“Petters”

OB Geoffrey Giles has been in touch with pictures and memories of Mr. Pettoello and Mr. Coward from a picnic tea at Bradbury Rings, in June 1963.

Mr. Pettoello (L) and Mr. Coward
Mr. Pettoello

He writes:

Tu 11    All the Latin set went out to Badbury Rings with Mr. Pettoello & Mr. Coward for picnic tea, i.e. Cyder & Fruit Salad, with white wine. Afterwards went to see “Caesar & Cicero” at Bryanston School.

The play at Bryanston was performed in their outdoor amphitheatre. Petters was a rather strict disciplinarian, and I had him for 6 years of Latin. This was the first time we’d experienced him as a very jovial, off-duty teacher, and so was regarded as a great occasion. I’m sure he provided the wine, which was seen as quite daring. Would teachers do this nowadays? I do hope it would still be seen as acceptable sociability training!

I think Mr. Coward may have been new that year, and I have only a vague memory of him.

In the last few months I’ve also enjoyed a vigorous correspondence with the three friends who attended last years OBs’ annual dinner with me, sharing information about some of our teachers, and doing a bit of research. It turns out that Mr. Pettoello served with an SOE political intelligence unit in Italy during World War Two, of which we knew nothing when we were at school. We’ve found mentions of distinguished service by other teachers as well, and it would be fascinating to know more about their war activities.

Does anyone know of other wartime stories involving their former teachers?

Share Your School Stories

Sarah Coles has got in touch to speak to some OB’s about their experiences of Bournemouth School. She writes:


I am a mature History Undergraduate at Bournemouth University and, as part of a community history project, am looking into the educational and linked social opportunities available in Bournemouth throughout the years. This is a group project and I have been tasked with researching the grammar schools.


I would be very interested to hear from anybody who would like to tell me their tales of grammar school life in Bournemouth. This could be through a telephone conversation, e-mail or face to face meeting.
Please email me in the first instance with your preferred method of contact and I will get back to you in person.


Thank you for your time and I hope to hear your tales soon.
Sarah 😀.

You can contact Sarah on email:
scarerc@yahoo.co.uk

Order Now – Bournemouth Heroes: The Patriots of Bournemouth School 1914-1918

Will Pyke has got in touch with more information about his new book, which is now available to order through Amazon and Waterstones.

Contact: wdpyke@btinternet.com

Purchase: hardback or paperback

About the book: Bournemouth Heroes tells the story of the British Army on the Western Front in Belgium and France, 1914-18. The narrative integrates the experiences of Bournemouthians who took part in these campaigns from the initial battles of August 1914 to the Armistice of 1918 and the occupation of Germany in 1919, and sets out to assess the contribution made by a small and newly-founded boys’ grammar school to the course of the war. As the author reveals, Bournemouth School members were involved in every major battle fought by the British Army on the Western Front. There, they were involved in all of the many developments of the war, including the first use of poison gas, of flamethrowers, and of tanks. These included boys who managed to serve despite being under-age, with some paying the ultimate price for their bravery.

Having established the membership of the school from its foundation in 1901, the author began eighteen years of research using school records; a range of local newspapers from the period; files held at the National Archives, and elsewhere; information offered by contacts made through the school and through on-line forums; and through on-line archives from various Commonwealth countries. He identified 1,125 members of the school to investigate, and 674 members of the school who served, though by no means only on the Western Front. Over one hundred of them were killed, and many more wounded.

The book will be of interest not only to military historians, but also to anyone with an interest in Bournemouth, Bournemouth School, and the families from Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Dorset whose lives were changed so dramatically by participation in the events of the war.

Will Pyke: The Patriots of Bournemouth School

Former History teacher and Deputy Headmaster William Pyke, who’s career at Bournemouth School spanned almost three decades (1987-2014), has published a book which is now available to pre-order. It focuses on the stories of school alumni from WWI.

His research has also contributed new names to the School’s Roll of Honour.

2018 Remembrance Service

All Old Bournemouthians are invited to attend the School’s Remembrance Service.

It shall be held at the School on 9th November at 10:00. Guests are asked to contact the School if they are interested in attending.

A recent Daily Echo article makes reference to former History Master and Deputy Head Master William Pyke, who shall be giving an address in the Assembly. He has recently written a book about alumni involvement in WWI. His research has also contributed new names to the School’s Roll of Honour.

The Association has donated £250 to the School to the cover costs of wreaths and materials for a large poppy display that shall be made by pupils.

Historic Prefect Badge

A post submitted in a Bournemouth local history Facebook page shows an old prefect badge with bearers’ names inscribed on the reverse. Mike Fuller, the author of the post, is trying to reunite it:

This is a prefect’s badge from Bournemouth School. It is made of sterling silver and is engraved with the names of several ex-pupils on the reverse: N. Trayfort, A. Petty, K. Flintshire (46-47), J. Yeadon (54-55) and R. D. Seall (these are the names I can decipher). It is available to anyone who can convince me they are an ex-wearer or is a close relative.

The original post can be found in the Old Bournemouthians’ Association Facebook page.

Memories of the Officer Training Corps

We have recently been contacted by Mr P. John Fish, who was at the school between 1942 and 1948. He is enjoying getting into the school’s history in his retirement, and was particularly interested in our 2016 post of the historical role of the school OTC’s cap badge. Mr Fish has been kind enough to type up some of his memories of the school in his time, with a view that it may interest others. Continue reading