For approximately the first 50 years of its existence
the School had comparatively few changes of Staff
and thus a distinctive character and spirit evolved
and was developed. Especially so under the
Headship of C. J. Blackburn, who himself served for
33 years, and who was aided by about a dozen
assistant staff who would themselves complete
30 years or more service.

The School’s success was due to the work of many
responding to the Head’s leadership; it is impossible to
quantify the work of individuals and therefore the
following pen portraits describe those who gave service
for over 25 years.

S. J. HOUNSOM 1903-1949

He had an amazing 50 years association with the School
for he joined it as a pupil in the third term of its existence
and became a member of the Science Staff in 1903 –
“on trial for a month”!

It seems likely that he was a pupil teacher, for he is
recorded in October 1903 as one of the first two pupils
who matriculated in the University of London. With such
a record of service it is accordingly difficult to estimate
the hours of valuable work he contributed to every facet
of the life of the School.

In addition to his purely scholastic duties he devoted
much time to dramatic work and entertainment at School
functions; he himself was a very accomplished performer.
He is remembered as a ‘dry old-stick’, gifted with a vein
of satiric humour who did not suffer fools gladly in his
insistence on high standards of work and conduct.

For nearly two thirds of the Schools existence he was
present to set and maintain a tone, establish an ethos,
and to use his long experience to give kindly advice and
help both to pupils and his colleagues.

F. H. JENNER 1904-1953

One of the earliest appointments to the Staff he gave
49 years of devoted service to the School and was one
of those responsible for setting the standards of the
School especially in its earliest years. Every department
of School life owes much to him; for many years he was
responsible for Cricket, Football, Swimming, Athletics and
PT. After service in the First War he accepted Command
of the Cadet Corps, a responsibility he discharged for
30 years and for which long service he was awarded
the CCF Medal and Bar.

Always interested in his pupils he became the very
efficient Secretary of the Old Boys Association for
32 years, and on retirement wrote that contacts made
with Old Boys returning to Eastbourne “made him feel
that his work had not been in vain”
. He was a talented
artist and a noted local antiquarian.

E. P. KINGHAM 1904-1939

An Irishman and one of the earliest members of Staff,
he taught Latin and History throughout the School and
was appointed Assistant Master in 1912, becoming in
the words of the Headmaster, “as indispensable as it is
possible for any man to be”. Strict when necessary,
his teaching was meticulous and thorough and he
introduced many boys to the great works of Literature.
He would give voluntary evening tuition in his home
on Saturday evenings in the weeks leading up to
external examinations.

He helped on the games field and is still remembered
refereeing senior football in overcoat and cap “without
obvious hindrance to his mobility”
!

A. J. PLATT 1913-1956

Appointed to the Staff in 1913 he taught for only one
year before serving for four years in the Army. He taught
English “with unfailing patience, with humour and upon
occasions with satire”. In his early years he was a noted
sportsman both as a goalkeeper and a cricketer reputed
to have taken all ten wickets in successive innings for
Eastbourne CC. His greatest contribution was as
Second Master from 1940 working in total with four
Headmasters; to his credit he never opened
conversations with “now in the old Headmasters time”!

Sharp of intellect (he excelled at Chess and Bridge), a
tolerant speaker with an aura that brooked no nonsense,
he was always accorded due respect by boys and his
colleagues; which of the two groups nicknamed him ‘Bill’
and why remains a mystery!

W. F. STACEY 1913-1947

Nicknamed ‘Starchy’, for he rarely unbent from his strict
role as he taught Geography. He was a taskmaster who
had no favourite, but he did have a considerable
influence. His most distinguished pupil, who became a
Professor of Geography, wrote that “he had a great
grasp of the subject, the gift of opening windows into
the world and always emphasised his belief that
understanding the mutual relationship of man and his
environment was the key to a better world”
.

A keen footballer and cricketer in his younger days he
was Housemaster of Devonshire House for all his time
at School. Honest and sincere with wide interests and
firm convictions.


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