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   John Hatfield


John Hatfield

Nickname: Hatty
House: Clive
Year: Sept 1939 to Dec 1945

Being evacuated to the Lake Hotel, Naivasha in 1940.

I must be one of the oldest living OC Alumni. I went to the PoW in Sept 1939 at the age of eleven. I was by far the youngest kid who ever went to the school at that time. I was two years younger than the average age in my class. I was there when the Italians came into the war in 1940, and all the boarders were evacuated to the Lake Hotel in Naivasha. We also missed a whole term of school, which we did not mind too much.

Anyhow, reading the Teachers Nicknames page, I saw that you had a nice piece on Teddy Boase. He was a teacher at the school in Naivasha in 1940-41, but did not come back to Nairobi when the school returned to its home. What I do remember most about him was his particularly fine rendition of " On Ilkley Moor bar t'at " at sing-songs that we used to have on Saturday nights. (In an authentic Yorkshire accent, of course.) Also, we used to call W.N. Cheadle ‘Willy’, not ‘Wishy Washy’. He was Clive Housemaster at the time that I was House Captain, so I got to know him quite well. He was basically a very decent man and a very good English teacher. He hated to hear the language mangled, and his face would screw up in pain when he heard it.

In 1943-1944, we had a geography teacher whose name was V. Hatfield. ‘V’ for Viddler. He came from South Africa, and he had a Packard car which we all admired. His nickname was ‘Shag’, as he had a very shaggy sports coat, the pockets of which were stuffed with pipes and tobacco. When he found out that my name was also Hatfield, he said to me. "When you grow up and people learn that your name is Hatfield, they are going to ask you if you are related to the famous geography teacher. You are going to say "No. But I was taught by him." So for all this reflected glory, it will be your job to see that the blackboard is cleaned every time for my lessons."

Since leaving School:
  • In the army (Kenya Regimentt)
  • University College London
  • College of Aeronautics, Cranfield
  • Have worked in Uganda (Uganda Electricity Board), Canada, and since 1959, the USA.

    I live in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA.

    (Registered - 24th February 2007) (Updated - 30th August 2007)

  • If anyone wishes to contact John, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details