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November 2017

The Little Big Things - written by Henry Fraser OB Loxwood, 2008

Air Force Blue – features Denys Edgar Mileham OB Adders, 1936, killed in action 1942.

For Most Conspicuous Bravery – an autobiography of George Pearkes V.C., OB Lowers, 1906.


Three recent purchases to add to the Archive library of books, written by or about Old Berkhamstedians. All three are quite inspirational reads. Henry’s debut book has been named W.H.Smith’s non-fiction book of 2017.  If any Old Berkhamstedians would like to know the titles we hold in this category, please get in touch.

Books 4 boys

The featured artefacts for the July update, were scraps of paper, with notes hastily scribbled in lessons, signed by a trio of 1890s schoolboys and hidden behind the old Lecture Theatre benches.


Just last week, unfolding another old envelope, a dozen part and whole photographs fell out. The earliest was dated 1894 and amazingly all the names were written on the back. Amongst them, was this photo of a group of boys larking about on the old Racquet Courts …… the young man to the left of the picture is T. S. Dick, one of the aforementioned scribblers.


Pupils Notes comp

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Click image to enlarge

The newly purchased double size display cabinet, in position and filling up at an alarming rate!

Display case

If I have the time, I like nothing better than to watch the General Inspection ceremony and the presentation of the Pearkes Sword. I have often wondered if the recipients know any of the history behind the sword.

A mini project started to bubble away in my brain and it has finally come to fruition. This little presentation card gives a history of the sword and a brief description of the act of bravery and leadership, that led to the Victoria Cross being awarded to George Randolph Pearkes, in 1918.

With an additional idea for a sword lapel pin, the 2018 ceremony will see the introduction of these two keepsakes.

Pearkes card reverse Pearkes card spread copy Pearkes card cover

The routine work of research, cataloguing and collating continues and visitors from all walks of life are welcomed and shown round the School and Archive. A very recent guest, taught at the Girls’ School in the 60s. A return visit was always on the cards, after her Grandson, now in Year 12 had mentioned the Archive, after working on a History project when he was in Year 10. Time passed but eventually arrangements were made and it was a pleasure to escort her around both Schools and listen to her comments about where rooms had been and what they were used for and the fact that the Girls and Boys never mixed! Very different days.


An enquiry from the Head of Greenes and the Estates Project Manager will lead to the boys and House Tutors, researching material from the Archive, to incorporate into the refurbishment plans for the House. It should be a great mix of traditional, practical and bang up to date ideas.


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Click image to enlarge

Copyright Berkhamsted School Archive 2017

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