Schools

Photo:Winston Churchill C. 1884

Winston Churchill C. 1884

Taken from "Life and Time of Winston Churchill" Odhams Press

Photo:Winston Churchill, Royal Pavilion Brighton, 3rd October 1947

Winston Churchill, Royal Pavilion Brighton, 3rd October 1947

Planet News

Photo:29-30 Brunswick Road Hove, 2005

29-30 Brunswick Road Hove, 2005

Photo by Peter Groves

Winston Churchill in Hove

By Peter Groves

Winston Spencer Churchill, probably the most well known person in English history, once went to school in Brighton. This is what Churchill himself tells us in his book "My Early Life" first published in 1930. However, although close to the truth, Churchill actually went to school in neighbouring Hove.

Born in November 1874
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on the last day of November 1874, at Blenheim Palace, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Marlborough. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was the third son of the Duke of Marlborough and M.P. for Woodstock in Oxfordshire. His American mother, Jeannette Jerome, had married Randolph in April of that year. Winston had been born two months prematurely seven months after the marriage.

A childhood in boarding schools
Winston spent much of his childhood at boarding schools and initially he went to St George's private school in Ascot. His rebellious nature clashed with the strict disciplinary regime at St. George's where he spent an unhappy time. Flogging with the birch was a part of the curriculum, and Winston got his fair share! It was probably for this reason, together with his parents' concern that he was a frail child, that a change of school was decided.

His preparatory school in Brunswick Road
The preparatory school chosen by his parents was in Hove, at numbers 29 - 30 Brunswick Road, on the corner of Lansdowne Road. The reason for this choice was that the family doctor, Robson Roose, practised in the town. His recommendation was that the "fresh sea air" would be good for the delicate young Winston. The school was run in a very different manner by two sisters, Kate and Charlotte Thomson. Winston was shown kindness and sympathy, lacking at the earlier school. He was taught there between 1883 and 1885, although some records show it as between 1884 and 1887.

On the outskirts of the town
At this time Lansdowne Road was the northern boundary of the Brunswick area. Churchill's school was virtually on the outskirts of town, with open land to the north. St Ann's Wells Gardens, yet to be opened as a public park, was called the Wick or Chalybeate. This was a wooded area with a medicinal spring, owned by Sir Julian Goldsmid. Did Churchill play here or even drink the spring water?

Winston's favourable memories of Hove
Winston's memories of the school in Hove were more favourable than the earlier school, "I was allowed to learn things which interested me: French, history, and lots of poetry by heart, and above all riding and swimming." Did he go horse riding on open land close by, and swim from the beaches of Hove, just down from the school?

The naughtiest small boy in the world!
Miss Eva Moore, the actress, was dancing mistress at the school. She thought he was the naughtiest small boy in the world! The school often went to the church service held at the Chapel Royal in North Street. Winston had acquired "low church principles" from his nurse Mrs Everest. His behaviour during service was not as one would expect of a well brought up young man. No punishment was inflicted on young Winston, however the Thomson sisters were able to show him the error of his ways, by other means, which had a more positive effect!

Survived childhood pneumonia
It was just as well that the school in Hove, close to Doctor Roose, was chosen. Shortly after settling in at the school Winston caught pneumonia. For five days he clung to life, many others not so fortunate would have died from the ailment. The faithful Doctor Roose barely left his side. Winston came close to death but with the caring doctor's attention he eventually pulled through!

Aged 13, Winston moved from the Hove school, not to Eton as expected, but to Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Given the freedom of the borough in 1947
Although Winston probably had no deeper affiliation with Brighton than many other towns across the country, he did visit Brighton a number of times during his long career. During the war he came down to inspect the defences. No one knew of his visit but he was quickly spotted and a large enthusiastic crowed soon gathered. Following the War he visited the town in October 1947 for the Conservative Party Conference which was then held at the Dome. The day before he addressed the Party at the Dome he was at the Royal Pavilion, where he received the Freedom of the Borough of Brighton. In the 1950s his health was deteriorating and he visited the town for the last time in 1952 for a visit to Brighton Races.

Winston Churchill died on 24th January 1965. However his name lives on in Brighton as Churchill Square, the town's main shopping centre, which is named after him.

Added to the site on 22-11-05
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
The school was called Brunswick School. It later moved to Oathall Road in Haywards Heath and was evacuated to Cornwall for the duration of World War II. When I attended the school in 1944 it was run by Messrs Goldman and Leeds-Harrison. I would be interested to know how long it survived.
By David B. Porter (28/08/2006)

In answer to Mr. Porter's query, Brunswick School is still extant and proud of its connection with WSC. The school moved from Haywards Heath to a large country house, Dutton-Homestall, in Ashurst Wood, West Sussex in 1958. It was joined by Stoke House, formerly at Seaford, in 1963. It is now called Stoke Brunswick. More information will be found at www.stokebrunswick.co.uk

By Richard Sawyer, school bursar (02/12/2007)

I would be interested to hear David Porter's memories of his time at Brunswick and of my father Michael Leeds-Harrison

By Susi Jefford (27/05/2008)

Well, Susi, sort of remember you - your brother went to school with me (Brunswick, '56-'61) and I remember your father and Mr. Goldman very well (the latter used to call me "Smiler"). Did you perhaps go to Trevelyan up the road (as did my sister)? I do not remember your mother's name or Mrs. Goldman's (Lucy? Lucille?), but I do remember your Pa's big AC saloon -very impressive - and "MG" used to drive a black Jaguar SS, didn't he? The things little boys remember. Neither do I remember well the Goldmans son's name? Barry! That's it. Your brother's name was Peter, maybe?  Your father used to make the explosive tennis balls that were a feature of Guy Fawke's night and I think it was his doing to rig up the aerial line along which a rocket was fired to ignite the bonfire?  Wonderful days...your Pa and MG were the kindest of people (for the most part).

By Christopher Godfrey (17/07/2008)

Of course I remember you and your sister Angela. Is she still acting? I would have answered your comments earlier but only discovered it by doing a Google search on my name!  What are doing these days?  Peter, my brother, was older than you I think? He is semi retired.

By Susi Jefford (12/11/2008)

Well, well, well. After all these years I have finally caught up with some of the 'inmates' of Brunswick. I remember both Susi and Peter L-H very well. When I first arrived at the school (as a master!) I lived at Heath House and every morning their mother (Mickey - and Mrs. Goldman was Clarice) used to bring up the hot water to my room and S & P would slide down my raised knees on top of the bedclothes! I found this website simply because my grandson is going to St. Edmunds Hindhead next term and one of the school that they play against is Stoke Brunswick! There are still 3 of us old beaks who keep in touch: me, Peter Tame and Nigel Gray. John Marjoriebanks now lives in Yorkshire and is blind and sadly Tony Poole died last year. It could well be that David Porter might know Peter Tame, who joined the school in Cornwall when it was evacuated down there during the war. By the way I now live in Liss, Hants, having moved from Padstow, so we would be very pleased to meet up with any of you if you are in the area. Barry Goldman was Commodore on the Illustrious (I think!) and is now in charge of something to do with the Port of London. I noticed that a Christopher Godfrey has written in, you must be the same person who sang the solo at the school carol service to 'Once in Royal' as you also did in my village church at Upper Beeding. Did you not go out to Africa?

By Eric Streete (19/03/2009)

My Mum, Doris Sagar, went there in about 1930. Don't suppose there's anyone alive who remembers her?

By Susan Morris (23/03/2009)

The names ring very vague bells. I moved to Dutton Homestall as a pupil. I was first at Stoke House (Head master Mr Piper) then was moved to a small school in Sussex, I think - cannot really remember. Then went to Dutton Homestall at which Brunswick and my small school joined forces.
I am just reawakening my interst, after receiving the Good and Bad news letter from the school about its future.

By Richard Brown (01/05/2009)

I'm doing some research about someone called Peter Neave who was at this school around 1923; he later joined the forces and became a POW in Germany. Does anyone recognise the name or know where I could dig up more information?

By Colleen Adams (09/08/2009)

Susi, I am slow in getting back to this website; but I was so impressed that you would have remembered my sister Angela and myself (yes, she did go onto the stage; but that did not last...she has lived for many years in Israel where she does great work as an activist). Now to have seen that my dear Mr. Streete is still around is just the most delightful news! Of course this is one-and-the-same Godfrey! Wanted me to go on to a choir school in fact, did you not? Well, nothing became of that idea and I now have a sad story to tell you: every Christmas you faithfully made tapes of our Christmas services, our break-up suppers and my solo at Upper Beeding (of course I remember!) and you then sent them to my parents in Mombasa. Years later, when my Pa was in the UK on leave, he left a bag of those recordings lying around at our guardians' place in Henfield; a young Italian staying at our guardian's remarked on all the tape and my Pa, not realising or forgetting what was on them, simply gave them away! Oy, vey! I loved singing for you, you know, and you were always inspirational. You might be happy to know I have enjoyed a lifelong love affair with classical music. I remember Mr. Thame equally fondly: he married Anne, someone who was our matron and they came with us to East Grinstead, where he started a Scout troop. I remember Mr. Gray; but less well. The other person whom I remember vividly was Mr. Poole who met us at Victoria station on my very first day at Brunswick -- oh, and how could one forget David Ticehurst? You put us up against one another in an extract from The Christmas Oratorio, did you not? Everyone loved him. My own daughters are now grown and we are all in the United States (one married) after years in South Africa, which I continue to miss (wonderful birdlife, apart from anything else). I flew for many years in SA but am now living and working in Gloucester, MA. I'm not a grandparent yet. How marvellous to see your name in print again: I always wondered...warm wishes to you! You, too, Susi Jefford.

By Christopher Godfrey (24/02/2010)

Colleen, there a Neave at Brunswick in '56/'57 before we removed to East Grinstead -- one might guess he'd be the son...? I cannot remember his first name or the face to go with the name.

By Christopher Godfrey (25/02/2010)

It was really wonderful to hear from you Christopher again and to find that it was the same person! What a memory you have too! Thank you for your kind comments and I do remember most of them! Sadly David Ticehurst passed away in 1999 and Tony Poole in 2007. However, Peter Tame and his wife (matron!) are both well are are now living in Wimborne, Dorset. We still keep in touch and meet up fairly regularly just to discuss 'the good old days'. Our son lives in California, but unfortunately he is west and you are east otherwise we could have met up. Do you ever visit the UK? As you probably are aware, Brunswick is now no more, closing down for lack of pupils last summer. Regarding a Neave at Brunswick, his son, I think was the one who joined the school in 1954 as an eight year old and his initials were J.S.B. Neave. He was still in the school in 1958 in VIa (top form) so probably moved to Dutton. This I have obtained from the Brunswick Chronicle of 1955! Yes I still have one or two here! Other than that, that is all I can say. Just hope it helps.

By Eric Streete (04/03/2010)

Mr. Streete -- Eric: I am godfrey.christopher@gmail.com if you should feel like continuing this (I hope so!) Best wishes, CG

By Christopher Godfrey (28/03/2010)

I would like to hear from any pupil or master that attended Brunswick, Haywards Heath 1952-1955- (share some memories).

By John Fletcher Robson (09/05/2010)

Colleen, I also recall a Neave (I think he was known as Simon) at Brunswick in the mid/late 1950s and have a couple of school photos of that time, in which he is present and identifiable. Wasn't Peter Neave at Colditz for a time? I bought a house many years ago from the widow of the last Escape Officer at Colditz. I remember asking her if there were any tunnels under the house that I should be aware of - which was received with a scowl. Please let me know if you want to borrow the photos. Kind regards.

By Michael Crow (10/05/2010)

Michael Crow! I remember you so well -- M.R.S.Crow! Contemporaries of ours were Peter Harrison (not Leeds Harrison -- this one always had wildlife or fossils in his desk); John Baber; Heslop; Hawes; Chris Fell (of course!); D.M.T.B. Hancock from Ditchling...and I also remember Neave. Oh, the Cripps boys (three of them?) Did you come to Ashurstwood with us or not? I cannot remember...

By Christopher Godfrey (10/06/2010)

I can hardly believe that I have stumbled onto this Brunswickian correspondence, and wonder if there is anyone out there who might remember me. I first went to the school in 1955 and left (for Stowe, Oxford and a life abroad) in 1960. I have since been living mostly in Asia (I am now in Manila), but retain very clear memories of the Goldmans, Leeds Harrisons, and many others from those far-off days. I would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to get in touch.

By Robbie Salamon (15/08/2010)

Robbie Salamon - As soon as I read that surname a face flashed before me, but I must be mistaken because I attended Brunswick 1952 -1955 and this person was there before 1955. Did you have an older brother at Brunswick? I have been trying to get a photo of the old school which doesn't exist any more, but no luck.

By John Robson (25/08/2010)

Hello John, you must have attended Brunswick alongside my brother Mike who was a pupil there from 1950 to 1955. (Being five years the younger, I just missed him by a term.) Sad to say, Mike died in 2005 after an adventurous and successful life cut all too short by prostate cancer. I may have some old photos of the school taken during its Haywards Heath era (it moved during my time to Dutton Homestall); I'll check when I am next in London (possibly next month). If I find anything, I'll let you know via this message board.

By Robbie Salamon (26/08/2010)

Robbie Salamon: I most certainly remember you! Very blonde and, yes, a year ahead of me. When we were allowed to watch TV in the little library on Saturdays there was a rush to sit in front because then one had the pleasure of having one's scalp tickled! You were also a thumb-sucker in them, thar days! (Funny, the things one remembers!) You should also remember Michael Crow (above): he was same age as me and went to East Grinstead - I suspect that you did ? With us at Haywards Heath was also Harry Hayes, whose dad was a musician in London. And Mark Hancock from Ditchling; Harrison, who always had botanical and zoological "stuff" in his desk! Vincent Emms sat next to me in the front rows (choir) -- he'd have been your age, I reckon? John Raber lived in Germany: his Pa was a major in the Corps of Engineers. Chris Fell was my best friend for many years. Harry Hawes. Philip Heslop. My parents left UK to go live in Kenya and the whole family later ended up in South Africa, where my daughters were born. We are now in USA - I am in Massachusetts. I am afraid we have purloined this site - it was suppoed to have been a thread about Haywards Heath (my sister went to Trevelyan up the road, opposite St. Wilfred's church, where I usually got to sing solos). Warm wishes!

By Christopher Godfrey (26/08/2010)

Hello again Robbie. So sorry to hear about Mike. I used to admire his skills on the sports grounds and was envious of his naturally wavy hair. I would be grateful for any Haywards Heath Brunswick memorabilia that you could email to johnfrobson@hotmail.com  Cheers.

By John Robson (29/08/2010)

Hello John and Christopher, thanks for your notes -- and reminders of times long past. Some names bring back memories of what was, I think, a happy school despite the spartan diet and the rule of the dreaded basting spoon. I was very sorry to hear that Brunswick no longer exists, and sometimes wonder what happened to such esoteric items as the chapel's Roll of Honour of former pupils who were killed in the two world wars, and whose names were read out at each Armistice Day memorial service...? Cheers. (FYI, my email address is rhsalamon@yahoo.co.uk).

By Robbie Salamon (31/08/2010)

I was at a nearby prep school called Ashfold at Handcross from 1946 to 1951 and we used to play against Brunswick. I remember a charismatic boy at Brunswick called 'Candy' Kitchin - good sportsman. Ashfold moved from Sussex to Dorton in Buckinghamshire in the 1960s.

By Jeremy Wheeler (19/03/2011)

Does anyone know if the school archive still exists. I am particularly interested in Brunswick School in the early 1890s? Charles Messenger (cmessen982@aol.com)

By Charles Messenger (31/03/2011)

In response to John Robson's request for a photograph of the school, I have one from 1955 and would be happy to scan and send a copy to him. There are so many people here that I recall!

By Kent Steele (03/08/2011)

I remember Steele very well, too; but never knew you as Kent. Please will you be good enough to send me also the photo you have of "our" Brunswick? godfrey dot christopher at gmail dot com. Many thanks! I wonder how soon they tore the place down after we left? I suspect that you, Kent, did not go to East Grinstead? Cannot remember you there, but I may be wrong?

By Christopher Godfrey (04/01/2012)

I was at Brunswick, Haywards Heath for one term before moving to Dutton Homestall for 3 terms. I then moved to another prep school - Hawthorns in Redhill which in turn moved to Bletchingly. The only name I can remember now is Rogers (we never used first names then!).

By Rob Scott (30/01/2012)

Michael Crow - if you still check this message board, I'd be very interested in that photograph! My email address is cadams255@yahoo.com Thanks!

By Colleen Adams (09/03/2012)

I have just found my late father's 1951 Form VIa Brunswick report card from the Haywards Heath era. Makes for interesting reading! He passed away ten years ago, and I am very keen to follow up any information I can find about his youth, out of curiosity and respect. If anyone here even vaguely remembers Donald (D.G.L.) Pattenden - I would love to know. It is great to read so many memories and... similarly obscure... ways of finding this site.

By Mark Pattenden (10/03/2012)

I was very interested to find this website as I was a pupil at Brunswick Haywards Heath from 1952-1956. Several names mentioned from this era have jogged my memory and I would be interested to hear from any fellow pupils from the same time.

By Peter Claudet (08/11/2012)

I have just come across this website for the first time, having unsuccessfully tried to make contact with Brunswick contemporaries via Friends Reunited. I was at Brunswick, Haywards Heath from 1945 - 1949, having spent half a term at Michaelstow House in 1944 (Evacuated from the Doodle Bugs). My two elder brothers Chris and Peter both also went to Brunswick and were both evacuated from Haywards Heath to Michaelstow in 1939 / 40. All three of us went on to Tonbridge (Michael Leeds-Harrison's alma mater - Mervyn Goldman went to Haileybury which also received many boys from Brunswick at that time). The only correspondent to this column whom I remember was DB Porter - David Porter, who not only went to Brunswick, but also lived close to me at home - we were called the Chipstead Chumps by MG! Along with Mike Spence (who later became a Formula 1 racing driver and who was sadly killed at Minneapoilis many years ago) and his brother John. It would be good to hear from any of my contemporaries at Brunswick, who read this. If you prefer to contact me direct my email is brian.robertswray@tiscali.co.uk . Incidentally a year or so ago I went to Michaelstow House in Cornwall (by then a sort of holiday village, and just about to close down). The place was unmistakable and it was a fascinating visit. The owners told me they had had several visits from Brunswick Old Boys who had fond memories of their time at Michaelstow during World War 2.

By Brian Roberts-Wray (28/12/2012)

Crickey, is this what you do in your first year of retirement - search the web for this and that. Yup, remember my time at Brunswick, probably from 1957 and the move to Dutton Holmestall a year or so later. The Goldmans I remember well, also Leeds Harrison and that black car of his. Memories are of inkwells, running down to the swimming pool with only a towel before breakfast, throwing it down and doing a naked length (very politically incorrect nowadays!) in freezing greenish water, the lots (is that what they were called) and did they only have half doors. Masters I recall include the Tames, also the Rev Ticehurst who took me and my brother down to Hove for day exeats as our parents lived overseas. It was so long ago - oh yes there was drill on the playground if you accumulated 'minus' points and the gym was turned into an indoor firing range as and when required, which I thought a little alarming. Was there not a dreaded rep contest at the end of each term? It was so long ago as I surf the web from Australia....

By Graham Fuller (31/03/2013)

I must be getting very, very forgetful in my 'young' age! I had completely forgotten about this web site until just now (obviously). I note that Mark Patterden has written about his late father who was at the school in 1951. Yes Mark, I remember him. I taught him English (although I don't know whether it was any good!) in 1951. I joined Brunswick for two terms in 1951 teaching 6a English and Geography, having taken over from Tony Poole and before returning as music director in 1953. I have in my possession a copy of the Brunswick Chronicle No. 28 June 1951 in which it shows your father as no. 2 in the list following Tarrant (the vicar of Haywards Heath son) and below such boys as Moore, Bull, Peskett and Warren, who was head boy, etc. He is also mentioned as having played in the soccer team of Autumn 1950.

By Eroc Streete (02/07/2013)

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