WW1 Alumni

Green, HF

H.F Green

Signalman, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve HMS Implacable 

Apart from knowing that H.F Green fought in WW1 we do not know much about his war record. He did however write to Alleyn's School in 1981 in response to the Centenary Appeal, giving some details of his school days from 1905 to 1909. Excerpts from his letter are:

Sample page from H.F Green's letter

"I thought you might like a record of a boy's impression, as far as my memory goes, of the school in the period 1905-1909. I was possibly one of the first scholarship boys accepted by the School on a scholarship from the School Board for London. There were four boys with such scholarships and I must say that no distinction of any kind was made between us and the paying pupils.

I started with Mr Carrick in 4B; he was also the music master. He tried out my voice, quite hopeless. I think that the scholarship boys settled in quite well with the lessons and enjoyed the atmosphere and surroundings to the full.

I think the lunch time period was 12.30 - 1.45; some boys went home, some had a packed lunch, some relied on the buttery run by the school caretaker and his wife - Biscuits (Fry's chocolate 1d per slab; brick (a form of bread pudding); often a jam tart (invariably apricot), each at 1d per piece; all helped our lunches.

I went on to 5B and then 6B with Mr Cribb and when the House system came along I became a House Prefect and then a School Prefect. I was not good at football, a bit better at cricket and did get my colours. I think it was the Master of Spurgeon's who tried to introduce Rugby, but it was not popular in a soccer school. I played fives for the House and was one of the School's fourth pair.

The Prefects had a basement room where we engineered a billiards table from heavy books for the cushions and gaps for the pockets. We played fives in a corner of the room and, I am afraid, we had requests from masters in the forms above for less noise please. Mr Cribb was a very gentle, precise gentleman, his desk was always very neat and everything nicely arranged. Pat Callahan, our History Master, was witty and chewed wooden pen handles; Mr Cribb's face was a study when he saw his desk after our history lesson.

Mr F.G Collins was our Head Master, a seemed to be a very aloof man to us boys - he did occasionally take a class. He took prayers at morning assembly, the School Prefect on duty read the lesson. I remember my voice starting to break as I read one of the lessons.

I had done a number of large coloured maps for Mr Cribb for the geography lessons. Mr Collins was interested in geology and he set a desk for me in his quite large room to do maps for him; I found him to be very kindly indeed, not nearly so severe as he looked.

Mr Brading was a very gentle man, you had to like him. Also Johnny Coates, an old boy of the School, a good sportsman and a particularly good footballer - I admired him because he could write with either hand. Leading from the eastern end of the playing fields there was a house with a large lawn with a mulberry tree in the middle. When the mulberries were ripe two boys were sent to climb the tree to pick the fruit with threats that a boy with a red mouth would be in trouble! The Masters played clock golf around the lawn.

Some of the boys I remember: Tommy Powell, a wonderful goal keeper and fine cricketer who made hundreds whilst still at School. He went to Lloyds Register of Shipping and I met him at times later on when I was playing cricket for the Midland Bank, sometimes against Lloyds or against Alleyn's Old Boys. I met him in Malta also. Dick Whitmore, with Jones, were the School's first Fives pair; he came to see me about three years ago when on a trip from Canada to see his daughter. He died around 1980. Herridge was a son of a Master at the School and was one of my squad in Cribb's for gymnastics - he won the championship and Cribb's were at the top that year."

H.F Green, AOB, 1981