Secondary School Days
Primary School Days
||This newspaper announcement of the Oxford
University degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, summer 1976 (first
half) shows JRT Lewis (bottom right) in good company with at least one
future prime minister.
Benazir Bhutto (left side, middle, circled), first female president of the Oxford union debating society, later became the first female prime minister of Pakistan. A certain A. Blair of St. Johns College, is found on the left below her (arrowed in margin). However, Tony Blair the future prime minister, was a member of St. Johns the year above. (Right-click any image to view it in full scale.)
||Matriculated at Oxford, I joined the Union
debating society (identity card photo, left) and enjoyed the Thursday evening
debates. The speakers included not only students but also celebrities
and cabinet ministers. Arrayed in the chamber are statues of former
members who became prime ministers. I usually hung my overcoat over
the bust of Gladstone.
My tutorial partner, Andrew Ferguson Smith, became an officer of the Union alongside one Benazir Bhutto.
|Secondary School Days|
||A somewhat painful blister inspection on
a windswept Tor (granite hilltop) on Dartmoor in Devon. We set out
early Saturday to conquer ten tors in a day and a half, carrying the required
50 pounds of camping gear and a compass each. The weather varied
constantly from blazing heat (and thirst) to instant, disorienting fog,
rain and even hail.
Notice the two officers in civilian attire
pretending not to notice
the aroma and blisters at foot check rendez-vous.
We were cleared to continue. (I'm second from left, in dark shirt.)
||In between the steep tors lay peat bogs,
in one of which Tony Hall fell. It took three of us to pull him out,
during which one of his army boots was sucked off his foot. (He left that
part out of his report, left).
The whole team of six 16 year olds, from all three cadet services, crossed the finish line Sunday afternoon.
Feeling slightly faint and weak after the 36 hour forced march, I emptied my combat jacket pockets to find I had been too busy to eat half my 24 hour rations.
||I'm lurking top right of the group. My brother Roger (an architect) is in second row, second from left. Colin Leach (oil drilling consultant), now also married to an American and living in Houston, is bottom left. Among the others I can spot a Hampshire county rugby player, at least one UK lifeguard champion, and Oxford athletics blue, an Oxford varsity football blue, the CEO of Shell UK. One was a frogman from the Special Boat Squadron, Royal Marine Commandos who later (for a change of scenery) served in the Parachute regiment. After his chute failed to open, he became an English teacher.|
||Aged about 12 at Bournemouth School.|
|Primary School Days|
||Thorns Primary School at Kenilworth: photo at ten years old (with National Health glasses, school uniform and natty class captain's badge.)|
|Kenilworth castle (our local attraction) had already survived a year's more conventional seige in mediaeval times. Then Dudley, Earl of Leicester and suitor to Elizabeth I, built the gatehouse at Kenilworth castle to impress her majesty. After two weeks of feasting, she still declined to marry him.|