SOUTHERN GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR BOYS PORTSMOUTH 1888-1975
Where are they now? A-K
This Section provides information about the careers and experiences of former pupils and staff of the school. If you would like to record details herein please send a draft of your entry to Peter Higgins (See Contacts). All submissions will be subject to editorial control. If you wish to contact anybody who is listed please send a request to Peter Higgins or Alf Pink and we will forward your request to the individual concerned; regrettably, we cannot provide contact details directly to you.
PLEASE NOTE: To assist handling of this section we have now divided it alphabetically (A-K) with a second page for those between L-Z. A third page deals with Miscellaneous material.
Douglas sold Space Frontiers in 2000 and then pursued his interests beyond the claims of a career. His leisure interests ranged from Formula 1 motor racing and the Tour de France to following rugby and cricket. And in his last years he became fascinated by historical reconstructions, notably of the Romans. Indeed, there is in existence (although, alas, we do not have it) a photograph of Douglas in the full regalia of a senior Centurion in the Hampshire Legion, standing defiantly and proudly at the head of his troops in a very English hillock.
Even today that's not a common combination and in 1959 it was even rarer so I felt that the possibilities should be explored. The advertiser was the De La Rue company which had formed a computer company with the French concern Compagnie des Machines Bull. I was one of three successful candidates and spent the next seven months living with my family (we had two sons by this time) just outside and working in Paris, learning to programme a digital computer and to wire up and operate a whole range of punched card machines.
On returning to London my first job was to run the company's showroom and then, when we started to attract customers, I became involved in developing their tailor-made computer and/or punched card systems. Among them were Dorothy Perkins, the Imperial Tobacco Company (specifically Ardath and Bewlays the Tobacconist), Harveys of Bristol, East Midlands Allied Press,
My CV says, though, that in 1986 I proposed the introduction of new technology allowing all [the company's] libraries to interrogate each others databases and permitting the [local] library to access other databases anywhere in the world. Do I hear whispers of internet and Google? Funding was refused and the idea came to nothing.
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Douglas Arnold 1932-2006
Douglas was educated at the Southern Grammar from the middle 40's until 1951 when he entered Wadham College Oxford University to read history. Tall with a massive presence he was a useful cricketer (batsman) and rugby player (second row).
During National Service he learnt Russian (at the army's expense!!) and he became a keen photographer. He worked for the Financial Times as a feature writer and developed a reputation as an expert in Soviet affairs. In 1966 he joined Eastman Kodak in charge of public relations during which time he developed a very strong interest in the nascent space age - becoming a regular at Houston and Cape Canaveral. In 1974 he resigned from Kodak and set up his own business, Space Frontiers, as an advisory centre on matters spatial - and preferably photographic. His back garden in Havant became a cluster of huts full of amazing kit. He usually had just one carefully trained assistant and this afforded him the opportunity to start writing, once more, for the periodicals. In later life his new contempt for political correctness accompanied the familiar tendency of the elderly to lay down the law!!
Douglas passed away on 27th June 2006.
David Brown (joined 1943)
At the end of June 1950 I answered the final question on the last of my Higher School Certificate examination papers and walked out of the school. Only once did I return as a pupil, to explain to the headmaster Mr. Mills that fourteen years of schooling was quite enough for me and that two years away from the academic environment was the best preparation for my eventual university career. It never quite works out as you expected it to, does it?
The immediate requirement was to earn some money, Portsmouth City Corporation was looking for deck chair attendants and my application was accepted. So began a happy two months working on Southsea beach and promenade, usually in the sunshine, collecting money during the day and deck chairs during the evening. I had, at that stage, rarely been out of Hampshire - a couple of school harvest camps, a second XI football match at Chichester, a sixth form trip to London - so the money earned was used to fund a couple of weeks holiday in Jersey.
The plan had been to start my eighteen months National Service late in August and finish it in February 1952, leaving me with six or seven months in which to loaf about and generally enjoy myself. The Government interfered and one week into my stay with the Army it increased the length of National Service to two years, so my long vacation was scuppered.
Three months with the King's Royal Rifle Corps made my body the fittest it has ever been while in the following three months the Education Corps concluded that my style of teaching didn't suit its requirements. Well, said the Army, we know he can read and write so let's try him in the Pay Corps and see if he can do sums as well. I could, and spent the remaining eighteen months as a Pay Clerk of various grades.
After training I volunteered to go overseas but my luck was out and instead of the one person a year sent to Bermuda I was one of the several hundreds sent to Egypt. The plan now was to visit Cairo, see the Pyramids, look at the Sphinx. It didn't happen because just after my arrival King Farouk left, the Canal Zone was isolated and we were left in limbo. There were unpleasant moments - you try being alone with a rifle and six bullets, walking around two miles of perimeter fence on guard at dead of night. For much of the time, too, there was nothing to spend your pay on other than Naafi tea and cigarettes and for the final six months my weekly pay was £5/15/6 of which less than one pound was needed locally so a tidy balance built up to be available after demobilisation.
I tried to study Classics at Southampton University and then at Portsmouth Polytechnic but to no avail - the academic life was not for me. Throughout 1953 I did such jobs as became available, gaining my first exposure to the Civil Service through a stint with the Inland Revenue, spending a summer in the sun back on the deck chairs and putting to good use my roller skating ability. Deep down I appreciated that I ought to find a proper job so joined the Civil Service on a permanent basis and was assigned to the Royal Mint. There was a lot more money to be made in the private sector and a move into banking with the Bank of China was too attractive to turn down.
By the end of 1955, then, my work experience was almost entirely financially based. The Army had introduced me to wages/salary matters and general accountancy, the Royal Mint was all about cost accounting and banking was, obviously, about banking. A career in accountancy seemed to beckon but didn't turn up; I was married by then, a child was on the way and accommodation for a young married couple in London was almost impossible to find and certainly impossible to afford. A move back to Portsmouth was indicated, where the Admiralty welcomed me with open arms.
The next three years were spent in gunnery and guided missile trials which by chance allowed me to be involved very peripherally with an early (1958) digital computer, a Ferranti Pegasus. The Admiralty generously paid my night school fees so I could gain A levels in both Pure and Applied Mathematics (my school HSCs were English, French, Latin, History). It all helped tremendously when I saw a job advertisement which asked Do you have A levels in Mathematics and French?
Fortunately, ICT (a forerunner of ICL) had a large presence in Putney and wanted to make it larger. My application was successful and my remit was to define and implement the principles of validating software before it reached the end user - basically, ensuring that it did what it said on the label. That took the next five years and the pioneering work was recognised by the British Computer Society which elected me as a Fellow. Then I was head-hunted to be Director of Programming Studies, a very pleasant task whose major element was training graduate recruits in the art or science of computer programming. After that my posts grew less technically oriented and more managerial, including liaison with Universities and the Department of Trade and Industry.
For my last few years as a permanent employee I returned to my first love - programming - and in a team of four helped to create a management information system based on PCs. Then, to my delight, the company declared me redundant not realising how much it would cost because back in the dark ages my period of notice had been agreed at one year. I set up in business as a technical author and had a happy four years of contract work in a variety of enterprises but wasn't too sad when the opportunities ceased to appear and in 1993 I retired from employment gracefully.
We moved to north Norfolk to be close to my wife's remaining relatives and have lived here happily now for over eleven years. She goes to Yoga and does voluntary work for the RNLI, I play Bridge, we both help run the local group of the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship and enjoy dining out with friends. We visit Southsea occasionally because some of my family still live there and I wallow in nostalgia looking at my old homes in Highland Road and St Augustine Road and at the old school gate where as a Senator I recorded the names of latecomers every school morning.
If you should wonder what I looked like then, refer to the football first XI photograph for 1949/50. Depending on your age you may remember more clearly one of my two brothers - Peter (P.J.) on the 1945/46 photograph or Michael on that for 1959/60.
(With thanks to Roger Harding for drawing this to our attention - Ed)
George Butterworth (1960-65)
From the Sussex University website:
George Butterworth , Professor of Psychology, died unexpectedly on Saturday 12th February, 2000, aged 53. George was an authority on infant development, and internationally respected for his scholarship, for his commitment to research and for the energy he brought to fostering infancy work both nationally and internationally.
After completing his D.Phil at Oxford, George took a post at Southampton University, moving to a Chair in Psychology at Stirling in 1985, before coming to Sussex in 1991. He was appointed Honorary Professor, University of East London, in 1996. His contributions to the discipline include founding both the British Infancy Research Group and the Journal Developmental Science, as well as heading numerous groups ranging from the Scientific Affairs Board of the British Psychological Society to the European Society for Developmental Psychology.
George's research interests were broad, encompassing topics as varied as the origins of self awareness in human development and evolution, and children's understanding of geographical features of the earth. But his most distinguished contribution was his work on the origins of thought and perception in infants, a field in which he was a world authority. His work on infant pointing and its role in cognitive development is on display in the Science Museum in London.
A man of strong opinions, pursued vigorously, George could be controversial. But his passion for his subject was infectious, and his warmth and generosity in supporting others' work will be a lasting memory.
The University has lost a distinguished scholar, and a genuine character. Our sympathies go to his family.
[JOHN] RUSSELL FINCH [1961-1968]
After not being a spectacular success in sport or games and a late surge academically I went to Queen Mary College, University of London in 1968, graduating with average marks, in 1971. I returned to Hants, was articled to the Clerk to the Fareham and Gosport Justices, and was admitted a solicitor in 1974. I then moved to Aylesbury and worked at the Magistrates` Court there until 1979. I was successful in applying to the Director of Public Prosecutions, where I worked until 1988. The DPP dealt with all the most serious cases in England and Wales and I had a diet of homicides, rapes, big frauds and criminal allegations against the Police (which had to come to us by law).
There was a complete change of scene then in 1988 when I got a job as a specialist criminal lawyer in the Chambers of HM Procureur (Attorney-General) for Guernsey. I had to requalify as a Guernsey Advocate, which included 6 months at Caen University and vivas (viva voce - the continental system of oral exams) in France.
The Crown Prosecution Service came in in 1986 and I was decanted to be the chief prosecutor at Clerkenwell and Thames Courts.
After being designated Crown Advocate with responsibility, in the main, for criminal matters I was then appointed Magistrate and Coroner in 1997. In 2005 a new post was created - Judge of the Royal Court and I was appointed; it is based on an English Circuit Judge. My diet is crime (I`ve had two murder trials, one which went all the way), divorce and some civil cases.
I married my optician in 1991, a Guernsey lady, but Anne is now, very sadly, incapacitated with MS.
My teachers would be surprised to see me up on the bench, rather than crashed out on one. I kept up my interest in history, getting an OU degree and then an external MA from Sheffield Hallam.
Alan Guy (1961-69)
Paddy Haycocks (Joined 1961)
Over the past thirty years, work in print, radio and television has allowed Paddy to play a variety of significant roles within the industry: journalist, reporter, researcher, scriptwriter, producer, director, presenter, editor and executive producer.
His work, both on and off camera, has included programming for the BBC (both television and radio ), ITV, Channel 4, Five, Sky and a number of digital channels. As a specialist in factual programming, he has had extensive hands on experience in news, features, consumer and documentary output. Having worked on both live and pre-recorded programmes, he has detailed practical and editorial knowledge of studio, location and post produced material. Paddy has also written countless articles and overseen several thousand hours of broadcast programming designed to investigate or illuminate key factual issues. Having left talkbackThames in 2006, where he was Senior Executive - Factual Programming, Paddy now works on a freelance basis across a whole range of broadcast, corporate and training projects.
Peter Higgins (1957-63)
Now retired after 40 years in the Civil Service (HM Customs & Excise) where I spent a very happy and interesting career (on the whole anyway!!). I was Head of National Operations for Detection at the point of retirement and, just previous to that appointment, had spent 3 years on secondment to the Home Office as Director UK Immigration Service. Now enjoying retirement in a variety of ways; golf (what a frustrating game it is!); as chairman of the Old Secundrians Association; running this website (yes, folks, it's all my fault!); developing my garden; and making toys for my 5 grandchildren (what a delight they are - you can play with them and then hand them back for the not such nice tasks!). After retiring, I did some consultancy re Government Departments and Border Controls which was an excellent glide path into proper retirement but that has now passed me by and I now spend more time with the important things in life such as golf and putting the world to rights (watch out for my fairly regular letters in the Daily Telegraph!!). I live in West Wickham, Kent with my wife Pamela - and my 3 sons all live reasonably close by (but not too close though!).
Fritz Koerner (joined about 1943 until about 1950)
The following Obituary appeared in The Guardian Newspaper and is reproduced by kind permission of the Newspaper and the author William Barr
Back in 1968, Fritz and his companions had left Point Barrow on February 21, and the entire crossing took 16 months. It was supplied by airdrops from the Royal Canadian Air Force that allowed them to camp for the winter on the sea ice at a location where, conveniently, the ice drift carried them steadily towards their goal. For Fritz this was more than just a headline-seeking adventure; as a glaciologist he was studying the sea ice, and the result was the first detailed, continuous survey of its thickness and characteristics.
Roy Koerner, more commonly known as Fritz, who has died aged 75, was one of the four members of Sir Wally Herbert's British Transarctic Expedition which, on April 5 1969, stood at the North Pole. It was the halfway point of their dog-sled trip across the Arctic Ocean from Point Barrow, Alaska to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, a total distance of 3,620 miles. The first surface-crossing of the Arctic Ocean, theirs was only the second confirmed expedition to reach the North Pole. Data collected from Koerner's later work on polar ice characteristics has been used heavily in the recent climate-change discussion.
Born in Portsmouth, Fritz Koerner attended Portsmouth Southern Grammar School, and gained a degree in geography at Sheffield University in 1954. After a brief spell as a teacher, he joined the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey (FIDS; the precursor of the British Antarctic Survey) in 1957 for two years as meteorologist at Hope Bay (now the Argentine station of Esperanza) at the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. Like almost all FIDS personnel at that time, he learned to drive dogs, and made extensive trips across the sea ice and glaciers; thus, his passion for glaciology was born. It was there too that he first met Herbert.
In 1961 he joined the Arctic Institute of North America's multi-disciplinary Devon Island Expedition as glaciologist. Having spent a reconnaissance season on the island's ice cap (covering roughly 3,600 square miles), he wintered at the expedition's base camp at Truelove Inlet (along with Alan Gill, who would later join him on the Transarctic Expedition), and in 1962 set out a radial network of mass-balance transects, stretching hundreds of miles and covering every corner of the ice cap. Such studies are aimed at determining the ice cap's "budget", whether it is growing, shrinking or stable. He would repeat most of these transects annually for more than 45 years, along with similar studies of the Agassiz ice cap on Canada's Ellesmere Island and much smaller Meighen Island ice cap in later years.
On the basis of his mass-balance studies of another Canadian ice cap, that of Devon Island, Koerner received his PhD from the London School of Economics in 1968. While in London he met his future wife, Anna Kowalczyk, and after she returned to her native Poland, he reached a decision, got on his motorbike and rode to Warsaw, where he proposed to her. They were married in 1964. Anna accompanied Fritz and assisted him on Devon Island.
Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2008.
We look forward to receiving your contributions
Michael Dummer (Joined 1946)
My stay at the Southern Grammar ended before it should have done. It had always been accepted in my family that I would go into the Dockyard and endeavour to become a draughtsman like a member of my family before me. It was considered to be an achievement to do so. There had been numerous precedents to this course at the school as I was to find out, and others would follow. I had never expressed a desire to aim for any other occupation, the truth being that I had tended to let the stream take me where it willed. There was no talk or enlightenment at the school about careers.
I took the Dockyard entrance exam during my first term in the Fifth Form in late 1950 as a trial and was surprised to come top. There didn't seem any point in staying any longer so I told the Head I was leaving. He was not at all happy, told me I would regret it and said that I was not supposed to leave until I was 16, but he didn't stop me. So on the 15th January 1951 I started as an apprentice at the Dockyard (quite a shock) and became a part-time student at the Royal Dockyard School. I found that the headmaster was W.G. Burrell, former pupil of the Southern Sec. from 1900-1902, who was in his last year before retirement. I had barely completed my first year there when I went down with T.B. which kept me away from my tools and books for 14 months. When I went back, the R.D.S. had been renamed Portsmouth Dockyard Technical College and there was a new headmaster, (renamed Principal), John Goss, who had been a Southern Sec. boy 1919-1923. I also found myself amongst other Southern Grammar boys who had followed me, including Brian Andrew who sadly died in 1998. A striking difference to the Southern Grammar was that the staff always addressed us as Mr -, or later used our first names.
A move into the drawing office led to a one-way ticket to the Admiralty/M.O.D. in Bath, where I have remained. I have been lucky to have been involved in some great projects including Polaris, Type 22 Frigates, Type 42 Destroyers, the Navy's first electronic machinery control system and finally Trident. It was during this last project that a desk arrived in our office from store for a new member. In the drawer was a copy of an old book, Portsmouth Southern Grammar School for Boys. “Anybody want this old book?” asked the new member. Lucky me! Also on this project I made the acquaintance of contracts officer Ken Priddy, who had been a lofty Fifth Former in the back row of the 1947 photo when I was a snotty nosed First Year in the front row. Ken had a copy made of the photo which he very generously gave to me. He died in 2009. I retired as a Senior Professional and Technology Officer in 1993.
John Gibbons (1947-54 [pupil] and 1960-67 [staff]
I was a pupil at the school from 1947 -1954 during which time I played for the First X1 cricket team from 1951 to 1954. I was also member of the senate being pro consul in1954. After university and two years teaching in Watford I returned to teach chemistry at the Southern in 1960 until 1967. During this time I ran some junior cricket teams and also the r
by side in the last two or three years of my stay.In 1967 with my wife and daughter I emigrated to teach in Canada; however we returned in 1969 and eventually ended up in Dover where we still are today. I taught in a secondary school in the neighbouring town of Folkstone where I was deputy head from 1973 until I retired in 1994.
Having joined the Institute of Polar Studies at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in 1966-67, he was a member of a team that spent the Antarctic summer season at the remote Plateau station near the summit of the Antarctic ice sheet in Dronning Maud Land at a height of 12,000ft. Here he concentrated on snow stratigraphy, and later received the US Antarctic service medal. He was one of the few people to receive Britain's polar medal with both Arctic and Antarctic clasps.
In 1969 he and Anna moved to Ottawa, where he joined the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP), a logistics and research arm of the Canadian government, to pursue his glacier studies in the high arctic; he became head of the project's ice core laboratory, and later transferred to an identical position with the Geological Survey of Canada.
At PCSP he made oxygen-isotope studies of ice cores, extracted from the Agassiz ice cap, the cores extending from surface down to bedrock. A study of summer-melt layers in the cores revealed summer temperatures from as far back as 11,000 years ago. It is his ice-core data that has been widely used in recent exchanges about global climatic change.
The author of more than 70 scientific papers and chapters in books, Koerner missed only a couple of field seasons from 1961 until 2008, when he felt unwell and returned to Ottawa, where he died from colon cancer just two weeks later. From his hospital bed he consulted with his colleagues to ensure that his various research projects would continue. Fritz is survived by his daughters Eva, Davina and Kristina, and son Justin.
After his retirement in 1999 (although he continued his research as an emeritus scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada), Fritz escorted children on Students on Ice Polar cruises. His wickedly irreverent, iconoclastic sense of humour appealed to his young audiences. In the Arctic he also took the Inuit children of Grise Fiord in southern Ellesmere Island on field trips to one of the local glaciers.
A regular competitor in the Ottawa-Montreal ski race and keen jogger, Fritz was always very fit. Anna died in 1989 after a prolonged illness.
Roy Martindale "Fritz" Koerner, explorer and glaciologist, born July 3 1932; died May 26 2008
John Cave 1958-60
I attended the school for just two years, but have never forgotten my time there. Halfway through the summer holidays following my second year, my father was transferred from Portsmouth to London with his job and I never saw the Southern Grammar, or my friends there, again. I completed my secondary education at Ashford Grammar, in Middlesex, and followed that by attending the school of architecture at Kingston College of Art (now part of Kingston University).
I graduated from Kingston in 1971 and qualified as an architect in 1972. After a short time in several local architectural firms, I decided that London was not for me and moved to Bath, where I joined a small firm specializing in restoration work. It was there that I met my future wife, a physical therapist student. After we married, we stayed in Bath for a year or so, before moving on to jobs in Swindon and living for a time in Wootton Bassett.
While still living in Bath, a chance meeting with an American student rekindled a curiosity that my wife and I had always had in living abroad. In 1976, we took the plunge and visited our American friend in Oregon. We spent three weeks traveling down the west coast on Greyhound buses, and we fell in love with the country - especially Oregon. One year later, we emigrated to the USA.
We settled in Corvallis, Oregon, where we still live. I spent several early years in local design offices, in order to get the experience and qualifications necessary to obtain my architectural license in Oregon. After a brief period as a sole practitioner, designing houses, I joined a multinational engineering and design firm based in Corvallis, and have now been with the firm for 25 years. Over the years, I have obtained additional licenses in North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, and Arizona and have designed buildings in each of these States - providing many opportunities for travel.
As I said earlier, I have never forgotten my time at the Southern Grammar. I have a strong recollection of the Baffins buildings, and many staff and pupils. Of the staff, I particularly remember Mr. Mills, Mr. Davies, Mr. Jeffries (Art), Commander Watts (Math), Mr. Hitchins (French), Mr. Roebling (English), and Mr. Naysmith. Some pupils that I remember include David Martin, Timothy Stretch, and Messrs. Cates, Carter, and Hart. David Martin, who lived near me in the Drayton area, is probably the same David Martin that attended the Old Secundrians Dinner in 2008 and 2009.
If anyone still remembers me and would like to share their own memories/news, I would be very interested to hear from them. My contact information will be with Peter Higgins (Contacts) .
Patrick Anderson 1960-1967
At the Southern Grammar I was in 1S, 2F-5F, RemSciB, lower 6thB. I remember often sitting next to Richard Amey (adjacent surnames) and in a lively sixth form with David Pavey, Chris Savage, Colin Bishop, Jim Dallimer, etc. The latter seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth but I am in regular
contact with Chris and know of the whereabouts of Colin and David.
I read Zoology at Southampton University - the only place that would have me! Mr Mills apologized to me for the reference he had written on my UCCA form! Since then I have had an academic career as an anatomist and neuroscientist, mainlyat University College London where I am Professor of Experimental Neuroscience in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology .
I married in 1973 and have one adult son. I have lived in Bromley, Kent since about 1987.
(Ed: See also Patrick's recollections at the bottom of the People/Former Pupils page)
David Coppard (joined 1956)
From the Royal Marine cadet band (where I was a drummer) I joined the RM Reserves and attained a commission. I retired as a Lieutenant as it began to conflict with my civilian job in Bournemouth.
In 2007 I had a 3 month holiday in Australia but shortly after was diagnosed with Lymphoma and stopped working in 2008. I officially retired in 2009 and am pleased to say that as of this week (February 2010) I have been given the all clear after only 6 sessions of chemo. In fact, having lost several stones in weight and on an improved diet, I am probably fitter now than I have been for some years!
I have been married to Joan since 1972 and have a son and a daughter in their 30s. I live in Bognor Regis in Sussex.
John Ayre (1950-55)
Stephen Guy (1959-68)
Desmond Boswall (joined 1936)
(This note was written by Dorothy Boswall, Desmond's widow in April 2010)
Desmond was born in Portsmouth in August 1924 and passed the 11+ in 1936.
He enjoyed the sciences and chose to specialise in chemistry and eventually became an analytical chemist. At Brockenhurst he saw, on the Common Room Notice Board, a vacancy for a trainee chemist in the Portsmouth Analyst Laboratory. He applied, was successful, and a few weeks later started work there for £1 per week, with the chance to study at Portsmouth Municipal College (PMC).
I don't think he cared for football so did not excel in sport at school but became a very good hockey player while at college and still played for Barnet well into his thirties. It took some years of study but eventually Des gained his Inter and then his Associateship of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, and a few years later became a Fellow (he would never have mentioned this but I am proud of his achievements!).
In 1948 he moved to Kingston and worked for Surrey CC . He married Dorothy, one of the Loud girls, in 1950 a few months after he had moved to Southampton and to a lab in the Civic Centre. Three years later another move, this time into the private sector, took him to London, (for £900 a year!) In the mid 60s the government encouraged firms to move out of the City and his Head Office moved to a lovely village in Bedfordshire where his two daughters grew up. It was a small firm specialising in dried foods and was eventually taken over by RHM in 1979. He was obliged to move to Reading, from where he retired in 1985 and returned to Portsmouth.
Boz loved being near the sea again. He had always enjoyed sailing as well as golf and music. As a young lad at school he played in the orchestra for the G&S productions (he said it was either the orchestra or a girl in the chorus!) However, he must have enjoyed the school experience as he took part in 'Pirates' when at PMC! After 12 years back by the sea we moved to our present home in a lovely friendly village between Bedford and Milton Keynes and just a few miles from one of our daughters.
After almost another 12 good years of retirement, and 58 years of marriage, he died in August 2008 just before his 84th birthday.
[ Ed: there are more images of Desmond on the Evacuation page of the website]
Fred Baynham (Joined 1945)
Unfortunately due to old age I have had to retire from the sports fields and now sit and watch it all on the television. Because I now have Alzheimers I can't make it to reunions anymore.
Colin Dowsett (1960-67)
After spending the first five years at the school in the lowly S form, I somehow managed to make it into the Sixth Form. I think Mr Mills let me enter because he was rather taken with the idea that I would be the first boy in the school to take Spanish to A Level. My teacher was Mr Farrand who amused himself no end by saying "Do sit down Doosit!" whenever I came into class! But the work was serious, including reading Cervantes and Lope de Vega in the original. I also took Economics and had a brilliant and engaging teacher in Mr Horton. Perhaps of greater significance for my future career was that I was able to study Russian with Mr Carrick, which I did to O Level. I have to confess that, while working quite hard on my Sixth Form studies, I wasn’t a naturally brilliant pupil and was, moreover, distracted by the guitar and girls at that stage!
On leaving school with only two A Levels I couldn’t get into University so decided to enter the working world. I joined an insurance broking firm as a trainee but, after four years, decided it wasn’t for me and that I really wanted to resume academic study. I had maintained an interest in Russian language, culture and politics and in 1972 I enrolled in the CNAA BA (Hons) degree in Russian and Soviet Studies at Portsmouth Polytechnic. In 1976, I obtained a first class degree and went on to Essex University to complete a masters degree and then took myself to Canada where I graduated with a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto in 1985.
I first came to New Zealand in 1986 when I was appointed Lecturer in Russian and Soviet Studies at the University of Otago. Subsequently I moved on to become Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. A promising teaching and publishing career came regrettably to an end when the axe fell on university funding and Russian departments were closed. My wife and I came back to the northern hemisphere in 2000 and we ran a chambres d’hotes in a small village near Dinan in Britanny. At the same time, I was studying for and eventually obtained a BSc degree in herbal medicine. We returned to New Zealand in 2006 where I pursue my current career and also work as a musician, playing guitar in a gypsy jazz quartet with my violinist wife Pamela.
These days I keep semi-regular contact with two of my former schoolmates, Chris Fosbrook and Steve Guy, but would like to communicate with anyone who remembers me and would like to get in touch. My e-mail email@example.com
I have many vivid and mostly fond recollections of the Southern Grammar School and hope soonto be sending some memories of my time at the school and the teaching staff back then.
John Bishop (joined 1960)
I was a pupil at the Southern Grammar between 1960 and 1968. I currently live in North Carolina where I am Professor of Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University. I would love to get into touch again with former pupils or staff who may remember me. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
After leaving school in 1967, I went to Keele University to read Politics and Economics, graduating with a BA (Hons) in 1971. After a gap year, I spent a year at Madeley College of Education, doing my Postgraduate Certificate of Education. I taught at various schools in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire until 1990, when I went back to university full-time. I studied Special Education (Visual Impairment) at Birmingham University, and gained an MEd, as well as becoming a Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired. I returned to teaching, working with blind and partially-sighted children, and eventually became the Advisory Teacher for Visually Impaired Children for the Stoke-on-Trent education authority. I retired in 2007, and now live in Stoke-on-Trent with my second wife Gwyneth.
Throughout my career, I have also worked part-time as a musician, mainly playing with ceilidh bands. I was a Labour councillor in Stoke-on-Trent from 1983 to 1991, and have in the past served on the Executive Committee of the Musicians' Union and the National Council of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
In 2011, the National Union of Teachers presented me with the Blair Peach Award (for exemplary contribution to equality and diversity) in recognition of my work campaigning against far right organisations.
July 2011 Jason@burslem.demon.co.uk
Jason Hill (1959-67)
Derek Buckle (1957-1963)
Derek Buckle November 2011
Alan Cowley 1949-1956
Paul Carter (joined 1958)
Whilst studying for my 'A' levels in 1962, I answered an advertisement for aircrew to join the RAF; amazingly, after a 5 day selection process, I was successful! The 'A' levels were exchanged for a course in boot polishing and marching; the aeroplanes came later!
After an 8 year short service commission, I emigrated to South Africa for a job with the national airline; the contract ended after 3 years but I stayed on in the country for another 5 years flying for various companies, sometimes in somewhat dubious circumstances! This was the time of sanctions.
I returned to the UK in 1980, and worked for a variety of airlines both at home and around the globe. During this period I did find time to get married and produce a son, who right now is completing his Masters in Civil Engineering at Surrey University.
At the age of 50, I decided it was time to get a job with a 'proper' airline; shortly afterwards, I found myself in Taipei, Taiwan where I spent the next 15 years as a captain on Boeing 747's (jumbo jet!).
I have been extremely lucky to have pursued a career which was actually a well paid hobby. Retirement sees me spending time both in the UK (home is in Essex), and South Africa where we have a game lodge.
Walter Johnston (joined 1955)
"An "army brat", I attended many schools in my time, some for only short periods. 'Portsmouth Southern' was one such. Because of the many schools, it is sometimes difficult, as old age overtakes me, to be entirely sure that my memory is not playing me false. But down to details:
Walter Johnston (November 2012)
Philip Creighton (1959 -1966?)
I have stayed with racing professionally as the importer for various English and Italian racing cars and currently own a workshop in Atlanta GA that looks after a number of historic and modern racing cars. Unfortunately the annual dinner is usually just before the Sebring 12 Hour race for LeMans cars that I usually am involved with.
David Bailey (joined 1946)
I had an interesting start to my time at the SGS in that I actually failed the 11 plus exam! But, being on the reserve list, I was invited to replace somebody who had dropped out and I joined the school, in the botttom form 1D. By the time I got to the fifth year I was in 5A and top in maths which says a lot about the 11 plus exams in those days. At the end of the first year in the sixth form I decided that I had had enough and left. The Head, Mr Mills, wrote on my annual report, "David is about to make the biggest mistake of his life". I just wish he had been alive when, with just five O levels and after three years as a regular soldier, I joined a bank and eventually became a manager and an associate of the Institute of Bankers [ Ed : he would have been alive, David, so maybe he knew!]. I have been retired since 1992 but am still playing the bass trombone at 78 with the 50 plus Littlehampton Concert Band which, in recent times, has visited the Black Forest (twice), Paris and, last year, a weekend in Antwerp. I am also flattered that struggling local brass bands borrow me from time to time as a bass trombone is a rare beast and in short supply.
Sport was never my favourite subject but, amongst my memories, I do remember having to cycle to the Eastern Road playing fields to play football. Also, I seem to remember that the gym was at the western end of Devonshire Avenue. In my retirement I live in Angmering Village, Littlehampton.
David Bailey March 2013
This page last modified on Thursday, May 29, 2014
Geoffrey Bolt (1955 to July 1960)