Obituary for Mr. Harold Perkins

Although on our original MSN site, I would like to thank the Grandchildren and other relations for granting permission for me to re-produce this obituary on our new site.

Doug Clews - April 2009

Harold Perkins died on 14th September 1994. He was both pupil and master at Peter Symonds'. The following obituary appeared in the Hampshire Chronicle and was contributed by his son Mark [1955-62].
“Harold Perkins, a former pupil at Peter Symonds’ School, and a local musician, has died at the age of 84.
Harold was born in Bristol, where he was a chorister at St Mary Redcliffe. His parents moved to Winchester in 1922 and he attended St Thomas School and sang at St Thomas Church in Southgate Street, where the distinguished organist, Mr Ernest Savage, started Harold on learning to play the organ.
He became a pupil at Peter Symonds’ School in 1924, during which time he was influenced by successive headmasters, the Rev. Telford Varley and Dr P.T. Freeman. Harold excelled in music and sport, particularly cricket, where he was encouraged by the late Harold Child and was a contemporary of another cricket enthusiast, the late George Pierce.
After studying at teacher training college at Southampton between 1928 and 1932, Harold took up his first teaching post in Bristol. Again, music and sport were his interests – teaching one and organising the other.
In 1939 Harold and his brother were given two tickets for the Wembley cup final when Portsmouth beat Wolves 4 – 1. He continued his support for Pompey from the 50’s, which he has passed on to two of his sons and a grandson.
Harold served in the war from 1941-1946 with the Royal Armoured Corps as an instructor, first at Bovington and latterly in India. He returned to Bristol for a few years until, in 1950, he was appointed music master at Peter Symonds’ School.
His appointment by Dr Freeman was a moment that gave him much pleasure, as Peter Symonds’ school was held in much affection by him. The family connection then saw his brother Jim and three sons all attending the school and he was a keen supporter of the Old Symondians’ Association.
In addition to establishing a strong musical tradition at Peter Symonds’, Harold Perkins was also busy in a number of other spheres. He managed football and cricket teams for several years and was an officer in the army section of the school cadet force for 20 years. He also founded a school brass band, which developed into the successful
Mid-Hants Schools’ Band. He retired as a school-teacher in 1970.
Harold was also active as a church organist. He was appointed organist and choirmaster at Holy Trinity, Winchester, in 1953, a post he held until 1977. During his working years and, in retirement, Harold was actively involved with the Winchester and District Association of Organists, became president of Friary Bowling Club before becoming a founding member of Littleton Bowling Club, which he served as secretary and president.
Harold was a committed Christian and assisted the YMCA, Polynesian Society, Missions to Seamen, Christian Aid and the Children’s Society. He also served as churchwarden at Holy Trinity and was appointed the first co-lay chairman of the Deanery Synod.
Harold died after a short illness and the funeral was held at Holy Trinity Church, Winchester. He is survived by his wife, Doreen and three sons, Terrence, Mark and Robert. He also leaves seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.”


Obituary for Mr. Paul Woodhouse

Doug Clews 09 April 2009

Paul Woodhouse died in Swanage on 14th February 1994. His funeral took place in the Choir of Winchester Cathedral on 21st February 1994 and his following tribute was paid by Michael Witcher [1948-1952] and it appeared in the Spring 1997 edition of ‘The Symondian’.
“I first met Paul Woodhouse when he returned to teach at Peter Symonds’ School after World War II in which he had served with distinction, mostly in the Middle East.
His return to School, in late 1945 coincided with the first of the 11+ intakes. There we were – boys from many walks of life. In several cases our fathers had been away for years on active service -–some not to return. Many of us were confused, certainly we did not know how to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities the School had to offer – and straightaway he made his mark.
My first memories are the sight of him walking in that even, measured stride he had adopted, from the back garden of his beloved Dirleton, the length of the school playing field on his way to school. He was as regular as clockwork. The sight of him in the brown sports jacket he favoured, walking down the playing field in the morning told you it was time to start packing up your game of cricket or soccer and wash off the mud, ready for the school bell and morning prayers because to arrive late was to risk the wrath of the Head, and that was to be avoided at all costs.
But the way he really made his mark was through his total commitment to the school and all of us there. He took a special interest in those of us who were disadvantaged in some way. In my own case my father had returned from the war severely wounded and incapacitated. So he took me under his wing, became as it were my mentor and in many ways took over where my father left off. Metaphorically he picked me up by the scruff of the neck pointed me in the right direction saying –
“Young man, this is how you behave”. He gave me ambition and an understanding and love of history which has given me so much pleasure over the years and he encouraged me to take an active part in games – especially soccer and cricket – even to the extent of paying for the coaching courses which my parents could not afford. Perhaps, most important of all though, he gave me standards – standards which have stood me in good stead throughout my life.
But I was only one of many boys to whom he gave advice, practical help and encouragement all the time we were at School. We owe him a considerable debt.
At the same time Paul Woodhouse was a man of many parts. A graduate of Kings College, London, he first arrived at the School in 1931 from Portsmouth Grammar School. In the years before the war he commanded the school OTC and played a very active part in the 4th TA Battalion, the Royal Hampshire Regiment, where he commanded the Winchester company. Throughout his time at the school, having been an enthusiastic games player himself, he gave total support to the school teams. He was always on the touchline at football matches, or during the cricket season, on the boundary of Outer Field, and on occasions he would even pack several of us in his car and drive us away to matches. In many ways he was the best sort of schoolmaster. Just to teach us was not enough. He gave the school, his colleagues and boys total support and commitment in everything.
Another important thread which ran through his life was his work in the community. He was before the war, Chairman of the Round Table and for many years a member of several Masonic Lodges and a keen and practical supporter of their charitable works. His enthusiasm for sport – especially rugby –found expression in his support of the Winchester Rugby Club, of which he was president for a number of years.
Understandably though, his most important contribution to the city and civic life could be seen in his service as a city Councillor. From 1947 he served as an independent councillor for St Michael’s Ward and in 1956/7 was elected to be Mayor of the City of Winchester, an honour and privilege of which he was immensely proud.
Finally in 1939 he had become joint proprietor of the Hampshire Chronicle after his marriage to Monica and served for many years as a director of Jacob and Johnson, the company name of the Hampshire Chronicle and its associated newspapers. But again it was not enough just to be a newspaper proprietor. For him the Hampshire Chronicle was part of the fabric of the City and the wider county of Hampshire. It recorded the big events, live VE day, or a change of government but much more important it provided a living history – if that’s not a contradiction in terms – of the people of Winchester and nearby. It recorded their births and their marriages told of their examination achievements and highlighted the deliberation so the city Council, reported on the latest performance of the Operatic Society and the success of the village fete. If you had scored a goal or a try or taken some wickets, in the match report your name was there for all to see and recorded for posterity. In this way, the Hampshire Chronicle, for him, helped to develop the sense of community and the sense of belonging which he believed to be so important.
May I close by saying that Paul Woodhouse was an honourable, decent and caring man. Many of us owe him a debt which perhaps we can only repay through service to others and in so doing follow the very fine example he set for us all.


Obituary for Mr. George Pierce

Doug Clews 09 April 2009

GEORGE PIERCE [1923-1974] died on 8th August 1993. The following tribute was paid by Peter May on Wednesday 18th August at George’s funeral in the St Paul’s Church, Weeke, Winchester.
“It is a great honour for me to be asked to pay this tribute to such a remarkably talented man as George. All of us here feel a profound sense of loss at his passing; none more so than Ruth and Jane and their families and Alan, his brother. So also must Tim be feeling at the far side of the world in New Zealand.
George’s death leads us all to reflect on the qualities which he so eminently exhibited as father, grandfather, friend and colleague. As Ruth and Jane have remarked, he was a man who loved his fellow men, just as he loved a good chat, a pipe and a pint. His good humour and generosity of spirit were always apparent, as was his sense of duty.
George Pierce was born in 1908, when his father was headmaster of Owslebury Church of England School. From there he went to High Wycombe to live with his grandparents and was for a time at the Royal Grammar School there. But in 1923 he came back to Owslebury and entered his true and lasting inheritance when he came to Peter Symonds’ School. He went on to King Alfred’s College [or Winchester training College as it was then called] in 1928 and emerged with distinctions, fully fledged as a schoolmaster in 1930. By 1933 he was back on the school staff where he used his learning and his great abilities as a games player in the encouragement of countless generations of Symondians. He remained there for the rest of his working life until his retirement in 1974, except for that memorable period during World war Two when he served as physical fitness officer at RAF Scampton to 617 Squadron, the ‘Dambusters’. Many were the tales George could tell of those days.
There were sadnesses in his family life in the period after the war and George was left to bring up his young family, not entirely by himself but with the support of his aging parents, whom he in turn was to support through their declining years in Hatherley Road. It was through the back garden gate that he went to work over all those years; in the springtime seeing whether his left arm would still ‘go over’ in the various cricket games to be found on the school field on his way.
Probably the most remarkable thing about George was the way in which his talents complemented one another. Two of the outstanding qualities he had were, on the one hand, his profound knowledge of natural history and, on the other, his great ability to write about nature and the countryside. He inherited much knowledge from his father but this only gave him a start. He built on this over his lifetime and became an outstanding naturalist whose learning was nowhere more apparent than in the classroom but also in the pages of the Hampshire Chronicle, the Hampshire Review, the Hampshire County Magazine and The Field. The illustrations were often the work of his old friend and colleague, Jack Northeast.
To these qualities were added his love of literature and poetry and what better way to illustrate this theme than some lines of Wordsworth, which he quoted in a Hampshire Chronicle article of April 22nd 1950 entitled ‘The Poet of Nature’. He was writing of the inspiration and driving force of nature in Wordsworth’s life but surely George was also writing about himself:
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart and soul of all my moral being.
This love of nature communicated itself both to his readers and pupils. His readers wrote appreciative letters to him personally and to his editors, while his pupils gained in enthusiasm and knowledge as they practised their ornithological skills and gardened in the school grounds. They worked on a fine rose bed outside Morys Room on which I chanced to compliment George one summer morning. ‘So it should be’ he said, ‘it’s been well composted…..there are a few dead boys under there!’
George had an extraordinary memory too. Not only could he quote Shakespeare and Housman by the yard [‘Three lines only, George, ‘ Eric Hammond used to say] but he could also recall the events and experiences of his youth as he showed in his articles in The Hampshire Magazine on ‘Village Life in Days Gone By’. These make entrancing reading . The connection between Housman and country life as evoked in ‘The Shropshire Lad’ struck a profound chord in George’s life and learning. He liked his pint, as I have said, and it comes as no surprise that he should often have quoted these lines:
Malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man
As a games player George’s interests were wide. He played Rugby well as he did fives and squash but above all else he loved cricket. He went on playing what was for him the greatest of games into his seventies. He served the Old Symondian Association as Sports secretary for well over a decade and raised many powerful sides against the school. He was largely instrumental in persuading the Canytes’ side, composed of young Old Symondians, to become the Old Symondian Club in the early 1950s and he himself played and toured with them for the best part of thirty years. He also played for MCC, St Cross, and for the Stoats as well as for Owslebury in his earlier years. It afforded great amusement to play for the Old Symondians at Owslebury on his 50t birthday in 1959, when his first ball was hit out of the ground for 6 by one of his village school contemporaries, who he maintained, had ‘cribbed the Lord’s Prayer from me’ in his time. ‘You can’t sink much lower than that’, he added. ‘Many happy returns, George ‘ said his old friend. Three balls later George had him caught. ‘And many happy returns to you too!’ was his comment, as he trapped yet another man beguiled by his craft in a long career of left arm spin. He was a good batsman too and an excellent close fielder.
Just as was the case in his love of nature, so did his love of cricket communicate itself to boys in his charge. His return to teach at Peter Symonds’ in 1947 marked the beginning of a fine period in Peter Symonds’ cricket as he took charge of the under 15 side, many of whom caught his enthusiasm and moved on to very successful playing careers.
So there developed the cycle of the schoolmaster’s life. In George’s case the cycle of nature’s year had its inevitable influence, but so too did the sporting seasons, the form mastering and the examinations. Extremely important to George was the RAF section of the CCF, the Arduous Training camps in the Lakes and the Peak District and the annual summer camps involving meeting Old Symondians serving in the RAF. On one such occasion great surprise was created when the instruction ‘Tell him Tom Pierce wants to see him’ induced the appearance of the extremely busy Paddy Hine, now Sir Patrick, who was commanding the demonstration squadron at the time. Another memory George always treasured was a visit one evening on his way back from watching Hampshire at Portsmouth, to see Brian Brown, now Sir Brian, who was serving on HMS Britannia.
In his retirement George continued to play cricket and bowls, to drink in the Wessex Hotel, in his favourite corner, with his lifelong friend Eric Hammond and more recently in the Roebuck each evening. Pub quizzes and crosswords in The Times and The Telegraph kept his mind active as did the quizzes he set his family and friends, and he continued to take his country walks and his trips to watch Hampshire play cricket. He and Eric always attended OS golf matches. It was with Eric he went on two world cruises. In the winter of 1974-5 this took in the England tour of Australia. A card from west Africa told me, inimitably, ‘We have met two widows and they are teaching us the cha-cha’. Triumphs for the Pierce/Hammond team in the shop’s quizzes were clearly inevitable.
No words of mine can really do justice to this remarkable and splendid man. We all have our memories of his warmth, his charm his impish and sometimes naughty wit. No man was a shrewder or more generous judge of his fellow humans. The news that he would be present at any gathering was welcome news indeed and every occasion that he graced was special for his presence. We thank God that we counted him a friend and none of us will ever forget the memory.


Obituary for Mr. John Cooksey 

Doug Clews 09 April 2009

JOHN COOKSEY died on 17th April 1993. The following obituary was published in the Hampshire Chronicle on Friday 7th May 1993. His widow, Betty, died some two years later :-
“John Cooksey, who died, aged 84 on April 17th, was a brilliant schoolmaster, coming to teach at Peter Symonds’ School, Winchester, in 1929, straight from a double first in Classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he had just missed a Fellowship.
He taught at Peter Symonds’ for the next 129 terms, five of them as Head in the period in which the school was transformed to a sixth form college.
Countless Symondians benefited from his exceptional teaching of both Classics and history. He was a first-rate scholar, but he carried his learning lightly and utterly without ostentation.
The range of his knowledge was astonishing and the way in which he imparted it was equally remarkable. He was a demanding teacher, but those whom he taught found that, in an almost miraculous way, they know their subject and could perform wonders in public examinations and for university scholarships.
Here, indeed was an academic preparation which equipped a boy for life and there are many Old Symondians of considerable eminence who still count themselves fortunate to have been taught by him.
Even as Second Master, he continued to teach a heavy timetable and yet could still find time to examine 1000 O level Latin scripts per summer and also to moderate the marking of others and to be the chief examiner for the Oxford Examination Board.
In his younger days he was a vigorous sportsman, playing rugby, cricket and fives. In later years, his dedication to Worcester county Cricket Club and West Bromwich Albion were well known and their bad days rarely went unremarked.
Indeed, there was a time when a small duck would appear on his blackboard if his friend, the then Worcester captain, had failed to trouble the county scorer on the previous day.
John Cooksey was a family man who enjoyed the privilege of having his family around him. He became Housemaster at Varley’s and later of School House and he was joined in the work by his wife, Betty, who survives him and his daughter, Elisabeth, who continues to work at Peter Symonds’ to this day.
Every summer, with the term over and all that O level marking behind him, the family made for Scotland, which he greatly loved and about which his knowledge was almost encyclopaedic.
After his retirement in 1973, the trips became more frequent and it seems sadly appropriate that his life ended as he was returning from his favourite holiday home.
At his funeral at Southampton Crematorium, an address was given by John Ashurst, Head of Peter Symonds’ from 1963 – 1971. It was a fitting tribute to a fine school master, whose like one rarely sees today”


Obituary for Dr P T Freeman 

Thanks must go to Chris Cooper for supplying a copy of Doc's Obituary, together with the transcript of the Memorial Service and other tributes ... all was on the old MSN site, but only appeared 'in part' on the Multiply site ...

Doug Clews 9th. April 2009

[I'm indebted to Ms Carol Liston of the Winchester Local Studies Library for providing me with copies of the Hampshire Chronicle's obituary of Doc, a brief report of tributes paid at the City Magistrates Court, and a report of his memorial service, from the library's microfilm archive of back issues of the newspaper. I've transcribed the articles by hand. _ Chris Cooper.]



Peter Symonds' School


The death took place early on Wednesday morning of Dr. Percy Tom Freeman, M.B.E., B. Sc., Ph.D., F.R.I.C., F.Z.S., J.P. He had not been in good health for some time past and a little over three weeks before he had undergone a major operation to the lung in the
Southampton Chest Hospital. He had made good progress, however, in his recovery and had been able to return home, but early this week he had a relapse. He was taken to the Royal Hampshire County hospital at Winchester where his death took place.

Dr. Freeman was by birth a Dorset man and he retained his love of
Dorset and its writers (particularly Thomas Hardy and William Barnes) throughout his life. Born at Wimborne Minster, he received his early education at the Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School there, and he received his first college training at Southampton, at the University College, later to become Southampton University. With the outbreak of the first World War, he served with the Royal Engineers as a Captain, and in that capacity he was engaged on research work for the sound location of aircraft. The results of his work were, in fact, still in use for that purpose right up to the beginning of the second World War, when the development of radar made them obsolete; he was made a member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services in this field.

Back from the war, he resumed his studies at St. Edmund Hall,
Oxford, where he graduated and subsequently was awarded his doctorate, again for research work in physics. He became a science master first at Portsmouth Secondary School and then at King Edward VI. School, Southampton, where he was senior science master. His first headship was at Purbrook Park County High School in 1925, but it only lasted about a year, for in 1926 he was appointed Head Master of Peter Symonds' School, Winchester, where he had been for the past 30 years.

School Development

Dr. Freeman succeeded the Rev. Telford Varley in this position. Mr. Varley had built the school from its beginning, when it was housed in other buildings in the city in the last decade of the 19th century; he had taken it from its early days in the new building -- built for some 150 scholars -- up to something over twice that number and, when Dr. Freeman came there, it was expanding far beyond what the physical provisions of the school would hold, and it had established already a name which caused it to draw scholars from an area far beyond that for which it was originally intended to provide. Dr. Freeman took it on from where Mr. Varley left off, and under him the school continued to rise in size and in general stature.

Under Dr. Freeman's regime, the school became one of those on the Headmasters' Conference, and the number of scholars today is put at over 600. Dr. Freeman himself was recognised as an educationist to such an extent that he was elected Chairman of the Headmasters' Association in 1948, that honour, strangely enough, coinciding with the honouring of his second master of that time, Mr. C. J. Cozens, by his election as President of the Assistant Masters' Association.

Succeeding a classical scholar and a historian, Dr. Freeman brought to Peter Symonds' School a wider conception of modern education in certain respects. As a scientist with biology and natural history as very much his hobbies, he extended the curriculum and gave added emphasis to some of the existing activities, both in and out of school. Like his predecessor, he was a staunch supporter of the educational benefits of Cadet Force training, and for a time he held the rank of Cadet Lieut.-Colonel, commanding the 1st Cadet Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment.

As a schoolmaster he was a firm believer in the need for a Christian background to all phases of teaching and his forthright views upon the matter were expressed in his book "Christianity and Boys," published during the war. His opinions on the matter were often unorthodox and drew, in fact, vigorous opposition from some Church quarters, but he defended them, as he had expressed them, in trenchant and refreshing style.

Of his work and personality as a Head Master, there are many in the district who can speak. He saw not only the school grow but also the Old Symondians' Association, of which he became President upon his arrival at the school and which he enthusiastically supported until now it has over 1000 members. He knew each boy and his peculiarities, and did much to remove difficulties, economic and otherwise, which stood in their way. Particularly interesting in the educational sphere was the link which he helped to establish between the school and Winchester College which enabled outstanding boys who were likely to benefit from education at the latter to be given that opportunity -- a link which has now been taken over by the County Education Authority and expanded to cover the county.

School Status

Dr. Freeman's greatest disappointment, probably, was in his failure to get Peter Symonds' School established as a "Direct Ministry Grant" school, when the educational system of this area was re-organised with the implementation of the 1944 Act. He fought the issue "to the last ditch" with a great deal of support from the Local Education Authority, and only when he received the Minister of Education's refusal did he give up the battle.

Outside of the school and its kindred organisations, Dr. Freeman's interests were manifold, and his influence in the city and the county was considerable. To educational administration he gave a great deal of time. In the pre-war days he sat for some while on the old Winchester Education Committee, when the city was a "Part III. Authority," governing its own elementary education. In May, 1945, he was appointed a member of the Hampshire County Education Authority, as one of the selected members of the Committee, representative of teaching interests in the county. On that Committee he did a great deal of work, especially on some of the special advisory Committees, and in the main Committee itself he regularly expressed his own downright and commonsense views in unmistakable fashion. From 1945 up to the time of his death he served in this capacity, often when other work and ill-health made it far from easy.

He was appointed a magistrate for the City of
Winchester in 1940 and regularly sat upon the Bench, both in the ordinary and the Juvenile Court. His special knowledge of young people made him an obvious choice in time as Chairman of the Juvenile Panel, a position which he gave up a few years ago when he was appointed Chairman of the whole Bench, in succession to Mr. Frank Warren. He was still holding that position at the time of his death though his health in recent months had interfered considerably with his work there. As a magistrate he combined the same frank commonsense which he showed in other spheres of life with a kindly consideration for offenders, especially young ones, whom he was always anxious to help back to a firmer footing in life.

Freemasonry Offices

Freemasonry for many years was one of his great interests and he worked with the energy and enthusiasm which he brought to everything he took up, on its behalf. He was a Past Master of the Lodge of Economy (No. 76) and for many years he was Secretary of that Lodge. He fulfilled one of his ambitions when he was able to form the Old Symondians' Lodge (No. 5734) and became its first Master. He held Grand Lodge and Provincial Rank -- Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and Past Provincial Grand Registrar.

Winchester Rotary Club was another of his interests though his health in recent years had forced him to retire from it. He was one of its early Presidents and played a large part in building it up to its present position in the city. There were many other organisations in the city, cultural and social, which owed a lot to his support, encouragement, and, sometimes, inspiration. The Winchester Operatic Society particularly should be mentioned for he was a great lover of Gilbert and Sullivan and he was unfailing in his zeal for these annual productions. He was a Vice-President of the Society and when the President in former days was absent -- abroad or in ill-health -- he often took over the reins and led them in their series of successful productions.

Despite his many activities and numerous interests, Dr. Freeman managed to find the opportunity to follow his principal hobby -- the observation of nature. He was a real student of natural history and he was never happier than when he was able to snatch some time to carry out some careful watching of the habits of wild life in some of the quiet retreats in this part of the county.

Sporting Proficiency

Finally, one should say something of him as a sportsman. He was a supporter of practically all the sporting organisations in
Winchester for, in his younger days, he had been a keen and accomplished sportsman himself. Association football was his principal pursuit in this line, and he played amateur football in the highest sporting circles. Though he did not get his Blue at Oxford, he played for the University on a number of occasions. Just before that, when he was still in the Army in 1919, he was the only amateur member of the Royal Engineers' team which won the Army Cup that year. He did all he could to foster sport in the school and in the district.

He was 65 years of age and was, in fact, retiring from the headmastership of Peter Symonds' School, to which he had devoted so much of his life, at Easter next.

Doctor Freeman was married in 1914 to Miss Hill, daughter of the late Benjamin J. Hill, of Southsea. He is survived by his wife, his son, Mr A. K. Freeman, M.A., and his daughter Mrs. Allan Renton -- all still living in

The funeral and cremation service was held privately yesterday (Friday). A memorial service is being held next Wednesday, at Winchester Cathedral, at noon.

- - -

Tributes at City Magistrates Court

Before the normal business of Winchester City Magistrates Court began yesterday (Friday), the presiding magistrate, Mrs. W. Coates, paid tribute to their former Chairman. Mrs. Coates said she was expressing the profound sorrow which the Bench felt at the death of Dr. Freeman. He had been appointed to the Commission of Peace in 1940 and had held office as Chairman with distinction since 1954. He was also Chairman of the Juvenile Court Committee and had represented the Bench on the Magistrates Court Committee.

"He was a wise, good man," continued Mrs. Coates, "and those who served with him will always be grateful for the inspiration he gave us, for the example he set in his complete, selfless devotion to duty, and for the courtesy and dignity with which he presided in Court. It was always his nature to be zealous to assure that justice should be done in all things to all men, and we shall share with his family their sorrow and sadness, and also their just pride in the fulfilment of a life of service so unsparingly given."

Mr J. G. Stanier, on behalf of the legal profession, Mr W. Moss, Clerk to the Magistrates, Supt. R. E. Pascall and Mr F. C. Chambers, Principal Probation Officer for Hampshire, all added their tribute to Dr. Freeman, and the Court stood in silence in memory of "a friend for whom we had admiration and affection."


Doc Freeman's memorial service


The Late Dr. P. T. Freeman

The memorial service to Dr. P.T. Freeman, Headmaster of Peter Symonds' School, Winchester, which was held at Winchester Cathedral on Wednesday at noon, drew an attendance of mourners of quite unusual proportions and representative in the widest possible ways of life and activities in Hampshire. A congregation of over 900 scholars, ex-scholars and associates in public and social life of the late Doctor thronged the great Nave to take part in a quite simple service in memory of one whose contribution to the community in this area during the past 30 years or so was obviously tremendous.
The service itself began after the preliminary sentences by the saying of the 121st Psalm. The Lesson, from the Revelation of St. John, was read by the Rev. J. H. P. Still, Chaplain to Dr. Freeman's own Lodge of Freemasons, Economy (No. 76). Bunyan's hymn, "He who would valiant be," was followed by prayers, said by the Sacrist (the Rev. E. Bannister), very appropriately, when one remembered Dr. Freeman's life. Arthur Hugh Clough's "Say not, the struggle naught availeth" was sung, and further prayers and the Blessing by Bishop Leslie Lang brought the quite short ceremony to a close.
Other robed clergy present were Canon F. R. Money, Canon R. B. Lloyd and Canon G. Uppington. At the organ Mr Isidore Harvey played two Bach Chorales before the service -- "Sheep may safely graze" and "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" -- and at the conclusion the First Movement from Rheinberger's Sonata in A Minor.
The family mourners were Mrs. Freeman (widow), Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Freeman (son and daughter-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. A. Barron Renton (son-in-law and daughter) and Mr. W. C. Cavill.
Civic representatives included the Mayor of Winchester (Councillor Paul Woodhouse), the Mayor and Mayoress of Romsey (Councillor and Mrs. H. G. Mackrell, also representing Mr. K. V. Mackrell and Mr. A. G. Mackrell), and the Deputy Mayor of Winchester (Councillor Mrs. F. S. Thackeray).
The County Education Authority was represented by Ald. A. H. Quilley (Chairman of the Education Committee), Mr. J. W. Parr (Vice-Chairman), and Mr. W. Coates (County Education Officer). Mr. F. L. Freeman represented the Southampton Borough Education Committee.
Mr. Parr also represented Sir George Gater (Chairman of the Governing Body of Peter Symonds' School and Warden of Winchester College).
Mrs. W. Coates (Deputy Chairman) and Mr. W. Moss (Clerk to the Justices) represented the Winchester City Bench, and there was a large attendance of Magistrates and members of the legal profession.
Dr. Freeman's great interest in Freemasonry was reflected in the large number of Masons present and Lodges represented. Dr. Wilfrid Attenborough (Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master), Mr. F. O. Goodman (Deputy Provincial Grand Master), Mr. C. J. H. Jones (Provincial Grand Secretary) and Mr. A. E. Madgwick (Provincial Grand Treasurer) represented the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Province; and there were also present many members of Dr. Freeman's own Lodges, Economy (No. 76), Old Symondians (No. 5734), Twelve Brothers, Southampton (No. 785), and Royal Gloucester, Southampton (No. 130).
Among others represented were Winchester Mark Lodge, William of Wykeham Lodge, Richard Taunton Lodge, Basing Lodge, Lodge of Concord, Lodge of Peace and Harmony, University Lodge, Southampton, Hampshire Lodge of Emulation, Winton Rose Croix, Wessex Lodge, United Brothers Lodge, and Beech Lodge.
Official representatives of the Old Symondians' Association were: Mr. E. G. Vokes (Chairman), Mr W. R. Cox (Vice-Chairman), Mr C. A. Bath (Hon. Assistant Secretary), and Mr. A.J. Harding (Hon. Treasurer), the latter also attending as Chairman of the Winchester Operatic Society, of which the late Dr. Freeman was a Vice-President. Mrs R. G. Croft represented Mr. Reg . Croft (Hon. Secretary of the O.S.A), who was unable to attend owing to family illness. The Old Tauntonians and Old Edwardians' Associations were also represented, and many pupils and members of the staff of Peter Symonds' School also attended.
Among the many schools represented were Andover Grammar School, Taunton's School, Southampton, King Edward VI. School, Southampton, Eggars Grammar School, Alton, Price's School, Fareham, Eastleigh County High School, Queen Mary's School, Basingstoke, Winchester County High School for Girls, Brockenhurst County Grammar School, North End Secondary School, Eastleigh, Winchester County Secondary School for Boys, Winchester School of Art, St. Faith's School, Winchester, Purbrook Park School, and Nethercliffe School, Winchester.
Other bodies represented included Winchester Rotary Club, Winchester Inner Wheel Club, Winchester Round Table, the Royal Winchester Golf Club, the Headmasters' Conference, the Hampshire Constabulary, the N.S.P.C.C., Winchester City Football Club, the Winchester Group Hospital Management Committee, the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, the League of Friends of the Winchester Hospitals, Winchester Chamber of Commerce, the Missions to Seamen, the Hartley Society, Southampton University, the Diocesan Education Committee, and King Alfred's College, Winchester.
Among those present were:--
[There follows an extremely long list of mourners. Anyone wishing to check whether any particular names are on there should contact me, Chris Cooper.]

Cathedral Tribute
Canon F. R. Money, before his sermon at Matins at Winchester Cathedral on Sunday, made reference to the late Dr. Freeman in the following terms: --
To-day we remember before God the late Dr. P. T. Freeman, an eminent citizen, a notable schoolmaster and an unassuming good man. We thank God for his long years of fine and varied service to this city and county. His loyal and enthusiastic attachment to Peter Symonds' School as Headmaster lasted for 30 years. The quality of this Public School, which is widely appreciated, is due to the first two Headmasters, the Rev. Telford Varley and Dr. P. T. Freeman, whose statesmanship and zeal for well nigh 60 years earned the loyalty of the teaching staff and Old Symondians.
The life of a teacher is arduous and busy, and only occasional glimpses of his influence come as a reminder of the gratitude, which so many owe to him. Such a glimpse came to me when a mother said: "I have never forgotten what Dr. Freeman said when my boy died; and his simple words have always been an encouragement to me. The words were: 'Your boy was an Old Symondian and still is.' In that 'sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life' we commend the soul of Percy Tom Freeman to the mercy of God.


Obituary for Mr Jack Northeast

Transcribed by Jim Wishart, on 18th. April 2013, from the Spring issue of the newsletter of the Symondians Association.
Secretary: Jem Musselwhite

School Notes from the 'Symondian' 1967-1968

"Just four weeks after the beginning of the new session, 1968-1969, the School was stunned to hear of the sudden death of Mr JL Northeast."

Jack Northeast ...
By his sudden and untimely death on 3rd October 1968, the School lost a devoted servant, and to his colleagues, the boys, and many Old Symondians, a most loyal and warm friend.
A student at King Alfred's College from 1928 to 1930, he went from there to teach at Danemark School, then situated at North Walls. In 1940 he joined our staff. He served as an Officer in the Royal Air Force, chiefly in the Middle East, from 1941 to 1946. Thus, for forty years, excluding his war service, his teaching career had been in Wincherster.
His love for the City and its ancient buildings is revealed in his book, "With an Artist in Winchester." His love for the County and for the countryside is manifest in many of the pictures he has painted. His love for the School is reflected in the sorrow which all here feel at his passing.
Perhaps it is the younger boys who will miss him most. He was always very kind to them and took the greatest care to make new boys feel at home. They valued his patience and friendliness and repaid him with their friendship.
Although he taught some Geography in the Lower School, Art was his main subject and Gater Room bears witness to his industry and enthusiasm. The Art Society flourished under his guidance. The external visits and internal competitions which he organised stimulated keenness and interest in the subject throughout the School.
In his earlier days he was in charge of swimming here. He was a qualified instructor and examiner of the Royal Life Saving Society and, for a time, he organised the School classes. He was also, at one time, responsible for the School tennis team, and, in 1940, he played for the School at Rugby Football.
He lived at Crawley for thirty years and there he had earned himself a position of respect and esteem. He will be missed there as he is missed here, and our hearts go out in sympathy to his widow and his daughter in their tragic loss.

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A memorial service was held at Varley Hall at Morning Assembly on 11th October. The lessons were read by AP Lang (LLB) and Mr SJ Cooksey.

I confirm he was a much loved Master at the School - Jim Wishart


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I must be living in a parallel universe. I remember Cooksey as a sadistic morose Auswitch commandant doppelgänger. Similarly Jake Ashurst who caned me several times for various teenage misdemeanours.


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