Three Rundell Boys from Norman Rundell (CO39)

It is probably not common for three boys of the same family to be at Truro School at the same time but this is what happened when the three Rundell boys, Ivor, Kenneth (Ken) and Norman were there between 1931 and 1939.

Their father left school at the age of twelve and served a five year apprenticeship as a carpenter and joiner. Cornwall was a depressed area so he sailed to South Africa in 1903 to work in the diamond mines at Kimberley before returning home to Par and starting a building business. I can take you to the first houses he built in Par Green. He later moved around Cornwall until settling in Truro. While there he built the Deputy Heads house – then it was Bert Wilday who gave me my love of history – and also Epworth House – originally an additional dormitory in the days when school was at least half boarders.

Ivor and Ken started at school in 1931. Ivor was two years older and excelled in sports. He kept goal for the football XI and made his mark on sports day with shot putting. When he left he joined the Civil Service and worked in the Post Office HQ in London. The whole family were committed Christians –thus the choice of Truro School – and Ivor registered as a conscientious objector during WW2 and was in London during the blitz and had some hairy moments. When he retired he settled in Newquay where he died at the age of 89.

Ken was a more academic type and won scholarships to read classics at Wadham at Oxford. He also registered as a conscientious objector but became convinced of the justice of the war, joined the Pioneer Corps, transferred to the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and was commissioned in the Royal Artillery, took part in the invasion of France and was awarded the Military Cross for an exploit in Holland. He spent his whole working life as a kind of public relations worker with the Moral Rearmament Group roaming the world on their behalf. I do not think he ever retired and died at the age of 90.

I, Norman, left school in 1939 to work in the Civil Service, the Air Ministry, and was evacuated to Stroud in Gloucestershire. While waiting to join the Royal Air Force I spent a short time with the Local Defence Volunteers and joined the RAF in 1941. Less than perfect eyesight prevented me from flying and I trained as a Radar Mechanic when radar was very hush-hush. After the war I returned to the Air Ministry, then spent some time in the Inland Revenue, read for the Bar and then started a new career in Magistrates Courts. I became the Clerk to the Justices at Staines, then to six divisions in North Wales and finally Slough and Windsor. In my spare time I served as a Councillor on Runnymede Borough Council and as their Mayor in 1992

All three of us have owed a great debt to our father for his wisdom in choosing Truro School where we learnt that nothing was beyond our reach if we cared enough to want it.