Harrow County School for Boys

Reminiscences of Albert Dunkley, 1935-1940

Started school in form 2D in the autumn of 1935 with Stanley Robinson as form master; teachers were P B Bradley - English; G Armstrong - History; R J Birch - German; R R Jones - mathematics; G D Cast - Chemistry; S Robinson - Geography; Brewin - Biology; C R Crinson - Religious Knowledge; G Neal - Art.   Randall Williams was head master. At this time and until 1937 we lived in Chandos Road after which we moved to Colchester Road, Pinner. I was a member of 114 squadron Air Defence Cadet Corps.

In form 3D my form master was R J Birch ( he was my form master also for 4D and 5E) and teachers included E Evans - Geometry and R J Birch - French.   In autumn of 1937 I started in form 4D and Latin was added to my studies for two terms.   The following year, in 5E, I had S F Fooks for English Language and R S King for Mathematics.   In autumn 1939 as the war began my form moved to Harrow School with R S King as form master and J Armstrong - English Language and R T Attridge - German.  

Around this time I had been taking Woodwork with H W Webb at the Harrow Technical School  -  however I was not very adept and Cob Webb described my efforts as " disappointing".    In the early summer of 1940 I left the school with a Matriculation Certificate in German, English Language, Elementary Maths, Physics and Chemistry. I joined the Murphy Radio Training Scheme and with the formation of the Air Training Corps in 1941 I also joined 258 squadron based at Headstone School.   Before being called up for service in the RAF in September 1943 I had attained the rank of cadet Flight Sergeant.   My initial RAF training was at Skegness , then on to Cosford for trade training as a radar mechanic.    Postings to Brussels, Camberley, Cairo and Shaibah, Iraq was followed by demobilization in July 1947 after almost 4 years service.  I took advantage of the educational opportunities available to ex-servicemen and studied at Northampton Polytechnic graduating with a B.Sc (Eng).  

My wife and I spent three years working in Toronto, Canada in the early fifties.    But back to HCS  :  in the summer of 1937 my form master Roland J Birch took E Reber and me on a motor tour of Germany  - in his Morris Eight tourer, GMD 871 - and we visited Aachen, Cologne, Munich and Nuremberg where we heard Hitler speak ( at great length).  Birch was a member of the British Union of Fascists which earned him a wartime stay in Brixton Prison.  It was rumoured that he later became a Roman Catholic priest.

I am now retired and we live in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

Albert Dunkley

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