HISTORICAL BACKGROUND >> The Years of Turmoil 1939-1948


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.





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