Tributes & Obituaries
Farewell to Old Ewellians
We know from your feedback, that being a Ewell Castle School pupil has meant a lot to many of you. Your formative years were spent at Ewell Castle School, and you probably made many friends here, some of which you may still be in touch with to this day. Sadly, as a result of illness and, or advancing old age, each year we mourn the passing of some of our old boys. We are looking to acknowledge the passing of our former pupils on this website. If you would like to send us details of Old Ewellian friends who have passed away during the last sixth months or more recently, and if you, or their immediate family would like to provide details of their funeral arrangements (as some may wish to attend), please do contact Carol Hernandez on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadly we have been informed of the passing of the following OEs during the last few years and if anyone would like to email a tribute/memories of them for an obituary, please email Carol at email@example.com
R H Pledger
Ron Fewtrell - Fomer Headmaster (1983-1997) and later Principal (1997-2002/3) of Ewell Castle School
Ronanld (Ron) Fewtrell - Passed away 22nd November 2021
When the previous Headmaster Reg Saunders retired, he was replaced by Ron Fewtrell, who I classified as a “professional teacher”, and who as Chair of Governors, I was pleased to appoint as Head of the School. At that time we had a long serving Bursar - Bruce Wood, who later died on the job, so Ron picked up that job as well, although he was much helped by Geoff Holland - a former pupil and son of former Chairman of Governors - Peter Holland, who became our “first to go to” for financial expertise.
We – Ron really – decided we needed a dedicated Sports Hall. So driven by Ron we went ahead with what was a very expensive development. Geoff Holland arranged the financials – although I seem to recall that in the end we didn’t need to borrow at all! I got in touch with a young well known athlete who was also an MP representing a west country constituency. He and his wife (an equestrian) lived in Effingham and I asked him if he would be so kind as to perform the opening ceremony for the new hall. He had no hesitation in agreeing to do so. It was of course the one and only “Seb Coe” (now Lord Coe). He spent most of his time that day signing autographs for “Mums & Dads”.
The next big development for Ron was purchasing Glyn House. A big and expensive project. Ron did a deal with a local – “Arranger” – who it turned out, lived round the corner from me! He had all the connections and introduced a developer who shared the cost of purchasing Glyn House by building houses on part of the Glynn site. Glyn House was owned by Surrey County Council, and they used it as an Education Resource and Conference Centre - which had the upside for us of not needing to apply for change of purpose. Ron and Geoff Holland again sorted the dealings out. All a great success. By then I had handed over the Chairmanship of the Governors to David Hill, a Governor who also had a son at the school. Whilst my dealings with Ewell Castle changed, I have retained an interest in it and think I always will in my lifetime.
By OE Jim Cattermole
The following is from 'A History of Ewell Castle School' by Dr C Parsons
Ronald ('Ron') Fewtrell vividly remembers his first impressions of Ewell Castle. Coming from a large, purpose built school, he was surprised, but fortunately not put off, by the Castle's relatively poor and cramped facilities. What struck him most on his first visit, however, was the positive and cheerful attitudes of the staff he met - 'there was a warm feeling' - and it was this impression, together with the sight of the grounds in May, that persuaded him to accept the post of Head.
Ron was born in Aylesbury and educated at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe where he was was Head Boy and Captain of both the rugby and cricket 1st teams. In 1964, he went up to Leeds University to read Economics and History and there he continued to play both rugby and cricket, representing the university in the former. After graduating, Ron simultaneously completed Diplomas in both Education and Physical Education. In 1968, he joined the staff of Bablake School in Coventry where he soon received promotion to Head of Economics, becoming an examiner in the subject at GCE A Level. When Bablake merged with King Henry VIII to form Coventry School in 1975, Ron also became Master of the Sixth Form. Throughout his time at Bablake/Coventry, he was Master in charge of cricket and he also coached rugby at both county and school level. In 1982, Ron married Diana, a member of the French Department at Bablake. Shortly after their arrival at Ewell, their first daughter, Rachel, was born.
The School that Ron took over in January 1983 was in a much healthier state than it had been when his predecessor arrived in 1968 and there was nothing in need of urgent attention. However, Ron soon formed the opinion that the two ends of the School - the Lodge and the sixth form - were too small to continue as they were and would need to be built up.
The Junior School, it may be remembered, had been established in 1964 and consisted of three classes covering the 8 to 10 years age range. Of these, two were in the Lodge and the third in a 'temporary' hut in the playground. In 1983-1984, there were altogether 48 pupils at the Lodge. The house itself is in fact fairly large, with fifteen rooms from medium to large- sized. In 1983, some of these rooms were occupied by resident masters but many were empty, having until 1980 provided accommodation for the domestic staff employed when the School had boarders.
Although the Lodge was by this time badly in need of renovation, there was clearly the potential for expansion. In 1984, Ron proposed making the Junior School co-educational, admitting 5 and 6 year old children and creating a pre-school Nursery Department. The post of Head of the Junior School was created and a person appointed. A separate prospectus was issued for the new Nursery Department:
As the formative years are the most important of a young child's life, our aim is to provide a stimulating environment, so that pupils develop lively enquiring minds to help them understand the world in which they live.
The new classrooms and facilities were provided within the year and the enlarged Junior School opened in September 1985. The venture was an immediate success and in the 1986/1987 session, the Lodge housed the equivalent of 103 full time pupils. By September 1990, this figure had grown to 171. The annual reports in the Ewellian give a picture of a community as vigorous and flourishing as the one in Church Street. Activities include theatre visits, field trips, camping, computer and chess clubs, horse riding, voluntary service and visits abroad. However, the concept of nursery education has changed in the nineties. Whereas parents once wanted their children to have the opportunity to play and to express themselves, nowadays they expect a more academic education and an early grounding in the 3Rs. Another change has been that as more mothers take jobs, attendance at the nursery has become full time rather than one or two mornings a week.
Ron also decided to expand the other end of the School, the Sixth Form. In 1982/1983, the combined total of the two forms was only 33. Although the pass rate was as we have seen quite good (77%), only ten subjects were available for study and the sixth form curriculum did not include either biology or any foreign language. When an unsuccessful application was made in Autumn 1984 for membership of The Society of Headmasters of Independent Schools (known as SHMIS), the report of the visitors focussed on the size of the Sixth Form and the narrowness of the curriculum.
Developing the Sixth Form was to prove a longer and harder task than the Junior School, given that many pupils leave school altogether at 16 years or go on to study elsewhere. The first issue Ron addressed was that of the cost to parents. It was felt that the level of the fees in the Sixth Form acted as a deterrent and from September 1984, the fees were frozen at the fifth form level and bursaries introduced both to retain the most able fifth formers and to attract the better pupils from other schools. To make the Sixth Form more attractive to potential pupils, a Common Room was created and, with the help of PTA funds, decorated and furnished.
In September 1985, a Head of Sixth Form was created, with the responsibility for co-ordinating the above initiatives, which were already beginning to bear fruit. In that year, the Castle started to receive girls from the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Epsom. By September 1986, the numbers rose to 64, nearly double the 1983 figure. Thereafter, it fell back but rose again to 63 in 1993. In the 1990s upon the closure of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Epsom, 12 girls from that school enrolled into the Ewell Castle School Sixth Form.
As the numbers grew, so did the curriculum. In 1989/1990, a total of 17 A Level and 4 AS Level subjects was on offer. In that year, the overall pass rate was 86%, with 100% successes in Art, English, Maths (both Pure and Pure and Applied) and Spanish.
The increase in the size of the Sixth Form and the very good examination results enabled Ron to make a successful application for membership of Society of Headmasters of Independent Schools (SHMIS) in 1987. In 1986, the School had already been elected a member of the Governing Bodies Association (GBA). SHMIS has a smaller membership than the Headmasters' Conference (HMC) and is active in organising meetings of Heads in similar schools which provide an invaluable forum for the exchange of experiences and ideas. The regular inspections SHMIS carries out of member schools ensures that standards are maintained. Membership of SHMIS conveys a message of quality to parents but is also invaluable in terms of staff recruitment.
Once measures to develop both the Junior School and the Sixth Form had been set in train, Ron turned his attention to the facilities at the Senior School and, in particular, those for the sciences. Reg Saunders had appointed an effective team of science teachers who consistently achieved good results. Since 1984, this team had been co-ordinated by a new Head of Science but staff and pupils continued to work in poor conditions; the small chemistry laboratory dated back to the beginning of the School and both Biology and Physics were housed in temporary huts. In March 1985, the Board of Governors approved a two phase development plan which would eventually provide the School with five large laboratories. Phase One, which created the two laboratories in what was formerly a garage space, was completed in late 1986.
The committee which had considered the improvements necessary to the science laboratories had also discussed the building of a Sports Hall at the School. In late 1985, a new Sports Hall Committee was created to look at all aspects of the project. Their deliberations on the siting of the Hall, its facilities, its size and cost and the various negotiations with the local authority lasted nearly two years but planning permission was eventually granted in October 1987. An appeal was launched in October 1988, the School's second, the first having financed the building of the extra storey of classrooms in 1982. This raised about £165,00 towards the total cost of £500,000. Building started in the winter of 1989/1990 and the Hall was completed in the following Summer. All the fixtures and equipment were paid for by the PTA (at a cost of £20,000). It was formally opened by Sebastion Coe in February 1991. Writing in the Ewellian, Ron Fewtrell said:
The lack of any adequate indoor Physical Education facility had been a problem throughout the School's history....This magnificent building is better than any of us closely involved with the scheme anticipated. The Hall is a very large building, containing not only a 30m by 18m playing surface but storage, changing facilities and a viewing gallery and has its own car park. Ron voiced the fear of many that it would be too dominant a feature in the Castle grounds but it blended well into its surroundings and, within a few months, looked as though it had been there many years.
The building of the Sports Hall and provision of the many resources it contained had been a project particularly close to Ron's heart. An active sportsman and coach himself, he had been disappointed with the poor games facilities when he arrived in 1983 and had made them one of his priorities, along with developing the Lodge and the Sixth Form.
For many, the Sports Hall was the major School event of the 1980s but, inside the classrooms themselves, a development took place which had as big an impact on School life as the Hall. The School acquired its first BBC computer at the School in 1981. In 1985, a computer room was established to enable computer studies to be taught at Ordinary (later GCSE) and Advanced Level. This, however, was merely the beginning. As Stuart Bland (Head of Technology) wrote in the Ewellian, with the introduction of the National Curriculum, 'plans were evolved to bring information technology into all teaching subjects':
The policy is to equip all teaching departments with local networks of Apple Macintosh computers, so that pupils will be able to produce high quality output using professional software and computers with ease.
Another development which enriched the curriculum at the Castle was the arrival in 1988 of Fitznell's School of Music. Fitznell's was a long established local school providing music tuition after school hours and on Saturday morning. Early in 1988, it found itself facing a sudden accommodation crisis and approached the Castle for assistance. Fitznell's needs complemented those of the School well and enabled the Castle greatly to extend the range music tuition in a way that was very convenient for pupils. The arrangement by which uses the School's facilities has continued to work very well.
School pass rates at O Level remained consistent at 50+%. However, this figure disguised some exceptional performances. In 1985, Paul Westaway and George Davey-Turner both gained 7 Grade A passes. A feat equalled by Milan Radia in the following year. The introduction of GCSE in 1988 saw the A-C pass rate begin to creep up steadily and in 1993 it was up to 74%. In 1990, nine boys achieved the equivalent of passes in eight subjects; in 1991, it was ten boys and, in 1992, twenty. From 1992, the national press began to publish league tables of schools based on examination results. In a survey published in the Independent in September 1993, Ewell castle was placed 460 in a list of 617 schools.
The pass rate at A Level was always higher though it fluctuated more. In 1991, it was its highest ever at 86%. As with Ordinary Level, however, this figure contains some outstanding performances. In 1985, Simon Stew gained 5 and Karl Newman 6 passes at one sitting. Even more extraordinary was the case of Yoshimitsu Arai. Unable to speak or write English on his arrival in Britain in 1986, four years later he passed 6 A level subjects at two sittings, 5 with A grades. In the Financial Times Guide to Independent Secondary Schools based on A Level results, Ewell appeared 320 in a list of 500 - a creditable achievement for a relatively small school.
However, Ron Fewtrell and fellow Heads are quick to point out the limitations of such lists as guides. The tables are based on information supplied by the schools themselves and so schools that do not respond are automatically excluded. The main criticism, however, is that pass rates on their own tell parents very little about a school. Schools such as Ewell Castle has always supported pupils with a wide range of academic abilities whose achievement may not be reflected in impressive grades. In assessing such schools, parents want answers to such questions as 'What do pupils gain while they are at the School?' and 'Is potential fully developed ?' The answers to such questions will convey more about what a school achieves with its pupils, what Professor Nuttall calls the 'added value'. To discover what Ewell Castle 'adds', it is not just exam results that need to be looked at but all the other activities that go on in the School as well.
The Castle greatly extended its range of extracurricular activities during the 1980s. The 1986 Ewellian contains reports of music, theatre, chess, bridge, photography, drama and various holidays abroad. In the following year, there are accounts of voluntary service, a science club and a train enthusiasts association and fencing has been added to the long list of sports already pursued at the School. In 1989, the Ewellian includes reports of an air rifle club and skiing holidays and so on. These years saw the Castle providing its pupils with an increasing wealth of opportunity.
The numbers at the School increased dramatically during these years. In the year of Ron's arrival, there were 377 on roll. This figure continued to grow as each year passed and in 1986/1987 took a leap to 478, climbing to a peak of 522 in 1988/1989.
As a consequence, of course, the number of teaching staff also increased substantially from 25 full time in 1983 to 35 full time part time in 1990/1991. Several of the new staff have played a major part in School life. One of Ron's earliest appointments was Norbert Cohen to teach French. Accurately described as 'ebullient' by one colleague, Norbert soon found himself organising trips to France and instituting exchange programmes. However, it was his interest in drama which made his presence felt in the school at large. In 1985, Norbert and Peter Back (Head of Music) were involved in Nonsuch High School's production of The Mikado and, in the following year, Norbert was formally appointed Head of French and Drama. He is also a keen amateur photographer.
1984 saw the appointments of Ted Gledhill and Valerie Goode.
Ted became the first Head of Science. Writing in the Ewellian at the end of his first year, Ted felt 'a great deal had been achieved' and was looking forward to the completion of Phase One of the Science development plan:
1986 will see the development of a new Science Laboratory and refurbishment of the existing Chemistry facilities....An interesting and promising future seems ahead.
Like Norbert, Ted also had talent in the performing arts. In 1986, he played Koko in the production of The Mikado and in 1989 his version of 'Wouldn't it be Loverly' in the Wassail 'brought a smile to everyone's faces'. In 1987, Ted had founded the Air Rifle Shooting Club which proved a very popular addition to the range of extracurricular activities on offer.
Valerie Goode was appointed Head of the Junior School. A former pupil of Bourne Hall School - in a building later demolished to make way for the current Bourne Hall Library, Valerie had previously taught at Cheam High School and at Priory School, Banstead. It was she who oversaw the opening of the Nursery Department in 1985 and the huge increase in Junior School numbers during the late 1980s. One of Valerie's hobbies is skiing - she skis 5 to 6 weeks each season - and ski trips have become a feature of life at the Lodge. In 1989, she was elected to membership of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS).
Kim Peto was appointed Head of English in 1985. Kim came to the Castle from Epsom College. Very much an all-rounder, he edited the Ewellian and coached cricket and soccer. In 1993, Kim was promoted to the newly created post of Third Master, with responsibility for the School's marketing strategy. He becomes the fourth member of the School's Senior Management Team.
Terry Solari was the School's maintenance man for several years. He arrived in 1982. An ex-soldier, he had a gift for being able to carry out quick repairs and patch things up so that the School could keep going. He was extremely popular with both staff and pupils and, when he died suddenly in 1989, there was widespread shock and sadness. Peter Knock gave voice to this in the Ewellian:
I find myself remembering all the many, many occasions when I enjoyed his kind-heartedness, his helpfulness, his humour, his loyalty and his warm interest in everyone and everything. To imagine Ewell Castle without Terry is very difficult....I am sure that we are, all of us, the better for knowing Terry Solari and the sadder for his passing.
In 1992, Andrew Tibble was Appointed Deputy Head. Andrew has a degree in mathematics from Hull and a Certificate of Education from St Lukes, Exeter. After starting his career at Tonbridge School, he was appointed Head of Mathematics at Forest School in East London. Here he coached a variety of sports and was elected President of the Common Room. In addition to deputising for Ron Fewtrell, he had oversight of Heads of Year, Housemasters, Games Staff and the Site Manager. In the first year of his appointment, Andrew produced a Staff Handbook, setting out procedures on everything from dealing with teacher absences to the use of the School minibuses.
With so much going on in the School during these years, it is difficult select particular pupils for mention and yet some stand out, not least because they were entering areas which were new for the Castle - Alister Rates' appearance in the West End production of Bugsy Malone (1983), Michael Cowland winning the Under 16 Surrey Springboard Diving Championship (1983), Daniel Parker in the shot-put (1989), Tim Buzwell fencing (1990) and Richard Shaikh, Dominic Hill (1988) and James Hilston (All England U14 400 metres champion in 1993) in athletics. Perhaps the most outstanding achievement was that of Matthew Kidd in becoming Under 15 100 and 200 metre breast stroke champion in 1993. He has been selected for a training squad for the 2000 Olympics. With team sports, it sometimes seems invidious to mention individuals but certain names tended to crop up in despatches - Sam Frost, David Towers and Richard Baum in rugby (mid 1980s); Andrew Hewitson (1987) and Darren Dempsey (1989) in cricket; Neil Fewings in soccer (1989); Mark Sheldon in badminton (1990); and, when Ewell Castle joined the squash premier league of Surrey schools, Ron Harley, Ross Gardner and the Redman brothers (late 1980s). In 1992, Paul Schunter, Vincent Petrozzi and Michael Heath won the Surrey Schools Golf Championship.
Ron Fewtrell was himself a successful all round sportsman and remains physically active. Perhaps this why, although prematurely grey, he looks remarkably fit and young for his age. It certainly explains why he pinpointed at a very early stage in his tenure a need to improve sports at Ewell - the range of activities and fixtures, they way they were taught and the facilities. Without his commitment, it is unlikely that we would have the Sports Hall.
Under Ron's leadership, the Castle has continued to grow. To achieve not just greater numbers but better quality he has identified key tasks within the School and developed a staff structure. This involves clearly defined job descriptions and a series of specialist committees. With Andrew Tibble, Ron has introduced a scheme for reviewing the performance of staff.There is a School Development Plan which is kept under review by each of the committees. This covers, among other things, the curriculum, buildings, health and safety, reporting and assessment, administration and resources.
Another of Ron's innovations has been to establish marketing as a key activity for the School. There is a Governors' Marketing Committee and, with the creation of the post of Third Master, a Senior Member of staff with a marketing brief. In the process of developing priorities for improving the School, he has identified what he perceives to be the distinctive characteristics of the Castle in the market in which it operates. He is acutely aware of the nature of the competition and the need for the Castle to broadcast its strengths. Even though entry to the Senior school is by test, the intake continues to be fairly comprehensive in terms of its ability range; the School is not, nor is ever likely to be, an academic 'hothouse'. However, it does remarkably well for its pupils in terms of 'added value' and Ron knows this is the message the School must get across to parents.
Given the above developments, it is not surprising that some staff refer to the School as now being run 'like a business'. Of course, as an independent school, Ewell Castle has always been a business and its managers have always had to cope with market forces and the disciplines of budgets. Perhaps the difference for today's independent schools is that, in the current climate, all their staff have to be aware of these constraints. Another factor which explains the 'like a business' comment is the unprecedented amount of paperwork and documentation necessitated by the myriad rules, regulations and laws that affect schools today. Inevitably, some teachers, particularly the older ones, look back nostalgically to the days when they were under less pressure.
Ron is a man of his times and this means that he has had to become more like a manager than a traditional head. That he is both an efficient and effective manager is demonstrated by the fact that, in the current climate, the Castle is both alive and relatively well.
Malcolm Sagar - Former Teacher of Physics and Old Ewellians Association Committee Member
Malcolm passed away unexpectedly on 16th August 2021
Malcolm Sagar taught at Ewell Castle School from September 1972 to his retirement in 2005. At that time, it was a boarding school, and when Malcolm and his wife Joyce arrived as newly-weds they were accommodated in a two-bedroom flat in Holman Court for the first year. When the School bungalow became available, they lived there for a further three years. The school was not just a job for Malcolm, but a way of life for both him and Joyce, as wives were always made to feel included in School life by the then-headmaster, Reg Saunders.
Malcolm Sagar was an outstanding teacher, a supportive colleague, and a valued friend to those of us who had the pleasure and privilege to call him such. As a teacher Malcolm certainly had his own distinctive and memorable style. If he appeared and, perhaps, cultivated the image of being a hard task master, it was because he genuinely cared, and wanted all his pupils to achieve their best. He raised the levels of expectation and achievement for his subject to remarkable heights within Ewell Castle School. As a colleague I was able to observe his teaching on several occasions, and at one stage even enjoyed teaching alongside him. For this we attempted to broaden our pupils’ horizons by introducing them to masterpieces by some of the great European painters. Malcolm was good at this too and was as enthusiastic about it as he was in encouraging his teams on the playing field as a house master. His rallying calls were at times predictably unorthodox, but highly effective. What came through in all he did, as a teacher and a colleague, was his sense of humour, not shared by all it must be said, but always well intentioned.
Malcolm involved himself fully in all aspects of school life. He had an exceptional ability as an organiser, which he put to good use in a variety of ways, most noticeably as an excellent Examinations Secretary. As a colleague he could not have been more supportive. He enjoyed being part of entertainments and theatrical performances, often, but not always, playing a behind-the-scenes role. He was particularly proud of his ability with the spotlight, which saved the day on several occasions when more ambitious lighting effects failed. Some of the more technically ambitious musical projects we engaged upon in the 1970s and 80s were achieved in no small way by the practical support Malcolm offered. Without his clear-sighted vision and financial acumen none of what we were trying to achieve at that time would have been possible. He also took part in numerous school trips, where his reassuring presence and support were much valued. Malcolm, with his wife Joyce, provided a safe and caring presence on these occasions, particularly for younger pupils away from home for the first time.
For many years Malcolm was a keen swimmer. As well as organising school trips to the pool he swam regularly by himself, not only for exercise but also to raise money for charity. As with everything he did, he did it because he believed it was the right thing to do and never because of any self-aggrandisement. His was in essence a self-effacing and modest man. He was also very practical and could draw upon a wide number of skills. He excelled as a gardener and took a special pride in his allotment, which produced a bounty of produce year after year. He could put his hand to anything and many of us still cherish those small hand-made gifts that he produced for a significant occasion, for the very reason that Malcolm had taken the trouble to make them himself. His generosity of spirit was one of his particular gifts.
Malcolm had the gift of friendship, and that gift extended to keeping a small but tight group of friends together over many years. Together with Joyce he regularly welcomed those friends to his house for parties and meals, as well as organising other gatherings and occasional outings from time to time. Friendships forged over many years can sometimes fall apart without someone taking the initiative, Malcolm was such a person.
He was highly principled and spoke his mind without fear or favour. This did not always endear him to those in authority but was much admired by others who lacked either the confidence or will to speak out. He was always true to himself. He had the gift of being himself in any situation, which is something his friends most admired about him. Malcolm didn’t seek popularity, but his genuineness, together with the warmth of his personality, drew others to him. Those of us who have had the pleasure of his companionship and the joy of his friendship have much to be grateful for.
Peter Back – former ECS Head of Music
Malcolm was a Physics enthusiast and very knowledgeable about his subject but, at heart, he was an educator who always wanted the best for his students. Although a strict disciplinarian, his students could see through the façade. This resulted in high numbers opting to take Physics at GCSE and A Level, all of whom achieved great grades, according to their level of ability, and who could be heard remembering him fondly when they later visited Ewell Castle to tell us about what they had got up to. Malcolm came from a time when the Physics syllabus only changed by small amounts each year. Over the years he had built up a set of fantastic notes for his students. Similarly, he had developed a comprehensive set of weekly homework sheets that, together with his notes, provided a wonderful base to prepare for public exams. In the latter part of Malcolm’s career, as Head of Physics, the UK entered a period of rapid and sustained change in the education system, nevertheless, Malcolm continued to work hard to adapt his systems adding more units, re-arranging content, and providing regular revision sessions and homework clubs for his enthusiastic clientele. The students lucky enough to be taught Physics by Malcolm remember him for far more than his extravagant moustache!
Chris Roffey – former ECS Head of Science
Malcolm was a huge part of Ewell Castle School for so many years. He was a real ‘character’, he had a big personality, and he came to know a great many staff and pupils over his long career at Ewell Castle School. He was the sort of teacher that pupils always remember. A few years after he retired from teaching, the School re-launched the Old Ewellians Association in 2014 and Malcom offered his services as a founding member of the newly re-formed association. Always supportive and generous (Malcolm and Joyce made donations towards the building of the new Music Pavilion), Malcolm was a key member of the OE Association Committee and the only former teacher in the committee, as the others were and continue to be former pupils or current members of staff. Malcolm was an important bridge between those who had been at the School in the 1970's through to the early 2000’s. He was wonderful at keeping in touch with former colleagues and pupils, his knowledge of the School, former pupils and former staff was second to none and he had a genuine affection for Ewell Castle School and the community of pupils and staff who have worked, studied, and lived here over the years. I am grateful for his support of the Old Ewellians Association and like many others, I will miss him, his warm friendly smile, his big moustache and the Old Ewellians striped jacked that he proudly wore to all the Old Ewellians events he attended.
Carol Hernandez – ECS Marketing, Development and Alumni Manager
William (Bill) Edeson 26/11/1942 - 12/10/2021
A sad message from Sydney, October 2021
In the last alumni bulletin in 2020 I reported the delight of re-connecting, after 61 years, with Bill Edeson. An Australian, Bill was at EC from 1952-59 and amongst many other things was an outstanding sprinter and hurdler. A glimpse at the school magazines between 1957-59 reveal his many running records, and his 100- and 200- yards duels with Chris Thomas were legendary. They consistently vied for first and second positions and broke many records. He was head of school a year before me and returned to Australia in 1959. He and fellow Australian, Peter Hunter, were prominent in my decision to move to Sydney in 1966.
Bill lived in Brisbane, I’m in Sydney, and after a year or so of many emails and phone conversations we planned to meet there in August. Sadly, that meeting was Covid cancelled and so we were destined never to meet again; on October 12th Bill succumbed to his long battle with cancer. His life was celebrated at a wake recently by his wife Lyn, their three children and seven grandchildren. Sincerest condolences. It will be a pleasure to meet them next year.
Speaking of Bill’s life, he had a varied and stellar career, and for some time I’d been encouraging him to write about it, as well as his time at EC, for the alumni bulletin. Happily, a few weeks ago he completed it and, with Lyn’s approval, here it is.
Vale, Bill. I have an abiding memory of you leaping the hurdles in the dim and distant 1950s. A life ahead, one so very well lived.
By OE Richard Smart
Bruce Oliver - Former Teacher of Maths, English and Raleigh House Master (Passed away Spring 2021)
We have been notified of the passing of fomer teacher Bruce Oliver. Over the past few years, he had not had good health and first spent time in hospital before spending the rest in a care home. Bruce died short of his 80th birthday. He taught mathematics from 1965 to 1993. Bruce started at the School in January 1965 and was joined by Peter Hadden, who was Head of Maths, in September of that year. Initially there were not enough lessons to merit three Maths teachers, and as Geoff Coles also taught the subject, Bruce had his timetable filled with some English lessons and some Games lessons. He was, and remained for a long time, Raleigh House Master. Gradually the Maths department developed and by 1968 the lessons were setted throughout the School and Bruce had become a full-time Maths teacher.
In those early years Bruce was an organiser of School trips on which Peter went on as well. They did a day trip to France. This was soon after flick knives had been made unlawful in the U.K. but were readily available in France. Bruce and Peter were rather naive, and on returning to Dover, did not realise that every boy on the trip had bought a knife during the day. Customs made everyone leave the coach while it was searched, and they found plenty of knives in hiding places. Then in a move which mystified them, Bruce was handed all the confiscated knives to dispose of back at School. In the end the parents of the boys were summoned to the school to determine what should happen to their son's knife!
The next trip was to Filton to learn about Concorde. They flew down to Bristol from Gatwick in an unpressurised plane. On arrival they were taken straight to a lecture about the plane. Peter, and possibly others, did not hear a word of this as his ears were still getting over the flight. They then went over the mock-up of Concorde, by which time Peter's hearing had been restored, so he did learn something about Concorde. Thankfully they flew back at low altitude to Gatwick. Bruce also planned a day trip to Prague in 1968 but unfortunately the Russians decided to invade so that had to be cancelled!
The teaching of Maths had been organised in sets and also a regime of weekly tests was put in place which saw the results improve rapidly. As far as possible Bruce and Peter took the same pupils through the five years at school taking the A and B sets on alternate years. The improved O-level results allowed for an expansion at A-level. Bruce had more of a Physics background so was rather more at home with the Mechanics. Thus, Bruce taught the Applied Maths and Peter the Pure Maths at A-level.
Both had a love of dealing with numbers and when a new photocopier was installed, for which each member of staff had to have a six digit code number to access, obviously to check their usage, they handed their code numbers in secret as instructed to Peter Knock, the Deputy Head at the time, only to be called into his office a couple of days later because they had both picked the same code without any collusion between them.
During Bruce's time at Ewell Castle School the Maths Department enjoyed many years of excellent results. Bruce and Peter set up and paid for an annual Maths outing during co-ordinated week at the end of the Summer Term for the top boys at Maths in each year, with the Maths staff and occasional visitors, for an enjoyable day out to places like Whipsnade Zoo and Woburn Abbey.
Another contribution that Bruce made to the School was the introduction of Bridge. This started initially in the staff room but with the introduction of Wednesday afternoon activities it was then played with the pupils. Bruce became involved with the Surrey Schools bridge and our pupils eventually played in inter-schools tournaments, and the School hosted the tournament on several occasions.
Whilst Bruce was at School, he was always a boarding master with his room for many years at Chessington Lodge, until the junior part of the School wanted to expand, when he moved to a room on the mezzanine floor at the Castle. When Bruce left the School, it gave him more time to pursue other interests. He always had a great fascination with trains, especially of the steam variety, and went on many journeys on them. He also did work for the Kings Theatre in Southsea.
By Malcolm Sagar (former Head of Chemistry and Physics) and Peter Hadden (former Head of Maths)
Bruce Oliver, a personal appreciation of a colleage and friend. Bruce Oliver was a teaching colleague for more than twenty years, and a friend for almost fifty years. He was generous with his time, help and advice, both to pupils and colleagues. He was well-liked by those pupils who had the privilege of being taught by him. The qualities that made him such an excellent teacher - the ability to explain things simply and clearly, combined with patience and a desire to help and encourage - were also the qualities he would share with colleagues and friends.
He was, to use what may now seem unfashionable terms, a cultured and highly civilised man. His interests were many and various. Intellectual games and puzzles could absorb him but also, he had a great love of the arts, particular the visual arts and music. He had a good eye, and during the course of his lifetime amassed a fine collection of paintings and objets d’art, notably porcelain, at his home in Southsea. These were meticulously displayed not only for his own enjoyment, but also for that of his friends and neighbours when he entertained, which he did frequently.
His passion for railways led him to explore every part of the network across the British Isles, photographing and logging details of rolling-stock and stations that, for the most part no longer exist. He published several books on the subject which remain of great interest to railway historians and, for the non-specialist, an intriguing glimpse into the past.
Bruce was passionate about music too. He was a fine pianist and had developed a considerable technique; he played his beloved Chopin frequently for his own pleasure, displaying an often-hidden romantic side of himself. Occasionally he could be coaxed into playing duets for an audience when the attention was not solely on him.
Essentially unassuming and even somewhat shy, he would avoid situations that might prove even the least bit embarrassing. But one-to one, or with a small group friends he could be something of a raconteur, witty and amusing, but usually more interested in what others were doing and, like the consummate teacher he truly was, always encouraging.
By Peter Back (Former Head of Music)
Roger Powe - Head of English 1973 to 1979
We sadly announce that Roger Powe, or 'Reverend Roger' as he was known at Ewell Castle, passed away at the end of 2019. Mr Powe worked at the School as Head of English from 1973 to 1979, before moving on to Giggleswick School and later to Brighton Sixth Form College. In 1991, he began a Counselling Course and then set up a professional Counselling Service in Brighton. Mr Powe also suffered from bowel cancer and due to this, had one of his kidneys removed. At a later stage, he converted from being Anglican to Roman Catholic. Mr Powe was 73 when he died.
David Edmund Greene - 29t September 1945 - 5th July 2007 - Former Pupil
David joined Ewell Castle in autumn 1956 and was in Essex House. Boxing colours Spring 1957. He was District boxing champion Spring 1960. Swimming colours Summer 1960. House football colours autumn 1960. 1st XI cricket cap summer 1961. Captain of football and 1st XI colours autumn 1961. School Prefect Spring 1962. Boxing colours Spring 1962, Captain of cricket and 1st XI colours summer 1962. Athletic colours summer 1962. Captain of House summer 1962. Winner of pobjoy Cup summer 1962 and 1963. District swimming certificate summer 1962. G.C.E. "o" Level in English Language spring 1963. Vice Captain of School spring 1963. Squash colours spring 1963. District athletic colours and certificate summer 1963. Winner of the senior Victor Ludorum cup summert1963. Winner of the Baker Cup summer 1963. Winner of The President's cup summer 1963. Winner of The Fairchild cup summer 1963. David left School Summer 1963.
The above tribute was compiled by David's friend Roy Hunt
Derek L King - 18th January 1935 - 1st November 2009 - Former Pupil
Derek joined Ewell Castle School winter, 1949. Leicester House. Prefect O.P. Autumn,1950. Prefect, Autumn 1950. Captain of Tennis and Squash, Spring,1950. Vice Captain of Football, Autumn,1950. Vice captain of House, Autumn,1949. Captain of House,Autumn,1950. 1st XI Football Colours, Autumn, 1949 1st XI cricket cap,summer, 1950.1st XI Cricket Colours, Summer,1950. Tennis Colours, Summer, 1950.Indivdual Tennis Champion, Summer, 1950. Derek left School Summer 1951.
When Derek left School he went into the R.A.F. to do his National Service. As he was a very good Tennis player he played for the R.A.F. against the other services. On leaving the R.A.F. he set up a Betting business with his Father in Sanderstead. When his Father died, he closed the business and became an Estate Agent which he carried on for many years.He eventually moved to Bexhill on Sea in the early 90s. His love of Tennis took over now, and he ran a Tennis School in Sotogrande Spain, for many years. During his early years he played Tennis for Surrey and played in Tournaments against other counties and the university's. Our two families were and are still very close, and we used to spend a lot of time together. He was married to Wendy and they had three children, Trevor who was also a very good Tennis player, and daughters Sarah and Elizabeth.
The above tribute was compiled by Derek's friend Roy Hunt
STUART BLAND - Head of Design and Technology 1978 to 2004
Stuart Bland died soon after being admitted to hospital on the evening of Friday the 9th of July 2020, aged 76 and is survived by his sister Jennifer who asked me to pass the news to the staff and pupils of Ewell Castle School.
Stuart was a successful pupil in Nottingham achieving 11 ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ Levels in Physics, Chemistry and Botany. He gained his teaching qualification in 1965 and taught Science, Woodworking, Metalwork and Technical Drawing in Nottingham.
In 1970 his passion for travel and adventure lead him to Africa where he worked at The Petauka Secondary School as Head of Industrial Arts and then at Hillcrest Technical School in Zambia. Whilst there he was responsible for reorganising the national syllabus in Technical Drawing. He returned to the UK in 1978 and in that year joined Ewell Castle as Head of Craft Design and Technology.
I joined the School in 1993 and worked with Stuart for many years before taking over from him on his retirement. We remained good friends thereafter. For those who knew him the following will, I feel sure, be recognised and for those who came to Ewell Castle after his retirement I am grateful for the opportunity to make known something of one of the School’s past luminaries.
Stuart was the quintessential gentleman; true to his word, caring and dependable. He rose to every challenge and generously gave of his time with gusto and commitment. He was an inspirational figure to both his colleagues and the children he taught.
Stuart viewed problems as opportunities to effect change and make improvements. He viewed failure as an essential and unavoidable component to learning and progress.
Some might say that patience was not his strong suit but on those occasions his ‘bark’ was neither overly loud nor offensive and sprang from his desire to ‘do things right’.
Over the years I lost count of the young men returning to the ‘Old School’ and making a point of visiting Stuart in the Design building to shake his hand and say ‘Thank You’.
Stuart’s contributions, beyond leading The Design and Art departments with great vision and academic success, are too many and varied to list here. However his dedication to Drama in terms of Set Design, Set Building and Lighting, his key role in the establishment and running of the IT Department when the subject was first introduced into the curriculum and his significant input to Marketing are a few examples of the energy and enthusiasm he brought to the School.
AND he also had a life ! A glider pilot, a published and successful author, a photographer and film maker, a seasoned ‘off the beaten track’ traveller who visited some of the most remote and far flung places on Earth, a volunteer hospital builder in Spiti valley - the wilderness between northern India and Tibet, a knowledgeable gardener, an art lover, an inventor and maker.....
Stuart was not a man you could pigeonhole. He was a One Off. He will be remembered with great affection by many. He was a friend whom I will personally miss. He was a loyal and loving brother to his sister Jenny.
Stuart's obituary is written by David Thompson, who took over from Stuart as Head of DT when Stuart retired from Ewell Castle School.
Peter Harrison Brown (born 27-08-1938): Ewell Castle School 1947 to 1954 - passed away in January 2020. No further information available.
Mike Schofield 1954 - 2020
We are sorry to inform Mike’s old school friends that he passed away earlier this year. As many of you will know, he had been bravely and courageously battling cancer over several years but unfortunately his health had deteriorated significantly and when he caught the virus he was too weak to recover. Mike’s death is a sad blow to everyone who knew him and his funeral took place in May.
Mike thoroughly enjoyed life and his years at Ewell Castle were no exception. At school he studied hard but most of all he flourished on the sports field and he represented the school at football, athletics and cricket. His working life was spent in motor finance, initially at Midland Bank then spending 30 successful years at Lombard before finally working for Honda Thames Ditton. Mike married Pat in 1981 and they lived Chessington and had two lovely girls – Cathryn and Emma. Mike was a devoted father and over the last 8 years a proud grandfather to four special grandchildren.
Shortly after the millennium Mike separated from Pat but he then found new love and married Karen in 2012. Soon after this memorable occasion he was diagnosed with cancer, but despite this bad news they enjoyed a hectic life and had many enjoyable holidays together. Mike’s main passion was sport, especially football. He was an active member of the OE’s football team which he also ran with gusto for many years. He passionately supported Chelsea (long before a certain Russian parked his superyacht in South London) and over the last 15 years he was able to enjoy all the trophies that this ‘blues’ kept winning.
When his football days came to an end, golf became a major part of his social life. OE’s playing with him were amazed at the remote parts of the golf course he visited but he normally emerged with not only his own golf ball but a few extra ones as well! Even though he was unable to play golf in the last few years of his life, he still made his presence felt at the OE’s annual golf day by attending the dinner. We will always remember him as a tall, very friendly, easy going and very sociable man with a big smile and most importantly in life, always up for some light-hearted banter, especially about Chelsea being better than your team. Mike - RIP
Ray Whitten 1933-2020 (Praefectus Scholae 1949-1950)
Being a very good friend of Ray Whitten, I would like to share my memories of him memories with you. Ray succumbed to the dreaded COVID-19 virus on 10th April this year and has left behind his wife Eva of some 60 years marriage and daughter Carolyn. Ray was born on the 20th August 1933 and lived in Boston Manor. His father had a butcher's business in Ealing and his mother worked for the department store Bon Marche. Ray went to Ewell Castle School in the summer of 1943 and left in the summer of 1950. We became friends by our love of sport, he was a very good cricketer being a wicket keeper/batsmen and captaining the 1st IX team also the 1st IX football team. I only enjoyed playing with him in the cricket team for some four or five years. He was also captain of Raleigh House and was appointed Captain of School.
He left Ewell Castle in 1950 and went to work for the Prudential Assurance Company and continued working for them until his retirement. He did his National Service from 1950 to 1952 in the RAF and then returned to the Pru.
We spent many summer holidays together in Brighton and Bracklesham Bay where we continued playing cricket on the sandy beach. We also enjoyed cycling and often cycled to Brighton and Bracklesham Bay. We found each other again through Friends Reunited and enjoyed many a lunch throughout the past 20 years. He will be greatly missed by myself and my wife.
Memories of Ray Whitten by Roy Hunt
JOHN HAYWARD 1937 - 2019
Johnny as he was known by so many Ewellians from the 50’s entered the Castle’s gates as a pupil in September of 1947, just a couple of years after the end of WWII hostilities. Coupons were still in force for clothing, petrol and some foods, including sweets. Mike Brunwin writes, “ We joined the school on the same day and found ourselves in Form III, seated next to each other. As we moved up to higher forms, we stay seated together, escaping many fallouts with authority but painfully not all! Finally, we both made for the exit together after completing the Summer term in 1953.
John was a kind man, generous in both heart and spirit; instantly likeable with a rye sense of humour which probably explained his interest in wildly colourful American ties popular in the 50’s.” After school days he completed his National Service in the RAF and became part of the group that helped revitalise the Old Ewellian Association after its reactivation following the war years.
A major figure in the OE’s Football team playing in the Sutton & District League with his permanent position at left back; I think the only “crack” his amiable approach to life was being faced with an opposition forward who invariably landed face down in the mud. During the summer months he was a keen member of the OE’s Cricket Club which for many years played a full season of Saturday and Sunday fixtures. John, his lovely wife Jill and their two young children Michael & Dawn, became part of the group of OE’s who became life-long friends.
Sadly, Johnny passed away suddenly last year. Deeply missed by Jill and her family - a gap has been also left in the hearts of many old friends.
OE Angus McLellan has contacted the School to let us know that his brother in law Old Ewellian Stephen William Charles Atterbury passed away on the 12th October aged 68. Our condolences to Angus and all of Stephen's family.
It is with sadness that we report the passing of former pupil Alex Tague, who was taken from his family and friends far too young earlier this month. Alex enjoyed many happy years as a pupil at Ewell Castle School (1994-2001), especially playing rugby and being involved in music. He studied for his A Levels in the Sixth Form before going on to university and later a career in IT. Alex's parents Celeste and Gerry have asked the School to share details of Alex's funeral arrangements with his School friends and former teachers, who are welcome to attend his funeral at 1.30pm on Monday 4th March at Croydon Crematorium, East Chapel, Mitcham Road, Croydon, CR9 3AT. Please email Gerry at gerrytague@hotmaillcom if you would like to attend.
Sidney Postlethwaite passed away in Swanage aged 93 on 21st October 2018, where he had lived with his wife for over 30 years. He attended Ewell Castle School between 1934-1941 and was called up during 1943 and joined the navy. He was on the atlantic convoys and later on a convoy to Russia where his ship was torpedoed, he then went on to marry Eileen (1924-2017). He worked for Shell Chemicals for 25 years and then lectured at Slough College before retiring to Swanage. Sidney and Eileen had 5 children and lots of grand and great grand children, he will be missed by all of them.
Phil Sutton passed away 8th August 2018 after a long spell in hospital. Phil joined the School in 1974 after graduating from St Mark and St John College Plymouth where he met Claire, his future wife. Phil came to teach Games and History, the games staff consisted of Phil with the help of two part-timers, Peter Carnell, Mike Barrel and other members of staff who looked after teams for inter-school matches.
The main sports were football and cricket with squash and tennis also played as well as swimming. The sports facilities were more basic in the early days when most lessons occurred out of doors – whatever the weather – with the only changing rooms down in the cellar with a hot shower afterwards – if you were lucky and the hot water hadn’t run out. There was also the joy of all the House games as well as after school and the House cross-country runs in Nonsuch Park – what bliss! Phil was occasionally allowed to have a few PE lessons inside in the Castle Hall and his life changed when first he could do his favourite sport – rugby – when it was started at the instigation of Peter Knock when he came as Deputy Head in 1979. Then when the Sports Hall was built in 1990, he had sheer luxury, even though games were displaced when the Sports Hall was used for exams.
When Phil and Claire got married the “School bungalow”, a post-war prefab, at the bottom of the quad had become vacant so they spent about three years there before moving out. They were the last occupants of that “bungalow” and it was demolished shortly afterwards. During her career, Claire helped out the Ewell Castle School Science Department with several stints on the staff. Outside School, Phil and Claire were for a long time active members of the Ebbisham Squash and Tennis Club and its social scene. He was also very much a family man, he enjoyed his garden and summer holidays with Claire and his two daughters, Louise and Jenny which normally involved a trip to Cornwall. For many years Phil was an integral part of the quiz team, which comprised of Ewell Castle School staff and associates, at the King William Pub, also known as the second staff common room, where he showed his extensive knowledge helping to win many competitions.
Phil always had time to keep up with Old Boys whenever possible and his presence will be sorely missed. Phil Sutton’s funeral will take place at 12.30pm on Wednesday 26th September 2018 at Randalls Park Crematorium, Leatherhead and afterwards at Horton Park Golf Club from 2pm. Staff and former pupils who knew Phil are welcome to join Claire and the rest of his family at the service. Please email Carol Hernandez, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 14th September if you would like to attend, as she is co-ordinating numbers with Claire Sutton.
Mike came late to teaching following National Service and a spell working in Australia. In his first period at Ewell Castle he became senior master in the Woodwork and Technical Drawing Department, which would later become Design and Technology. He made a notable appearance in Reg Saunders’ first film of the School, commenting on a rather noisy lathe, which was nearing the end of its working life. He showed off his musical skills playing rhythm guitar at School performances and then on recordings of Peter Back’s productions. Mike left Ewell Castle School to teach at a school for more educationally challenged pupils, returning for his second period as second in department to Stuart Bland. In 1993 he retired, first living in Billingshurst in Sussex, then, latterly, in Chichester. He loved sailing and for many years shared a boat with another colleague, Patrick Chatterton.
Reg Saunders was educated at Sandown Grammar School and went up to Fitzwilliam College Cambridge to read Modern Languages. After graduating in 1946, he trained to be a teacher, continued to study languages and completed a Master of Education at Brunel University. He arrived at Ewell Castle School in 1968, taking over when R H (Pip) Pledger retired. R P F Saunders was appointed Head by the School Governors and given the formidable task of ‘changing the personality of the School’ and emphasising the ‘academic achievement of pupils’. Reg loved church music and was organist at St Mary’s Church, Ewell for many years. The breadth and variety of the School’s activities and the academic results that were achieved under his Headship are an eloquent testimony to his achievement. Reg Saunders retired at the end of 1982. In January 1983, he was succeeded as Headmaster by Ronald Fewtrell. (Source: Ewell Castle School, a short history by Chris Parsons).
We have just learnt of the sudden passing of former Director of Sport Simon Bell, who has died following a short illness in December. There will be a private funeral but his family have asked us to let former colleagues and pupils know that they are welcome to attend a memorial services at St Mark's Church, St Mark's Lane, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 5PU on 22nd February at 1.30pm.
Sadly Dominic was taken from his friends and family far too young and news of his tragic and premature death shocked those who read about the story. His funeral took place on Saturday 21st May 2016 at 10am, at St Paul's Church, Northey Avenue, Cheam, Surrey, SM2 7HS. The church was so full that many mourners had to stand outside the church.
It is with sadness that we report on the news that former stallwart of Ewell Castle School, Reg Beaumont, passed away early on December 29th following a brief stay at a nursing home near his home in Rochester. He had suffered from prostate cancer which quickly became more advanced. Reg taught Chemistry from 1974 – 1995 after two years teaching with the Voluntary Service Overseas in Ghana. He joined Ewell Castle School as a boarding master and was also, for a long time, Castlemaine Housemaster. He continued to remain in touch with 'Old Boys'nce they had left the school and will be remembered by many for his hospitality at the King William IV and the Spring in the village. After his move to Rochester, he regularly attended the Old Ewellians Reunion Sundays and continued to show a keen interest in the School right up until his recent illness.
Ron Brissenden attended Ewell Castle School from 1928, died recently on 21st December 2014 after a sudden illness. He was 97 years old. He last visited the School two years ago when he attended the summer reunion. He is survived by his daugher Anne.
TAT attended Ewell Castle School between 1937-1944 and after National Service in 1948, returned to the School as a Master in training. Along with Geoff Coles, TAT was probably one of the best known and liked members of staff. He played a major role in getting the OBA off the ground after the war years and it was his enthusiasm that helped create the OE football team. He loved jazz and introduced many to the joys of Glen Miller and Benny Goodman. After teaching at the school, he completed a degree and continued his career in teaching, eventually becoming Head Master of the Central Foundation School in London between 1973 and 1984.
Geoffrey Herbert Coles was born in May 1925 and at the age of nine entered Ewell Castle. When he retired from teaching in 1990 he had spent over fifty continuous years at the School apart for time away during WWII in the Fleet Air Arm. During his long connection with the School he became one of the most identifiable Castle characters for generations of Ewellians. When he returned from the services he represented for many the typical British hero - an amalgamation of W E John’s fighter pilot “Biggles” & Richard Chandos from Dornford Yates’s thriller novels. Always active and enthusiastic whether in his duties teaching maths and as Sports Master, or in spare time racing fast motor bikes and sports cars around the countryside on some new adventure. Whether in School or on the road his attire often remaining the same - sports jacket, grey flannels and polished shoes. He had a natural ability to engage people, together with an easy confidence which left everyone in no doubt that an instruction was not the start of a discussion. For most people his most memorable quality was his “can do’” attitude and belief that anything was possible if you are prepared to make the effort.
Together with two other members of staff, Guss Stamford & TAT Barnes both also former pupils, he was instrumental in reforming the Old Ewellians Association in 1948 & later establishing the Old Ewellians Football and Cricket Clubs. A life-long lover of music - particularly Jazz - he and TAT Barnes introduced many to the likes of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey & Glen Miller. After retirement he was a regular at many local & London Jazz Clubs. His love of Jazz was matched by his interest in squash and he could often be found at the Ebbersham Squash Club. In the 70’s he broke the Guinness World record by completing a 47 hr squash marathon. At the age of 86 in January 2012 Geoff Coles passed away. His funeral produced a very large gathering of family, friends, Old Ewellians & former colleagues who said farewell to the strains of Duke Ellington.
The following were Ewell Castle School alumni who lost their lives during World War II:
F/Sgt Pilot Richard Alderton RAFVR 10/07/1943 Trinidad
Basil Allen - No Record
John Arnold - No Record
Able Seaman Ronald Ayton RNVR H.M.S. Wakeful 29/05/1940 Chatham Memorial
F/Sgt Pilot Edward Rosslyn Budgell RAVFR 269 Sqn 07/12/1941 Fossvogur Cemy
Sgt Ronald Henry Burr RAFVR 218 Sqn 21/06/1941 Runnymede
Sqn/Ldr Pilot Patrick Russell Cooper RAFVR (Morden) 16/10/1943 Morden Cemy
2nd Lieu Bernard Rutherford Cushing RTR (RAC) 22/07/1942 El Alamein
Peter Delliere - No Record
Capt Gordon Baty Featherstone 9th Jat Regt 22/01/1942 Burma
Gunner Eric Hampson RA 136 Field Regt Massicault Cemy Tunisia
Sgt (David) Rex John RAFVR 621 Sqn 21/12/1944 El Alamein?
John Keighley - No Record
Lieut (Eugene) Clifford Laws East Yorks Regt 29/05/1942 El Alamein
F/Lieut Pilot John Peter Lintott RAFVR DFC 85 Sqn 09/07/1943 Banstead C/yard
Kenneth Moore - No Record
Arthur Newman - No Record
Capt Raymond Nickells RAC 7th Queen's Oen Hussars 08/07/1944 Ancona, Italy
App Edward William Oxspring MN MV Domala 02/03/1940 Tower Hill Memorial
Capt Denys Stafford Rowland RE 10/10/1945 Kranji Cemy, Singapore
F/O Pilot Walter Allen Skelton RAFVR 115 Sqn 28/08/1942 Reichswald Cemy
Lieut Peter Henri Talbot RAC Staffs Yeomanry 19/09/1943 Carshalton C/yard
P/O John Joseph Westwood RAFVR 04/05/1942 Morden Cemy
Parry Williams - No Record