Reputations whether we like them or not are important in all things, it's harder to build than to destroy. Building a good reputation requires effort, patience, and time. Destroying a good reputation only requires a single moment's error. One thing is certain, there is a high cost to pay for losing your reputation, your good standing with those you rely on. Experience has shown that a badly handled crisis may well be devastating.
When choosing a school, parents understandably value academic achievement highly; but they are often even more concerned about the safety and environment of the establishment and it is that rounded education that is often the basis of the school’s reputation.


 The names of Downside and Ampleforth are evocative of educating young Catholics in the Faith. But now those two words have another, very different resonance, one amplified by the report in August from the Inquiry into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The details are unbearable. Many members of the BU chose one of these two schools for their children’s’ education and as far as I know the vast majority were happy with their choice as were their children. None if any, knew what was going on: the scandals were made worse by the cover-up. It must be greatly upsetting for those who have been proud of their Alma Mater confident in that hard earned reputation to hear and read such revelations.

We can count ourselves fortunate to have been at Beaumont, wear the tie without shame and associate together in the knowledge of “Vivat sine macula nomen Beaumontanum”.


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






I regret to inform you of the death of Anthony de Trafford (53) at his home in Malta, 29 June; the last of the Trafford connections to Beaumont. Hugo Duplessis (41), a remarkable sailor. Anthony Scott (59), not the rowing coach but remembered for his cricket. Lt-Colonel Patrick Walsh (52) late Royal Engineers.




Certain memorabilia is now at St John’s awaiting the display cases. I am very grateful to those who have sent me “bits and bobs”. In particular, Robert Bruce who has produced much of the boating and Corps items, the late Tony Mathews for his Henley blazer, Tom Scanlon for Cricket and Michael de Burgh for Rugby. Others that have produced items are David Flood, Peter Peake, Barrie Martin, Michael Perrett-Young, Ant Stevens, Henry Stevens (his much loved Boxing Blazer) and David Fettes Please keep up the rummaging in the attic.


A many of you are aware the lounge Chair is already at St John’s having been bequeathed a number of years ago but we do lack a ferrula. (I know of one OB who has the original and perhaps, if it is no longer in use or been bequeathed to a modern day Cynthia Payne, I hope it may well come our way). Otherwise if anyone else has one…….(discretion assured).    




We had hoped that Philip Stevens would lead another Battlefield Tour: sadly this is not going to be possible.


Philip wrote:


You need an explanation of why am not going to do another BU trip.  I have retired from running trips, so a come-back would involve enormous amounts of work and site visits for a one-off event. It is one thing to know the ground, but altogether another to set up involving totally new arrangements for travel around the ground, catering, accommodation and even the minor stuff like pit-stop opportunities.  In addition, Nicky and I are already looking at ideas for a two month driving holiday in Europe, from mid-May to early July, which we have promised ourselves as an extension of our annual five weeks' trip.  


My focus now is on lecturing about the Great War. Schools, military societies, museums and the like seem to offer me about the right number of engagements each season. Lecturing raises money for military charities who receive my honoraria. Finally, it's like acting; I learn the lines, can deliver them to new audiences all the time and someone else does the logistical work.


I replied:- 


Philip – quite understood: time to turn the page but thank you again for the expeditions we did.  Everyone much appreciated all your hard work and preparation that made them a memorable experience – why else would we have asked for another?








We gathered by tradition on the second Monday in October at the Caledonian Club. Numbers were a little down on last year (Your Editor debated with the Hon Sec as to whose speech last year was responsible).In fairness many of the faithful  were unavoidably detained elsewhere but it was particularly pleasing to welcome back some we have not seen in a little while including Peter Bicknell, Antony Hussey and Jeremy Gompertz among the “seniors”.







Messrs Bicknell, Wells, Hussey and Gompertz


Those who had travelled from afar: Konrad Wallerstein who was one of those that had to go north to Stonyhurst was over from The States, David Crewe-Read from Malta, Ian Bangham Ireland , Romain de Cock Belgium, and of course our President Guy Bailey Monaco.


 Sadly Christian Forbes had to cancel his flight from Canada because of illness, as did Henry Stevens. Jerry Gilmore who is on crutches having broken his femur was also advised at the last moment not to attend. (We certainly hope that Jerry will soon be “crutchless” which in view of his surgical expertise would seem an appropriate sentiment). Tony Outred was prevented at the final hour by a lorry- load of his antiques, but we were pleased that he was represented by his son George.    Fifty nine eventually sat down to reminisce and an “upmarket take” on Refectory fodder.


We were indeed fortunate to have the Royal Navy ashore; the first time they had been allowed command of “The Ship” since Commodore Colin Shand. Captain Christopher McHugh and Major Robert Bruce RM (claiming Senior Service status) gave us excellent speeches which I reproduce for those unable to come. I’m pleased to report that Robert and Christopher did not clash unlike the destroyer that rammed the cruiser and whose captain when asked what action he was going to take, replied “Buy a farm”.



Major Robert Bruce




Picture this scene if you will.  The midnight sleeper is set to leave Euston, bound for Inverness and ensconced on the bottom bunk of one compartment lies a young man, already tucked up in bed, with a large whisky poured and avidly reading (or at least looking at) the latest copy of Playboy magazine.  It is 5 to 12 and doors are already being slammed ready for departure when suddenly there is a knock at the young man’s compartment door and a figure dressed in dinner jacket rushes in and asks for the compartment number.  He then informs the young man that he is due to share his compartment with the Bishop of the Orkney Islands, who will be arriving at any moment.  Seconds later a short and rather portly gentleman arrives wearing a scruffy beige mac with an equally scruffy black beret perched on his balding head  -  the only sign that he might be a cleric is his dog collar, but the young man is somewhat nonplussed as he has neither the accoutrements nor indeed the presence you might expect of a Bishop.  And he certainly was no Bishop although he used rto title himself as such; he was Father ‘Bogs’ Bamber Society of Jesus returning to his parish in the Orkney Islands after attending an extremely good BU dinner and shepherded on his way by John Flood, Simon Potter and myself (although for accuracy’s sake, I admit to failing memory and it might have been Jerry Hawthorne, not Simon Potter). We did all laugh a good deal afterwards about ther bemused young man, but unfortunately we never found out if he had offered Fr Bamber a whisky, or even a sneak peek at his Playboy magazine.


I am not sure what we learn from this story, except perhaps that life is full of the unpredictable  -  and certainly your Chairman and I who spent the best of our working years in the Royal Navy learnt there about the unpredictability of life.  We joined Beaumont together in 1959 under the watchful eye of Fr ‘Fizz’ Ezechiel , both in Ruds A and in the Laundry Dorm -  nicknamed ‘Fizz’ of course because of his unpredictable mood and temper; good preparation for Her Majesty’s Service!


But I wonder how well and in what other ways Beaumont prepared us for life in the Service.  Robert Wilkinson in his advert for today’s lunch in his consistently quite excellent Beaumont Review, suggested that neither of us were stretched by Beaumont  -  Actually, I don’t remember Beaumont stretching anyone, rather it gave us the freedom and responsibility, based on a framework of religion, academics, games and activities, to stretch ourselves if we chose  -  or not, as was the case for many of us!  Perhaps this rigid framework passed her by, because HM The Queen is reported to have commented to Fr ‘Stan’ Costigan on her centenary visit that the College was the most uninstitutional school that she had visited  -  you could have fooled me!


But Christopher McHugh’s journey through Beaumont did give him other preparations for his naval career.  As a leading member of the Scientific Society and with A-Levels in science subjects, specialisation as a Marine Engineer Officer in the Navy was a natural progression.  As a wet-bob, experience on the water was a suitable precursor to a life on the ocean wave and as Nigel Courtney recalls, his leaping into the water as the cox of the Third VIII to save a crew member who had passed out and fallen in after a particularly close race against Eton, showed some presence. 


It is not clear if it was after this event that his jock-strap came back from the laundry, which was run by nuns in Slough with a note attached to it which read: ‘We think you should ask your parents to buy you a new night cap’  -  that twist with acknowledgement to Patrick Burgess.


In his last year, Christopher captained the Second VIII and John Flood also in the crew recalls Oxford City Regatta and an exceptionally close race against Teddy’s; rowing at bow, Christopher’s oar struck a swan and the boat came to a grinding halt.  It says something for his leadership that the crew rallied and were spurred on to catch up and win by a canvas.


And although he was fluent and therefore excelled at French, even Christopher fell foul of Fr Borrett’s French prep traffic signs system which worked on basis of the number of careless mistakes appearing in the traffic sign at the bottom of your prep, so that when you reached 6, you went to Fr Brogan and got 6!  Sometimes you were offered a double or quits and Christopher, on the losing end of one of these, was then was saved by Fr Borrett declaring an amnesty to mark the birth of a royal baby, namely Prince Andrew.  In later years when serving on the Royal Yacht, an appointment only given to the most urbane and highly thought of Naval Officers, Christopher told this story to Prince Andrew and thanked him for saving him from ferulas.  -  I am afraid the Prince’s only and rather uninspiring response was to ask what ferulas were!


Lots of unpredictability here, and also touches of bravery, leadership and luck from his time at Beaumont; all good preparation for the Service.


What was predictable was that he was not cut out for the Army, as evidenced by his CCF performance  -  removed from the Trooping the Colour for sloppy drill, gaining only first class shot when most achieved marksman and reaching the dizzy heights of a mere Lance Corporal.  Of course Beaumont had a long tradition of service in the Army and there were several from the years around us who joined, but perhaps less well known and possibly less flamboyant, there were a clutch of us who joined the ‘Andrew’, as the Navy often calls itself. In addition to Christopher and myself (and Royal Marines do count themselves as part of the Naval Service when only when it suits them!), there were Nick Hillier, Nick Sheehan, Colin Glennie, Nick Carver and Chris Salt, and at least 3 of us went on to serve over 25 years.


Christopher’s naval career was typical, spread between long and frequent sea-going tours interspersed with shore based training and staff jobs, including some very critical times in the Ministry of Defence.  In those days when conditions of service were perhaps harsh if judged by today’s standards, a junior officer could expect to spend most of his first 15 years or so at sea.  Of course, initial officer training took place at the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth and this was followed the Royal Navy’s Engineering College, at Manadon outside Plymouth  -  a highly serious and technical course, equivalent to an engineering degree but completed under the rigours of service training, rather than the more laissez-faire approach of civilian university.


But even during down-time, Christopher showed a sense of responsibility.  After a particularly heavy night’s drinking while on a rugby tour of Northern Ireland, Christopher awoke in the middle of the night to find his room-mate relieving himself in the basin.  In the morning displaying commendable responsibility, Christopher wasted no time in remonstrating with his chum, to which said chum replied: ‘You’re talking bollocks, Christopher, there is no basin in here’. To Christopher’s chagrin, when he looked to where he thought the basin was, he saw only his own open suitcase.  This story came to me from Nick Hillier, but Nick neglected to say if he himself was the said chum!


Fast Forward now to 1991 and the First Iraq War for which Christopher was awarded his OBE.  In those days OBEs went to officers and MBEs to Warrant and Petty Officers  -  hence OBE stood for ‘Other Buggers Efforts’ and MBE for ‘My Bloody Effort’. 


According to the Portsmouth Dockyard Naval Manager of the time, when the war blew up, and I quote: ‘Christopher arrived to tell me to get my chaps to fit a new bit of kit to a Type 22 Frigate  -  it looked like a very large dustbin and had to be fixed on the foc’sle  -  that is the sharp end at the front.  It was terribly secret and he was not allowed to tell me what is was, so I think he got his OBE for telling other people to do all the work and install secret bits of equipment which they had no idea what they were for  -  hence ‘Other Buggers Effort’.  That said, the frigate came back from the war unscathed, but I still don’t know what that kit was for!’


In fact his OBE was certainly his bloody effort and his citation declares his contribution to the war as unique and exceptional, using his french knowledge to great effect (well done Fr Borrett) and obtaining for the Navy highly specialised equipment  which normally would have taken very many months  -  his achievement was regarded as outstandingly significant.


Christopher left the Navy in the mid-90s after close on 30 years, but then went on to forge a highly successful second career, building on his naval, engineering and French background.  He worked as a specialist defence advisor for the National Audit Office, although it is not clear if the current black hole in defence spending can be laid at his door!  Then as a defence advisor for the former Thomson-CSF Electronics Group in France and the UK.  And even now when most of us have hung up our boots, or in his case his lifebelt, he still works as the Director of the Maritime and Defence Group at the Society of Maritime Industries, where his main role seems to be setting up prestigious dinners in places such as the Royal Naval College Dartmouth and the House of Commons, or even as far afield as Chile  -  so maybe the BU should be getting closer to him and asking him to arrange next year’s lunch!


There is a fine tradition in the Navy that all the officers in a ship at sea (except those on watch) eat dinner together every evening in the Wardroom, and there is a separate toast for each evening of the week.  On Thursday, it is ‘for a bloody war and quick promotion’, on Saturday it is ‘for wives and sweethearts, may they never meet’ and on Wednesdays it is ‘for ourselves, for no-one else will think of us’.


Perhaps I can remind Captain McHugh that the Navy drink the loyal toast seated because there is not enough room on their ships to stand without bashing your head, but in the Royal Marines we drink the loyal toast seated because we were accorded the privilege by Her Majesty the Queen at our tercentenary in 1964!


Now, today’s toast for a Monday is also appropriate and if you will forgive me bastardising it slightly, can I ask you in true Naval tradition to remain seated and drink a toast to ‘Our ships at sea and Captain Christopher McHugh, our Chairman’.





Captain Christopher McHugh




On the 25 April this year I received what is termed in naval parlance a written signal from the Flag Officer of the Beaumont Union flagship, suggesting it might be time for the Senior Service to show itself above the parapets and inviting me to preside over this annual Beaumont Union lunch. Those of you who have served in military hierarchies will know that a signal from the flagship, or indeed any other headquarters, is not a wish but a ruddy command, so I didn’t have much choice; but it’s with great pleasure nonetheless that I have taken up the task.


And you will also know that our Flag Officer is the driving force for keeping this cherished Beaumont Union going with his regular newsletters and so much history of the school. At the same time, the Honorary Secretary of the Beaumont Union committee has done much appreciated work to organise this lunch. So let’s start off with a round of applause for Robert Wilkinson and John Paton-Walsh. And let’s also bang the tables for the excellent lunch we have enjoyed from the Caledonian Club catering staff and the even more excellent Chateau Beaumont.


Now, notwithstanding a few spring chicken sexagenarians amongst us, we are mostly septuagenarians in the room today. There may even be a few youthful octogenarians amongst us and its clear none of us is finished yet.


However, rather than talk about the topical issues of today, and the pros and cons of Brexit, I imagine we are all here to recall our teenage years in those far off Beaumont days and just how much we enjoyed them or perhaps we didn’t. I must declare that, personally, I retain only the happiest memories of my five years in Old Windsor and it prepared me for most of the situations I faced in subsequent life. And what I have to recall may chime with some of your own recollections.


As has often be mentioned at previous lunches, Father Brogan’s melancholy recitation of “Schools Rules” on the first day of each term, with that memorable opening phrase “Boys are not allowed to smoke” is indelibly printed on many of our memories. Actually, it etched in my mind that the Jesuits would let you to go just as far as the rules allowed but if you stepped over the line the fury of the ferrula, or perhaps even the wrath of God, would descend upon you.


In later life, after I had transferred to the retired list of the Royal Navy and was self-employed, I use to reflect very carefully on that Jesuit philosophy when filling in my tax returns, hoping that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officers would also adopt a Jesuitical approach to a strict demarcation between tax minimisation and tax evasion and they wouldn’t try to vary the goal posts as might suit them but to my disadvantage. Perhaps some of you will have had similar thoughts in such circumstances. 


But back to our innocent teenage years. Most of us started off in third playroom and the laundry dorm. It was there we learned the real Beaumont “Rules of the Game”: no hands in pockets, no up-turned jacket collars, marching down the centre of the higher line gallery. And of course the privileges of the more senior members of third playroom led, I recall vividly, by Philip Stevens and his second year chums who guarded jealously the playroom seating arrangements on the rather more comfortable second year bench.


One of my earliest memories was of a conversation in Ruds A with a chum I had been with at the Wellbury Park prep school. We both had our own points of view and were communicating these to each other, not verbally of course but rather emphatically nonetheless, through the medium of touch with a bunch of fives. Suddenly we heard the commanding tones of Peter Peake, then Vice-captain of the school: “Fighting is not allowed, you two are in the lounge”.


How the business of school discipline has changed over more than half a century. Both of us, as rather contrite 13 year old teenagers, appeared the next morning in front of an 18 year old teenager, Richard Ruane, then Captain of the school. And both mentally and physically, I have to admit it made quite an impression on me. How such an event might be reported in the media almost 60 years on, I leave to your imagination. My travelling companion on this particular journey was Anthony Northey. If he had been here today I would have given him my public apology as I believe I started the punch-up.


Then there was the Boat Club which I was determined to join. And indeed it was the primary reason for going to Beaumont rather than joining my cousin at Ampleforth who had been with me through those Wellbury Park prep school years. Father Ezechiel, as the third playroom master, had decreed that only 10 boys from the first year could join the boat club. I was not one of his choices so, despite my protest, I had to wait until my second year to become a boater. In those days I was still a rather diminutive little fellow so it was decided that the only useful thing I could do was to cox a boat. By great good fortune, I soon found myself promoted from novice boater to the rank of junior boater as cox of the Colts A VIII.


Now I want to mention a small incident that occurred on the Beaumont Reach just off the Bells of Ousley one afternoon. Many of you will know that Roger Darby, rowing at No.2 in the 3rd VIII, was very nearly skewered by the bow of the EJ Merrill boat as the 1st VIII, rowing its regular Henley course practice, collided with the 3rd VIII that was lying across the river whilst turning around to go back upstream. The 3rd VIII cox had made a gross error of judgement but that cox was not me! Indeed, Tony Scott, the senior master for the boat club, decreed that, as we say in naval parlance, the then 3rd VIII cox was SNLR - “Services No Longer Required” - and I was designated to replace him as cox of the 3rd VIII for the rest of the season.


I thereby enjoyed faster promotion than anything I ever achieved in the Royal Navy by going from novice boater to junior boater to senior boater in a mere 10 weeks with all the coveted privileges of wearing a blue rather than a white windcheater and being allowed to wear a straw boater. I exploited these privileges to the full and our coach, Mr Leggett, use to let me ride his bicycle back to the college which, being only in Grammar and not higher line, was actually against the rules.


The following year my promotion as the 3rd VIII cox was confirmed and the year after that I was promoted to cox the 2nd VIII. I had my eye on coxing the 1st VIII but there was no chance of that whilst the cox was that formidable personality of Johnny Cargin, who sadly has departed the planet. And in my final year, when Cargin had left, I was suddenly too large to take his place as cox but too lanky to be considered for a place as an oar in the boat. So I had to settle for a place in the 2nd VIII, for which I am ever grateful to our coach and chemistry master David Allen, of Balliol College Oxford and proud owner of the first 1959 Mini Minor.


I’d now like to share with you a more private Beaumont vignette, known only to my chum Michael Younger. On one of the last afternoons of our final summer term, both Michael and I had been helping a visiting Jesuit, I have forgotten his name, to clear out one of the old out-houses behind the laundry dorm. The task was taking rather longer than planned and Father, whoever he was, excused us both from attending benediction and night prayers so we could help him finish the job. We finished at about 10 pm and he said we deserved some beer as a reward for our hard work and to go and meet him in the second guest room which we happily did.


He subsequently appeared with three pint glasses and the most enormous 5 litre flacon of a very dark amber liquid and proceeded to pour out overgenerous measures.  We all realised with the first sip that it was not beer at all, or even cider. He had inadvertently filled the flacon from the wrong keg in the Jay’s private cellar; it was fortified altar wine. He asked us if we wanted him to go off and get real beer. Michael and I said it tasted rather good and we were both happy to stick with it, little understanding the downstream effects on teenagers of drinking more than a pint and a half of fortified wine.


For the next hour or so we listened to his engaging stories about his time as an army chaplain in the jungle during the Burma campaign of the Second World War and much else besides. But, oh dear, when we had finally emptied the falcon, bid thanks and farewell to the Jay and left, we could hardly stand upright. We just about managed to find our own rooms in the New Wing. And personally, any lingering ambition I might still have harboured of becoming a Jesuit and celebrating mass every day vanished down the plughole of the wash hand-basin as soon as I got to my room.


And so into naval service the very next term in the company of five other Beaumont boys. Nick Hillier, Colin Glennie, Nick Carver, Christopher Salt and myself joined the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth but I was not entirely surprised that Robert Bruce, who had been captain of the under 14s and was by far the most spirited member of the laundry dorm, much to the chagrin of Father Ezechiel, opted for the Royal Marines and the more demanding training of a boot camp on the River Exe.


However, I must tell you that if Beaumont tutored us for the challenges of life, there was one area in which, compared with our chums who went on to Sandhurst, we had been less well prepared by anything we had ever learned under Captain Kelly in the CCF. In the first few days at Dartmouth we had to learn quickly a totally new naval language. “Parade ’Shun” became “Divisions Ho”, we mustered by “watches” rather than fell in by “platoons”, time to get up in the morning at 5.30 was announced over the college tannoy system with a bosun’s call and the cry “call the hands, call the hands”. And when, at the end of the first six weeks, you were finally allowed to explore the fleshpots of the town, you could only leave the college at selected times by mustering on the quarterdeck to catch the fictitious liberty boat. The parade ground drill bore little resemblance to that we had learned under Captain Kelly. We saluted in a different way and woe betide you if you stamped your boots when springing to attention. Even the naval sword drill was different because by long tradition naval officers carry their swords rather than have them hooked up on their sword belts.


I have to say that I went on to have the most fulfilling and enjoyable career of over 31 years in the Royal Navy. Robert mentioned some of it in his introduction. I served in the Mediterranean fleet when we still had one, based in Malta, and in the Far East fleet when it still existed, based in Singapore. I had the privilege of being an officer in the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1981 & 82  when we did the honeymoon trip of the Prince and Princess of Wales as well as taking the Queen and Prince Philip on a tour of Australia and New Zealand.


And on one occasion I thought I saw an opportunity to get my own back on Johnny Cargin when he accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh onboard as his equerry. Johnny arrived for a lunchtime gin in Britannia’s wardroom and I arranged to get him a dry martini that was three times more powerful than the “rocket fuel” he would serve to the visitors in the Royal apartments; but by then he was so well seasoned it made no noticeable impression on him.


I did my mid-career staff college training at the Ecole Militaire in Paris and some years later I went on to be a naval attaché at the British Embassy in Paris. And then I had to pay for all that fun by more than 7 years of slave labour in the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, although I was given a year’s sabbatical at the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square. As a naval officer there are so many anecdotes I could bore you with but I shall refrain from doing so, although I am happy share my adventures with anyone over a glass, or three, in the bar afterwards.


But to bring you back to Beaumont and the Jesuits let me finish this monologue with just one naval anecdote. I have told this story many time so I apologise to those who have heard it before. Over a quarter of a century after leaving Dartmouth, my name finally came up on the promotion signal to join the Captains’ list, although many of my contemporaries thought I should never have been promoted further than Lieutenant.


Within a few days of that event one is summoned to meet the Naval Secretary, a very senior Admiral in overall charge of all officer’s appointments. In those days he occupied a large office in the Old Admiralty Building in Whitehall. I arrived full of trepidation as I had been told by others that I would emerge from the interview feeling like a midshipman all over again. Well nothing could be further from the truth. I was ushered into a large office with paintings of Trafalgar and other battles on the walls and the Admiral invited me to occupy one of the two large leather armchairs. I had never met him before but he turned out to be one of the most charming gentlemen you could meet; he asked me all about my family, my career and the ships I had served in. After about 15 minutes the interview ended and he directed me through an adjoining door to his naval assistant’s small office.


The naval assistant was a solemn and very senior naval captain who had been serving on the retired list for goodness knows how long and was thus senior to any captain serving on the active list and indeed most of those serving on the retired list. And he was the appointer of all newly promoted captains. He motioned me to a chair on the opposite side of his desk and looking at my file his opening words were “Did you enjoy your Jesuit education?”. I was slightly taken back because I couldn’t imagine that information was on my file but quickly realised that my profile probably made reference to Beaumont College so perhaps I was speaking to an old Beaumont boy.


Hoping to ingratiate myself to this man who held my future career in his hands, I answered “Yes Sir, I certainly did” and I then ventured to ask if perhaps he had been a pupil of the Jesuits. He answered frostily  “Yes, and I hated them”. At this stage I thought the interview might not be progressing quite along the lines I had anticipated.


So I tried to lighten the atmosphere a little by saying that Beaumont had prepared me very well for the rigours and self-confidence that life at Dartmouth required and I added that I had sent my son to Stonyhurst and he had also found Dartmouth easy when he followed me into the navy. There was a sharp intake of breath from the old gentlemen who answered that he had sent his two boys to Downside.


Not realising that I was digging a hole for myself, I asked naively if that had been an enjoyable experience for everyone in his family. He barked his reply “No it hadn’t and both boys became totally rebellious” and he had fronted up to the Abbot of Downside to complain that he was spending vast sums of money on his two boys’ education and they were going completely off the rails. The Abbot then asked the brave Captain what he thought might be the problem and he had replied “The trouble with your school is there’s no discipline.” “Oh”, had replied the Abbot, lowering his half-moon glasses, “if its discipline you wanted you should have sent them to the Jesuits”.


Well not withstanding this somewhat difficult interview, he actually sent me to the job I was hoping for, so I can honestly say that a Beaumont education stood me in good stead. And on that note, I ask you all to rise and raise your glasses to the Spirit of Beaumont and our precious Jesuit education.


Some snaps of the day:

















































After last year’s best excuse for non-attendance –Tom Scanlon testing the latest Maclaren at Goodwood, this year’s award goes to Patrick Solomon: ballroom dancing in Bournemouth. Will it be “Strictly” next year?










Sunday 11th November.


“We are often tempted to ask ourselves what we gained by the enormous sacrifices made by those who died. But that was never the issue with those who marched away. No question of advantage presented itself to their minds. They only saw the light shining on the clear path of duty. They only saw their task to resist oppression, to protect the weak, to vindicate the profound, but unwritten law of nations. They never asked the question “what shall we gain?” They only asked “where lies the right?” It was thus that they marched away for ever. And yet, from their uncalculatingly exaltation and devotion detached from all consideration of material gains, we may be sure that good will come to their countrymen and to this island they guarded in its reputation and safety, so faithfully and so well. Doubts and disillusions may be answered by the sure assertion that their sacrifice was not made in vain”.


Speech made by Harry Butters wartime friend Winston Churchill.


Remembrance Sunday was commemorated at the War Memorial in our traditional manner, except that as it was the Centenary of the Armistice Robert Wilkinson opened the service with the following:-


 “ I would like to begin our commemoration by reading you a letter dated 10th November and written from Compeigne, the site of the Armistice by Captain Jack Marriott RN and an OB who was there with the First Sea Lord as the British representatives and Witnesses.. This is what he wrote to his wife.






 Here we are out in the middle of a lovely forest on a beautiful day. The Boche is in a similar train about 200 yards off & we await their reply to our armistice terms which have gone to Germany. We had 2 meetings y'day & I have never seen a more miserable lot of men, I feel they know the game is up and are terrified of Bolshevism. They say they are very hungry in the Country & badly in need of everything. Heaps of sick. War is a Godless business and I do so hope we shall finish it all by Monday. We shall be here, possibly till then but one never knows. The old Marechal is the dearest old thing you ever saw, I have had long yarns with him & I cannot tell you how valuable my French is. Weygand is a ripper too... It is a historic meeting and without a doubt I shall never forget it. Please God we pull it off.


At 5.a.m. the Germans signed and orders were issued to cease hostilities at 11 a.m. afloat, ashore and in the air, and the period to be 36 days. I rang BUCKINGHAM PALACE to inform HIS MAJESTY; the line was dreadful. I also told 10 Downing Street.


 We then had a glass of port and went for a walk in the Forest which was wonderfully soothing after our busy night..."




And on that note so ended The Great War”.






On 12 December Christie’s will offer for sale Marriott’s extraordinarily detailed accounts of the events of the following few days. Marriott was one of only four British participants in the Armistice negotiations, and the notes and mementoes he kept summon up the scene with wonderful clarity.


Captain Marriott took one last look around. On the table where the Armistice had been signed lay a sheet of blotting paper, the ink from the signatures still soaking into its fibres. Marriott slipped it into his file, and years later added it to his small collection of keepsakes from his brush with history.


Estimated value £10,000 - £15,000




David Flood reads to words of Remembrance




 Fr Adrian Porter once again celebrated the Mass. This year we had a change of Sacristan: David Flood has now stood down after many years of service and Christopher Tailby has assumed the role. David was present to see that as expected standards were maintained and laid the wreath and read the Remembrance on behalf of The Union. The Captain of St John’s laid a wreath on behalf of the School.


Once again we enjoyed the hospitality of St John’s for lunch and we remain extremely grateful for their generosity to The Union. Apart from our thanks to Christopher, as ever our gratitude to Patrick Burgess for painting the crest for the Wreath.


I heard from John Tristram that he was unable to attend the Mass as he was ringing the bells, half-muffled, with his band at Offwell, where he is the tower captain.






The Tabloid headlines “AGED SWINGERS SHOW THEIR PROWESS” might have been what greeted readers over breakfast on the 12th September. However your golfing correspondent knows that he does not need such innuendoes to attract the readership to the fact that Beaumont scored a resounding victory over Downside at Denham for the second year running.


Of course it would be nice to report that Nigel Courtney had assembled our strongest side for this needle match but closer to the truth is that it was the only side available. That is in no way to distract from the quality of the players but there was concern when Henry Stevens had more urgent business on the polo field in Florida and Clive Fisher added a strained wrist to an already over-strained knee. We were fortunate that Martin Wells was prepared to come down from coastal Essex and Patrick Soloman was finally convinced that he was more than the man for the task.



Messrs Wells, McArdle, Liddell, Lescher and Marshall


So on a mild autumn morning we gathered in the clubhouse bar to eye up the opposition - it was noted that the BUGS were well into a glass or two before the more youthful Old Gregorians put in an appearance. One of the assets of Denham Golf Club is the dining room which probably has as many stuffed animal trophies on the walls as we had in the lower line refectory. The food and wine on offer is excellent (why else was John Flood there) and we much enjoyed our lunch together which might have favoured the OGGS as seniority tends to enjoy a bit of relaxation in a mellowed aftermath. However, there was a sudden call to buggies, trolleys and assembly at the first tee. The match was played with three foursomes and a threesome and we lined up as follows:


Nigel Courtney (17) and Rupert Lescher (22) took on Michael Liddell (6) whose Gt Uncles both played Halford Hewitt for Beaumont.


Mark Addison (19) and Mark Marshall (28) against Tomas Camprubi (7) and Julius Stevens (11). Some readers will recall Julius with HCPT in Lourdes and as a drinking partner of Mike Bedford.


Martin Wells (26) and Kevin McArdle (13) with Mark Pettitt (16) and Andrew Kennedy (21).


Finally Chris Tailby (20) and Patrick Soloman (26) played Jeremy Kenyon (14) and Mungo Sheehan (7).









“Pink is not just a colour its an attitude”


Marshall with club bag and Solomon with trousers


The Mathematicians amongst you will have noted, as did our players, that on handicap we were heavily “out gunned” and even with a stroke allowance we were up against some strong opposition. Did that worry us – not at all when Nigel Courtney teed off with a cracking shot down the fairway which on the whole was maintained by the other team members.







Rupert Lescher about to give the ball “an almighty Swipe”


At the end of the day with the light fading and the rain coming on we found that our first two pairs had resounding victories, that our final pair eventually came through with success and it was only Martin and Kevin who had to admit defeat.



Mark Addison commiserates with Kevin McArdle over his empty glass.




How did they do it – in the words of the OGGS President Julius Stevens about our esteemed Vice Captain Mark Marshall: “Mark is a crap (or was that crack) player who wins games”: quite complimentary really. Mark scored by driving “worm burners” consistently down the middle to the green. In the meantime the Downside big hitters were slicing and hooking long distance and looking for their balls in the rough.


As mementoes of the occasion “Beaumont crested balls” were presented to the Old Gregorian players and we look forward to giving them another “drubbing” next year. We undoubtedly had our Ryder Cup 18 moment though I will not be having the score tattooed on my nether regions.   





Nigel Courtney presents the BUGS V OGGS Trophy to Robert Wilkinson the non-playing Captain.


DIARY DATE 2019: BUGS V OGGS Tuesday 10 September.








“How can I live among this gentle


Obsolescent band of heroes and not weep”. (Keith Douglas)


“Heroism is an approachable topic that appears to influence individuals and groups in extraordinary ways. Indeed, heroes have been described as “support for all human life and the inspiration of philosophy, poetry, and the arts. They have been “brooded upon, searched, and discussed for centuries: they have served whole societies, furthermore, as the mainstays of thought and life”


The catholic schools have a wealth of heroes, and here I write not of the modern version epitomised by men who try to kick balls into the back of nets, but particularly the military from whom one can select role models or those singled out for special memory. Their outstanding quality is courage; Courage is something that everybody wants — an attribute of good character that makes one worthy of respect. Our culture is rich with exemplary tales of bravery and self-sacrifice for the greater good. We are raised on a diet of heroic and inspirational tales. A courageous person understands danger, and chooses to overcome their fear and proceed to face the danger and act according to their values. It is not fearlessness, recklessness, or rashness. It is a well-considered, wise, and brave decision to behave constructively despite the fear, discomfort, or temptation. Courage is a strength drawn from a wise balance between the weaknesses of cowardice and recklessness. It is the discipline to act on wisely-chosen values rather than an impulse.  So we look for the Physical Courage of valour and bravery, Endurance formed from perseverance and diligence particularly when in pain or suffering, finally, Moral courage requiring integrity, genuineness and honesty.  Often it is a combination of all of these. With the Military especially in War you cannot differentiate between roles saying that one is more hazardous than another. Survival rates mean little whether you are on the Arctic convoys, submarines, leading an Infantry assault, bomb disposal, in a lead tank or bomber crew let alone an SOE agent. It is how you conduct yourself that matters. 


 Stonyhurst has its seven VCs, one shared with Beaumont, and whose names live on in the titles given to their CCF platoons.  Ampleforth have David Sterling founder of the SAS and Lord lovat one of the original Commandoes.  The Oratory have the Carton de Wyatt Society named for the VC winner and later General and in whose memory they hold an annual dinner.


What of Beaumont? And is there anyone who should stand out for special recognition. A hard task and I have reduced the field to five. However before giving them due consideration, among those worthy of mention were Brigadier General William Segrave (93) who was awarded a remarkable 3 DSOs during his career, Major Ernest Vaughan (94) who was awarded a DSO for his stand with the Grenadiers in an isolated trench 1916. He killed over 100 Germans and took 20 prisoners in one of the memorable actions of the War. Likewise Captain Edward Bonnyman (02) of the Argylls another awarded the DSO, who after a silent attack in 1917 wearing his monocle and carrying only his hefty stick, led a party along the trench, where they killed every German there. The trenches having been cleared he led his men over the parapet and fought the Bosche in No-Man's land in the snow with such success that scarcely one of the raiding party of 60 reached his own lines. From the same War was Prince Reginald de Croy (90) and his Belgian resistance group with whom he smuggled servicemen out of occupied territory from his home which was had become the HQ of the German First Army Commander: The group was betrayed by the brave but incompetent Nurse Cavell. de Croy escaped with his life but was awarded the title of Serene Highness at the War’s end. Finally the Irish romantic and idealist Lt-Cmdr Robert Nicholl-Cadell (12). A man who would ride a horse up the grand staircase at Harbourstown in search of his young bride. A reservist called up in 1939, he commanded a flotilla of convoy escort trawlers on the Atlantic route. Returning home with heart problems on the troopship Nerissa in1941 he went down with the torpedoed vessel but before that he selflessly ensured that others were safely away in the life boats. 


These were all remarkable men but on my shortlist are Edmond Costello (84), Brian Rafferty (37), William Anderson (35), Michael Clinton (36), the de Vomecourt brothers (17-19), and Edward Strutt (91).




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Edmund Costello: The Holder of the Victoria Cross




Edmond William Costello (1873-1949) was born in Sheikhbudia on the North-West Frontier of India on the 7th August 1873, the son of a Colonel in the Indian Medical Service. He was at Beaumont 1882-4 before passing to Stonyhurst for philosophy and then the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In 1892 he was commissioned into the West Yorkshire Regiment, but transferred to the Indian Army in 1894 and was posted to the 22nd Punjab Infantry.



On 26 July 1897 at Malakand on the Indian Frontier, Edmund went out from the hospital enclosure and with the assistance of two sepoys, brought in a wounded lance-havildar who was lying 60 yards (55 m) away, in the open, on the football ground. This ground was at the time over-run with swordsmen and swept by a heavy fire from both the enemy and our own men who were holding the sapper lines.



Costello was gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 9th November 1897, and was presented with his medal on 2nd December 1897 at Windsor Castle by Queen Victoria.


His valour is not diminished by Churchill’s summary of the expedition that it was “financially ruinous, morally wicked, militarily open to question and a political blunder. The tribesmen have been punished, not subdued, rendered hostile but not harmless, their fanaticism remains unshaken, their barbarism unrelieved”



 In November 1900 Costello was appointed adjutant of his regiment and in 1901 he was promoted Captain. He then worked as a recruiting officer for several years before taking part in the Mohmand operations of 1908. He was promoted Major in 1910. In 1913 he entered the Indian Staff College at Quetta and graduated just before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, when he re-joined his regiment as second-in-command.



The regiment was soon sent to Mesopotamia as part of the 17th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 6th Indian Division and Costello remained there for the rest of the war. He was promoted Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in June 1916, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1917 and appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1918. In May 1918 he took command of the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade and he received a substantive promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel in September 1918. He was mentioned five times in dispatches during the war and also received the French Croix de Guerre.



In June 1919 he was promoted Brevet Colonel and was joint commander of the Indian contingent at the Peace March in London, for which he was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 1920 New Year Honours. He was promoted substantive Colonel in March 1920, although he had held the acting appointment of Brigadier-General since 1918. From May to December 1920 he commanded the 8th Indian Infantry Brigade in the 3rd (Lahore) Division. In March 1921 he went to Palestine as temporary commander of the Palestine Defence Force and remained there to command a brigade in 1922. He retired in October 1923 and became Director of Military Studies at the University of Cambridge.



He died on 7th June 1949 in Hadlow, Sussex, and was buried in St Mark’s Churchyard, Hadlow Down, Sussex. His medals are held by the National Army Museum, Chelsea, though sadly not currently on display.




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Edmund Costello’s action that resulted in his VC was not carried out in “hot blood”: he was not prepared to allow one of his men to die in open ground when he might be saved. What was also remarkable in this action for the époque was the wounded man was not white but a native Indian. Edmund was prepared to risk his life for a ma many would have thought expendable.






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     SOE Agent who suffered torture without betrayal before execution.


Brian Rafferty was Irish but having passed part of his childhood and schooling in France spoke the language like a native. From Beaumont he went up to Christ Church Oxford for modern languages, he was not a great sportsman but he was very intelligent. Brian was recruited early on by SOE and was given a commission in the Berkshire Regiment. This was done under the false impression that if caught, they would be treated as POWs. He went to Wanborough Manor near Guildford that had been taken over as an agent’s selection centre. Once passed, he moved to other establishments to learn about intelligence gathering, security, codes, explosives, unarmed combat and to jump out of an aeroplane. Their final port of call was Beaulieu Abbey on the Hamble where they were briefed on their missions. The students were a very mixed bunch from all backgrounds and professions and Brian was one of the few who had come directly from University. According to his instructors, the "charming officer" had a "good brain". A report, dated March 19, 1942 and written by a sergeant, states: "This student likes to give the outward impression of laziness, yet he is actually most reliable and able and in possession of a happy, excellent character."


In September 1942, he set off on his first mission to help organise a new network codenamed Headmaster. He parachuted into the area close to Clermont Ferrand with another agent Sydney Hudson and a radio operator. They had only been there a couple of weeks when Sydney was arrested and sent, fortuitously for him, to the prison at Eysses, here, he was one of those that escaped  with Philippe de Vomecourt (19) and managed to get back to London via Spain. Brian was left to set up and organise various groups in the hills of the Massif Central and the Jura. In May 1943, Brian made an attempt to “spring” a Commandant Bourgeois, an agent of the Free French organisation from London. He had been arrested and was held in one of the local prisons but it went wrong and Brian was caught and handed over to the Gestapo. After torture and appalling treatment by the Gestapo during which he gave nothing away: witnesses say he was unrecognisable, he was sent to Flossenburg Concentration Camp in Bavaria which was mainly for political prisoners. Even here Brian did not escape further torture from the SS guards who were determined to extract information.


After the War a witness in evidence stated:


“On the 9th April 1944, Easter Day, there arrived at Flossenbürg 15 Allied Officers, who had come from the prison of Fresnes (France). They had carried out special missions and had been arrested in civilian clothes in France between June and August 1944.


They told me that they had been held by the Gestapo in Paris. They and their comrades had been tortured in the cellars of the prison in the Avenue Foch (property of Rothschild) and had received the same treatment which was meted out to me in the same place (blows, kicked, whipped etc.)


All these officers were in dark cells, had no outdoor exercise, had only the food of the ordinary prisoners, which meant that they were starved to death, they received no treatment in case of illness, left their cells only every 15 days for a shower and a change of shirt. The shower lasted only 5 minutes and they took it singly. They were shaved once a week, and their hair was cut once in two months. Very often they were deprived of food and beaten. As the defeat of Germany approached six new hooks were placed in the execution square. All these comrades of misfortune were hanged on Easter Thursday 29 March, 1945, under orders from Hitler himself, just ten days before our evacuation from Flossenbürg to Dachau.


The Camp Commandant at this period was Obersturmbannfuhrer SS Koegel who had previously been at Dachau and Ravensbruck. His adjutant was Obersturmfuhrer Baumgartner, he alone looked after the prison cells. The executions took place in the prison courtyard. The victims were first taken to the bath-house – there Scharfuhrer Weihe ordered them to take off all their clothes. He then tied their hands on the back by means of a piece of wire, took off their rings and any religious insignia they had on them, and finally led them to execution. Weihe himself did the hangings”.


Brian would have known all the risks of joining SOE but he probably believed that this was the best way he could of serving his country.  He parachuted into hostile country and was caught trying to rescue another in distress who was not even part of his organisation.  On capture, he did not take a cyanide pill but faced his torturers with fortitude. No one expected him to hold out for more than 24 hours but hold out he did, giving nothing away to the Gestapo or on transfer to Flossenburg where the torture continued. At the end he had to face the executioner. He showed courage in every respect.






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Covert Operations and adventurer


William (Bill) was born on 30 June 1919 in Cheltenham and was educated at Beaumont leaving in 1935. He joined the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars in 1939, and the next year was commissioned into the Worcestershire Regiment. He served with the Parachute Regiment in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, where he won the MC. In the latter stages of World War II he served with the SAS, first behind the lines in France, where he was sent to sabotage installations, communications, and railway lines prior to the invasion at Normandy, and then in Norway, where he was responsible for the arrest of quislings. From 1947 to 1949 he served on the War Crimes Commission in Germany hunting down Nazi criminals. In 1950 Anderson was sent with the Royal Ulster Rifles to Korea. He wanted to carry out SAS type operations behind enemy lines but this was considered too dangerous by the British command. Bill turned to the Americans and received their backing to train specialist South Korean guerrillas for behind-the-lines sabotage and intelligence work.


He selected twenty volunteers from the Officer Cadet School and put them through rigorous commando and parachute training. Their first operation was to blow up the main rail supply route some fifty miles behind the present battle positions.


            He chose six out of the original team to go on this first mission and   initially everything went according to plan. The drop was uneventful and they reached their objective some 18 miles distant and despite thick snow and freezing conditions, they laid the charges in a tunnel. The train came and there were two explosions; it was a success. Their elation was short lived when they heard on the radio that their pick-up on the coast had been cancelled. If they were to get home they had a long and hazardous march of 120 miles ahead of them. This was not the same as occupied France. They were in a country where the people would betray them through fear or conviction, and one did not wish to dwell on the fate of those that were captured for a quick death was most unlikely. The party walked mile after mile in those rain-soaked mountains without food or shelter and avoiding the security forces and two of the Koreans that went foraging never returned. Eventually, they were given a new rendezvous and helicopters were sent in to collect them. It had been touch and go and Anderson was down with a fever, but their job was done and they had proved their worth.


            Anderson now had bigger plans, possibly form a base in the mountains from which to operate and even kidnap a Russian advisor but the latter was vetoed from the highest authority.  Bill wanted to take in twenty men but they were denied the airlift and only fourteen went on the parachute drop. The operations started well when they discovered a large troop concentration and were able to call in attack aircraft but then matters started to deteriorate. The reinforcement party were parachuted into the wrong area and a supply drop resulted in smashed equipment. Anderson requested a helicopter to take him back to base to grip the situation but while absent, the base party were discovered. The Americans had carried out a broad daylight supply drop onto the position bringing the communists hastening down on them. It was crass stupidity and incompetence that was to cost the lives of the majority.


             Anderson found it difficult to forgive himself for what had happened to his friends and to add to his vexation, he was ordered to train the new Korean volunteers in seven days to operational readiness. They were considered expendable and were not even given time to make a practice jump. Under new regulations, he was not allowed to go with them and they were to be dropped behind the lines and try and make it back with whatever information they could gather.  Anderson was bitterly unhappy as he was sending untrained men into the most frightening and lonely of battles – a battle in which one’s own mind becomes the field of conflict, where hope, discipline and courage must fight against loneliness, fear and panic. He asked to be relieved of his post and he returned to work for British Intelligence at Seoul. He still hoped to organise other covert operations but he could find little if any support. In 1953, he returned to England frustrated and discontented with the lack of imagination on the behalf of his superiors.  Bill and his team had beenthe only operatives in North Korea on what were considered to be highly dangerous missions with little chance of survival.


            Bill Anderson resigned his commission since he could not find satisfaction in what he was doing. He was to say “The Army is a possessive and selfish mistress and if you serve her you must give everything without question – your soul, your heart and your life; this I now feel unable to do”. For his service in Korea he was awarded another MC and a MBE.


            It was not the end of his story. He volunteered to lead an expedition to the wild and desolate wastes of Antarctica. Here the enemy was not his fellow-man; in fact there was no enemy, only the challenge of nature. He moved from a land torn with bitterness and strife, with hatred, death and disease to a place where fear did not exist unless brought by man with his own heart. Anderson spent two years in that barren wilderness of snow and ice and he loved the survey work, the expeditions and the camaraderie. Strangely for a soldier prepared to cut the throat of an adversary, he hated culling seals for the dog rations. One of the aims of the expedition was to breed and to test dog teams in extreme conditions. Snow tractors were good, but there are certain places where only a team could get to.  Some of the dogs lived and died there or were destroyed, and a few of the huskies served the expedition after they died. Bill was to write; “We even ate Scottie, one of the old ones, to see what the meat tasted like, in case we ran out of food on a journey and had to start eating the team. The meat and liver was excellent, but the meal was a gloomy one - we were all very fond of Scottie”. The dogs almost returned the compliment, when Bill fell through the ice on one occasion and was getting himself out of a hazardous situation, it was not helped that his team attacked him, thinking he was a seal.


 Back in England another adventure beckoned, he sailed from Falmouth on the 40-foot Solent Swan bound for Australia with a crew of six. It was not the placid harbour of Sydney Sound where they eventually came to rest, but a deserted strip of beach that bit into the sea-washed jungles of British Guiana, as in the early hours of one morning in March 1958, they were ship-wrecked in a storm. Bill Anderson was in his element leading his crew through unknown territory to safety.


             Again he wrote; “The subsequent weeks that I spent wandering through the jungle on the borders of Venezuela and Brazil were filled with wonder and excitement. A new world opened up to me, a world of sugar cane and diamonds, of butterflies and gold, a green mysterious world, vast and untamed, where nature fought back against man’s encroachment. I began to realise for the first time that to pit mind and body against nature is far more rewarding than the action and intrigue of the battlefield. From that moment, I began to feel contentment and purpose to my life again”.  Later Anderson joined with explorer and climber Eric Shipton on a botanical expedition to the Andes. William Ellery Anderson, adventurer and military romantic had finally come to term with himself.


Bill Anderson was a maverick; a thorn in the side of his various commanding officers and I’m certain that would also be true of the Rector and Masters at Beaumont. Physically and mentally tough although he was not a sporting gladiator at school, he was a calculated risk taker but who cared deeply for those under his command. His unquestionable courage and confidence shown in taking men behind the lines in Korea but also in stating his total opposition when the Americans showed callous recklessness in the preparation of his special service personnel. Bill Anderson was the sort of man the men could trust implicitly whether on military operations, in Antarctica or getting them safely home after shipwreck.








One of the first Bomb Disposal Officers


Over the years, with terrorist threats, we have become used to unexploded devices and bombs being used by unscrupulous people for their own political or religious ends. We may be forgiven for thinking that bomb disposal is a recent development, but it first came to prominence in the Second War with the number of devices dropped by aircraft that did not explode on impact and had to be made safe. This was a role given to the Royal Engineers and one of their officers was Michael Clinton. He had left Beaumont in 1936 the year after Anderson and then read economics at London University. He joined the Sappers in 1939 and volunteered for bomb disposal. At the time there was little or no training or specialist equipment and the subject of unexploded bombs quickly developed into a battle between the scientists on both sides to find ever more ingenious ways to outdo the foe. The men of the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal were stuck the in middle of this secret war & for many it cost them their lives.     Michael’s first posting was to Colchester. During his time there, he was called out to Romford to deal with a 250 kg bomb, because of damage, the fuse could not be removed, nor could it be blown on site. Michael decided to lift the bomb and have it taken away for disposal on a lorry, but during the lowering operation the fuse started to tick. Michael had no idea how much time they had, he cleared the area, and then drove the lorry himself to a place of safety and escaped before the weapon exploded. Dealing with another 250kg bomb, he discovered that there were two fuses with new anti-handling devices. He felt it was vital to extract these for research; working under the bomb at night with a torch and a stethoscope and disregarding all precautions he retrieved the fuses and this with the possibility that there was a booby trap beneath them. The General commanding, commented that Michael had accepted the risk of certain death with sustained courage and complete disregard for his own safety. For these acts he was awarded the George Medal.


On other occasions he had to deal with Butterfly bombs, an early form of scatter weapon. At Sisted, there were some twenty above the ground and some buried and fitted with anti-handling devices. All had to be dealt with individually by attaching and pulling a string to explode them. He had a similar situation at West Thurrock and at the Thames Haven oil refinery. These had clockwork fuses allowing for up to thirty minutes before they detonated. He found some under the oil pipes which had to be lifted before he could deal with them.  Michael Clinton was awarded a Bar to his George Medal for his heroism; he is one of only two officers to hold such a distinction. Bomb Disposal was work that was done by some of the bravest men in this country and abroad, men who went about the work with great diligence that has not been truly acknowledged. The casualties were many, almost 600 were killed, tragedies and maiming were an accepted part of the job by the men who worked in the teams. The life expectancy of a RE Bomb Disposal officer was just ten weeks at the height of the bombing raids. All BD personnel were allowed to apply for transfer to another service after 6 months of service; Michael never did.  He saved countless lives and did much to help the Allied cause, not by killing but by dismantling devices of death.


I have always felt that Bomb Disposal deserved a campaign medal specifically for the work they did but like the concept of a medal for the men of Bomber Command, successive Governments have fought shy of honouring these brave people who gave so much to society and the war effort during the war years.


After the War the Honourable Michael Clinton GM was a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council.


Michael Clinton had mental courage. Again a man who was not a sportsman, he recognised that his abilities were best suited to fast thinking mental calculation than physically leading a platoon in the attack. He joined an organisation that at the time had little knowledge of what they faced or the equipment to deal with it. On each call out he never knew what state the weapon was in or what devices had been attached. He probably never saw in himself the courageous and selfless individual that we recognise: for him he was simply doing his job.





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Founders of the French Resistance.


The de Vomecourts were what the French describe as both patriotic and “martyred”. Their grandfather had been captured, tortured and killed during the Prussian war of 1870, and the father was killed in the opening engagements of the Great War. Pierre and his brother Philippe left Beaumont in 1919, their elder brother Jean having left three years earlier to enlist from school into the Royal Flying Corps. Jean was wounded and shot down and spent nine months in hospital and was rewarded with joint British nationality. At the outbreak of the Second War, Pierre was posted as a French liaison officer to the British Army and was evacuated amongst the last from Dunkirk. When he arrived in London, he tried to join the Free French as a saboteur but this failed and he was recruited by the newly formed SOE. This organisation sometimes known as the “Baker Street Irregulars” was set up by Churchill to carry out espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied territory.


 The man that recruited Pierre was Thomas Cadett, one time Paris correspondent of the Times and the predecessor to Maurice Buckmaster. He was under strict instructions from the War Office that only British and Commonwealth citizens must be employed. To his credit he chose to ignore this order as the first agents were all French and Pierre was the first Head of Network sent to France. On the night of 10th May, he made a blind parachute jump and found his way to the chateau owned by his brother Philippe near Limoges. With chaos in the Country, he was able to slip back into his ordinary life without anyone realising he had been away in England.


At Philippe’s home, they were joined by Jean. He had applied to join the British Army when war seemed likely, but his papers did not arrive in time and he found himself frustrated by lack of active service. The three brothers proceeded, in what might be described as arrogantly French fashion, to divide the Country between them. Pierre set up the “Autogiro” circuit near Paris, as he had a house in the Bois du Boulogne; the network soon became established. Jean, knowing the east of France well, with his estate at Pontarlier, organised various resistance units in the German occupied zone and an escape line into Switzerland. Philippe took charge of the south (Ventriloquist) from a base near Lyons. At the time of the Armistice he had been given a job as a railway inspector for special cargoes, this put him in a privileged position for information and also allowed him movement throughout the country. This was to prove invaluable in support of the emerging underground movements, the production of clandestine newspapers and the acquisition of supplies. Although SOE normally provided all the funds for its circuits, it was recognised that the Vomecourts used a considerable amount of their own family money to support the operations.


In December 1941, Pierre was introduced to Mathilde Carre. She was one of the few members of a Franco/Polish group set up in Paris that had escaped arrest and unbeknown to Pierre, she was a double agent working for the Abwehr. Mathilde was called “La Chatte”- the She Cat and was both an attractive and manipulative woman and had previously betrayed her comrades. Pierre eventually suspected her and forced a confession, but all his messages to London had been intercepted including his plan to return to England by boat for debriefing in February. Mathilde agreed to change sides again and would now accompany Pierre so that she could be debriefed on the methods of German Intelligence.  The Abwehr decided not to intercept them, as they thought that La Chatte could infiltrate SOE Headquarters and they would have a spy in the heart of the organisation. In fact, after her interrogation, she was sent to Holloway prison and when the war ended was condemned to death in France, which was later commuted to 20 years in jail. It was from such exercises in penetration and counter-penetration that one side gains an advantage, sometimes it was the other; on this occasion the Allies were the clear winners. While in London, Pierre was taken by General Gubbins, overall head of SOE, to brief Anthony Eden, the Foreign Secretary and the CIGS.


In April, Pierre once again parachuted back into the family property in the Limousin before travelling to Paris and re-activating the network. At the end of the month his luck ran out and he was arrested. He was beaten and tortured by both the Malice and German interrogators before being put on trial. Somehow, he convinced the Judge that he should be treated as a POW rather than a terrorist so avoiding execution. The Germans though, decided that he was particularly dangerous and he was sent to Colditz as a high security risk prisoner.


Philippe managed to stay at liberty a while longer. In June 1941, he received the first arms drop into France, again on his own land. They had to wait three nights but finally the drop was made. One of the containers landed over a mile from the DZ, Philippe and a companion had to drag it though a stream, uphill across fields and over six fences to get it to the cellars of the Chateau. When they opened it to see explosives, tommy guns and revolvers, they stood like children “with glistening eyes looking at wrapped presents under the Christmas tree”. Knowing that the local farmers would have seen the parachutes, he reported the matter himself to the police authorities, to disguise his role in the affair and led them on a “wild goose chase” around the vicinity.  Unlike the other agents, Philippe operated under his own name, gathering information, arranging sabotage and the escape of allied airmen. He even supplied prostitutes with heroin to give to German pilots in order to damage their eyesight.  Eventually, he was arrested by the French at Issoudan railway station but managed to escape, however a month later he was not so fortunate. He was given a prison term of ten years and sent to the prison at Eysses in the south West of the Country.


It took Philippe a few months to organise an escape which was carried out in January ’44. He stole chloroform from the prison hospital and with five others overcame the gaolers and stole their uniforms. At evening roll-call, they marched several groups of prisoners through the main gates, the sentries were taken by surprise and when they started firing, it was too late as the escapees were lost in the dark. 53 got away in the biggest breakout in occupied France apart from Amiens, but they didn’t need the RAF to do it for them!  The men then split into three groups to get over the Pyrenees into Spain. Philippe’s group was the only one without a compass. He had spent time after school in Zululand, trekking and big game hunting and reckoned he could keep on course and anyway one group had to go without.  He led his party over the mountains in the worst possible winter conditions and was to suffer temporary snow blindness during the journey, but they made it. In fact it was an extraordinary feat when one takes into account that they were unfit after their time in custody, the mountainous terrain, the snow drifts and they had to move at night and without guides.


In April, he was back in France and the Germans had put a price of two million francs on his head, dead or alive and he wasn’t certain if he should be flattered or not.  He came back “in style”; he had pulled some leg muscles and could not parachute so he was flown in by Lysander; the rest of his team had to jump. Philippe remained at liberty, a thorn in the side of the Germans for the remainder of the war. As the Battle for France was ending, American General Omar Bradley said to Philippe; “I will present you to the German General who is surrendering his army”. “Certainly not” said Pierre. “You will present the General to me!”


Of the three brothers, Jean was the sabotage and explosives expert. He and his various groups reeked considerable damage in the important industrial area of eastern France including the vehicle factories at Souchaix, which were being forced to produce equipment for the German war effort, and the canal borne cargoes on the extensive system of waterways. The Germans had to deploy E-Boats to protect the barges and even these naval vessels came under attack with the use of limpet mines. He also was able to run an escape route for those in need into Switzerland. Jean was finally caught and arrested in 1942 and initially was interrogated at Fresnes by the Gestapo before being sent to Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen concentration camp. This was the HQ for Himmler’s experiments in extermination, but in Jean’s case they simply starved him to death. “I, who loved with all my life, Love with all my death”.


The Vomecourts would be the first to describe themselves like Reginald de Croy as amateurs. They had little or no formal training and made it up as they went along. Some in their groups had no time to learn their role and their first mistake was also their last.


Phillipe wrote: It was more or less by accident that my brothers and I became responsible for groups that had been organised by the British. If the free French had accepted my brother Pierre’s suggestion of setting up their own operations in the field we would  have e been running  pro- Gaullist circuits The British had been the first to see the value of an organised resistance force and we were glad to accept the help they offered. The French were in no position to refuse such offers.


The SOE Group Leaders often found themselves in touch with the heads of Gaullist Groups or other movements. We did not waste our energies on petty jealousies: we asked each other what had to be done and tried to give mutual support. After all we had the same objective – defeat the Germans and drive them out of France. It didn’t matter the background and we didn’t measure someone by the size of the group. The essential thing for us was to be able to act and the English groups were luckier in the sense that we received the highest proportion of arms and supplies that were parachuted into France. If a Gaullist Group needed explosives, we did not refuse them. Pettiness is a characteristic of Bureaucrats and desk-bound pen-pushers not of men who face the enemy.


In the Official History of SOE in France it was written: “the early role of the de Vomecourts was of essential importance. They did for SOE in France  what Gladstone once said Cobden did for Free Trade  and Parnell for Irish Home Rule “set the argument on its legs”, so that people could see the real issues were and make up their mind how they should be tackled”.


The de Vomecourts saw themselves as a bunch of amateurs playing the sort of adventurous game they enjoyed as children growing up on the family estate. It would have been easy to accept the situation of 1940 as most Frenchmen did but the family history would not allow them the luxury of doing nothing. All three showed their metal in taking on the immense task trying to galvanise a defeated and dispirited people. All three had to face the threat of arrest, torture and death and live on their wits when betrayal was a daily hazard. At the War’s end their role was hardly acknowledged by a President who saw them as part of British interests. This concerned them little, for the de Vomecourts “Pour La France” was all that mattered.




Image result for edward lisle strutt




Saviour of the Hapsburgs and Mountaineer


Strutt was the son of Hon. Arthur Strutt and Alice Mary Elizabeth Philips de Lisle. His paternal grandfather was Edward Strutt, 1st Baron Belper.  Through his mother he was related to many of the prominent Catholic families, many with connections to Beaumont. His niece would later marry Bernard Duke of Norfolk. Edward was an accepted member of the highest echelons of society both in England and on the Continent.


  After Beaumont, he went up to Christ Church Oxford, and the University of Innsbruck. Strutt spoke French and German fluently. He joined the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) as a Lieutenant, and was promoted to Captain on 20 February 1900.. The battalion was embodied in late December 1899 for service during the Second Boer War, and in early March 1900 left Queenstow on the SS Oriental for South Africa  where they spent the war on mobile columns, patrolling and raiding parties. The Battalion distinguished itself at the battles of lydenburg and Bermondsey.


On 10 October 1905 he married Florence Nina, daughter of John Holland MP DL.


 Later in the First World War, he was wounded, won a DSO and was awarded decorations by France (Croix de Guerre with 4 palms), Belgium (Order of Leopold for extreme bravery) and Romania as well as being mentioned in dispatches on many occasions. He was described as a born leader, bold, resolute, outspoken and supremely confident in his own abilities. He was promoted to Lt-Colonel.


In the early spring of 1919, it must have been a worrying time for King George V, as apart from the Romanov problem, he had news from Prince Sixtus de Bourbon-Parme concerning the equally precarious situation of his sister, the Empress of Austria, her husband and family. The King, mindful of the Emperor’s peace efforts during his short reign and the fate of the Tsar asked the government that help be sent to the family.


The Government’s response was in tune with history. As General Gordon was sent to Khartoum, Edward Lisle Strutt was sent to Vienna to ensure the safety of the family and to act as he saw fit.


The autumn of 1918 had seen the collapse of the Austrian Empire. The ending of the war was followed by the creation of new governments, military disintegration, social unrest and grave food shortages. There was turmoil and verging anarchy in the emerging Austrian Republic. The young Emperor Charles had been on the throne for two years during which he had worked strenuously but without success for peace. His efforts, heroic, unstinting and sincere had met with the obstacles of militarism and narrow minded nationalism; the task was insurmountable. Having accepted defeat and the inevitability of a Republic, Charles and his family withdrew to a hunting lodge north of Vienna, but he refused to abdicate. In their new situation, they suffered the same deprivations as the people, but were also in danger from marauding gangs of ex-soldiers and the newly formed Red Guards. Strutt arrived at the end of February and with his shared Catholic faith, belief in the old order and mastery of languages, he soon gained the confidence of the Hapsburgs. There was even a photograph of himself with the assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in more leisured days before the war on one of the mantelpieces.  He soon managed to “find” food and sustenance for them and organise the defence of the residence. In March, he received a disturbing telegram from London informing him that it was imperative to get the family to safety in Switzerland, but “that the British Government could not guarantee the journey or their safety”.


Mindful of the Emperor’s views on abdication, Strutt sent a reply to the War Office; “Austrian Government refuses permission for the departure of the Emperor unless he abdicates. Consequently give orders to re-establish blockade and stop all food trains entering the Country”. Not only was this an outrageous act of bluff, for which he carried no mandate, but he personally went to show it to the new Chancellor.  Herr Renner received him in his office and informed Strutt that the Royal luggage would be searched and that a Commissioner would be sent to oversee the matter. Strutt in return informed the Chancellor that firstly; “He was to stand in future when he entered the room and secondly, that he could send a Commissioner if he so wished, but that he would personally shoot him if he entered the residence”. Herr Renner backed down not realising that he had been duped and under further threats from Strutt agreed that the Royal Train be reassembled for the journey. On the 27th March, the special carriages left the small station at Kopfstettin conveying the Imperial Hapsburg family to the Swiss border. Strutt had kept all his pledges including that Charles would leave his homeland as Emperor and with due honour. The old order may have lost the War, but it won the Austrian departure. Edward Strutt was awarded the CBE for this service and the following year 1920 was appointed the League of Nations first permanent High Commissioner for the Free City of Danzig (now Gdansk). His service to the Hapsburgs was not finished, the next year he returned to Switzerland to assist in two restoration bids for the throne of Hungary. Both failed and the exiled Emperor and his family accepted an offer from the Portuguese for a home on Madeira.


The family never forgot this sad part of their lives and whatever complaints were made about British interference and indifference to Hapsburg affairs in the years to come, the reply would be “But, there was always Strutt”. Today, the last Austrian-Hungarian Emperor is remembered as Blessed Charles of Austria, beatified by Pope John Paul 11 in 2004, with his feast day the 22nd October, the day he married Zita and said; “Now we must help each other get to Heaven”. She did.


The Hapsburg episode though was only one part of the Strutt story. Olympic medals have been awarded for many sports and games but few would have expected that a small group of mountaineers would be so honoured. In 1922, a British expedition went to the Himalayas with the express aim of climbing Mt Everest for the first time. It had been instigated by an enterprising and eccentric young Army captain - John Baptist Noel; his father Edward had been one of the early boys at Beaumont and was a younger son of the 2nd Earl of Gainsborough. John was educated in Switzerland for health reasons, where he learnt his mountaineering and he also became a passionate photographer. While filming in the Caspian in 1913, he had made an illegal foray into Tibet and brought back information that was a vital trigger for this first Royal Geographical Society’s attempt on Everest in 1922.  


 The previous year a feasibility reconnaissance and study had been carried out by amongst others George Mallory. They discovered a possible route to the summit climbing on the north side out of Tibet. At the time, the south side could not be used as Nepal was closed to Western foreigners. The expedition was to be a joint effort by members of the Royal Geographical Society and the Alpine Club. Both parties felt that as Britannia had been beaten to both the North and South Poles, so it was imperative that the Union Jack be planted on the “Third” Pole - Everest. The aim brought into conflict what was considered to be fair means. It had been decided that oxygen would be used for the first time though many considered, including some team members, that this was artificial assistance. It was a time when the dress for climbing or mountaineering differed little to that worn for a “nippy day’s partridge shooting in Norfolk”. The majority of the participants would also have been just as much at home with a shotgun as with an ice axe. The leader of the expedition was Brigadier Charles Bruce, a Ghurkha officer and “the most thrashed boy by his headmaster at Harrow”; others had been at Eton, Winchester, Charterhouse and Rugby. The second in command and climb leader was the “Saviour of the Hapsburgs” - Edward Lisle Strutt. John Noel was the official photographer. All were mountaineers but their social background had played a part in their selection.


The expedition gathered together in India at the end of March for the approach to base camp. It was to take them and their porters a month of riding and walking to reach their objective of the Rongbuk Glacier. Here they set up camp, and after a reconnaissance climb, a first attempt was made without oxygen ascending by the North Col and they reached a point 150m below the summit but exhausted they had to turn back. The second attempt was made with the heavy oxygen bottles but despite the weight, they undoubtedly assisted the climbers at the highest altitude. This time, a combination of severe weather, inadequate clothing and exhaustion caused them to abandon the climb but they had broken the altitude record.


 The medical advice was that the majority were in no fit state to continue. Mallory with three others and their porters decided to give it one more try. Mounting the North Col once more, Mallory led them on a zigzag course, in doing so they loosened an avalanche which buried the porters coming up behind. Seven men were killed and the attempt had to be abandoned. The expedition had failed in its mission and for the record books had registered the first loss of life on the mountain. 


At the winter Olympic Games at Chamonix in France the same year and six months before that next fateful expedition, the thirteen members of the ’22 team stood on the podium to receive special silver and gold medals from de Coubertin himself. It was true that “they had not conquered but they had at least fought well”.


Their achievements ran parallel to what Coubertin himself was thinking when he redesigned the Olympics in 1896. His ethos was 'higher, faster, stronger', and the higher wasn't the high jump or pole vault it was aeronautics and alpinism. He thought those two disciplines truly encompassed the spirit of the Olympics and so - looking across the four years between games - if a mountaineering ascent in that time was judged worthy enough, the team would be awarded a medal.


 Whilst receiving the team's Gold Medals, Strutt and Coubertin got chatting and struck up a pledge between themselves. Strutt promised on behalf of Great Britain, not just on the team but on the heads of his entire country, (typical for Strutt to make a promise he had no right to make) that at the very next opportunity Britain would endeavour to put one of the Gold Medals on the summit of Mount Everest in celebration of Coubertin's recognition of their efforts to conquer 'the third pole'. That year, 1924, there was another expedition to Everest - the fateful one where Mallory and Irving disappeared – but no medals reached the top. Fast forwarding to the 1930s, these teams never quite achieved the same height records of their predecessors; they didn't summit. Then the war came along and the whole story had got lost in time. Indeed it was not until 2012 that the mountaineer Kenton Cool read of the story and decided to fulfil Strutt’s pledge on behalf of the country and took one of the medals to the summit: it had taken 90 years.


Strutt was President of the Alpine Club from 1935 -39. As a mountaineer, he was much admired but his views were often considered old fashioned and out of date. He was an outstanding iceman and climbed (sometimes using skis or snowshoes) in winter as well as summer and had many acquaintances among leading continental mountaineers. His knowledge of the Alps was extensive and, in his favourite areas, deep.


I came across this description of the man:-


“Some men are fortunate in the accident of their names, but few are more fortunate than Edward Lisle Strutt. That marvellous surname, rendered both blunt and familiar – suggestive of an unyielding and pontificating aristocrat – was utterly appropriate to the man who bore it. The two names Edward Strutt fitted him as neatly as his puttees; in tandem they sing like a well-tempered sword whirling in battle, and the sound they make is the sound of command – a born leader: bold, resolute, keen-eyed and barrel-chested, all the cliches apply, "erect as a pine tree and limber as a cat".




Overall what a choice and how can you compare these men: personally I cannot and would not wish to. However if you are allowed a favourite and for no other reason that the toast already exists,  it would have been with a sense of pride to say at a Beaumont Union gathering, “Gentlemen, the toast of Beaumont and the Hapsburgs: “There is always Strutt”. (taking a liberty which he did in life).




The Centenary of his “saving the Hapsburgs” falls in March.




 The day David died.


Another piece from the pen of John Joss recalling a sad accident during his schooldays:


I barely knew him. I was right there yet I could not save him. It happened near Runnymede, to my eternal regret. David, long dead, lives on in my memory.






 Millions of visitors come to Runnymede, in Old Windsor, England, every year. They come because it is the site at which Magna Carta, considered by many to be democracy’s founding document, was signed by King John in 1215. A handsome memorial graces the location and provides a detailed explanation of Magna Carta. It is, in many ways, a sacred place.


   At the threshold of the huge, glorious meadow alongside the Thames are two octagonal kiosks with piers facing each other across the A308 highway from Windsor to Egham. These piers are truncated versions of those adjacent to the lodges on either side of the road. The lodges show typical Edwin Lutyens design characteristics: steeply angled roofs, large false chimneys and no rainwater gutters at the eaves. The piers carry similar inscriptions. On one face of each is this:




In these Meads on 15th June 1215 King John at the instance of Deputies from the whole community of the Realm granted the Great Charter the earliest of constitutional documents whereunder ancient and cherished customs were confirmed abuses redressed and the administration of justice facilitated new provisions formulated for the preservation of peace and every individual perpetually secured in the free enjoyment of his life and property.




   Close beside the road on the left, as one drives east from Old Windsor towards Egham, Staines and London, is a long brick building that extends down to a modest, wood-planked dock on the Thames. It is a boathouse built to house eight-oar shells and other, similar devices rowed by athletes—single sculls, and coxed or coxless fours and pairs. Inside: the smell of wood and varnish, the sight of exquisite craftsmanship. Here, for four years, I spent many happy hours enjoying the college sport of rowing. Here, on his last day alive, David shared our afternoon.


   My route into rowing had begun years before, at Pin Mill in Suffolk, starting at age eight, where I went every summer as the guest of my mother’s closest friend, Pam Ryan. Pam owned a little cottage there, the center of a triplex dubbed Coastguard Cottages. There I learned to row small dinghies and also to ‘scull’ or ‘wiggle’ with a single oar working in a small, semicircular cutout in the sternboard, convenient for going short distances or reaching confined spaces such as busy docksides, where oars sticking out from either side are obstructions to passage.


   Probably the only negative aspect of rowing in shells was having to endure the last thirty or sixty minutes before a race at a regatta. We rowed at many of the local events up and down the Thames: Kingston, Staines, Marlow, even the magnificent Henley world meet, and our annual attack on Eton in Slough—our ‘first eight’ facing their ‘second eight.’ For that period, right before the race, I suffered anxiety, up to the state of nausea and vomiting, knowing that soon I had to commit my body to extreme  torture. This deep, disquieting malaise went away only at the crack of the starter's gun and did not return until the next race. But it hovered in the back of the mind every regatta weekend. I knew it was coming. I could do nothing about it. It was the same for many of the crew but we sufferers tried never to show it.


   Descending—literally going down Priest Hill—from St. John’s to Beaumont meant that I could get into serious rowing. I had longed for it. I ascended eventually from starting as coxswain, sitting at the stern and barking orders to the eight rowers facing me, to the position, first, of Bow oar, then Stroke. Stroke leads and drives the boat and sets the stroke rate. Stroke responds to a cox’s demand for more effort or a burst of speed in typical racing situations, by raising the stroke rate and investing extra effort; the rest of the crew must match strokes precisely in this satisfying team sport. The sense of unity or ‘flow’ in a boat, where all eight oars are melded as one, accurate in timing to thousandths of a second, all blades precisely vertical as they enter the water, is hardly matched in any other endeavour. It is positively transporting to feel. It occurs only occasionally but comes in every sport.


   Stroke yells encouragement to the teammates sitting ‘behind’ in the boat, because rowers face backwards. This rear-facing look has an advantage when one is leading a race, seeing the boat one is beating and responding to it, but is a source of deep unease when being led. How far ahead are they? Sometimes the cox conveys this information, more often not. The cox is supposed to be, in part, a cheerleader. Think positive. “They’re close. You can do it. Push, more, more. Let’s see you shine. You’re gaining. You can do it.” Maybe.


   Our training routine and route were invariant. We walked the shell down from its rack in the boathouse, four oarsmen to each side, and aligned ourselves parallel with the river, on  the  dock. The cox was a spectator but at the command ‘Up,’ the crew lifted the boat above their heads so that when lowered (‘Down’) all the crew stood on one side. We launched upstream, so crews were on the left side of the boat. Then, arms extended to the far gunwale (pron. Gun’l), the shell was walked the few paces across the dock and plopped into the water. Sculls were inserted by each crewmember into the rowlocks (pron. rollocks, as in bollocks) at the end of the outriggers at each station. Then: remove the shoes and leave them on the dock, to be retrieved by other rowers and stashed in the boathouse. Each crew position had its own lace-up ‘shoes’ integral to the boat.


   The first step into the boat, in socks, was crucial: directly onto the narrow keel. The thin plywood skin, now carbonfiber in modern boats, could be damaged by casually placed feet. One then lowered oneself carefully onto the stretcher, a tiny bum-shaped plywood seat with little rollers beneath, permitting long and near-frictionless fore-and-aft motion and the full range of oar sweep. The cox stepped aboard and took up the rudder lines. Ready for action.


   Our coach, who worked as our maths teacher in daily college life, hurtled along the towpath on his bicycle, yelling instructions to us over his megaphone. I was amazed that he never lost his bearings, skidded or fell, because the towpath, aptly named Thames Path, was unpaved. He had to ride uphill and down, turn left and right, weave around bushes and other impedimenta and dodge occasional pedestrians. But he was always upright, rubber side down. He could keep up with us with relative ease when we were rowing upstream, against the current. Coming back stressed him considerably, and he occasionally asked us to pause.


   We rowed, typically, about two miles upstream towards Windsor, to the lock, then turned around. We practiced starts, at high stroke rates. Coach exhorted us to ‘clear our puddles’ as a measure of proper performance. He corrected body position, oar grip, wrist action and blade rotation between strokes. I loved the timing, the teamwork, the exhilaration of sustained physical effort. The Thames is narrow this far upstream and turning around was difficult in the confined waters, with that long, skinny shell and those huge sweeps sticking out on both sides. The river widened conveniently across from the lock and made turning easier there, alternately pulling or reversing our oars on one side or the other at the cox’s commands.








David was an interesting character. He was tall for his age, somewhat skinny, and he was characterized by a shock of silvery-blonde hair. He was intelligent, ascetic, a young man of few words. We were not close. He was a year or two ahead of me at Beaumont and we had little interaction, except on the water. He was a smooth and competent oarsman—he never caught a crab or failed to respond promptly to instructions—and he and I never had the slightest disagreement.


   There were a few others, who shall remain nameless, with whom I had painful interactions. I can recall those experiences and those individuals, by name, in unpleasant detail, to this day. One of them tortured me frequently. He was strong and sadistic, an excellent swimmer, who had been raised with his brother on the Portuguese island of Madeira. He was perhaps two years older than I was, and probably three or four inches taller. His specialty was seizing me by the neck and holding me underwater in the swimming pool until I nearly drowned. Only then would he release me. I recall standing in the shallow end, seeing him enter the  pool. I, a cringing coward and physically inferior, knowing what was to come, invariably started to cry, but this merely pleased him. The Jesuits, supposedly supervising us in the pool, did nothing. Public school in England has its own special forms of cruelty, noted by many a writer.








Only later did we learn of David’s problem. By then it was too late. At the time I was still a humble cox and David was rowing in the Two position, directly ‘ahead’ of the Bow oar, thus down the boat, as viewed from the front. His oar was on the left side of the boat, right-handed to him. When starting out, a mate on the dock took his blade and pushed the bow of the boat out into the river, so that Bow and Two could paddle the boat out to where all the oars could be used. David said nothing that day, as I recall.


   All was going well when the event occurred. To this day it is inexplicable. As we were rowing just upstream from The Bells of Ouzeley, a well-known pub on the south bank of the river, David caught a crab. When this happens, due to a rower’s error, not having the blade vertical to the water upon entry, in severe cases the oar is now essentially stuck in the water. The boat’s impetus forces the oar violently into the rower’s chest.   


   On this occasion David caught a massive crab and was ejected from the boat instantly. One moment he was there, the next he was gone. By now, after a relatively few seconds. Traveling at about fifteen miles an hour or twenty-two feet per second, we were fifty yards or more from where David had caught his crab and had been thrown into the water. We stopped rowing at once, on my command “Easy, oars,” and waited for David to bob to the surface and swim back to the boat, to be heckled mercilessly for his incompetence. Young men can be outspoken, even cruel critics of their fellows. Except that he did not surface.


   The Thames is a green, murky river this far downstream from its source at Thames Head, seventy miles away near Kemble, in Gloucestershire, and there was no way to see where he might have gone. We all sat, frozen into inaction, not knowing what to do. We could not, realistically, abandon the boat. Long seconds passed and still David did not reappear. Still we waited. The seconds spun out agonizingly.


   As cox I was positioned best to rescue David. I had no oar in hand, just rudder lines. I looked over to the coach on the towpath, my panic growing by the second, waiting for him to instruct me. “Can you see where he went?” he boomed through his megaphone. In the boat, disagreement reigned, but the plain fact was that we had no idea where David had gone. The placid but opaque Thames flowed past us. Beneath the water a young man was drowning.


   Four or five minutes passed and it became clear that David was not going to surface. He was gone. Turning the boat around with great difficulty—the river is narrow at that point—we got back to the dock. The Two position, empty, with oar trailing, stood as mute rebuke.


   David’s body was recovered when it fetched up against the weir downstream at Staines four days later. For all those four days, the college faculty and the two hundred of us students, especially the oarsmen, were frozen into near-silent despondence. The loss of a fellow student was, to us young immortals, incomprehensible. Closure did not come for us until he had been buried. Only later did we learn of David’s epilepsy, the probable cause of his sudden and unprecedented rowing error, likely caused by a seizure, though his disappearance and failing to surface remains a mystery that I cannot fathom.


   The suddenness of his vanishing remains etched into my memory. I could barely record it with my own eyes, so rapidly did it occur. But that was the end of it.


   David was gone. But not forgotten. Not by me and my conscience.


ED: This is the last of John’s articles for the REVIEW and we are extremely grateful to him for allowing publication.














Desmond Knox-Lee and Yves Coueslan Diptyque


Demond and Yves outside their shop


When diptyque first opened its boutique in 1961, a thousand and one original objects of decoration, ornaments, items of amusement, including many toys were thought of, all chosen for their craftsmanship because they were beautiful to look at. No wonder the founders collected Pollock’s theaters and were probably the only ones to sell them in Paris.






 From the sixties to the nineties some Pollock’s theaters were regularly displayed in the window. Magic is ageless.






Spicy, floral, many smells travel and invite memories – images appearing when inhaling, coming alive as if in a dream.


As Desmond Knox-Leet descended from Irish lineage originating from Scotland, he brought with him the world of isolated farms from Celtic lands irrigated by the remote wealth from the British Empire. Yves Coueslant had grown up in Vietnam, where steamy heat carried heady scents. Christiane Gautrot had spent her younger years near the huge Fontainebeau forest where she would wander alone as a child. The three founders were full of memories loaded with far-off fragrances, however, the creation of evocative perfumes was not at all in their original plan.


It was between 1963 and 1964 that the diptyque aromatic saga came to life. Their candle maker, working with wax, started them thinking about perfuming their candles. A little later Desmond came up with the idea of using hawthorn, tea and cinnamon. This was the beginning of diptyque as a scents designer, a still ongoing adventure, also triggering another undertaking – diptyque as a perfume distributor – both unknown and new in France at the time.


Desmond Knox-Leet desired to promote the English tradition of perfume. It originated from barbers in the 18th century. The English excel in perfumes that counterbalance the foggy dampness of their climate. They create fragrances using exotic spices like vetiver or Ylang Ylang for instance. Their common style has something of a spring sting, it’s bracing, somewhat brisk, fresh and frank, healthy, invigorating and yet lasting.


The great British perfumery brands are Floris, Culpeper, Trumper, Penhaligon’s. Not to forget the famous toilet vinaigre and eau de toilette from Rimmel, whose names remain a passport for dreaming abroad, like the “Jamaican Bay Rum”, a very popular aftershave among the colonists of the Virgin Islands, or Barbados. Or the “West Indies”, the “Sicilian Lime”… The various eau de toilettes that diptyque sold evoked a long past world of adventure.


There were also soaps, shaving soaps, perfumed talcum powders, and face masks like the Violet Oatmeal to use at home from Rimmel. Naturally there were potpourris, vegetal assortments of dried flowers and other natural components, to be hung inside cupboards, the first among them Le Redoute by Mrs Merwin – its recipe has been unaltered from Elizabethan days, all of which are typical British fragrances. The Culpeper, a pomander of dried oranges with Indonesian cloves pierced into its skin, was also available and the Hathaway Rose potpourri bowl.


Soon, the many odours that Desmond Knox-Leet had been breathing in the Scottish and Irish manor houses of his younger years became a commercial success in France. The next step sounded like a calling – to create a diptyque eau de toilette. L’Eau reforms and regenerates an old recipe from the 17th century mixing sandalwood, cinnamon, rose, clove and geranium. Released in 1968, it was for both women and men as it aimed at a style rather than gender. The diptyque vocation was born – rather than a perfumer, a scents designer where the compositions of aromas would infuse present with past, thanks to candles, eau de toilette and perfumes, and later with cold wax soaps, an hourglass and a scents diffuser, all patented by the House of Dyptique. The adventure keeps spreading like a perfume.


Dessin de Desmond Knox-Leet: jardin de Provence


The annals of diptyque are filled with eulogies to the exploration of the different worlds inhabiting our planet. Whether the shores are real or make-believe, a taste for the big blue yonder is not a seasonal fad. From Desmond’s sketches to the trip-friendly, mini-sized perfume bottles, diptyque has always had a nose for travel.


This is down to all three founders. Their lives and personal predilections have embraced landscapes, vast open spaces, different ways of doing things and the aromas of the world. Yves Coueslant spent his childhood in the Far East, travelling by liner back and forth to France. Later he criss-crossed Europe working as a theatre tour director.


Desmond Knox-Leet’s Scottish family immigrated to Ireland. He had a liking for Commonwealth spices and English perfume tinged with the scent of distant breezes. Later on they both collected artisan-crafted items bursting with local tradition during regular far-flung trips for sale in their shop at  34, Saint Germain Boulevard.


Christiane Gautrot travelled many times back and forth to Morocco to fulfil requests for Zellige tile designs.


Wherever Desmond Knox-Leet went, he drew. An artist at home, he filled his notebooks with sketches and travel commentaries. A languid village square in summertime, coastlines, a path, a window, the wall of a church, the countryside… Sometimes he specified the year and location, sometimes he didn’t and the imagination is left to fill in the blanks. Most sketches are around the Mediterranean basin – Italy, Greece, Turkey… Others are of little corners of France. Some are even reminiscent of Vietnam…


Dessin de Desmond Knox-Leet: Assise










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




From The Swindon Advertiser:-








HIGHWORTH’S First World War memorial has been unveiled on the renovated Podium near the high street.


   Members of the Royal British Legion and a small crowd of residents admired the wreath of knitted poppies which was placed next to a plaque and a Tommy figure.


The memorial was set up to coincide with the launch of the legion’s 2018 Poppy Appeal and the centenary of the First World War armistice.


Brigadier Anthony Stevens, president of the Highworth branch, said: “I think it’s very poignant, it stands out and I love its simplicity.


“The There But Not There figure really makes an impression.


“There was hardly a town or village in the country that didn’t lose a member of their family during that war,” he said.


“The memorial has details of the 30 people from Highworth who lost their lives in the four-year conflict.


“It’s important to remember them and we must also remember those who are in the forces today that are here but not here.




Master of The Feltmakers


On 5th October Bill Gammell was installed as Master of the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers. He follows in the footsteps of the Burgesses: Patrick, Michael and Brian all served in their turn. The Feltmakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Feltmakers, or makers of felt hats, were incorporated by Letters patent granted by James I in 1604. They received an extended Royal Charter in 1667. The Company gradually lost its role as a trade association for felt hat makers, due to both advancements in technology and the increased popularity of silk hats. Like a majority of Livery Companies, the Feltmakers' Company is now primarily a charitable institution, but still has a number of milliners amongst its members.







Apart from making and presenting the Lord Mayor of London’s ceremonial hat each year, they also make awards for millenary creation as seen above. (Ed I thought she looked better than Bill)


The Feltmakers' Company ranks sixty-third in the order of precedence for Livery Companies. Its motto is Decus Et Tutamen, a Latin phrase taken from Virgil meaning An Ornament and a Safeguard. (The phrase also appears around the milled edge of certain pound coins.)




The de Traffords


The death of Anthony de Trafford brings to an end that family name’s connection with Beaumont though there are still a few OBs who can trace their lineage  back to the first de Trafford Baronets. It was Sir Humphrey the 2nd Bt who started the relationship with the school. He married Lady Annette Talbot co-heiress to the Earl of Shrewsbury in the first official Catholic nuptial mass since the Reformation in 1855. They sent their three sons to Beaumont.


The eldest was Humphrey (82) Captain of the School at the time of Queen Victoria’s first visit. He succeeded his father in 1886 becoming a landowner, racehorse breeder, polo player and author of “Foxhounds of Great Britain and their Masters and Huntsmen” – a forerunner of Bailey’s hunting Directory and “Horses of The British Empire”.  In that same year he laid the foundation stone for St John’s. However he caused a huge social scandal in 1907 when he was taken to court for bankruptcy and had previously put up for sale the family home at Trafford Park. He married Violet Franklin and they had four children. Despite his attachment to Beaumont Humphrey, for the most part, educated his sons elsewhere.







Humphrey, his son and heir moved from Beaumont to The Oratory in 1902. He was awarded an MC with the Coldstream Guards in the Great War. He was a successful racehorse owner and breeder having Alcide win the St Leger in 1958 the same year that his horse Parthia won the Derby. He married Cynthia Cadogan daughter of Viscount Chelse and three of their daughters married distinguished people in their own field; General Sir Francis Bowes-Lyon a cousin of the Queen mother, Sir Max Aitken RAF fighter pilot DSO, DFC and Conservative MP and Fulke Walwyn racehorse trainer. Having no son the title passed to Humphrey’s brother Rudolph.


Rudolph had been sent to Downside and then Trinity Cambridge. He became an Investment banker but scandal ensued when his first wife petitioned for divorce on the grounds of his adultery. There was worse to come for this recusant family with the youngest son Raymond who had followed his brother to Downside. He was expelled from school and thrown out of The Guards. In the words of Evelyn Waugh “he fights, fucks, gambles and gets disgustingly drunk”. He joined the dissolute set in Kenya’s “Happy Valley” where he met his mistress and future wife Alice de Janze: she attempted to murder him – he survived to go to prison for manslaughter when he knocked down a pedestrian when driving blind drunk. No wonder that Mons. Alfred Gilbey was to comment “the conversion of England is hardly likely to be achieved from the top down”. 


So much for the Baronetcy’s direct line. To return to the other two boys who were at Beaumont. Gilbert (86) died not long after leaving school at the age of 19. His elder brother Charles (83) soon became known as a skilled cricketer and in 1885 joined the MCC. In 1894 he moved to Leicestershire County Cricket Club as captain, a position in which he remained for 13 seasons. He is largely credited with making Leicestershire into a first-class club


A man of great physical strength, he was an opening batsman and a big hitter who liked to attack from the first ball. He never wore batting gloves. For Leicestershire against the Australians in 1905, he made all the first 56 runs of the innings himself, and was out for 63 after a first-wicket partnership of 69, when his partner was 2 not out He captained MCC on the tour of New Zealand in 1906-07. He made his highest first-class score in 1913 for Leicestershire against Derbyshire when he was 49 years old. After Leicestershire had been 11 for four on the first morning, he hit 137 in 120 minutes, He was also credited with hitting a ball cleanly through a window pane in the pavilion at Lords without cracking the glass. He married Lady Agnes Feilding daughter of the Earl of Denbigh and her two nieces were to marry OBs: Dot to Captain Charles Moore and Marjorie to Captain Dudley Hanley. Charles and his wife lived at Hothorpe Hall, Northants which had been purchased for him by his father and he extended it to include a Chapel dedicated to the memory of his brother Gilbert.






Charles was, by all accounts, very fond of his old school and for most of his active life brought down a team from the MCC to play each season. Despite this, he sent his son Edmund to Downside and it was he who would emigrate to Malta having married the Hon Cecelia Strickland, daughter of Lord Strickland one time Mata’s Prime minister. Cecelia’ sister Mary married Henry Hornyold (08) of Sizergh. She also had two uncles at Beaumont Charles Strickland (84) and Roger (85). Charles also had a daughter Clare who married Sir Edric Wolseley Bt (03).


If the de Trafford boys were not entirely faithful to Beaumont, the same could not be said of their sisters. Mildred married the 3rd Baron Bellew (67) one of four OB brothers. Gertrude married Sir Timothy O’Brien Bt, Captain uniquely of both English and Irish Cricket and their son and heir Tim (10) was later killed in WW1. Finally Sicele married Charles Clifford (73) with their five sons OBs including Fr Sir Lewy and descending now to the current Sir Roger (54).


Back to Charles’s son Edmund in Malta His father in law who had also inherited the Maltese title Count della Catena and the property known as Villa Bologna made two highly advantageous marriages. In 1890, Lord Strickland married Lady Edeline Sackville-West, the daughter of the 7th Earl de la Warr. Lady Edeline died in 1918. In 1926, Lord Strickland married Margaret Hulton, daughter of the newspaper magnate Edward Hulton and It was the second Lady Strickland who was to modernise Villa Bologna, she extended the gardens far beyond their original limits, raised the walls of the property and decorated them with crenels. She added turrets, planted hundreds of trees, many of exotic species, and laid out fountains and ponds of unique character and beauty. An already fabulous villa, was transformed into a horticultural paradise.


In 1940, Lord Strickland died and, for the first time since its construction, the ownership of Villa Bologna was estranged from the Catena title. The title passed on to the son of Lord Strickland’s eldest daughter, the Hon. Mary Constance Horneyold Strickland  wife of Henry (OB) while Villa Bologna passed on to Edmund de Trafford.





Gerald (left), Anthony (right) Tony Camilleri (centre).


Portrait of Ld.Strickland (behind)




Edmund and Cecelia had three sons who after a generation’s absence came back to Beaumont. Gerald the eldest (OB 47) went to McGill University then St Catherine’s Oxford for Law, He  married Helena Catherina Charlotte Hallo  and their son Jasper  de Trafford inherited Villa Bologna on Gerald’s death in 2015 the seventh of his line to hold it. Jasper is married to Fleur de Trafford who just happens to be the daughter of Gerald’s brother Hubert George (52) who was usually known as George After two marriages George died in 1993. The marriage of his daughter to her cousin probably required a church dispensation. The middle brother was Anthony (53) who married Gabrielle Boone and the last Beaumont connection to the family.  




Hugo Du Plessis


 It was Michael Perrett –Young (44) who brought to my attention the death of Hugo Du Plessis or Duplessis as he was known at school. Michael had bought the sailing dinghy belonging to Hugo’s father Gerald  and he sporadically kept in touch with Hugo over the years. Over and above his obituary, I found this tribute to this remarkable man in the world of sailing:-





Hugo Duplessis relaxing during a cruise in West Cork in 1982. He was a pioneer in fibreglass boatbuilding technology, and an early developer of charter cruising in West Cork


Hugo Duplessis was a complete one-off, and his death at the age of 94 brings to an end a lifelong involvement with boats and cruising. Yet everything about him was in a sort of amiable contradiction.


As he’d a decidedly bushy appearance in his prime, with his splendid mop of curly grey hair matched by a strong and unruly beard, you’d have assumed that he would be a natural enthusiast for traditional construction, and boats of archaic rig.


This traditionalist image was accentuated by his approach to time-keeping. Or perhaps his relaxed attitude to precise punctuality was accentuated during the time he spent in Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s, running a cruising yacht charter company - Irish Atlantic Yacht Charters - from Bantry.


However it came about, for Hugo the soft air of West Cork seemed to encourage an already laid-back attitude to everything, and anyone chartering one of his two yachts soon learned that if they didn’t adopt the same leisurely approach, then they weren’t going to get the full value from the experience.



Hugo duplessis2


Yet the two ketches he had on charter were the giveaway to the other side of his character. Far from being colourful traditional vessels as some might have expected, they were straightforward glassfibre boats built in no-nonsense style by Westerly Marine – a 36ft Westerly Conway, Samharcin an Iar, and a 32ft Westerly Berwick, Aisling na Mara.


Robustly built and noted as boats requiring minimal maintenance, they were a reminder that in another earlier life in the south of England, the young cruising enthusiast and boat-building experimenter Hugo du Plessis (he underwent a name modification during his nine and more decades on the planet) had been an early enthusiast for glassfibre construction, to which he brought a complete precision which seemed to be lacking in other aspects of his life.


His curiosity and practical research into the full possibilities of the new material resulted in the publication of his authoritative book, Fibreglass Boats, in 1964. It is now in its fifth edition, still an authoritative reference book for building and repairs, and it has achieved continuing success on both sides of the Atlantic.


Yet if you spent time in Hugo’s company cruising in West Cork, it was sometimes difficult to reconcile this easy going and colourful character with the precise and scientific approach which set the tone of his book. And equally, his obvious enjoyment of the lotus-eating aspects of being in port while cruising were at variance with his quiet determination to complete some extraordinary voyages in which, so long as he had the time that he felt the venture merited, he succeeded with achievements which received full recognition from cruising adjudicators.


Barry Silver (66)


 Ed: I came across this cutting in a motor sports magazine 2010


“In May last year Ecclestone's eldest daughter, 26 year-old Tamara, paid £1.7 million to buy The Swag and Tails, a pub which her father had been visiting for decades. It is a stone's throw from the penthouse facing Hyde Park where Ecclestone lives with his 30 year-old girlfriend. He religiously visited the pub for lunch whenever he was in London and his regular table faced the door so he could survey the comings and goings.


The pub's typical crowd included smartly-suited bankers and Ecclestone's long-time friend Barry Silver. Motorsport's wealthiest powerbrokers dined there with Ecclestone, as did Sylt himself. The previous landlady Annemaria Boomer became his close friend and when her lease ran out in May Tamara bought the pub in a bid to keep it open. However, local residents soon put the brakes on this and for the last year Ecclestone has had to make do with eating at the café above the Armani store on Brompton road just a few minutes’ walk from Harrods”.






The life of another of our leading surgeons remembered:-


 (1913-1993) Gordon Gryspeerdt died on the 17th November 1993 at the age of 80 years deeply mourned by his family and his many friends. Gordon was born in Croydon, Surrey, on the 9th July 1913. Educated at Beaumont, he rowed at school and at Henley and was in the winning rifle shooting team at Bisley in 1930 and 1931. He studied medicine at St Thomas' Hospital, London, and qualified in 1937. He was appointed Orthopaedic House Surgeon at St Thomas' and at Pyrford Hospital, Surrey, under Rowley Bristow. He volunteered to join the RAF in 1939 and served throughout the war attaining the rank of Squadron Leader, being mentioned in despatches. He returned to St Thomas' Hospital in 1946 to study radiology then later decided to specialize in neuroradiology.


 He trained in neuroradiology at the Serafima with Professor Lindgren in Stockholm 1950, at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square and the Atkinsons Morley Hospital. In 1955 when Gordon came to Newcastle, a new Regional Neurosciences Unit was being planned. He planned the Neuroradiology Department which was built first and when completed was one of the best, if not the best in the UK. It includes a superb lecture theatre which was named in honour of him on his retirement. He made significant contributions to the World Neu- roradiological Literature, particularly in Occult Spinal Dysraphism and Magnification Cerebral Angiography. In Occult Spinal Dysraphism he developed myelographic techniques which later became standard practice throughout the world. Many Neuroradiologists from abroad visited his department. Gordon was his own man at all times, enthusiastic to promote Neuroradiol- ogy and meticulous in all that he did.


Gordon was Senior Consultant in Administrative Charge of the Neuro- radiology Department, Regional Neurosciences Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne from 1957 to 1978 and the Royal Victoria Infirmary. He was president of the British Society of Neuro- radiologists (1972/1974) and was a founder member of the European Society of Neuroradiologists in Colmar, France, in September 1969. Although a dedicated Neuroradiologist he found time to be a very expert gardener and in his retirement a craftsman in the use of silver with his own hallmark with the Assay Office. His many colleagues and friends in the UK and Europe will remember the superb hospitality which he and Norna provided at their lovely home at Riding Mill, Northumberland. Gordon Gryspeerdt was a great pioneer in the development of Neuroradiology in the United Kingdom and Europe.


 My colleagues and I in Newcastle will always remember Gordon's kindness and warmth, his engaging wit, his modesty and courtesy and his help and enthusiastic encouragement. There have been many letters paying tribute to Gordon. To mention a few, from John Hankinson, Professor of Neurosurgery, who said Gordon 'rejoiced with me when things went well and cheered me when they didn't'; from Ted Burrows who stressed Gordon's single mindedness in pursuit of the highest standards and his adoption of the concept of the joint effort of the team working together, and from Erik Lindgren who said Gordon was 'such a man one immediately liked'.






I hope I may be forgiven but there are times when I have less than charitable thoughts about the late Gerard Fiennes (59). This usually occurs on a Thursday the day before our rubbish collection. It is on that day that I do my “bit” of civic duty and pick up the litter in the local vicinity. Red Bull which Gerard introduced to this country tops the list of louts favourite litter on this part of the Surrey / Sussex border.






I was “going down memory lane” looking at my scrap books and came across a couple of photos from my time in Cyprus at the start of the Seventies. There was a heavy emphasis on the social scene and among the most generous of hosts were Dudley Heathcote (51) and his wife Leslie. Dudley was there with the Overseas Civil Service and entertained both at his home overlooking Kyrenia, on the “chug-a-lugs” and on the beach:-








Dudley doing some serious “chatting up” and Leslie “the hostess with the mostest”.




Many years later in France their son Peregine turned up “Chez Wilkinson” with a group of the young. He was already starting to make a name for himself as a promising artist and had already completed a fullsize portrait of Dudley in the uniform of the Cameronians – this was the family Regiment (Colonel Sir Gilbert Redvers Heathcote (OB 69) fought in the Zulu Wars).








Born in London in 1973 ,Peregrine spent his childhood living in both Britain and Dubai where his imagination was free to flourish as he witnessed an international jet set culture. Hence it is no surprise that the artist’s imagery reflects a provocative Silver Screen theatrical quality. In 1995 Peregrine graduated from the Florence Academy of Art and since that time he has been profiled by the BBC in a documentary about his portraits resulting in international exposure. 



Image result for peregrine heathcote




Heathcote’s images of beautiful women stepping off bullet trains in addition to his Gatsby-esque characters embarking on luxurious voyages via vintage aircrafts and cruise ships, conjure a world of intoxicating glamour and intrigue. The artist uniquely blends a sense of nostalgia with the contemporary world while creating narrative stories in paint. Notably, he has exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal Academy, and Hampton Court.  In addition his paintings have been auctioned at Christies, London. 


Dudley and Leslie lived in Cheyne walk for many years. Sadly Leslie who had been much involved on the committees of various charity balls and parties died in 2005.


Dudley has since moved abroad (I believe somewhere in France) and continues his work with the Order of Malta but has lost touch with the BU.




Wartime Memories


  Brigadier Michael Perrett-Young has recently been in touch:-


“I have been looking at the BU website and wondered if the following might be of interest :




 “The walls shook and dust fell from the ceiling of Our Lady's Chapel in the 'White House' where all of us New Boys were gathered for a ‘briefing’ on that September 1940 evening. No warning in terms of the usual uneven throb of Luftwaffe engines or other nearby explosions. No panic either as we were directed in to the cellars. The bomb that had fallen on Brothers' Walk was a novel opening to four War years at Beaumont, and needless to say, we were there the next day inspecting the crater.


It must have been back to Dormitory routine soon afterwards as with others, I watched the flashes of AA fire and searchlights towards London after 'lights out' for which I got in to trouble ! Soon afterwards I moved to sleeping on the floor in the 'White House' entrance hall where from time to time, a very kind Lay Brother left snacks for me from the Js' Dining Room. In general though, despite rationing we never went hungry. Later perhaps in '42 or'43, a number us slept on our own camp beds in the Library.


Classroom routine continued without interruption although with Cardinal Vaughan's School from London, part-sharing the facilities, there must have been some re-jigging of teaching schedules.


I recall two Rectors, Fr Lilley followed by Fr Hailsham, and Fr J D Boyle Director of Studies. We were much in awe of the latter, but from my later personal experience, he was a most understanding man. And I could never forget Fr Henry Day, WW1 Army Chaplain very crippled and mainly confined to his room in the ‘white house’. It was a popular evening gathering place where he presided over relaxed conversations, and where his Military Cross, and Order of the White Eagle of Serbia were much in evidence.


Cricket and Rugby flourished as did rowing. I was in the 1st V111 and we competed against Eton 2 and UCS amongst others, and also won the 1943 Egham Regatta. On the fitness side, runs to the Copper Horse and Paripan Works (at the Egham end of Runnymede) were regular, only limited by the occasional bomb/landmine falling on and closing the Great Park.


The JTC was commanded by Viscount Fitzalan.. He was very lame; wound or arthritis I'm not sure. We wore/were equipped with WW1 style khaki uniform ie peaked cap, tunic, 'breeches', puttees, boots, black leather belt with 'S'clip. SMLE rifle, and long 'sword' bayonet. At a Field Day I attended in the Great Park, there was no shortage of ‘thunderflashes’ but MG fire was simulated with rattles. We supported the Home Guard and on one exercise guarded the Albert Bridge at Datchet . In July 1943 the JTC participated in a 'Wings for Victory' fund raising event ; we assembled at Combermere Barracks in Windsor and with other Service and civilian contingents, marched past HM the King & Queen , Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret Rose and King Haakon of Norway in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle,


Later on I decided my future would be with the RAF, and so I joined the ATC, cycling to regular evening 'drills' in Windsor. While returning to Beaumont from one of them, AA shrapnel tingled on the road, and I pedalled that bit faster !


In the same year a USAAF Flying Fortress crash landed on Runnymede (head on to just where there's a kink in the road). The whole School must have been down the next morning for a look !


Again in 1943, we were very surprised at lunch, to see a variety of strangers including some attractive ladies, joining the Js at the top table. Arthur Askey, Ann Shelton, Jean Kent etc . They were making the film 'Bees in Paradise' (yes, truly), and Beaumont had lent/hired them the Runnymede playing fields. The School’s own dramatic efforts flourished too and I remember a very professional and scary production of 'The Monkey's Paw'.


In July 1944 a V1 Flying Bomb hit the Bells of Ousley, killing two people and injuring a number of others. Fr Tempest and a few of us rushed down to see if we could help, but the Rescue Services were soon on the scene. The West side had taken the blast and was a pile of rubble with twisted V1 metal/components lying here and there.




Michael left Beaumont in 1944 andwent to Cambridge under RAF sponsorship, where “I was fortunate to be welcomed and supported by the outstanding Chaplain of the time, Father later Mgr Alfred Gilbey . Other OBs there included a good friend Tim McElhaw, mentioned on your website.  I thenenlisted as a Private in the Queen's Royal Regiment in July 1945 then with service in the UK (including JARIC –Joint Air Reconnaissance intelligence Centre and the Royal Naval War College at Greenwich), BAOR, Malaya, Berlin, and Belgium. “I had the singular good fortune to become Director Intelligence Corps from 1979 to 81, after which I retired.   I live in Yorkshire in Kirkbymoorside about twenty minutes run from Ampleforth , which although I'm a 'southerner' , this is due to my Yorkshire wife, whom I met while she was working in the St John & Red Cross  Welfare at BMH Alexandra, Singapore.  She was in to horses  both in BAOR cross-country, trials,  etc in the 1950s before we met, and then later up here running the local Agricultural Show for 22 years. I'm just coming up to 92 and not quite as speedy as I once was”.


 Michael sent me some photos of Wartime Beaumont. He took part  in two working Summer Holiday Camps; which he believes  lasted two weeks, and apart from the holiday and health aspects, the purpose was to cut wooden pit-props for the Mines. All very satisfying and enjoyable.




The first in 1942 illustrated by the photos below, was near West Kingsdown in Kent. 





Mr Merrell with pipe with another master (not known). Michael is behind them with Michael Warren (axe). In the jumper is Robert Ouseley who later served in the RAFVR and then lived and worked in Italy. Next row –Michael Devine: studied medicine at St Mary’s and TCD but may have switched to the Theatre. Yvo de Vleeshauwer son of the Belgian politician: he served in the Intelligence Corps then Trinity Camb. Louvain and the diplomatic corps. John Dunhill last heard of at Devonshire Mews W1.






Michael P-Y with billhook, Denis Villiers Biscoe beside him and John Dunhill facing.





Guy published this photo of the VI damage to the façade of the White House a few years ago: Michael adds that he was lucky that his room was on the far side and he was saved the broken glass.



A corner of my Study on the top floor of the 'White House' 1944.  Despite coal rationing, I see I had a full coal bucket and a very cheerful fire on the go.







Wings for Victory Parade at Windsor Castle 1943 to raise money for Spitfires. 










The JTC took part in a 'Wings for Victory' fund raising event in Windsor on 30 May 43.  With others we assembled at and marched from Combermere Barracks to the Castle.  You can just about see HM George V1, Queen Elizabeth, and Princesses Elizabeth & Margaret Rose, and King Haakon of Norway at the saluting base.  I'm 2nd rank centre file, and further down the outside files, of the many, I can pick out Richard de Ayala (43)(Cpl) later Captain Irish Guards, Alvaro Holguin, & Heinrich Pribram..  There's a Pathe' clip of this parade on the Web, but regretfully it doesn't include Beaumont's input, however from the Beaumont Review:-







Ed: The Corps was affiliated throughout the War to the Training Battalion of the Grenadier Guards this passed to the Household Cavalry in 1946.









The photo was taken after the 'Egham Regatta 1944' won by Beaumont. L – R


looking :  Perrett-Young, Condie, Parson, Wheeler, with Pigou (cox).




ED: Robert Condie came from the Spanish port of Huelva and was both in the Rugby XV and the VIII. He joined British American Tobacco working both in Huelva and Valpariso. He married Aurora Gonzales-Barba in Huelva in 1954. Robert Parson was also in the Rugby XV and Captain of the School, he served as a Captain in the RHA before studying dentistry at St Andrews. Michael Wheeler was another in the XV and the VIII: he became an accountant. Hugo Pigou son of an OB and worked in the Far East.




The VIII of 1943





From L to R :   Tim McElhaw (bow),  Leakey,  Keighley  Wheeler,  Perrett-Young. Parson, Condie, Hodson (Stroke).  Regretfully out of view, Pigou (Cox).


Michael has sent me some other rowing photos (copyright Beaumont Photographic Society) that I will publish in the next Review.  


Michael is now, following the death of Major General Christopher Tyler our most senior Army Officer (the others being Brigadiers Tony Mornement,  Ant Stevens and Adrian Naughten) and I have to confess that inexcusably I hadn’t registered Michael’s name in the past.







Brigadier Micheal Perrett-Young finished his distinguished career as Director of The Intelligence Corps 1979-81 in doing so he brought to a fitting close Beaumont’s connection with Military Intelligence.


OBs that Michael came across during his career




Father Alfred Gilbey (19) – Outstanding, generous and rather eccentric Catholic Chaplain at Cambridge.


Tim McElhaw (44) – Like me RAFVR at Cambridge, and a good friend. Ed. found fame as the last RAF pilot to shoot down another aircraft in close aerial combat 1948


Geoffrey Dickinson(44) – Read Medicine at Caius.  From time to time he and I entertained an USAF pilot in Geoffrey’s rooms, as relaxation for the pilot between bombing sorties.  He took over his Father’s Practice in Frodsham; sadly passed away several years ago.


Lionel Gracey (45) at Cambridge. Ed Distinguished surgeon, accomplished golfer, lecturer on religious art.


Anthony Gilbert-Scott (45) at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Ed. RN then joined his father Adrian’s (00) architectural practice. Left for estate management.


Bill Holland (43) at Cambridge (43) became a Doctor


Heinrich Pribram (45) at Cambridge for medicine. Ed. Boxing Blue his father Austrian born Prof.Karl Pribram neurosurgeon and then devoted his career to elucidating the structure and function of the cerebral cortex, relating human clinical experience to his neurophysiological and neurobehavioral studies on nonhuman primates. He discovered the visual functions of the temporal lobe and the relationship of the anterior frontal cortex to the limbic system. His theoretical writings include the topics of perception, emotion, memory, and planning. Heinrich’s mother was the American authoress Katherine Neville.




 Prince Michael Obolensky (‘Obo’) (44) –  Irish Guards.  Last seen as RTO (Regimental Transport Officer) Liverpool St Station.


 Maurice Berkeley (39) – Royal Artillery.  Very nice chap; several years older than me; in the same unit as me at Bulford. Ed. son Hugh was at Beaumont and then Stonyhurst.


Hugo Duplessis – Several years older than me.  I met him by chance at Lymington, where I bought his Father’s sailing dinghy.  We remained in sporadic touch over the years, until sadly he passed away in April this year.  A great sailor and a remarkably talented chap.  Reference to him on the Web says it all. Ed.See Obituaries.


Hugo Pigou (45) -  Cox of the First VIII in my time. Seen briefly in Singapore in 1954 Ed .He joined the trading company Bousted & Co in the Far East. Son of Lt Cmdr Frederick (10)


George Okell (43) – Seen briefly in Singapore 1954. Ed WW2 Lt Irish Guards then New College Oxford. He is the brother of John Okell OBE, Hon Fellow SOAS.


Denis (D.G.M.) Anstee (44) – a good friend; went trekking with him in Wales during the 1943 Summer Holidays.  Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment and sometime with the Parachute Regiment.  1949/50, ADC to GOC SW District  (Maj Gen De Fonblanque) at Bulford same time as me.   Served at HQ BAOR same time as  me in 1968,  Passed away some years ago. I remained in touch with his Widow until a couple of years ago. Ed. I knew him in France where he had a holiday house – seldom seen without a glass in his hand both in and out of the pool: excellent company.


Basil Eugster (33) – Comd 3 Bde at Dhekelia in 1961. Although I was posted to Cyprus that year, I was in Episkopi and never actually met him. Ed. finished as General Sir Basil KCB KCVO CBE DSO MC & Bar. Colonel of the Irish Guards, Commander in Chief UK Land Forces.


Beaumont and Military Intelligence




Lt General Sir George Watson MacDonogh GBE KCB KCMG. Director Military Intelligence.


Major Malcolm Hay of Seaton Head of MI1b (code breakers). His organisation would become Bletchley Park in WW2


Inter War Years


Admiral Sir Gerald Dickens KCVO CB CMG Director Naval Intelligence 1932 -5.  During this time the British Fleet was said to be the largest, the most powerful, the most efficient Fleet in the whole world.




Brigadier Raymund Maunsell CBE. Head Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME); among his successes was the breaking of the Kondor Ring.


Wg-Cmdr The Marquis de Casa Maury. Head of Combined Operations Intelligence. He was a key man for the raids at Bruneval, St Nazaire (the greatest raid of all) and the disaster at Dieppe.


Major Felix Russi MC. Head of Counter Intelligence North Africa. Reported by Kim Philby to the soviets as being “a complete moron”.


Captain Kevin O’Neill MBE Bletchley Park. He worked on code-breaking process of the Lorenz-encrypted messages (known as Tunny in the UK) from encrypt in German-occupied territories. Post war Head of Canada’s Communications Security Establishment their equivalent of GCHQ.


Post War


Major John Farmer: MI5 then MI6


Eustace McNaught: Head of Espionage Middle East MI6




Anthony Scott (59)



I mentioned Anthony’s death in the covering letter to the last REVIEW and although he was Captain of squash, he is probably best remembered for his cricket. He first played for the First XI in 1958 under Ralph Bates where it was noted that “he always played in his own unique manner” On the winning side at Lords he carried his bat not out 0. The following year now described as “a most disconcerting batsman” in the side captained by Michael Barr, the side was once again victorious at Lords: Anthony was out for 3. In his Valete entry he does not even mention cricket.




Followers of The BBC may have seen the following:


Antiques Roadshow World War One Special – Lady Dorothie Feilding was a heroine who ‘had absolutely no fear.


(Ed: Lady Dorothie married Capt.Charles Moore (98) in 1917. Among their children were Arthur (47) who followed his father into the Irish Guards before retiring to the family home Mooresfort, Tipperary. Ruth who married Sir Godfrey Agnew (Hon) and the parents of Patrick (59) and the late Ian (62).


Here, Antiques Roadshow expert Siobhan Tyrell, who examines Feilding’s medals in the one-off special, tells us the story of Lady Dorothie Feilding…


“Lady Dorothie is one of those almost forgotten women of the First World War who really need to be talked about. She was the second daughter of the Earl of Denbigh, so she was born into a very old, aristocratic family. Three months into the war she was living in a damp, cold cellar. She wasn’t used to that but she absolutely flung herself into this cause.”


Siobhan Tyrrell:Lady Dorothie Feilding


“She joined an ambulance unit that was set up by Dr Hector Munro, who was a bit of an eccentric and quite a feminist at a time when it was frowned upon to be associated with feminism and the suffragette movement. He advertised for ‘adventurous young ladies’ to join an ambulance driving corps. There were 200 applicants who were whittled down to four.”
“The British army didn’t like to see women on the front line. So the unit joined the Belgian army and Dorothie saw the most horrific things. The overall feeling I have is that she absolutely had no fear – she just got on with it.”


“She was the first female recipient of the Military Medal. it was awarded for bravery in the field – for her frontline work under fire. She was also awarded the Croix de Guerre – a similar French award – and the Belgian Order of Leopold.”


“Lady Dorothie was fiercely patriotic and wanted to do her bit. But part of her motivation was also to prove that women could do this. That’s also why Dr Hector Munro had started this unit, almost as an experiment to show that women could step up to the cause and prove themselves.”


ED: Concerning the “Road Show”: I heard from Tony Outred that Mark Marshall was seen on a programme in August: Was mark an exhibiter or exhibited? Or flogging the family silver?




Ex Cathedra


Fr Prime after only one year as Bursar has been sent to British Guiana – he writes” I have travelled up the Pomeroon right to the Venezuelan border gunmen up here and easy to get thrown into prison and forgotten about for months “ rather like Beaumont.


Mr Maude left to be Head of the Oratory Prep. Senior Classics Master for 7 years, Coach for the 2nd VIII, President of the Quodlibetarians. Living at Ouseley Lodge he and his wife hosted the BU dances and parties and Mrs Maude’s famous dancing classes that led to both “Home and Away” games with St Mary’s Ascot, Farnborough Hill and others.


Albert the Tailor celebrated 50 years’ service. He came to Beaumont in February 1909 and a party was given in his honour to which 120 came.


The fledgling HCPT brought over a party of children in October; they will be back.


Feast of Christ the King and “The morning Service came from Beaumont Roman Catholic College”. You can listen to the music on the WEBSITE –go to The Home Page Headings - Videos and scroll down.


Fr Alistair Russell (46) preached on the Feast of St Stanislaus. Mgr Gilbey (19) hosted a dinner at Cambridge on the same day 17 OBs attended.


School boy rugby – Ruane (Surrey), Johansen and Cameron (Saracens) Anthony Stevens (Rosslyn Park), Murphy (Streatham) Trowbridge (Esher).


November Prize List.


Among the prizes, surprises and “cannot believe my eyses” – Syntax 1: Jerry Gilmore RD, Ryan English and Latin. Halliday Greek. Upper Syntax: Hiscocks Science and Geography. Grammar 1 Meyer Greek and French, Glennie Class prize. Upper Grammar: Critchley English, History, Geography. Lower Grammar: de Galard. French. Ruds A: McArdle Latin, Outred Greek, Johansen English. Darby History. Ruds B: Appleby English. Coleman Geography. Lake Maths and Wilkinson (Ed) History.


Rhetoric Guests


Gerard Fairlie –author of “Bulldog Drummond” “Sapper” etc. (Fairlie married Joan Roskell dt of Charles Roskell, the first boy. He was the father in law of Michael de Burgh (41) and Gt Uncle of Mike (The Baron) de Wolff (63).


Arthur Morton –Director of NSPCC, Mrs Dee Wells of the Sunday Express and Graham Page MP.


Higher Line Play – Grand National Night


A play of social realities: drink, divorce, homicide and gambling and starred Barrie Martin (cultured, prospering, stunningly cool-headed). Ed is the critic describing the part or the actor? Other parts Ian Agnew plays a “soak”, Stephen Rousseau “self-sufficient comfort, Ian Glennie a “Circe”. Buns Darling; Christopher Collingwood made the part his own. Morton the butler required a very experienced actor –Patrick Agnew sustained it unfalteringly. Police Sgt –Andrew Stibbs provided the humour.


 Christmas Panto – Aladdin


A Light and informal entertainment concluding the term, to provide a catharsis, a purging of the passions. Passions were there all ready to be purged – how could it be otherwise on the last night of term? – those high animal spirits as a dog let loose at length from its chain, enjoying large liberty, recompensing itself for its weeks of constraint by a few hours’ riotously running amuck.


Book by Jeremy Hywell-Davies and Simon Gatti with assistance from Christopher Gardner-Thorpe, Malcolm Pritchett, Peter Foy, and Terence Leggett.


Starred Rory O’Sullivan (Aladdin), Peter Peake (Fatrima), Ant Stevens (Twanky). Compered by John Paton Walsh. Choreography Fr Murray and produced by Fr Hanshell




“Field Day” – No 1 Coy realised that the quickest way of reaching one’s objective is not to go round in circles. The 12 miles, some say 15 covered were said to be the prettiest in the county. No 2 Coy spent a profitable day learning how to repulse an invisible army. Ed the notes finish “Under Officer A J Synnott has left us. May good fortune blow his way in the Senior Service at Dartmouth” – especially at navigation.


The Band has yet again been resurrected. De Kerdrel is Drum Major, Houlder in charge of the Drums. Depending upon standard they will play at Old Windsor next term (or ominously further afield).


Scouts – Senior Troop Camp.


Caerdeon – rich in scenic beauty- the Cader Range and the Mawdach Estuary is famous for its association with writers, poets and artists. In August 1958 it was rich in mud. Despite the conditions, the peaks were attempted and some achieved the “Tripos” of Cader, Diphways and Snowdon. The latter required a two-day expedition under most unpropitious auguries of wind and weather: their audacity was rewarded as on reaching the summit – North Wales became cloud free and was fully revealed in all its glory. Fr Sass (needless to say) acted as quartermaster, storekeeper, first-aid attendant and general factotum.




As noted earlier the Choir had to lead the Broadcast within a month of the start of term – however we were lucky to have an unusually talented and hardworking array of second and third year members. We received high praise for the standard achieved.(Those still about - Burrough, Lazar, Stileman, Wilkinson, Marshall, Ohly, Sommi, Stevens, Hawkins, Hinds, Paton Walsh, Gracie and Attlee).




 Following on from the Lourdes Pilgrimage, they managed to raise £150 which they presented to Dr Strode when he brought over 16 children of HCPT for an afternoon: the high light of which was an enormous tea.


HL Debating Society.


PM – Mr H James, Leader of the Opposition Mr J Attlee, Sergeant at Arms, Mr A Synnott, Hon Sec, Mr N Malley, Deputy PM Mr P Foy. Deputy Opp. Mr R O’Sullivan.


Motions included: Progress is better than Retreat, TV Does not have a derogatory moral effect on the nation. School military training will not save the nation. Windsor is preferable to Staines. Increased facilities in education have improved neither morals nor manners. Co-education is to be abhorred.


The Final debate: “The House would rather be the Underdog” brought about a considerable amount of wit about dogs from the cross benches.


Scientific Society


C G-T reported “ the gasworks has at last been completed, and works quite efficiently as long as the retorts are treated with respect. We are now contemplating producing an oil refinery but there are many difficulties to overcome”. Patmore gave a talk on “Qualitative Analysis” and on a visit to London Zoo “everyone enjoyed gong behind the cages”.




Flores has completed a four foot tall bureau and bedside cabinet: Sullivan a coffee table. Other items included  “a breakfast in bed table”( Ed who was going to benefit from this).




Speakers included The Hon Giles St Aubin on amateur filming, Sir Arthur Jones on Books of his late Victorian childhood. P Smith Esq on Modern Architecture and Japanese poetry by Mr O’Malley.


Correspondence – Oxford.


Guardino Rospigliosi is always immaculately dressed. Peter Brindley has a reputation as an orator and has taken part in a Brains trust. Valentine Russell keeps a well -stocked cocktail cabinet. Richard Hewins was active in the OUDS production of Hamlet. Brian O’Gorman lives at No 1 Beaumont Buildings , Beaumont Street. Anthony Whyatt had made a profitable visit to Canada during the long vac. Anthony Paton Walsh is carrying on a family tradition. Simon Burrough continues to have various successes in the ring. Andrew Clasen is rowing, Ian Sinclair squash, Christopher Noble Hockey, Adrian Vickers and Ted Winfield Rugby.




Christopher Tyler’s knowledge of boxing made him admirably suited to referring the rugby cuppers. Patrick Stowe is guaranteed to hold up the Fenners Beer Tent from the word “play” till stumps drawn. Tom Wood studying medicine is on the lookout for “bones”. David Bulfield and Jeremy Gompertz are established on the Trinity rugby grounds: there is malicious gossip that they are also finding time to work. Kevin O’Sullivan is writing to newspapers. Jeremy Cuddigan has taken to sailing around Cornwall. Both Christopher Gompertz and Anthony Bernard rowed in the Trinity 2nd Boat: unsuccessfully. Brendan Mulcahy has a car, the main features are an overheated engine and water cooled passengers. Patrick Walsh and Paul Bedford are usually found in close proximity of a radiator and next to the boiler at mass. Martin Wells has given up science for the arts but he can now mend a fuse so his scientific year was not wasted. Richard Mills-Owens won his College cricket co0lours and has now returned to his winter sport: she is very pretty.




Gp Capt Devas DFC, AFC. (30) has been awarded a CBE


E J P Cussen (23) Junior prosecuting Counsel to the Crown.


John Drummond DSO (28) retires in the rank of Brigadier.


A P J F de Remusat (56) has passed out of Sandhurst to the Irish Guards with the Sir James Moncrieff Grierson Prize for languages.


John Marr (44) has been awarded a Ph.D London – thesis on Tamil Literature.


BU Dinner was at St Ermyn’s.  John Jenkins was the guest of Honour and Gus Wolff payed the tribute.


Simon Burrough is Hon Sec of the Pierce Egan Club to raise the standard of boxing at universities.


Team photographic appearances. Harry Hewitt (37) =12. Lawrence Dowley (44) and Christopher Campbell-Johnstone tie for second place.


Baron Michael de Stempel was auctioned when he was locked in a van – he went for a mere £320.


Births. – Maurice Berkeley, Philip de Zulueta, Bernard Glanfield and John Penney all had sons.


Engaged – Michael Gubbins, Hugo Pigou, Peter Stickney and John Teeuwen.


Married: Thomas Callow, Michael de Stempel and Alvaro Holquin.


Died – Stephen Gatti (23) son of Sir John Gatti,  he went top St John’s Oxford and qualified as an electrical engineer. He was much concerned with the family firm that was eventually nationalised in 1948. Father of Simon and Nicholas.




1st XV played 11 matches, won 5, lost 4, drew 2. points for 71 and 65 against.


An exceptionally united XV which at times succeeded in playing with a clarity of purpose and efficiency of execution. The Meads though did not seem the same without Stevens and Baker. However the scrum was big and strong in the line outs; by the end of the season Murphy and Paton Walsh had a perfect understanding and Ruane was rarely beaten in possession.



Scalps include KCS, The Oratory, Whitgift. Losses Wellington and the unbeaten Downside.


Roberts the captain and Stevens the vice and scrum leader set a standard of efficiency in play and intelligence in direction which inspired the team. With more weight and experience in the backs this would have been a very good XV 


3rd XV


Probably one of the most successful seasons ever  with resounding victories over Reading School, a glorious win over The Oratory 2nd 21-8  and the only crushing defeat was at the hands of Harrow 0-27. For a team that plays purely for enjoyment and at the mercy over those higher up the rugby ladder this was a triumph indeed. When one thinks that the majority of the side had been considered unworthy of representing the school up until they were about to leave, it was especially satisfying: even those very few reserves available to us, when called upon, played with spirit and resolve. An example of this was the match at Merchant Taylors on one of the wettest days of the term, they spent most of the second half within ten yards of our line but never crossed. Players of note were Hywel-Davies the captain at full back, Ash the vigorous and persevering scrum leader, Gilmore J the opportunist, Henry who tackled anyone and everyone. The scrum half/fly half combination of Noble and Naughten: the latter with his place kicking.  Overall let us remember the teamwork and the spirit of those who regardless of their prowess always gave of their best.


Colts XV


Statistics are notoriously deceptive and the fact that this season they scored 72 points against 58 in eight matches might point to a pretty satisfactory term but further analysis shows 5 matches were lost to 3 wins. The strength of the team lay in the forwards who played soundly and developed into a cohesive, workmanlike pack with considerable fire and dash. I the tight they were never pushed off the ball except against a much bigger and heavier set of Radley forwards. Wins against The Oratory, Reading and UCS were the highlights. Mention should be made of the “dogsbodies” who provided the home opposition and who will never star until reaching the rarefied atmosphere of the 3rd XV. To recompense a match was arranged for them against the Lycee Francaise senior XV – a keen game which they did well to draw 6-6 despite the powerful support, vocal and instrumental which their opposition received from a large contingent of FEMALE supporters.


Junior Colts XV


A solitary Victory.


Under 14 XV


Not much better.








The REVIEW is non- political but I happened to be re-reading Peter Hennessy’s “Having it so Good” about life in the Fifties and the Macmillan years in particular. Sir Philip de Zulueta (42) was the PM’s Private Secretary and wrote:-


“Paris in May 1960 was the time and the place, however, when the lack of relative British power really caught up with its would-be sustainer and deployer. Macmiliian sensed it – as did those closest to him; I never saw him more depressed. He was really cast down and glum after the failed summit. Apart from all the effort he had personally put into it, this was the moment he suddenly realised that Britain counted for nothing: he couldn’t move Ike to make a gesture towards Krushchev, and de Gaulle was simply not interested. I think this represented a real watershed in his life…….Could salvation lie on the other side of that mountain of disappointment? It might. And if it did, it would come with a label marked Europe”.


De Zulueta was the man best placed to pick up Macmillan’s geopolitical thought on a daily basis. After the debacle in Paris had worked its way through that tired but finely tuned mind of Macmillan, de Zulueta believed  “the failure of the 1960 summit was really crucial in the development of his concept of Europe, because at that summit it became apparent that he really couldn’t, by himself, bring irreconcilable American and Russian positions closer. I think this led him to think very much again about what the British position was in the world. The colonial empire was, if not gone, rapidly going, the Commonwealth obviously not being really strong enough, coherent enough as an economic force. So what does Britain do? How does she play a part in the world?.....


I don’t think there was a day on which he suddenly decided, you know, Europe is the thing. But certainly he moved, from then onwards, really rather fast in the direction of feeling that this was the right road for Britain to follow, and that Europe was going to be united, and that without being a part of it Britain would neither be important on its own nor play a part in a wider grouping.”


Ed: Perhaps we should have a Beaumont Brexit where the Government (Js), investors (parents), industry (Boys) are cast out of their comfortable surroundings by Barnier (Canadian Visiter) and forced to make alliances with those elsewhere (Stonyhurst) who were only interested in their terms.


Johnnie Muir sent me the following after the “failed” gathering last September:-


‘My guess would be that EU and UK fudge each other into transition’ (Brussels Eurocrat, 21 September 2018)




‘‘To fudge, or not to fudge, that is the question:


Whether 'tis fairer for the gut to guzzle


The cakes and cherries in the Brexit waffles


Or to close the road against the kicking,


And in so doing cage the cannery. To kick—to bake,


No more; and with a red line, to say we clear


That cliff edge and the thousand natural hiccups


That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consumption


Devoutly to be wish'd. To kick, to bake;


To bake, perchance to burp—ay, there's the rub:


For in that septic bake-off what back-stops may appear,


When we have shuffled off this level playing field,


Must give us pause— ‘tis the peptic ulcer


That makes transition hard to bear.


Forgo Essex, I hear you cry…The Only Way is EFTA!


The Chequers menu and the ERG's contumely dare


Bring pangs of indijaggers, the naughty chair,


The blank cheque Brexit, and the threats


Of allotment deselection. So keep your powder dry


And rediscover your tranquillity,


By staying home for toast and tea.’’




(with apologies to Bill)








Sir Patrick Sergeant retires from Euromoney board





Photo taken by Antoinette Eugster daughter of Edward (22)




Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC announced  that Sir Patrick Sergeant, Non- Executive Director and founder of the Company, has informed the Board of his intention to retire from the Board on 16 May 2018.


Immediately following his retirement, Sir Patrick will be appointed as the company’s Life President.


Commenting on the announcement, David Pritchard, Acting Chairman of Euromoney said: “It has been a privilege to serve alongside Sir Patrick on our Board. Sir Patrick’s entrepreneurial spirit when he founded Euromoney back in 1969 encapsulates the very reason for its success over almost five decades. Sir Patrick has served as Managing Director, Chairman and latterly Non-Executive Director. We are delighted that he has agreed to accept an appointment as Life President of the Company so that we can continue to benefit from his advice and insights.




Francis Beckett’s latest:-






Francis with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell at the October press gallery lunch. 


In Jeremy Corbyn and the Strange Rebirth of Labour England, Francis Beckett and Mark Seddon offer an alternative and refreshing take on the sad fate of Labour England over the past four decades. They then turn their attention to the extraordinary reversal of fortunes of the Corbyn years, and to what a new Labour England might look like with or without Corbyn.


“A book that brilliantly challenges the narrow-minded assumptions and misplaced fashionable orthodoxies of most political commentary. In placing Corbyn’s rise in a wider historical context, the authors shine fresh light on its epic significance, while avoiding uncritical hero worship and lazy disdain.”


Ed: - I had an Email “conversation” with Francis when I mentioned that Andrew Murray (the controversial, one time communist and adviser to Jeremy Corbyn) was the son of Peter Drummond-Murray OB.


I had no idea. I used to know Andrew quite well, when he was first at the TGWU, and I knew he was at a Catholic public school, but I knew nothing of a Beaumont connection.  He is a very strange man, and not likeable.  We fell out terminally when I wrote a book about the miners’ strike which was heavily critical of Arthur Scargill, and Andrew felt this was a betrayal and wrote the most unpleasantly personal article anyone has ever written about me, in the Morning Star.  My new book is very critical of Andrew and Seumas Milne, whose poor advice has, I think, dished any chance of Corbyn ever being PM. Perhaps you think this is a matter for congratulation, but it was not Andrew’s intention!” All best, Francis.






Gerry Ford (see Correspondence) mentions that Euan Cameron (59) is publishing his first novel in January.




Euan Cameron




 Euan is no stranger to writing, he has translated over two dozen books from the French, including works by Julien Green, Paul Morand, François Bizot, Pierre Péju, Jean-Paul Kauffmann, Philippe Claudel and Jean-Michel Guenassia, as well as major biographies of Marcel Proust and Irène Némirovsky. He was formerly a publisher at Bodley Head, Random House and Harvill Secker.


We await the novel’s publication with interest.




QUEEN VICTORIA: the reason for the First Visit


The story goes that on 2 March 1882 Roderick Maclean (insane) attempted the life of the Queen at Windsor railway station with a pistol. Some Beaumont and Eton boys were present and were among the first to help apprehend the would-be assassin. On returning to school they reported what had occurred to Fr Cassidy the Rector. That evening a Te Deum was sung in the chapel and the next day Fr Cassidy sent a petition to the Castle to make a loyal and congratulatory address: thus the first royal visit on the 9 March






Beaumont and Eton boys help to apprehend Maclean


Jerry Hawthorne has come across another story:-


Queen Victoria was alone driving a horse and carriage through the streets of Eton. By chance two Beaumont boys were nearby, having broken the school rule forbidding boys to leave Beaumont's grounds. The Queen's horse and carriage then became stuck in the railway line just as a steam train was travelling towards her at speed. The two boys dashed over  and pushed the carriage out of the path of the oncoming train, in the nick of time. 
Upon the boys returning to Beaumont they said nothing, because the punishment at that time for breaking bounds would have been a beating - twice nine ferrulas. 

However Queen Victoria came up to the school gates shortly afterwards to say thank you. In the19th Century the Queen was not allowed by law to enter Catholic properties so the Jesuit headmaster was called to meet her at the foot of the drive to Beaumont, where she expressed her gratitude for what had occurred. After the Queen left the two boys were called to the First Prefect’s study where they were given their 2 X 9 punishment for breaking bounds.




The story of the carriage on the railway lines, the rescue by boys out of bounds, and the extraordinary visit by the Queen followed by the 2x9 punishment sounds marvellously Jesuitical.


Surely the moral of “if you commit an act however brave, justified and even if it produces “ground-breaking” results and you are in breach of rules you will still be punished” must be a case in English law  - Jerry as a lawyer can you quote Queen v ….  To justify such action.


Jerry replied:-


Yes, in view of what you say, the railway lines rescue is probably fictional but interesting nonetheless. As for the law, Jesuitical rather than Common Law, would apply, I am sure.




Henry Stevens was rummaging around in his archives and sent in this press cutting from the Universe.









Both Frank Staples and Pip Danby (57) were good horsemen; both competing at the Pony club championships in their youth. While at school they were allowed out to exercise a pony belonging to Paddy Hughes-Young the eldest son of Lord St Helens then at Eton. The pony was kept up at Englefield Green but Paddy was not permitted to exercise it mid-week. Paddy later joined the 11th Hussars where he and the Editor shared the Adjutant’s office at one time. Paddy sadly died as a result of a racing accident in a point-to-point in 1970.


Paddy had a younger sister Louisa who married one James Arbuthnot, the son of Hugh who was Headmaster of Penryn where a good number of OBs spent time. James is also the cousin of David and John Flood and his uncle was Donald Arbuthnot (19) who was sadly killed by a mob of coolies at Talup, India in 1930. James and Louisa eldest son John married Geraldine de Lisle in 2007. Geraldine is the daughter of Hubert March Phillipps de Lisle (64).


Ed James Arbuthnot has recently died.






Who said in an interview “On travel Essentials”:-


“I never forget sun cream and some easy shoes to lounge around in. My mother always said “Don’t die with your dirty knickers on”, so I always make sure I take enough boxer shorts where ever I go”.


Anyone driving without due care and attention around Cowdray polo grounds could find out.






Bankers, wealth managers and financiers have changed a great deal in this country in the last fifty years – their appearance has to fit in with global clients; since 2000 I, for one, am no longer greeted reassuringly at my bank by gentlemen in frock coats. So when by chance I came across this photograph, I was pleased to see that some still felt it was necessary to maintain standards:




Image result for paul podesta images


Paul Podesta (59) of Petrus Financial




STILL AT THE CREASE (from Performance Cricket)


Tom Scanlon (62) has been coaching cricket professionally since 1962, when he worked at the DCF Burton (the old Yorkshire captain) School near Sunningdale and captained Beaumont, against The Oratory at Lord’s. He played most of his cricket for Teddington CC in the days before the Middlesex league was formed and then for a couple of seasons in the league.


Tom was Assistant Editor of ‘The Cricketer’ magazine in 1970-72 and then spent a long time in various postings overseas with British Forces Broadcasting Service, which pretty well put cricket to a stop apart from occasional games in far-flung outposts.






Since formalising his cricket coaching on his final posting back to the UK he spent five years managing the Berkshire Cricket Centre and has been coach or manager to ten Berkshire County youth teams and in a similar role in District youth cricket since its inception in 2003.


Tom is a member of the coaching panel for Berkshire U10s, U11s and U12s’ winter development sessions and County U14 and U15 winter training programmes, and is currently the Under 15 Reading District manager.


Coaching Qualification: Senior ECB coach since 1997


Favourite part of being a Performance Cricket coach:


“I thoroughly enjoy coaching young players, whether they are county cricketers or beginners. My main aim is to bring the best out by making coaching so enjoyable for the boys and girls that they just want to keep coming back for more!”


Tom is a fantastic coach if you want to improve: ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR GAME.


ED as mentioned earlier Tom has generously donated all his Beaumont “Cricketing paraphernalia” to the Museum.






Our Man in West Sussex


Vespers at Arundel Cathedral (on a peerless summer Evening) organised by the Friends of the Cathedral. Chairman Patrick Burgess. After the celebration there was champagne and “mingling” in the Collector Earl’s garden.





The Hierarchy: Patrick Burgess DL, (63) the Lord Lieutenant for West Sussex Mrs Susan Pyper and Bishop Richard Moth.




Lieutenancy of Suffolk


Deputy Lieutenant Commissions: this one slipped through the net.






Image result for his honour judge john devaux




The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk has announced the appointment of five new Deputy Lieutenants for the County of Suffolk: These include His Honour Judge John Edward Devaux, Hadleigh, Ipswich


20 December 2013.






Stonyhurst Remembers




I received this missive concerning the closure of Beaumont 


My name is Michael Sullivan, I went to SJB in the 60s and was meant to enter Beaumont but due to the ‘67 closure went to Stonyhurst instead.



A small group of OS of my vintage are currently discussing the reasons for the closure of Beaumont and have put forward economics, declining vocations and post Vatican II sentiments as the primary causes.



I appreciate that there is a Wikipedia article but given the way that these are compiled, it is sometimes hard to get at the full history. We all remember parental disappointment at the time and the decision seems to have been a surprise even in some quarters quite close to the college. 



If you or other OB have any thoughts that you could share with us we would be most grateful to receive them.



Along with my fellow OS who are exploring this, I extend our kindest regards,



Michael Sullivan


(SJB 67-70, OS 70-75)




This opened the floodgates:-




Dear Michael,


                        How very good to hear from you and on such an emotive subject which I will do my best to answer.


Going back to the early 60's Beaumont was thriving both academically and sporting despite its small size that had increased to about 260. We had just celebrated the Centenary in 1961 and a new accommodation block had been built with considerable contributions from both parents and the old boys, places at the school were fully booked; the future seemed assured. However the Jesuits were starting to have a recruitment and indeed a retention problem within the English Province, this came at a time when the Pope wished the Order to spend more of its efforts on the Missions and this was an important factor to the English Province who already had quite a commitment in this field. The Superior General in Rome decided in about 1964 to review the situation and it was decided that an independent assessor (Canadian Jesuit) would look into the problem and come up with a solution. Within the Province the Jesuits had in simple (class) terms 2 schools for the uppermost in society -Stonyhurst and Beaumont. Mount St Mary's for the middle and a considerable number of less expensive or state aided schools such as Wimbledon, St Ignatius Stamford Hill, Preston etc. The Order also bore in mind that we now had a labour Government in power and the social fabric of the Country was changing. All recommendations and plans were typically carried out in secret with very few in the know.


Initially, it was decided that at least one school should close; The Mount was selected but their diocesan Bishop on hearing of this, threatened to take it to the highest level within the Church. So having ruled out closing any of the much larger State schools as politically unacceptable it was a case of why are we running 2 schools for the privileged in society; one should close.


Stonyhurst their oldest establishment was the "rock on which the Order had been built"  but was in "the wilds of Lancashire". There was also written into the deed of gift from the Welds a caveat that if for some reason the school closed the buildings and land would revert to the family: so no financial asset to the Order. Beaumont was small and although thriving might prove difficult to expand in the future. Close to London a sale or rent of the property would bring in a considerable windfall to the Js.


It was not considered acceptable that a lay staff should take over the running of the school along the lines of The Oratory - never fully explained but was probably the money. Ampleforth also had an idea to take it over to run as a Benedictine establishment but this proved unviable.


Beaumont had no one to fight its corner and when the decision was announced it came as bolt from the blue; a total PR disaster with parents, past parents, OBs, lay staff and many of the Beaumont Jesuits deeply upset and angry made by an emissary who knew nothing about schooling in England: Beaumont the smallest with the fewest number of Js on the staff was to do little or nothing to help with the Missions and only 1 went out when the school closed.


They tried to "sell" the closure to those most concerned as an amalgamation along the lines of Haileybury &The ISC or an army regiment but this was never to be the case; nothing of Beaumont traditions etc were taken there except the boys who were absorbed into purely Stonyhurst methods. What possessions that went north were put into the cellars: surplus to requirement. The only symbol of Beaumont on display is now the new altar in the Chapel which was originally the Mackay Altar, it was purchased by the Weld-Blundells and bequeathed recently to Stonyhurst - no one there is aware of its true origins and the remarkable American family that donated it to Beaumont. You may well understand why the relationship between the Beaumont Union and Stonyhurst has never been easy: we never felt welcome or part of the organisation. The two schools that should have been close and certainly in the 19th Cent. often shared students were very different: Beaumont was more "country House" rather than "Stately Home" or fortress Catholicism. This seemingly lack of appreciation of Beaumont resulted in very few OBs choosing to send their sons there: in the north Ampleforth was the choice and Eton primarily in the south. It was not surprising that not long after Beaumont closed the Js sent the first Chaplain there since the Reformation and there are now more Catholics there than there ever were at Beaumont.


Any Jesuit who now comes down to Beaumont and sees what is now a Hotel and Conference centre (pretty exorable taste) can now realise what an opportunity was missed and a mistake made. St John's which is a very different school that you knew or I attended in the Fifties is a huge success. Not only one of the leading Preps sending Boys to the best schools in the country with over 300 but exceedingly happy offering some of the best facilities anywhere. They now continue with our traditions and house what memorabilia we can put together.


As an OBSJ you may now wear the BU tie and be a member of The Union if you so wish - it costs nothing and I would certainly not be offended in anyway if you felt it was not quite appropriate.


I hope what I have written is of help - I'm only too happy to answer any queries you may have. At least we know that some OS remember our name.




My best wishes to you and your friends,








ED. My Criticism is aimed very much at the Jesuit Order at Stonyhurst at the time of our closure and is certainly no fault of The Stonyhurst Association. OBs will be pleased to hear that the next President of The Association is Hugh Wooldridge (66): one of those who went north. Below you will find a report on the last Annual OS v OA Cross Country Race written by Hugh Dickinson SJBOB.




24th February 2018 Cross-Country v Ampleforth at the College


Report from Hugh Dickinson OS 97 (and SJB)


Many thanks to all those who played their part in making this an extremely enjoyable OS/OA race weekend with the added bonus that the Newton-Carter Trophy was regained by a victorious OS team!




61 runners in total gathered at the bottom of the avenue consisting of 8 teams (OS, OA and 6 school teams) as well as many more supporters. The conditions were as perfect as one could dream for in February in Lancashire – cold but bright and with not a cloud in sight! The race began at a fair lick, across the golf course and down through the river before heading up towards the road where glorious views across the fells lent some distraction to the general discomfort.  We turned off the road at the cattle grid at Holly Hall where the course became a veritable mud bath, before heading through Mill Wood and emerging in Hurst Green at the top of the Avenue for the final stretch. Jasper Johnson running for the Ampleforth boys’ team came first in the race followed by Will Metcalf OS 15 with competitive times. Hugh-Guy Lorriman was the first in for the OAs and his wife Mary-Maye OS 98 the first lady runner in.  All in all it was a convincing victory for the OS over the OA, with Ampleforth taking the honours in the boy’s race. There were notable performances from James Ashworth who came 5th (despite claiming lack of training before the race!), Richard Kenyon OS 98 and Stephen Belderbos OS 94. Harry Dickinson OS 94 and Al de Montfort (who had run 21 miles the day before!) also scored for the OS team.  Mike Kelly OS 76 who had not been back to the College since he left in 1976 also ran well. Father Philip Conner OS 92 (ED son of Gilbert OB) ran with his dog again, incorrectly identified 2 years ago as a spaniel – it is in fact a breed of Lake District sheep dog or cur or so I am told! Match tea followed the race where the Christopher Newton-Carter Trophy was presented to the OS.  A brief background was also given on Christopher Newton-Carter (Old Beaumont and OS) who ran in the inaugural Stonyhurst/Ampleforth cross-country race 52 years ago and was later killed in the 9/11 attacks. Afterwards many of the runners gathered at the Bayley Arms to watch Scotland unexpectedly thump England at the rugby. Drinks and dinner followed at St Mary’s Hall where spirits were clearly high because there were no less than 7 speeches delivered including one from Simon Andrews as Chairman of the Stonyhurst Association and Declan Richardson on behalf of the College cross-country team.  Stonyhurst and Ampleforth were toasted in turn, Hugh Sherbrook (OA) toasted Father Edward Corbould OSB ( Ed: Elder brother John OB) who was his inspirational cross-country coach at Ampleforth and  James Podevyn OS 98 toasted “Quant Je Puis”!  Hugh Sherbrooke (OA) won the oldest runner award (he is 70 in August) and Father Philip Conner the priest and dog award! Beverley Sillitoe was presented with a bottle of champagne to thank her for her tireless hard work in organising this weekend and thanks were also given to the SMH catering staff for producing such a feast.


We are very grateful to Paul Wilmore (master in charge of cross-country at Stonyhurst) for his hard work in organising the race, the Association and the College for covering the cost of the dinner and to Joe Reed for his excellent tour of the Arundel Library and school museum which was enjoyed by all who attended. We are also very grateful to Gilbert Conner who again acted as unofficial photographer for the event. (Ed The BU was there in more than spirit)


This race has become very much of a family event.  However, the Conner family deserve special mention with Gilbert acting as photographer, his wife Caroline supporting, his son Father Philip and his daughter Mary-Maye running for the OS and his son-in-law Hugh-Guy Lorriman running for the OA with their five children also supporting! Also worthy of mention are the Wylie-Carrick family with Michael Wylie-Carrick  OS 79 and his two sons who are pupils at the College all running and his wife Ayten supporting and attending the dinner. (Ed Eldest brother Nigel OB 66)


All in all this was an highly enjoyable weekend and I would urge you all to run next year at Ampleforth as it is far more challenging to win the away fixture!




What’s in a Name.


From:  Christopher Gardner-Thorpe MD FRCP FRCPE FACP, Consultant Neurologist.


President, Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy, and History Courses Director, Society of Apothecaries, London“I cannot now remember why I wrote this, or where it came from, but I suspect it was after buying the 1861-1911 book and when I was editing the Journal of Medical Biography. Anyway, you might like to publish it in one of the newsletters. I have not run it past the archivist at Farm Street so it might produce some lively debate - all to the good!”








What’s in a name? Why was Beaumont College so-called?


Christopher Gardner-Thorpe




There is very little information easily available about the origin of the name Beaumont. The Beaumont Union newsletter of March 1989 gives some clues. Probably the book best known to Old Beaumont Boys is that by Peter Levi. Other books on Beaumont may exist to provide the early history of Beaumont but there is little to find in Coventry and Beckett. Does anyone know of other books or articles about the School?


After the Reformation many Priests took on aliases but it does not seem that the name Beaumont derived from this.  Father John Poyntz (1709-1789) from North Devon took the aliases Beaumont and Price. Another was John Beaumont OSF from Torr Abbey in Devon and he died in 1774.


The volume of Letters and Notices for 1868, a Jesuit publication, notes the old mansion was built by an antecedent of the Marquis of Bath, namely Henry Frederick Thynne Esquire who died in 1705 and from then until 1741 the Weymouth family owned the property. In the Deeds the property was variously named Remnant’s and Kempingham’s. In 1741 Sophia, Duchess of Kent, bought the property and when she died her daughter, Lady Ann Sophia Grey inherited. Ann married Reverend John Edgerton, Dean of Hereford but they sold the property in 1751 to Robert, Duke of Roxburgh, through his elder son, the Marquis of Bowmont. The house was known as Bowman’s Lodge. The Duke of Cumberland and then the Earl of Malgrave had also lived there. The name Bowmont Lodge was given.


The Marquis sold the Lodge in 1772 to Warren Hastings (1732-1818), sometime Governor of Bengal and Governor General of India. Hastings, accused of corruption in India, was impeached and needed to be near London during his trial. He purchased the property from his savings, made many influential friends, was acquitted in 1795 and then bought his old family home at Daylesford in Worcestershire.


In 1789 the name was changed to Beaumont and the Estate was sold to Henry Griffiths. Levi records that 'the Jesuits bought Beaumont Lodge from the Executors of Lord Ashbrooke in 1854, a remote eighteenth century country house with a dairy and a walled garden set among woods on the slope above the river'. 'The place was named from Mr Edmund Bowman, a gentleman Usher to Charles I and also to Charles II. It had been owned by various peers and by the Duchess of Kent (1744-1854). At one time Warren Hastings lived in it'.


Apart from some of the West wing the house was demolished and the new building erected. This then is where the present building of Beaumont arose. Levi notes 'Mr Henry Griffiths, the last owner before Lords Ashbrooke, rebuilt the white house with a graceful formal colonnade of feathery pillars with strange elaborate capitals'.


In 1805 Henry Jeffery Flower, 4th Viscount Ashbrooke bought Beaumont and, before he died in 1854, Samuel Ward-Tucker bought Beaumont for the Society of Jesus. The new house was connected to the principal house by a glass corridor and the Chapel of St Joseph in that wing caused the whole to be called St Joseph’s. The Novitiate used Beaumont from 1854 until they left on 8 and 9 October 1861 because Beaumont was to be turned into a College under the patronage of St Stanislaus.




              Beaumont – the birth of the College. An extract from ‘Beaumont College 1861-1911’ published by The Beaumont Review office 1911. Beaumont Union Newsletter, March 1989, page 2.


           Levi, Peter (1961). Beaumont (1861-19612). Andre Deutsch.  Page 15.


           Coventry, John (1960). The Breaking of Bread. A Short History of the Mass.  The Harvill Press, London.


           Beckett, Francis (1999). The Rebel who lost his Cause. The Tragedy of John Beckett, MP.  London House, London.


           Collectanea SJ, page 629.


           Cameron, Alick (1998). The Journal of the Rev. James Dominic Darbyshire, O.P., a worker-priest of the 18th century. South Western Catholic History, 16, 1-52. Downside Abbey, Somerset.


           volume I number 1, pages 18-21.




Hanky Panky?




If the late Michael Tussaud (62) was alive, I wonder what he would make of his law firm Gordon Dadds, where he was a partner, and the relationship between the Daily Telegraph which they represented and Lord Peter Hain who is the firm’s global and Government adviser in the naming of Sir Philip Green as the businessman who prevented the Telegraph from publishing allegations of sexual and racial harassment. Sadly the Editor will never know the views of his old school chum.










From Patrick Agnew.


Ed. Patrick was one of several who mixed up Tony Scott (Rowing Coach) and Anthony Scott (59) whose death was reported in the Last Review.


Patrick recalls Tony Scott (rowing) as follows:-




“He was Rowing Coach in my last year at Beaumont, when I was #2 in First VIII.  He drove us very hard.  We won (almost) every race that season (incl. at Oxford, and Cambridge).


He also oversaw, or instigated, the idea of a barrel of Guinness on the Eight Crew’s table in Refectory; Yippee!  Pretty amazing for the circumstances then.


He also was Geography Master: I did A level studies, under him; (passed: the only subject that interested me…).


He enthused about a holiday he and wife (Pat?) had in Norway, about the Fjords, etc.  After nearly a life-time, I finally had similar experience only this month!  My youngest daughter 17, said she insisted on going to Norway (I don’t know why), so we conjoined it with a nephew’s wedding in England, and did the trip across the big pond.  We live in Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. --- And therefore very sadly cannot attend Tony’s memorial etc on Aug 29: (nor the Lunch in October: were it to be in first week of November, could do it).


How appropriate that his event will be just off the Henley Road.  (We lost to St. Edward’s there, who won the final of the Princess Elizabeth Cup, I think it was called).


Happy Days, those last 2 years at B.C. thanks in great part to Tony Scott.  R.I.P.


Ed Further to Tony Scott who died in 2006 having been Head of Geography !953 – 67, his rowing CV was impressive.


Elected to Leander in 1964 for services to school rowing.


Hon Sec of the Association of Major Schools Rowing !963 -67.


Hon Sec of the National Council of Youth Rowing !965 -1971. 


Organiser of the first School representation at an International regatta 1964.


Organiser of the first National Rowing Masters Conference 1965.


Organiser of the first British Youth Championships 1965.


British team Manager World Youth Championships 1967 – 8.


Co-editor with John Williams (OB); “Rowing” a Scientific Approach.           






From Gerry Ford


Robert, How do you have time for anything else? Seeing the picture of Henley in this quarter's review reminded me of a time a few years ago when Paul Burrough spent the weekend with Philip Poels, my neighbour, cycling and skiing companion. We walked to the pub one day and conversation turned to Beaumont and rowing, we were all in the VIII at different times. I was amazed that they had never heard of the "Beaumont Boating Song". In '56 or '57 Mr Scott assembled all the boaters in the hall and taught us this song, I think he wrote the words and Tommy Clayton the music, which was metronomic as befits a boating song. There may have been another verse and I am not absolutely sure of all the words. Anyway I offer it to you, not bad recall for 60 odd years - I wish I could remember what I was doing last week or the last card I played at bridge. Just back from a week in Crete with Euan Cameron who is well and in January will have his first novel published by MacLehose Press. Keep up the good work.




Chorus: There's a race on the river to day'


(gravest) of sports brave and gay,


Cover your blades,


Hands away!


Feel her run easy






Is it easy and lazy to view,


fact is it's fast and it's true


grows with the years and for you


is there anything better to do.








In the last furlong to spurt


when all your frame cries out hurt


(joy and , something) when it ends


memories treasured and friends.








ED: Anyone else recall this?






From Adrian Naughten           


I have been slack in failing to acknowledge your email concerning the Annual Lunch. Mea Culpa! Mea Culpa! Mea Maxima Culpa!


Would you believe it?? We return from Italy (Battlefield Tour of Anzio/Monte Cassino on the afternoon of 8th October!!!! We arrive at Heathrow at around 3pm!!! I had good intentions of attending this year but those have now flown out the window. I am very disappointed and wish you all well for a successful outing.


We are reasonably well settled here in Hillsborough which is a lovely village with everything you need within 500 meters walking distance( bank, post office, pubs, 2x supermarkets, medical Centre, off Licence, restaurants, bakery, chemist etc etc) which becomes more attractive as those advancing years close in. My wretched knee( after 5 operations) is not great so all of the above makes life easier. And we are within 20 mins drive of 2 Airports with Dublin only 90 minutes away.


Went down to Kinsale to see Johnny Cargin’s widow( Rosie) 3 weeks ago. She is fine and lives in a lovely house in a stunning location overlooking Kinsale Harbour.


Trust you are all fit and well. I am truly sorry about 8th October but having paid up rather a lot of money ' up front' I cannot really withdraw from the Italian trip at this stage. We are naturally concentrating on the role of The Irish Brigade in 1943/44 where my gallant Regiment (The Royal Irish Fusiliers) played a prominent part in several battles.( Have just read a book about Anzio by Lloyd CLARK and in it there is clear evidence that the American General, Mark Clark was a truly egotistical individual prone to disobeying Orders from everyone including Alexander!! All he was interested in was to be first into Rome!!!)


Warmest Good Wishes, Adrian






Last word on The Lunch.


“A final reminder for the Lunch at the Caledonian Club, Halkin St. Monday 8th October 12noon for 1pm. Dress Suits.”


 From Robin Mulcahy


What the hell is a dress suit? Can I wear a tailored dress, a suit with a flowing dress a la Gilbert? We should be told.


R (Copied to all 2000 BU Members)


From The Editor (who admits he needs to “Sharpen up” on his use of the Queen’s English).


My Dear Robin,


Allowing for my “double entendre” through lack of punctuation – I’m submitting to this PC World which allows for the outward expression of your innermost being and although you may be hankering to reach for that fetching little number at the back of the wardrobe, I fear that we will all be very disappointed when you appear in sober suiting complimented by a BU tie.


Looking forward to seeing you,








A Very Happy Christmas to one and all