Notable Alumni

Notable Alumni

Bernard Apps (Ewell Castle School 1951-1956)

Just fifteen years after leaving school, Bernard Apps became a young academic at the University of Reading teaching the very first of the degree courses in the (then) new science of computing,  a distinction few people can claim. Knowledge and experience had been gained with major computer companies first as a computer engineer and then as a software engineer, working on many and varied installations, including classified stints at AWRE Aldermaston and RAE Farnborough.

With the advent of personal computers he left the university to form a small systems house, a business that he ran for the next twenty five years until retiring to Tasmania. Throughout this period educational activities continued as a school's computing advisor, Open University tutor, moderator setting up new RSA computing courses and many years as an FE tutor for both the WEA and LEAs. He also set up several community websites.

Throughout his computing career Bernard was an active member of the British Computer Society serving on various panels, committees, boards and including some years on the governing council. In 1978 he was elected to Fellowship and on retirement was presented with a Branches Board Award for outstanding service.

Canoeing also featured strongly in Bernard's activities. He was an active member of the British Canoe Union's Coaching Scheme, undertaking much teaching and examining and serving on the BCU Council for almost ten years. He was national secretary of the Canoe Lifeguards for a decade during a period of considerable growth. He has been a trustee of a number of charities, also creating a local environmental trust.

WILLIAMS, Professor M.M.R. Williams

Occupation: Consultant Engineer; Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University of Michigan, 1987-89; Professor of Nuclear Engineering,  1970-86, now Emeritus, and Head of Department, 1980-86, Queen Mary College, London University.

Birth date: 1st Dec 1935         

Birth details: s of late M.F. Williams, RAFVR and G.M.A. Williams (nee Redington)  Family details: m 1958, Ann Doreen Betty, one s one d.

Education: Ewell Castle Sch (1943-1952) and subsequently Chairman of School Governors 1976-1979., Croydon Poytechnic, King’s Coll. London, Queen Mary Coll., London

State Scholar 1954, BSc, PhD, DSc, CEng; FINucE (vice –Pres 1971-73), CPhys, FInst P.

Career: Asst Experimental Officer, AWRE Fort Halstead 1954-55; Engr with Central Electricity Generating Board, 1962; Research Associate at Brookhaven National Lab. USA 1962-63; Lectr, Dept of Physics, University of Birmingham, Reader in Nuclear Engineering 1965-70, Director Nuclear Reactor, 1980-83, QMC London University, Principal Scientist, Electrowatt Engrg Services (UK) Ltd 1989-95, Visiting Prof Imperial College, London 2002-, Augustin-Frigon Lecture, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal 2001, Mem. Adv. Cttee on Safety of Nuclear Installations, 1983-86, UN Advisor on Engrg education in Argentina 1979-1989, Chm of Governors, Ewell Castle School, 1976-79 Mem., Academic Board Royal Naval College, Greenwich 1975-86. Foreign Member Royal Society of Arts and Sciences Goteborg, Sweden 2008-, Exec. Editor of Annals of Nuclear Energy 1972-2014. Fellow American Nuclear Society, (Arthur Holly Compton Award, 1994, Eugene P. Wigner Award, 2000, G.C. Pomraning Award, 2011, Seaborg Medal 2018).

Publications: The Slowing Down and Thermaliization of Neutrons, 1966, Mathematical Methods in Particle Transport Theory, 1971, Random Processes in Nuclear Reactors, 1974, Aerosol Science 1991, Contributions to Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc, Nuclear Science and Engineering Journal of Nuclear Energy Journal of Physics.

In the past seven years, the 28-year-old singer and beat-maker has become the go-to guy for authentic emotion. His honeyed, mournful vocals have appeared on some of the most personal songs by the biggest names in US hip-hop and R&B: Beyoncé’s Mine, Kanye West’s Saint Pablo, Drake’s Too Much and Solange’s Don’t Touch My Hair. Much like Pharrell is hired for his cosmic production, Sampha is parachuted into writing sessions armed with depth and soul. So it is ironic that, as the prospect of his own debut solo album, Process, looms on the horizon, it’s the fear of feeling nothing at all that worries him most.

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Zakaria Dada BEM (Ewell Castle School 2013 to 2020)

Alumnus Zakaria was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) on recommendation from the Cabinet Office and approved by King Charles in his 2023 New Years Honours List.

Please find below a link to the official Gazette with details of the award, which was awarded for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic for the London Borough of Merton. This is a wonderful achievement, especially considering Zakaria was in his final year of Sixth Form at Ewell Castle School when the pandemic hit and he undertook his charity work. alongside revising for his A-levels.


Ewellian George Atkinson was just 16 when he arrived in Kathmandu in Nepal. The Ewell Castle School schoolboy was about to begin the final part of his quest to become the youngest person ever to climb the highest peak on each of the world's seven continents – the Seven Summits. He had already climbed six: just Everest to go. At 29,029ft, Everest stands more than 6,500ft higher than any of the others. Since 1921 there have been more than 200 fatalities on the mountain. Around 50 per cent of climbers who attempt to scale Everest fail to summit.

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Ewell Castle School 1949 - 1954

Oliver Reed was born in Wimbledon in 1938 and attended Ewell Castle School from 1949 - 1954. Reed was an accomplished sportsman, was captain of athletics and second in the national junior cross-country when the Ewell Castle team came first. Oliver Reed got his first break terrifying children in the BBC's children's series The Golden Spur, and though he played plenty of ruthless, scheming villains, he proved his versatility through the years in numerous comedic and swashbuckling parts.

After landing his first starring role in The Curse of the Werewolf, he attracted attention as a motorcycle gang leader in Joseph Losey's The Damned; and as an upper class cup in Michael Winner's The Jokers. Reed's memorable turns as the evil Bill Sykes in the Oscar-winning musical Oliver! and as arrogant, intransigent mine owner Geral Crich in Ken Russell's adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love brought him international recognition and he went on to star in many other feature films. He died in May 1999 during the filming of what would be his last motion picture, Ridley Scott's spectacular Gladiator.

Ewell Castle School 1938 - 1943

Jimmy Sangster was born in North Wales in December 1927 and attended Ewell Castle School from 1938 until 1943. He started in the film industry aged 16, working his way up from gopher and clapper boy, through to projection assistant. Between 1949 and 1954 Sangster worked consistently as an assistant director on Hammer's adaptation of BBC Radio serials and on the Lippert co-productions. Sangster's short A Man On The Beach was followed by his script for X The Unknown, designed as a follow up to The Quatermass Xperiment. It would be Sangster's reworking of Frankenstein that changed not only his career but the direction of Hammer itself. Sangster shifted the emphasis from the creation onto the creator, in the process providing Hammer with one of its most interesting and complex characters.

The 1970's saw Sangster add the role of director to his Hammer portfolio of writer/producer with The Horror of Frankenstein followed by, Lust For A Vampire. The thriller Fear In The Night would be his last produced screenplay for Hammer, though his association with the company continued for several years. Jimmy worked extensively on television and film across the globe and was in constant demand for interviews, convention appearances and DVD commentary recordings.

Michael Harvey (1931-2013) - Pioneer in the craft of lettering and the development of typefaces

The art and craft of lettering flourishes in Britain today thanks to a lineage of pioneers in which Michael Harvey was an important link between a generation of Eric Gill's pupils and one with a more experimental attitude.  His own work combined freedom and discipline, and his successive phases of activity, in printing, publishing, architecture and fine art, helped to expand the range of applications for characterful letterforms.  He taught at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design and later Reading University.  In 1990, Harvey was invited by Adobe to contribute to their range of digital typefaces and learned how to design on a computer.  Many fonts followed thereafter often identifiable by their jazz players' names.  Commissions for carved  lettering continued in the background and Harvey achieved wider fame with the majestic capitals on the staircase of the National Gallery Sainsbury Wing in 1989.  In 2001 he was made an MBE for services to art. He died in October 2013.



Ewell Castle School 1968 - 1975

Nigel Harrison co-founded Cyber Security Challenge UK in 2010 whilst on secondment to the Cabinet Office and remains an Executive Director of the Challenge.  Previously, he was Director of the Royal Signals Institution.  Nigel’s role in the Cabinet Office came at the end of a 36-year Army career in which he delivered communications systems, information services, electronic warfare capabilities and cyber security expertise in over thirty countries.  He was awarded the MBE in 1991 for his work in support of the liberation of Kuwait.

John Levy, who has died at 84, was a coxswain with a wooden leg who became Imperial College London's first Professor of Wood Science. He spent the Second World War coxing Imperial's crews on the Thames tideway while he was studying chemistry, botany and geology, his booming voice compensating for his limited stature and mobility. Later in his career he managed to marry his two passions, working on the 16th-century warship Mary Rose and experimental racing boat construction.

Levy was born in Brazil, at Morro Velho, near Belo Horizonte. He contracted polio when he was 18 months old, and immediately afterwards his mother brought him back to her family home of Cornwall, settling in Chapel Porth; and later moving to Tattenham Corner. Levy went to Ewell Castle School, and studied at Imperial College from 1939 to 1942. As a student his dream was to emulate Douglas Bader, the RAF pilot who flew after losing his legs. Levy had his withered left leg amputated and a false leg fitted. He would take the false leg off while coxing - sometimes leading to allegations of cheating by reducing his weight.

His first research project involved growing and studying tomatoes, a fruit which Levy couldn't abide, but he was soon diverted from his PhD studies in plant pathology (leaving his thesis unfinished) to lecture civil engineering students on timber and its properties in construction. He then spent 15 years teaching about timber and decay, establishing close cooperation with the Forest Products Research Laboratory.

His department was involved with others at Imperial in 1976 when the late Professor Alastair Cameron, of the lubrication laboratory, built an experimental, and highly successful, wooden racing four on the Monocoque Principle used in airframe construction. It won races at Henley powered by an Imperial crew, and prompted carbon fibre to be introduced into boat building by British Aerospace, which made an eight for the Olympic team. Monocoque construction became universal as wood bowed out as the favoured material for racing craft.

Levy was made a Doctor of Science and became Professor of Wood Science in 1981. Initially encouraged by the British Wood Preservation Association, he started his research at Imperial's mine at Tywarnhale in Cornwall and at its field station at Silwood Park. This early work led to the establishment of a research group of worldwide renown, and it remains as his legacy. He also worked on the preservation of the hull of Mary Rose, and he studied the bows of the ship's archers, working out that the men must have been above average height to fire the deadly weapon.

He remained a rowing stalwart for his whole life as cox and then captain of Thames Rowing Club, Imperial's neighbour in Putney. Levy's presence in Imperial boats was keenly heard during the war when several college eights used the Thames regularly, often caught in air raids when they had to decide whether to run for shelter under a bridge or put distance between themselves and what may have been the Luftwaffe's prime target.

He served as president of both boat clubs and of Kingston regatta, and celebrated his birthday this year at Henley. Levy brought the same qualities of his professional life to his rowing activities, captaining Thames Rowing Club at the time when its committee outmaneuvered its backwoodsmen to admit women as members. He was always quietly persuasive, never showing temper or raising his voice except when in the back of a boat.

His wife, Hazel, their sons Martin and Tim and daughters Jain and Wendy survive him.  John was part of the enthusiastic group who revived the Ewellians’ Association in the early 1950’s and was Hon Secretary of the Association for several years.  John Francis Levy, wood scientist, born June 30 1921; died August 11 2005

Guardian Newspaper Obituary 2005

Ewell Castle School 1937 - 1942

Fred Winter was born 20th September 1926 and attended Ewell Castle School from 1937 until 1942. Fred Winter was a British National Hunt racing racehorse jockey and trainer. He was British Jump Racing Champion Jockey four times and British Jump Racing Champion Trainer eight times. He is the only person to have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Grand National as both jockey and trainer.

Winter won the Grand National four times, as a jockey in 1957 (Sundew) and 1962 (Kilmore) and as a trainer in 1965 (Jay Jump) and 1966 (Anglo). His most famous victory as a jockey was on Mandarin in the 1962 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris at Auteuil. His victory despite his illness, a broken bit and Mandarin breaking down in the last half-mile was voted the greatest ride ever in a 2006 Racing Post poll. The race was listed in The Guardian as one of the greatest races ever. As a jockey he rode a then-record 923 National Hunt winners before his retirement in 1964.

Ewell Castle School 1931 - 1936

Peter Newbrook was born in Chester and educated at the Chester and Worcester Cathedral Schools and Ewell Castle School. He began his career as a trainee cameraman and focus puller with Warner Brothers British Studios at Teddington. During the Second World War, he made Army training films with the Army Kinematograph Service and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.

In 1947, with drummer Carlo Krahmer, Newbrook co-funded Esquire Records which specialised in jazz. In the 1970's he turned to Television and worked at Granada and Yorkshire Television and spent several years with Anglia Television in Norwich, making episodes of the popular drama series Tales of the Unexpected. He retired in 1990 as a senior lighting director. He was president of the British Society of Cinematographers from 1984 to 1986. During the filming of Lawrence of Arabia, Peter was behind one of the two camera David Lean deployed to shoot the gripping and seemingly endless, 'mirage' shot, in which the mystery figure Ali (played by Omar Sharif) trots on a camel out of the shimmering haze.

Ewell Castle School 1932 - 1937

Terence Morgan was an English actor in theatre, cinema and television and attended Ewell Castle School from 1932 until 1937. He played many 'villain' roles in British film but is probably best remembered for his starring role in the TV historical adventure series Sir Francis Drake.

Terence Morgan was born in Lewisham, London and started work as a shipping clerk at Lloyd's of London before winning a scholarship to RADA. After training at RADA, Morgan began as a repertory theatre actor. His career was interrupted by two years in the army in World War II before he was invalided out. In 1948 he joined the Old Vic Company alongside Lawrence Olivier and played the role of Laertes in the 1948 film of Hamlet. He was the first actor in such a role to get fan mail from teenage girls. He appeared in 20 films. As roles became fewer, Morgan bought a small hotel in Hove, Sussex and ran that for some years before becoming a property developer.