The Old Berkhamstedians


Welcome

 

The Old Berkhamstedians

As the alumni organisation of Berkhamsted School, we have a history of over 100 years, although The Old Berkhamstedians in its current form was established in 1998 by the amalgmation of The Old Berkhamstedians' Association and the Old Girls' Guild.

Our purpose is two-fold : to encourage and facilitate contact between former pupils and to support Berkhamsted School and its activities through our Charitable Trust.

We invite you to participate in this vibrant and growing community of nearly 6,000 Old Berkhamstedians and to have a look at the work and activity that takes place.

 

 

 

Most Recent News   

 

Remembering David Pearce

 
On Friday 11 November we said farewell to a man whose contribution to Berkhamsted School was simply immeasurable and who, in so many ways, epitomised the Berkhamsted School spirit. 

For 33 years, from 1966 to 1999, David Pearce (known to many as DRAP) occupied a special place within Berkhamsted School life, holding positions of Head of English for 30 years as well as Housemaster of first Adders and then Incents. David continued his involvement with the School even after leaving, supporting numerous events over the years and maintaining many personal contacts. In return for his loyalty, it was our pleasure to be able to invite David, an ardent monarchist, to sit at the same table as Her Majesty The Queen at the luncheon held in honour of our Patron’s historic visit to the School on Friday 6 May. 

The moment David was presented to Her Majesty The Queen at St Peter's Church.

During his time at the School, David made so many other contributions to School life. He coached cricket and Fives, which he taught himself from scratch in his late fifties. He ran the School library for several years and was a talented producer of plays. In 1980, David wrote and produced a play entitled Something for Incent to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of the School’s founder, Dean John Incent. It was performed on 10th July 1980 and involved all pupils and staff in the School; a school production on this scale has never been repeated.

A scene from 'Something for Incent'

David founded and for many years acted as chairman of the J R Crawford Society which, shortened to just the Crawford Society, still provides a forum for Sixth Formers who are interested in intellectual discussion and academic debate. He also launched the Old Berkhamstedian magazine, which continues to be produced and disseminated to all Old Berkhamstedians each year.

In David’s valete, written by his colleague and friend John Davison and published in the 1999 Berkhamstedian magazine, John described David in his role as Housemaster:

 

“His infectious enthusiasm, warmth and friendliness succeeded to a remarkable degree in creating esprit de corps. … He, with the vital support of Liz (his wife), made life in the House vivid and exciting. … Pupils fortunate enough to come within his generous and eccentric orbit found their experience enriched by being swept up in the numerous more or less dotty activities: Incents on a non-uniform day rivalled the lilies of the field, and no-one was more colourfully arrayed than the Housemaster in all his glory, appearing to the delight of his charges one year as an Edwardian toff, the next as a punk rocker.” 

 

Parents, pupils and staff who were privileged to attend the Prep Speech Day in 2014 were treated to a taste of DRAP in action (pictured top) – he delivered an energetic, dramatic, relevant and engaging address and, ever the teacher at heart, pitched it perfectly to the young pupils sitting before him. Each and every child who went up on stage to receive an award from David was made to feel an individual sense of achievement.
 
Apart from recently publishing his own book The Street, a unique, beautiful and impressive collection of sonnets (103 in all) and other poems, David also played an important role in the publication of the book, written by John Davison, Berkhamsted School: A 475th Anniversary Portrait. John credited David’s contribution as follows: “Another indispensable source has been the extensive notes made by David Pearce, who some years ago was asked to undertake the task to which I have succeeded; the circumstances of the time rendered impossible for him what has been easy for me, and he kindly made over to me a huge body of material painstakingly assembled over several years, without which this book could not have been written.”
 

David Pearce (right) and John Davison

DRAP will live on as one of Berkhamsted School’s iconic teachers, remembered by the generations of pupils whose lives he touched. The words used by John Davison to conclude the valete remain utterly appropriate:

 

“Great schools grow by those who love them. In the end David’s contribution to Berkhamsted should be seen as a labour of love … he has come to typify the traditional virtues of the School: his knowledge of its old pupils is authoritative; his appreciation of its nature and tradition has been a quiet source of strength and pride to numerous colleagues.”   

 

Thank you David, Berkhamsted School will never forget you.

David Pearce’s funeral will take place on Monday 28 November at 2pm at St Peter’s Church in Berkhamsted with a reception afterwards at around 3.30pm in Deans’ Hall. The family has requested no flowers, with donations to The Hospice of St Francis or St Peter’s Church. Please send an email to the following address if you would like to attend the reception: tob@berkhamstedschool.org

 

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  Wednesday 12th October 2016

 

Des Keoghane

 

 

Berkhamsted School and the Old Berkhamstedians are very sad to report the death of Des Keoghane on 11 October 2016 in Watford Hospital after a valiant fight against cancer.  Des came to Berkhamsted in 1973 as Sergeant Major in the Combined Cadet Corps but had a period away from the School after his son Kevin was tragically killed on the RFA Sir Galahad in the Falklands War in 1982. During this time away, however, Des did not miss a Yates Drill or a General Inspection Day and was a great help supporting the CCF during the following 10 years.

 

 

 

When Fred Charnock took over the CCF in 1992, Des returned to his former job as Sergeant Major until Steve Carter arrived in 2002. Since then, Des continued his involvement with the Yates Drill competition and assistance on GI Day.  He helped with the organisation of seating and all the silverware at these events including for the visit of Her Majesty The Queen in May 2016 by which time he was very unwell. Des was also a strong supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and over his years at Berkhamsted, attended most if not all expeditions including probably half a dozen to Italy where he ran the base camp in 2001, his last Italy Trip for 50+ staff and students.

 

 

 

Finally Des had an  unrivalled address book which he used frequently to support the CCF  and was instrumental in securing the services as inspecting officer of the Mans brothers , Major General  Simon Lalor, Dame Sarah Jones and Field Marshal Guthrie to name a distinguished few.

 

 

 

Des set and maintained very high standards. He was immensely loyal, totally reliable and highly respected by staff and students.  He will be greatly missed, and much mourned.

 

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Thursday 18th August 2016

 

Congratulations to Old Berkhamstedian James Rodwell for his Silver Medal at the Rio Olympic Games in the Mens 7's Rugby.

James is the first Old Berkhamstedian to win an Olympic medal and scored a number of tries, put in some massive defensive tackles and created great plays from kick offs throughout the tournament.

 

 

 

 

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OB Sports Day - Sunday 26th June

 

 

 

The OB Sports Day will take place on Sunday 26th June. We would love to have you join in, whether as a player or a spectator. If you would like to join any of the sports, please email the captains by clicking on the links. We would love to have as many take part as possible, so please do get in touch, or email the office for further information.

 

Cricket v School XI - 11.30 am - Chesham Road Playing Fields. Larry Eaton will Captain the OB team for this year, so if you would like to play, please email us as soon as you can.

Fives - 10.00 am - Castle Campus

Football - 2.00 pm - Chesham Road Playing Fields. Why not get a group together from your year group to take on the OB footballers or school team, or just come along with your boots and we can fit you into a team. We will be playing 6-a-side football.
 
 
Netball - 10.00 am - Knox-Johnston Sports Centre. This year the OB Hares will be running a tournament on the day, inviting other teams from the local area, so you could either put a team together from your year group to play, or we can slot you into one of the already existing OB Hares teams.

 

Touch Rugby (Mens & Womens) - 11.00 am - Chesham Road Playing Fields. Why not get a group together from your year group or just come along and we can fit you into a team.
 
 
Tennis - 2.30 pm - Knox-Johnston Sports Centre.

 

A Free BBQ Lunch for players and spectators will be served between 12.30 - 3.00 pm (approx) and drinks will be available to purchase throughout the day.

 

If you have any questions, queries or requests, please contact Vicky at tob@berkhamstedschool.org or call on 01442 358 111.

 

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May 2016

ADDERS BOOK OF MEMORIES

 

2015 saw the school celebrate 100 years of Adders, including a day where OBs and current students gathered together to tell stories oftheir time in Adders. A book of memories has been put together as a result of the day. Why not CLICK HERE to have a read of some of the memories.