Updated 17 Apr 2010

Old Masonians 1960

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From the Old Masonians' Gazette 2010

    Fifty Years Ago

    Stephen Thomas (Connaught 1961)
    OM Gazette Editor 2009-present

    The Editor of the Gazette is the keeper of a set of bound volumes of past issues of both The Masonian and the Old Masonians Gazette. The collection dates back to 1886.

    The Fifty Years Ago article is usually drawn from printed records of the relevant year: The Masonian, the OM Gazette and the two volumes of A History of the RMS.

    This Memories section closes, however, with a look back at what was reported in 1960, the year of a most tragic event. We also report on a service of remembrance which was held on 2 April 2010 to honour the three boys who perished. OMs will recall the letter from Bob Palmer which was printed on page 12 of the 2009 issue of the Gazette and which expressed his wish to show his respects to the three boys and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their deaths.

    The text of the report from The Masonian (1960) is reproduced on p132.

    Also, Old Boys might be interested to know that A History of the Royal Masonic School Vol. 2, p153, reports: "Mourning was deep, and endured for a considerable time. Despite the tragedy Snowdonia continued to be used for expeditions, but stringent safety precautions, tight organisation and careful briefing ensured that further accidents were avoided."

    From The Masonian Vol. 19 No. 9
    July 1960


    John Michael Brenchley
    Tony Evans

    It was with deep sorrow that the School received the news of the tragic accident on Snowdon on 2nd April, 1960, which resulted in the death of these two boys during the School's leadership course run under the auspices of the Cadet Corps. With them was also lost John Etches of the Royal Wanstead School. It is boys of special promise and ability who are selected for these courses and therefore our loss is a loss of our best. The heartfelt sympathy of us all goes out to the relations and friends of the three boys in their tragic bereavement.

    A special memorial service for Brenchley and Evans was held in the School Chapel on Saturday, 30th April [1960].

    The fine spirit of adventure encouraged by these courses must not be diminished by this unfortunate accident. These boys had a fine spirit which should be emulated by the rest.

    Robert Palmer, who instigated the remembrance service, writes:
    On Friday 2 April 2010, a service of remembrance was held at the private chapel of David Long (Headmasters 1965) and Shirley Long at Amerden House, Taplow to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the deaths in Snowdonia on the Beddgelert Scheme of John Etches (Royal Wanstead School) and Tony Evans (Headmasters) and John Brenchley (Burwood).

    Present were Mike Blamey (Derby 1959), David Long and Shirley, Ian McIntyre (Derby 1961) and Joan, Robert Palmer (Derby 1962) and Valerie, Tony Tilly (Lea's 1963) and Carol, Malcolm West (Derby 1962). Also present was David and Shirley's son, Cloudsley. Others would have liked to have attended but were unable to do so and gave their apologies: Ray Casbon (Headmasters 1962), Jeremy Davenport (Keyser 1963), Richard Fawkes (Derby 1962), Gordon Metcalfe (Staff), Roger Puddephatt (Connaught 1961), Malcolm Read (Devon 1960), Bob Skillicorn (Lea's 1963), Peter Sutcliffe (Staff), Stephen Thomas (Connaught 1961).

    Sadly, Brian Ridgeway (Headmasters 1960) who was on the front rope passed away, in Australia, a number of years ago; see 2002 Gazette, page 134.

    The service probably coincided with the time of death of the three boys, starting at 1145 and finishing at 1220. Afterwards, David and Shirley Long and their son very kindly treated those present to an excellent lunch.

    (L2R) : Carol Tilly, Malcolm West, Valerie and Robert Palmer, Tony Tilly, Mike Blamey, Shirley and David Long, Ian and Joan McIntyre

    Outside the Chapel - Tony Tilly, Mike Blamey, Ian McIntyre, Malcolm West, Robert Palmer, David Long,

    Editor's Note: The photos on this spread were taken by Tony Tilly. The report and the photo on the previous page were supplied by Robert Palmer. My thanks go to both for so speedily providing copy so that this last minute news could be included in the 2010 issue of the Gazette.

    Inside the Chapel - Tony Tilly, Ian McIntyre, David Long, Robert Palmer, Mike Blamey, Malcolm West

Conceived, written and copyright © 2010, Robert Palmer, All Rights Reserved.

Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, and encoded 2010 by John Palmer, .