Staff Nicknames of the 1930s, '40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s
list started with contributions by Roy Ashworth, Christopher
Collier-Wright, and Brian McIntosh. Antony Williamson supplied
several more, as did Ron Bullock, Roger Goodwill, Alan Westcob,
Jerry Sirley, Alastair Campbell, Paul Taylor, Roger Bond, Wayne Job,
Colin Dyack, John Heppes,
Ewart Walker, James
Storrar, David Cresswell,
Gordon Bell, Angus McDonald, Charles Milner-Williams, Patrick
French and John Wyber. In addition, anecdotes about the
Staff have been reproduced from the website alumni biographies of
John Walsh, Robert Stocker, Ellis Hughes and Stanley Bleazard. Other nicknames,
comments, and anecdotes are welcome – including those from the
families of former Staff members. They should be sent to the
Proper Name, Subject Taught, and Duties
Foibles/Reason for Nickname
Mrs. A.D. Ridley, English
Agatha may or may not have been her actual name.....
Hugh Cowie recalls that to the staff she was known as
Nan. Very British, prim,
and refined. Imagine her challenge in teaching English
to stubborn Afrikaaners.
Strikingly diminutive both in size and
weight. He and his fellow maths specialist, the
Headmaster Philip Fletcher, were leading tenor and bass
(respectively) in the chapel choir. Father of two
lovely daughters, Heather and Elizabeth. The latter,
now Elizabeth Scoble-Hodgins, writes: “I was very
amused to see the cartoon drawing of my Dad (Amoeba) on
the website. Dad was always aware of his nickname and
amused by it. At his previous school in Barbados he
had been called Strings, so I can't imagine how thin he
must have been then.”
Follicly challenged; a teller of
memorable jokes; and a writer and collector of poetry.
Though also known for his irascibility, Baldy sought to
disseminate wisdom with his bumper sticker, Better 5
minutes late in this world than 20 years early in the
next. Mr. Lamont’s published poems were officially
deemed to be ahead of their time.
J.B.E. Say, Geography
Large, laid-back bloke. Coached the school 2nd
XV rugby team. Very keen on sailing; said that a good
sailor can tell wind direction by the back of his neck.
Also keen on field trips, which he conducted in a
Peugeot pickup, purchased from G. Campagnola and Co.,
builder of the Chapel. Was scurrilously rumoured to be
romantically involved with a member of the Headmaster’s
Easy-going and dedicated like Mr. Holland of “Opus”
fame. His second love, meteorology, often vied for
place with music in class. He had to “beg, borrow or
steal” instruments for the brass band, which played so
impressively that the Duko equivalent was then allocated
funds in order to achieve a similar standard. He had
great musical versatility, could play Elvis songs in
Mozartian style, and was a published song-writer. On
more than one occasion he was known to attract
headmasterly wrath by playing the chapel organ in
inappropriate style when he thought no one was around.
And, indeed, the advent of Mr Wigmore ushered in an era
of musical performances which were anathema to Jake.
Messers Palestrina, Bach and Handel found themselves
competing with Gilbert & Sullivan. Bertie’s two bonny
lasses, Zena and Sandra, had many an ardent admirer.
Commander W. Wright, Maths.
A likeable and much respected master of
Royal Naval provenance. His beautiful daughter Judy
was often to be seen on the touchline at games as
Commander L.H.T. Hollebone, Mathematics
Ex-Royal Navy. During World War II he was attached to
HMS Vernon, the anti-mine warfare establishment. Left
Princo to work at Pembroke House, where he taught maths,
science and sailing.
Presumably ascribable to his
Named after his artificial eye.
Bernard A. Astley
Bernard Astley acquired this nickname soon after he
first arrived at the co-educational Nairobi European
School in 1929. The handsome young mustachioed
bachelor made quite an impression on some of the girls
there. A couple of them flirtatiously enquired what
B.A. stood for. “Burbling Archibald, of course,” he
replied – and the die was cast. A strict disciplinarian who hated smokers, Burbly had a
quick temper and used the cane liberally. A frightening
man to many, he was also dubbed ‘The Lord High
Executioner.’ (By comparison, Flakey Fletcher seemed
not strict enough when he took over as Headmaster from
Burbly in 1945.) A story is told, however, by Robert
‘Stooge’ Stocker (Hawke/Nicholson, 1941-46) of one boy
who stood up to Burbly in a dramatic way:"We
had a huge guy at the School called Bill Hindley. The
Headmaster sent for him to give him the cane for
something he said he hadn’t done. Bill refused to bend
over, and Burbly lost his reasoning and attacked Bill
with his cane. As I have already mentioned he had a
very quick temper. All Bill did was to get hold of him
and sit him in his chair until Bush (Forest) came in to
see what all the commotion was. Bill Hindley became
Head of School - I expect that nobody could boss him
Was Acting Principal during the transition of
Headmasters from Bernard Astley to Philip Fletcher in
1945. (Had a son known as Bushbaby.)
Energetically recruited for the CCF in order to earn the
rank of a Lt. Colonel for CCF purposes and the
Governor’s visit on Speech Day (see Ron Bullock’s
pictures in Other/General Photos under Speech Day 1953). Moved to the UK and later retired to South Africa. Passed away in 1976.
Canon M.G. Capon, School Chaplain. Latin and Religious
Also known as Minus. Rode an ancient Raleigh bicycle
with a basket attached. A former missionary, he was
said to have worked on the translation of the Scriptures
into Agikuyu. His fair daughter Jean was one of
several staff daughters who made roaring sales of
poppies to the boys on Poppy Day.
Martin Capon was also known by a Swahili nickname,
bunduki, determined by his ecclesiastical
rank as a canon of Mombasa Cathedral. This word
means gun and may be taken to include a cannon.
Although his classes could be chaotic, none of his
pupils got less than a credit in School Cert.
very small but well-proportioned man, who spoke very
quietly, never shouted, never sent anyone to the Head
for caning, but had total control. No one ever fooled
around in his class. Not surprising, perhaps, as he
was a former Australian fighter pilot, trained in Canada
mentioned he had been part of the fighter escort for
taught us that you don’t have to be aggressive to
maintain discipline and get your message across.
D.S. Gammie, English Literature.
known as ‘Beer Barrel.’ Old Scottish roué who managed
to be a fine English Literature teacher in spite of his
fondness for a wee dram and in spite of the occasional
morning-after hangover and nap in class. After an epic
drinking session one evening in town with PE instructor
Johnny Riddell, Dougall
crashed his car on the way back to school and suffered
double or triple vision for a month or so thereafter.
On another occasion (no booze involved), while
crossing the Quad he narrowly escaped being shot by a
bullet from a home made gun accidentally discharged by
some lads in Clive.
In class, Dougall could
produce a dry wit – such as his wicked, simpering parody
of the little cottage girl’s lines in Wordsworth’s
annoying poem, “We are Seven”. (For other
anecdotes, see the alumni contribution of Ron Bullock,
Scott, 1948-53; and for the recounting of yet another
classic Dougall episode, see the caption accompanying 'Dougall
Gammie’s Class 1953' in ‘Other/General Photos’ by Jitze
Couperus, Hawke, 1954-60.)
Mr. Knight, (subject ?), Rhodes Housemaster.
Mutu fupi (short bloke).
Was able ambidextrously
to mirror-write anything you dictated: standing in front
of a black board with a piece of chalk in each hand, he
started writing with both hands together, and moved
outwards, with the left hand mirroring the right.
Rev. Peter R. Davies
Known as "Fido" on account
of his ecclesiastical dog collar. (Webmaster, Steve
LeFeuvre writes on 31st July 2005: "Fido was
still teaching at the school when I left after A-levels
in 1975. I still keep in contact with him and his wife
Tiggy (living in west Wales), as they were great friends
of my family).
Our very own “Mr. Chips.” An eccentric, all-seeing,
all-knowing Headmaster with a distinctive cackling laugh (‘heh,
heh, heh’) that sounded a bit evil to some. Also known as
Pink Percy for his florid complexion, and, in a matey way,
as Jake for such endearing habits as using a tie or a bit of
rope for a belt during Tuesday working parties. Like Burbly
(Bernard Astley) before him, he was a disciplinarian whose
cane was feared. As described by one old boy, Mr. Fletcher
in his flowing academic gown seemed like an avenging angel
when he swept down on someone he wanted to collar. But he
was also an understanding, compassionate man with a good
sense of humour who identified more with the boys than with
the other Staff. A confirmed bachelor, and a man of deep
personal faith, Mr. Fletcher devoted himself with amazing
energy to promoting the welfare of school and students. He
liked to take walks around the compound late at night, as
many a returning truant or midnight smoker found out the
hard way. His memory for boys’ names, dates, and houses was
legendary, as was his sex education talk. We feared his
wrath, but we knew he was always on our side. A remarkable
man and a great Headmaster, Philip Fletcher is remembered by
hundreds of Old Cambrians with respect, admiration, and
Bill owed his
nickname to his very neat appearance, immaculate grooming,
straight row of differently coloured biro clips topping his
breast pocket and shiny gilt tie clip, sometimes with a
little chain to secure the tie to the shirt. He was also
renowned for the quality of his photography, his 1968 photo of the quad being particularly fine.
F.H. Goldsmith, Vice-Principal, European History, Government, Swimming,
Life Saving - Bronze Medallion.
Prussian-like appearance and precise manner. Took early
morning knees-up jogs on the top pitches. He was noted for
a variety of mannerisms, mostly having to do with rippling
his fingers through his matador-style hair, flicking his
matching moustache with thumb and middle finger, and saying,
“Y’see” repeatedly while teaching. A very conscientious
Vice-Principal, he operated from an office under the clock
tower. Also called Goldie.
Dr. A. Roggenkamper
Roggenkamper (nobody ever knew how to spell his
name) taught Latin and detention, and he lived in
one of the staff houses. He was of Austrian or
German extraction and spoke with a fairly
impenetrable accent. He loathed boeties with a
passion - which was reciprocated in spades. Besides
Fuhrer, his nicknames included other German military
terms, and he referred to us as "Der Monkeys". He
rode a motor scooter and side car in the latter of
which was stowed a heavy log to provide ballast for
cornering. The lads contrived to remove it on
several occasions with the inevitable heart stopping
but side splitting moments.
C. Hurst, Maths, Tuck Shop. Also known as Charlie.
Tall and thin with a pronounced regional accent and a
tendency to charge around the classroom when incensed by
student misbehaviour. He had a specially-made bat which he
used to mete out discipline. He called it Horace and the
person spanked with it had to sign it afterwards. When
Horace was completely covered with signatures, he had the
woodwork master make him another one which he called Horace
Cyril Gledhill OTC (CCF)
David S. Hogge, English
Rhodes Assistant Housemaster
A handsome young teacher with blond hair and a Sundance Kid
mustache, Mr. Hog joined the school in 1957 from South
Africa. Sometimes, after evening prep, he’d cadge a Crown
Bird from the prefects in Rhodes when he ran out of fags.
He’d throw open the study door, stand as though holding two
six shooters, and pretend to stage a holdup. Another
recollection is that of Hog, being newly married, advising
us with a blush to “git ‘em yung, treet ‘em ruff, ‘n’ till
C.F. Burton, French, Rhodes Housemaster, School rugby.
A demanding but effective teacher who ran a tight ship by
taking no nonsense from anyone. Hard to please, hence the
nickname. His wife, Ma Burton, who also taught and who was
more fun in class, had her share of adolescent admirers.
J. Heathcote, Science
jovial science teacher. He used to give a long, low
whistle while facing the blackboard and then turn around
with a cheesy grin on his face. Some of us could not tell
whether this smile was friendly or sinister.
R.W. Walmesley, Geography
Frustrated, constant teeth grinding at our antics in class
raised prominent muscles where his jaws were hinged. Rode
an ancient upright bicycle to school, but took his senior
class on field trips in his veteran green Bedford van.
fighter pilot, Jolly Olly was also known as Carry on
from his predictable command after school assembly or flag
parade. Coming from Berkhamsted School in England to take
over as Head from Philip Fletcher in 1960, Jolly Olly was
himself succeeded by “Tinribs”, G.E. Ironside in 1966.
J.R. Riddell, Physical Education
Lord of the gymnasium, he was somewhat feared for assigning
pushups on the spot for hands-in-pockets, and for his method
of settling fitinas between boys by issuing them with
boxing gloves and ordering them slog it out. Ewart
Walker (Nicholson 1951-55) writes, "Does any one remember
Johnny Riddel's sawn off cricket bat which he called Oscar
and which he used liberally on cheeky PE boys or those who
were late for PE? I certainly felt Oscar on my backside on
a few occasions!" Johnny was
often to be seen of an evening or weekend propping up the
Long Bar at the New Stanley Hotel, where his favourite
tipple was a Tusker Lager baridi sana. He and
English teacher Dougal Gammie were known to be drinking
partners, though whether this somewhat unlikely couple
discussed the odes of Keats or gymnastic techniques is not
Swahili nickname, meaning parrot, was determined by
perceived facial resemblance to the bird in question. He
is thought to have later become a provincial education
A. K. Fyfe, Chemistry
Commanding Officer, CCF
Rugby XV Coach
all-rounder who provided excellent service to the school
over many years. He retained some of his native Yorkshire
dialect, “He’s a good lad, is Beattie.” Besides coaching
the 1st XV at rugger, he frequently refereed matches between
the Harlequins and Nondescripts (Nondies). His wife, Esme,
was at one time a ballet dancer.
A.G.A. Larthe de Langladure, French
Absence of any known nickname might testify to an enigmatic
nature and mysterious background. His occasional
references to broadcasting experience in wartime French West
Africa, and visits to the West Indies and Fernando Po hint
at deuxieme bureau activity, as did his recording of
miscreants’ names in a secret name book. (Known to
later generations at the POW and subsequently at Peterhouse,
South Africa, as Archy, probably on account of his
first name.) Of more obvious attraction to us was his
daughter Stephanie, a stimulating sight at Saturday
break-time when she visited her mother, the bursar’s
Other nicknames included Pull-Through, Long Drop,
and Twiga, on account of his tall, skinny build and the
fact that he was Officer Commanding the CCF. Perceived by
some as frosty and caustic. Left the school for some years in the 1950s
to work as a civil servant in the Colonial Secretariat, and then
returned. Whilst at the school he presented
the South African news on Cable and Wireless. Retired to Abingdon, England. Passed away 1993.
Colonel E.A. Loftus, English
Also known as East African Lunatic (after his
initials). Taught English, and did it well, with particular
attention to clause analysis. Indeed, he called himself a
grammarian and had written books on grammar as well as on
the history of Kenya. His pet aversion was student
flatulence. The offender was admonished: “Out, you lout. Get
out. You are a lout. Get out.” Hence the nickname. He had an
alarm clock on his desk which was regularly set by prankish
schoolboys to go off during class.
He commanded a battalion of yeomanry at Gallipoli in World
War I and was well into his seventies when he taught at
Princo. He later moved to Zambia to teach, and retired at
the age of 96. He is acknowledged in The Guinness Book of
Records as the oldest known schoolteacher anywhere,
School Sanatorium Matron
So called for her pendulous jowls. She was a large,
overweight lady, the very soul of kindness, and famous for
her mangling of Kiswahili - “Mathaiga, hapana standing there
fanyaing nothing; get on with yako’s kazi” - as an
admonishment to the orderly who liked to talk politics with
Catering Matron of Hawke-Grigg
Ma J. had a recipe for ice cream using sour milk; sounds
disgusting, but actually it tasted very, very good and was
eagerly sought after. On the down side, she never accepted
that the porridge at breakfast could have been burned,
despite its smell and taste. She would eat some to ‘prove’
that we were wrong! Ma J. ran her domain with a fist of
iron and a heart of gold. She loved her boys and would do
anything to ensure that they enjoyed the best she could
provide. Had blazing rows with Jake whenever the Education
Department proposed a cut in her food budget. She always
won the day.
Dedicated to biology, but had endearingly eccentric ways.
On his nature rambles, a popular means of escaping class
confines, Link was oblivious to our inattention and
pranks. He was also a talented painter. (See Other/General
Photos, Biology Class, 1961.) Link was noted for his
superhuman ability to draw a diagram of a cell on the board
and then write the labels on it with both hands, different
words simultaneously. He was known as Missing Link because
of his gangly, stooping gait.
E. Atkinson, History. Housemaster, Hawke.
Swahili nickname was more obscure than most of the others:
it means tortoise and stemmed from his stammer and,
hence, slow delivery. His alternative nickname, Const-st-st-st-it-ut-ion
corroborates this. He used to lose his cool very
easily, but was a very kind-hearted guy. His
step-daughters Valentine and Juliet Fazan were much admired
around the compound, where they were coached by Mrs. Betty
Salmon. They in their turn were said to reciprocate the
chaps’ attentions, and indeed Val eventually married an Old
Cambrian, Hugh Clarke.
Major Atkinson's nickname was given resonance by the fact that he invariably wore a pith helmet (topi) which, of course, was shaped like a tortoise shell. A variation of his nickname was mzee kobe, reflecting his advanced years.
A.J. Phillips, History Housemaster, Intermediate and Hawke
Russian politician Malenkov, whom we in our boyish ignorance
confused with Molotov. A rugby fanatic (did he play for
Wales?) Once, during Mau Mau, he was demonstrating in
class – at our prompting - his ability to strip and
reassemble his small automatic pistol when Jake walked in.
His 3 lessons of
European history per week to 5 Arts were characterized by
the inclusion of extra-curricular material, particularly
discussion of rugby and squash.
Ray Barton Later Headmaster, Nairobi Primary
Rev McCulloch, Chaplain
An instance of a Swahili nickname being determined by
professional or confessional status, mungu being the
Swahili for God.
E.M. Cobb, English. Housemaster, Scott
Munya is the Swahili word
for maize cob. He secured the few mementoes of the
Scott Antarctic expedition which hung (or hang) on the
common room wall. He was fiercely competitive in academic
matters and was the donor of the Carthusian Shield.
(Does anyone recall his nickname?)
Peter Newling, Maths
demanding teacher who often resorted to suddenly and
accurately pelting inattentive students with chalk. He was
also wont to push the sharp point of his over-sized compass
threateningly towards anyone who was slow to answer his
pointed and tricky math questions, often forcing us off the
seat as we madly tried to compile the correct answer. As a
mathematician and a senior member of the Magic Circle, he
amazed us and even made money by winning bets in bars using
his extremely good grasp of mathematical odds. I remember a
futile exercise (at which he excelled, that he conducted
alongside the main road where he challenged us to remember
as many licence plate numbers as possible in the order of
the passing cars. His pretty daughter (Penny, I think), a
day student at the Boma, was "postman" for the many letters
labelled SWALK that travelled each week between us lovelorn
boys at PoWS and the girls at the Boma. The Newlings lived
in the house nearest the main entrance to the school on
His unflattering Swahili nickname
signifying snake stemmed from his tendency to report on errant boys
for such misdemeanours as smoking
cognoscente of 6 Arts believed that his manner was similar
to that of Doctor Pangloss, the great optimist in Voltaire's
"Candide" (one of the titles for English Literature A
A.G. Potter, French.
Assistant Housemaster, Intermediate
Alan Potter was named PANSY after the character in ‘Dandy’.
He was an affable, popular young Scottish teacher, the sort
you could tell a joke to. (The prefects in Intermediate
would tell him a joke, just to get him giggling, right
before he had to lead evening prayers at the end of
prep.) He once hitchhiked to Mombasa with some guys from
school and they all slept on the floor of a derelict room at
Mac’s Inn. In the middle of the night he had to be rescued
from the bog, standing on the seat, pantless, trying to shoo
away a cobra! A former British Army squash champion, and a
tennis winner at Parklands Sports Club, Pansy was attending OCs functions
until 2001, but passed away on 15th August 2005 - see his Obituary page
R.H. James Housemaster, Rhodes
After leaving Princo (well before the other Pansy joined the staff),
he had a short period as Headmaster of Nairobi Primary and
later became the popular first Headmaster of the Duke of
York School. He retired to Cape Town where his wife Lesley
is still going strong.
Jack O’Neill Pearson
Can anyone suggest why Mr
Pearson was accorded this unflattering Swahili nickname
Noel A. Horley, English, R.K.
Although powerful in his upper body, and with a massive head, Peg Leg
wore braces as the result of having had polio. He taught in
Australia before joining Princo. An Elder of the Kirk in
Nairobi, he taught metaphysics in the guise of English
and/or Latin. Could be stern and harshly sarcastic in class
in the early fifties; mellowed considerably by decade’s end
– the result, we surmised, of an epiphany of sorts.
D. Spencer, French
Named after his artificial leg. He was one of several masters who
took a turn at reading the local news at the nearby Cable &
Wireless station. He proceeded to the Duke of York and is
still alive in the U.K., aged 93.
P.C. Reid, History
nickname stemmed from his unfortunate initials. He used to
call the Scots a 'bloody band of cattle thieves'. He was
somewhat cynical and made cracks that were often above our
heads. One of them was about the mediaeval three-field
system 'which had more strips than the West End'.
C.M. Taylor, Physics
His nickname reputedly stemmed from his Irish pronunciation of food.
He is believed to have proceeded to be Director of the East
African Meteorological Department.
Mrs Poppleton, Dormitory Matron, Junior House 1945-59
Cheerful, kind, patient and understanding, Poppy is
remembered as a warm mother-figure by many who were once
new, homesick young boys in Junior House. She later became
housekeeper at the Headmaster’s house.
D.W.A. Minette, French
Minette is the diminutive
French term for a kitten, hence the nickname. Pussy had long
eyebrow hair, teased to points like a waxed military
mustache. He got mad at the inevitable ‘miaows’ that were
uttered just outside his door, and he once threw a wag out
of class who, when asked to translate the French word,
piste, declared that it meant to be drunk.
W.R. Salmon, Maths Hawke Housemaster
The salmon not being native to East African waters, Mr. Read
Salmon was known by the generic Swahili term for a fish,
samaki. Hailing from British Columbia, he had a laid back
Canadian manner. His calm style of maths teaching made the
subject comprehensible to those not gifted mathematically. A
former pilot, he used navigational illustrations on the black
board to facilitate our understanding of mathematical
principles. He claimed that in Canada all teachers had to be
able to do a modest ski jump, but he could only succeed in
falling off the end! A good laugh, but probably told just to be
self-deprecating and amuse us. Rumour had it that the drive to
his house had to be widened to accommodate his North
American-sized automobile – a 1956 Chevy, known as the Fish
Tank. (See photo with son, Peter Salmon, and other OCs in “Reunion
Photos, Vancouver/Alaska 2004”)
Mr A.V. Hatfield
English master c 1940-1944
Housemaster of Junior and later Clive
Hawke/Nicholson 1941-5 recalls): He was always known to us
pupils as "Shag" based entirely on his love of a constantly
tobacco filled pipe. Of course he didn't smoke it during periods
but was often seen wandering out onto the front lawn to take a
few puffs between classes. I also seem to
recall he was an assistant house master at one of the main block
houses - Rhodes, Hawke, Clive as occasionally I used to meet
with him in his quarters after dinner to continue my pursuit of
R.S. Earl, Geography
A regular newsreader on Cable & Wireless, Here is the news,
read by David Earl, Sketch Map achieved a very high success
rate among School Cert geographers. Also known as Prune on
account of the lines on his forhead. An habitual wisecracker,
“At one point our class did a social experiment where we decided
to laugh at every joke. The number increased greatly - up to 33
in one lesson. After that we all steadfastly refused to laugh
for a whole lesson and he only made three.”
K. Maudsley, Latin and History. Assistant and Acting Housemaster,
scholarly, very British fellow, self-effacing and modest.
Because we had a flair for unflattering nicknames, he was known
to us as 'Slobbergob' for his somewhat wide mouth. Imagine our
surprise when he gave our Latin class a blow-by-blow account of
the Battle of Arnhem. He was there as a paratrooper! Recently
deceased. See the Obituaries page.
N.R.M. Chadwick, History, Latin. Scott Housemaster, Plays, CCF.
So-called for having a large proboscis, a long neck, and a
prominent Adam’s apple. Other nicknames like Stalkey and
Shellshock arose from his nervous, rapid, back-and-forth
pacing when talking – best described as peripatetic –
that was blamed on traumatic experiences as a WWII Tank
Corps Commander. A fine teacher and a very competitive
housemaster, Storky intervened on more than one occasion to
pre-empt headmasterly expulsion of a miscreant by delivering
summary 6-12 strokes with his own cane. He brought the house
down at an OC reunion in London in 1965 when he described seeing
Samaki attempt to catch up with Fritz as the latter sped across
nickname, Swish, remains obscure. Also known as Sparky.
Hard of hearing, which lent itself to cruel tricks: “Can I
borrow your wife, sir?” “What did you say?” “I said, can I
borrow your knife, sir?” And worse – as when we used to pitch
our voices high and then low and watch him fiddling with the
controls of his hearing aid.
anyone recall his nickname? (He left around 1954.) Taberner
sang like Richard Tauber - with the same repertoire too: Franz
Lehar stuff, and gems like “On the road to Mandalay”. He was a
lovely guy, a great English teacher, who claimed he was the only
person who could teach us grammar; thanks to him, many of us can
still remember how to parse a sentence. He would say in class,
“If you’re good, I’ll sing to you.” And he did!
E.J. Boase, Latin and Cricket
Housemaster of Clive 1948-51
Revered as a Latin master and as a veritable encyclopedia on
Cricket, a game which he loved with passion. He was passionate
about the ancient world and used to describe Hannibal's battles
when introducing a new Latin declension. Taught Latin at
Nairobi Primary before joining the PoW in 1948. Tragically, he
died suddenly in Greece on his way home on leave in 1962. A much
admired and respected man. His daughters, Corinna and Lynette,
both “Honorary Old Cambrians”, were day girls at local girls
schools . Lynette (LC Msongari) says that she was very popular
amongst the other girls as she could "courier" letters and notes
between the girls and PoW boys on a daily basis.
G.E. Ironside, Headmaster, 1966-68
Mr. Wigmore in 1966 and was succeeded in turn as Headmaster by
Mr. F.W. Dollimore in 1968.
Nigel J. Brown, English & History
Housemaster of Clive 1967-70
+ former pupil (Nicholson 1952-7)
bestowed because some saw an amphibious resemblance, was
sometimes rendered in Kiswahili as "Churra". Nigel J. Brown
(not to be confused with R. Nigel Brown of Grigg) attended the
Prince of Wales as a boy in Nicholson House (1952-7), and
returned to join the staff in 1966. He taught at the school
The 1957 Impala
reveals that Nigel played the important role of Captain Stanhope
in the World War 1 play “Journey’s End”. His fondness for
treading the boards persisted during his time at Cambridge where
he took part in several plays.
M.T. Saville, English, Latin. Edited The Impala; selected book
Tall, elegantly dressed, with elegant tapered trousers and long
cut jackets. Prided himself on his italic style of
handwriting. Rather languid approach; would have liked to be
an Oxford don of the Brideshead Revisited era. He
directed school plays with distinction, achieved through empathy
with and encouragement of his novice actors.
Not jovial like Happy Jack! Rumour had it he made his own shoe
polish and toothpaste. Taught Chemistry, and was famous for his
parsimonious allocation of chemicals, causing one wag to
paraphrase Keats’ ‘Oh for a beaker, full of the warm south, /
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, / With beaded bubbles
winking at the brim’ thus: ‘Oh for a beaker with a little of
the warm south/ And a small quantity of the true, the blushful
Hippocrene/ With one beaded bubble, winking at the brim.’
Physics. Housemaster of Grigg, 1954-59
Had a bad time as a POW under the Japs in Burma, and lost much
of the use of one arm as a result. Moved to Hong Kong in
1960. Although appearing to lack humour, he was in reality
kind and fond of his Grigg boys and would even give attention to
Hawke boys while on dining room duty.
Housemaster of Clive, 1944-8
“Come here, you wishy-washy boy,” was what he was fond of
(Does anyone have more details about this teacher – subject, other duties, other anecdotes?)
Captain E.L. Barnett, Woodwork, metalwork and Technical Drawing.
Housemaster of Scott and Grigg
most agreeable man, but very quiet, probably through shyness.
He was also a fine artist, having many good paintings to his
nickname stemmed from a habit of muttering unintelligibly
through his moustache in a rather soft voice.
Taught at Prince of Wales 1952-65 and retired to New Zealand.