Harrow County Staff

Mr. R. S. King

Mr. R. S. King also retired in July and again the word seems a misnomer.  It is impossible to imagine him sitting down and quietly contemplating the future from an armchair: his zest for living will surely be driving him with characteristic enthusiasm into some new occupation.  It is difficult, too, to contemplate the School without him; he was after all almost built in with the bricks, being School captain, Preston House Captain and the first School Rugby Football captain in 1922/3.  He spent four years at King's College, London, during which time he managed not only to get his B.Sc. degree but to captain the College Boat Club and become President of the University Boat Club, winning his University colours for Rowing.  In his spare time he was A. S. M. of the 4th Harrow Scout Troop: later in life he was a flying officer in the School's Air Training Squadron throughout the War years.

After nine years at Lord William's School, Thame, he returned to Gayton Road in 1937 and became Head of Applied Maths in 1955, taking over the Maths Department from Mr. Duke in 1959.  His enormous energies found further outlet in his interest in Athletics and Rugby, for he held important posts in County Athletics and he refereed Rugby until within sight of retirement.  With Mr. Webb he took parties of boys abroad with the School Travel Club, Switzerland being a special favourite.

All scientists going to a university for the last ten years have passed through his hands and benefited from his advice as University Careers Master.  For many years, too, he was a Chief Examiner in Mathematics for the London University G. C. E. and his experience here was responsible for his being seconded to Ghana last year in order to help them with running their examination system.

The annual magical appearance of the Timetable was the result of his work since 1954: it was an education in itself to see his brain at work performing a task that a famous electronics firm once told him could not be done by a computer.  Since he took over as Housemater, Preston house seems to have had an unbroken sequence of successes.   The reason is not hard to find, perhaps.  Mr. King was in so many ways devoted to Harrow County and to its pupils.  He guarded its traditions zealously and fought tenaciously for the rights and privileges that he thought the Sixth Form deserved.   He had the supreme gift for a Schoolmaster of being able to regard boys as if they were human beings, and his unfailing courtesy and interest in their problems made hima well-loved figure throughout his long career.  To countless Old Gaytonians at Sudbury and elsewhere he is "Reg" rather than "Killer" - - a nickname that he was delighted to hear used about himself, perhaps because he knew how absurdly inappropriate it was.

Gaytonian 1965

for more about Mr. King see Reminiscences of Brian Hester

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