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History - E E Apthorp


In 1900, E E Apthorp joined the school straight from Cambridge, where he had gained great golf successes. Mr Baldock has told me that the famous 'trio' of Thring, Brown and Apthorp not only lived for their school and boys, but that they were mainly responsible for starting Dunstable Golf Club. Mr Baldock also remembers these three masters bringing the boarders from the school to Matins at the Priory Church each Sunday. Mr W T Lack, who joined the teaching staff in 1924, remembers Mr Apthorp as a fatherly figure - "the old style schoolmaster". He was to teach classics, and to live at the school until his retirement in 1929.
This appreciation of Mr Apthorp appears in the magazine of 1943.

                                              EDMOND EAST APTHORP
                                                    (An Appreciation)
                                                             * * * *

Edmund East Apthorp, formerly Classics master at Dunstable School, whose death has just been announced, will be mourned by Old Dunstablians all over the world.
He was the ideal schoolmaster. He taught for the love of the game and because he loved and understood boys. In return they loved and admired him.
His surname lent itself to the singularly apposite nickname "Appy" and as "Appy" he was known from his very early days in Dunstable until his retirement in 1929. And "Appy" summed up that large, benign figure perfectly.
He had a ready smile and kindly word for everyone, in his dealings he was just, in his friendships loyal; and he was ever sensitive to the finer values of life. He could converse brilliantly upon a variety of subjects, and his sense of humour never failed him.
He was a great sportsman in the best sense of the word. His exploits with the cricket bat are becoming almost legendary when big hitting is mentioned in Bedfordshire conversation, but with whatever feats posterity may credit him, it is the unvarnished fact that he hit balls right over the old mill bordering the school ground -Gargantuan shots - and it was common gossip in the lower school that �Appy" can hit a hockey ball twice as far, using one hand, as anybody else in the school can, using two." At golf, too, he was that rare phenomenon, a "plus" man, and captained Cambridge University in his year.
Of him it might truly be said:-
                     All His life was gentle; and the elements
                           So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
                     And say to all the world, "This was a man!"

Perhaps one of the best pieces of appreciation Of the 'Grand Triumvirate� as Thring, Brown and Apthorp were known, is the poem written in their memory by H E Hunt, an Old Dunstablian.

             As boys preparing for the world of men
                Now proved a world whose evil still rides high),
             We met three mentors, greater now than then,
                Whose influence on our lives can never die.
             Tiggy the kindly, loved as few are loved,
                 Belgy the gentle, dwelling among his books,
             Appy the strong, with interests that moved
                 From Greek to skates "sixes" and fishing hooks
             Now each is gone to whatsoever waits
                 Beyond the last bell in the world of school;
             But they have helped to mould our lives and fates,
                 And we thank God for their ungrudging rule.


Among the first pupils of the school were C F Dixon, Hugh Anderson, and Ernest and Frank Oliver, and this magazine has spoken already of the 'system of strict discipline, hard work, compulsory games and the punishment to fit the crime' that they encountered. From the earliest days, the House System has existed in the school, in its first form as a friendly but definite rivalry between day pupils and boarders. At the end of each year, each boy was obliged to submit to an oral and written examination (in all his subjects) by the London School of Examiners. The report of this was given at the annual Speech Day in July. The report of 1899 makes interesting reading.


"SPEECH DAY" this year fell on Saturday, July 29th, on which occasion there was again a large gathering of the boys' parents and friends in the School Hall. The Governors were represented by Mr Hugh Smith (Chairman), Mr R M Harvey, the Rev. Canon Macaulay, MY George W E Russell, Mr B Bennett, Mr H Hankey, and Mr G H Edwards. The Rev. Paul Wyatt, of Bedford, distributed the prizes, and among those present were Sir Edgar Sebright, the Mayor of Dunstable (Alderman F T Garrett), Major C S Benning, and many others.
The detailed report of the examination having been read, in which particular praise was given to the excellence of Hare's Classics and Watkin's Mathematics, Mr Reynolds Squire, M.A., F.R.S.L., who made a viva voce examination of the School, in summing up, said that the general results were highly satisfactory. The classical knowledge shown by the boys of the Upper VI Form deserved the highest praise, and would rank with that expected at any of our best, especially classical, schools. Hare's Greek was also entirely satisfactory, and his name should be heard of in the near future as an honour to the School.
The Lower VI. was a very fair Form, but there was a great difference between individual members. He found on the whole, the grammar had improved since last year. The examination of Form V. in French was most satisfactory, Hansard being especially good all round, while Martin shone in conversation. Holloway, Hyder, and Lenthall might also be mentioned. In Latin, the syntax was a little deficient, but the work was uniformly very fair.
Form IV. had made great strides in Latin since last year. Walker's answers were especially good, and Mawley, too, should be mentioned. Much care had evidently been bestowed on grammar. In French, Vanzandt and Homberger were excellent, and Brown ii. was good.
Form III. was an intelligent class, Wilson and Rosson ii. being good in French, and Wilson's Latin, as well as that of Bayly and Shaw, being well done.
The writing of Form II. was bold, clear and good, but the spelling was uncertain. All the boys came in to do their best, and did it. Mr Squire summed up his report as follows:- �A day spent in reviewing the boys gave an outsider a fair estimate of the tone prevailing throughout the School. This tone,� he said without reserve, �was good, The boys were cheery, well-mannered, obedient, and thoroughly nice fellows. The work had evidently been done thoroughly and conscientiously both by teachers and learners.�
�In conclusion,� he said �the Council was of opinion, from the above report, that the School was in a highly satisfactory condition. They would especially draw attention to the fact that, in addition to providing a sound general education, the School had shown itself able to produce very promising candidates both in Classics and Mathematics.�
�It might be anticipated that the School list of University distinctions will receive additions at no distant date. The report of their examiners in Chemistry was also worthy of special notice, and was a subject of great importance on the modern side.�
�They would therefore tender to the Head Master and his staff their congratulations on the nature of the report, and their thanks for the facilities afforded them during the examination.�

In 1896, a library was opened, and a dramatic society was in existence. A school magazine was issued in 1896, and lost money - and a swimming bath had already been constructed. An Old Boys' Association was formed early on and its records tell us something of what happened to these earliest pupils in later life.
The first secretary of the Old Boys' Association was G Oliver Anderson, nicknamed 'Ooley', who in his school career was a 'capital prefect' and later head boy of the school. He must have been something of 'a11-rounder', because he secured a first medal for the school for the best paper sent in by a Senior in the Geography examination, and he also scored a hundred runs in a cricket match for the Boys' XI! He was a champion sprinter and a capable footballer. In 1891, he was the second boy in the school to be awarded the Hankey Gold Medal (W 'Jehu' Gray had received it in 1890) left by Mr Thomson Hankey, one of the original governors, to be awarded annually to the "best all-round boy in the school". Over the years that followed, G 0 Anderson was a regular official of the Old Dunstablians' Club and twice its President, an attender at annual dinners, and a frequent contributor to the magazine. In his obituary in the 1952 magazine, Mr Anderson is recorded as the boy whose name was first on the register of the school. He continued to play in first class hockey until he was 45, and had for many years been a member of his old school's Board of Governors. G 0 Anderson was Chairman of the publishing firm of Harrap & Co., in his business life.
An article appears in the July edition of the 1901 magazine concerning two fellow pupils of G 0 Anderson's. Hugh and John Anderson shared his surname, but their fates were very different from his own.


(A report concerning the Deaths in the Boer War of H & J Anderson)
When the call came for men, and that unparalleled outburst of enthusiastic patriotism swept through the country, the little town of Dunstable was in no way behind with offers of loyal sons. For the first time in history, members of our Volunteer Forces were invited to enlist for active service, and in the first Active Service Company of volunteers sent out to our Bedfordshire Regiment in South Africa, Dunstable had four lads; others had offered, but for various reasons had not been accepted. Of those four selected, the Dunstable School had the proud distinction of claiming two as former scholars - Privates Hugh and John Anderson.
Let it be recorded, that on the first occasion when England required assistance from her soldier-citizen sons, the Dunstable School gave two of its former scholars. Private Hugh Anderson died at Sanna's Post, O.R.C., of dysentery, on February 24th. Writing of him, his Commanding Officer said: �He was the life and soul of the company, when on the trek or on short rations; always ready to look on the bright side of things. He was a good soldier and did his duty well. We shall miss him in many ways."
Of Private John Anderson, Captain Fox, writing home to a friend, said:- "I have just met one of Mr Anderson's sons (near Thaba N'chu). The boy has made a fine soldier." That was some months before his death, when Private John Anderson was also full of buoyant life and courage, albeit he was eagerly looking forward to the home-coming that had, even then, been promised our Bedfordshire Volunteers. But for him, as for his brother, there was to be no earthly home-coming.
Hearing that his brother was dangerously ill, he rode in to Thaba N'chu on February 21st to see him, but arrived too late; five hours before he reached that place Hugh had been sent back on the way to the Bloemfontein hospital. He died half-way on the journey, and four days later Private John Anderson received the sad news of his death. On the previous day John had also to report sick with dysentery. He lay in a tent hospital at Thaba N'chu for a week, and was then removed to a house. On March 9th he wrote home: "Twelve months today we landed in S Africa. Our year's service is now completed, and I hope it will not be long before we sail for home."
By a pathetically sad coincidence, the news of his death had reached Dunstable through the medium of the War Office casualty list the day before the arrival of that letter. He had recovered from dysentery, had rejoined his Company on out post duty west of Thaba N'chu, but had fallen a victim there to enteric. He died at Bloemfontein on March 31st.
During his period of active service in S Africa he acted as correspondent for the Dunstable Borough Gazette, and a series of seventeen articles he wrote entitled "With our Volunteers in South Africa", gave a picturesque and interesting history of their movements and the life they led in the campaign, which reflected considerable credit on his School training. Our hearts ache for the loss of these lads, but we have the grand, consoling thought that, bravely and willingly, they offered themselves in the hour of England's necessity; bravely, too, they died for their country.

A W Mooring

Of the others of the first pupils of the school, W Gray, the first winner of the Hankey Gold Medal, went on to become a chemist; E Spencer became a solicitor; Cobley and Cripps (mentioned together), went into banks; G A Marsh studied dentistry, and R J Gladwell was awarded a Senior Classical Scholarship at Cambridge University     

School history  

Frances Ashton
L C R Thring
E E Apthorp
A R Thompson
A F R Evans

G H Bailey

L P Banfield



1880 - 1921

1900 - 1929

1921 - 1927

1927 - 1948

1948 - 1960

1960 - 1980

Today   Manshead Upper School







old boys

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