School History

Easter 1920

Volume XIII Easter 1920 No. 70


At the present time there is much talk about Reconstruction and amongst the people engaged in local Reconstruction are the Committee of the Southampton Old Edwardians' Association who are laying the foundations of a very strong organisation which will keep O.E.'s in touch with the School and with one another.  It has been felt that with the return of so many O.E.'s to their pre-war occupations, a definite association might be formed to include both people living in Southampton and those who are further afield.               

The Old Boys' Dinner

It was a great day.  It was a day to which every one of us had looked forward with longing for six years, and during those years many of us, who sat down to dinner at the South Western Hotel on December 19th, 1919, had often wondered if we should every be present at another Old Boys' Dinner.  And there we were at last, back in the same old room, on the same date again.  There was many and many a familiar face in the throng, but there were also a number of new ones.  Six years to a school means the adding of more names to the Old Boys list, but it also meant this time the crossing off of all too many.  We missed them in the flesh, but they were with us in spirit.

When the inner man had been satisfied, we were given food for thought, commencing with the toast of His Majesty, King George, followed by the silent homage to the memory of King Edward the Sixth.

The Mayor then rose with the remark that they had come to the most important thing of all, which was the toast to "The Memory of the Fallen".  The company rose to its feet and stood in silence, with bowed heads, for 30 seconds in honour of those heroic Edwardians who had given their lives for their country.  The lips of nearly all those who had taken part in the Great Struggle silently formed the name of some old pal who had been at School with them but who would never be present at an Old Boys' Dinner again, and the scene was extraordinarily impressive.

When Mr Fewings rose to speak the air was simply rent with the storm of cheering that arose, and it was clearly evident what a firm place our old Headmaster had in the hearts of his Old Boys.  Someone struck up "For he's a jolly good fellow" and everyone jumped up and sang with tremendous enthusiasm.  Eventually, Mr Fewings had to quell the noise by raising his finger in that inimitable way of his, the way that has calmed in a moment many a hundred such outbursts within the School.  In a voice a trifle weak from emotion he at length began to speak.

In part of his speech Mr Fewings made the following announcement.  He wished to offer to the School, through the Governors, two prizes, one for mathematics and the other for science, which he would endow in perpetuity.  The first would be in memory of Arthur Wolfe, and the second in memory of Frederick Drew, both of whom had won scholarships to Queen's College, Oxford, and both of whom had fallen in the war.  On behalf of the Governors, Canon Lovett immediately and gratefully accepted this most generous gift.

James Fewings Esq. BA, BSc - Died August 20th 1920

Mr Fewings, our late Headmaster, passed away on August 20th.  He was taken suddenly ill in March, and in spite of an operation, he gradually sank.  Until a few days before the end he received visitors, and many old boys from all parts called for a few moments' chat in which he showed all his old interest in their doings.  I last saw him on the day before I left for my holidays, never dreaming that the end was so near.  His last words to me were: "I should be very glad if you could spare time to write".  My letter must have reached him two days before his death.