The Bridge – Extract from Midsummer, 1916
It was only to be expected that the continuation of the War would affect the school-life in more ways than one, yet in addition to the loss of three more masters, we have to record a singular misfortune in another way. The Headmaster, owing to a severe attack of pneumonia, was unable to be present at the re-opening of school after the Christmas holidays.
There was no public Prize Distribution this year, but the prizes were distributed by the Headmaster at the end of the Easter term.
The Literary and Debating society concluded a very interesting and varied programme at Easter with a Musical Evening. It is gratifying to be able to report an extremely successful session.
The School Athletic Sports were held on Saturday, June 3rd, and proved a success again this year. There was a large number of parents and friends present, and the weather was favourable. There was a record entry, and, as usual, the Juniors were keener than the Seniors in this respect.
The Inter-School Sports took place at Portland Road on Tuesday evening, June 27th. We were not so strongly represented as in 1914 and 1915, and succeeded in obtaining only fifth place amongst the eight schools which competed. However, every boy did his best.
The Q.T.C. went through its work of preparation for the Inspection with increased zeal and enthusiasm, and when the Corps was inspected on Wednesday, June 28th, Lieut.-Col. Sadler expressed his satisfaction with the work done.
The Cricket Elevens are of average ability, and Sewell has made more runs than any school batsman for several years past.
The House matches have been carried on this year with the usual keenness, especially exhibited amongst the Juniors.
The House Football Championship went to Soho House, which was represented by a good Junior team.
Several Rambles have been held in connection with the Natural History society. The attendance has been fairly satisfactory, but it must be admitted that it is more or less confined to the younger members of the Society.
There are two events we are looking forward to, one with pleasure and the other with equanimity. The one is the Swimming Sports, and the other the Examinations.
S. V. Hobson.
C. L. Shaw.
It pains us to hear of the disastrous results following the efforts of our tree stump cricketers (!)
The VIth Form seem determined to pass their Geography Examination. They have their course fully mapped out.
At a Concert held in the School in May £3 was realised, which sum was devoted to the Fund for providing comforts for Old Boys on active service.
We congratulate Mr. Pardoe on his appointment as 2nd-Lieut. To serve with the School O.T.C.
The School has been unfortunate in losing three of its masters since Christmas.
Mr. Beards was Maths and Chemistry Master for nearly a year. He left us to fill the post of Analytical Chemist at Messrs. Chance and Hunt’s poison gas factory.
Mr. Werner, who succeeded Mr. Mould as German Master, has returned to Switzerland, his native land, to take up military duties. He was a B-es-Lettres of the Lausanne University.
Mr. Guise has been with us eighteen months when he was transferred to the Worcester Regiment. He took an active interest in the Corps, in which he was 2nd-Lieutenant.
We offer all three our best wishes in their new vocations.
In place of the three above-mentioned masters we have to announce the advent of lady teachers. We are pleased to say that since their arrival Miss Barker and Miss Johnson have received their M.A. and B.A. degrees respectively. Our Maths mistress is Miss Sadler, B.A., whilst the studies of Form II are under the supervision of Miss Dingley.
We cannot pass on without sympathising with H. R. Sewell in his bad luck in the Team Race at Portland Road. He was only six inches behind the winner.
More of our poor boys “Gone West !” Fletcher, just over seventeen, and not more than nine months after leaving school! Piper, one of the keenest of the O.T.C. and the founder of the bugle band. Voyce, a clever and popular member of the Football team. Homer, a dutiful, conscientious lad, and a model of what a soldier ought to be. Travarthen, the breezy brave fellow, “who fought his gun to the last.” Several others, alas! have gone too, – have given up their lives for home and country, – but these we name were with us only yesterday. May the earth lie lightly on the noble lads until their time of recompense – the day of their Lord’s “Well Done!”
Flowers of Blood
[This poem was written in Spring, 1915, by T. L. Fletcher who has been killed in action in France.]
While raging man was making way,
The silent sun prepared the Spring;
Where thundered once the cannon’s roar,
The tinted flowers elf-like swing.
How can the harebell grow so blue,
How is the daisy reborn white,
When earth is sodden through and through
With blood poured out in mortal fight?
No blossom on that fatal plain
Which has that fellest slaughter seen,
Has, in due mourning for the slain,
Darkened its petals’ glorious sheen.
O flowers, close again the folds
Of our new doublets green and gay;
For feel you not the fate that holds
The widows of the slain array?
But no! we have enough of gloom,
In you we’ll see God’s tender hand,
He hides beneath your beauteous bloom
A foul and desecrated land.