The first twenty years of the School were certainly eventful.
Numbers grew steadily and by 1919, with over 200 pupils, the
School had moved premises three times. The last of these was
to Eversley Court, its ‘home’ for over 40 years.

Apart from the obvious disruption these changes of location caused
school life was further interrupted by the Great War, 1914-1918,
with a total of 38 Old Boys losing their lives in the conflict. However,
with C. J. Blackburn as Headmaster and the School celebrating its
21st Birthday in 1920, the School moved forward with confidence.

The School was founded in Grove Hall in 1899 with Headmaster, Assistant
and 7 boys. One of the boys became the first of many to obtain a position
of responsibility in the town for F. Sayer became Head Postmaster and was
awarded the MBE for his services in the Second World War.

By 1903 numbers had grown to 100. School was apparently little different
to the many other Prep Schools in the Town but once Mr Gilbert, Assistant
Master, left to found Roborough Private School a new era began.

In 1904 the School moved to the Technical Institute and by 1909 there
were some 90 pupils in 5 Forms. Of these 21 were Scholarship Boys and
one third of the remainder paid only half fees. The Inspectors of the time
reported “an excellence of education but slow, difficult growth due mainly
to the level of fees and difficult site”
.

   
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This History is a
reflection on the many
factors that helped
shape the development
of Eastbourne
Grammar School
since its foundation
in 1899 – the buildings,
Headmasters, Staff
and pupils, all
important influences
throughout the years

Contributions have
been taken from School
Magazines of the
period which together
with the many
photographs provide
an interesting insight
of the changes in
school life during the
78 years of the
School’s existence

More articles and
photos will be added

   
  School Football XI
1907/8 – At this time
Staff and boys played
against adult teams

Back row – Mr Garrard,
Lodder (I), Mr Jenner,
Nichols (I), Mr Kingham,
Tarrant
Seated – Sprinks,
Bradford, Mr Blackburn,
Nichols (II), Browning
                         
    The first ever Sports Day of 1911 brought comments that the administration
was at fault for some visitors and boys had to wait until 8pm for tea! 1911
also saw the beginning of Swimming after School at Old Town Baths with a
3d reduced admission for boys and also the much celebrated ‘End of Term
Concerts’ with contributions from boys and staff.

The Old Boys’ Society began in 1912 and held monthly meeting which
included community singing, debating, sports and an annual outing. During
the year C. J. Blackburn was promoted to the Headship and obtained a
reduction in fees for pupils. In 1913 the School had some 152 pupils.

During the Great War, 1914-1918, only Staff medically unfit did not serve
and the Headmaster was assisted by one full time member of Staff and
19 temporary Staff members during this period. The Editor of the School
Magazine in 1915 wrote “that have reason to believe that a Miss Varnier
carried out her duties as well as any of our former masters”
.

The Headmaster reported with some pride that many of those associated
with the School had gained a Commissioned Rank – “not by any means an
easy matter in those days”
.
   
ROLL OF HONOUR
1914-1918


Ernest Atkins
Ronald Band
Henry Bourne
Sidney Bourton
Charles Breach
Frederick Brookshaw
Victor Cane
Harold Chatfield
Maurice Easton
Richard Francis
David Gilbert
John Hewitt
Walter Jones
Eric Kenton
Henry Limon
Herbert Lyons
Harry Mead
Claude Medhurst
Corrie Morse
Harry Newman
Douglas Nicholls
Jack Oliver
John Ollett
John Parish
Arthur Pestel
James Ridley
Frederick Robertson
Edgar Rooks
Charles Russell
John Senior
Frank Sogno
Ralph Sprinks
Alexander Taylor
Ewart Underwood
William Walder
William Waymark
Jack Wilcokson
Albert Willard
       
         
School Football XI 1913
 
                         
   
A total of 38 old Boys lost their lives during the conflict and they were
commemorated by a Memorial Flagstaff erected at Eversley Court and moved
with the School to Kings Drive where it is now maintained by the Old Boys.

In 1916 the Cadet Force was established and the Harvest Camp at
Sissingshurst, Kent, one of the first in the country, continued annually
to 1918.

The number of pupils in 1918 totalled 235 and represented phenomenal
wartime growth. However, by now the accommodation in the Technical
Institute was badly stretched and in 1919 the School moved to new
premises in Eversley Court. Peace Day was celebrated with a School Picnic.

The School Library began in 1920 with a membership fee of 6d a term and
also in this year the School celebrated its 21st Birthday. The celebrations
included an Open Day for parents with a PE Display, a performance of an
Act from ‘As You Like It’ and the new Orchestral Society played in public
for the first time.

In his speech the Town Clerk reported that the cost of educating each boy
was £20 which included £9 paid by ratepayers “but was not to be grudged”.
The Head was proud to report that over 12 Old Boys were at University and
that “endeavours would be made to obtain Scholarships for those who
remained at School until 18 for that purpose”
.

Over 240 boys enjoyed a Grand Picnic at Wilmington, travelling in 3 separate
parties, cycling, walking or by train. After the sports and activities the day
finished with tea for all at Thornwell Tea Gardens.
   
         
Old Boys v School 1908/9 – Four of those shown were killed in the Great War

Back row – Mr Garrard, Hollway, Smith, White, Watson, Sprinks, Mr Blackburn,
Austin, Lodder, Mr Kingham, Matthews, Mr Jenner
Middle row – Phelps, Feast, Trotter, Browning, Reverend Hawkins, Atkins,
Robertson (I), Tarrant
Front row – Holloway, Wood, Garrard, Waymark, Fuller
 

First EMS Magazine Published

“In addressing our readers for the first time
we may be excused if we commence with a
brief statement concerning the production
of this magazine.

It is not run for the benefit of any particular
boys, but it is a magazine for the school,
and we hope boys from all forms will
contribute articles. Should any profits accrue,
prizes will be purchased and awarded for
articles contributed to the paper. We should
like you to note that it is owing to the cost
of setting the type for printing that we are
compelled to charge a somewhat heavy
price, but if our circulation increases we
shall be able either to increase the size or
decrease the price.

The manager will be glad to receive any subscriptions (1/6 per annum)
towards the cost of this magazine from old boys or others interested in
the school.

We are sure that all our readers will join in wishing the boys who left last
term the best of luck in their future life. We should also like to give a hearty
welcome to the new boys, of whom there are nine. This brings our number
up to 91. We hope they will uphold the best traditions of the school.

This is, of course, the critical term of the year owing to the Cambridge
Examinations. We sincerely trust that this year our school may once again
gain the Duke of Devonshire’s prize.

We are glad to say that we experienced a fairly successful cricket season,
as will be seen by inspecting the sports page. We hope that we shall have
an even better football season.”


Editorial by A. Jolly, Christmas Term 1909

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