After the horrors of the Great War, the ‘Twenties’ saw the School
develop and flourish. With C. J. Blackburn as Headmaster and a
number of former pupils well established as Masters it moved
forward academically, culturally and on the sports field.

In fact the Staff played a very prominent part in school life and
were active members of the Cricket team, the Cadet Corps and
leading lights in the acclaimed productions of ‘Ye Merrie Muffins’.

A Cricketing School

The School has always been renowned for its cricket. R. C. Matthews
was a devoted maniac to cricket, sometimes a tough and forthright coach,
but did we learn to play cricket!. All success in EGS cricket is almost entirely
due to him, although he had excellent support in the Headmaster,
C. J. Blackburn. When one reads accounts of matches in the School
Magazine of October 1922 it is amazing that such talent and interest is to
be found in the Staff. Seven playing members of Staff out of a total of 10-12
is indeed amazing to record. The Headmaster, E. P. Kingham, A. J. Platt,
H. J. Bonfield, F. H. Jenner, W. F. Stacey and C. Ward were all 1st XI players
(in teams which did not play other schools).

R. C. Matthews and A. J. Platt were the top batsmen and bowlers, always
well supported by E. P. Kingham, H. J. Bonfield, F. H. Jenner and W. F. Stacey.
No wonder we were such a good cricketing School, with such a great cricket
lover like ‘Blackie’ how could we miss?

Some boys played three or four times a week, no moaning by boys or
parents about loss of schooltime, you just buckled down and saw that you
made yourself up to date with the lessons missed. Such was the keenness to
play for the School that you made sure that you did not suffer academically.
In fact most of the best sportsmen were also the best scholars.

It is amazing to read that year after year the School could turn out six or
seven cricket XIs each Saturday. This out of 350-375 pupils is truly amazing
and almost the whole of the summer issue of the magazine was given over
to Cricket! Did Mr Matthews have any time to teach?


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 1st XI 1928 –
Eric Dyer is seated
on the right next to
Mr R. C. Matthews
An Outstanding Cricketer of the 20’s

Eric Dyer (1920-1930) was a Prefect, Sergeant in the Cadet Corps, Cricket
Captain, was awarded Cricket and Football Colours, SC and attended Reading
University where he made a name for himself with his cricketing ability. Later
in his teaching career he returned to the School as Science and latterly
Maths Master.

Reports of Cricket matches from 1927-30 make wonderful reading and
Eric Dyer shows those qualities which fulfiled R. C. Matthews’ expectations
and comments at that time.

July 1927 – “Dyer is a little fellow but a beautiful bat. Next year when he has
obtained greater power we shall expect some big scores from Dyer.”

July 1930 – “We bid farewell to three of the best cricketers this School has
produced. Dyer has this season made nearly 700 runs, including two centuries,
with an average of 35. He has ably captained the side in School matches.”

The other two to leave in 1930 were L. T. Rouse with 400 runs and an average
of 21 and A. Young who was an excellent all rounder.
E.M.S.S. 1st XI 1924/25
School 1st XI 1930
Cadet Corps Notes

The Government has now withdrawn its sanction from Cadet Corps but we hope
this does not mean that our Corps will be disbanded. It does excellent work
in the strengthening of character and is one of the chief glories of the School.

We ended our period of official life with a performance, at the Annual
inspection, better than any we have given before. The cadets had had little
more than a month in which to prepare for the inspection, but they put in
some keen, conscientious work, and as a result, we were given a report in
which there was not one adverse criticism. The Band and the Signallers are
especially to be congratulated.

Two ceremonial parades have been held this term, on the occasions of Empire
Day and the opening of the new wing. On both a high standard of smartness
was shown.

We are looking forward to a most enjoyable camp this year. There is no
inspection to prepare for and thus we shall be able to do some very
interesting work, for which ordinarily we find no opportunities. I sincerely
hope that a high percentage of cadets will attend, and make this year’s camp
as successful as previous years.

L. T. Rouse, CSM, EGS Magazine July 1930
“Nothing could have
been better than the
marches and Bugle
Calls sounded by the
Band, and their
was very good indeed.
It is one of the best
Cadet Bands I have
ever heard.

I was exceedingly
pleased with the
condition in which I
found this smart Corps,
and my inspection was
in every way

Extract from the
Inspecting Officer’s
Report on the No2
Cadet Company, 44th
Divisional RE, 1930
  Cadet Corps 1929 – The ‘Big Drummer’ on the left, Philip Clear (1926-1932), became
the First Drum Major in 1930. He was trained by the Drum Major of the Scottish Band
of Eastbourne. On leaving in 1932 his brother Geoffrey took over until he left in 1935
whereupon the youngest brother Robert took over until he left the School in 1938.
| 1921-1930 Page 2 |

| 1899-1920 | 1931-1945 | 1946-1960 | 1961-1970 | 1971-1977 |

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