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   Joseph (Joe) Olliver


Joseph (Joe) Olliver

House: New
Years: 1945-1946

I joined PoW from school in South Africa and went straight into Form 2C, and then in the following year to Form 3A. Our teachers were Mrs Stokes and Mrs Bush (French), Mrs Ballantiyne and Philip Fletcher (Maths), Atkinson and Cheadle (English), Mrs Perkins (History), Barton (Latin), Light (Biology), Watson and Johnson (Chemistry), Corbett and Gledhill (Geography).

I was put in (the) New House, along with founder members from other houses - volunteers or conscripts, I don't remember. Stewart (Physics) was the Housemaster - South African, big, burly and deaf, with a tiny wife. In spite of former loyalties, we pulled together as a house to become Cock House.

After two spells of Catholic boarding schools in England and South Africa, PoW seemed like a hotel in comparison. The food was great (Mrs Murton) and whackings comparatively few. In my final term I was made a House Prefect - a cause of much resentment, with mutterings of "rabble prefect" - and sent to the Junior Block. An abiding memory is dining with the Housemaster (John Raymer) and his wife the night before she was to undergo a serious operation. The next day but one I was a pallbearer at her funeral.

As an alien from Tanganyika, I didn't share a common background with my Kenyan contemporaries, so was a little bit out of things - although I probably did more hunting than any of them - but I made some good friends and enjoyed my time there!

My subsequent career:
  • 3 years Tanganyika Surveys
  • 3 years Nottingham University (B.Sc. Maths)
  • 1 year Royal Engineers School of Military Survey
  • 3 years Tanganyika Surveys
  • 3 year Survey of Kenya - several PoW alumni there then
  • 3 years lecturer, University of Nairobi
  • 3 years lecturer, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 30 years lecturer, University of Oxford (M.A., D.Phil.)

    Now retired, still living in Oxford, still active in research in geodesy

    (Registered - 28th June 2006)

  • If anyone wishes to contact Joe, please Click Here to e-mail him