Your webmaster reports that Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65) will receive award...
According to the
Your Croydon website, next week the council will award civic honours
to a pair of prominent Croydon sportspeople, including Roy Hodgson
(JRGS 1958-65), the current manager of Crystal Palace football club.
The other recipient is four-time Olympian Donna Fraser who, like
Roy, grew up in Croydon.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, November 2018 Email
Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) finds a link to Reginald Tomsett (JRCS 1932-36)...
The recent post from Duncan Smith (JRGS
1957-63) regarding his rich and varied
career made interesting
reading and forms an unexpected connection with a former pupil who,
in 1942, bravely served in the most extraordinary raid on the German
U-boat pens. Duncan calling Lord Newborough "an arrogant tosser"
made me smile, so I thought I'd look up who he was, and
discovered Michael Wynn, 7th Baron Newborough (1917-1988). On
further investigation via
Wikipedia, I learned that Wynn served as a Royal Naval Volunteer
Reserve from 1941 to 1946 and played a decisive role during the
St. Nazaire Raid
in 1942 - aka
Operation Chariot - while commanding a motor torpedo boat. Captured
by the Germans after his boat had to be abandoned, Wynn was sent to
Colditz following an escape attempt; he was eventually repatriated after
feigning illness. He won a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions
commanding MTB 74, which was towed behind HMS Campbeltown to St Nazaire
and subsequently torpedoed the secondary target of dock gates.
If you cast your eye down the ranks of RAF lads who served and
died, you'll come to the entry for "R Tomsett 1932-36 Commando."
Reginald Maurice Tomsett (JRCS 1932-36) was in No 2 Commando and was
killed on Saturday, 23 March, 1942, aboard Motor Launch 192, having
disembarked HMS Campbeltown as part of the dock assault force. I believe
Reginald died aboard ML 192, since the crew and those aboard were all
killed before reaching the target on the first-wave assault. A member of
11th (First Battalion Queen's Westminsters) Battalion Kings Royal Rifle
Corps, he is buried in
CWGC Escoublac-la-Baule, which is 13 km west of St Nazaire, and remembered on The Commando
I am scheduled for a St Nazaire visit next year - God willing! -
and will visit Reginald Tomsett's grave. I have no connection other
than the fact that he was in the school intake a year ahead of my father, Brian
Adcock (JRCS 1932-37) who, like so many JRCS boys, went on to serve in
the RAF during WW2. I am sure that my father would have known of
Roger Adcock, Oxted, Surrey, November 2018 Email.
(JRGS 1957-63) adds:
I did know about Lord Newborough being a hero; it was well-known
locally. I was told that he had a steel plate in his head after being
injured during the war. During peacetime, he nearly cut off us own leg
whilst using a chainsaw on his estate, and then drove himself to a
hospital to have it sewn back on again! A tough guy, alright.
Cliff Preddy (JRGS 1963-65), who also transferred from John Newnham School for A Levels, adds: Max Augustine shows up in the speech-day documents on The Mill web site as having done A-Levels in 1962, with passes in Geography and Geology. Since I did mine in 1965, he was several years ahead of me.
Duncan Smith (JRGS 1957-63) recalls a varied career after his schooldays...
Since I left John
Ruskin Grammar School, my life has had many interesting twists and
turns, up and downs, like most of us, I guess. I left in 1963 with five
O-Levels and just one year of Zoology, Botany and Chemistry under my
belt, although I carried on for a short while as an instructor for the
ACF. I found A-Level subjects way over my head and quit after a first
year in the sixth form. Two years working with Legal and General
Insurance saw me nearly go mad, so at 19 years of age I flew over to Dar
es Salaam in Tanzania to stay with my nutty aunt for two years. She had
a small beach hotel 25 miles north of the city and a small island,
called Sinda, off the coast. I met interesting people at her hotel,
working with the World Bank, United Nations or the Food and Agricultural
Organisation, in some aspects of agriculture; this inspired me. I always
wanted a meaningful and purposeful job in life and this seemed to
perfectly fit the bill for me. I eventually wanted to return to Tanzania
Farming in New Zealand's North Island
A Change of Scenery
Duncan Smith, Whakatane, New Zealand; November 2018 Email
Bob Wane (JRGS 1945-53) reports the sad death of Eric Gibbs (JRGS 1946-51)...
need to report the death of an alumnus, Eric A. Gibbs (1946-51), in
March this year. It was quite unexpected and his illness was quite
short. Eric was taken unwell whilst playing an indoor bowls match, a
passion of his, and never fully recovered. His wife pre-deceased him by
some 10 years.
Duncan Smith (JRGS 1957-63) unearths a batch of ACF images from Bisley...
I recently located a number of photographs, newspaper clippings
and letters from my era at the school and mainly about the Army
Cadet Force. At that time, I did a bit of shooting, along with Ian
Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65); he was a year below me at school.
I hope The Alumni enjoy looking at these
images, cuttings and letters, and can maybe put names to those I
couldn't remember. Happy days! I did buy a new rifle from Fulton's gun
shop at Bisley, and had it sent over to New Zealand when I immigrated
here in 1989. I did use it a bit but, as I'd bought a farm way out in
the wop wops - a New Zealand expression for an out-of-the way place or
backcountry - it was such a long way to the rifle range from there that
I hardly got a chance to use it.
Duncan Smith, Whakatane, New Zealand; November 2018 Email
Doug Ford (JRGS 1966-72) adds:
These images are all a little before my time at the school, but I note
that most of the cap badges worn are of the Queen’s Royal Regiment
(Queen’s Surreys). In 1966 the four regiments of the Home Counties
Brigade were amalgamated into the Queen’s Regiment, and so the emblem
Roger Hall (JRGS 1959-66) adds:
What a fascinating set of photos, etc. And, gosh, just how good a shot
Duncan Smith must have been.
Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65) adds: Thanks, Duncan. These images are fascinating and brought back many memories of Bisley and other ranges, with Ray O’Leary, Ron Mucklestone and Nick Williams.
John Brigden (JRGS 1959-64) adds:
I can relate to Roger Hall's comments regarding taking rifles home.
Several of us rushed up the stairs of a 130 bus as if we were "going
over the top," as observed by a most concerned conductor! After having
to carry it for a couple of weeks across a misty, rainy Dartmoor, I
realised I should have left it on the upper deck.
(JRGS 1959-66) adds:
I too remember weekends at Bisley with the Honourable Artillery
Company/HAC. In the evenings in the "Dorms," some of the older chaps
would tell yarns about their exploits in WW2. I also remember firing off
a lot of ammunition, and using a Sten gun for the first and only time.
(How old were we?)
left-hand image from prize giving at the March 1963 JRGS Speech
Day, my prize was
for O-Level woodwork,
of all things! B. Lee
his for General Science; N. Hunt for Technical Drawing and A.
Booker for Metalwork. Not very academic were we then?
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