War clouds were
gathering on the horizon and ominous reverberations could be
felt through the length and breadth of the country. The school
was also undergoing a phase of instability. However Reverend
Horsley left. J. S. Mathews of St. Jame’s Calcutta was offered
the post of Principal. He accepted but till he arrived Mr. O. H.
Pharoah officiated as Principal till October 1938.
Despite the prevailing conditions and the existing politics
environment the school continued to expand both in size and
strength. Number of students increased, few additions were made
to the faculty and extensions were made to the quarters for
staffs. A new kitchen was erected. The herd of cows had become a
problem and it was decided to sell them off.
For some reason in November 1939 it was decided by the governing
body that no day scholars were to be given admission. Greater
consciousness had developed amongst the students and the overall
standard of the school had improved. For the student who could
not cope with the Cambridge Examination provisions were made so
that they could sit for the BAT (Board of Apprenticeship
Training) Examination. In comparison the Science subject
continued to find more favour with the boys. A better equipped
science laboratory became vital and its construction was
immediately taken up. The fee was raised by Rs 1/-p.m, in
addition a laboratory charge of Rs 12/-p.m. from students of
class VI-IX was included. In March 1940 the school set up its
own Bakery. It was an immediate success. Apart from supplying
bread to the school, it was a source of “Tuck” for the boys.
The effect of the war could be felt in varied ways in the
Westcott campus. Certain food items became a rarity and
authorities took measures to stock and store ration in large
quantities. A few member of the faculty relinquished their
services to join the Air force/Army. Mr. James H. R. Smith was
the first among them. Every effort, however, was made to ensure
that the academic side was not adversely affected. In 1941,
(10)ten students were presented for the senior Cambridge
Examination of whom seven(7) secured first class, two(2) secured
second class and one secured third class.
1942 proved to be a year of immense upheaval the world over and
Bishop Westcott Boys’ was no exception. To accommodate the Burma
Casual ties our school was commandeered. April 1942 saw the
exodus of the school from Namkum to 14 Stanley road, Allahabad.
In the words of a member of the staff-“This was an evacuation
equal to that of Dunkirk”. The boys were the first to their new
surroundings. Rev Mathews, the Principal continued in office for
barely 6 months in Allahabad. Major L. S. Boot, from Army
Education Corps, replaced him. His stay was also very short
(1943). All this while the financial status of the school was
steadily deteriorating so much so that it was thought it would
be far better to close down the school. At such a critical
juncture Mr. F. E. La Valette was called upon: he took up the
challenge and owing to his Midas touch the school continued in
its existence. The school “Comeback” to Namkum in 1948, was like
crossing the: “Red Sea” back to their root.