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Old Warwickians

From the Archivist - monthly insights

Monthly insights from the Warwick School Archives

100th anniversary of the first whole-school photograph

The first ever whole school photograph at Warwick School was taken in March 1920.  The actual occasion is not mentioned in Portcullis at all, but two (dated) copies have survived. 

There are 300 boys on the photograph, most of whom, being under 4’6” tall, are forced to wear the uncomfortable Eton Collar.  We learn elsewhere that, of the 300, 154 are boarders, which is about twice the officially allowed maximum – where did they live?!  All the boys except one are wearing long trousers, and some of the senior boys – perhaps they arrived late? – seem to have been squashed in regardless of their height.  A few of the boys have their hands on the shoulders of the boy in front – definitely not permissible 100 years later!

There are just over 20 teaching staff on the photograph, including two women.  We presume they are Miss Eva Scarr (Junior School, music) and Miss Alice Martin (Senior School, English).  In 1921 headmaster H. S. Pyne was told, by school inspectors, that “increased vigour and drastic reorganisation” was required on account of the “very liberal allowance” of teaching staff.  The two ladies – and four men – accordingly left the staff in that year.  They were, however, replaced by five new staff (including one woman, a KHS Old Girl), one of whom, the inimitable Rev H. E. Cullis, stayed for the next 33 years as a chemistry teacher and part-time chaplain, and until 1960 as honorary chaplain.