Falconbury School
This brief history of Falconbury School was put together in 2008/10 with the helpful input of several Old Falconburians. No more additions are planned. This page will continue to be accessible, but the Contact List was getting out-of-date and has now been removed.

                                         PLEASE SCROLL DOWN
George Mannings Faulkner (1871-1951
Photo courtesy of N. E. G. Faulkner
Falconbury School was founded by G. M. Faulkner in 1899. The original school was at Bury St. Edmunds.
Falconbury moved to Purley, Surrey
Falconbury moved to Little Common, near Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. The school buildings at Purley  subsequently became the location of the John Fisher School - (www.johnfisher.sutton.sch.uk)
1940- ?
Falconbury relocated to Astrop Park for the duration of WWII
Falconbury was amalgamated with Claremont School at
St. Leonards-on-Sea - (
Falconbury relocated to Purley, Surrey in about 1903 and remained there until 1930. Thanks are due to Nigel Faulkner, grandson of the school's founder, who contributed these rare photos of Falconbury at Purley.
The original captions for the photos below are Riding Lesson, Drill, A Class Room, Dining Hall, Boys' Gardens and Swimming Bath.
At least two pupils at Falconbury in the early part of the 20th century became well-known authors in later years. Both were at Falconbury when the school was located at Purley.
Digby George Gerahty (1898-1981) went to Falconbury in about 1906. He later wrote several books under the pseudonym Robert Standish. His best known work was probably "Elephant Walk", which was made into a film in 1954, starring Elizabeth Taylor.
Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts, VC, DSC
Peter Roberts (1917-1979) went to Falconbury in the 1920s. He was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1942 for an act of great valour while serving as a lieutenant aboard H. M. Submarine Thrasher. The artwork below depicts the incident, details of which, together with the citation, can be found at the Thrasher site.
The building that many of us remember was built in 1927 on the site of a previous school, St. Wilfrid's, which had been destroyed by fire, and was purchased soon after its completion by George Mannings Faulkner. With the exception of the years spent at Astrop Park during WWII, it was the location of Falconbury School from 1930 until its closure in 1968.
FALCONBURY in the LATE 1930s and EARLY 1940s
Click on thumbnail photos to enlarge



                                                    These two pages are from a school prospectus that was still in use in 1965.......
Bill Richardson, Stephen Perrott and Michael Beaumont, who were all at Falconbury in the late 1930s/early 1940s, have individually sent several group photos from those years, and I'm combining them here. Bill has supplied some names for the cricket and football photos and Stephen has supplied many of the names for the school groups, explaining that about 70 years ago he pencilled the names onto the brown paper that covered the backs of the frames ! Michael Beaumont supplied the 1941 photo and names. These lists may contain some errors and there are still some gaps to fill in, so additions and corrections are welcome. All names are listed from left to right, and the dates are as near as can be determined.
Front row (seated): Hine 1, Mackay, Perrott, Butler, Bryan, Thomas, Bartlett, Rackham, Hildreth, Wright, Lockie, Goodchild, Cooper 2.
2nd row: Barlow, Stroud, Daniel, Wilsdon 3, Lazarus, Harris, Ross-Watt, Phillips, Mackinnon, Collett, McKay-Forbes.
3rd row: Serrancke, Wilson 2, Spauk (?), Cooper 1, Thurston, Brendon, Tatham, Fox, Beaumont, Warshaw, Coles.
4th row: Heymann, Hilliard, Lock, Stuart, Greenland, Rivers, duHeaume, Rivers, Hunt, Brassey, Thompson.
Back row: Panchaud, Deane, Wooley, Isaac(s), Marsh, Machin, Shaw(?), Goldschmidt, Overaqq(?)
Front row (on ground): Bryan 1, Richardson, Rackham, Wilsdon 3, Adley, Summers, Beale 1, Abrahams, Beale 2, ?Fox, Cohen, Wright 2
2nd row (seated): Marks, Lazarus, Thomas, Perrott, Hine 1, Harris, Postlethwaite, Lockie, McKay-Forbes, Goodchild, Hildreth, Bartlett, Wright 1,
3rd row : Ross-Watt, Wilson 1, duHeaume, Brassey 1, Warshaw, Stuart, Hilliard, Hunt, Lockie, Greenland, Sharp(?), Goldschmidt, Heymann,
Back row: Baker 1, Mackinnon, Thompson, Stroud, Brendon, Coles, Spark(s), Gay, Barlow, Serrancke, Daniel, Fox, Strickland, Cuthbert 1, Beaumont, (?).
Front row (on ground): Hine 2, Goodchild 2, Beaumont 3, Beale 2, Summers, Exshaw, Buckley 1, Stickland 3, Buckley 2, Huelin 2, Wilsdon 4, Horton, Mann, Wesson, Posey, Perrott 2, Jackson.
2nd row (seated): Beaumont 2, Ellis, Corlett, Beale 1, Marks, Raine 1, Beall, Brassey, Raine 2, Leighbarn ?, Bedell ?, Rosieu, Ridley ?, Stickland, Mousell, Brian, Sparrow.
3rd row: Ross-Watt, Postlethwaite, Davis, Lazarus, Bean, Hine, Mackinnon, Barlow, Stroud, Gay, Cuthbert 1, Baker 1, Cuthbert 2, Baker 2, Jones.
Back row: Wade, Scott, Richardson, Wilsdon 3, Bartlett, Heulin 1, (?), Perrott 1, Cooper, Wright 1, Mackay, Lockie, Goodchild 1, Thomas, Rackham, Garrett 2, Abrahams.
Front row (on ground): Valentine, Budd, Paul 2, Adley, Spanier 2, Pam Faulkner, Janet Faulkner, Abrahams 2, Silvester, Warshaw, Tytherleigh. Lazario, Hicks.
2nd row (seated): Paul 1, Marr, Horton, Beaumont, Spanier, Hobbs, Goodchild, Emsden 2, Wade 2, Mendes, Brooke, Stickland.
3rd row: Jackson, Pemberton, Mattock, Emsden, Du Heaume, Chester, Suckling 1, Ellis, Zeal, Beall, Raine, Mansell, Wright, Jones-Parry, Wade 1
Back row: Glazier, Suckling 2, Abrahams 1, Finkler, Webb-Bowen, Davis, Bedell, Corlett, Pratt, Barlow.
1941 at
Sitting: Wilsdon, (?), (?), Ross-Watt, Richardson
Standing: Cuthbert 1, Bean, Barlow, (?), Mackinnon, Cuthbert 2.
Sitting: Bean, Wilsdon, Cuthbert 1, Richardson, (?)
Standing: Lockie, Mackinnon, Barlow, (?), Baker, Cuthbert 2.
Sack Race
Obstacle Race
PT Display

Stephen Perrott has sent photos of two artefacts from Falconbury in the 1930s. On the left is his napkin ring, "duly notched for the number of terms I was at the school", and on the right is his Falconbury badge. Stephen explains that each week one could lose points for bad behaviour of one kind or another. At the end of the week those who had lost a given number of points "lost their badge" for the next week. Losing one's badge a certain number of times during a term resulted in "more serious punishment".
Thanks also to Stephen and his brother David for showing us what the well-dressed young Falconburian was wearing in 1935-40. School uniforms at that time included straw hats and Eton collars.
And Sports Day in the late 1930s
In May of 1940 Falconbury was relocated to Astrop Park, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, and remained at that country house until the end of the war. Thanks are due to Nigel Faulkner and to Stephen Perrott for photos and recollections of Astrop Park in the early 1940s.
Eric G. B. Faulkner, son of the founder, was headmaster of Falconbury at this time. He was known to everybody as Mr. Eric, and is shown here (left) in September 1940 with his son Nigel at Astrop Park.

Mr. Faulkner's wife Muriel, known to the boys as Mrs. Eric, oversaw the catering and domestic staff, and is shown here in a family group with Mr. Faulkner and children Nigel, Janet and Pam. The photo was taken by the lake at Astrop Park in August, 1942.
Stephen Perrott and his brother were together at Falconbury in 1940, and both appear in the following photos taken at Astrop Park in July of that year. Apparently the owners of the house preferred the idea of a school occupying the premises to the possibility of it being used for military purposes, and consequently Falconbury found itself in relatively luxurious surroundings. Stephen remembers marble bathrooms and enormous chandeliers and mirrors, and recalls that only pencils were allowed to be used, thus avoiding the inevitable ink spills. As shown in these photos, the grounds were extensive, and included a lake.

Stephen revisited Astrop Park in October of 1986 and took this photo of Astrop House, which shows all that remained of the building at that time.
Astrop House was built in about 1735 by Sir John Willes and remained in that family until 1865, when it was sold to Sir William Brown of Brown's Ship Building. He added a second storey to the (now demolished) wings and sold the building in 1929 to Capt. Gerald Guiness, who owned the property at the time that Falconbury was located there during WWII. After the war the house was bought by Earl Beatty, son of Admiral Beatty, and has since changed hands several times.
Tony Abrahams, who was at Falconbury from 1940 to 1946, has kindly donated a copy of the March, 1940 issue of the school magazine, "The Falconburian". It provides a rare glimpse of Falconbury in the early years of WWII, and here are a few quotes:

"It was on February 15th that some boy dared to ask whether it was possible to buy a Yo-Yo, and before long the old craze had come back in full swing".
"On Tuesday, February 21st, we had the fourth in our series of Educational Talkie Films".
"On Wednesday, March 15th, Germany decided to break the Munich agreement, and gas masks, which had almost been forgotten, were now talked of once again".
"On the night of Saturday, June 3rd, an old servant, in the person of Bodle, who had been a gardener at the school for a great number of years, passed away after an operation. The boys sent a very nice sheaf of flowers in sympathy".
"It looks rather like a slump in boxing. Quite a number of boys take up this most valuable part of their training, and on finding out they cannot have things their own way, promptly come to the conclusion that there is something they do not like about it. Of course there is. That is partly one of the reasons they should stick to it. Probably the most important feature about boxing is that it teaches one to take a knock or two without curling up".
"Probably some of you read an article by an Old Falconburian in the
Evening News, at the end of last term, concerning the arrival of the present boys of Falconbury at Victoria Station, to return home for the Christmas Holidays. The writer of the said article made a most uncomplimentary comment on the worthless pieces of carpentry carefully carried by some of the boys. I can assure you that I resent the remarks very much, as I make it my aim to see that, whatever a boy attempts to make, it should never be quite worthless".
"For the past year we had been living in a state of wondering how events were going to turn out in Europe, and it was in the summer holidays that matters came to a head. On Sunday, September 3rd, Mr. Chamberlain broadcasted the news that this country was at war.....In consequence of this the three weeks of holiday that remained were somewhat disturbed, and boys began to drift back to school to spend the rest of their holidays in a safer area".
"We were very sorry to lose Miss James, who left a few weeks before the end of term, to take up duties on the land".
"An Old Falconburian tie has now been on the market for some time. This tie, which is of a grey background bespotted with small cerise Falcons, is obtainable at Messrs. Peter Robinson, Ltd., price 5s. 6d."
Thanks to Nigel Faulkner, who contributed a copy of "The Falconburian" from March, 1946. It details the return of Falconbury from Astrop to Bexhill, and notes that "the Army did not leave the School without showing us what they could do in the way of destruction". Postwar shortages are evident - ("alas, no carpentry - no wood") - and regrettably the names listed under "Old Boys' News" include numerous wartime casualties. Click on any one of following eleven pages to enlarge:
FALCONBURY in the LATE 1940s and EARLY 1950s
Thanks to Christopher Vincenzi, who sent these five photos taken around 1950. Who can help with some identifications ? On the right in Photo 1 is the younger Carmichael brother (Robin ?), who also appears in Photo 2 with Mr. & Mrs. Devitt's dog Roddy. Photo 3 is taken by the swimming pool - is that Moore on the right ? Mrs. Devitt is in Photo 4, possibly with Miss Dolloway. On the left in Photo 5 is Christian Stringer, possibly with Houchen on the right.
Thanks to Tom Rainey, who supplied the following names to accompany this photo:
Front row (on ground): Weeks 2, Stanishas, Bross, Blake, Woodhams, (?), Thompson, (Roddy), White, Merrylees, MacGlashan 2, (?), Weeks 1, Wyatt, Romilly 2, Raikes 2.
2nd row (seated): Spooner, Mr. Robertson, Mr. Richardson, (?), Cdr. Pasco, Mrs. Gleason, Mr. & Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Wotherspoon, Miss Mayes, Mr. Brooks, Miss Lea, Mr. Webb, Stringer.
3rd row: Copplestone, Widdop, Grosvenor, Redfern, Winkleman 1, Read, Darval, Dodds, Harris, Wallace, Lee-Thompson, Burrows, Vincenzi, Kennedy, Rainey, MacGlashan 1.
4th row: Raikes 1, O'Meara, Barber, Foster, Dutko, Cole, Grosche, Burrell, Scott, Justice 1, Moore, (?), Carmichael 1, Weenan, Whitelaw.
Back row: Carmichael 2, Knight, Winkleman 2, Romilly 2, Justice 2, Fairer-Smith, Romilly 1, Williams, Thorpe, Justice 2, Trinder, Wetherhead, Reeve, Taylor, Goodrich.
1950 Rugger
1951 Rugger
1952 Rugger
1951 Football
 Left to right: Spooner, Vincenzi 1, (?), Winkelman 1, Redfern, Heath, Aylen, Bright.
FALCONBURY in the 1960s
Thanks to Colin Mann for sending these photos from 1961 to 1967, and to Stuart Wylie and Rob Cox for filling in a lot of the names.
Back row: Thorley, Newman, Hopkinson, Burns, Cockell, Wylie, George, Rider, Hubbard, Stoop, De Gaiffier, Mitchell
2nd row: Palfreyman, Baker, Marshall, Pollard, Alexander, Shanks, Campbell, Simond, Philpotts, Hutcheson, Bell, Kinch, Lamdin
3rd row: Honeyman, Keighley, Kampman, Swain?, Northcote-Green, Norton, Williams 1?, Williams 3?, Rennie, Mathie, Brown, Reed, Simmonds, Heath
4th row: Belcher, Abblet, Maj. Murray, Mr. Dangerfield, Ms. Stein, Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Devitt, Miss. Dolloway, Mr. Dougall, Ms. Stevens, Mr. Bailey, (?), Seal, Williams 2
Front row: Anderson, Mann, North, Burns, Mead (NA), Groves, Mead (AM), (?), Cox, (?), McConnell, Felton, Salazar, Sarant
Back row: Dale, McConnell, Urquhart, Messenger?, Groves, Thomson, Mead (AM), Newman 1, Stoop?, Mitchell, Morch, Cox, Mead (NA), Sergeant, Popham 1
2nd row: Thorley, Batty, Hopkinson, Cockell, Lamdin, Baker, Marshall, Hutcheson, Bell, Wylie, Osbourne, George, Rider, De Gaiffier, Randall, Gaynor
3rd row: Palfreyman, Wigg, Pollard, Heath, Press, Kampman, Norton, Waller, Williams, Swain, Reed, Keighley, Honeyman, Shanks, Alexander, Simond, Philpotts
4th row: Hubbard, Simmonds, Mr. Bailey, Cdr. Dale, Ms. Stein, Mr. Wotherspoon, Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Devitt, Miss Dolloway, Mr. Dougall, Ms. Stevens, Maj. Murray, Mr. Pickles, Campbell, Brown
Front row: Sarant, Anderson, North, Burns 2?, (?), Ann Devitt, Anson, Mann, Salazar, Maude-Roxby
Back row: Mann, North, Dale, Anson, Mead (NA), Urquhart, Oliver, Cox 1, Messenger, Sergeant, McConnell, Popham, Burns, Newman 2?, Butler 2
2nd row: Morch, Mitchell, Thomson, Newman 1, Gaynor, Mead (AM), Thorley, Batty, Osbourne, Randall, De Gaiffier, Stoop, (?), (?), Butler
3rd row: Hopkinson, Lamdin, Cockell, Philpotts, Judges 1, Wigg, Keighley, Press, Norton, Pollard, Marshall, Tyler, Butler1, Wylie, Baker, George.
4th row: Alexander, Honeyman, Mr. Pickles, (?), Mr. Bailey, Ms. Stevens, Mr. Wotherspoon, Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Devitt, Miss Dolloway, Mr. Dougall, Ms. Stannard, Cdr. Dale, Maj. Murray, Mr. Lauderdale
Front row: Cox 2, Sarant, Morse?, Maude-Roxby, Salazar, Loveday, Ann Devitt, Glover, (?), Percy, Anderson, (?), North, (?)
Back row: (?), Percy, Newman 2?, Dale, North 1, Burns, Oliver, (?), Kampman?, Glover, Mann, Salazar, Barry, Jones 2
2nd row: (?), Setten, McConnell, Messenger, Cox 1, (?), Morch, Butler 2, Anson, Alexander 1?, Hubbard 2?, Urquhart, Hill, Popham, Judges
3rd row: (?), Newman 1, (?), (?), Reynolds 1, Butler 1, Marshall, Cockell, Wigg, Judges 1, (?), Reynolds 2, George?, Batty, Jones 1?, Thomson
4th row: Thorley?, Stoop? (?), Maj. Murray, Ms. Stevens, Mr. Dougall, Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Devitt, Miss Dolloway, Mr. Wotherspoon, Ms. Stannard, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Martin, (?), (?)
Front row: Cox 2, North 3, (?), Morse?, Sarant, Farrar, Ann Devitt, Loveday, Anderson, Maude-Roxby, (?), North 2, (?), Goodchild
Back row: (?), Hanmer, Percy, Anderson 1, Loveday, Barry, Loveday, Jewitt, (?), Farrar, Maude-Roxby, (?)
2nd row: Hyde, Salazar, Newman 2?, Hill, Judges, Kampman?, Setten, Ann Devitt, (?), North 1, Dale, Jones, Glover
3rd row: Oliver, Popham 1, Fenton, Thomson, Morch, Reynolds, Marshall, Cockell, Newman 1?, McConnell, (?), Alexander 1(?), (?), Urquhart 1
4th row: Batty, (?), Mr. Ogden, Mr. Martin, Ms. Stannard, Mr. Wotherspoon, Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Devitt, Miss Dolloway, Mr. Dougall, (?), (?), Mr. Bailey, Maj. Murray, Butler
Front row: (?), Popham 2, Cox 2, (?), North 3, Sarant, (?), North 2, (?), (?), (?), Wigg 2?, (?), Goodchild
Back row: Hughes, Odhams, Wykes, Lawden, Sebesta, Westcott, Maude-Roxby, Cook, Urquhart 2, North 1, North 2, Sutton
2nd row: Hanmer, Cocking, Percy, Thorp, Loveday, Mann, Barry, Hyde, Capes, Jewitt, Anderson 1, Farrar, Lightfoot
3rd row: Newman, Judges, Jones, Kampman, Fenton, Vigano, Popham 1, Thomson, Alexander 1, Oliver, Dale, Amery, Hill, Hunter
4th row: Urquhart 1, Setten, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Bailey, Mrs. Hodder, Mr. Wotherspoon, Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Devitt, Miss. Dolloway, Mr. Dougall, Miss Francis, Mr. Ogden, Maj. Murray, Reynolds, Salazar
Front row: Anderson 2, Pellegrini, Saddington, Wigg, Alexander 2, Cox, Messenger, Popham 2, Stannard, Bone, Goodchild
Back row: Messenger, (?), North 2, Wykes, Sutton, Lightfoot, Newman, Odhams, Cook, (?), Hughes, Cox
2nd row: Sebesta, Westcott, Miller, Urquhart 2, Cocking, Jewitt, Farrar, Thorp, Anderson 1, Hanmer, Cripps, North 1, Lawden
3rd row: (?), Hunter, Vigano 2, Amery, Kampman, Vigano 1, Alexander, Thomson, Jones, Oliver, Judges, Capes, Leftley ?, Barry
4th row: Popham 1, (?), Miss Davies ?, Mr. Ogden, Mrs. Hodder, Mr. Wotherspoon, Mrs. Devitt, Mr. Devitt, Miss Dolloway, Mr. Dougall, Mrs. Bailey, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Khan, Mann, Loveday
Front row: Myatt, Taylor, Stannard, Wigg, Alexander 2, Popham 2, Saddington, Bone, Goodchild, Anderson 2
1965 cricket + names
1965 football + names
1966 cricket + names
1966 football + names
1966 rugby + names
1967 cricket + names
1967 rugby + names
Thanks to Phil Judges, who sent these photos from 1962-64 together with the signatures of the 2nd XI and Under 11 football teams.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge these photos from 1962
Thanks to Phil Stone for sending a link to a film clip taken on Sports Day, 1963, including events such as hurdles, high jump, egg-and-spoon race, etc., and good shots of the school, staff and parents. There is also some film of rugby and football games taken in 1962-63. Click on the link below to download Phil's films.
Sports Day
Thanks to Robert Cox, who sent this photo taken in the library at Falconbury around 1965/66. Robert is at the far end of the table, and on his left are Tony Loveday, Hugh Alexander and Roger Amery. Opposite Roger is Hume Popham.