12 January 2016

Brighton, Hove & Sussex Grammar School

Judy Middleton 2001 (revised 2015)

 copyright © J.Middleton
It is over one hundred years since this building was erected but it still ranks as one of the most handsome edifices in the area. The small copper-roofed cupola with its dolphin weathervane is the cherry on the cake.

School Motto: Absque Labore Nihil (Nothing without effort)

Early Days

On 18 July 1859 Brighton Proprietary Grammar and Commercial School opened at 47 Grand Parade with 61 boys. Since the 1830s the number of proprietary schools had been increasing. They were an attempt to give a more modern education to the middle classes. Although Latin, Greek, French, German and Arithmetic were still on the curriculum, the school also included the teaching of ‘Book-keeping, Merchants’ Accounts, Mathematics and Mensuration’. Unlike public schools, boys were not subjected to ‘corporeal punishment’.

A proprietary school was owned by a number of people. At Brighton the establishment was divided into 70 shares of £5 each. Pupils wishing to enter the preparatory classes had to be nominated and elected by the proprietors, and later on admission to the upper school rested on the consent of the same.

For non-proprietary pupils the entrance fee was one guinea and £2-10s to be paid in advance. The headmaster earned £150 a year, the French master received £70 a year while the drilling instructor had to be content with £20 a year.

A New Building

On 27 May 1868 Sergeant Major Menzies led a crocodile of 180 boys as they marched away from Grand Parade and into a new building in Buckingham Road, Brighton erected on the site of the former Brighton Workhouse; Mr Nunn designed the new school.

The boys used to wear a cloth cap with a shiny leather peak and a gilt badge. In the 1880s a bowler hat with a black and leather band replaced the cap.

Houses

The House System was adopted at Easter 1908 and the following names were chosen: Chichester, Ireland, Marshall, Pelham, Smith and Willett.

Chichester House – It was named after Henry Thomas, 3rd Earl of Chichester, popularly known with the Earl of Shaftesbury as the Evangelical Twins because they were both involved in working for reform. The Earl was the first president of the school governing body and he used to invite school elevens to Stanmer Park to play cricket against his team captained by the Hon. Thomas Pelham. Unhappily the Earl came to an untimely end. He was returning from a school prize giving ceremony when he rode into some telegraph wires in Stanmer Park and died.

 copyright © J.Middleton
Stanmer Park was once the seat of the Earls of Chichester.

Ireland House – It was named after Alderman James Ireland, a timber merchant and Mayor of Brighton. He was the first chairman of the school governors and held office until his death in 1877. His daughter was the wife of the celebrated clergyman Revd Ambrose D. Spong and she later financed a scholarship in his memory. Spong became chairman of the board from 1909 until his death in 1913.

Marshall House – It was named after E.J. Marshall who was headmaster of the school for nearly 40 years. He used to give boys warning of his stately approach by rattling a large bunch of keys.

Pelham House – It was named after the Hon. T.H.W. Pelham, a long-standing friend of the school. The story goes that he was so delighted when ‘his’ house beat another house by eighteen goals to one that he despatched a box of plums to the victorious team. He was a stipendiary magistrate and his favourite solution to ‘bad boys’ up before the Bench was to ship them off to Canada. He was a son of the 3rdEarl of Chichester and he died on 23 December 1916.

Smith House – It was named after William Joshua Smith J.P. one of the founders of the school and chairman of the directors. He was described as ‘a man of solemn visage with a white face and a black beard’. He also ran the only bookshop in Brighton, which was located in North Street and continued to trade until 1912.

Willett House – It was named after Henry Willett (1823-1905) who was a wealthy Brighton brewer. He was a thickset man six feet tall and he had a finely developed sense for artistic treasures. His name is fondly remembered today because he gave his extensive collection of English pottery to Brighton Museum. He also liked to have a few Old Masters on his walls but he also enjoyed the thrill of the chase and after a few years he was quite happy to sell them and buy something else. He once purchased a genuine Giotto for £75 and offered it to his godson for the same price. His godson politely declined the offer but no doubt kicked himself in later years. Willett gave a great deal of financial help to the school in its early days. Willett was born the same year as the Chain Pier and when it blew down in 1896, a friend remarked that he had outlasted the old Chain Pier. Willett replied ‘Yes but I haven’t stood with my feet in the water all the time.’ 

 copyright © J.Middleton
The old Chain Pier

Antarctic Expedition

In 1910 in response to an appeal by Captain Robert Falcon Scott the boys subscribed towards the cost of a sleeping bag for the use of the British Antarctic Expedition. The sleeping bag was assigned to Lieutenant Henry Robertson Bowers and was in fact the one in which he later died.

Lieutenant Bowers was a man of small stature, being only 5 feet 4 inches tall, but he was one of the toughest explorers and undaunted by difficulties. He had red hair and went by the nickname ‘Birdie’ because of his huge nose shaped like a beak. He became one of Scott’s closest friends and Scott appreciated his ‘wonderful upright nature, his ability and energy’.

As the expedition approached their destination, the South Pole, Bowers was the first to notice a black flag that Roald Amunsden had left 35 days previously. The British team had failed in their race to be first at the South Pole and then began the heart-breaking return journey. Evans died first, followed by Oates but Scott, Bowers and Dr. Wilson were together at the end. The party was halted by a severe blizzard a mere eleven miles away from their depot of stored food. Scott’s last entry in his journal was dated 29 March 1912.

A New Site

The authorities at Hove began to take an interest in the school in 1906 while it was still at Buckingham Road, Brighton. On 1 August 1909 a new Board took over the management of the school. At first the school was going to be called Sussex County Grammar School, an inclusive title because it was thought West Sussex County Council would be involved but they later withdrew. The governing body was composed of eighteen members of which nine were from Brighton, five from Hove and four from East Sussex County Council.

In May 1911 it was reported that the school governors had selected the plans submitted by S.B. Russell FRIBA of Gray’s Inn Road, London. A site at Hove was purchased for £4,000 to which fifteen acres for playing fields were added in 1914 at a cost of £9,000. The estimated cost of the project, including the building and equipment was put at £23,563-17-6d.

 copyright © J.Middleton
The handsome foundation stone is in pride of place on the north side
 of the front entrance.
The architect S.B. Russell sported a ‘full set’, that is he had a pointed beard, a bushy moustache and sideburns. He was also a Freemason and the foundation stone was laid on 13 June 1912 with full and grandiose Masonic ritual under the supervision of the Provincial Grand Master, the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. A handsome souvenir trowel made of solid silver, engraved with foliage and Brighton coat of arms, was presented to the Duke.

The procession was headed by a long line of Masons, resplendent in their regalia and aprons with black silk hats on their heads. There must have been more than 300 men taking part and out of 39 Sussex Lodges, 34 of them sent representatives. The architect carried his plans and officials carried items for the ceremony including a cornucopia of corn, ewers of wine and oil, a phial of coins to place under the stone, the Corinthian Light, the Doric Light, a Square, a sword plus an apprentice with the cement.

 copyright © J.Middleton
The carved stone decoration above the main doorway is wonderful. 
At the top is the head of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom and much else, 
designed by Charles Knight: the coat of arms represent Brighton at the centre,
 Hove on the left and Sussex on the right: the school motto runs underneath.
The event must have been quite a spectacle and in fact local film-maker George Albert Smith was on hand to film the ceremony and for the following fortnight the film was on show at the Academy Theatre, West Street, Brighton.

After the ceremony, special tramcars conveyed those who had tickets to a grand luncheon at the Dome. After the meal the Dean of Chichester made a speech in which he said he regretted the new and cumbersome title of the school and the fact that West Sussex had decided not to take part in the enterprise. He said they were celebrating the passing of the school from private to public management and ‘at last they were able to dig into the bottomless pocket of the ratepayers, a thing they had wanted to do for years.’ He also said he had met Old Boys in the most distant parts of the Empire and there were 1,500 members of the Old Boys’ Association. In fact the latter were responsible for purchasing the fifteen acres for playing fields.

copyright © J.Middleton   
The round windows are an unusual feature on a rounded section 
on either side of the building.
It is interesting to note that the school was something of a hotbed of the Craft and there was a Masonic Lodge confined exclusively for Old Boys called the Past and Present Lodge (2665). In 1912 the headmaster, a governor and five masters were Freemasons.

The building work went on remarkably quickly and it was on 13 September 1913 that the whole school marched from Buckingham Road to their new quarters at Hove. Also in 1913 work started on the headmaster’s house and the school hostel at the north side of the site, both buildings being the work of Mr Ruddell.

The Great War

copyright © J.Middleton
The school building when it was in use as the 2nd Eastern Hospital during the Great War. Note the flag on the roof. 
It was supposed to be a Red Cross flag at first but it is difficult to make out exactly what flag is there.

Unfortunately, the boys enjoyed their spacious new building for just a few months because on 7 August 1914 the military authorities requisitioned it. The masters and boys returned to their old building in Buckingham Road exactly one year after it was vacated.

Three days after the declaration of war, administrative officers were installed at the new building at Hove and the Red Cross flag was flying from the flagstaff. The geography room became the sergeants’ mess, the gym became the dining room and the classrooms contained ten beds each. The nurses were given quarters at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in the Upper Drive, Hove and had to be ferried back and forth to the hospital.

The establishment became the 2nd Eastern Military Hospital and it also included Stanford Road Council Schools; altogether there were 520 beds. It was the first territorial hospital in the United Kingdom to complete its establishment and the first patients arrived on 1 September 1914. These men belonged to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, wounded in the retreat from Mons.

copyright © J.Middleton
Everyone is enjoying the sunshine but the ladies are also relishing the opportunity of taking a peek at the convalescent soldiers.

copyright © J.Middleton
G.A. Wiles also took this photograph in September 1914 and he was moved to describe the men as ‘British wounded heroes’.

The hospital specialised in dentistry, ear, nose and throat, fractures, malaria and venereal disease.

There were eighteen doctors on the staff attached from local hospitals. Sister Carter was the matron throughout the hospital’s life and the successive commanding officers were as follows;

Lieutenant Colonel Rooth
Lieutenant Colonel Paley
Colonel Gordon Hall
Lieutenant Colonel E. Hobhouse
Lieutenant Colonel F.E. Apthorp Webb

  copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
King George and Queen Mary visited the 2nd Eastern General Hospital on 9 January 1915.

Miss Ionides was the honorary secretary. (Miss Helen Euphrosyne Ionides QMAAC was awarded the OBE for her wartime work. The Ionides family lived at 23 Third Avenue, Hove where her wealthy father built his own picture gallery at the back. Amongst the artistic treasures were works by Botticelli, Rembrandt, and Tintoretto plus sculptures by Rodin and Dalou, classical engraved gems, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, drawings and prints. He bequeathed all his pictures, drawing and prints to the Victoria and Albert Museum).

  copyright © D.Sharp
On 21 August 1915 a section of the Royal Army Medical Corps line up on the steps before leaving for service overseas. You can see the foundation stone plaque on their right.

 copyright © D.Sharp
This is King’s Ward at the 2nd Eastern Military Hospital. This ward at the 2nd Eastern Military Hospital seems rather crowded. The female nurse lodged at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Hove.

Later on there was a branch of the 2nd Eastern General Hospital at Portland Road Schools, Hove, which came into operation in June 1915 and lasted until May 1919. The main hospital at Dyke Road also closed on 21 May 1919.

Although the building was occupied as a hospital, it seems the boys still used the adjoining playing fields. Curiously enough, the school firing range was created in the playing fields in 1916 and was used until 1920 when training moved to Mile Oak Shooting Range instead.

Athletic sports were held in the playing fields on 24 May 1917.

Old Boys and the Great War

The Great War took a heavy toll of former pupils of the school. The headmaster stated he knew the names of 1,007 Old Boys and masters who served during the war and 132 men had been killed in action or died of wounds. The Roll Call of Honours Awarded was as follows;

1 Victoria Cross
6 Military Medals
23 Military Crosses
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses
6 Distinguished Conduct Medals
4 Distinguished Service Orders
1 Meritorious Service Medal
1 French Military Medal
12 Croix de Guerre
1 Italian equivalent of the Croix de Guerre
24 ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’

Ernest Frederick Beal VC – Please see under ‘Notable Old Boys’.

Eric Athelstan Fenner suffered from ill health for a number of years and was rejected 17 times for military service. But he was determined to do his duty and eventually enrolled in the Royal Fusiliers. He was severely wounded in France and died three days later in a casualty clearing station.

William Steele was only nineteen years old when he served aboard HMS Invincible as a gunroom officer during the Battle of the Falklands 12 December 1914. He saw survivors from the German battleship Gneisenau struggling in the water and he wrote ‘from the little knots of men came the most weird and uncanny noises, expressing the most acute suffering’.

Local artist Charles Burleigh (1869-1956) executed a painting of the school hall while it was in use as a hospital. Later it was exhibited at Brighton Art Gallery and the school governors purchased it.

The officers of the 2nd Eastern General Hospital presented the school with a beautifully lettered address in black and red on vellum commemorating the school’s use as a hospital; it was the work of Mrs Gasston of the Municipal School of Art.

War Memorial

There was a great deal of discussion about what form the school war memorial should take. In July 1919 it seemed the popular choice would be a bronze statue of a soldier in full kit standing with rifle and bayonet on the defensive. The figure would be mounted on a white stone pedestal and Major Lessore created the design.

But many people considered a new organ installed in the school hall might be a more practical monument to the fallen.

By May 1920 it had been decided instead to continue with the work of historical panels that had already been started by Louis Ginnett but with the names of the fallen recorded on separate panels

The War Memorial was dedicated on 9 February 1923

They whose names are recorded on this wall were numbered among those who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced dangers and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after them see to it that they are not forgotten.
(These names in the above were inscribed on two panels of the School's War Memorial 
surmounted by a bronze winged victory.)
 Names to be added :- H.C. Forrest, G. Marsden DSO and H.S. Ward.

Louis Ginnett (1875-1947)

Louis Ginnett was an Old Boy of the school. He was the fourth son of John Frederick Ginnett, the famous circus proprietor of an establishment at Park Crescent Place, Brighton. Nearly all the Ginnetts were involved in the circus but it held no charms for Louis and it seems he was the only family member not involved.

When he left Brighton Grammar School in 1892, he studied law. But he soon realized his mistake and transferred to Brighton School of Art with which he had a long connection because he taught there from 1909 until his death. After his spell at Brighton, he crossed the Channel to study at Julien’s atelier in Paris and later visited Italy.

He had a distinguished military career during the Great War and afterwards he settled at Ditchling where he lived in Chichester House in the High Street. He exhibited his work regularly at the Royal Academy but he had no pretensions, always describing himself as a ‘painter’ rather than ‘artist’ on official documents. But he was being modest because he had extensive artistic talents. He painted portraits, landscapes, flowers and historical subjects in oils or watercolour; he drew in pencil, charcoal and chalk while he also made designs in stone, plaster and metal and he had a wide knowledge of lettering. Lastly, he was a stained-glass artist and he not only designed and painted the glass himself but also fired the piece.

The nine panels he painted for the school hall are considered to be one of his masterpieces. He started work on them in 1913. On 7 August 1914 Ginnett was busily engaged on one of his paintings when an officer of the RAMC arrived and took possession of the school. It is said that Ginnett used many of the masters, their wives and daughters as models for his work.

The last two paintings were unveiled in 1937 and one of the schoolboys present on this occasion was Michael Blaker who was disappointed Ginnett was not wearing an orange artist’s smock but instead wore a sober suit, like a banker. Blaker went on to become an artist and one of his teachers was Ginnett. Although Blaker thought Ginnett’s panels might have owed something to Maddox Brown at Manchester, he considered them as some of Ginnett’s most remarkable canvases, describing them as ‘academic art of the Thirties as opposed to the avant-garde style of the times’.

In 1994 the panels were fully restored thanks to a gift from an anonymous Old Boy who wished to mark the 125th anniversary of the Old Boys’ Association, thought to be the oldest in the world.

The Paintings

copyright © BHASVIC
Prehistoric Man
Prehistoric Man – The theme of this panel shows the men of the hills on their return from hunting in the Weald. At the time this panel was conceived, Sussex was a hotbed of prehistoric interest, intensified by the discovery of the Piltdown skull, which at the time was considered a genuine find but has since been identified as a fake. But there was still a great deal of evidence concerning prehistoric man in Sussex. This panel depicts the men grasping early tools, which were to set them on the long road to civilisation

 copyright © BHASVIC
The Romans
The Romans – ‘At the tenth milestone along the road, which leads from Chichester to London, the Prefect of the Province built for himself a house when Hadrian was Emperor.’ The panel shows the Prefect with two attendants who had ridden over from Regnum to inspect the building of the villa at Bignor. Bemused locals look on at the right while on the left foreign experts work the stone. (This panel was part of the Marshall Memorial).

 copyright © BHASVIC
The Saxons
The Saxons – ‘In this year Aella and Cissa besieged Andredesceaster (Pevensey) and slew all that dwelt therein, so that not one Briton remained alive there A.D. 490.’ The Saxons had been causing trouble with their raids for many years and indeed at the end of the 3rd century the Governor of the Province improved defences by constructing the forts of the Saxon Shore. But once the Romans had withdrawn the Saxons felt strong enough to seize power. The panel shows a few surviving Britons with their bishop while the Saxons approach to destroy symbols of Roman occupation and eradicate Christianity.

 copyright © BHASVIC
The Normans
The Normans – After many generations, the Saxons themselves faced defeat from William the Conqueror and his Norman knights. The Saxon King Harold was slain at the famous Battle of Hastings (Senlac) in 1066. There is a pathetic story about Harold’s mother, a widow, who had also lost three sons, sending emissaries to beg the victorious William to release Harold’s body to her. She even offered to hand over gold equivalent to the weight of his body. But William would not relent and had him unburied in un-consecrated ground because William had broken an oath about the succession.   (This panel was in memory of Mrs Read, the headmaster’s wife, who died in 1918 from a septic infection after dressing a boy’s wounded arm).
 copyright © BHASVIC
The Middle Ages
 The Middle Ages – The morning before the Battle of Lewes. Simon de Montfort and his men pray before going into battle. This became the War Memorial and the subject was altered to the morning after the Battle of Lewes in 1264. ‘Read, ye English, this record of the Battle of Lewes, under the protection of which you live defended. Because if victory had fallen to those who were this day conquered, they would have held the memory of the English in low esteem.’ The battle was the result of mounting anger over foreign interference with Henry III ignoring the wishes of his English subjects.
The panel depicts Henry III signing the Mise of Lewes at the Priory of St Pancras, Lewes, and re-affirming the liberties of England. The Sussex Daily News (6 May 1922) commented ‘It is a picture which shows Mr Ginnett’s powers as a painter of historical subjects at their fullest development … the figures are full of character and action. The face of the ageing weakened, king, listening with varied emotions to his very argumentative counsellors, the ill-concealed impatience of the fiery young Prince Edward – as one imagines the mailed, proud figure on the left to be – are conceived with imagination and power.’ The Old Boys’ Association paid for the panel, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1922.
On either side there is a four-foot wide panel; on the left a friar walks through a field blessing the peasants and their flock; on the right, a criminal flees from an angry mob, seeking sanctuary and safety inside a church.

copyright © BHASVIC
The Renaissance
Renaissance – ‘Not until Master Coxon brought back our ship – but little hurt – had we sure knowledge that the King of Spain’s great Navy was scattered and broken … Rye, August 1588.’ A trophy flag from a galleon of the Spanish Armada is displayed. The panel also serves to remind the viewer of the part Sussex played in the defence of the realm with Sussex-born sailors and stout ships built of Sussex oak. (The panel is also a completion of the War Memorial). 

 copyright © BHASVIC
The Seventeenth Century
The Seventeenth Century – ‘The Parliament sent down into Sussex to summon Mr John Browne, the King’s gun-founder, to appear before them so that his position may be made clear to him, 1642.’ At this time Sussex was also an industrial county with the chief ironworkers of the realm based in the foundries of the forest of St Leonard.
(This panel is in memory of Thomas Read, headmaster).

 copyright © BHASVIC
The Nineteenth Century
The Nineteenth Century – ‘On the occasion of his birthday, His Majesty was graciously pleased to receive a deputation from the inhabitants of the town, and condescended to hear an humble and loyal address, expressing in the most particular and unequivocal terms their confidence, gratitude and affection. Brighthelmstone. August 1821.’ 
The panel depicts the familiar figure of the Prince Regent. But there are other familiar faces because amongst the crowd are descendants of characters seen in previous panels. (This panel is also in memory of Thomas Read. On 20 November 1936 Read’s only child Mrs M.G. Mills unveiled both of them).

  copyright © BHASVIC
The Twentieth Century
The Twentieth Century – The view from a roof overlooking Brighton from which can be seen the great railway cutting and works and the town filling the valley. The subject of this panel was changed too. It became a depiction of the archaeological exploration of Hollingbury Camp in the 1930s and was known as Full Circle. W.A. Barron, headmaster at the time, was painted as a figure in the right foreground while Thomas Read, his predecessor, peers over his shoulder. (This panel was Ginnett’s own gift to the school).

The Twenties and Thirties

There were elaborate theatrical entertainments every Christmas and interesting lectures in the school hall. On 26 February 1925 the poet Walter de la Mare gave a talk entitled The Magic of Poetry.

In 1928 a neat, white octagonal observatory was built in the school playing fields. In order to keep the telescope free from vibration, a large block of concrete was sunk three feet into the earth and this provided a firm base. Alfred Roods presented the 8 ½ inch reflector telescope and it was installed with a new equatorial mounting. However, the observatory does not seem to have survived the Second World War.

During the Thirties boys were still taught to write in a copperplate style with the aid of long brass ‘Saxon’ nibs; fountain pens were not tolerated.

On 29 March 1935 the Rt. Hon. H.A.L. Fisher, Warden of New College, Oxford, opened the new school extension designed by John L. Denman. The extension was for the benefit of dayboys and it was located at the north end of the eastern wing.

Some parents wanted to know why, when building work was already being carried out, the opportunity was not taken of adding two or three new classrooms. The answer was that the authorities would not allow it because East Sussex County Council were spending thousands of pounds on a new boys’ school at Hove within a couple of miles of the Grammar School.

However, the new Read Library was created at the same time but funding would not have been an issue because the Old Boys’ Association subscribed towards the cost in memory of their old headmaster. Louis Ginnett designed the six stained-glass windows in the Library, which represented history, philosophy, drama, poetry, eurhythmics and geography. Ginnett’s portrait of Thomas Read was also hung there. John Eede Butt & Sons were responsible for the panelling. Another artistic embellishment was the head of Minerva carved in an external stone panel from a cartoon prepared by Charles Knight.

In 1935 the school was still using a playing field at Withdean called the Marshall Playing Field but then Brighton Council decided to convert the space into the Sussex County Lawn Tennis Ground with eleven hard courts and thirteen grass courts.

In 1939 the school tie was replaced by the ‘Old Colours’ tie in which a white stripe was added to the existing green and red stripes.
  
Second World War

In 1939 the school shared its premises with Selhurst Grammar School, which had been evacuated from Croydon by their local authority; there were also 50 privately funded evacuees. However, the situation was short-lived because after Dunkirk, the south coast was deemed not such a safe place after all, indeed there was the threat of invasion, and so the evacuees went elsewhere.

A battery of giant anti-aircraft guns occupied the greater part of the school playing fields. But by 1941 some of the ground was utilised for allotments and boys and parents dug plots to grow vegetables.

At the back of the playing fields, the ground was criss-crossed by trenches lined with corrugated iron. The intention was that boys would use them as air-raid shelters. In reality there was sometimes not enough time to get there in an emergency because the air-raid siren often sounded after enemy aircraft had shot over from the south.

In 1941 there was a nightly fire-watch at the school consisting of one master and three boys. Arrangements were made to send parcels at three-monthly intervals to Old Boys who were prisoners of war.

The war meant that the school was deprived of several masters who departed to serve in the armed forces.

Mr Lloyd became a Staff Major
Mr Alexander became a Captain in the Searchlight Branch of the Royal Artillery
Mr Rider, Mr King, and Sergeant Major Wilkins served with Captain Alexander
Mr Blomfield, Mr Randall, Mr Davidson and Mr Woolvern were on active service with the Territorials
Mr C.J. Blomfield became a prisoner of war of the Japanese. He returned to join the science staff once again but probably his experiences had been too overwhelming because he left in 1947.

Old teachers were brought out of retirement to help in the crisis and science teaching was particularly badly hit. Many past members of the Officer Training Corps received emergency commissions.

Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant D.A. Richardson RNVR was aboard HMS Ajax during the Battle of the River Platte with the Graf Spee; he survived unhurt.

There were three Old Boys aboard the Ark Royal when she sank but they survived.

One day a faint noise grew louder and louder until it was a roaring sound and all the boys rushed to the windows to see what was happening. They witnessed the unforgettable sight of a sky full of ‘Flying Fortresses’ en route for France.

In 1945 it was decided that Louis Ginnett’s designs for the windows in the school hall should be adopted as a war memorial. They would cost between £500 and £600. Any further funding would go towards a new organ or travelling scholarships.

Post War

The Education Act 1944 came into effect, as far as the school was concerned, in April 1945. It provided for the abolition of tuition fees in all secondary schools maintained by local education authorities with the exception of direct grant schools. The governors decided to apply for direct status in order to maintain some independence.

The Education Act 1944 also made a distinction between primary education (up to the age of eleven) and secondary education. It was decreed the education of these two groups must take place in separate buildings, which of course meant the end of the Junior School. It enjoyed a higher standard of learning than other junior schools and parents were quite willing to pay for the privilege. But if fees were abolished, it would have to close.

In 1945 the school became a county school but the precise set-up had not been decided upon.

In 1944 some 260 boys took the entrance exam although there were only 90 places.

In 1947 seven new staff members joined the school, the losses being due to death, retirement or promotion.

Perhaps with all these on-going changes Mr Barron, headmaster, thought it was time to leave and in 1948 Mr Brogden became the new head.

copyright © BHASVIC

The playing fields were restored to their former use and the boarding house re-opened; it had been closed during the war.

By 1950 the number of boys had grown to 530. The curriculum was altered considerably to meet the requirements of the new General Certificate of Education.

Illustrated London News (26 March 1960)

A splendid article appeared in the above publication in the series ‘The Education of British Youth.’ and there were no less than seventeen photographs to accompany the text. Mr H. Brogden was headmaster and there were now 660 boys at the school. There had been something of a revolution in the sixth form, which once contained a handful of boys. In 1960 the sixth form had 160 students and at least 30 of them were expected to go on to universities, probably around ten of them to Oxford or Cambridge.
copyright © J.Middleton
The Memorial Gates designed by J.L. Denman were sketched in 1979. 
Today it is difficult to appreciate them because of a large notice placed upon them.

The Cadet Force was still going strong with a membership of 400 boys of which 55 boys had opted to be in the Navy section. There was also a fine band, which had been founded in 1914 and was on parade for the school’s centenary celebrations in 1959. The centenary year was marked by the installation of two tennis courts paid for by donations from the present boys and their parents at a cost of £11,000. The Old Boys’ Association subscribed to the Memorial Gates designed by Old Boy John L. Denman in memory of W.A. Barrow, headmaster 1924-1948. As if this was not quite enough, a further £5,000 was being raised to build a Sixth Form common room.

The School Treasury was still in operation; it had been established in 1887. Every Monday morning a collection is made and more than £300 is distributed annually to needy families and charities.  

A Grammar School No More

In 1975 the school became Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College, popularly known as BHASVIC.

Notable Masters

C.H. Bennett – He taught senior maths and science from 1904 until he retired in 1934.

Frederick Carr – He was a pupil at the school from 1868 to 1871 and after four years of training returned as a form master in 1875. He remained as a teacher until he died aged 65 on 28 July 1921.

A.B. Clements – He taught at the school from 1910 (with a break for military service during the Great War) and he died suddenly in 1943 after spending the previous day at school as normal.

Miss K. Dollman – She taught in the Junior School but left in 1925 along with two other ladies ‘owing to a change in the policy of the Governors’. It is possible that she was Kate Maria Dollman whose brother John Charles Dollman (1851-1934) was a very famous artist of his time but who has since dropped out of public knowledge. His work was so popular that many became photogravure reproductions that must have graced many a suburban wall. A celebrated work was entitled A Very Gallant Gentleman painted as a tribute to Captain Oates in 1914 and once a familiar illustration to generations of schoolchildren. Their father, also John Charles Dollman, ran a bookshop and stationer’s business at 7 Western Road, Hove from at least 1851.

J.H. Donne – He was an Old Boy and taught at the school from 1875 to 1884 and from 1893 to December 1919 when he retired.

 copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Henry Earp, senior, painted this delightful picture of Portslade in 1840. Note St Nicolas Church to the right and the impressive mansion called Portslade House on the left, near the site occupied by King’s School today.

Henry Earp – Henry Earp was born at 6 a.m. on 20 August 1830. It is unusual to have a precise time of birth but thus it was recorded in the family Bible, as was the time of arrival of his older siblings. His father moved to Brighton and he and four sons were all artists. Henry Earp painted Portslade Village 1840 – an enchanting work now on view at Hove Museum. However, Earp would only have been ten years of age in 1840 and so he must have relied on sketches by other family members. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery have six of Henry’s works. Henry was painting master at the school, both when it was located at Grand Parade and when it moved to Buckingham Road. One of his pupils was Aubrey Beadsley and Henry was wise enough to allow him to develop his own style instead of trying to make him conform to a more conventional mould. Henry died in his 84th year in 1914.

Fred Edmonds – He was a French master from 1881 to 1914. He was noted as a brilliant chess player. In collaboration with C.T. West, a former staff member, he produced the Dome Entertainments, which were put on by the school and became very popular. Edmonds died in July 1933.

J. Godfrey – He retired in December 1919 after being part of school life since 1877, a period of 43 years. He died on 7 March 1928 and his funeral was held at Emmanuel Church. Like Thomas Read, he was also a Freemason.

John Greenwood – He had the difficult task of taking over the school music after the sudden death of the celebrated Dr Chastey Hector. Greenwood was head of music for eight years before leaving to take up a post with the BBC in 1941.

Dr Chastey W.G. Hector – He was responsible for the school music from 1913 and he produced an outstanding series of school operas. He died suddenly 24 April 1934.

E.J. Huggett – He retired in July 1938 after a long association with the school of 43 years, first as a pupil and then as a science master.

J.H.A. Jay – He began teaching craftwork at the school in 1919 and at the same time he was head of the handwork department at Roedean School, a post he held for 20 years. He died on 21 December 1933.

Revd H. Maguire – He came from Christ’s Hospital and taught physics at the school from 1920 to 1941 before taking charge of the Unitarian Church, Lewes. He also helped out as prompter at school opera performances and he was associated with the scout troop too.

Henry Arthur Payne – He was a staff member for over 40 years before retiring in 1923. He was editor of the school magazine for 29 years and secretary of the Old Boys’ Association for seventeen years. He was younger brother to Edward, Arthur and Fred Payne who all made a real contribution to school life. He was also the originator of the school’s shooting club. Aubrey Beardsley was in his class and Payne kept many examples of his early work and provided valuable information for later biographers. He made a collection of all printed references or examples of Beardsley’s work, which he left to the school library. He died aged 84 on 1 June 1947.

Thomas Read – He was headmaster from 1899 to 1924. He was born on 3 June 1861 at Hampton Place, Brighton and entered the school at the age of six, probably its youngest pupil. He was on the school staff from 1878 to 1882 and then he left to gain more experience and further qualifications before returning to the school. When he retired he was presented with a telescope and a gramophone, his own choice.  He died suddenly on 26 November 1931 after an operation and was buried in Brighton Borough Cemetery. As the words of committal were being spoken, a robin hopped about on the leaves a few yards away. A Freemason dropped ‘emblematic sprigs’ onto the coffin. The Read Memorial Library was established in his memory.

Daniel Albert (David) Redhead– He joined the school as an English master in 1920. He also became musketry officer of the Cadet Corps. He died on 3 April 1934.

J. Robiony – He was one of the French masters and it was not until he had been teaching for more than a year that his distinguished military career during the Great War was discovered by accident. He had been awarded the French Medaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre (with two stars) the Italian Croce de Guerra and the British Military Cross.

Miss Christine Webber – She assisted with the artwork for 26 years; her three brothers were all Old Boys. She died in November 1942.

Arthur J. Yardley – He was music master for some 35 years. He often assisted at St Patrick’s Church, Hove where the celebrated Dr Frank J. Sawyer was organist. Yardley died in February 1931.

 copyright © J.Middleton
BHASVIC was photographed on 10 September 2015.

Notable Old Boys

One test of the quality of a school is to consider the achievements of former pupils. Illustrated London News (26 March 1960)

George Aitchison – He joined Brighton & Hove Herald in 1894 and was connected with the editorial side for over 47 years; he was associate editor for many years, became a director in 1933 and editor in 1934, retiring in 1940. He wrote on the theatre, music and the arts generally.
He wrote a popular and charming book entitled Unknown Brighton illustrated with atmospheric aquatints by Stella Langdale; the volume was published in 1926. Aitchison lived at 8 Adelaide Crescent, which he told Jack Dove, Hove’s Librarian, had a tradition that some of Queen Adelaide’s ladies stayed there. Aitchison died in 1954.

Ernest Frederick Beal VC – Ernest Beal attended the school from 1893 to 1897. He was the son of J.J.W. Beal, one of the original shareholders in the early days of the school. Ernest Beal was described as a ‘zealous officer’ in the Boys’ Brigade.
 copyright © Brighton & Hove City Libraries
(Brighton Season Magazine 1919) 
 Ernest Frederick Beal VC
Ernest Beal originally enlisted in the Sussex Yeomanry and three of his brothers also served in the armed forces during the Great War. Ernest Beal was one of seven Old Boys who met by chance in 1915 and celebrated the re-union by having a banquet of sorts in a dugout; it is sad to record that three of the diners were killed in the war.

Ernest Beal was killed in action 22 March 1917 aged 35 and became Brighton’s first holder of the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award. Brighton Council presented his parents with an illuminated address. The citation published in the London Gazette (4 June 1918) reads:
‘Ernest Frederick Beal, 2ndLieutenant, 13th (Service) Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery and determined leadership when in command of a company detailed to occupy a certain section of trench. When the company was established, it was found that a considerable gap of about 400 yards existed between the left flank of the company and the neighbouring unit, and that this gap was strongly held by the enemy. It was of vital importance that the gap should be closed, but no troops were then available. Organizing a small party of less than a dozen men, he led them against the enemy. On reaching an enemy machine gun, 2nd Lieutenant Beal immediately sprang forward, and with his revolver killed the team and captured the gun. Continuing along the trench he encountered and dealt with another machine gun in a similar manner – and in all captured four enemy guns and inflicted severe casualties. Later in the evening, when a wounded man had been left in the open under heavy enemy fire, he, regardless of danger, walked up close to an enemy machine gun and brought in the wounded man on his back. 2nd Lieutenant Beal was killed by a shell the following morning.’

Ernest Beal’s eldest brother Jack died on 18 November 1938 aged 60, which left two other brothers H.R. Beal and R.W. Beal still in the family bookselling business of John Beal & Son, East Street, Brighton. Their father J.J.W. Beal died in 1942 and his funeral was held on 6 March.
In November 1999 there was a campaign to secure proper recognition of Ernest Beal’s heroism and for a blue plaque to be placed on the old family home in East Street. Jenny Langston, Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Royal British Legion (Sussex) and Chris Thomson, principal of BHASVIC backed the idea.

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)– He was born at 12 Buckingham Road (now number 31) Brighton on 21 August 1872. His mother Ellen was the daughter of Surgeon-Major Pitt, an ex-Indian Army officer. She spent her youth in Brighton and although acknowledged as a beauty, she was so slim that she was nicknamed ‘the bottomless Pitt’. No doubt Aubrey inherited his extraordinarily slim figure from his mother although being tubercular from the age of seven could not have helped.
Ellen loved books and music and encouraged Aubrey and his sister Mabel to appreciate them too. Indeed Aubrey was so talented at music, besides acting and drawing, that he could have pursued any of them as a career. The Beardsley family lived in lodgings or with rich relations and Aubrey was variously at Brighton, then a small school at Hurstpierpoint to strengthen his lungs, followed by spells at Epsom and London; finally in 1884 Mabel and Aubrey went to live with an elderly aunt at Brighton.
In January 1885 Beardsley started at the Grammar School. His first term was spent in Second Remove Form taught by William George. O.H. Leeney, a contemporary of Beardsley at school, wrote ‘his face … seemed the same as his later portraits … the same extraordinary chin and upper lip and long plaistered (sic) hair’. He also wrote ‘I can see him still, sliding with a peculiarly lithe movement – not like other boys – down the banisters beneath the morosely ticking old clock.’

On 22 March 1888 Beardsley appeared in a school concert in more than one item but his principal contribution was his recital of the skating scene from Dickens’ Pickwick Papers. ‘It was an exceedingly clever performance; the most exact Dickensian could have wished for nothing better’. He had real roller skates on his feet and floundered about imitating the luckless Winkle.
In December 1888 Beardsley completed a series of drawings illustrating Edmonds’ stage play Pied Piper. Drawings were passed from master to master and all looked at them in amazement. When the play was performed Beardsley and C.B. Cochran took part.
Also in 1888 the school authorities awarded Beardsley a bronze medal for good conduct. Miss L.C. Dash subsequently presented it to Brighton Art Gallery; Miss Dash was nurse, friend and executrix to Beardsley’s mother,

Although Beardsley was brilliant in many ways, it is amusing to note that W.W. Hind-Smith remembered him as an utterly useless ‘fag’ who burned his toast, blackened his sausages and likewise porridge and pancakes. He was useless at sport and was always mooning around, either reading or composing poetry and music or making thumbnail sketches. In fact Beardsley’s first published illustration appeared in the school magazine.
A.W. King was Beardsley’s housemaster and was among the first people to recognise his talents. He allowed Beardsley free use of his own library and his sitting room where he could draw or read in peace. He also encouraged Beardsley to draw by candlelight because he believed it was a kinder light to the eyes than the glare of gaslight. Beardsley kept this preference throughout his short life.
Beardsley left school in 1888 but he remained in touch with his old housemaster and after A.W. King died in 1922, there was found among his papers a manuscript of a lecture on Beardsley, together with several unpublished drawings, postcards and letters from Beardsley.

Beardsley was fortunate in his friends; Sir Edward Burne-Jones befriended him from the early days and later on Beardsley came to know Sickert and Yeats. Another early friend was Aymer Vallance who introduced him into a new circle and persuaded him to give up the day job and concentrate on his art. After Beardsley’s death Vallance was one of the first to write a book about him.
Beardsley’s most famous friend was Oscar Wilde who recognised his genius and described him as having ‘a face like a silver hatchet and grass green hair’. Beardsley and Wilde were the leading lights of the ‘Decadents’ in the 1890s. But Wilde’s downfall also had repercussions for Beardsley whose publisher promptly sacked him from his post illustrating the famous Yellow Book.
Beardsley was notorious for including naughty details in his drawings and John Lane, his publisher, used to study his work with the aid of a magnifying glass but he still managed to miss some touches.
Beardsley enhanced his unique appearance by the way he dressed. One of his outfits was pale grey with a flamboyant golden tie and he carried an elegant cane. It was a gift to satirists who came up with alternative names such as Danbrey Beardless and Awfully Weirdly.
Bearsdley was still only 25 years old when he died of tuberculosis at Mentone in 1898. His mother died in January 1932 at Hurstpierpoint and the portrait of her son by W.R. Sickert was sold to the Tate for £300.         
    
C.W. Berry – He became a wine expert and an author on the subject. He died in 1941.

Professor Stanley Thomas Bindoff (1908-1980) – During the Second World War he served in the Naval Intelligence Division of the Admiralty from 1942 to 1945. In 1951 he became the first Professor of History at Queen Mary’s College, University of London. He had a considerable impact upon the establishment and remained there until his retirement in 1975. In 1950 he published Tudor England.

T. Campbell Black – Together with C.W.A. Scott, he won an air race to Melbourne. The Royal Aeronautical Society awarded him the British Silver Medal for Aeronautics. On 8 April 1930 Campbell Black made the first non-stop flight from Zanzibar to Nairobi.

Howard Blake – In 2000 he was aged 61 and was one of Britain’s best-known composers. He has many film scores, symphonies and choral works to his credit but he is perhaps most famous as the composer of the ‘Snowman’ theme Walking in the Air. He lives in Cuckfield.

Michael Blaker – He was born upstairs at 99 Western Road, Hove (next door to Sidney Lane, pharmacist) on 19 January 1928. His father ran a large newsagent’s at this address and employed three assistants, a boy of all work, delivery boys, a washerwoman and a cook called Edith. Young Michael had a live-in Australian nanny called Nurse May. His maternal grandparents were both Swiss and arrived in England in the 1890s. Victor Lanfranchi ran a café at 15 Middle Street, Brighton, established in 1896, and then the Elite Café on the seafront. On his father’s side, his grandfather Alderman Frederick Blaker and grand-uncle John Blaker were both Mayors of Brighton, turn and turn about.
Michael Blaker started at the Grammar School in 1935 at the age of seven. His uncle Fred Blaker had also attended the school and his name is on the Roll of Honour, having been killed on active service at the Somme in 1916.

It was not until Michael was twelve years old that his parents realised their son was very short-sighted and his first vision of a crystal-sharp world occurred at Palmeira Square after he left the nearby optician wearing spectacles. He was very interested in bones, taxidermy and animals and was a frequent visitor to the Booth Museum and the Natural History Room at Brighton Museum. His parents thought he was tailor-made to pursue a career as a vet but unfortunately he did not reach the required standard in Latin.
Mr Daines, art master, encouraged him to apply to Brighton School of Art and he was accepted. His teachers at the Art School were Louis Ginnett for life drawing, James Woodford for sculpture, R.T. Cowen for etching and Dorothy Coke, Charles Knight and Charles Morris for watercolours.
In 1947 at the age of nineteen Blaker painted a large mural in the Art School, measuring 20 feet x 12 feet. It included Regency motifs, Martha Gunn, Smoaker Miles, the Rolfe fishing family, capstans and details from favourite old prints. It stayed there for thirteen years until the 1960s when abstract art was all the rage and the Principal ordered the caretaker to whitewash over it. By coincidence Blaker was visiting the Art School at the very time his work was being obliterated.

Blaker worked in a studio at Tisbury Road, which he rented from an old woman who repaired umbrellas. He liked to paint local scenes and there are two featuring the interior of the old Hove Town Hall on special occasions, a portrait of an elderly Hove woman sporting a beehive hairstyle with her brown cat and a sombre work entitled Tisbury Road concentrating on senior citizens. Later on he lived at Holland Road.
Art was not his only passion and he was a member of a spasm band formed at the Art College in 1957 called Eminent Victorians. Band members dressed up in second-hand Victorian clothes and Blaker played mainly a Swansea slide whistle, occasionally the mouth organ and later on the piano too.
As regards his career, he was Senior Fellow of the Royal Society of Painters and Printmakers and he was editor of Printmaker’s Journal from 1983 to 1993. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy and many other galleries and has worked on his art in Paris, Vienna, Salzburg and Rome. Latterly, he has worked on writing and illustrating his own books; his book of reminiscences being especially entertaining.

Sir Herbert Carden – He became a celebrated name in local government and was Mayor of Brighton for three years. He was also known as the ‘Father of Modern Brighton’ and it was because of his foresight that great tracts of Downland were purchased and preserved as Brighton’s green belt. His most famous acquisition was the Dyke Estate. He purchased it himself and then sold it to Brighton Council at cost price.

Dr E. Carew-Shaw – He became a Harley Street ear and throat specialist

Sir Charles Blake Cochran (1872-1951) – He became an actor and theatrical impresario. While at the school he appeared in the same 1888 show as Aubrey Beardsley. Cochran became an agent to such famous figures as Houdini and Mistinguett but he was made bankrupt after the failure of his rodeo show at Wembley. He fought his way back to success with some Noël Coward productions.

Lord Lewis Cohen – He was born into a poor Jewish family in Hastings and was a direct descendant of Hyam Lewis (1767-1851) Brighton’s first pawnbroker and later a Brighton Commissioner. The Cohen family moved to the Brighton area in 1911 and occupied a basement at 22 York Road. He and his brothers attended Brighton Grammar School but family poverty obliged him to start earning his living at the age of thirteen. Cohen never forgot his humble roots and was a committed socialist. However, he had an excellent head for business and became a millionaire. He lived in some style in a house in Dyke Road Avenue and threw lavish parties. He made six attempts at being elected a Member of Parliament but was never successful.

In 1928 Cohen was part of a consortium with Tim Braybon and N.E. Davis that purchased 1,000 acres of the Abergavenny Estate at auction for £250,000. The consortium, in conjunction with Braybon’s the builders, were responsible for the construction of many houses in Hangleton, Hove, Aldrington and other areas.

On 12 July 1934 Oswald Moseley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, came to Brighton and held a big rally at the Dome; Cohen helped to make the occasion a shambles. He arranged for a loudspeaker to be concealed inside the great chandelier with cables connected to his offices in New Road. When Moseley embarked on his grand speech, Cohen’s gramophone in New Road began to play La Marseillaise at full volume.

Cohen gave thousands of pounds to charity including Coppercliff Hospice, which was established in the home of Tim Braybon, his friend and partner who died of cancer in 1947.
In 1965 he became Lord Cohen of Brighton but shortly after entering the House of Lords he was diagnosed with leukaemia and died on 21 October 1966 aged 69.

L.C. Charteris Coffin – In 1954 he published his book Practical Stage Speech and he once coached famous actor Donald Sinden. According to Sinden’s memoirs, Coffin advised him to lower the pitch of his voice, which is how Sinden came to develop the mellifluous tones that made his voice so instantly recognisable.

Arthur Collins – He played cricket for Sussex more or less regularly from 1885 to 1900 and became the team’s number one batsman. But he also enjoyed the distinction of bowling the fabled W.G. Grace out on two occasions – at Brighton for three runs and at Bristol for 300.  

G.A. Collins – He was the son of Arthur Collins and he distinguished himself at cricket while still at the school. Afterwards he joined Sussex County Cricket Club as a professional. In his first match for them against Cambridge he scored 82 runs. 

W. Victor Cook – He was an author whose best-known work is The Story of Sussex. Other works include:
Odin’s Treasury (1910)
Anton of the Alps (1912)
A Wilderness Wooing (1913)
Grey Fish (1913)

Air Vice-Marshal Walter John Brice Curtis – During the Great War he was a Lieutenant in the Army in 1915 and the following year he was commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps Special Reserve. In 1924 he was Officer Commanding the Stores Depot in Iraq and ten years later he was Senior Equipment Staff Officer of the RAF Headquarters in India. During the Second World War he was appointed A.O.C. No. 55 Wing, Maintenance Command.

John Stephen Cutress (1920-2000) – The Cutress firm was established in 1818 and indeed the Cutresses were millers dating back to Stuart times. Charles Cutress purchased Port Hall Mill in 1874 and Round Hill Mill in 1879; the latter mill became known as Tower Mill or Cutress’s Mill and was situated in Ditchling Road, Brighton. Charles Cutress ran the family business with his son John and then his grandson, another Charles. John Stephen Cutress was the son of Charles Cutress, junior, and he was born on 9 September 1920. In 1936 the Cutress family took over the long established Hove firm of Forfars.

John Stephen Cutress enlisted as a gunner in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War; subsequently he was commissioned into the 11th Field Regiment. Captain Cutress was awarded the Military Cross for single-handedly recapturing an observation post (vital to the overall operation) and capturing some 40 German soldiers. In 1948 he married June Esmie Lois Ring, daughter of Councillor W.J. Ring and owner of Ring’s Ltd, furnishers of Western Road, Hove. The couple had four daughters and three grandchildren.
Cutress served as a magistrate for 24 years and for eight of them he chaired the juvenile panel at Brighton. In December 1987 Cutress retired aged 68 after 50 years in the catering business during which time the family owned shops and restaurants in Brighton and Hove including the Pump House and Eaton Restaurant.

Henry Davey (1853-1929) – He became a recognised authority on music and was the author of History of English Music. He also contributed the lives of many musicians to the Dictionary of National Biography.

Terence de Marney – He became an actor and was the author of Wanted for Murder, which was produced at the Lyceum Theatre. In a radio serialisation he played the Count of Monte Cristo and he made many other broadcasts.

John Leopold Denman (1882-1975) – He was the son of architect Samuel Denman who died in 1945 and was notable in local annals for designing Hove Club in Fourth Avenue, Hove; Loxdale in Locks Hill Portslade; and the Mineral Water Factory in Stoneham Road, Hove. Both Samuel Denman and J.L. Denman worked from 27 Queen’s Road, Brighton,
During the Great War John Denman served with the Royal Engineers. He then became an architect for 60 years and the third generation of Denmans as architects was his son John Bluet Denman with whom he went into partnership.

J.L. Denman was keen to preserve the Regency architecture of Brighton and Hove and at one time was president of the Regency Society. He also taught at Brighton Art School; he was a J.P. for East Sussex. He designed the Memorial Gates at the school. J.L. Denman worked extensively in restoring churches in Sussex and building a couple of new ones. But he was in-house architect for Kemp Town Brewery too. Amongst other work carried out by Denman & Son were the following:

1922 – Houses in Rochester Gardens
1926 – Rochester Gardens, numbers 8, 10 and 12
1926 – Montefiore Road, three houses
1927 – New Church Road, two pairs of semi-detached houses
1928 – Old Shoreham Road, Maytree Pub
1928 – London Road, boundary stone Pylons
1928Devil’s Dyke, commemorative stone seat
1928 – Hangleton, many houses
1933 – Prince’s Place, Brighton, Regent House
1935 – Hangleton, Grenadier Hotel
1938 – Nevill Avenue, Hounsom Memorial Hall
1956 – Wilbury Road, Harewood Court
1957-1959 – North Street, Brighton, Barclays Bank

Judge Bruce Dutton Briant– His parents Frederick and Matilda Briant produced an enormous family of fourteen children although not all of them survived infancy. The best man at the wedding was a certain Mr Dutton and the happy couple must have held him in high regard because each of their children were given the name ‘Dutton’ before their surname. Their family home was at Queen’s Road where their father ran an estate agent’s.
Bruce Dutton Briant became an eminent judge and Queen’s Counsel; he was also chairman of the school governors. His brother Alderman Bernard Dutton Briant became Mayor of Brighton.

Tubby Edlin – He was popularly known as Queen Mary’s jester because he was one of the few actors able to make her laugh. He appeared in one of George Albert Smith’s early filming ventures at St Ann’s Well Gardens. He became known nationally by starring in the stage play Alf’s Button based on a book by Bill Darlington. The story is a latter-day Aladdin but in Alf’s case the magic lamp is a button on his army tunic. In 1929 Edlin starred in a talkie version of the stage play.
Edlin later lived in a flat above the Sussex Hotel in St Catherine’s Terrace, Hove, which his family owned. They also owned a string of pubs, hotels, off-licences and restaurants. Tubby Edlin died in 1959.

R.C. Elmslie – He became a distinguished surgeon and for 25 years was the surgeon in charge of orthopaedics at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He died in 1940. At the time he attended the school, seven other boys decided to go into medicine.

Alderman J.H. Every – He was the owner of the well-known Phoenix Ironworks, Lewes, which had been founded by his father. J.H. Every died in 1941.

E. Reginald Frampton – He was a contemporary of Aubrey Beardsley at the school. Frampton became a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy and he executed many works for churches. He admired the work of Burne-Jones and was once described as a belated Pre-Raphaelite. At Waddington Hall, Yorkshire, Frampton painted a frieze depicting the Battle of Waterloo on four walls. John Waddington, an Old Boy, lived at Waddington Hall. Frampton also designed the school’s coat of arms.

Louis Ginnett – see details of his life and work earlier in this article.

W.R. Hammond – He was the last farmer to work the Clayton windmills and after his death he was buried in Clayton churchyard on 18 February 1931.

Dr Frank Mott Harrison – In 1910 he lived at 11 Denmark Villas, Hove but in later years his address was 3 Bigwood Avenue. He became a Hove Councillor in 1917 and his last election contest was in November 1938 when he won Stanford West with a majority of 845 votes. He was chairman of many committees and became an Alderman in February 1942. His wife was well known for her work as honorary secretary to Brighton & Hove Helper’s League of Dr Barnado’s Homes.

In 1920 Dr Harrison presented 67 books to Hove Library and in 1927 he donated a Sussex ware mug, a pair of Sussex brass candlesticks and a Sussex copper warming pan to Hove Museum.
But Dr Harrison’s chief claim to fame was as an expert on the works of John Bunyan (1628-1688). In 1928 he published a revised edition of Dr John Brown’s standard biography of Bunyan followed by a bibliography of his works in 1932. The London Mercury expressed surprise that such a great author had to wait so long for an exact bibliography, the previous attempt having been published in 1888. Dr Mott built up a magnificent Bunyan library of over 400 volumes, which included seventeen items published during Bunyan’s lifetime, nine first editions, a work so rare that the only other known copy was in the British Museum, and other rarities that were unknown elsewhere. A Few Sighs from Hell first published in 1658 also contained Bunyan’s signature. Naturally, there were many editions of Pilgrim’s Progress, including foreign language editions; apparently the work has been translated into 122 languages and dialects.

On 29 September 1938 Dr Harrison handed his Bunyan Library over to Bedford Public Library. He considered it was the most fitting home for his collection because it was near Elstow, Bunyan’s birthplace. The presentation took place on the 250th anniversary of Bunyan’s death. The official catalogue noted around 800 items because there were prints and other objects relating to Bunyan. In the spring of 1944 Dr Harrison suffered a severe attack of flu from which he never recovered properly. He died suddenly at his Hove home on 25 January 1945.     

John Hay – He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport from January 1959 to May 1963.

Albert William Hillman – He was the son of Walter Hillman who was chairman of Portslade Council for eleven years, a Justice of the Peace for 22 years and an overseer of Aldrington Parish. In the 1898 Directory there was a full-page advertisement for Walter Hillman ‘corn merchant, hay and straw dealer, seedsman and general carting contractor’. His business addresses were at 13 and 29 North Street, Portslade and at the Portslade steam corn-crushing and chaff-cutting mills. Walter Hillman’s father had been Way Warden for Aldrington in the days when there was a tollgate there.
Albert William Hillman began his public service at the age of seventeen when he became honorary secretary to a committee set up to arrange the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; the fulfilled the same function for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902. Hillman joined Portslade Fire Brigade in 1904 and became Chief Officer a few months later, holding the position for 25 years. During his time in office Portslade Fire Station was built in Church Road and motor fire engines provided. During the Great War he also trained Southwick men in fire-fighting duties. At the same time he also became a special constable and by the 1930s held the rank of Inspector for Hove County Division. Hillman also found time to be manager of St Andrew’s School, Portslade, sidesman at St Andrew’s Church, Portslade, clerk to Portslade Joint Burial Committee, secretary to Portslade-by-sea Unemployment Relief Organisation and he was a Portslade councillor for six years.

 copyright ©  Brighton & Hove City Libraries
 Captain A.W. Hillman cuts a fine figure in front of Portslade Fire engine at a fete held in the grounds of Windlesham House.

Hillman lived at 65 St Andrew’s Road but in 1928 he moved from Portslade and lived in a house called Rhodesia at 12 Princes Square, Hove.
Hillman was a keen supporter of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club; in the early 1930s he became a director and by 1940 he was vice-chairman. In 1940 he rescued the club from liquidation by bringing Charles Wakeling and Carlo Campbell, directors of the Greyhound Stadium, onto the Board.
Hillman became a Hove councillor and East Sussex County Councillor. In 1940 he had the distinction of being elected Mayor of Hove for a fifth year of office but just two months later, in November, he died. It was a great shock because he had made a good recovery from a setback in 1939 when his left foot was amputated because of blood poisoning.
Hillman was interested in Freemasonry, like his father before him, and he was the first initiate of Duke of Richmond Lodge, Portslade.
Hillman’s first wife, Alice Ethel, sang on the concert platform under the name of Avril Houston. She died in June 1934 and was buried in Portslade Cemetery. Hillman married his second wife in September 1934.

Sergeant Pilot Paul A. Hilton– Hilton was born in Malaya where his father was engaged in tin mining but the youngster was sent back to England for his education. Hilton was only 20 years of age when his amazing courage caused him to receive the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. This medal was hardly ever awarded to members of RAF Bomber Command and indeed the medal is regarded as being but one step away from a Victoria Cross.

This defining event occurred on the night of 2 / 3 June 1942 when Hilton was piloting his Halifax bomber on a raid. Suddenly out of nowhere three enemy night fighters appeared and attacked the Halifax. The aircraft suffered such damage that three engines became useless and therefore Hilton, as captain, gave the order to abandon the plane. Four of his crew parachuted out safely but the flight engineer found his parachute was damaged. Hilton insisted on giving the flight engineer his own parachute although he must have known he would probably die without it. Hilton then had to make a forced landing but fortunately he was thrown clear when his aircraft burst into flames. He became a prisoner of war. The last part of his citation stated ‘Sergeant Hilton displayed outstanding courage and coolness in the face of great danger. His complete disregard for his own safety in order to save the life of one of his crew showed a devotion to duty worthy of the highest praise.’
Hilton lived a long and useful life and died aged 80 in October 2002.

Leslie Hounsfield – He founded the famous Trojan Company in Croydon that produced motor cars for ordinary people. His slogan was ‘the car for the man who can’t afford a car’. Another Old Boy, Basil Monk later became managing director of the company.

E.H. Kempe – He was clerk to Portslade Urban District Council for 36 years. He retired in 1946.

G.W. King – He became an assistant judge at H.M. Supreme Court in Shanghai.

Major General Cyril Lloyd (1906-1989) – He became one of the youngest Major Generals in the Army and he was probably the only Territorial Officer to have passed through all ranks during the war. He was Mentioned in Dispatches three times and was awarded the OBE and CBE. He was a temporary Brigadier in 1943 and a Major General by 1946. He became director of Army Education at the War Office from 1944 to 1949.

Archibald McLean – He became an architect who designed the Withdean Stadium. He was also an engineer and during the Great War he was at the forefront of the development of machine-gun mathematics.

Edward A, Martin – He wrote Sussex Geology. His father was a Brighton Alderman who wrote a popular history of the town. E.A. Martin died in 1944.

Major Arthur Neve – He went to Kashmir in 1881 and for 37 years worked at the Mission Hospital there. Lord Curzon stated Neve was the best-known Englishman in Kashmir. Neve wrote a guide book for the area that passed through many editions. His brother Dr Ernest Neve also worked in Kashmir Hospital with him for 33 years. Major Neve had just returned to Kashmir following war service in Europe during the Great War, when he was seized with a sudden fever and died on 5 September 1919.

Eric F. Neve – He became King’s Counsel in 1939. 

Ernest F. Neve – He was the brother of Major Arthur Neve with whom he worked at the Mission Hospital in Kashmir from 1886. When his brother died in 1919 Ernest Neve took charge. He remained as senior surgeon until 1934 when he retired. In his spare time he wrote a Kashmiri grammar book and an English / Kashmiri vocabulary. He died in Kashmir aged 84 on 6 February 1946.

Lieutenant Colonel P. Newton– In May 1942 he was the youngest Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army.

Squadron Quartermaster-Sergeant T.S. Payne – He took part in the famous charge of the 17th Lancers at the Battle of Ulundi, which brought the Zulu War to a close.

H. Milburn Pett – He became an architect and was surveyor to the Diocese of Chichester.

Walter Puttick – He was one of the old ‘Grand Paraders’ – that is he was a pupil when the school was still located at Grand Parade. He left in 1866. He worked for Barclays Bank for 46 years ending up as chief cashier. He was vice-president of Brighton Arts Club and he contributed many works to their exhibitions. Ginnett used him as a model for the principal monk in one of the panels he painted for the school. Puttick died on 10 December 1921.

P. Reeves-Shaw – He became editor of The Humanist, The Strand and London Opinion while his brother H. Shaw became editor of Happy Magazine.

William Leigh Ridgewell – He became one of the best known black and white artists and for many years he contributed to Punch.

Dr Frank Joseph Sawyer (1857-1908) – He was a noted organist and choirmaster at St Patrick’s Church, Hove, for 30 years. He was born at Brighton on 19 June 1857 and was appointed organist at St Patrick’s at the early age of 20 in 1877. But he had already obtained a music degree from Oxford and after two years abroad he returned in 1876 with the Diploma of Leipzig Conservatorium. He then became a pupil of Dr Bridge, organist at Westminster Abbey, and assisted in training the choir. In 1883 Sawyer became a Doctor of Music. He founded Brighton Choral and Orchestral Society in 1883, Hove Philharmonic Society in 1897 and St Patrick’s Oratorio Society in 1904. He also taught at the Royal College of Music.

 copyright © J.Middleton
There was such marvellous music to be heard at St Patrick’s Church that the locals nicknamed it Paddy’s Music Hall.

He enjoyed an excellent relationship with St Patrick’s Church choir for whom he wrote several anthems. A priest with 50 years of experience said he had never known any choir where there was such a total absence of jealousy or open quarrels. Sawyer last played the organ on Easter Sunday 29 April 1908 and his sudden death was a great shock. His memorial was a stained glass of St Cecilia, patron saint of music, in the Lady Chapel at St. Patrick’s Church.

  copyright ©  Brighton & Hove City Libraries
Norman Daniel Shaw was photographed 
wearing his sailor suit in 1911. 
The name Daniel was a family tradition 
and four generation of Shaws were given 
it as one of their Christian names.
Venerable Richard Lloyd Sharp (1916-1982) – He was ordained in 1941 and he served as a curate at Holy Trinity Church, Weymouth, to which he returned as vicar after gaining experience at other churches. He was Archdeacon of Dorset from 1975 to 1982.

Norman Daniel Shaw – He was owner of the celebrated Shaw’s Stores on the east corner of George Street
and Church Road, Hove, which had been established by his grandfather Daniel Shaw in 1862. Norman Shaw was born above the shop; his earliest memories were of the buskers who used to play in George Street on Friday nights. He enjoyed a long and happy relationship with Brighton & Hove Operatic Society and he was president of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society (Sussex Branch). He was a member of Hove Civic Society. Shaw’s Stores was an early pioneer in self-service at Hove. Shaw had a stately and grave demeanour that led people who did not know him personally to suppose he was an eminent medical man.

Sir Courtenay Terrall – He became Chief Justice in the High Court at Patna, India. He died aged 57 on 7 May 1938.


John Waddington (1855-1935)He was born at Leeds but was educated at Brighton Grammar School and in Guernsey. He followed family tradition by training to be a civil engineer. In 1830 his grandfather made the first wheels and axles for George Stephenson to use on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. In 1869 his father constructed and erected the ironwork of the first railway bridge over the Thames at Battersea.

 copyright © D.Sharp
John Waddington J.P.
But John Waddington cast his net further afield and was the original concessionaire of the Midland Railway of Western Australia and principal pioneer of gold and coal mining in that colony. In fact, later inhabitants recognised that the development of their country was largely due to the energy and enterprise of John Waddington who ensured the investment of a considerable amount of British capital. Waddington founded the Great Boulder Proprietary Gold Mines and promoted and constructed the railway from Midland Junction (near Perth) to Mullewa, a distance of some 350 miles. His wife Eveline was the daughter of one of Australia’s pioneers and the sister of Sir George Shenton. The couple had one son and two daughters.
Waddington also played a prominent part in the development of tin mining in Nigeria.

The Waddingtons retired to England and he became a High Sheriff of Sussex as well as a Justice of the Peace. They lived at 19 Brunswick Terrace, Hove and at Waddington Hall, near Clitheroe, Yorkshire. At the latter house he commissioned fellow Old Boy E. Reginald Frampton to paint murals on four walls.
On 12 October 1935 Waddington collapsed on Brighton seafront and was dead by the time he reached hospital. His funeral was held at St. John’s Church, Hove and there were representatives from many different companies present. Two hearses filled with flowers preceded the funeral cortège. He was buried in the family vault at Hove Cemetery. His widow died aged 82 in 1938 at 67 Langdale Road.

Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Waller – He spent nearly 40 years in India. He was a language specialist, having expertise in Hindustani, Punjabi, Pushtu and Persian. He served in the Indian Army and his chief work was as Cantonment Magistrate.

John Wells-Thorpe – He was born in Brighton in 1928. He spent two years in the Army before studying architecture at Brighton School of Art. There he met his future wife Ann and his future business partner Zbigniev Syppel. In 1953 he began his architectural career in the office of Lawrence Gotch, formerly a partner of Sir Edwin Lutyens.
In 1962 Wells-Thorpe was involved in the first makeover of George Street, Hove and he accompanied the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh when they came to re-open it. Bur he is best known for his bold modern design of Hove Town Hall. In 1971 he was involved in the design of the new headquarters of Sussex Mutual Building Society in Western Road, Hove. He also designed buildings in London and worked in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. In December 1994 he was awarded the OBE for services to architecture.

Hugh Ross Williamson – He worked on the Yorkshire Post and in 1930 he became editor of The Bookman.

Squadron Leader T.H. Wisdom– He wrote Wings Over Olympus, a first-hand account of the air war in the Middle East. He also became a popular racing motorist and journalist.

Five Admirals.

Vice Admiral Sir Anthony K. Dymock – He attended the school 1964-1966. He went on to the University of East Anglia and graduated in Russian and Philosophy. He served in the Royal Navy 1971-2008 and during the Falklands War. During the course of his career he commanded HMS Plymouth, HMS Campbeltown and HMS Cornwall. In 1996 he was Captain of the 2nd Frigate Squadron.

Rear Admiral Richard John Lippiett – He attended the school 1960-1967. He served in the Royal Navy 1967-2003 and during the Falklands War. During the latter conflict, he was a Lieutenant Commander aboard HMS Ambuscade. He wrote about his experiences in a book entitled War and Peas. Intimate letters from the Falklands War 1982. During his career he commanded the frigates HMS Amazon and HMS Norfolk. In 1991 he was Captain of the 9thFrigate Squadron. When he retired he became chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust

Vice Admiral Sir Fabian Malbon– He attended the school 1961-1965. He served in the Royal Navy 1965-2002. During his career he commanded HMS Torquay, HMS Brave and HMS Invincible.

Vice Admiral Sir Peter Spencer– He attended the school 1958-1965. He served in the Royal Navy 1965-2003. In 1997 he became Director General of Surface Ships and Controller of the Navy. In 2000 he became 2nd Sea Lord.

Vice Admiral Sir John Felgate Stevens (1900-1989) – He attended the school 1911-1918. He served in the Royal Navy 1918-1956. He began his career in the closing stages of the Great War and during the Second World War he commanded HMS Cleopatra 1942-1943 and post-war HMS Implacable in 1948. In 1946 he was Director of Planning at the Admiralty and in 1949 he became Director of Naval Training.  

Sources

Argus (6 September 2001)
Blaker, Michael Autobiography of a Painter-Etcher (1986)
Brighton, Hove & Sussex Grammar School Prospectus 1949
Calloway, Stephen Aubrey Beardsley (1998)
Decorative Panels in the School Hall, separate booklet reprinted from Past and Present (July 1939)
Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Illustrated London News (26 March 1960) pages 513-516
Internet searches
Middleton, Judy Hove and Portslade in the Great War (2014)
Sinden, Donald A Touch of the Memoirs (1982)
Past and Present. These are a set of published volumes concerning the Grammar School kept at BHASVIC and Hove Reference Library. In addition there are large volumes kept at BHASVIC into which have been mounted advertisements, letters, tenders and accounts etc.
W.J. Reader Victorian England (1964 reprinted 1973)

The late David Spector’s research into the Cohen family is invaluable

Thanks to Old Grammarian Vernon Kitch for the loan of souvenir booklets, an article and a prospectus

Copyright © J.Middleton 2015
page layout by D.Sharp