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News > Churcher's Chat > Churcher's Chat - Series 1, Article 4

Churcher's Chat - Series 1, Article 4

We chat to George Wheatley (49) about his memories of Churcher's...

Do you remember your first day at Churcher's?

I was quite familiar with Churcher's before I started there in September 1943;  I had an older Churcherian brother Robert (1942-45) and I had been at the Prep School on the same campus under Jack LeGrice for two years. The Liss Forest and Liss boys travelled on the school bus together and I settled in quite well for a while.

What was your favourite subject?

I particularly liked French, and Mrs Haydock and Col. Charles had no problems with me. For other reasons I became unsettled and Mr Hoggarth was glad to see the back of me when my family moved to Portsmouth after the war.

Was there a teacher that particularly inspired you?

The teacher for whom I had most respect was Mr D.W.Dimond, which may seem odd as he was a science teacher, not my best subject. Even so I admired and respected him as he was scrupulously fair, and I felt that more than any of the other teachers his aim was not solely to teach a subject but to give us lads a sound moral base for taking our place in the wide world.  I felt he was much more than just a teacher. He wanted I think to impart the need for honesty, integrity and fair dealing in the big wide world.

Do you have a standout memory of your time at Churcher's?

Best memory of Churcher's: that wonderful feeling in getting 98% in the French exam. I also learned to play a decent game of rugby, which I enjoyed wherever I travelled.

What did you do after leaving school?

After leaving Churcher's I went to the Southern Grammar School, got my School Certificate but was unable to Matriculate (no Maths!). After National Service I went into the Teaching profession; I took early retirement as a Primary School headmaster and enjoyed retirement almost as much as I'd enjoyed teaching!

What advice would you give your younger self?

I have tried all my life to avoid giving advice to anyone; Old George's advice to Young George - "Don't be such a dork!"

What would you say is one thing that makes Churcher's special?

The most outstanding quality of Churcher's College, Petersfield is the number of OCs who have achieved so much in life, including England Rugby caps, and the number of them who keep their memories of their years there so bright.

The sad thing is hearing the names of those whose OC lives come to an end. My own family has lost four Old Boys, HTF Locke; John Locke; R.F Wheatley and F.L.Wheatley, leaving me as the last man standing.


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