Pictured above: VE Day 1945 – Eustace and Mrs Wickett on platform
School Life During Wartime: Memories from the late Hugh Berryman CO48 (from a speech given in 1982 to TSOBA)
“It was during the war in 1941 I attended Treliske when food and sweets were on ration. Compared with today the school was quite small, with only 25 boarders and 14 day boys. Mr Stratton the head taught form 2 and his wife the first form. The fees then were £13 10s for a boarder and £8 for day pupils per term.
By 1942 every piece of available land was to be ploughed to grow extra vegetables. It was suggested that the playing field at Treliske be planted but Mr T.S. did not fancy ploughing up his cricket pitch, so it was agreed that the front lawn be used for this purpose. Much of the boys’ spare time was spent planting and hoeing the crops and in fact there was a surplus which was sent to the main school
At this time we had an air raid shelter on the playing field to which we would run during an air raid. We prayed for this every night so we could get out of bed!!
We were short of kitchen staff so we had a rota for peeling potatoes. One Wednesday afternoon father and mother came to see me and had a good laugh to see three little boys in white aprons, one of which was me peeling potatoes.
Those days spent at Treliske were very happy thanks to the late Mr & Mrs Stratton.”
School Notes: ‘As this issue goes to press the glad news of the European Victory is published. The long night is ended and we greet the dawn of a new day with great thankfulness. We read with pride the long list of Old Boys who have served in the Forces. Some have gained high distinction and they are the first to point out that many acts of courage and heroism pass unseen and receive no recognition. The glamour of War has long since departed and probably most of those who have served have done so feeling they were doing a hateful but necessary thing. We honour them all. A few, impressed with the wickedness of War and feeling ‘that they could take no part in it’, have had the moral courage to face the ignominy of the tribunals. Their sincerity was manifest and they have served the nation faithfully in other essential services. We respect them even if we cannot share their views.
We rejoice to welcome home the liberated Prisoners of War. So far we have only heard of Maurice Mercer and Raymond Searle but we hope to hear of the safe arrival of the others very shortly.
When the Japanese War is over and demobilisation is complete we hope to arrange a Grand re-union at the School’.
War Memorial: Killed & missing = more than 50 so far. Only response to suggestions for war memorial was from Lt Col. J. Penhaligon, later k. in a.
Kent College: Hope to return to Canterbury at the end of the term. Stoke Damerel to return to Plymouth also. ‘The association with KC has been a very amicable one and there must be many KC boys who know much more about Truro than Canterbury. It would be very pleasing if the connection between the two Schools could be continued by means of annual match at Truro and Canterbury alternately.’
Education Act: 1 April 1945 – school’s position in national education system. ‘Up to the present the School has been a Direct Grant School, ie it has received a Capitation Grant from the Board of Education for every pupil, and, in return, has taken a number of boys free of charge. In addition the School received for some years a Grant of about £700 from the Cornwall County Council in consideration of the fact that the existence of the School saved the County the expense of building and maintaining a County School for Boys in the City. When the tuition fees were raised to ten guineas per term a little time ago the Governors relinquished this Grant and the County Council has used the money to enable parents of Truro boys to pay the increased fee.
Under the new Education Act the conditions for Direct Grant are more onerous. The School would have to give 25 per cent free places and put another 25 per cent at the disposal of the LEA who would pay fees for them. This would considerably alter the character of the School, as it would mean that half the School would be Day-Boys. Since 1920 the percentage of Boarders has very greatly increased as the following figures will show, and we are now predominantly a Boarding School.
The Governors are anxious that the School should contribute its full share towards National Education while at the same time preserving its independence. The matter is not yet decided but this aim can probably best be reached if the School relinquishes all State aid and depends only upon fees. It would then co-operate with the Ministry of Education by accepting a certain number of boarders who would be assisted with bursaries by the Ministry.’
Treliske: Since Spring 1944 – 17 boarders and 7 day boys promoted to main school. long waiting listing. Applications received for 1948. ‘As a result of the strong demand the age for entry of boarders has been raised from 7 to 8 years, and we can accept only those intending to complete their school careers at Truro School. The planned extension of accommodation is urgently needed…
The restrictions due to war conditions have hampered our games activities considerably. Football has been limited to those possessing football boots, and in these circumstances the House matches and matches against other schools could not be played. Last summer term the ban on the use of the roads and lack of running shoes resulted in the cancellation of our athletic sports. Cricket suffered less, though for this too the clothing was difficult to obtain….’
Prefects: Head Prefect – R.A. Shaw
Toc H: Chairman – RA Shaw
Secretaries – LB Russell & DK Walker
Committee Members – P Pelmear & J Kirkland
Chess club – increased number. TS v KC match – club only conceded 1 ½ points in 72 games.
Drama – In January the Pilgrim Players performed Shaw’s ‘Candida’. Also school performance of ‘Julius Caesar’. Later in the term ‘Ghost Train’ was performed.
ATC athletics – In County Championships TS and KC Flight were second to Devonport High School. A team picked to play in SW command championships at Taunton. Cornwall won the Challenge cup with 164 points, Gloucester 2nd and Devon 3rd.
Music – Piano – Associated Board exams
Rugby – 1st XV – colours: J Carty, P Cleaver, I Goodhand, R Shaw, JH Thomas, TK Vivian (capt), WR White.
Soccer – 1st XI – colours: TK Vivian (capt), I Goodhand, CEP Stephens, DS Blair, J Bellingham, RA Shaw, KR Rust.
Kent College arrived from Canterbury early in the 1940 summer term. The school magazine reported that in a very short time new friendships were formed and by this time they feel very comfortably at home with us. We are very happy that their forced exile from their native school has brought with it the compensations of new friendships.
To combat a lack of teachers, as many were conscripted, Kent College was amalgamated with Truro School; the school magazine included reports from Kent College House. Their respective prep departments remained separate at Tremorvah and Treliske.
The Kent College boys were accommodated in four hostels, Tremorvah, Elstow, Three Corners and The Gable. There were roughly 75 boarders and 8 day boys in Kent College, bringing the grand total of the combined schools to 392.
In 1944 the Kent College staff remaining at Truro were H.J Prickett (Headmaster), P.W Richards (2nd Master), R.A Day, A.E St G Gratte, J.T Hargreaves, S.A Spicer.
The Kent College Junior School at Tremorvah had 22 boys and as there was a demand in the district for more accommodation for Juniors it has been decided to expand this Junior Department for the duration by taking in day-boys between 7 and 11 years of age. It was possible for dayboys to pass on to Truro School if Kent College were to move back to Canterbury earlier than anticipated.
In May 1945 the magazine wrote:
Kent College hope to be able to return to Canterbury at the end of this term. Probably Stoke Damerel will also return to Plymouth and we shall once more have our buildings to ourselves. The association with KC has been a very amicable one and there must be many KC boys who know much more about Truro than Canterbury. It would be very pleasing if the connection between the two Schools could be continued by means of an annual match at Truro and Canterbury alternately.
They finally returned home to Canterbury in September 1945; we miss them, but shall always have a reminder of their sojourn in our midst in the shape of a fine silver cup which they so kindly presented to the School at the end of last term.
Truro School and Kent college Prefectorial staff, 1945
This week’s sermon with Reverend Aubin de Gruchy reflects on the events of VE Day