On my home made CD of old photographs of the High School, one of the constant recurring themes is that of “groups of people”. Here is the staff in 1885:
It’s not one of my best scans, but it is possible to recognise Dr Gow in the middle of the five who are seated. In front of him, like a faithful great hound, is the new Drill Serjeant, George Holmes, an ex-army man, who was responsible for “…the usual manual exercise and marching drill, bayonet exercise, sword drill for infantry and cavalry and Indian club exercise.” His appointment was “…to the great advantage of all our games.”
This group are pupils but I don’t think anybody knows who they are. The variety of dress is quite astonishing:
Some seem to have school badges. They are worn on a….
“cap fitted close to the head, and bore the quaint lozenge shaped crest of the school, with its three black birds on a white ground, a badge restored to use by Doctor Gow, and of which the boys were proud. It was known by the vulgar boys of the town as the “three crows”.
One boy, No 2 sitting on the bench, is wearing a Scottish or French tam o’shanter and there is an Ed Balls lookalike if you study the faces carefully. And is Boy No 1 on the back row, a person of colour, if it’s OK to put it that way?
Not all groups are from 139 years ago. Here is a picture about which absolutely nothing seems to be known. Was it taken on a School trip abroad in the 1930s?
And this is probably the First XV but in an unknown year. Notice the 1st XV official caps and blazers awarded when the players were given their colours:
The master is Mr Joseph William Lucas Kennard who joined the High School in November 1910, as a teacher of Modern Languages . He was employed primarily as the Form Master of a newly created Fourth Form which, presumably, had been operating without a fixed Form Master up to that point. He had previously taught at the Liverpool Institute and then in Switzerland. I found only one description of Mr Kennard’s methods in the classroom around this time, from Roy Henderson who said that
“He had the unfortunate habit with smaller boys of pulling them close and then tugging their hair very hard. It was extremely painful.”
Mr Kennard’s main rôle was to introduce rugby into the School. He was quite highly qualified to do so, having captained Lancashire, and having played for the North of England XV. On one occasion he had played for the North against the South in an England trial. The school duly switched from football to rugby in January 1915.
Let’s come forward a little. Here are some members of 2K, caught by the Reverend Stephens as they rehearsed “The Island of Doom” in 1958:
The last group comes from four years later in 1962, when the Reverend Stephens took a photograph of the School’s rather large Scout group.: