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Speech Day 1947
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School Prizes 1947
The prizes presented on Speech Day 1947.

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Speech Day Friday, July 18th 1947.

The proceedings opened with an inspection of the Guard of Honour by the principal speaker of the day, Major-General Sir Cyriac Skinner, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., after which everyone assembled in the school hall.
The number of visitors was so great that all boys, except those to receive prizes, had to be content to hear the speeches through loudspeakers on the School Field.
From the chair the Chairman of Governors, W.H. Healey, Esq., J.P., C.A., welcomed Sir Cyriac Skinner and spoke of his family's long connection with the County. He referred to the new conditions created by the Education Act 1944, especially the matter of providing public money for boarding places.
He hoped that the next public function would be the official opening of the new Boarding Houses and looked forward to a big day school with a boarding side.
(Ed note: The new boarding houses were Tylerswood and Uplyme.)
He announced the establishment of the School Memorial Fund which it was hoped would provide some such amenity as a Swimming Bath or Library as a memorial to the Old Boys who died in the war.

In his Report, the first on such occasion since the visit of General Eaker in 1942, the Headmaster (E.R. Tucker) referred to the growth of the School both in numbers and academic successes.
Between 1932 and 1947 the number in the School had grown from 320 to 700, of Higher School Certificate candidates from 3 to 42, of boys in the Sixth Form doing advanced work from 10 to 102 and of boarders from 13 to 79.
As a result of the award of an Open Classical Scholarship at Balliol College to D. W. H. Crutchfield in 1942 he was able to report his election to the Headmasters' Conference. Since then there had been a consistent flow of Classical Scholars: H.A.B. Lesser to Jesus College, Oxford in 1943, P.J. Scally who became the Senior Classical Scholar at Balliol and R.J. Fredericks an Exhibitioner to Jesus College, Cambridge in 1944, C.J. Fletcher an Exhibitioner to Christ Church in 1946. Meanwhile O. Roith and D.H. Wintach, both mathematicians, went up to Cambridge and became open scholars of their colleges.
Subsequent results showed continuing success: First Classes were obtained at Oxford by Lesser and Scally, at Cambridge in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos by Roith and Winstch, in the Anthropology Tripos by E.J. Miller and at London in Engineering by Goodearl.
Roith in his second year becam Captain of Cricket at Caius and Heather rowed for Jesus College, Cambridge at Henley Regatta.
Of others who had since entered public service, four had obtained posts in the Civil Service of Principal at least and one Keith Oakeshot, was amongst the first of the new entrants to the Foreign Office.

In spite of the successes it had to be said that the war years had not been easy. The School had suffered many changes in Staff, Twenty-four temporary Assistant Mistresses and thirty-four temporary Assistant Masters had at various times taught during that period.
In this connection the Headmaster paid a special tribute to the work of Mrs. Allan Jones, to Mrs. Redington who had taught in the School in both 1908 and 1945, to Mrs. Kernicks's splendid work with the Preparatory Form and to the work done with the Sixth by Miss. Pollard, Miss Baker and Miss. Ross.
Among the men he wished to record his personal debt to his old Tutor, Mr. P.A. Seymour, to Rev. W. Richardson and Mr. E.J. Somerset all of whom helped create the present reputation of the Classical Sixth during the absence of the Classical Staff. Finally he offered thanks to Mr. Claude Elliot, the Headmaster of Eton, without whose help in providing instruction in Verse Composition our Classical Scholars of 1943 and 1944 would hardly of succeeded.

The Headmaster expressed his gratitude to those few masters that so nobly held the fort while the rest were away: to Mr. Brand who retired in 1946 after long service as Second Master and effective head of the OTC, to Mr. Morgan who had taken his place as Second Master, to Mr. Jones and Mr. Grant who had both fortunately now recovered from bouts of illness, to Mr. Johnson who had served the Boarding House so well for more than six years and to Mr. McQueen for whom he wished a long and happy retirement at the end of term.

The great service of the Old Boys of the School to the nation was clear from the very long list of those who had served, especially in the RAF. It was a source of pride that these efforts had been crowned, in the closing months of the war, by the award of the Victoria Cross to Lt. Fraser.
The memory of those 77 who gave their lives would be revived at the Commemoration Service to be held in the Parish Church on the evening of Speech Day.

To the parents of the boys about to take up advanced work the Headmaster said that the School was now stabilised at 700 and the Local Education Authority committed to the eventual provision of adequate accommodation.
The Ministry of Education hoped to see every boy in the Grammar Schools staying onto the age of eighteen and these schools the feeding ground for considerably increased Universities. It was important to take full advantage of the very considerable opportunities now available.

Referring to the other activities of the School the Headmaster called attention to the outstanding contribution by the OTC and ATC to the country. H3e commended the attention given to rugby and cricket and the success achieved by teams in the athletic field. He was pleased to record the return of the School to a Shakespearean tradition in play production and the great impetuous given to the musical life of the school by the appointment of a full time music master.

He was glad to be able to say that the Governors and the Education Authority, in taking over from him the responsibility for the boarding side, had decided to enlarge and extend it until it would be a very significant and important part not merely of the school but of educational provision of the County as a whole.
Though he and Mrs. Tucker were sad to see one of their responsibilities passing to some extent from them, they were happy to know that, in the changing functions imposed upon the School by the new Education Act, the new function might very well be more important than the old.
If the School were to continue to be treated as an individual entity as of old, the new Education Act might be not merely the end of one epoch by the beginning of a greater.

After the Headmaster's Report the certificates, prizes and cups were very kindly presented by Mrs. W.H. Healey whom everyone was very glad to see on this school occasion.

After the presentations Sir Cyriac Skinner delivered a most inspiring discourse on the theme of England, the book everyone can read. He drew, with great wealth of illustration, a portrait of our unusually rich national heritage of which records can be interrupted in every part of the countryside, no less in the landscape than in the architecture to be seen on every hand.
We had the most beautiful scenery and the finest climate in the world. It was an inexhaustible source of pleasure to those who were prepared to give time to its study and he commended to the boys the advantages that were freely at their disposal in the land in which they were born.

Votes of thanks were proposed by His Worship the Mayor, Councillor C.W. Lance, J.P., and seconded by Councillor R.P. Clarke, M.P., B.C.L., and the Chairman of the Boarding Committee.
After the proceedings visitors were entertained by a Physical Training Display on the School Field. Tea was served in the School Hall and Junior Building.


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