that he raced here and all over the continent for one company, Vickers-Maxim (in which Wolseley was presumably incorporated). The reference to continental races was rather rich!


The charges against Miller included that of neglecting his young wife by dashing off to the Track and to parties even when she was very seriously ill at her parents' place, 'The Moat House' at Upend near Newmarket. (Years later I went to see this; the moat had dried up but I was shown the field behind the house used by RFC pilots visiting the Howards' daughters.) It was alleged that Miller refused to pay doctors' and nurses' bills for his wife, or to find a house.


Mr Mortimer had access to the profit made by Miller's business, the AG Miller & Co firm, started with capital of £40,000 in 1919 of which £23,100 was issued for cash and £10,000 to Capt Miller and 300 shares to employees, and said that Miller's father made him an allowance. The Judge: "You do not consider yourself a poor man, do you, Capt Miller?" But it was disclosed that the company lost £20,000 in 1920 and was liquidated and wound up by 1921. Miller explained about not keeping promises to see his wife by saying that he was very busy restoring wartime RFC Crossley tenders for the Irish Government's Police Force and that during the railway strike many of his lorries were commandeered. He certainly had raced a Shelsley Crossley at Brooklands in 1920.


Miller told also how he had given his wife before they were engaged a present of a Baby Peugeot on which he taught her how to drive, when she was too young to have a driving licence, for her to use on the drives at her father's estate. But it would not work until Corporal Tollerton, Miller's RFC driver, and the Major's man had worked on it. There were four cars in the Major's garage for which "he couldn't obtain petrol" which was not a problem for AGM, and his man had welded a broken crankshaft on what was described in Court as an "Austin-Daimler", obviously an Austro-Daimler, after which the Peugeot was taken away by Miller and sold. Miller explained that he had then given the girl another car, a rare Herbert, made in London only from 1916/17, but this he also soon took away. When his wife was ill he sent a Daimler ambulance and a Crossley tender to take the baby's cot and pram to London, but she refused to go.


When the Judge thought matters were going better after mention of a party in Bournemouth he said, "I suppose you drove your wife back up to London?" "No, my Lord," replied Miller, "I couldn't, because the car was a single-seater. We had had its engine down and wanted to free it up as it was due to race at Brooklands." I had assumed that the racing Wolseleys, apart from the Viper, were assembled at the Birmingham factory and taken to Miller's shed at the Track on lorries. Yet it seems that one of the two Moths was thus road-tested.


The Millers' family house was in London's fashionable Ennismore Gardens (where, much later, the 1½-litre GP Delage rebuilt by Ramponi was kept in one of the mews garages). Miller had Nos 1 and 15 lock-ups there, in which he kept "all sorts of kinds of crocks", but when it was suggested that he used one of these for a dubious purpose he replied indignantly, and maybe ingeniously, that his Daimler was at the coachbuilders and that what was implied would have been impossible in his De Dion van and the small car which were there at that time. The last time I met Miller was a sad occasion on which I have no intention of enlarging.








These articles seem rather depressing. I cannot lighten your day by another photo of Hermione Darnborough which seemed to have been much appreciated by the readership, but I did find this rather fetching one of Olga Correa Pereira (dressed) who was the wife of Fernando de Yrarrazaval Marques de la Pica (13).







Fernando and his brothers Manuel and Domingo were the sons of a Chilean lawyer and politician and their grandfather Minister of the Interior.









History of the Leach Pottery


The Leach Pottery is considered by many to be the birthplace of British studio pottery. One of the great figures of 20th century art, Bernard Leach (03) played a crucial pioneering role in creating an identity for artist potters across the world.


The restored Leach Pottery site includes a museum, created to celebrate the life, work, influences and legacy of Bernard Leach. Exhibition, gallery and shop spaces provide regular shows throughout the year showcasing work by leading regional, national and international studio potters.


Early Years 1887 to 1909




Bernard Leach with grandparents in Japan


Bernard Leach with grandparents in Japan



Bernard Howell Leach was born Hong Kong on January 5th 1887. As his mother died in child birth he was taken to Kyoto in Japan by his maternal grandparents. Four years later his father remarried and he brought Leach back to Hong Kong and then on to Singapore when he was appointed a judge.


In 1897 when Leach was 10 he was brought back to England by his Great Uncle Granville to attend Beaumont College. Leach left school at 16 having excelled only in drawing, elocution and cricket and enrolled at The Slade School of Art, London. In 1904 his father was diagnosed with liver cancer so Leach left The Slade to be with his father in Bournemouth. As his father was extremely ill Leach promised to seek a career in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC). In November of that year, his father died.


When Leach was 18 he moved to Manchester to study for the bank entrance examination and stayed with his Uncle and Aunt. It was here that he met his cousin Muriel and fell in love with her. In 1906 he took up position as a junior bank clerk in the HSBC in London. However, he soon became disillusioned with banking and he was forbidden to pursue his relationship with Muriel. He therefore resigned from the bank and travelled to Dorset and North Wales to draw and paint. At 21 he inherited a modest income so enrolled at The London School of Art in Kensington where he was taught etching by Frank Brangwyn who was an inspiration to Leach.


Japan 1908 to 1920


Leach met Muriel again in 1908 and they became engaged and planned to marry. Leach decided to return to Japan and went ahead of Muriel with the intention of teaching the Japanese etching. Muriel joined him in Tokyo and they then married. Leach painted, etched, produced wood cuts and designs for art magazine covers. Muriel taught English.


David Andrew was born in 1911 and in this year Leach and a Japanese friend Tomimoto Kenkichi were invited to a raku party. He was enthralled by the firing process and wrote, "By this to me a miracle, I was carried away to a new world. Enthralled, I was on the spot seized with the desire to take up the craft". This was a pivotal time in Leach's life and he decided to follow the path of ceramics. He was recommended and then studied with Urano Shigekichi , known by his title of Kenzan VI, two days a week for two years.


He learnt throwing, brushwork decoration in the ancient style and different firing methods. He then set up a pottery in his garden and started to produce work to exhibit. In 1913 his second son William Michael was born. Leach had successful exhibitions in 1914 and published his first booklet, A Review 1909-1914. This booklet was issued to accompany the exhibition. However, he was becoming disillusioned with Japan and its growing westernisation so he moved to China alone and fell under the influence of Dr Alfred Westharp, a Prussian writer.On September 19th 1915 Eleanor, his first daughter, was born in Japan. Leach reluctantly returned to Muriel for Christmas but then went back to China with his family. However, Westharp caused friction and interfered in their family life although Leach was still under his demanding influence. Consequently, he set up home in Peking as medical help was needed for Michael.


Yanagi Soetsu – another friend of Leach from the Shirakaba group -visited and told him about his own visit to Korean potteries. This rekindled Leach's interest and Yanagi persuaded him in 1916 to return to Japan. A year later he set up a pottery on Yanagi's estate in Abiko. He developed his own style based on traditional Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English slipware. This gave him the satisfaction he had been seeking.


It was around this time that he met Hamada Shoji who became his soul mate. Unfortunately in 1919 his pottery burnt to the ground. Viscount Kuroda – an artist trained in France – offered Leach a kiln in Tokyo with the help and assistance of professional potters so he could continue producing raku, stoneware and porcelain. He had a successful exhibition of his work and a small book An English Artist in Japan was produced by his friends to mark his impending departure from Japan. In the summer of 1920 Leach with Hamada set sail for England.


 St. Ives & Dartington 1920 to 1944


Edgar Skinner – a friend of Leach's father introduced him to the St. Ives Guild of Handicrafts which was supported by local wealthy philanthropist called Francis Horne who lived at Tremorna in Carbis Bay. She offered him a capital loan of £2500 to set up his pottery with Hamada and also an assured income of £250 for 3 years. During this year Leach's twin daughters Ruth Jessamine and Elizabeth Massey, known as Betty were born.


A site at the top of the Stennack was found, to build the pottery and the first climbing kiln and raku kiln. Bricks were used from the old dynamite works at Hayle. Hamada used iron barrel staves for arch support. In 1921 Leach and Hamada produce individual pieces of stoneware in the three-chamber, wood-burning climbing kiln. In the round, up-draught kiln they were making decorated earthenware dishes, slip decorated, lead-glazed tableware and raku. Trees and Rhododendron were used for firing and were brought down from Knill's Steeple.


The early firings were not successful as neither of them had much experience of controlled firing. Only 10 to 15% of the early pots were successful. It was also difficult to find a good clay body. They found earthen ware clay near St. Erth and obtained stoneware from Dorset and Ball clay from Devon. They burnt bracken for wood ash glazes and experimented widely adapting new materials and rediscovering old skills. In 1922 as the family was so much bigger as Leach and Muriel had five children, they moved to the Count House in Carbis Bay.


In 1923 Hamada returned to Japan as he was concerned about his family following the disaster of the Kanto earthquake. In the same year Michael Cardew joined the pottery. Leach continued to experiment with many forms and techniques. He held raku parties on Thursdays and Muriel served Cornish teas for 1 shilling (the equivalent of £1.50 today). They exhibited with no success initially but Leach joined many societies and groups and continued to exhibit. Matsubayashi – an excellent technician - arrived in St. Ives from Japan and was so appalled with the kiln he pulled it down and rebuilt it.


The first firing in the new kiln was in May 1924, during which, there was a ceremonial offering of salt. Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie joined the pottery as a paying student for one year along with Norah Braden. As others joined the pottery a strong sense of community arose although there were serious financial problems.In 1925 Leach met Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst at Dartington Hall in Devon. This American couple had a major impact on the development of the pottery in St. Ives and Leach's finance as Dorothy has inherited money from her family.


Michael Cardew left St. Ives in 1926 to set up his own pottery in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. However, the pottery continued in financial difficulties so 'shares' were issued. In 1928 Leach published: The Potter's Outlook, Handworkers' Pamphlet No 3, (New Handworkers' Gallery) In 1930 both David Leach and Harry Davis – an accomplished young potter joined the pottery. Laurie Cookes joined the pottery a year later as a shop assistant and secretary. Soon after joining the pottery she started a relationship with Leach.


The Elmhirsts invited him to Dartington in 1932 to set up a pottery and also to teach. It was at Dartington that Leach met Mark Tobey – an American artist - who introduced him to the Bahá'í faith. Whilst Leach was at Dartington and on a lecture tour of Japan he left Harry Davis in charge at St. Ives. On his return from Japan Leach informed Muriel that their marriage was over. He then bought a caravan and toured England with Laurie Cookes in 1935. The couple settled in Dartington and built his pottery and a wooden house called 'The Cabin' in 1937.


Leach also started work on A Potter's Book, which was his most important publication.In 1938 David Leach returned to St Ives after studying pottery management for two/three years in Stoke-on- Trent. He initiated a wide range of changes. These included electricity, machinery and oil to fire the kiln which shortened the firing time by 20/25%. Leach Standard Ware was then produced in stoneware. There was now a permanent team that included William (Bill) Marshall who joined at age 14 and had a major influence on the pottery. In 1940 Faber and Faber published: A Potter's Book and Leach joined the Bahá'í faith.


David Leach was called up in 1941 and Leach returned to pottery and lived in Pottery Cottage which had been built in 1927. Unfortunately a Land mine destroyed part of Pottery Cottage and damaged part of kiln shed. However, the pottery continued production with a small team helped by conscientious objectors. Leach separated and divorced Muriel and then married Laurie in 1944 and the two of them adopted Maurice, an evacuee infant who she had taken care of during the war.


St Ives & International Tours 1945 to 1956


After the Second World War David Leach was made a partner in the pottery and consolidated the team with well-trained apprentices. The first catalogue of Standard Ware was issued in 1946.In the early 1950s Leach toured extensively in Scandinavia, USA and Japan. Meanwhile he passed the running of the pottery on to David. During his lecture tour of the USA - in 1953 - with Yanagi and Hamada, Leach met Janet Darnell – a young American potter. A year later they became intimate and planned to marry and live in Japan.


However this was not to be and they returned to St. Ives. Muriel died in 1955 and in 1956 Leach divorced Laurie and married Janet who then took over the running of the pottery. 


Bernard Leach with Shoji Hamada & Soestsu Yanagi, Dartington 1952




Bernard Leach with Shoji Hamada & Soestsu Yanagi, Dartington 1952


Honours & International Recognition 1957 to 1979




08 Freedom of St Ives with Barbara Hepworth 1968.jpg




In the sixties Bernard travelled on many lecture tours and published more of his writings. Also he received many honours both from home and abroad. In 1960 Bernard and Janet had a successful tour of USA. Faber and Faber also published 'A Potter in Japan'.



In 1961 The Arts Council of Britain held a retrospective exhibition 'Fifty Years a Potter'. Leach was acknowledged as a master craftsman and his work was accepted as the standard by which others were judged.


He also visited Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It was at this time that he bought a small flat in a new development called Barnaloft which overlooked Porthmeor Beach in St.Ives. Leach received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1962. In 1966 Faber and Faber published 'Kenzan and his Tradition, the lives and times of Koetsu, Sotatsu, Korin, and Kenzan'. In the same year Leach went on lecture tours to Venezuela and Colombia, Honduras, USA and Japan. In Japan he was awarded Order of the Sacred Treasure 2nd Class. This was the highest honour given to a non-national.


Leach travelled to Japan again in 1967 with Janet Leach. He stopped over in Hong Kong to search, unsuccessfully, for his mother's grave. In 1968 both Leach and Hepworth were bestowed the rare honour of Freedom of the Borough of St Ives by the Town Council. In the seventies Bernard published more of his writings. Also he received many more honours both from home and abroad In 1972 Kodansha published 'The Unknown Craftsman' translated and adapted from the work of Søetsu Yanagi.


A year later, Adams and Dart published 'Drawings, Verse & Belief'. Leach was also made a Companion of Honour (CH). The Japan Foundation awarded Leach the equivalent of the Nobel Prize during his final visit to Japan in 1974. A sudden and dramatic loss of sight brought his potting days to an end. At the same time the large climbing kiln that was built in 1923 was used less and less due to less production and complaints from neighbours so a gas kiln was introduced. In 1975 Kodansha published 'Hamada: Potter'.


There was another Retrospective exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1977 in his 90th year. Bill Marshall left the Leach Pottery after 39 years of service, broken only by the war. He set up his own pottery at Abbey Cottage in Lelant with his son Andrew. 1978 Shoji Hamada died in Japan. Faber and Faber published Leach's last writings 'Beyond East and West: Memoirs, Portraits and Essays'. On May 6th 1979 Leach died at St Michael's Hospital, Hayle after having had a heart attack in April of the same year. He was buried at Longstone Cemetery, Carbis Bay, St.Ives.


 Leach Pottery 1979 to 2005


Following Bernard's death Janet Leach ceased production of the standard ware to focus on her own individual pots. She died in 1997, bequeathing the Pottery to Mary Redgrave, who continued to run the Pottery until her own death. The building was sold to a private buyer, Alan Gilham, before being acquired by Penwith District Council as part of the Leach Restoration Project.


On completion the Leach Pottery was handed over to the Bernard Leach (St Ives) Trust Ltd., a registered charity which now manages the Leach Pottery as both a museum dedicated to Bernard Leach and the Leach legacy and as a working pottery studio, producing a new range of standard ware and training a new generation of studio potters.












GISS – GOSS is THE REVIEW gossip column with tittle-tattle gleaned from various sources.




There may not be many who remember Tim Aspinall (52) at school and apart from being in the boxing team his time at Beaumont seemed to have been unremarkable. Not so his life - he died young in 2000 but he certainly left a mark in television.


Graham Benson wrote:-


Tim Aspinall


Tim Aspinall, who has died aged 65, was a television writer, director, producer and a true original. In the 1960s he wrote and produced Coronation Street. He scripted series ranging from Love Story for ATV, to Villains and Bullman for Granada and a BBC Horizon drama documentary on Brunel.


In 1972 he produced a landmark Thirty Minute Theatre production of Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape for BBC television. It featured Patrick Magee, the writer's finest interpreter, in the name role. Later in that decade at Thames Television, working with his close friend Verity Lambert, Tim produced Hazell, Born And Bred, Jemima Shore Investigates - for which he also wrote - and other popular, well-crafted series. He directed drama and documentaries - including Channel 4's Wine Programme and What It's Worth - and, at TVS, in the late 1980s, helped me to develop and encourage many young writers, directors and producers.


I first met him towards the end of 1968 when he arrived at BBC Television Centre to script-edit and, soon afterwards, produce BBC2's Thirty Minute Theatre. Tim regaled us with tales of Fleet Street and Granadaland, and charmed us with his witty, sometimes racy, west London anecdotes. And, with a laidback and assured style, he delivered an extraordinary run of original television drama, week after week.


Tim wrote many fine, often quirky scripts himself - with dialogue often close to poetry - and produced startlingly electric drama; no more so than with Rhys Adrian. At the BBC, in the early 1970s, Rhys and Tim - and I, and others - delivered television plays that included The Gardeners Of My Youth, Buffet and the brilliant Thrills Galore.


Tim was born in Hampstead, London. His father, an army officer, was killed in Burma during the second world war, while his mother was a Spanish aristocrat of Basque origin. He was educated at Beaumont  and in his late teens joined the Eastbourne Gazette. A holiday relief stint at the Daily Mail turned into a job and he later worked at the Mirror and Express. In 1964 he went to Granada in Manchester as a script-editor, and took a director's course with the company.


In the 1970s, post-BBC, he remained a freelance, but joined me at TVS in 1987 and never left my side during the five years I was controller of drama. He produced the first series of Perfect Scoundrels, several single plays, a strand of student films and videos, Take One, where his talent as a teacher augmented his producing brilliance.


Tim loved life, and celebrating activities that he could share with others - cricket, jazz, soccer, classical music, the arts, wine, and eating and cooking good food - his bread-making talents were legendary and he never arrived anywhere without a warm loaf from his oven.


Tim married first Judy, with whom he spent his 20s and very early 30s, together with James, Penny and Matty. Early in his BBC life he married his perfect foil, Mary, and they adopted Ruby and Charlie.


Richard Harris writes: I first met Tim Aspinall when we were young writers on an anthology of television plays produced by the inspiring Stella Richman. He wrote like a dream; his stuff didn't always work and sometimes it was so far off the wall it was out of the building, but it was always full of ideas, full of imagination. Tim had style in the way he was with people - and a kind of subversion about him.


The second time we worked together it was with him as director, the third time as producer. Working with him was always a pleasure. It wasn't the be-all and end-all for him, but if the work could somehow lead to the real stuff of life, so much the better. But the work always got done and always to his high standards - and with that little bit extra on the budget.


We fell out about five years ago, but I really missed working with him. And then, about a couple of years ago, I was taken seriously ill. One afternoon there was Tim, parking his bike in the front garden. He had brought me some home-made soup and we were off and running again. I am not saying he saved my life, but he was one of those who made bloody sure I hung on to it.


But as I was getting stronger and stronger, he, unaccountably, seemed to be less himself. What they found was tumours in his stomach and his liver and suddenly, like some terrible sort of twist, it was him asking the questions and me trying to give the answers. Two days after his first operation I went to see him and he was dancing with a nurse, trailing his tubes behind him.


He was sent home to build up strength for his second operation: he still gave me cooking lessons, and we still went to the pictures in the afternoon. But this time it was him walking slowly and me catching his arm as we crossed the road. At last they said it was time for him to go in and have the tumour cut away from his liver. Complications set in. He died 10 days later. He was a very special man, a one-off.


Timothy Edward Aspinall, writer and television producer, born January 6 1935; died August 21 2000.


ED. As a follow up to this and Coronation Street in particular, I had the following from Nigel Magrane who had written to the Show’s producer:-


“In the 7.30 and 8.30 pm episodes of Coronation Street on Friday 12 January the character Craig Tinker played by Colson Smith wore a BU tie. BU is the abbreviation for the Beaumont Union this being the old boys society of Beaumont College. Beaumont no longer exists but the BU is flourishing and I am one of its members. I am very interested to know how Colson came to be wearing the BU tie. There is no mistake here. His tie was quite definitely a BU tie, not an imitation. Colson is too young to be a member of the BU but he may have some connection .If you can throw some light on this, I would be most grateful. I am not in any way objecting, just curious”.


Dear Nigel,


Many thanks for your e-mail. Our head of Costume tells me Craig's tie is from Williams and Brown London and it came from our stock rail, so it may well be a BU tie, but he has no idea where we got it from. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.


Best Wishes, David Nugent, Coronation Street.


ED. It is possible that Tim left his tie on the rack when he left! I checked out Williams & Brown – I’m not certain they would come under the definition of Gentleman’s Outfitter acceptable to the BU and  I’m glad to report that the tie is not to be found among their stock items.








Medals seem to regularly come up for sale. These belonging to Thomas Luke (88) are especially interesting:-


Lot 18 - A scarce Edward VII Tibet D.S.O. group of five awarded to Brigadier-General T. M. Luke, Royal




A scarce Edward VII Tibet D.S.O. group of five awarded to Brigadier-General T. M. Luke, Royal Artillery
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s 1st type neck badge; Distinguished Service Order, E.VII.R., silver-gilt and enamels, some damage to red and green enamels; India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (Lieut. T. M. Luke R.A.); Tibet 1903-04, 1 clasp, Gyantse (Captn. T. M. Luke 30th Mtn. By.); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1908 (Capt. T. M. Luke D.S.O. R.A. 28th Mtn. By.) mounted on original wearing bar with earlier O.B.E. award removed, generally good very fine or better (5) £5000-6000
D.S.O. London Gazette 16 December 1904: ‘For services in connection with the Tibet Mission Escort.’ One of only nine awards of the D.S.O. for Tibet.
Thomas Mawe Luke was born on 13 May 1872, son of Colonel H. F. Luke, of Kensington, London, and of Frances Matilda Burke. He was educated at Beaumont , and joined the Royal Artillery on 4 May 1892; became Lieutenant 4 May 1895. He served on the North-West Frontier of India, 1897-98, with the Tirah Expeditionary Force (Medal with clasp).  He was promoted Captain on 19 January 1900. Captain Luke served in Tibet, 1903-4, in the operations at and around Gyantse; was mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 13 December 1904); received the Medal with clasp, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, ‘for marked ability in handling his guns and devotion to duty during a very trying campaign’ (London Gazette 16 December 1904): ‘Thomas Mawe Luke, Captain, Royal Artillery. In recognition of services with the Tibet Mission Escort’. He served on the North-West Frontier of India (Mohmand), 1908 (Medal with clasp), and became Major 15 February 1913. In the European War he served as DAAG, AAG, DAG, and from October 1910 to June 1919, as Director of Administration, General Headquarters, India, with the rank of Brigadier General. He was given the Brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel 29 November 1915, and became Lieutenant-Colonel, May 1917. Lieutenant-Colonel Luke was CRA, Kohat Kurran Force, from June to 31 September 1919, in the Afghan War (Clasp to India medal).  He was made an O.B.E. in 1918, and a C.B.E. in September 1919, for his services in the war, and had the General Service and Victory Medals.






Meeting with tibetans.jpg




 India was relatively quiet at the start of the 20th Century, though one viceroy after another became obsessed with the security of borders. It led in 1903 to the expedition to Tibet and this was no exploratory adventure but a full blooded invasion. The Government in India were concerned that Russia might have influence there and despite reassurances to the contrary, the British crossed the frontier with ten thousand men. Among them was Thomas Luke, the son of a soldier and commissioned in the Royal Artillery after leaving Old Windsor in 1895. He went out to India and was appointed as a captain to command the guns in the expeditionary force. History relates that it was a remarkable feat in taking an army into such a remote, high altitude location, driving through courageous defenders during freezing weather in difficult positions and achieving all their objectives in six months. In truth, there was a massacre, where Tibetans armed only with swords faced maxim guns and bolt action rifles. One officer reported “I got sick of the slaughter that I ceased fire, though the General’s order was to bag as many as possible”.  Later with the help of Luke’s guns they breached the Gyantse Dzong fortress and the road was open the Lhasa. The Dalai Lama fled to safety in China.


 The Commander reported that “Tibet with some natural limitations, is a land ripe for enlightenment (British that is), given some reforms in the administration of justice, less partiality in the selection of officials, more supervision by central government and curtailment of the power of the monks and the abolition of the privileges of the feudal aristocracy; Tibet will want for little”.  He could have been writing about England. Certainly the reaction in London was of fierce condemnation of the whole operation. Colonial wars in the Edwardian period were becoming increasingly unpopular and public and political opinion was unhappy with military action on so weak a pretext and especially with the massacre of huge numbers of unarmed men. It was only the intervention and support of the King that saw the main participants rewarded, among them was a DSO for Thomas Luke.


ED: Considerable pillaging took place at the Dongtse and other monasteries after the fall of Gyantse Dzong. Whatever General Orders and the Hague Convention of 1899 may have dictated, looting seemed acceptable if the army felt it had been opposed in any way. I have benefitted from this “looting” in that I possess a pair of Tibetan Silver and brass dungchens (long horns) brought back from this Expedition. The Commander Sir Francis Younghusband was said to have had a “spiritual experience” while in Tibet and returned home to inform his wife that he no longer believed in marriage but in “free love”: how that was received is not recorded. He became Chairman of the Mount Everest Committee which included sending the 1922 Expedition of which Col .Edward Strutt (91) was Climb Leader and Expedition deputy.














Hugh Wooldridge sent me this flyer for his production of Jesus Christ Super Star in the Opera House on Gozo, Malta at Easter. Apart from our few remaining residents, anyone visiting might well be interested. For those unaware of Hugh (you can check Wikapedia), but for those who trust my synopsis:-


Image result.


Hugh is an English theatre director, theatre and television producer and writer, and designer. He is the son of British composer John Wooldridge (studied under Sibelius also WW 2 Wing Cmdr, DSO, DFC & Bar, DFM) and actress Margaretta Scott. (The loveable Mrs Pumphrey in All Creatures Great & Small) He is the brother of actress Susan Wooldridge. Hugh ran his own multi-media company, The Jolly Good Production Company (JGPC), which produced plays and TV programmes, managed artistes and published books. During this time he was also responsible for music programmes and programming in the ITV network. He specialises in large productions, often at the Royal Albert Hall. He also teaches, gives master-classes and runs workshops.






Digging and delving as I do, I came across the remarkable story of two school friends, who joined the same regiment, fought together, and then went on the Music hall stage as a duo.


The first of these is Henry “Barty” Green (93) the son of a Judge) and then Arthur Wood (93) youngest son of a Field Marshal, they left Beaumont together, Joined the Cameronians (The Scottish Rifles). In the Boer war at the Battle of Spion Kop, Green saved Arthur’s life rescuing him after he had been wounded and under fire for which he was awarded the DSO. Both lovers of the theatre and acting they retired to go on the music hall stage – extraordinary for men of their position in society at that time. Both were to re-join the colours for WW1.


Extracts of their lives:-


The Times, Wednesday July 4 1956.  Major Henry Edward Green, D.S.O., O.B.E., died recently in Funchal, Madeira, in his eighty-first year. He was born on March 19, 1876, the son of the Hon. John Philip Green, a Judge of the High Court, Bombay. He entered the Army, after attending Beaumont and Sandhurst, in 1896, served in Sierra Leone in 1898, and in the South African War. He was wounded at Spion Kop, twice mentioned in dispatches, was awarded the D.S.O., and the Queen's medal with four clasps. After service with the Cameronians, he transferred to the King's African Rifles in 1914. He fought in the East African and Nyasaland campaigns, in which he was again wounded and mentioned in dispatches. From 1924 to 1936 he was staff officer of the Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve and was appointed O.B.E. in 1930. He was an admirable painter and sculptor in wood, and designed the famous Nyasaland "Leopard" postage stamp. He had lived in Madeira since 1947. He married in 1913, Edith, daughter of Mr. Roger Cleveland, of Berkeley, California, who survives him.


 The Cameronian’s Regimental Museum:


1827 Rifle Officers’ Pattern Wilkinson Sword 33877 Proved 3rd March 1896 for Henry Edward Green 2nd Scottish Rifles.


The sword ordered in 1896 is a plain oval rifles sword with the standard blade etchings of this pattern sword save for the owner’s initials of Green Hen y Edward in the cartouched panel. The sword was sharpened for active service which was undoubtedly useful as Lieutenant Green was wounded in saving his great friend Lieutenant Arthur Wood at the Battle Spion Kop for which action he received the DSO in 1900.









2/Lieutenant Green is the back row, extreme right.




The Battle for Spion Kop.


 "The Scottish Rifles arrived at the summit of Spion Kop between 2.30 and 3 pm and were pushed into the firing line by companies, which had to move on to the plateau in single file along a narrow path down which the wounded were being carried. On reaching the plateau the two leading companies became hotly engaged at close range. Some men of the 2nd and 3rd companies then charged the opposing Boers in flank, in order to relieve the pressure on No 1, or A company. This was successful, the enemy retiring, but cost 1 officer and several men killed, and 3 officers and more men wounded. Gradually the battalion got extended, and by 4.40 pm had taken up a position across the summit. At one part, on the right, when the Scottish Rifles pushed forward, the original firing line had quite disappeared, and the Boers were where it should have been, and that within 60 yards of rocks which, if occupied by the Boers, would have enabled them to command our only approach to the plateau. Like other troops on the hill, the Scottish Rifles fought splendidly and held their ground marvellously well. Their losses on the day were very heavy. Four officers and 33 men were killed or died of their wounds; 6 officers and about 60 men were wounded. In his telegraphic despatch of 27th January 1900 General Buller says, "Our men fought with great gallantry, and I would specially mention the conduct of the 2nd Scottish Rifles and 3rd King's Royal Rifles, who supported the attack on the mountain from the steepest side, and in each case fought their way to the top, and the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers and 2nd Middlesex, who magnificently maintained the best traditions of the British army; and Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry, who fought throughout the day equally well alongside of them". When addressing the troops after the retirement the general especially mentioned the two rifle regiments. Mr Bennet Burleigh wrote, "Nothing could have been grander than the scaling of Spion Kop by the Scottish Rifles and 60th of glorious reputation".


The Press:-






The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 11th March 1913


Music-Hall Entertainers - Army Officer at Aldershot Hippodrome. The Aldershot correspondent of the "Standard" writes: It takes a soldier to entertain soldiers if one must go by the reception that the audience at the Aldershot Hippodrome last night gave to Captain Arthur Wood and Captain Henry Green, D.S.O., both of the Scottish Rifles, who, having retired from the Army, have gone on the music-halls as professional entertainers. Captain Arthur Wood, who is a son of the famous Field-Marshall Sir Evelyn Wood, V.C., is well known at Aldershot, and during his service there as A.D.C. to General Smith-Dorrien he frequently took part in an amateur performance for charity. It was his success as an amateur that encouraged him to take up music-hall work professionally. Captains Wood and Green must not be regarded as young soldiers suddenly enamoured of stage life. They are hardened veterans of the field. It is possibly the first time that the music-halls have been professionally invaded by officers of the British Army. It may well be that their past friendship and the action at Spion Kop gave rise to the song “Two little Boys”.


Arthur Herbert Wood (93) brother of Evelyn and Charles and Son of Field Marshall Sir Evelyn Wood VC. While at Beaumont he was an Honorary Page to Queen Victoria on state occasions.  After commissioning he saw service in India in The Tochi Expedition which was a punitive raid by Anglo-Indian troops to the Tochi Valley in 1897 to put down a rebellion there. It started with an attack by the Madda Khel section of the Waziris in June 1897.


The following year he was on the Nile Expedition sometimes called the Sudan War or Mahdist Revolt when he was ADC to Kitchener accompanying him at the Battle of Omdurman.


Then it was South Africa and once more reunited with Green in the 2nd Battalion. 





Arthur in South Africa.




 The Cameronian’s Regimental Museum also holds Arthur’s sword:-


Boer War Sword



 This sword was originally purchased in 1896 by Sir Evelyn Wood VC to give to his son Arthur, who had just joined the 2nd Battalion of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).


Sir Evelyn Wood had also served with the 2nd Battalion and had commanded it for a short time. He later went on to win the Victoria Cross medal and become a Field Marshall.


Arthur Wood took the sword with him to South Africa during the Boer War from 1899 to 1902, but lost it, probably in battle.


In the 1950s a farmer in South Africa dug up the sword in his field, after hitting it with his plough. He recognised the badge of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and had it presented to the museum in 1958.


The scabbard, or cover for the blade, has rusted from its time buried in the earth, but the blade is in surprisingly good condition.


Post Boer War:


As mentioned above, Arthur left the army for the stage (I’m not certain what Queen Victoria would have thought) with Green having held another ADC’s appointment with General Smith- Dorrien later known for his successful defensive battle at Le Cateau WW1.  Back in the Army for WW1, Arthur served at both Regimental and Staff levels and was MID. He eventually retired as a Colonel in 1927: he did not return to the professional stage.


This Article has been added to the BOER WAR ARCHIVE.






While researching this piece I heard from my erstwhile brother officer Johnny Muir now resident in the Welsh Marches. He wrote to inform me that another of our regimental band of brothers’ one Sir Nicholas Soames was leading a party to the Boer War Battlefields including Spion Kop in the steps of his grandfather. It so happens that Johnnie’s Grandfather Major General John Talbot Coke was supposed to have led the ill-fated attack at Spion but was recovering from a broken leg. However despite the action by the Cameronians and the bravery of Henry Green there is no getting away from the fact that the overall action was a defeat for the British with incompetence at the command level.



I would not say incompetence is the word that springs to mind when dealing with the antics of the late Lt Colonel Patrick Covernton. Chatting with a chum of his in the 2nd KEO Ghurkhas we got onto the subject of Patrick putting the name of the school into Battalion legend. “Doing a Beaumont” or turning a perfectly calm situation into chaos was a Patrick speciality. One of the best known of these stories is Patrick’s “Fishing Rod”.


Patrick announced to all and sundry that his new fishing rod would produce a bumper catch for the benefit of all. A crowd of officers and men assembled on the river bank for the demonstration. Patrick rowed out from the shore and then fixed a quantity of PE (plastic explosive) to the end of his line, put in the detonators which followed the line back down the rod. He made his cast and turned to place the detonator leads on the battery. Unfortunately, he had not allowed for the current which brought the line back and under the boat so when the explosion occurred, not only a great number of stunned fish appeared, but a hole in the dinghy  causing an immediate sinking much to the hilarity of  the assembled crowd. Patrick we miss you.






Mark Marshall informed me that he had looked through the latest edition of The Raven (Downside) where his sons had been educated. He had expected to find some comment in the OG golfing notes concerning their defeat at the hands of the BUGS last September where Mark had played a significant part in their downfall (he was playing for them as they were short on numbers). Perhaps the result was too embarrassing to mention or had possibly slipped their memory – we will not be judgemental on good sporting friends.






OB footwear came in for scrutiny at the Bedford Lunch as seen below:-



I asked an “independent” assessor to comment


Black and shiny ---------“Is he foreign?”  Brown brogue suedes ------“I gather they are now the rage with the “gay” community”. Gucci loafer   --------“obviously a 60’s playboy passed his prime”. Well the Editor is for once making No Comment.






 Before Christmas, I heard from John Joss in California and whose quarterly articles on aspects of his life are much enjoyed. “I would have liked to have come over for the 50th but I had a severe motorcycle accident (shattered pelvis, broken hip, six ribs, and punctured lung) and am only now starting to learn to walk again”. So your Editor checked things out and found this piece written last September:-.


The Positive and Daring Life of Motorcyclist and Writer John Joss


British American still riding strong at 83


 by Nick Lenatsch in Cycle World


“John Joss flits around the San Mateo International Motorcycle Show like a butterfly on steroids, checking in with old friends and easily making new ones. He’s a small-framed man, physically fit and mentally sharp, an Englishman who has lived in northern California for the last 40 years. His VFR800 sits in the parking lot and he’s only got a few hours to spend at the show before meeting his buddies for a ride up to Alice’s Restaurant. Joss is 83 years old. We wanted to celebrate this motorcycle personality and perhaps learn something about riding motorcycles into your eighth decade.


Joss’s love affair with bikes began at the age of 13 on a motorized bicycle he could “start to pedal if a cop went by” and has continued for 70 years with a string of bikes, from Aerial Square Fours to a his current pair of Hondas, a VFR800 and a  CBR 1000RR. He wrote for England’s The Motorcycle and that put him aboard everything from BSAs to Vincents, and in the Isle of Man  paddock with greats like Geoff Duke, Ray Amm, Reg Armstrong, John Surtees and the great Fergus Anderson.


Joss and Surtees became friends and Joss penned a beautiful article about the champion in Sport Rider magazine—one of the 500-plus articles he’s written, along with 20 books (and counting), mostly about jet fighters.


Joss was the first journalist to fly and photograph the U-2 for Flying magazine and he still soars in gliders and his friend’s Lancair IV-P. Of all the people I know in moto-journalism, it was John Joss whom I asked to final-edit my novel, hoping his writing prowess would bleed into the pages.


Laguna Seca: Riding and Announcing


Joss counts among his heroes the racers he watched in Laguna Seca’s corkscrew during his years of announcing the Grand Prix there. Perched in the booth above the infamous curve, Joss had a front-row seat to the best riders in the world.


“Working as track announcer at Laguna for the last 500cc GP series was probably the best motorcycle memory for me,” Joss recalls. “I also had the chance to interview the riders on remote microphone as they walked back from the plug-check point above Turn 2. Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey and Wayne Gardner particularly impressed me. Such wonderful men with such extraordinary skills, yet modest and kind and accessible.


“Even Kenny Roberts, straight as a die, the lowest-BS man I've ever interviewed,” he adds. “I remain being in awe at the skills of the great riders, going back over all the years I’ve watched them and met them. They operate in some other space-time continuum, at the top 0.10 percent of what’s possible on a motorcycle, and they put it on the line every time they ride, especially in qualifying.”


This announcer knows his subject because he has thousands of laps around Laguna on his CBR-RR or his VFR. A fun day for Joss is a quick trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back on his all-time favorite bike, the ’99 Honda VFR800. But when pressed, Joss recalls the 1954 and 1955 Isle of Man races as the highlight of his two-wheeled career, two years he spent as a journalist covering the era’s bravest and greatest.


“But then again,” he says with a smile, “it‘s fun running around Laguna with riders 50 years younger than I!”


Genes and Curiosity


Is John Joss an anomaly? Yes, probably, and he admits to good genes and luck in the few crashes he’s had. But there’s a characteristic Joss’s DNA has little to do with: his enthusiasm for life, people and the half-full glass. Sometime in his life, Joss decided to live enthusiastically, learn something every day, share his joyfulness with anyone willing to accept it. “I must’ve been lucky genetically but I do quite a bit of walking to keep trim,” he explains. "I eat carefully and drink in moderation. Mentally, I am fiendishly curious about everything, all the time, with a sort of ‘squirrel!’ reflex whenever anything catches my eye. I just like everything and everyone, across an absurdly broad spectrum of interests.”


john joss and his yamaha fz8


A quick break during a Yamaha FZ8 test, and a smile from a man who has decided to enjoy this great motorcycling life. Gary Rather, City Bike


A Lesson from 1.5 Million Miles


Veteran pilots and motorcyclists, like Joss, inherently build successful practices in the air and on two wheels. Through trial and error, study and advice, review and planning, these pilots and riders find the techniques and approaches to thrive and survive. In Joss's case, thrive and survive for decades in two (three if you add gliders) high-risk endeavors; this includes over 1.5 million motorcycle miles. I asked Joss to give me his strongest piece of advice.


"My worst crash was a series of frustrating events that I allowed to distract me, and that distraction ended in a mistake on the bike,” he says. “I was at a gas station on a hot day, fully protected in gear that wasn't too comfortable while stopped. One pump didn't work, and I had to move my bike. The second pump wouldn't accept my credit card and the attendant had trouble with not just the card, but how to use it.


“When I finally got back on my bike, I was frustrated and irritated. I didn't say my mantra before I started my bike. I didn’t do my usual mental pre-ride, imagining the next hour of riding. I let the frustration stay with me, stewed on it, and within two miles I made a mistake that put me in the hospital.


“This wasn't a ‘skills’ mistake, it was a focus mistake. I didn't ‘put my brain in gear before I put my bike in gear,’ and paid the price. A series of events upset me and then I didn't refocus on my ride."


Please prioritize John’s mental approach in your riding. His approach to life ain’t bad either”.


ED. Well I don’t know about the rest of you but certainly my horses seem rather slow in comparison and I think our other “Boys” in leather - Messrs Wigan and Potter have some catching up to do.











My questions concerning The OLE Society have been answered:- In what seems to be the Beaumont tradition, it was an exclusive drinking club where suitable wines and beverages were consumed at a venue selected for its privacy. Apparently canapes or something more substantial were provided often with the connivance of Matron (Miss Kickham) who had the necessary cooking facilities in her flat. A roasted fowl was produced on one occasion though getting it past a chance meeting with one of the Jesuit Fathers required many of the skills that possibly served useful in later life.













Many of you will have seen the comedy film “Easy Virtue” based on Noel Coward’s play where a young English gentleman falls madly in love with a sexy and glamorous American woman and they impetuously get married. When the couple arrive at his new family home, his mother has an instant allergic reaction to everything about her new daughter in law.  The car driven by Larita for both racing and touring is a BMW engined Frazer – Nash (as above) produced by Donald Aldington and his siblings. Donald was the father of Tim (53) and Nicholas (55).






I read with interest the headlines “Fury as Labour end shooting on Ilkley Moor”. There are now fears for wildlife and habitat on the Moor as councillors bow down to animal rights groups and militant vegans and vote not to renew the shooting licence, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for any future management. The Moor was owned for over 400 years by the Middleton Family and it was Marmaduke (81) who had to sell the land in 1893 to the Council to fuel his insatiable gambling habits. He sold for £13,500 as he could no longer afford the shoot on what was considered one of the best grouse moors in the country.












Downing Street has announced that Jennifer Tolhurst is the new Lord Lieutenant for Essex. Jennifer is the wife of Philip (67). She is a former High Sheriff and succeeds Lord Petre: it is good to record that a Catholic has replaced another. (Lord Petre was at Eton but some 14 Petres (including Bernard the 14th Baron passed through Beaumont)








I was contacted by the company that makes “Who Do You Think You Are” for the BBC seeking information about Edward Cussen (23) who is a forebear of the person under the spotlight: they would not say who the person was.


“Edward Cussen was a barrister by profession and during WW2 under the cover of the Intelligence Corps, worked for both MI 5 and 6. At the end of the war, he was sent to Paris to “interview” PG Wodehouse over his role in Nazi propaganda. Cussen reported on a man that was both naïve and foolish not unlike his character “Bertie Wooster”. He had been recommended to the Germans by the traitor John Amery and had been tricked into giving humorous accounts of life in an internment camp. Later on, Cussen was one of the British prosecuting team at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials and was involved with bringing William Joyce Lord Haw-Haw to justice.


 He was then a prosecuting counsel for the next eighteen years and also served as a Judge at the Old Bailey. It was probably surprising to hear that many a prisoner found the bitterness of their conviction was lost in admiration of Edward’s gentle skill and firm understanding. There was truth that a substantial proportion of his Christmas mail consisted of cards sent by the inmates of Wormwood Scrubs and Wandsworth, but none came from Deutsch Gefangnissen“.


 Personally, I don’t watch much television so if anyone sees the pertinent programme please let me know and who the individual was and how Cussen fitted into their life.






On a subject that would have had you before the court during Cussen’s time on the Bench, it was brought to my attention that various Old Boy Associations have a“ Gay“ section usually named after one of their well known homosexuals. Harrow have the Harrow Byronics after Lord Byron and Radley the Radley Wildebloods (convicted with Lord Montague in 1955 for gross indecency). Eton have the Dragonflies – perhaps there was too wide a choice. I was asked what name Beaumont would select for such a group. In this public domain we have Sir Anthony de Hoghton or Sir Francis Rose “A rose, is a rose, is a rose“. However,possibly the most sensational was HRH Prince Louis d’Orleans y Borbon.



Image result for infante luis fernando de orleans y borbon images


Prince Louis at Beaumont


 The Beaumont d’Orleans sounds sufficiently “camp“ for the LGBT community though I‘m not expecting such a development in our Society.










Navy and brown silk linen stripe classic tie




Paul Bedford wrote to me that the shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt are, it seems, “flogging“ our tie among their “Classics“. He has written to them asking that it be withdrawn as have I. The problem is that there is no copyright and the colours are just that shade different from our own. Tyrwhitts are yet to repond. 






Image result for leanda de lisle images




I read with interest that Leanda de Lisle ( daughter in Law of Gerard) has produced an engrossing biography of Charles I. “WHITE KING” is both revisionist and traditional. Its revisionism comes in the refreshing form of placing the women in Charles’s life centre stage; his Catholic queen, Henrietta Maria, is thus transformed from a simpering appendage into a politically adept schemer. Likewise, Henrietta’s lady of the bedchamber and the “last Boleyn girl”, Lucy Carlisle – the likely model for Milady de Winter in The Three Musketeers – is given an engaged psychological portrait that deals with her agency on both sides of the divided country. Yet many of the strengths of White King also lie in its traditional virtues of being an engaging, well-researched and beautifully written biography. Emphatically not another book about the civil wars – Cromwell doesn’t appear until halfway through – this instead offers a nuanced and detailed examination of one of our most complex monarchs. It is probably the definitive modern work about Charles I.






Apparently in the coming months we will see a clash of “Macbeths” with a production at the National and another at The RSC. The latter will star Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack who is the brother of Paul. The Cusack acting Dynasty also includes Sinead, Sorcha, and half-sister Catherine. Apart from Paul, who worked as a produce In Television, there is Pedraig, producer for the National Theatre of Great Britain. Niamh’s husband is the actor Finbarr Lynch and Sinead is married to Jeremy Irons.






60 years ago from the REVIEW.


Over half the school went down with Asian flu (the editor included) and four of the dormitories were requisitioned as extra infirmary space.


Mrs Mingay retired after 60 years of loyal service; her daughter and grand-daughter are following in her footsteps.


Fr O’Hara modelled for the statue of Blessed John Forrest (Uniquely slow roasted in his vestments) for Birmingham Cathedral - any one seen Blessed Charles?


Fr Lawson was recovering in hospital both patient and motor bike (in garage) were reported as making good progress.


The BU Dinner was held at St Ermin’s Hotel.  (Known for its wartime connections to the Intelligence services)


The Maude’s took a party skiing in the Christmas holidays: one broken leg was considered a very light toll for Beaumont boys.


Mulcahy, Baker and Stevens played rugby for Sussex. The First XV won 4, Lost 5 and drew 1. The scalps were KCS, The Oratory, Whitgift and Merchant Taylors.


The panto received accolades with Bates and Tristram stealing the show with their slapstick and Carlton-Morris the presiding genius in the “Gala orchestra”.


OH DEAR- “Any hope that the standard of debating this term would be an improvement seems to have been met with a liberal dosage of the evil eye. Indeed if the term has been remarkable for nothing else the almost embarrassingly low standard achieved in the majority of debates by a majority of the members would have singled it out as quite unique” So wrote Richard Hewins.


Class prizes include Religious Doctrine: Grammar 1 – Jerry Gilmore, Ruds B - David Collingwood.


(ED: well those two are a bit of a surprise.


Of the 45 on the winners’ list only 5 are still in contact with the BU.)








The death of Reginald Seconde (see Obituaries)  came some 6 months after that of Augustin Edwards Eastman the son of Augustin Edwards Budge (11) influential Chilian businessman, brings to mind the Allede/ Pinochet years in Chile.  




Image result for augustin edwards budge images


Augustin Edwards Budge




From The Independant:-


Agustín Edwards Eastman, who died at the age of 89, was a Chilean newspaper publisher who collaborated with the CIA to help foment the 1973 coup that brought Augusto Pinochet to power, and who used the power of his papers to bolster Pinochet’s regime through years of brutal repression. 


Edwards was a scion of one of Chile’s most prominent and prosperous families – his grandfather had served as president of the League of Nations and as Chilean ambassador to London.(He sent A.E.B to Beaumont) The Edwards’ business operations included banking, whaling, drinks manufacturing and ownership of a national airline. But the family was best known for its ownership of newspapers throughout Chile. Since the 1800s they had owned the right-wing El Mercurio, the jewel of their media empire.


ED perhaps you may wish to raise a glass of Luis Filipe Edwards’ fine Malbec to their memory. -


“Established in 1976, Vina Luis Felipe Edwards is undeniably one of the most progressive wineries in Chile. Always keen to invest in land, technology and people, the Colchagua Valley based operation sits nestled amongst the Alamos trees, separated from the colossal Andes by the smaller San Fernando ridge. The winery produces over 1 million cases (9lt) per year and exports to over 40 countries, making it a major global player. Luis Felipe Edwards remains a family run operation, allowing greater control to ensure that the LFE brand name is synonymous with quality and traditional family values”.






Its not been a happy year for the Catholic schools what with the ongoing stories of abuse that have paticularly been evident in the Benedictine establishments. Last November the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse started its consideration of the English Benedictine Congregation as part of the Inquiry into the Roman Catholic Church. Three Abbeys which remain connected to schools have been selected as case studies; Ampleforth and Downside will feature in the coming months and. St Benedict’s Ealing will be considered in 2019. .
Also this summer there was the unexpected death of the Oratory Headmaster who had been suffering from depression. The latest news is the closure of St Martin’s the Ampleforth Prep caused by falling numbers. We can only stand on the side-lines and sympathise with these difficulties.






From St John’s:-





“We are so proud of Lynne our Catering Manager being nominated in the Bartlett Mitchell "Women Who Inspire" awards. The awards recognise women who have excelled professionally and inspired others to succeed. Lynne has been recognised as someone who delivers whatever is needed to ensure our boys at St John's enjoy their day to day life in the school. Whether it's outdoor events or hospitality for parents, Lynne makes everything work seamlessly and taste delicious!”


ED: Those of us who lunch at St John’s on Remembrance Sunday would wish to endorse these sentiments; Lynn is a marvel.


On their Website:-




St John’s taking to the water: I’m certain the Beaumont crews of our day would have appreciated  the Coach ! (Whoops – I’m probably out of order expressing such thoughts).






Thinking of  appreciating the fairer sex, Richard Sheehan brought to my attention this photo of Henry Stevens (3rd from left);-








The number of OB parishoners in Petworth has increased by one with the arrival of John Beatson Hird (41) who has moved down from Evesham to a home close to his daughter Phillipa. John is a contemporary of Michael de Burgh and is remembered at Beaumont as the youngest opening bat at lords at the age of 16.








From Dr Robin Mulcahy


Continue to be amazed at your output. Would have preferred the addition of “Real Tennis” to the clip about soliciting for me.


Was at the Oratory Prep School in the 40s in Canford Cliffs with Thomas Stonor (Ed: Lord Camoys). I recall a secret society of 3 before his Dad removed him peremptorily because we had been recruited into domestic work in a staff crisis. The headmaster was a friend from Christ’s Cambridge and Best Man of father (OB 1925). Anthony Patton went on to found St.Anthony’s in Hampstead.


Finally, saw something from Capel-Dunn extolling the merits of John Gillick. He was a great photographer and a fine History Teacher. The best ever photograph of me was by him and I emulated his History Degree at Oxford. I met him several times in the 80s onwards as a patient in the Jesuit Mission house in Wimbledon. In the 90s he asked to see me in my home to apologise for his grooming of young men at Beaumont to join the Jesuit Noviciate. Quite rightly: some survived but many did not. Dozens.






From John Marshall.


The following press cutting:-









Easter is but a month away and the Editor will be joining THE BOFS on our annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, to be there with the other OB supporters of HCPT. We will follow our traditions and rituals of past years: “Pray Hard and Play Hard“ on what the City considers to be the happiest pilgramage of the year. The Carmen will be sung at midnight in our adopted “watering hole“  and as usual a pertition to OUR LADY for blessings on Members of the Beaumont Union will be placed at the grotto.