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1953 Tony DAVIE
: message updated 22.12.01 email address updated 15.08.10: contact: ajdavieATbtinternet.com

I became a Police Cadet at Leatherhead police station then joined the Royal Marines, did Commando training and was posted to Cyprus where we were up against the EOKA terrorists. We then transferred to Malta to train for landing in a dock area, not knowing why, as usual! We were soon to find out when we embarked on warships and were on our way to attack Port Said during Operation Musketeer, with the combined forces of France and Israel on 6th November, 1956.  So much for intensive training in assaulting dock areas - we landed on the beach, from assault landing craft!   45 Commando landed by helicopters near the airfield.  The rest is history.

I returned to the Surrey Constabulary and used to visit the school. At that time I was only the second pupil to have joined the police service. I worked in most departments reaching temporary chief inspector rank before being pensioned as disabled following a major operation on my spine in 1984. I am now working as a private investigator for solicitors, insurance companies and the like.

When I was at school the headmaster was Mr SA Moore, of course known to us as Sam - and the school was named by us 'Sam's Academy'! Sam used to keep volumes of photographs of the school staff, pupils, sports events and the like.

Teachers I remember: Stan Lane (Physical Training), Pearl Kew, Annabell Baines  -  in detention we had to learn set poems before we were released; Miss Zumbach, a German lady who taught music - I will never forget that she cried when the death of King George VI was announced on the wireless at school; Mr Mirauer, he was also German.  One day, at lunch, (dinner then!), he asked me my name. I said 'Tony Davie'.  He said, SAY SIR. I did - 'Sir Tony Davie' whereupon he hit me! On a much sadder side, one teacher took her own life. She lived in or near Guildford and sometimes would give me a lift home to Great Bookham as she was going that way.

I wonder where the following school friends are?: Richard Pearce; Julian Gosden; David Rivett last heard of in about 1987 living on Ranmore Common, near Dorking; Marion Caesar who used to live in the Ashtead area.

1955 Roland KEDGE : message 01.08.07 contact rlkedgeAThotmail.co.uk

I was in the first Kingston contingent which started in September 1951 and we left Dilston Road in 1955. How long they continued to take far flung pupils I am not sure, but we were all 13+ pupils and took the then GCE O level when we were nearly 18!

I was part of the contingent from Kingston upon Thames to join the old school on Kingston road, Leatherhead in 1951. In 1953 we moved to the Dilston Road School being among the first classes to enjoy the new buildings and grounds. We all had to wear slippers to protect the parquee floors. We became 4gS = grammar stream, pre comprehensive.

I am in touch with several ex pupils from the same era and if they consent I can mention names. I have a class photograph from 54/55.

1957 Bernard MEECH : message 12.09.00: updated 04.6.06: contact: bernard.meech1ATbtinternet.com

I was at the school 1952-1957 living in Albany Park Road - being so close was a benefit and a disadvantage! 

I was one of the first pupils to move into the new school when it opened in 1954 and was one of the lucky pupils to be at the opening by Sir David Maxwell Fyffe.  I have a copy of the programme for the official opening of Dilston Rd. giving all the staff at the time.

My memories are very clear of my time at the school which was, on the whole, a very happy establishment.  With about 800 pupils the head and staff knew most of us by name which was, and still is, a great plus point for any school.

This gave me the basic background to succeed in the education world as an education administrator, student, teacher, lecturer and psychologist and now back as a student again, having retired and taken up studies for degree in horticulture.

When you get round to opening up the 1950s you count on an interest from one past pupil. ( We were never thought of as 'students' as there was no official 6th form!). I recall John Cook, Derek P. Robinson, Deirdre N. Wells(Kelly), Robert J. Carter, Elizabeth Scott(Wyatt)

1957 John MURRELL: message 14.02.04: updated 02.07.06: contact: johnmurrellATnetdial.co.za

My wife (Ann Gasson) and I met at what was then Dilston Road Secondary School in 1955. We had both started at Kingston Road School after our eleven plus exams. I went to Poplar Road Junior School and Ann went to St.Giles Junior School Ashtead. We were both known by our second names. We were thirteen at the time and initially, I was in the grammar stream but struggled with French under the tutorship of Mr Mirauer (did I fail to learn or did he fail to teach me?) and mathematics taught by Mr Price, who I remember as a bit of a bully.

Ann has fond memories of Mrs Startup and I, of our woodwork teacher, Mr Featherstone, who would pick up a piece of wood, or the blackboard rubber, and throw it at you if you weren't paying attention. There are other teachers that stand out in my mind, especially Mr Taylor, who taught art. He was a brilliant artist in his own right and painted for the covers of Corgi Books in his spare time. I remember vividly the master copy (which was then photographed and reduced) he showed me of the cover of the book, Captain Horatio Hornblower. It was of a scene taken from the movie and was so good, it looked like a photograph.

When I moved from the Grammar stream into Four Tech, Stan Lane, who was the PE teacher, also taught maths and helped me tremendously to improve my grades, which had dropped under Mr Price. We left School the same year as Sam Moore retired, 1957, at age fifteen. I missed the last term, as I was hospitalised with polio for four months.  

I recall one day chasing Ann, who was in Four General Girls, round her classroom. She had baked some cakes in Domestic Science at Kingston Road School, and I was trying to get a sample when I was caught by Miss Bowhill. I was sent to Mr Moore who sent a report to my parents stating, "if John showed as much interest in his studies as he does in girls, he would achieve much higher grades".

Ann also has fond memories of Mr Moore, who had walked past the outside of the girls toilets, to see smoke coming out of the window. Ann was inside, having a cigarette, and when she came out, he was waiting for her. He apparently said, "it doesn't surprise me it's you, I'm retiring the end of this year and, with you leaving, life wouldn't be the same".  

After School, I went into 'the TV trade' and Ann became an apprentice hairdresser. We met up again when we were seventeen, (some people may remember she was Leatherhead and District Carnival Queen, crowned by Freddy Mills the boxer at the Bull Hill Hotel) and were married in 1962 in St.Giles Church Ashtead. I turned professional musician in 1963, touring the American bases in France and Germany. We moved up to North London in 1968, where our two children were born, and Emigrated to South Africa in 1971 where we reside in Escombe, a suburb of Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal.

It's a small world is a well worn cliché but so true. We had just moved out to Escombe and our children enrolled in Escombe Primary School. One night at a Braai (Barbeque) at the School, Ann saw this man looking at her and she thought she recognised him but couldn't think from where. As she walked closer to him, he stood up and said "Ann Gasson". She immediately realised who he was and said "Ted Wood". They had known each other from Ashtead and Ted was also in Four General Boys at Dilston Road the same year we were there. He had come out to South Africa as a telephone technician and his children were in the same school as ours.   We are coming over 18th June this year [2004] and, if possible, would love a tour of the School. I was born not far from the School, over the bridge in Kingslea behind The Plough Public House. Are there any 'class/form photo's' in the School archives of the classes Ann and I were in? If so, please e-mail copies to us for which we would be very grateful. Anyone that remembers us, please make contact.

update 02.07.06: Ann and I called at the school 24th June 2004 while visiting family and staying with my brother in Ashtead. Incidentally my nephew Paul Murrell and niece Jane also went to Therfield late 70s to early 80s as did my cousins Trevor, Graham & Andrew Waite in the late 50s. We were shown around the school by the assistant head master whose name I'm afraid I have forgotten. He very kindly gave us a very informed tour bringing back several very fond memories. We were both very impressed with what the pupils are able to do these days with musical instrument tuition and trips over to Europe etc. which nobody could afford in our day.

Some of our fellow students that we recall are Roger Cottee (who sadly died of cancer) Billy Huckle, Johnnie Styles, Howard Pearson, Dave Hay, Gwen Smith, Elizabeth Cummins, Wendy Simmons, Penelope Hendry, Rosina Rapley and many more.

Ann Gasson as Carnival Queen in 1959/60

Ann and I at our wedding at
St Giles Church Ashtead 29-09-62

Christmas at our daughter's house in Durban North 2005

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