A M D G

 

BEAUMONT UNION REVIEW

SPRING 2024

 

The most important day in the B U calendar is the LUNCH and we had a good attendance last year and those that came thoroughly enjoyed themselves: The majority spoke of looking forward to the next gathering. We have in recent years kept the cost as low as possible using funds available to us - it is important that no one should feel that they could not attend through expense. However, these funds are now nearly exhausted and the time has come to face reality and pay a market price. We could of course have a whip round asking for funds. Currently the membership stands at just over 300 but we only hear from about 160 ( as and when necessary) and of these only some 70 attend any form of BU gathering. I do not believe it is right to ask those who do not attend to subsidise those that do ( even if it would get some of them to make more of an effort themselves). The number of those aged over 80 comes to some 130 it is hardly an investment for the future. I for one am now drinking up rather than laying down!

We could look at alternative venues, the problem for a lunch is that other Clubs cannot accommodate us at Lunchtime which is when they are at their busiest and was the reason we left The East India. If they could, it would be at a similar cost and we have engendered a great deal of goodwill at the Caledonian.

An alternative would be Beaumont: this would probably mean including wives because of transport problems and the whole character of the gathering would change. We already have such a Family Do for Remembrance Sunday.

The great advantage of London is the transport connections easy to get to for most and no worry about Drink/ Drive.

The Lunch date is for Monday 7th October at the Caledonian. I cannot as yet give you a price but it is likely to be in the region of at least 80.

The Wilkins Micawbers amongst us are encouraged to start saving their pennies now.

.

NEWS

Boodles 15th December Lunch

The Bedford Group held their annual; Christmas Lunch at Boodles.

Host : Patrick Burgess Esq

Attendees: Guy Bailey Esq. John Wolff Esq, Anthony Outred Esq, Nigel Courtney Esq, John Flood Esq, Tim FitzGerald O Connor Esq, Michael Wortley Esq, Richard Sheehan Esq, Christopher Tailby Esq, Stephen Crompton Esq, Captain Christopher McHugh, Mrs Amanda Bedford.

Tony Outred was concerned that we were 13: If my maths is correct, we will need a cut out of Mike B , preferably with a large Boodles gin and tonic, to occupy the 14th chair.

ED; replied that on such occasions a Guest Bear occupied the chair - confirmed by Patrick that Bears in several liveries are available! and the menu would consist of:-

Potted shrimps( homemade )

Saddle of Lamb

Grand Marnier souffles

And after a long consultation with our wine steward we shall be getting some champagne beforehand (G&Ts available for those allergic to champagne) and Saint Veran and Lafon Rochet 2012. ( St Estephe and with lots of Merlot)

This raised further opinions:-

John Flood -

This sounds delectable and enticing and I have therefore confirmed to your sister that, due to a prior engagement, I will not attend the parish Christmas lunch that day.  
Should I bring a second BU tie for the bear?

Chris McHugh:-

Thank you and it all sounds delicious. Even Rumpole of The Bailey would relish Lafon Rochet 2012 at Pomeroy s wine bar!

Final word from the Editor:

Rumpole s John Mortimer said : There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. ...

 

The Absentees

          

Derek was in Phuket.                        Robert was in the Dolomites   

 

Ant Stevens was in South America a trip to Brazil,

A country to explore.

Having taken a little pill

Derek Hollamby was in Phuket for sea, sun and a bit more,

Robert Wilkinson in the Dolomites for the mountain air,

And the Toboggan run,

John Wolff had two funerals to attend, on his knees in prayer,

So, all said and done,

We missed the Boodles fun,

Our friends, the wines and gastronomic fare.

 

AWARD

OBs don t often figure in awards these days so I was pleased to hear that Hubert de Lisle ( Lt.- Colonel Grenadier Guards rtd) had been recognised:-

On the 14th July ( France s national Day) Hubert and his wife Mainick were decorated with the Life saving Medal for having saved a woman who attempted suicide by throwing herself over the parapet of the River Creuse bridge situated close to their home .

Chapeau !

De Burgh Remembered.

BBC One. Boxing Day programme Charles111: The Coronation year included footage of the party given by Queen Camilla for Michael s 100th Birthday at Clarence House. (available on Iplayer).

 

St IGNATIUS Invitation.

May I give (very) advance notice of the invitation by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ at Farm Street to all Jesuit alumni/ae to the Wednesday 31 July Feast of St Ignatius 6.00pm Mass and reception in the gardens afterwards.  

 

Jesuit Livery Alumni - Blandyke Dinner

Following a kind invitation from John Browne, the headmaster of Stonyhurst College, we have decided to hold our 2024 Jesuit Livery Alumni - Blandyke Dinner at Stonyhurst on 18th September 2024. We also felt that this was a good way to celebrate 10 years since our first dinner at Haberdasher's Hall in 2014.

 

We have made arrangements to stay at Theadore House (the retreat centre) which is located in the grounds the college and an outline of the arrangements will be as follows:

 

Arrive: Wednesday 18th September in the afternoon and enjoy a rugby fixture (7's or possibly 15's).

Early evening: Visit museum, archives and historic library with tour from the curator.

Evening: Reception and Blandyke Dinner in appropriate room for numbers attending.

Accommodation: Theodore House (single room about 70 B&B)

Thursday 19th September morning: 8:30am attend full school mass

Depart: Mid-morning

 

We would like to encourage as many to attend as possible and I hope you'll agree that this should prove to be a unique and very interesting visit. We have chosen to be there during term time in order to see a modern Jesuit boarding school in operation.

We anticipate that the cost will be approximately 70 for the accommodation and 100 for the dinner including wine etc.

Could you please let me know as soon as possible if you will be attending.

 

Further details will follow in due course.

 

Steve Hodkinson (Mount St Mary s). Past Master

The Worshipful Company of Plumbers. Carpenters Hall,1 Throgmorton Avenue

London, EC2N 2JJ T: 07801 397 799

 

BROTHER MICHAEL STRODE Book & RETREAT

 

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Bro. Michael s gift

I believe Michael has left us many gems within these pages. Some lie on the surface. Others need a little digging for. My prayer is that readers find them. John Wolff, author

Michael Strode s life and vocation is a remarkable story. Be assured that every Bishop in England & Wales will be following the journey of his Cause with great attention and prayer. Bp. David Oakley (Northampton)

To order the book

Online: By delivery, including UK postage www.brothermichaelstrode.org/book 19.75

Collection from CBMC hub in Epsom: secretary@brothermichalstrode.org £15.00

PLEASE NOTE; this price is for collection ONLY.

Follow in the footsteps of Br Michael Strode

HCPT and CBMC are cooperating to arrange this inaugural retreat which will take place between Tuesday 8th and Saturday 12th October at Hosanna House, home of HCPT s Summer pilgrimages, in Bartrès near Lourdes.

Join us on retreat in Lourdes this October for a special four-night stay. The programme will be centred around the life and spirituality of the late Br Michael Strode: doctor, founder of HCPT, Cistercian Lay Brother and potential saint.

Br Michael was a man of action in his monumental service of disabled people, but also a contemplative who sought closeness with Christ and his Blessed Mother and sought to encourage others to do the same. He has left a very valuable spiritual tradition to the Church.

The programme includes opportunities to participate in some of the liturgies in the Lourdes For more information and to book, please email:

bettinaherrault@hosannafrance.fr

To obtain and read Who are you looking for? before Sanctuary each day. Plus, all the things you would expect from HCPT s Hosanna House will be available - including worship in its very own chapel, views of the Pyrenees from every bedroom, and hospitality.

The retreat will be led by Fr Perry Gildea, CM, former HCPT Trust chaplain and current chaplain to the Committee for the Canonisation of Br Michael Strode (CBMC). John Wolff, also a member of CBMC and author of the recent acclaimed book about Br Michael, Who are you looking for? , will be taking part and discussing the proposed cause for Br Michael s canonisation during the event.

The price for full board accommodation and transfers is 350 euros per person. You would arrange your own travel insurance and travel to Lourdes (Ryanair offers flights from Stansted to Lourdes on those dates). DBS/PVG qualifying certificates are not necessary for this retreat.

For more information relating to CBMC visit:

www.brothermichaelstrode.org
the retreat, email secretary@brothermichaelstrode.org

 

 

"VATICAN RAG"

Francis Beckett wrote to me about his new play :-

 

Tom Lehrer

Back in 1959, someone I think it was Ed Monaghan turned up in second playroom with the first Tom Lehrer LP, and we played it over and over again.   

We d had humorous songs before Flanders and Swann, Ian Wallace, Peter Sellers but Lehrer s hard satirical edge hadn t reached Britain, and was not to do so until Beyond the Fringe burst on the London stage in the early sixties.

I thought Tom Lehrer was wonderful.  I wasn t happy at Beaumont, and listening to The Elements, or Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, or I Hold You Hand in Mine, or (especially) We Will All Go Together When We Go at breaktime was a medicinal dose of the irreverence, the nihilism and rebellion that I craved.  To this day I am word perfect in many of his songs.

I did not know then that the very next year, 1960, was the end for Lehrer the performer.  He gave up doing nightclubs, and only wrote songs for special occasions.  He spent the rest of his career as an obscure maths lecturer, first at Harvard and then at the University of California Santa Barbara.  He is now a retired academic of 95, very deaf but otherwise healthy, and he refuses to talk to anyone about his time as a performer.  No one knows for certain why he gave it up.

So last year I went to the management of Upstairs at the Gatehouse the London fringe theatre in Highgate Village which has been a home for my last two plays and suggested I write them a show about Tom Lehrer.  It would be an exploration into why he gave it all up, and we would weave into the narrative as many of his greatest songs as we could.  

They loved the idea, and that s what we ve done.  The show will be called Tom Lehrer Is Teaching Math and Doesn t Want to Talk to You, and it will be at Upstairs at the Gatehouse from 28 May to 9 June.  Beaumont will feature in the programme, and maybe in the script itself.   You can book on the theatre website or by ringing 020 8340 3488.  

 

Educating in Faith. A History of the English Catholic Public School

by Mark Cleary

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Book Details

Roman Catholic public schools in England emerged from the early 1800s as part of the wider educational mission of a Catholic church seeking to support a growing Catholic population.

Around a dozen such schools male, boarding, upper class and staffed by priests, monks and brothers from the dioceses and religious orders had emerged by the early twentieth century. Some Ampleforth, Stonyhurst, St Edmund s, Beaumont, the Oratory and Downside catered for an aristocratic clientele, whilst others Douai, Mt St Mary, Ratcliffe or Cotton sought more middle class pupils. Their objectives were similar: the creation of a new Catholic elite which might take its place in the Establishment.

By the mid-twentieth century, they were at their zenith but at the millennium they faced the challenges of declining vocations to the religious life, a stagnant Catholic population, and a series of child sexual abuse cases.

Educating in Faith seeks to place a diverse set of school histories within the wider demographic, social and religious development of Roman Catholicism in England. It seeks to move beyond the finer detail of school histories to better understand the place of the public schools within the Catholic educational mission and the nature of the academic, cultural and spiritual character of these institutions. As co-education, increasing competition, the disappearance of a religious workforce in the schools and the child sexual abuse crises altered school environments, the book reflects on the contemporary relevance, place and character of these schools.

About the Author

Mark Cleary was a Professor of Geography at the University of Plymouth and Vice Chancellor at the University of Bradford. He has published widely in the fields of historical geography and development studies and has had a long-standing interest in Catholicism and social issues in France and Britain.

BOOK published by Sacristy Press .

Ed: I have assisted Mark Cleary with information concerning the closure of Beaumont.

 

GOLF

THE BUGS meeting takes pl;ace at Westerham Wednesday 29th May. If you would like to come and support and join the party afterwards, please let me know.

 

OBITUARIES

I m sorry to inform you that the following have died.

Terence Christopher O Brien (54). Chardonnay : New Zealand Diplomat who was President of the U N Security Council during the Bosnia War.

Francis ( Frank) Aidan Staples ((57). Lloyds Broker and Marathon runner who completed the Three extreme events: Artic, Antarctic and Everest.

Agnes Schulte wife of Robert (54), Agnes came on our Battlefield tours and to Lourdes with The BOFS and was a marvellous hostess at Ch. Beaulieu.

Please see OBITUARIES (Dropdown)

 

ARTICLES

Hennessy

One of the great races of the National Hunt Calendar was The Hennessy first run in 1957 and with great past winners such as Mill House and Arkle. It is a race every trainer and owner would like to win: now called The Coral Cup it was won in November by the small yard where I keep my horses: Folly House, Lambourn and Jamie Snowden.

Discussing this via Email with fellow devotee of racing Richard Sheehan , he mentioned that he had a connection to the Family:-

The Hennessy connection; it goes back to a time when an ancestor (the O Mullane) was dispossessed of his land by Cromwell, although in a sense however he got his own back because a grandson became a prominent politician - he was a member of the O Connell family, Daniel by name whose mother was Catherine O'Mullane

The Hennessy in question was also in the same family tree and he was another Irish rebel who went to fight for the King of France.  His name was Richard and he later moved on into the brandy business.  Particularly difficult time for Catholics in those days, with blokes like Cromwell knocking around. 

So, the connection goes a long way back and all are from an area of North Co Cork, the Duhallow country. Besides being Ireland s oldest hunt it s renowned for the first steeplechase from Buttevant to Doneraile, home of the St Ledgers.  Incidentally the Wrixon Bechers were Masters of the Duhallow in their time but no relation of mine though a cousin of mine (another O Connell) was a recent Master. So, the area is steeped in the jump game.

BEAUMONT CONNECTIONS

Well, all this gave me an excuse to delve into the Hennessy connection to Beaumont and needless to say it is complicated!

Richard who is mentioned above had 3 grandsons Augustus, Frederick and James. Augustus had a son Richard who married his first cousin Martha Louise the daughter of Frederick .

Richard and Martha had two sons: Brigadier Richard ( Gordon Highlanders, keen yachtsman. OB 87). George ( Lord Windlesham OB 87: Granddaughter married Sir Philip de Zulueta OB 42). Richard dies and Martha marries Lord James Douglas OB 64)

Ld. James Douglas ( Uncle of Sir George Dixie OB 87 and Comdr. Albert Dixie RN OB 95) commits suicide .

Lady James Douglas ( Martha Hennessy) was made of stern stuff and carried on to become the first woman to own and bred an Oaks winner Bayuda in 1919; this, a year after she became the first woman to own and bred a Derby winner Gainsborough a Triple Crown winner to boot.

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Following Lord James s death she bough the Harwood Estate, near Newbury, in 1910. Seeking advice from her neighbour, the celebrated trainer, John Porter of Kingsclere, she set about founding Harwood Stud with the purpose of producing high quality yearlings for the sales.

After a slow start due to the Great War, the success of Gainsborough was followed by the filly, Bayuda. Sired by the St Leger winner, Bayardo, out of Jessica, a mare that bred nine winners, much was expected from Bayuda. She did not disappoint. In the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, she ran a close second to the season s top juvenile, The Panther, and followed up by winning the Cheveley Park Stakes in a canter.

However, after two moderate performances against the colts and a disappointing three-year-old debut in the One Thousand Guineas, behind Roseway, she was allowed to start at 100-7 for the Oaks. Two furlongs out Roseway took up the running, but the diminutive Bayuda, showing her breeding to stay on strongly and win by one and a half lengths.

Sadly, at stud, she proved difficult to get in foal and produced only one winner from two live foals. However, Lady James was not done with yet and bred the 1930 Oaks winner, Rose of England, for Lord Glanely.

In 1940, due to ill-health, Lady James Douglas sold her mares. Her Harwood Stud was bought by Mr Herbert Blagrave on condition Gainsborough ended his days there. Gainsborough was one of the Great sires of the 2oth Century.

Lady James died in 1941.

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Gainsborough (Joe Childs up) the 1918 Triple Crown winner

Back to THE FAMILY TREE.

The third brother James had two great grandsons. These were Raymond ( OB 09) who was killed on the Somme in 1916 with the 8eme Chasseurs Pied.

Maurice ( OB 09) who went into the Family Business but in WW2 fought with the French Air force as a pilot despite having only one eye. He took over from his father running the business during those War years and was then joined by his cousin Kilian. It was these two who decided to sponsor the Hennessy Gold Cup. Initially the race was run at Cheltenham in 1957 and appropriately it was won by Mandarin ( Fred Winter) and owned by Kilian s wife Peggy. The race then moved to Newbury.

DE MUN

Kilian Hennessy didn t come to Beaumont but his Mother Marguerite who was a de Mun had two nephews who did - Albert and Antoine de Mun (15). Marguerite was considered a great beauty and was painted several times by de Lazlo.

 

Antoine and Albert s Grandfather was the Marquis Adrien de Mun, politician, royalist and advocate of social Catholicism : he was also a strong anti- semite. Together with Rene de la Tour Marquis de la Charce, they organized a Catholic Workers' club, under the name "L'Oeuvre des Cercles Catholiques d'Ouvriers" at the request of Maurice Maignen (founder of the Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul). The clubs spread quickly throughout France. These "circles" or clubs brought together the wealthy and the workers from a given locale for prayer, socializing and lectures by members of the aristocracy.

Rene de la Tour also sent his son to Beaumont - another Rene (10) who went on to St Cyr and inherited his father s titles

More Racing Firsts .

Maurice and Raymond s Father James was like many of the Family involved not only in brandy but in Politics representing the Charente in the Senate but his great love was racing and breeding racehorses. He is best remembered for Luteur 111.

 

Luteur first ran on the flat and was so moderate that he became the trainer s hack, however by chance they found he could jump and jump well and James Hennessy decided to send the horse to England for a tilt at the 1909 Grand National. He won by a couple of lengths in a field of 32 and was one of the youngest horses at 5 to ever win the race.

1909 was also the year Edward Topham ( 96) took over from his father as Clerk of the Course and Handicapper at Aintree.

 

And Another;

When Rachael Blackmore rode to sensational victory in the Aintree Grand National on Minella Times in2021, it ensured her place in racing history as the first woman jockey to win the famous race.

She follows in the footsteps of a woman who lived in Meath and who also carved out a significant piece of history in the National.

In 1915, Lady Margaret Nelson became the first woman owner to ever lead in the winner the Aintree Grand National with her horse Ally Sloper. Lady Margaret was the mother of William (OB) and the grandmother of Sir William (OB). She was also the mother of Violet Mary Duchess of Westminster. ( The marriage to Bendor ended in divorce in 1926 over his affair with Coco Chanel).

Bred in England Ally Sloper was guided home by legendary amateur jockey Mr Jack Anthony and won by two lengths ahead of Jacobus.

Lady Nelson and her husband Sir William Nelson lived at Clonbarron House in Kildalkey. Sir William Nelson was a very successful businessman. He ran the Nelson Shipping Line based at Liverpool and made a fortune but he was also, along with his wife, very interested in horses. Sir William was also Uncle of the Argentinian Polo Players Jack and Luis Nelson (OB).

The Nelsons ran a renowned stud farm in Clonbarron, which is located on the road between Athboy and Kildalkey. One of their most famous horses was Tangiers which won the Ascot Gold Cup, the Newbury Summer Cup and the Jubilee Handicap.

Sir William Nelson died in 1922 and 10 years later Lady Margaret also passed away but not before making her mark in the Aintree Grand National, one of the most famous races in the world.

A MONDAIN PRINCE

Jean -Louis de Faucigny -Lucinge was a wealthy French aristocrat, a leader in high society , art collector, author, courtier and an important member of The Order of Malta. His is an interesting story .

Johnny as he became known from his schooldays was the son of Prince Guy whose family had ruled in parts of Savoy and were descended from Louis 1X of France. Johnny was born in Paris and had a younger sister Aymone whose husband Ct Francois Sauvage de Brantes would die in Malthausen Concentration camp in 1944: their daughter would marry the future French President Valerie Giscard d Estaing. Among his cousins was Bertrand, a man who would race Bugattis with Johnny s chum Pedro de Casa Maury after the Great War.

Johnny was sent to Beaumont, leaving in 1913. Among his contempories was Pedro, though usually called Bobby Casa Maury, Pr.Jean de Bourbon, Ct. Stanislaus de Rochefaucauld and Ct. Jacques de Sibour, all of whom would be part of the high society set.

Johnny returned to France when Boy Capel and Coco Chanel were making the mark and were soon joined by other OBs - Edward Molyneux and the Bohemian artist Sir Francis Rose and the art collector and party host Carlos de Beistequi.

Apart from his Paris home Johnny also owned The Rock a villa on the tip of Cap D Ail close to Monaco and painted by Winston Churchill during a stay.

Johnny and his friend Bobby de Cas Maury were to fall in love with the Twins at the same time and their story is intertwined and inseperable. Johnny s love was Baba d Erlanger.

Her real name was Mary Liliane Matilda, Baroness d'Erlanger, and the daughter of the banker Baron Emile Beaumont d'Erlanger and Marie-Rose Antoinette Catherine de Robert d'Acqu ria de Rochegude. Although born in France, she was educated and spent much of her youth in England.

She became a lifelong friend of Paula Gellibrand, "the Gellibrand", who became Cecil Beaton's favourite model. Baba became her fashion stylist and they were so inseparable that became known as "The Twins".

"Self-assured, direct, and haughty, not to mention stylish."

 

In 1919 Augustus John painted the portrait of Baronne Baba d Erlanger and Miss Paula Gellibrand It was commissioned by Freddie Guest, Winston Churchill's cousin, who, at the time, had an affair with Gellibrand. He loved her so much that although he was old enough to be her father, he confided in Winston that he was thinking of leaving his wife for her. Churchill did not approve at all, and it didn t happen. Other rumoured affairs included one with the Prince of Wales, with whom she was seen at the theatre, the races, and an appointment with a phrenologist.  She was also linked with Oswald Mosely. Because of these connections with politicians and royalty, it was even feared in governmental circles that she was a spy.

In March 1923 Baba was the bridesmaid to Gellibrand when she married Bobby de Casa Maury. Bobby, came from a noble Castilian family that had made its wealth, like the de Zuluetas in Cuba. After the war, he had the playboy image owning the first Bermuda rigged schooner in Europe and for driving fast cars. In 1922, he drove his Bugatti 30 into fifth place at the French Grand Prix at Strasburg out of nineteen starters, but at the only other event the Italian he was second to last! De Maury lost his money in the Wall Street crash which seemed to bring about the breakdown of his marriage and subsequent divorce. Paula was a big spender.

However, Peter made a comeback as Managing Director of Bentley cars and when he opened the first Curzon cinema in Mayfair. It was designed to create a sensation of unrestrained luxury for the film enthusiast and was followed by another on Shaftsbury Avenue. In 37, he married Freda Dudley Ward a woman with ungovernable legs, but knew how to be discreet : She had been the Prince of Wales mistress. They moved to a modernist art-deco house he had designed for them in Maida Vale by Sir James Burnett.

On 14 November 1923 ,Baba married Johnny at Westminster Cathedral it was the only church big enough for all the guests. Johnny was an art collector and benefactor but he always said his one regret was that Picasso wanted to paint Baba s portrait but we could never find the time.

They were patrons of Jos Maria Sert, Salvador Dal and Man Ray. Indeed, when Dali was having finance problems in the early Thirties, Johnny put together the Zodiac Group of 12 who financed the artist , one for each month, in return for a painting of their choice.

 

Apart from Paula, another of Baba's friends of this time was Natalie Paley, cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and wife of the couturier Lucien Lelong, and Baba became a model for him. About Baba, Cecil Beaton said "Baba d'Erlanger-Lucinge was the first to bring into fashion the exotic, simian grace of the jungle and thereby created an astonishing effect of originality".

PAULA

One cannot discuss Baba without her twin especially as their respective husbands were such good friends,

Paula Gellibrand was born in 1898 to an upper-middle-class family in the Home Counties. She was sent to boarding school and enjoyed hockey and hunting. She was an unremarkable schoolgirl with an unremarkable family. But when she met her best friend, Baba, things changed.  Baba s mother Mimi was an exciting person who held a famous salon for the arts in her home. She was known as the most important society hostess of her time. When she sent the girls out for a walk together in St James s Park, she didn t give them a English nanny to look after them but a turbaned Mameluke soldier in full Arabic costume.

Both Mimi and Baba were a huge influence on Paula.  They encouraged her to make the most of her unusual looks. By nature, Paula Gellibrand was an unaffected, somewhat hearty schoolgirl type, but by some freak of fortune she was endowed with an appearance of extraordinary sophistication. Her enormous blue eyes were surrounded by a halo of dark-mushroom coloured fatigue, giving her the appearance of being heavily made up. Her hands were of an extraordinary length and flexibility, is how Cecil Beaton described her.

 

The d Erlangers encouraged her to enhance those eyes with Vaseline on the lids and to wear extremely simple, almost severe outfits. Society columns describe her arriving at weekend house parties with a huge wardrobe of nun s habits , made from luxurious fabrics. Beaton describes her getting married in one, with scarlet fingernails.

 

Paula lived life with verve and never dressed down. Even in a period when her favourite outfit was a close-fitting, unadorned skullcap and a plain linen shift, the severity of her appearance combined with her  deathly pale face, dark shadowed eyes and strikingly tall, slender figure provoked stares.

She influenced fashion, modelled for Vogue, was photographed by Cecil Beaton and Baron de Meyer. She inspired a novel, and did not care who loved or hated her. In fact, she had her own displeasure list which socialites and style leaders fought hard not to appear on.

In 1924 Paula Gellibrand was immortalised as the heroine of Serena Blandish, or the difficulty of Getting Married by Enid Bagnold. Bagnold was a good friend of Mimi Rochegude, and had attended her salons, so she knew Paula well.  When I talk to you, I feel endowed with your sparkle, your health, your hope, your vitality says an infatuated suitor of Miss Blandish, aka Miss Gellibrand.

Bobby was Paula s second husband. She had a son, Peter, with her first husband whom she married in France, artist Ivan Wilkie Brooks. It is said that her son was born in 1915, but that would make Gellibrand 17 when he was born. It s not impossible, but would be surprising. What was probably not surprising was when Bobby lost much of his fortune in the Wall Street Crash, she divorced him rather than face a reduced life style.

Her marriage had conferred the title of Marquise de Casa Maury upon her. After they divorced and she married the war hero and diplomat William Bill Allen in 1932, she hung on to the title and still appeared in Vogue as the Marquise de Casa Maury, causing confusion as this made two of them, since Casa Maury s new wife Freda was also a beautiful socialite model with the same title who was also much in demand with the magazine.

Anyway, the marriage to Allen only lasted a year. Her final marriage was in 1938 to Edward Caswell Boy Long, a rancher at at Elementaita in Kenya. He was part of the hedonistic Happy Valley set.

It wasn t just men that Gellibrand got on well with. She had very close female friendships, not just with Baba but also another partner in crime, Alice, Countess de Janz whom she met in 1921. Alice later shot but then married and divorced Raymond de Trafford ( OG) youngest son of Sir Humphrey (OB). Alice and Paula went to the theatre, ballet, art exhibitions, parties and shopping for couture together, and Alice credited Paula with helping her through her post-natal depression. When Paula left London in 1923 after her marriage to Bobby, Alice was bereft. However, they stayed in touch and were to hook up again fifteen years later when Alice brought Paula to Kenya.

By the 1960s, Gellibrand was living in Nettlebed in the Chilterns. She remained vivacious and fun to be with, and local children remember her talking to them and recommending books.  She died in 1986 at the age of 88.

 

When Coco Chanel had opened a London boutique in 1927, dressing Baba, Paula and Daisy Fellowes the three were considered "London's leading beauties"

 

Back to the F-Ls

  

At The Rock in 1933 Johnny (left). Baba (seated right) Carlos de Beistigue (Right)

 

The Lucinges were legendry party people of that poque. The French have always loved dressing up and it seemed to reach a pinnacle between the wars when society and bohemia came together in a brief but happy mix. Artists, writers, poets, the gens du monde danced the night away. Coco Chanel loved them. Johnny and Baba hosted a famed outdoor ball, themed on the Second Empire in the Bois de Boulogne ending at dawn with romantically clad figures rowing on the lake. There were three or four of these parties each season and it seemed innocent entertainment when Europe was edging towards tragedy once more. They were frivolous but not trivial, childlike fun enjoyed by sophisticated people. Later in life, Johnny would say that these parties had style for it was important to look marvellous not outrageous, it was not showbiz and the fast-set celebs. The friends of Chanel, Molyneux, Rose, de Maury and Lucinge all moved and intermingled; Beaumont was also Beau Monde . Johnny produced a couple of books about the parties;-

Both are photographic records of Who's Who in international society in the mid 20th century and the lavish costume parties and masqued balls which they attended. Anticipated for months and discussed for decades, these legendary parties brought together all manner of extraordinary talent - composers, designers, stage designers, choreographers and photographers. Johnny assembled wonderful photographs of some of these most famous events, many of which have never been published before and come up with this absolutely fascinating account of the events with many photographs by Cecil Beaton.

The text describing the Legendery Parties book says:

The author, who traces his family to the 11th century when they ruled the Barony of Faucigny in Savoie, and who is active in French political and banking circles, records details of certain rarefied fetes held in France between 1922 and 1972, which he hosted or attended as a guest. He recalls the lavish costume balls presided over by such glitterati as the Count Etienne de Beaumonts, the Viscount de Noailleses and the Baron Guy de Rothschilds. In 1928, the author and his first wife "Baba," now deceased (he describes her as "exotically beautiful" and "one of the most elegant women in Paris"), gave a soiree, based on the theme of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, which ended at six in the morning under the Eiffel Tower.

 

When the war came Baba was arrested by the Gestapo as a Jew, but survived to die shortly after the liberation in Cannes, still young at 43. Johnny managed to escape and get to England during the Occupation where he worked with the Free French.

 

After the War, he remarried the daughter of a Brazilian Diplomat: Sylvia Regis de Oliveira in 1949 and it wasn t the end of the parties or at least there was the Greatest of them all : this was the Bestegui Ball.

 On September 3rd 1951, Don Carlos de Beistegui y de Yturbe or Charlie de Beistegui ( He followed his 3 de Yturbe cousins to Beaumont before he moved to Eton) threw a lavishly extravagant, decadent, masked, costume ball, which he called 'Le Bal oriental'.  The venue was his newly restored Palazzo Labia in Venice.  The ball was the first grand ball to be held after the second world war, quite a bold move considering Europe was still picking up the pieces and rationing was still in place in many countries, (food rationing in Britain ended in 1954).

Charlie was of Mexican and Spanish origin, he was the heir to a Mexican Silver fortune although he only went to Mexico twice, he was born in France before education in England .  Charlie was an eccentric, multimillionaire, art collector and interior decorator and one of the most flamboyant characters of the 20th century.  Despite all this he was not the most popular person, he was often described as being personally aloof and shadowy with a reputation of treating his friends and mistresses poorly.

Cecil Beaton wrote in his diary:
 "Beistegui is utterly ruthless. Such qualities as sympathy, pity or even gratitude are sadly lacking. He has become the most self-engrossed and pleasure-seeking person I have met."

 'His personal aloofness' did not stop people wishing to attend his party, his guest list was high profile and everybody who was anybody during that period expected an invitation. Guests took months preparing, choosing costumes and rehearsing grand entrances.  The ball helped launch Pierre Cardin s career, he designed thirty costumes.  Today, 'Le Bal oriental' has achieved legendary status and is indeed referred to as 'The party of the century'

 Excert from 'Wait For me!' Memoires of the youngest Mitford Sister, Deborah Devonshire:

The extravaganza gave rise to green-eyed jealousy over invitations and was the talk of London, Paris and New York for months.  Andrew and I were lucky enough to be invited.  He went in eighteenth century costume and I wore a simple, white muslin dress with a pale blue satin jacket, copied from a portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, by John Downman.

 

The ball was an unforgettable theatrical performance with entrees of men and women in exquisite costumes. M. de Beistegui, in a vast wig of cascading golden curls and a lavishly embroidered brocade coat, stood on stilts as to be easily recognised.  Daisy Fellowes regularly voted the best dressed woman in France and America, portrayed the Queen of Africa from the Tiepolo frescoes in Wurzburg.  She wore a dress trimed with leopard print, the first time we had seen such a thing (still fashionable today, sixty years on), and was attended by four young men painted the colour of mahogany.  So many women threatened to be Cleopatra that the host decided to settle it himself and named Diana Cooper for the roll.

Wine, food and entertainment were provided on the public square outside the palazzo for the citizens of Venice.  At least one Frenchman of noble birth, who thought he should have been asked to the ball, enjoyed himself among the crowd who were climbing up greasy poles for chicken and hams, and he was visited every now and again by the glamourous figures from the palazzo.  As this extraordinary night turned into dawn, we splashed our way down the Grand Canal back to our hotel, having had the time of our lives .

Johnny s second wife Sylvia also died relatively young in 1970 and he occupied much of his time for the Order of the Knights of Malta. He was Ambassador for the Order to Brazil followed by Austria and was President of the Association of Hospitals run by the Order. He was to become President of the Cercle de L Union Interalli , the French Red Cross and the Association for the safeguarding of Venice; there was a serious side to his life.

However, what gave him the greatest pleasure was when he took over from Charles de Noailles ( one of his Zodiac 12) as the Queen Mother s Escort on her holidays and visits to France .

 

The following is an extract from Queen Elizabeth the Official Biography by William Shawcross.

By the late 1960s Charles de Noailles, unlike the Queen Mother, was flagging; he stood aside and the role of her escort was taken on by Prince Jean-Louis de Faucigny-Lucinge, an elegant Frenchman of her own generation. He had known Queen Elizabeth since the 1930s, and during the war he had been at the French mission in Britain when he recalled later, she was very kind to the French. He came from an ancient family, and he had connections with .great houses all over the country. He was a most sophisticated tour guide and also arranged the Italian trips for her.

He found her an easy client. When we first arrive people are delighted, but probably sometimes a little nervous. Not for long though; she s such a charmer. It s that extraordinary natural niceness she has, and then that kindness, so He thought her love of France was in her Scots blood and she in turn was adored by the French, he said There s not a village we pass where people are not at their windows or in the street waving at her. I think she s about the most popular person I know, and in France certainly. Her vitality, he thought, came from her curiosity, her sense of fun and her natural good health. He thought her perceptive and able to see people as they really were, She rightly had a sense of her mission and role, and while people were. excited to see her he never saw anyone become familiar they wouldn t do it because she inspires natural respect in people.

Her sense of fun was very much to the fore on these trips and many of them featured moments that could have come from the pages of her beloved P. G. Wodehouse. On a trip to Burgundy, in 1976, the Prince arranged for them to stay at the Chateau de Sully, as guests of the Duc and Duchesse de Magenta. It was a chilly April; after dinner attended by a canon of Autun Cathedral who (according to Anstruther) ( Ralph Anstruther cousin of Michael de Burgh 41) wore a trendy white polo-neck sweater and was obliged reluctantly to say Grace , they all went on to the balcony and, in a light frost, fed the carp in the moat. The next day the Canon showed Queen Elizabeth his Cathedral; a choir of children held pink roses and sang Purcell in her honour.

An unhappy incident occurred when the Captain of the Gendarmerie, who was escorting the cars, was thrown from his motorcycle. into a ditch. Fortunately, he just missed hitting a telegraph pole, but even so he broke his arm in two places and looked alarmingly white as he lay on the ground. The Queen Mother and the Duchesse de Magenta covered him with a rug and a coat and they waited for forty- five minutes, picking violets and cowslips by the roadside, keeping a watchful eye on the Captain until an ambulance finally arrived.

At Cluny, the Queen Mother admired the stallions of the State Stud; at Tournus she stopped to see the Cathedral, its pink brick pillars aglow in the afternoon light. Lunching at La-Roche-en-Brenil with the Montalembert family ( Francois 59) she met again a dancing partner from debutante days, Comte Willy de Grunne. At one dinner, the Prefet s wife produced from her bag a mouth organ which she gave to Queen Elizabeth. When the Queen Mother retired to her room, she was serenaded by the son-in-law of the house, who for some reason was known in the family as Naughty Boy , playing a hunting horn outside. Queen Mother responded by playing the Marseillaise on her mouth organ from the window.

In 1977 came the turn of the great vignerons in Bordeaux. She stayed at Chateau Mouton with Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who showed her his cellars arid then drove her to lunch with the Baron and Baronne Elie de Rothschild at Chateau Lafite. In Pauillac, the entire town seemed to be on the streets to welcome her; :in one. If village the local pony dub formed a guard of honour, all waving Union flags. It was a shorter visit than usual and so at a lunch at the Chateau de Beychevelle she met all the owners whose great estates she did not have time to visit Latour, Margaux, Pontet Canet, Yquem.

When she went to the Dordogne in 1978 she was received by the Mayor of Limoges and the British Consul General Robert Ford. Her hostess on this occasion was the Baronne Henry de Bastard. Her house, the Chateau de Hautefort, had just been restored for the second time after the first restoration one of the neighbours children had lI apparently dropped a cigarette and burned it down.

On the first evening of her visit Queen Elizabeth attended a pre- dinner reception at the chateau for the Mayor and local notables. This was a great success, noted Anstruther wryly, t oo great, in fact, as they were still there after dinner. She was fascinated by the prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux which were opened especially for her. That was followed by lunch in a charming country hotel and then a visit to the beautiful town of Sarlat.

Her host and hostess in Lorraine in 1979 were the Prince and Princess de Beauvau-Craon, at their magnificent early-eighteenth century chateau, Harout:. The Queen Mother s hostess was struck by the fact that, along with her police officer, her dresser, two chauffeurs, a footman and a page (whose main task appeared to be mixing. extremely dry martinis), she brought a hairdresser with a broken arm. The Princess gathered this was because Queen Elizabeth wanted him to see France.

As with all of her visits, this one began with a reception for the local authorities. The Mayor and the municipal council came to Harout for drinks and presented her with a medal, which she examined closely and gave to Ralph Anstruther, saying, Gardez-moi ce tresor. They were enchanted. According to her hostess, Elle rayonnait she radiated warmth; although the visit was officially incogmto, going with her was rather like following a pop star ; people waved out of their windows and exclaimed, Qu elle est mignonne!

There was a long drive in pouring rain to Selestat in Alsace, for lunch at a restaurant with Commandant Paul-Louis Weiller, an air ace in the Great War. The restaurant served soup with frogs legs in it even though Clarence House had insisted that she did not like them. Laure de Beauvau-Craon recalled that Weiller had been called froggie in England in his youth, and was determined to make his Engliish guests pay the penalty. Outside the window, a band played gamely in the rain.

It had become part of the pattern of the visits that Johnny Lucinge would organize a private dinner at a restaurant, and this time it took place at Le Capucin Gourmand in Nancy. A crowd of striking workers gathered outside the restaurant: according to Princess de Beauvau-Craon, they had been locked out of their factory and wanted to force the Prefet, who was among the diners, to intervene, although Le Figaro reported later that they had intended to kidnap the Queen Mother to draw attention to their dispute. An unlikely story, perhaps; but it seems an angry crowd surrounded her Daimler as she left the restaurant. According to the Princess, the Queen Mother behaved like un torro face au taureau . She walked slowly towards the strikers, beamed at them and started to talk to them. She got an ovation and shouts of Vive la Reine.

She loved the beautiful library at Harout and one evening, as she sat there with a glass of champagne, hearing that Ralph Anstruther and others in her party were missing, she said, They must have found a low joint in Nancy. Her host and hostess told her that the family had buried its silver in the grounds of the chateau during the War but never found it again. To their surprise the plane which arrived to take Queen Elizabeth home brought out a large package from Harrods she had ordered it was a metal detector. Sadly, after digging several holes in the garden the Princess discovered only water pipes, and her husband put an end to her searches.

In 1980 Queen Elizabeth stayed with Monsieur and Madame Hennessy (Maurice 27) in Cognac, where she was offered brandy from the year 1800 to taste, before visiting historic chateaux and Romanesque churches. In May 1981, she returned to the Loire, eighteen years after her first visit, and stayed at the moated Chateau de Serrant, near Angers; this was once the property of an Irish Jacobite family which had assisted Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 45, and now belonged to the Prince and Princess de Ligne-La Tremoille. She watched a display by the Cadre Noir at the cavalry barracks at Saumur, and went to Gennes to lay a wreath of poppies at the memorial to the cavalry cadets who. had defended the bridge over the Loire in 1940 and held up the advance; they were nearly all killed. She was delighted with his trip, writing to Ralph Anstruther, I thought that this year it was better than ever.

In 1982 she made what was inevitably a rather formal trip to Paris to open the new wing of the Hertford Hospital, of which she was patron. She stayed at the British Embassy and called on President Mitterrand. Johnny Lucinge gave a cocktail party at his apartment, and among the many guests was Princess Olga, the widow of her old friend Prince Paul of YugosIavia, who had died in 1976.

In 1983 it was the turn of Champagne, where she stayed again with the Hennessys and then in a house which had belonged to the Chandon family. Champagne flowed throughout an excellent dinner She was driven around the miles of Moet and Chandon cellars in an electric car In Epernay she talked to a survivor of the Ravensbruck concentration camp, Madame Servagnat, who with her husband had been in the wartime Resistance and had helped British airmen shot down over France. Queen Elizabeth praised her courage. Vous avez donnez l exemple, Madame Servagnat replied

In 1984 the Queen Mother visited the Sarthe region, south-west of Paris, and stayed with the Comte and Comtesse Rene de Nicolay at the Chateau du Lude on the River Loir. The streets of the little town of Le Lude were decked with Union flags and Tricolours, the Mayor received her with a vin d honneur and the town band played God, Save The Queen and the Marseillaise before enthusiastic crowds. She is very bon vivant: the Comtesse later recalled.

At the Chateau de Bournel, a large nineteenth-century house in Franche Comte:, the following year the Marquis de Moustier was on the doorstep to greet her, but the rest of the family were off hunting a dormouse in the dining room: eventually they were presented to her. This house, which had wonderful views of the ligne bleu des Vosges , was unusual in France in that it had passed intact from father to son for many generations. After visiting Besancon and sights of the area, the Queen Mother was presented with a substantial and very heavy local cheese which was much appreciated after her return to Clarence House.

One should not underestimate the difficulty to which Queen Elizabeth s guide, Johnny Lucinge, was put in organizing these tours. The diarist James Lees-Milne, who could be unkind, recalled talking about it to Lucinge:

He has taken the place of Charles de Noailles in that he stays annually at Sandringham with the Queen Mother and pilots her around France each summer. Told me the difficulty was finding suitable hosts who were rich enough and possessed large houses with rooms enough and servants enough to accommodate her retinue, consisting of himself, Lady Fermoy, the Graftons, two maids, two valets, two detectives. He had just come from Sandringham and said the Q.M. is the only member of the Royal Family one could call cultivated. She has humour, and is never overtly critical. Interested, reads her prep. before making visits

Johnny Lucinge s daughter, the Marquise de Ravenel, later recalled that when her: Father ran out of castles in France, he looked to Italy, where fortunately he had good friends and Queen Elizabeth was happy to go there.

In October 1984 she visited Venice on behalf of the Venice in Peril Fund. (Johnny was President of the Fund). This was the first time she had been to the city since she and the Duke of York had travelled on the Orient Express to the wedding of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Princess Olga in 1923. All they saw of Venice then was the railway station.

She joined the royal yacht Britannia at Ancona and sailed into Venice on 25 October. As well as her usual guests, she had invited architect Sir Hugh Casson and his wife on this trip. He had accepted with great pleasure in a note adorned with a watercolour sketch of a corgi reclining in a gondola, adding that he had ordered himself a sailor suit. She entertained on board numerous Italian officials and nobles and, although her health was now failing, the ninety-year-old explorer and writer Freya Stark came from her villa at Asola in the Veneto. Queen Elizabeth had long admired Dame Freya s work, and in 1976 she had invited her to stay at the Castle of Mey; they had kept in touch since then with letters and Christmas cards.

 

The weather was poor and the tides were extreme during this visit. Rear Admiral Paul Greening, the Flag Officer in command of the royal yacht, was nervous that Queen Elizabeth s frequent tardiness might cause problems. It did on one occasion her launch ran aground in the mud and the church of San Nicolo dei Mendicoli, where parishioners were eagerly awaiting her, could be reached only by taking all the other passengers out of her motor boat. In St. Mark s Square, sudden rain forced her into the Caffe Florian, where she and her party were given a welcome tea. She was accompanied everywhere by swarms of photographers who, naturally, demanded that she be seen in a gondola. Her staff finally gave in and she made a short gondola ride with Admiral Greening. A really memorable spectacle, commented the lady in waiting.

Afterwards Hugh Casson sent her a booklet of sketches of the trip, which delighted her. Every page brings back memories, she wrote to him, mostly blissful, and one or two funny, like the speeches in Church! The Service was marvellously chaotic, & most enjoyable wasn t it? It is quite difficult to take in so much beauty in a few days, and your heavenly and lovely drawings will always be a great joy to me.

Johnny Lucinge arranged a trip to Tuscany in 1986. She stayed with Duke Salviati and his wife in their country house at Migliarino. Sir Harold Acton was among those who came to dine with her there. The next morning the Duke showed her around his greenhouses; he had started a business propagating seedlings for export and now employed 300 local people. For lunch they drove to the Villa Reale at Marlia, which had belonged to Napoleon s elder sister, Elise, when she was Duchess of Lucca and Grand Duchess of Tuscany.

One of the high points of the trip for the Queen Mother was a visit to the Villa Capponi, where she had stayed with her grand- mother before the First World War. She looked again at the view over Florence she had first seen some eighty years earlier, then drove to Sir Harold Acton s home at La Pietra. In yet another villa with an exquisite garden, she met Pietro Annigoni, who gave her a book of the frescos he had just painted for Padua Cathedral. On the last evening, Johnny Lucinge took her party to dinner at the restaurant Solferino in the village of Marcario-in-Piano; after an excellent alfresco meal, in the company of a group of friendly doctors from Lucca, the party drove to Pisa to see the Tower, the Cathedral and the Baptistery. The Queen Mother talked with a group of students who had a guitar and were singing Neapolitan songs.

In her six-page letter of thanks, she told Johnny Lucinge that he must be a magician to be able to conjure up such beautiful houses. The Duke, she said, with his splendid Graeco-Roman head made us feel so happy and the villas, the gardens, the picnics, the fun of it all, will always remain a happy wonderful memory . She loved the evening at Pisa and the charming restaurant dinner, with the doctors: I couldn t help wondering about their patients.

In 1987 she visited the Palladian villas of the Veneto. She stayed at the Hotel Cipriani in Asolo and saw Freya Stark again. In the Villa Maser she admired the frescos by Veronese, and visited the only country church that Palladio built; the same afternoon, in Castel- franc, she visited the eighteenth-century theatre and a young boy the British National Anthem on the piano as she arrived. She went to the Duomo San Liberale to see Giorgione s Madonna and Child. She went shopping for local china and tried the fiery local grappa; wherever she went she was greeted by enthusiastic crowds.

In June 1988, she took her party with Johnny to Sicily and Naples in Britannia. She was not feeling well when she flew out from London and was rather dreading her crowded schedule. But the Mediterranean sun-shine revived her and she carried out an exhausting round of official and private visits with her habitual zest and energy. In Salerno she laid a wreath at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Battipaglia, and met the gardener and his son who together had looked after the graves since 1945.

She entertained on board Britannia and on other occasions she was feted and feasted in beautiful palazzi in both Sicily and Naples. The Archbishop showed her over the exquisite Cathedral at Monreale above Palermo, and then gave the party tea in his palace. Hugh Casson, whom she had again invited aboard, was impressed by her stamina; after each full day s sightseeing at six-thirty every evening. she d give a party on the ship for all the local dignitaries, and at eight-thirty it would be a dinner party, and at midnight she d have the officers from the wardroom for a last drink before going toI bed. The British Ambassador in Rome, Sir Derek Thomas, agreed, he reported to the Foreign Office that Her sparkling personality, her unflagging energy, and her keen enjoyment of life so manifestly undulled by the passage of years were universally admired by all whom she met.

She enjoyed the Italian trips but her greater love remained France. When Prince Jean-Louis asked her at the end of the Sicilian trip, What about next year, Your Majesty? she replied, Oh you know, I miss France a lot. So that made me understand that she d like to g come back. But the Prince, her second cicerone and only three years her junior, was beginning to tire. In 1989 he took Queen Elizabeth to the Languedoc, where her party stayed in a quiet, comfonable hotel, the Hotel de la Reserve, in Albi on the banks of the River Tarn. There they visited the Toulouse-Lautrec family house, which now belonged to a young friend of Johnny Lucinge, Bertrand du Vignaud de Villefort, and his sister, whose mother was a Toulouse-Lautrec. The Prince had in fact asked the young man to take over his role.

The tour-director designate quickly discovered what he was up against. On the afternoon of the Queen Mother s arrival, after the customary reception for local dignitaries, he had left a short interval for the eighty-eight-year-old traveller to rest. Instead, he found himself hurriedly improvising a visit to two local villages in response to a telephoned request for something to do before dinner .

Two days later the party visited Toulouse on the same day that right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen was holding a rally there. The authorities were anxious to get Queen Elizabeth away before this began; she wanted to stay and said mischievously that she would love to meet Le Pen, in the event she left before the rally, having proved, according to Sir Ralph Anstruther s account, a greater attraction than the politician. She questioned du Vignaud about Le Pen; although conservative in her own ideas, she was worried by the tendency be represented.

Nineteen-ninety saw her in Brittany ; she took a French naval barge up the River Odet to Quimper and had an excellent picnic lunch on board. In Quimper itself the enthusiastic crowds were too big for her to be able to carry out a planned tour of the Old Town. At lunch the next day the Naval Pipe Band from Lorient played for her. They had gone to great trouble to learn a Scots tune Unfortunately, they had chosen the dirge Flowers of the Forest . De Vignaud managed to fix a visit to Karl Lagerfeld s ch teau Grandchamps, not particularly easy but great fun . However after the trip Johnny suffered a mild heart attack.

In 1991 she made what proved to be her last French trip. Appropriately, it was to Savoie, where Johnny Lucinge s family had once ruled over Faucigny as an independent state. Johnny insisting on coming since this was part of France from where his family came from. Being a very frail now, (he almost fainted at lunch) he dreaded that the Queen Mother would ask to see the family fortress ruin on the top of a steep hill. He was relieved when they merely looked at it the road.

They stayed at the Hotel Royale in Evian and toured chateaux, gardens and churches on the edge of Lake Geneva and in the mountains nearby, and laid a wreath on the memorial to Resistance fighters at the cemetery at Les Glieres.

In early May 1992 she added Spain to her European list, when she was invited by the Duke and Duchess of Wellington to spend a private weekend at their house near Granada. The trip included a picnic lunch and a drive round one of the estates granted to the first Duke of Wellington by a grateful Spain after the Peninsular Wars. The next day the Wellingtons gave a lunch parry to which the King Queen of Spain came, and on the last evening Queen Elizabeth the Alhambra .in Granada.

The last of these happy private excursions was to Umbria that same month. The only sadness to the trip was that Johnny Lucinge was not well enough to accompany her. On her first evening in Perugia, Queen Elizabeth gave a reception at her hotel, the Brufani, at which the Abbot of St Peter s Church invited her to come and see his church there and then which she did.

In Cortona she visited the Museo Diocesano, with its small but exquisite collection of paintings by Fra Angelico, Duccio and Signorelli. In the hot afternoon she walked up the steep cobbled street to the Church of San Nicolo and then drove to Santa Maria del Calcinaio, a beautiful, simple fifteenth-century church with a fine sixteenth-century stained-glass window. The next day the Marchese and Marchesa Antinori gave her an excellent lunch at their fortress-like home Castello della Sala with wine from the family vineyard, she then drove to see the Cathedral in Orvieto a large crowd in the piazza cheered her. On her final day she visited both basilicas in Assisi, saw the tomb of St Francis, and talked through a grille to members of a silent order of nuns.

 

Bertrand de Vignaud who was now part of the team was invited to Sandringham and took over over from Johnny as he grew frailer. You will be Zubov Johnny told him extending the Potemkin theme. Though steering an elderly group about from the generation of his grandmother, Bertrand found them spry and eager to enjoy themselves.

The following May Johnny died where he was born in the family home in Paris.

The Queen Mother was to make only one more visit to France the following year in 1992. The Queen was increasingly worried about her mother travelling, not to mention her companions and insisted they should stop.

It was a cause of much sadness, she always said how much she loved to be in the family . They had a lot of fun they may have been collapsing, but in their enthusiasm, they were like a group of children on a school outing.

In all the thirty years during which she made her twenty-two private tours in Europe, little changed from year to year. She moved in an exquisitely geared time machine, cocooned against the harsher realities of the modern world. Her travelling companions remained constant and vigilant; on each occasion she was generously and charmingly entertained by members of the local nobility or even royalty; and each year she saw beautiful churches, castles, palaces, houses, museums, monuments, gardens and landscapes, in two countries which she had loved since she was young. Her hosts went to immense trouble to ensure that she was received everywhere as a dowager queen should be regally.

Final TRIBUTE.

 

Prince Jean Louis de Faucigny-Lucinge Johnny to his admirers in international society was a wonderful man: gallant, distinguished and filled with joie de vivre. The late Queen Mother of England adored him. He was a Grand Seigneur.

 

MUIRHEAD again.

In the last REVIEW I wrote in more detail about Alex Muirhead ( 38) and his part in Op Houndsworths in the Morvan region of France in 1944: A highly successful SAS Operation. It was led by Paddy Mayne one of only 3 men to be awarded 4 DSOs ( Sir Basil Embry, father of Mark and Paddy was another).

More Information on the WW2 SAS has become available and indeed last October the Daily Mail had an Article entitled:-

The REAL Guns of Navarone: Author DAMIEN LEWIS reveals how Paddy Mayne's SAS triumphed in 1943 mission to blow up Nazi shore guns in Sicily while outnumbered 50 to ONE .

 

It was a mission echoed in 1961 action epic The Guns of Navarone, which starred Gregory Peck as the leader of a crack unit of commandos tasked with taking out the large-calibre guns on the fictional Navarone Island

 

As the darkened warship slammed through the storm-swept seas, never had the SAS attempted a mission such as this. Typically deployed as small units of a few dozen men in fast, heavily-armed jeeps, riding on that vessel were 287 elite raiders forming the tip of the Allied spear.

It was July 1943, and Blair 'Paddy' Mayne, the SAS's legendary commander, had been tasked to crowbar open Nazi and Fascist steel shores, as the Allies launched the push into what Churchill had called 'the soft underbelly of Europe.'

Codenamed Operation Husky, the massive invasion fleet, a force of some 3,200 warships carrying half-a-million men at arms, risked being blown out of the water should the SAS fail.

Uniquely for a Royal Navy warship, HMS Ulster Monarch, the vessel carrying the SAS, had the unit's 'winged dagger' emblem and the motto 'who dares wins' bolted to her prow. The ship's commander, nicknamed 'Captain Crash' for his warlike attitude, had decided it was entirely fitting for the daring and piratical mission that lay ahead.

As the storm raged, a cry went up over the ship's Tannoy: 'All officers report to the briefing room.' The summer calm had been transformed into towering seas, and Mayne faced an awful decision: whether to abort the mission.

The small, lightly-armoured Landing Craft that the Ulster Monarch carried were no match for these kind of waves. But if the SAS aborted, the invasion fleet would be sitting ducks, for a series of massive shore guns lined Sicily's clifftops. The Allied troopships would be blasted out of the water.

'The task of your Squadron is to destroy the Coast Defence Battery at 183239,' read the SAS's orders. Simple enough on paper. Far tougher in reality, and that was before the storm had hit.

Those massive shore guns were encased within reinforced concrete, making them immune to RAF bombing. They were ringed by 'barbed wire entanglements', machinegun nests and mortar pits, and the German and Italian defenders outnumbered the SAS some 50-1.

To make matters worse, the guns lay atop sheer cliffs, on the Capo Murro di Porco, the Cape of the Pig's Snout, a bare, rocky bastion offering precious little cover.

Somehow Mayne and his men had to scale those heights laden with their weaponry, and carrying enough high explosives to blast the guns apart. And now, to do so in the midst of a raging storm.

It was a mission echoed in 1961 action epic The Guns of Navarone, which starred Gregory Peck as the leader of a crack unit of commandos tasked with taking out the large-calibre guns on the fictional Navarone Island. 

Just like Mayne and his men had to do for real, the fictional troops also had to scale cliffs to get to their prize.   

During months of intensive training, Mayne had driven his men remorselessly, honing his unit to be the fittest and closest-knit band of brothers of any in the war.

With no jeeps to carry their crushing loads, they'd resorted to using bennies Benzedrine; speed to drive them onwards.

Having popped those 'pep tablets', exhausted men began 'swinging along together in grand style, singing and cracking jokes.' But no amount of pep pills could calm tempestuous seas.

'If this weather keeps up, I'm afraid the little boats won't be able to live in the water,' Mayne warned his officers. But as enemy searchlights swept the seas, Mayne gave the order that they were going in regardless. The stakes were simply too high to abort.

That daring decision led to the first SAS casualties, as men were flung overboard and injured, in the chaos and hell of launching the landing craft. Boats were smashed apart and holed. But far worse lay ahead.

As the surviving landing craft motored for the shore, eerie silhouettes loomed out of the darkness. At first Mayne, riding in the lead vessel, feared they'd been detected by a patrol of enemy E-boats fast, heavily-armed attack craft.

But then the grim reality struck home.

These were the hulks of Horsa and Waco Hadrian gliders, sunk up to their wings in the raging seas. Ghostly cries echoed across the water, and torches flashed out SOS signals, as British paratroopers pleaded to be saved.

As Mayne and his men knew well, some 2,500 airborne troops were supposed to drop by glider further into Sicily, to seize a string of enemy targets bridges and roads, plus the main enemy port.

But blown off course by the storms, 69 gliders had crashed, leaving hundreds to drown. The conditions on the 9 July could not have been much worse as a gale had been blowing most of the day and it continued into the night. Nevertheless, the gliders with their tug planes took off on time. In front of them lay a 450 mile flight at an altitude of about 100 feet above the sea and in such conditions the glider pilots had a job to keep their craft on station behind the planes. Worse was to come as approaching the coast the Italians put up a huge artillery barrage assisted by searchlights. In the words of General Sir John Hackett; It was a disaster, the American tug pilots with virtually no protection in their Dakotas and with little or no battle experience were panic-stricken. This was their first experience of flak and they cast off the gliders over the sea at night in a high wind and too far out for them to make landfall . Over 300 of the gliders, the pilots and men of the airborne forces were lost on that fateful night; amongst them was Victor Whittington Steiner (37) one of the glider pilots.

Right now, Mayne faced his second nightmare decision. Did he pause, to drag some aboard? Or did he press on with their mission? The SAS's task was all-the-more vital, if the airborne landings had failed. Mayne and his men might be the only elite force to make it to their targets.

Deciding that to delay for even minutes risked leaving 'the main invasion fleet at the mercy of those coastal guns,' Mayne paused only to pluck one paratrooper from the sea, to find out what had happened. Then the flotilla motored on.

At the rocky shoreline the massive gun emplacements loomed above. Delayed by the storms, the SAS were way behind schedule. Mayne ordered his men to go in with fixed bayonets, figuring the gleam of moonlight on cold steel would strike the fear of God into the enemy.

Having trained so relentlessly, the SAS scrambled up the cliffs within moments. Still no alarm had been raised. One troop, commanded by Lieutenant Alex Muirhead, scaled those heights laden-down with an 81 mm mortar and dozens of shells.

So crushing were their loads, each man appeared like a giant tortoise, burdened under a massive shell. But the effort was more than worth it. The opening salvo was fired, the muzzle flash of the mortar ripping apart the storm-lashed darkness. Incredibly, that first round landed smack bang in the midst of the big gun's ammunition store. Moments later all hell let loose, a stupendous blast erupting above the gun emplacement, throwing fire, rock and debris above the headland.

The explosion set the surrounding grass ablaze, silhouetting the target. Bloodcurdling wails echoed across from the gun emplacement, as if of a 'child crying for its mother.'

Regardless, Mayne led his men on their bayonet charge, even as further shells from Muirhead's mortars exploded all around. Screaming in, and wielding Bren light machineguns from the hip, the SAS poured deadly accurate fire into the enemy's machinegun nests.

Vaulting over the wire, one man, Lieutenant Davis, had the rear of his trousers ripped out. Sensing a 'draughty section around my nether regions', Davis was far from deterred. He led his men to the bunkers, hurling down grenades at close quarters.

Sensing he was under a land attack, as opposed to yet another RAF bombing raid, the Italian commander had radioed his German counterparts for back up. Their garrison lay just nearby.

But the German's commanding officer refused to believe that any Allied forces could have landed in such stormy conditions, and refused help. So, on one level, the storm had proved a blessing.

Within minutes, the first massive shore battery had been taken. Though 'the blood was running high and we were in real killing mode,' Mayne's raiders were forced to hold back from grenading the largest of the bunkers. They were found to contain Italian women and children villagers, sheltering from recent air raids.

They seemed 'numb with fear.' It turned out Italian Fascist leader Mussolini's propaganda had been so convincing the locals believed that only rape, pillage and murder would ensure if Allied troops set foot on Italian soil.

The Italian soldiers were rounded up. There were so many that they outnumbered their attackers. They 'had the unkempt look... of men who have fought long and hard in impossible conditions,' Mayne's men observed.

Amazingly, apart from a few minor injuries, the only losses suffered by the SAS were Davis losing the seat of his trousers, plus an SAS original, Johnny Wiseman, dropping his false teeth at the height of the fighting.

Guns seized, Bill Deakins Mayne's demolitions expert now had to destroy them. The giant guns were of solid British manufacture, and Deakins had to lace them with masses of explosives.

Deakins triggered the fuse, causing 'crashes and sheets of horizontal flame,' as 'flying pieces of metal whined eerily above our heads.' Once the echoes of the blasts died away, he returned to inspect his handiwork. He signalled to Mayne the good news: 'Guns destroyed.'

Incredibly, this would be but one of four such gun batteries that Mayne and his SAS would storm that night and the following day. Their superhuman efforts would ensure that the Allied fleet sailed past unmolested, spiriting troops and armour to shore.

Paddy Mayne and the SAS Attack on the Second Battery.

By Ian Murray

The SAS Special Raiding Squadron (SRS) should have withdrawn after taking the gun battery on Cape Murro di Porco. Instead Major Paddy Mayne opted for more fighting.

 

Alex Muirhead photo SAS SRS & range finder in Battery AS 493

Jubilant men of the SAS SRS celebrate the capture of Battery AS 493, with the battery s rangefinder tower in the background. Source: Muirhead

Mayne had a reputation as a gifted leader and a natural-born warrior. He also had a reputation for having little respect for senior officers, and for going his own way. Thanks to books and TV documentaries, the word rogue has become firmly attached, rightly or wrongly, to both Paddy Mayne and his men. When used in this way, the word cleverly combines both the sense of maverick and lovable rogue .

So, did Paddy Mayne go rogue in Sicily? His orders appear to have given him wide latitude, so disobeying them would seem hard to do.

If, during your withdrawal, you make contact with other hostile Batteries or defended localities you will, if the task, in your judgement, is within the power of your Sqn, destroy them.

 

http://www.operation-ladbroke.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Maddalena-batteries-C-Operation-Labroke-com.jpg

 

Other units were warned where they might come across the SRS, to avoid friendly-fire incidents. After destroying the guns on the cape, the SRS were expected to head towards the nearest flat beach, which was in the armpit of the Maddalena Peninsula, near an area called Terrauzza. This was also the nearest place where a road exited the Peninsula. From there the SRS could either re-embark for the HMS Ulster Monarch, or they could head due west towards the main highway. Here they would encounter the main force heading north to capture Syracuse.

But the SRS never got as far as the beach at Terrauzza. At first it seemed as if Mayne had indeed decided to go back to the ship but in fact they got no closer to the beach than Masseria Damerio, a farm which they had seized at the start of the operation. It now served as the rallying point for regrouping after the fight at Lamba Doria.

The SRS after-action report, probably written by Paddy Mayne himself, explained what happened next:

The main task being successfully achieved the Squadron assembled at Farm DAMERIO and I decided to push North-westwards and attack C.D. [coast defence] Battery which had opened fire on us.

The reason given for taking this decision is no longer that he objected to being fired on, but that he feared for the safety of the invasion ships. This, after all, was the why the SRS had landed here in the first place.

http://www.operation-ladbroke.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/milmart297.jpg

 

Fascist Blackshirt artillery militia (Milmart) manning their 102/35 gun in battery AS 493. Source: Ufficio Storico Marina Militare

As to whether the second battery fired at the SRS, or the shipping, or both, there are conflicting reports. At least two accounts by SRS men say the battery fired only on ships, but an Italian report mentions the battery firing on approaching enemy troops, although it s not clear which. The second battery was known as AS 493 by the Italians, with the AS identifying it as one of many batteries in the Augusta and Syracuse Fortified Zone.

Mayne ordered the mortars to bombard the battery while 1 and 2 Troops advanced to capture it and put it out of action.

The SRS report continues: Pushing forwards 3 Mortars engaged C. D. Rangefinder and Gun positions.

AS 493 was a dual-purpose battery, with both an anti-aircraft and an anti-ship role. The battery s rangefinder was a large stereoscopic device for measuring the exact distance to a target such as a ship. It was mounted in what looked like a turret on top of a pyramid, to give it maximum height and view. Usually in Italian batteries there was a bunker-like room below the range-finder, which was the fire control centre, from where instructions went to the guns.

The SRS mortar detachment was commanded by Captain Alex Muirhead. He kept detailed notes of its fire missions that morning. His mortars had already done sterling work in the taking of the Lamba Doria battery, opening the attack by firing 60 HE (high explosive) shells and 12 smoke shells. Muirhead recorded that he had learned lessons from this first action:

Hits on buildings & gun area by H.E. causing casualties & confusion. Smoke [shells] caught 2 cordite dumps. Smoke invaluable as incendiaries [on] houses or grassland. H.E on hitting tile roof penetrates before exploding.

Muirhead now repeated a similar mix of shell types in a series of fire missions against AS 493. The first was fired at a range of 1700 yards, from near Casa Mallia. Bursts in the target area were seen. The team then moved forward 250 yards, to a position in front of the farm, and fired again. This time there was one hit on Range Finder tower .

Finally the SRS mortar men went forward almost as far as AS 493 itself, and cheekily fired on it from an improbably point-blank range of 250 yards. It seems they set up behind a house close to the battery s perimeter, with Muirhead noting:

Possible to fire at this range if no wind or behind house. Hits in gun pits .

 

We have several accounts by Italian gunners in AS 493. One of them, an officer, noted the effectiveness of the SRS mortar fire. The officer had earlier led a patrol towards Lamba Doria, which he discovered had been overrun. He wrote:

I immediately turned back, and re-entering the battery I phoned Group South HQ and told them everything. Until then they had been completely in the dark about the true situation. Together with my commander we prepared the battery for close-quarters defence.
Then the gun pit of No. 5 gun took a direct hit from a mortar bomb. Another fell near the fire control centre. Some men were wounded, and others killed. We began firing with an 8mm machinegun, but soon this position also took a direct hit.

The SRS report on this attack concluded:

http://www.operation-ladbroke.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Peter-Davis-SRS-at-E-Russo-v-small.jpg

 

The capture of AS 493 fully vindicated Mayne s decision to head north rather than west, but more was yet to come. Up ahead were two more batteries guarding the entrance to Syracuse s harbour. One was another anti-ship battery like Lamba Doria, this one called Emanuele Russo and was captured by just a handful of troopers:

The other, and last, battery was numbered AS 309. It consisted of six 76mm dual-purpose guns. It was dealt with by Muirhead s mortars alone. He wrote that the results of firing 22 bombs at it were:

Cordite dump on fire. Hits on guns or barracks. H.Q. evacuated

Muirhead s mortar men were the unsung heroes of the clearing of the Maddalena Peninsula. They carried the heavy mortar tubes and base plates, and scores of rounds of heavy ammunition, for miles in scorching sun and intense heat. They then fired with verve and accuracy, and to telling effect.

After the last two batteries had been dealt with, Mayne finally led his men westwards. They spent the night at a farm called Luogo Ulivo. It was only a thousand yards from the highway where the SRS had been expected to join the main force on the first day. Instead they did this the next morning, the 11th, nearly a day late. This had no detrimental effect on the possible further operations mentioned in Mayne s instructions, as apparently no such operations were required on the 11th. It was not until the next day, in the afternoon of the 12th, that the SRS set sail again in Ulster Monarch on an operation, this time to capture the port of Augusta.

Whether Mayne obeyed or disobeyed his orders, or merely slightly bent them, nobody was complaining. Acting on his initiative had paid handsome dividends. Whether he had gone rogue or not, however, it seems he could not resist being roguish. He completed his report with a prank.

Reporting on the overnight stay at Luogo Ulivo, Mayne wrote that at the farm his men had captured 50 Gallini and normal complement.

As Mayne no doubt fervently hoped, this was reworked by the CO of all the special forces, who put this in his official report:

On the next day the S.R.S. captured 50 more prisoners which were sent back with those captured previously under escort of the 5th Div.

Gallini were not in fact some species of Italian soldiery, but hens, and the normal complement of hens is, of course, eggs.

The SASs mission had been an unprecedented success. As General Dempsey, then their overall commander, would state, it was 'a brilliant operation, brilliantly planned and brilliantly carried out.'

The assault on these shore guns would be but the first of a string of such daring raids across the length and breadth of Italy, which proved Mayne's SAS to be the finest of fighting forces.

Alex Muirhead reflected that Mayne could be as combative intellectually as he was in action, but I always found him ready to accept a reasoned argument even in heat of battle. There is no doubt in my mind that Paddy was a great leader and if we had not been successful under his leadership I doubt the SAS would have been reformed after the War .

 

Side Line.

In the Summer 21 REVIEW I wrote a general article about the SAS wartime exploits and inferred that Old Amplefordian David Sterling had not, as he claimed come up, with a novel idea for long range raiding groups Lawrence and Joyce had already done so in the Desert of WW1 and the Commandos had already begun such actions. Also, he must have known of the remarkable exploits of the Italian Amadeo Guillet in East Africa early in the War.

David Sterling has now been reassessed by various authors and it does not reflect well on him.

Stirling resented Mayne. Paddy , as the Irishman was known, was the man Stirling wanted to be; the gifted sportsman and superb guerrilla soldier, respected by his men and admired by his peers.

Stirling struggled to earn either the respect or the admiration of the soldiers in the SAS. He lived in the shadow of Mayne, whose exploits in the Libyan Desert in the winter and spring of 1941/2 were in stark contrast to his own incompetent attempts to destroy Axis aircraft. In two raids on Tamet airfield in December 1941: Mayne was becoming a legend and Stirling a liability. It was as well he was captured through his own incompetence in January 1943 and to add to that, he gave away valuable information as a POW. When released he didn t return to the Regiment.

Following Mayne s death in 1956 Sterling set about a denigration of Mayne, firstly in a book he commissioned entitled The Phantom Major, it was an extravagant and embellished account of Stirling s War in which he was transformed into Mayne. Stirling became a legend to the men who served him, there was no trap from which he could not fight his way, no occasion on which he could not outwit the enemy a blackbearded giant with inexhaustible energy the dark, shrewd eyes shone with a cold determination. Mayne was painted as a sullen, inarticulate and undisciplined Irishman whom only Stirling could bring to heel.

It set the tone for the insidious assassination of Mayne s character over the next three decades, all of the defamation encouraged by Stirling. He told another biographer in the 1980s that Mayne was prejudiced against Catholics (he wasn t comment by Alex) and that he had a blockage when it came to logistics and administration.

The most damning description of Mayne, however, was the biography Rogue Warrior of the SAS, published in 1987, for which Stirling wrote the foreword and contributed his opinion of Mayne. The book alleges that Mayne was a misogynist and a homosexual. He wasn t, but Stirling was, and his cunning complicity in spreading such falsehoods was his final and ultimate revenge.

Paddy felt his true vocation in war; he was well suited to it Paddy had controlled recklessness, but he wasn t the hard drinking fearless mad Irishman of popular myth. He was intelligent, sensitive and warm underneath and set himself high standards as a soldier and he expected his men to strive to attain similar excellence. He had no time for wastrels, one reason he disliked Stirling. Veterans remembered his solicitude for the men under his command and recalled that Mayne was very careful of his men and so would do very good planning . He was a solicitor in retirement.

Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness until they believe these to be virtues. Their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude - and destroy if possible - those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and courage.

 

GISS - GOSS

GISS GOSS is THE REVIEW gossip column with tittle-tattle gleaned from various sources.

RETURN to the FOLD.

I spend time deleting names from the membership list as OBs die off or loose their marbles and no longer respond so it is High Day when someone makes contact wishing to join after so many years. I heard from Duncan Wills (66) who was one of those who had to go up to Stonyhurst ( in his own words he didn t conform). I asked him what he had been up to in the last 50 odd years and he replied:-

After Stonyhurst, being disillusioned by the UK of the late sixties, I emigrated to Canada and went university in Toronto, studying mathematics.  An interesting aside: one of my lecturers turned out to be a Beaumont old boy - McNamee (John, I think). ( Ed John Michael (50) who had previously won an Open scholarship in Maths to Cambridge: author of A bibliography on roots of polynomials 1993 and others )

I spent ten years in Canada in chemical engineering and moved to South Africa in 1979 to set up a business for Woodall Duckham Limited, which later became part of Babcock International.  I served on the board of Babcock Africa and was transferred by them to Texas in 1990 to develop a similar business.

I left Babcock in 1994 to establish my own engineering consulting business: it was initially registered in the USA but after a few years I moved it to the UK.  While the business is registered there, I have never lived in the UK, except for the time at school.  I was born in Iran and grew up in Kuwait (my father worked in the oil industry): local schooling in those days ended with primary school, hence my posting to St John s and Beaumont.  I imagine my father chose Beaumont on the advice of a very good friend of his in Kuwait, Tony Garstin, who was an OB and whose three sons (Patrick and twins Michael and Richard) were at Beaumont at the same time as I.

Since then I have spent extended periods in France, Germany, China, and Iran on assignments for various clients.  

My main hobby is sailing: I own a 45ft sloop which I bought when in France in 2004 and sailed it with my wife over period of five or six years from Normandy to Turkey, with long stays in Portugal, Tunisia, Malta, and Turkey.  We sailed it back to Malta three years ago and are now resident there.

I have a commercial pilot licence and have owned planes in the US and Europe which I used extensively for my business travel.  I sold the last one around five years ago, once I had used up the eighth of my nine lives.

I still run my consultancy and at present have projects in Italy, India, Iran, UAE, USA, and South Africa.

I will certainly try to attend the annual lunch.

 

QUENTIN remembered

Simon Potter wrote: reading the latest newsletter I was gazing through the anecdotes of Quentin de la B's about Jesuits. FIVE of them were taken verbatim from my book "Carry On, College!" (pub 2011) which I knew Quentin liked! What a magpie the dear old boy was!

Ed: HOWEVER, one piece of Poetry which Quentin did not plagiarize is the following:-

She was black but beautiful

Nigra erat sed pulchrosa
Dozing 'neath an eiderdown.
I asked myself: do you suppose her
Nipple's black on bosom brown?

Had it been an invitation
When she said she wore no bra?
Sometimes the slightest indication
Says where a lady's feelings are.

I did not wish to catch her napping
Till her little feet I spied;
For sleeping girls whose toes go tapping
Want waking in the countryside.

I felt the evidence was heaping;
Could I refuse a plain request?
And you cannot leave a lady sleeping
If she really wants the rest.

Her cobweb blouse was scarce concealing
Nipple black on bosom brown;
I found the prospect quite appealing,
So I took her eiderdown.

Quentin served as a counsellor for the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council. Like public speaking, counselling was a skill that enabled him to share his personal values with clients in business, married couples and family members in proposing solutions. His personal integrity was impressive; he would always examine a whole situation very carefully before offering advice.

 

ED: Did this include removing eiderdowns?

 

BROWN S or should it have been FORD s

A throw away remark by Gerry Ford to me at Remembrance Sunday Lunch concerned Brown s Hotel. If History had turned out differently Gerry might have been presiding there rather than Rocco Forte as this famous establishment was for the majority of its lifetime in the ownership of the Ford Family.

 

I followed it up with an Email to Gerry:

Just checking up on Browns - what relationship are you to Henry Ford ?  I feel an article coming on. My parents always stayed there: I recall one dinner party they gave in the 70s, a somewhat riotous evening together with my old school chum Michael Tussaud.

Gerry replied:

I presume you mean the original Henry Ford? My grandfather, Henry Joseph born in 1857 before the motor magnate!  Henry educated at Mount St Mary s, called something different in those days, but a Jesuit establishment. His father JJ Ford and he created the Browns we know today.  Forte has commissioned a book on the history of Browns which is due for publication any day.

My mother s family the Gilberts had 8 girls and one boy, Tristram Gilbert, OB. Four of the girls became nuns after Ascot, in about 1965 the Conners, cousins, had a family reunion and assembled all the 9 siblings. John Gilbert, Tristram s son, brought his future wife a very black girl. One of the nuns pronounced it a great day only one black spot on the occasion. Different times different attitudes, but my wife has never forgotten it. 

All the best, Gerry

 

The Morning Post, 12th March, 1832

SPACIOUS APARTMENTS. To Families and Members of Parliament J. BROWN begs to inform them that he has just fitted up the House, 23, Dover-street, Piccadilly, where he is confident every convenience and comfort will be found.

 

History is much more fun than just a list of dates.

We could make a quick timeline of Brown s: its foundation in 1832; the golden age under the James John Ford and his sons after 1860; the expansion into Albemarle Street in 1886; the end of family ownership in 1948; the purchase by Rocco Forte in 2003; and the grand reopening in 2005. But history is much more fun than just a list of dates.

Legends are like limpets. The task of history, therefore, is scrubbing the hull clean to reveal a story more interesting and deeper than first thought. And what a story it is, populated by such a diverse cast of characters: royalty and rulers, lords and ladies, politicians and presidents, diplomats and bureaucrats, heroes and heroines, writers and publishers, con artists and crooks, spies and war criminals, actors and journalists, bartenders and waiters, friends and foes, members of the armed forces, doctors, religious leaders, entrepreneurs, explorers, businesspeople, inventors, scientists and newly-weds. Here are some of their stories. 

Literary Figures

Storytellers have always found Brown s cosy, comforting air to their liking. One of the hotel s biggest fans was Rudyard Kipling, author of If and The Jungle Book. It became like a second home from the day he was married until his death 44 years later. He described it affectionately as our faithful, beloved, warm, affectionate Brown s Hotel. Brown s has provided inspiration as well as excellent service to its writers. Agatha Christie was another literary guest and At Bertram s Hotel owes much to her experiences at Brown s (minus the bit about the hotel being an organised crime ring). Stephen King wrote the outline of Misery, his 1987 novel about a deranged fan, at the hotel fuelled by tea and jet lag. Mark Twain, Tom Wolfe, Arthur C Clarke, William Golding, Joseph Conrad and Jorge Luis Borges also stayed here.

Birth and Weddings

Sarah Brown gave birth to both her children at Brown s Hotel, starting a trend followed by Mrs J Gubbins, Mrs H W Kingsbury and the Countess of Dudley. A birth of another kind occurred in 1876: Alexander Graham Bell made Britain s first telephone call at the hotel. The hotel s proximity to the fashionable church of St George s, Hanover Square has long made it a favourite for honeymoons and wedding receptions. Future American president Theodore Roosevelt, who gave his profession as rancher , stayed there before his second marriage in 1886. He was also on hand when his niece Eleanor married another future American president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Inevitably the couple honeymooned at Brown s.

Royals

Brown s has a long history as a haven for royals and rulers in search of comfort, cosseting and a low profile. While some came for sightseeing and others for a taste of ordinary life, most came of necessity having been sent into exile: Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians during WW1; Haile Selassie following the Abyssinian Crisis in 1936; King Zog of Albania in 1939. King George II of Hellenes was Brown s longest royal guest, using it as his British base between 1924 and 1935, and making his suite the court of the Greek royal family.

Life during wartime

In the lead up to World War II, American aviator Charles Lindbergh was the first guest to be recorded flying himself to Britain. During his stay he discussed the state of aviation in Europe, dropped in on American Ambassador Jack Kennedy and his children, had lunch with former prime minister David Lloyd George, stayed with the Astors at Cliveden and had his first practice putting on a gas mask. During the war itself Brown s welcomed servicemen and politicians from the Allied nations. Dutch Prime Minister Peter Gerbrandy, known as The Sea Lion due to his enormous moustache, took up residence at Brown s for the duration and declared war on Japan from his sitting room. The hotel thus became a revolving door for figures involved in the war, such as Field Marshal Gort, General Wavel and Admiral Vian.

Whilst London was at war, Brown s added an air raid shelter to its facilities. Swiss manager Anton Wallimann worked hard to ensure a familial and warm environment for his guests. He struggled to find food and the staff to serve it. Another problem was the endemic thievery. As a result, at teatime every waiter received one teaspoon that was passed from one guest to the other and reclaimed after everyone had stirred their tea.

Changes through the years

Brown s site has expanded significantly from the initial townhouse at 23 Dover Street. 21, 22 and 24 Dover Street were added by James Brown, while the Ford family expanded into Albemarle Street. 

When James and Sarah Brown started the hotel, it was pitched as a private hotel catering to the country gentry. Visitors could not stay at the hotel unless they were personally known to the Brown family or had a letter of introduction. Even as the hotel expanded throughout the Victorian era this emphasis on discretion and privacy continued, providing a point of difference from the larger and more flashy hotels built by deep-pocketed corporations. In 1905 Mark Twain wrote that Brown s was a homelike, old-fashioned English inn, a blessed retreat of a sort now rare in England, and becoming rarer every year. It was only by the latter half of the 20th century that Brown s found its swing as a more public-facing hotel, with its legendary afternoon tea and the opening of a bar helmed by the legendary Harry Craddock.

The current era: 2000

Rocco Forte Hotels bought Brown s in 2003 and the hotel was re-opened by Margaret Thatcher after a top-to-toe renovation in 2005. Brown s continues to be a family affair, guided by Sir Rocco Forte, ( an OG) his sister Lady Olga Shawcross and his children Lydia, Irene and Charles. They follow in the footsteps of former owners James and Sarah Brown, James John, James and Henry Ford and the Bon family. 

In 2016, the hotel opened The Kipling Suite, dedicated to the author who was believed to have written The Jungle Book during one of his many stays here and designed by the talented, Lady Olga Shawcross.

In 2032, sooner than expected, we will be celebrating 200 years of Brown s a date that we now know will be correct. 

If you are interested in learning more, Andy Williamson s book Brown s Hotel: A Family Affair was released in January 2024.

 

ICE HOCKEY.

Beaumont was one of very few schools that would take up new games and sports regardless its size or experience and Ice Hockey was typical. What is more we should excel.

Article written for the REVIEW April 1935 by Richard Anderson (37) later Captain of the School, Woolwich Maths Prize, Royal Engineers, WW2 Italy MC, Malaya MID. Lt- Colonel OBE.

To the majority of the 180 boys at Beaumont, Ice Hockey means next to nothing; it is just a Canadian game which a few enthusiasts are trying to introduce into England. They are wrong. Ice Hockey is no longer a strange game played only where natural ice is always available. It has become so popular that ten thousand people will sometimes gather together to watch a match. However, in spite of the ignorance of the school as a whole, an Ice. Hockey Club of Beaumont boys has been formed, and this article is intended to draw attention to their activities.

Those in authority declare that 1934 one of the most successful years in the history of Beaumont; surely then the time has come for the College to expand and increase the number of departments in which it may achieve success. In a year or two contingents from most of the large schools will be included in the Public Schools Ice Hockey Club; Beaumont, having started on the ground floor may well become established as the leading exponent of this sport.

A few years ago, no school boy had ever handled a puck or discovered the difference between tube and figure skates, but to-day there is in existence a club of young Ice Hockey players. The aim of this club is to popularize lce Hickey in the Public Schools so as to promote a sporting spirit in the game and so give rise to a succession of English-born players who will have learned to play in England. It is hoped that this Club will soon become an association or league of clubs, and that the teams included in ii will play each other for the League Championship. An annual visit to the Continent has been planned, but this year it had to be cancelled through lack of a sufficient number of members. However, it is almost certain that next year players representing English Public Schools will visit St. Anton-am-Arlberg in Tyrol, with the official invitation of the National Union of Austrian Students.

Here follows a list of matches we have already played.

  1. Grosvenor House............. Lost 2-3
  2. St. Paul's.......................... Won 3-2
  3. The Rest.......................... Lost 3-5
  4. Wembley.......................... Won 4-0
  5. St Paul's........................... Lost 1-3
  6. The Rest.......................... Won 6-0
  7. Public Schools................. Won 6-2

The organization of all our practices and matches has been attended to by W. Gold smith, and we owe any success we may have to the first class coaching given to us by Gordon Dailley of Grosvenor House Canadians, Wembley Lions and England. For purely quixotic reasons he has spent much of his time teaching us the rules and tricks of the game.

 

Gordon Dailley Beaumont s Coach and mentor

 

Gordon Dailley graduated from the University of Manitoba, and was a star of pre-war hockey in Britain as well as a member of the 1936 Olympic gold medal winning team. Dailley came to Britain, in 1933, by working his passage across the Atlantic on a cattle boat and donned ice skates to play for the Grosvenor House Canadians. The following year, he moved across London to play out of the newly opened Wembley Arena, firstly for the Canadians, then with the Lions from 1935-37 and finally with the Monarchs, as captain until the outbreak of war.

After the 36 Olympics Dailley, solid defenceman captained Great Britain to a third European gold medal in the 1938 championships staged in Prague, and followed that up by leading the side that competed in the World Championships in Berlin a year later. In all, he represented his adopted country, having qualified by residence, in five World Championship tournaments.

Joining the Canadian army, Dailley excelled in the military, rising to then rank of Major. He went on to serve with the United Nations peace-keeping force in Korea and was promoted to Colonel in 1955 and was subsequently posted to Yugoslavia as Canada s military attach . Prior to his retirement, he commanded the military base at Gagetown in New Brunswick.

Evidence of the interest which has already been aroused in the project of allowing boys in the Public Schools to practice at Londons leading rinks is supplied by a paragraph in one of the Wembley Ice Hockey programmes. This paragraph mentions. The occurrence |of practices at Wembley and gives a list of the schools from which the players came ; Beaumont heads this list, although it was only ten days since we had joined the Public Schools Ice Hockey Club.

It is important to note that we joined the latter club as individuals eager to gain the privileges of membership, not as a team. We hope, however, in time to gain official recognition of Beaumont in this sport, in anticipation of the time when the Public Schools Club shall become the Association of Public Schools Ice Hockey Clubs.

At present, I think we could hold our own with any school in England. but in order tv keep level with the progress which is being made elsewhere, we must start recruiting more players. I would therefore recommend anyone who can skate reasonably well, and would like to try their hand at the fastest game on earth, to apply to W. Goldsmith for details about the times of practices and matches.

R F N Anderson

 

Follow up Article March 1937 by Walter Goldsmith (37) Captain of Cricket WW2 Royal Marines.

Is with regret that we have to announce that the Beaumont Ice Hockey Club will to function after the end of the season in May. This is not however due to lack of support, but to the fact that as members leave school it becomes increasingly hard to get them all together.

The last article which appeared in The Beaumont Review, the popularity of Ice Hockey in this country has grown enormously so much so that last year the British Olympic Team won the triple crown ; the Olympic, World and European titles. This interests the Beaumont team particularly because it was Gordon Dailley our coach who scored the deciding goal. He has been the coach of the team during its short but successful life and this year led the British team. To win the European Championship. This opportunity I taken to give a short history of the tlub since its foundation.

During the Easter Vacation, 1933, six Beaumont boys happened to go skating one afternoon at the Park Lane Ice Club, and after the session were invited to play hockey. They naturally all played together and the idea was conceived of forming a Beaumont Team, and by the end of the week, a fixture had been arranged with Grosvenor House Canadians. A side. The match was notable for the talent shown by the team as a whole, and especially by Anderson who astounded the professional players by his wonderful saves. Playing against experienced men the team only lost 3-2. This incidentally was the first Junior hockey match played in this country.

 

By the next season a full team had been formed with its headquarters at the new Empire Pool and Sports Arena, Wembley. Matches were played twice a week, the details of which are given further on.

At Easter, l935, a cup was offered by the British Ice Hockey Association for the Public Schools Championships, for which four teams entered. Beaumont won the first round against Cranleigh by 5-0. The final was played before a record crowd of I 8,000, and Beaumont were unfortunate to lose by 1-0.

Later in the season a match was instituted against Queen s for the Queen s Challenge Cup. Beaumont won this by 2 goals to 1.

In 1936, owing to lack of practice, and the absence of many members in Switzerland, the Club decided to play only one match, against Queen s. This they won again by 2 goals to 1. .

Team has reached a very high standard of hockey and has gained a reputation for fast, clean play

R. Anderson has always been brilliant in goal and has saved the team from many a severe defeat. A. Dottridge and B. Oland have formed a heavy and effective defence.

The first line consisting of P. Burden, W. Goldsmith and J. McNiven combined to make brilliant play at times and worked very hard, frequently having to play without relief during a whole match.

The second line consisting of P. Brown, P. Burton and A. Chamberlain, were the one weakness in the side as they had not had all the skating opportunities that the others have in skating

During these holidays, matches will be 1 played at Queen s, Wembley, Earl s Court, Richmond and Brighton,

The team will be stronger than before as G. Chilver-Stainer comes in to strengthen the 2nd line. Anderson will be more useful as a forward now and his place is taken by A. Greenland. The. Team. Will. Be :

Goal: A. Greenland. Defence: A. Dottridge, P. Brown ; Ist Line: P. Burden W Goldsmith. J McNiven; 2nd Line: G. Chilver-Stainer, P. Burton, R. Anderson. 10th man : G. Scrope.

Match results

1 Cranleigh won 5-0

2 Wembley Lost 0-1

3 Queens. Won 2-1

4 Queens. Won 2-1

 

Beaumont s overall record was that it won the Queen s Ice Hockey Challenge Cup three times in 35, 36, and 37. A short lived history but an unequalled achievement.

 

DIPLOMAT at the Highest Level.

From the New Zealand Press:

With B U Tie

Former top diplomat Terence Christopher O Brien​, who has died in Wellington aged 86  is remembered as a free thinker who perfected the art of diplomacy and high-stakes negotiations.

Though born in England t Irish parents, for more than 40 years he faithfully served New Zealand as a diplomat with postings in key cities such as London, Brussels, Geneva and New York.

He is credited as a Giant of New Zealand foreign policy contributing to the country s prosperity today.

Helen Clark​, former New Zealand Prime Minister described O Brien as a staunch advocate of New Zealand s independent foreign policy .

 

He was always prepared to offer free and frank advice, and was well respected for his integrity and expertise, and he spoke of the debt that thinking New Zealanders owe to Terence O Brien .

He was referring to the frequent contributions which, in retirement and in writing and commentary, O Brien made to public knowledge and understanding of New Zealand s place in the world, and issues that mattered to the country. O Brien was an eyewitness to some of the most important events in post war New Zealand and global history.

 

O Brien was born to Oliver James (Paddy) O'Brien​, former New Zealand Chief Inspector of Air Accidents, and Margaret (Peggy) O'Brien​, an accomplished concert pianist, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in 1936.

His family moved to New Zealand in 1940 and his father trained Royal New Zealand Air Force pilots in World War II.

O Brien briefly returned to Britain to continue his studies, which included time at University College, Oxford, before settling back in New Zealand.

 

(Ed: Terence came to Beaumont in 1948 and was in the successful Rugby XV that won 7 matches including Downside and Dulwich.)

 

After joining what was then called the Department of External Affairs, his early overseas postings were to Bangkok, London and Brussels in the 1960s and 1970s.

In Brussels, O Brien was part of the team that helped negotiate a deal with the European Community giving access for New Zealand dairy products to Europe when the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community in the early 1970s.

That period made clear both the opportunities and the limitations of small-country diplomacy.

 

O Brien was a strong believer in New Zealand carving out its own foreign policy separate from dominant powers such as the United States.

He was unafraid to push New Zealand to think for itself, and to use every opportunity to deploy effectively its soft power credentials as a small, modern, internationally minded and multicultural democracy.

In the mid-to-late 1970s he served as New Zealand s first accredited representative to the Cook Islands.

From there he went on to become New Zealand s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva (1980-83), to the European Community  in Brussels (1983-86) and finally to the United Nations in New York (1990-93).

He is thought to be the only foreign service officer to have headed all three offices .

O Brien is perhaps best credited with leading the successful campaign for New Zealand to be elected as a non-permenant memember of the U N Security Counci one of only four terms the country served, including the most recent in 2015. 

He once claimed the campaign had involved at least 400 one-on-one lobbying encounters.

O Brien presided over the council in 1993, an especially busy time as it met frequently to address various trouble spots in Europe and elsewhere.

A personal highlight was a Security Council mission that visited war -torn Bosnia  in April 1993, an experience he described as harrowing .

 

Returning to New Zealand later that year, he went on to become the inaugural director of the Centre for Stategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. To celebrate his 80th birthday, his family also established a scholarship at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington.

He taught at graduate level and launched his second career as a much-sought-after, perceptive observer of regional and global events.

 

Chris Seed​, MFAT s Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, says that O Brien continued making an out-sized contribution to the national discourse on our foreign and strategic policy .

He described O Brien as a gentleman who left an extraordinary legacy and whose counsel would be greatly missed.

O Brien s long diplomatic career made for a colourful and varied childhood for his four children, John, Georgia, Daniel and Timothy​.

John recalled meeting then prime minister Robert Muldoon​ when he came to visit in the Cook Islands and playing croquet with then prime minister David Lange​ in Belgium.

His father was a very principled person who was true to himself.

At age 11, when John wanted to photocopy something using the machine at the New Zealand Embassy in Geneva, his father told him the taxpayer shouldn t have to pay for it.

He made me pay 20 cents to the petty cash officer to pay for my photocopy.

 

His father had a great affinity for New Zealand and did not like it when someone, including his own sister, called him a Pom.

When asked by family why he didn t have a British passport, O Brien replied: Why would I need one, because I m a Kiwi?

It was this passion which drove his work, though there was a degree of sacrifice involved in O Brien s role.

 

He was often not able to spend much time with his family, sometimes forgoing family holidays as he had to work.

He was very dedicated to New Zealand. He was passionate about it having its own place in the world, says John, something which made him immensely proud of his dad.

His wife Elizabeth​ says sharing a life with someone in such a prominent diplomatic role had its ups and downs.

Living in different countries and getting to know different cultures was very rewarding, as were experiences that went hand in hand with that life. On the other hand, the endless cocktail and dinner parties were hard to endure.

 

She credited their 60 years together to their shared values and the example set by their parents.

Outside work, O Brien was described as a voracious reader, and a sports enthusiast who enjoyed rugby, cricket and other sports.

Dan says his father was also a francophile and bon vivant who enjoyed some of the finer things in life food and wine.

He was a raconteur, he loved to be around people, regale them with stories.

He had elephant-like memories for people and places and a good understanding of what made people who they were.

Daughter Georgia agreed her father had a true joie de vivre who enjoyed his work and travelling the world experiencing different cultures.

He enjoyed talking to people, listening to them, always trying to keep his mind open.

He also deeply loved his family, she says. He was always interested in what his children and grandchildren were doing, and what their opinions on world affairs were.

 

ALSO AUSTRALASIA

 

Paul Podesta escaped the British winter for a while to visit his school chum John Cronly (60)

 

 

WHATEVER happened TO:-

Anthony (61) and Alastair Ching (65)

Seeing the names in an old REVIEW, I noted that their surname had been changed by deed pole in 1959 to Warwick-Ching and so a quick google ( there cannot be many Warwick-Chings)

Anthony Warwick-Ching's career has taken him from mining in Africa to a spell in the City, and a close involvement with British industry throughout. Author of several books, he now focuses on economic history. He is the author of:-

 

 

Stolen Heritage: The Strange Death of Industrial England Paperback 11 Aug. 2020

Britain was the cradle of the industrial revolution. Its manufacturing prowess sustained a unique global standing in the nineteenth century, bore it to victory in the great wars of the twentieth, was a trusty servant of its domestic needs and imperial pretensions, and an enduring source of pride. Quite suddenly, this pre-eminence has vanished. Only yesterday an industrial giant, the UK is heading for the third division.

How on earth did this happen? Where did so many of our great industries, and the companies that served them, go? What happened to all those household names and world leaders? How did industrial employment, once 40 per cent of the labour force, collapse? How were well-paid, robust and rewarding jobs in manufacturing supplanted by poorly-paid, insecure and low-grade work in services?


Stolen Heritage offers answers. Answers that should provoke concern, dismay and anger. It goes beyond denouncing the shortcomings of neoliberalism to chart its workings in practice. It tracks the life and death of Britain's industries, vigorously contesting the orthodox view that their demise was inevitable, and it looks at prevailing political ethos, and dogma, of the time. Finally, it looks beyond the immediate perils of Brexit to ways in which something of value just might be salvaged from the wreckage.

I could find nothing on Anthony s younger brother Alastair.

 

EVEREST RUN

Just one of Frank Staples events .

2010 Article in The Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard.

MARATHON runner Frank Staples from Great Somerford is used to extreme conditions. He has run marathons at the North Pole and in Antarctica. But to mark his 70th birthday this summer he chose one of the toughest of the lot the Everest Marathon.

Even the journey to the start line was tough, involving a 14-day trek to the base camp from where Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing started their historic ascent. Frank s first sight of Everest came just before the plane nosedived towards a tiny airstrip at Lukla that is famous for what pilots describe as controlled crash landing.

A few hours later the runners kit was loaded on to a train of yak-cow hybrids and they had begun the slog to the marathon start line.

"The daily trek along zig zag uneven terrain, criss-crossing shaky suspension bridges over rivers, deep gorges, plus some steep rocky uphill sections, passing other trekkers, porters, pack animals, including ponies, donkeys and mules, varied from four to seven hours," he said.

After three days they reached Namche Bazaar, the race headquarters and the location of the finish line. There they loaded the kit onto yaks and started the difficult climb to the start line."The rocky paths, plus the steep climbs were beginning to affect us all," said Frank. "At this height the oxygen level reduces to around 60 percent of that at sea level.

"This made progress very slow, but was more than compensated for by the stunning views of the great giant snow peaks of Everest in the distance."Acclimatisation rest stops were necessary to avoid acute mountain sickness which can strike young and old, fit or unfit.

As the athletes climbed rock-strewn landscape and two glaciers they passed memorials to climbers who had died on the mountain. They also had to avoid being pushed off cliff edges by yak trains heading in the other direction."The final hours on the trail were some of the most arduous on the trip, with the thin air now at 50 per cent of that at sea level, making it hard to put one leg in front of the other."

After they arrived at Everest Base Camp they had to undergo a medical check before being allowed to enter the race the following day.Acclimatised Nepalese competitors had the advantage over the Western runners.

Frank said: "Many of us were soon gasping for breath attempting to negotiate even the slightest incline."Although the course was generally downhill there were some tough climbs and obstacles like boulders to contend with. It was only when they had dropped 1,000 feet that breathing became easier, he explained. Even right at the end they faced some large rock steps.

But he was elated as he rounded the last bend and saw the finish line ahead of him and a crowd of locals cheering the runners on.

ED: Frank was not a team player at school but he was sportsman: his first love was horses and he was the Boys Champion at the Pony Club Championships ( Combined training of dressage, cross-country and show jumping) riding for the Beaufort.

At Beaumont, he was allowed to go up to Englefield Green and ride out: Paddy Hughes Young ( son and heir to Ld St Helens) was at Eton and not allowed to exercise his pony, so Frank did it for him. Paddy served with me in the 11th Hussars and was sadly killed in a Point-to-Pint in 1970.

SHENSTONE: not quite what the J s had in mind.

John Marshall sent me the following:

When you have a moment amidst all the research projects you are constantly involved in, I have another topic for you.

Three years below me at Beaumont was a boy called Simon Shenstone . He had an extraordinary knowledge of American Plains Indians and was wheeled into our A level History class to tell us about them. End of story. Rumours had it that after Beaumont he came to the USA and lived in a tepee. When I caught up with him in the noughties he was an Anglican clergyman living in British Columbia. 

Now is he related to Beverley Shenstone the man behind the development of the Spitfire s elliptical wing?? Beverley was after all Canadian.

I will be in UK late March and early April and I hope to stay a couple of nights at The Rag!

Ed: No direct link that I can find but Beverley would have worked alongside Mutt Summers the Chief Test Pilot on the Spitfire and whose son Patrick ( 43) was at Beaumont.

Simon Shenstone left Beaumont after O Levels in 66 but went to Westcliff to finish his School education.

 

Reverend Shenstone retires

Reverend Simon Shenstone recently retired after 28 years at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Grand Forks.

Craig Lindsay Jan 18, 2016 Grand Forks Gazette.

 

29617grandforksaRevShenstoneWEB

The Reverend Simon Shenstone retired recently after 28 years with the Boundary Parish

It s been a long, storied journey for the Reverend Simon Shenstone, who recently retired after 28 years at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Grand Forks. As the head priest for the Boundary Parish, he also precided over St. Jude in Greenwood and St. Mary s in Kettle Valley.

Shenstone, who officially retired on Dec. 31, is planning on staying in the area with his wife.

Bob Purdy, who was an assistant to Shenstone since 2004, said Shenstone was very involved in the community and was a great person to work with. He was very much the pastor to the town of Grand Forks, said Purdy. Everyone knew him. He was at a lot of public events including most of the Remembrance Day ceremonies. He took a lot of Legion funerals and other funerals and weddings. He was involved in the ministerial with other clergy and with the Anglican Diocese of the Kootenay. He was also chaplain for three years with the B.C. Anglican Youth Movement.

Shenstone was born in a seaside town in Essex in Southeast England. It s opposite Belgium and north of the Thames, he said. I went to a lower school and for my teenage years I went to a Roman Catholic boarding school run by Jesuit priests.

Growing up, Shenstone was fascinated with North American First Nations, particularly the Lakota (Sioux) people. When I could, I studied all the anthropological books concerning the Lakota people and their culture, he said. When I was 18 I left England and came to the United States and went to live on a Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I stayed there for the summer of 1969 and then hitchhiked all around the U.S. and Canada having all kinds of adventures as one does when one is just turning 19.

During that time Shenstone met his wife Juno on a Greyhound bus going across the United States. I got on in Oakland and she was already on the bus, he recalled. I noticed her but it wasn t until we got to Salt Lake City that we started to sit together and talk.

Juno was living on a Chippewa reservation in northern Minnesota, while Shenstone went back across the pond. I would send her postcards when I returned to England, he said. I wrote to her and arranged to meet her in her home state of California in the spring of 1970.

The two were married that summer and lived together in a tepee in the foothills of the Sierras (California). Sadly, a friend of theirs accidently burnt the tepee down shortly after they were married and they lost most of their possessions. Shenstone went back to England but would soon return to North America with Juno.

I decided I wanted to return and live in a tepee in the wilderness of the badlands of South Dakota, said Shenstone. But that didn t work out because the Vietnam war was on and if you immigrated to the United States, you got your draft papers with your immigration papers.

The young couple then decided to head to Canada in an old 1950 Dodge truck with their new tepee in the back. After crossing over into Manitoba they headed west to B.C. and settled into the mountains by Christina Lake.

We moved around to where there was good water and wood, said Shenstone. We were hunter/gatherers for about five years, moving our tepee around from place to place in the mountains above Christina Lake.

 Eventually the Shenstones bought some property in the area and built a cedar log house. Shenstone took on a variety of jobs such as trail builder, archaeology assistant and park ranger. During that time he became reacquainted with Christianity and attended Perley Church in Christina Lake and the Pentecostal Church in Grand Forks.

  By the mid 80s I felt a calling to a deeper ministry in Christianity, he said. I had become a volunteer lay preacher for the United Church in Grand Forks. I also took regular service in the church at Christina Lake.

Shenstone went back to England with his family and studied theology at Oxford University. I graduated from there in 1988 and was placed by the Bishop of Kootenay at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Grand Forks, he recalled. I became deacon in charge of Boundary Parish in June of 1988. I was ordained priest the following year and became priest in charge of Boundary Parish. I have had that ministry ever since.

Shenstone has always loved the beauty of the Boundary area and that s one of the major reasons he plans to stay in the area with his wife now that he is retired. I would often travel to dioceses and conferences and various things and carpool with other priests, he said. As we would come through Grand Forks I d often remark about how beautiful the city it is with the treelines, the highway, the old houses that you see along Central Avenue, just the beauty of the place. The Kettle River is also very attractive and you can float down it in the summer.

Shenstone also enjoyed the people he has come across during his time the Boundary. Especially the cross-section of English and Russian. I ve always felt some affinity for, in particular, the spirituality of the Doukhobors.

Back in the spring of 1997, the old Holy Trinity Church in Grand Forks burnt to the ground just short of its centennial celebration. Shenstone was responsible for helping rebuild the church. I had some input into the design of the church, he said. It was finally put together by an architect from Nelson and he took some of my ideas and made it happen. So, the building of the present day Holy Trinity is certainly one highlight from that time.

Shenstone said the true highlights of his career have always been being part of and witnessing the spiritual awakening of parishioners. There have been many, he said. It s always a joy to see somebody released from oppression. Anything that helps them live their lives in a more real way to find the way of Christ. When people release that guilt and become free and feel forgiven.

Shenstone said we are all one with God whether we know it or not. He always wanted to bring into focus the love and compassion that we can express in the world through our beliefs. When we show love and compassion to one another we are displaying God, we are showing God, we are incarnating God, we are making God real.

The Shenstones raised four children, three daughters and one boy, all of whom live in the Kootenay region. They also have eight grandchildren with one on the way. Shenstone plans to stay in the area and work on fixing up the family s 32-hectare property above Christina Lake.

WIKIPEDIA ENTRY

I have mentioned before that I sometimes miss OBs and their achievements and one such is Pat Le Marchand (26) who has a Wikipedia entry and is listed among Notables on the school page.

I must add that I didn t write the page or have made the entries but am grateful to whoever does perhaps you could let me know who you are.

Below is what is written about Le Marchand and I have added some further information that is not in the entry.

Lewes Patrick (Pat) Le Marchand OBE (23 October 1908 27 November 1977) was an English first-class Cricketer who served in the Indian Army  during WW2 . The son of M. Le Marchand, a native of Devon , he was born in India at Guntakal  in October 1908.

Despite a family connection to Tasmania in Australia,  Le Marchand was educated in England at Beaumont where he was in both the Rugby XV and the Cricket XI ( He was the highest scorer at the inaugural Lords Match with 56 old fashioned sweeps to the boundary and was awarded the Clock for the day s best performance. . He was an early Rambler the forerunners of The Pilgrims, He left school in 1926.He later returned to India, where he played first -class cricket for the Europeans against the Muslims at Lahore in the 1929 30 Tournament. Batting twice in the match, he was dismissed for 8 runs in the Europeans first innings by the exceptionally fast bowler Mohammad Nissar while in their second innings he was unbeaten on 19. With the ball, he took the wickets of Khadim and Azhar Hussein for the cost of 35 runs.  He entered Sandhurst and passed out 3rd into the Indian Army in 1930 with the 5th Gorkha Rifles. On promotion he was appointed ADC to the Governor of the Punjab Sir Herbert Emerson, later The League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Le Marchand served in North Africa and Italy with the 1st Battalion including the battles for Mozzagrogno and Monte Casino. At the end of the War, he was made an OBE in December 1945, . Following Indian Independence, The 5th Gorkhas became part of the new independent army so Pat retired in June 1948, at which point he was granted the honorary rank of Lt- Colonel. He moved to Tasmania with his wife and  his OBE was conferred on him by Sir Hugh Binney the Governor  in April 1950, for gallant and distinguished service during the Italian Campaign  .

In August 1950, he was commissioned into the Australian Reserve Army as a lieutenant colonel with the Infantry  Corps In Tasmania. Le Marchand later returned to England, where he died at Tonbridge  in November 1977.

 

CENTENARY OF THE HEWITT

The Halford Hewitt is one of Britain s most competitive golf tournaments, contested between teams of 10 former pupils from the 64 schools which make up the membership of the Public Schools Golfing Society, and it is also one of the game s most convivial social gatherings, something which is entirely appropriate considering it was conceived during a luncheon meeting at one of England s finest golf clubs.

There is a degree of debate surrounding how the event came to be started but, according to that great golf writer and TV commentator, Henry Longhurst, it was dreamt up during a lunch which John Beck had with G.L. Susie Mellin at The Addington Club in Surrey some time during the summer of 1923. Certainly, later that year, representatives from six schools, namely Eton, Charterhouse, Highgate, The Leys, Malvern and Winchester met up to finalise the first tournament and they were joined in the inaugural draw by four others, Mill Hill, Rugby, Beaumont and Radley although, ultimately, during that first year, Beaumont scratched and Radley failed to raise a team.

Mellin, an old Malvernian, and Beck, an old Carthusian who later went on to Captain the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup side in 1938, were both outstanding golfers, Mellin good enough to reach the semi -finals of The Amateur Championship in 1920, and both were determined to instigate an inter Public Schools golf tournament along similar lines to an existing football tournament, the Arthur Dunn Cup. Both were also traditionalists, members of the old school in more ways than one, so it came as no surprise that they selected foursomes as the official format for the tournament.

Foursomes then, unlike now, was the obvious choice, the preferred form of golf for amateur golfers used to competing in the likes of Sunningdale and Addington Foursomes, the Worplesdon Mixed Foursomes and the London Amateur Foursomes, and it was also the speediest format, an important consideration which allowed the first few Hewitts to be contested over a single weekend, thereby ensuring that none of the competitors had to take valuable time off work in order to compete.

Foursomes was confirmed as the official format right from the outset, at that lunch at The Addington, and it seems that the decision to call it The Halford Hewitt was finalised then, too.

According to Longhurst, who seldom got things wrong, Mellin and Beck had decided on the tournament details and were wondering which bloody fool they could inveigle into putting up a trophy when, quite by chance, Halford Hewitt walked into the room and was promptly pounced on.

 

Beaumont s Contribution

It could be said that in the same style , Beaumont who helped to found the competition didn t turn up with a team for ten years. When they did they produced what has so far been in the history of the event, the most titled side to take part. They included:-

Sir Alec Russell Bt, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, The Hon Charles Russell and Sir George Langton.

The last side to take part was in 1967 and included our only Blue Lionel Gracey, Irish International Peter Flaherty and Sunningdale Captain Jack Wolff. There was also the appearance of the Johansen brothers Peter and Roger.

Two of our best players were absent : Welsh International Patrick Taylor and Schoolboy Champion Peter Bird. We went out in the first round to eventual finalists Wellington in a fairly close Match.

Our record was that we did reach the third round on 4 occasions and our attendance and bonhomie was such that the Committee wanted us to continue for as long as we could raise a team. This was in face of the rules and we decided the honourable thing to do was to withdraw ( fall on our clubs / collapse into a bunker or whatever was the appropriate metaphor)

We did win the Plate for the first round losers in 1965 !

 

PETER HAMILL

 

Album pH7 (1979)

 

Lyrics from The Old School Tie :

Oh the bright young men in their tight-buttoned suits:
Yeah, the light beams out from capped smiles
To the shines on their lick-spittle boots,
On their lick-spittle boots.
Oh these sharp young sparks with their fresh rosettes
Yeah, the artful way that they promise the earth
To all suffragettes.
What they won't promise we don't know yet.

They say they're build- and shaping society
But we know they're just saving for their own
Safe home in politics,
A safe home in politics.
Anything goes: look at them run.

Come from every side, noses Pinocchio clean;
Lock in synchromesh,
Oil the wheels and the gears of the party machine,
Of the party machine.
And the final goal is a cabinet seat...
In the trappings of power,
The presumption to speak for the man in the street,
For the man in the street.

Once they move in, they're in for good;
Yeah, once they get that bed made
It's a safe home in politics,
A safe home in politics.
Jobs for the boys: look at them run.

Yeah, there's just one thing none of us should forget:
A political man is just in it
For power and the smell of success,
For power and the smell of success.

Yeah, some start out as idealists
Pretty soon they all cop for ideal careers
And a safe home in politics,
A safe home in politics,
A cushy job in politics,
A cushy job in politics;
Oh, look at them run.

Politicians fight it out on the conning tower
But they all agree not to rock the boat.
It's a safe home in politics.
It's built on your vote.

Ed I had just added this piece to The REVIEW when I had an Email from Tom Scanlon (62)

Peter s latest Album was released last November

I ve just come across this in the latest issue of The Cricketer magazine to which I subscribe.

They have a monthly feature with someone or other who is famous in his/her own sphere and who loves cricket.

No mention of Beaumont here (but Wikipedia does of course). Had he been first eleven material he might have played at Lord s every cricketer s dream!

 

 

ACCOLADE

John Flood heard from Richard King (OS) Chairman of the Brother Michael Strode Committee.

"I was intrigued to see that reference in the Beaumont Union Review.  I don t believe I ever saw the Summer issue, but I am flattered to even be mentioned in such an august and fascinating publication.  Sadly, the termly Stonyhurst Magazine (in more recent years reduced to an annual Stonyhurst Record ) has died the death.  The excellent archivist and editor left the College, and although there was only supposed to have been a short hiatus during the pandemic while an online version was prepared - no one seems to have been prepared to take it on.  A tragedy for any historian, and it is a great credit to the BU and its editor that he/it has been able to produce such a major work on a regular basis."

 

ED: Sad to hear about the Stonyhurst Mag sign of the times. The He/It thanks

Richard for his kind words.

 

60 years ago from the REVIEW

Current Events

A Solemn requiem was sung for the repose of the soul of Fr Ezechiel.

Rector s Day was celebrated on the Feast of the Purification: Traditional cake was eaten and enjoyed.

Group 11 French had a talk on Le Roman Contemporain by Andre Leguet from University College London.

The Spanish Group went to a performance of El Tintero at King s college London.

Rhetoric Guests included Edward Ardizzone the Artist, Author and illustrator , Prof. Cruikshank of Sussex University Specialist on French cultue and literature) and Sir Philip Zulueta ( 42) one time POPS to the PM and Foreign Affaires Advisor.

Martin Haddon has been awarded 1st Class Honours Moderations in Classics at Worcester.

 

Lourdes Easter.

Torrents of rain and a blizzard at Gavarnie: Children and pilgrims had a marvellous time !

Bishop Bright our leader died suddenly before the Pilgrimage. Those that went included sundy OBs Wolffs, Bedfords, Houdrets, Bessells, Russells, a Kelly, Burgess, Hughes, Sheehan, Gore, Warwick-Ching, and de Wolff. Joined those from nSchool Fr Brogan, Devaux, Wortley, Green, Haddon, Prove, Bangham, H de Lisle, Ortoli, Bugess and Bruce.

Choir

Returned to school to the loss of Fr Ezecheil. Masses sung include the standard Kitson in D

And Lasso s four part Mass. Mr Atkinson took over as Choir Master.

Corps

Cert A proficiency is encouraging. The Cadre results have so bfar failed to appear. The Demonstration Platoon under Lt. Fallon have proved their worth and prowess particularly at camouflage. The Field Day saw a return to trhe Guards Depot at Pirbright where the normal activity of attack and defence were carried out in ba blizzard!

Corps of Drums

All Bandsmen who took their Cert A passed maintain the unblemished record. Overall the standard of music is improving though Drill leaves much to be desired. Field Day saw the Corps lay down their instruments, take up arms and play a decisive role in the Battle.

Signals

A 19 set has been acquired and worked as far as Nottingham unfortunately the old transmitter went up in a cloud of smoke. Reynier and Coyle passed their Assitant Instructor s Exam and we now have 8 working on the National Net .

Scouts

The loss of Fr Ezecheil founder of the 16th Windsor, Medal of Merit & Bar also founder of the scout fund raising Scout Press sorely missed.

Re- organisation Fr Sass is now G.S.M. and still guides the Rovers. Mr Newbery Troop Master and Fr Brogan remaining with the Seniors. W Orchard was awarded his Queen s Scout Award.

H L Debating

Debates include The House approves of things that go bump in the night carried.

There is no such thing as Independence carried.

The Insularity of Britain is a Myth - carried.

The BU Debate This House would rather be a savage and Noble than civilised and State-controlled carried.

The Public Schools Debate The sale and manufacture of cigarettes should be banned by law . Beaumont defended the motion represented by Andrews and Potter. They both spoke exceedingly well but the Judges thought otherwise.

The qualities required by the Judges do not tally with Beaumont speakers.

Ed: Was it that Beaumont motions tended to promote a more light-hearted Oscar Wilde approach to debate while the Judges favoured the Ernest if you will pardon my handbag.

Quods

Prof Cruikshank s talk was on Some reflections of Motherland Anthony Rogers gave a talk on The aspects of Greek Tragedy .

Current Affaires

The Society has passed through a period of quasi-stagnation: purging has taken place and the Society is now back with pristine freshness and intellectual vigour.

Disquisitions of note: Devaux on American Political Atmosphere . Potter on Nazi Germany and Hicks on Africa 1964 .

Music

We failed to get enough tickets for the Royal Opera s performance of Aida and had to make do with a Concert at the Festival Hall with a programme as diverse as Stravinsky to Haydn.

Next term it is hoped to send a party to hear Britten s War Requiem.

Rudiments Speakeasy.

The highlight was a competition for both essay and poetry. The former was won by John Allardice (Ruds C) and the latter by Kevin Scanlon ( Ruds B) : Offering below:-

 

Over the high hills, over the heather, at one

With wind, uplifted on the full surge

Of the tempestuous current the morning bird.

A fleck in the cold sun, a shred in the sweep

Of the wind it hung - high then over

The turbulence, in an arc swooping down and up

To the top of the parabola s peak, paramount

To the earth spread below his spread of long feathered wing.

 

The eddying air beat at his warm body,

Thrummed through the tautly outstretched

Wing-tip feathers, yet the falcon had the mastery

Of his element, and curveting, buoyant, swaying,

Soaring, then plunged, piercing the maelstrom

Of the sky to the purple contours below,

Through the blustering zephyr from the aeolian heights

Then away into the turmoil, spiralling, urgently,

Climbing to the sun, to the high billows of his pinnacle.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

B U Play

Spider s Web by Agatha Christie.

Any notice of a B U play presumes, of course, an unspoken but real and continuous appreciation of this annual event. It is not merely the social pleasure attendant upon its welcome recurrence that bred the comfortable assurance of its anticipation. Thjere is also the quiet confidence that, whatever the difficulties they must surely face, performance and production will always reawaken our pleased amazement. This year the general liveliness and verve were again to be remarked. The play ran smoothly , this year under Maurice Colman s competent command.

Invidious to metion individual players but Freddy Cumming polished ambivalence, Quentin de la Bedoyere touch of sinister and Gus Wolff cameo of nicely observed comedy. The ladies also excelled: Ann Wolff contrived anxiety, Carol Hewett -callous adolescent, Margaret Horton - splendid caricatural strides.

Great entertainment for which we are all duly grateful.

 

Lower Line

A Ticklish Business by Ronald Millar.

Like a cheering shaft of sunlight suddenly piercing though a lowering ceiling of gloomy clouds, halfway through lent came a delightful rendering of a titillating but not prurient, comedy. Highly implausible , deliciously amusing to which the ebullient cast did justice.

The main character was Erika Rose played by David Neckar and he/ she was undoubtedly the Star: of the show: particularly difficult in this female role . Excellent support by the rest of the cast: never had the critic seen an audience so rapt and keenly attentive an eloquent proof of the production all deserving the highest praise .

 

Green Room ( so often forgotten)

Senior Stage hand H de Lisle

Assistants Richardson, Kerr, Williams, Reynier, Wimsatt.

Imaginative sets for not only the two productions mentioned above but also the Higher Line, The Class plays, the Panto, and the visiting Opera Company for Le Barbier de Seville.

Colonel Roddy showed his artitic talent in two modern paintings Man and Freedom and The Oppressors .

 

SPORT

Boxing

A Third unbeaten season but it is getting increasingly difficult in obtaining fixtures either because of other schools giving up the sport or frightened off by Beaumont s reputation.

Results Epsom Drawn 4 4

Dulwich won 5-2

Wellington won 7-1

The Captain, Riordan won his two matches on points and Addison (the Hon Sec) all three on Knockouts.

 

 

 

Rugby

Junior Colts

The Team was unbeaten scoring 71 points against 8 . Victories over Worth, Lord Wandsworth and Eton and Draws St Benedict and Sir William Borlase.

Reading Sevens: two Junior Colt teams were entered. The First side reached the semi final where they were just beaten by Douai and the Second were in the final ( it could so easily been an all Beaumont affair) but after a gruelling semi -final lost the final.

 

Rowing

A VIII - two points: First inexperience and secondly deplorable idleness on behalf of certain members of last year s VIII to take to the River. The A was made up mainly of last year s 2nd and 3rd VIII members . Although beating Eton Excelsior we lost to Reading School and dropped heavily in placings in the Reading Head.

B VIII were more successful winning both their races against Excelsior and Reading but like the A dropped places at the Reading Head.

Mr Scott has been elected to Leander.

 

Squash

Out of 12 fixtures, 5 Matches were won including Worth, Oratory and KCS but there were heavy defeats against Merchant Taylors and Whitgift. Absence to Rugby took its toll on players.

Hockey.

6 matches played with only one draw and the remainder lost. The evident problem is that many opposing schools play only hockey in the Easter term and they prove patently too strong: Beaumont players juggle from one sport to another. Jacks of all trades and masters of none !

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

From Henry Haywood

14 Feb

It would appear that two OB's had closely positioned letters in Saturday' Times.   Tailby and Thornley.   Tailby comes to the lunches.  David Thornley had left school before I arrived but I knew him as our parents were friends and I rode his sister's horse.  Might be totally  wrong but they are not over common names. 

 

 

From John Towsey

 

Following the Covid pandemic I haven t been coming to the annual lunches. This was with some introspection and thought:  did I really fit into the gatherings or able to offer anything that other members might find of interest, or amusement?

 

I came back to live in the United Kingdom taking account of the concerns of living in South Africa and to settle back where I had commenced my adult life. After seven going on eight years we have however decided to return to South Africa, for a variety of reasons- health facilities, weather and living standards. Also not least family and friends!

I have found myself saddened by the environment here- Britain no longer appears Great and the Kingdom is struggling to remain United!  The business sector and political leadership, unless there is fundamental change, does not fill me with much hope that the population can expect to enjoy any improvement in the standard of living.  I have lived most of my life between Southern and East Africa, been relatively successful in my business career and travelled to many countries.  I have understood and interacted with diverse cultures and management styles. I am sad to say that the UK needs to understand that management means leadership, support and all that goes with that. My opinions and observations and are regrettably rather negative!

 

It s not all bad- we have enjoyed living in the countryside and ability to walk freely over the hills and mountains. 

 

Problem is once one has lived in Africa, smelt the bush after an afternoon thunderstorm, watched varieties of game in its natural habitat and scuba dived on coral reefs, all within a few hours local travelling- you do get to miss it!  

 

We have maintained our house in Southbroom on the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast and situated about three hundred metres from the beach. In what goes for winter the temperature varies between 18 and 25 degrees: summer between 20 and 30. The rain is usually short and heavy and sunshine dominates.  A man s wardrobe consists predominantly of shorts and short sleeve shirts, a pair of long pants and hard shoes with socks are reserved for special occasions!

 

My main reason for writing, believe it or not, was to say I have a copy of the July 1955 Heritage magazine which had an article and photographs on Beaumont. Also pages from the Sphere dated 13 May 1961 with similar content and a bundle of photos from another now unknown publication, one is a collage relating to the 13 December 1960 Dinner for Mr Justice Russell. You may well have all these in your archives in which case I can toss them out. 

 

Ed: Gratefully received.

 

 

From John Marshall

There is currently a documentary on AlJazeera about the Balfour Declaration. Very topical and in it several learned professors are interviewed. Professor Eugene Rogan and American now at St Anthony s College Oxford is one of them. In a throwaway remark he suggests that Sykes was ill-educated and inexperienced and he suggests he was punching well above his weight when negotiating the creation of a Jewish state with Zionist and the British and French governments.

Wouldn t it be fun to invite him to the BU lunch this year or next year and ask him to back up his claim that Sykes will I ll-educated . I think anyway that the BU members would be quite interested in having Sykes s role explained by a modern historian specialising in the Ottoman Empire.

The trouble is that he might demand a fee! I d be happy to contribute.

 

Ed: Thank you for this - I think a typical American view point whose main interest at the time was to undermine British and indeed French influence in the Middle East. Sykes did not help assist in the creation of Israel only in the formation of the Balfour declaration in gratitude for the assistance of Jews in the battle against the Ottomans. Rogan is trying to be wise in hindsight and pontificating accordingly!!

However, as you say it may be worth approaching him.

 

From Chris Garrard

Simon Potter has just delivered a copy of  'More Earthly than Eternal' which I understand you gave to him at the BU Lunch to be passed on to me.

Many thanks for that kind gesture, I shall be dipping into it from time to time when overcome with a spirit of nostalgia! The first page I opened had the two poems 'Quods' and 'Studies A Privileges'. Ha!, as a past Hon. Treasurer of the Quods, what memories.

 

I still have a couple of the notices on Society note paper that I posted as Hon.Treas. I have attached one and note that collection of subs was, as always, an issue! Nihil mutavit.

 

 

L. D. S.