Who were they?

1. Helen Bateman went to the United States soon after leaving school. She was twice married and died in San Francisco in 1988.

2. Mr Pidcock was only at the school for a short time in 1915.

3. "Girlie", or Irene Swanson left school "at full age" in December 1915 and we know no more of her.

4. Dr Armstrong Smith was Head of the School until 1918. He was working at Battersea anti-vivisection hospital in 1927, and subsequently went back to sea: he was, for example, ship's surgeon on a boat carrying Mecca pilgrims from Jeddah in 1929. He retired from the sea and was living in London in the thirties. He died, in his late eighties, in 1953.

5. Miss White became Mrs Joad, but we know no more of her.

6. Mrs Ransom died in 1960, aged 81.

7. Jack Austin left school in 1928 having been Head Boy. He spent a few months making "wireless bits" with a local firm, took and passed his Westminster Bank entrance exam and worked for them, first at Harpenden and then in the City. He had a long succession of sporting triumphs as a young man, which successes he ascribed to a vegetarian diet. He was a PT instructor with the RAF during the first part of the war then a Flying Control Officer in Italy, Malta, etc. He died in 1985.

8. William Riddell left school immediately after his fourteenth birthday in 1917. We know no more of him.

9. Shila Ransom left for Australia in February 1925, but was back in the UK by the end of the decade returned to study at the Royal Free Hospital and captain their boat club. She qualified as a doctor and after the war became a consultant in obstetrics at University College Hospital, London. She died in 1978.

10. Honor Clapham-Lander was the first of four sisters to attend St Christopher School. She left St Christopher aged 12 in 1922, and apart from the news that she was employed by the Mersey Power Company in the mid thirties we know no more of her.

11. Hilda Plowman's family left Letchworth in April 1921. She studied as a commercial artist and was setting up her own studio in 1928.

12. Violet Wells-Bladen left in 1925 and subsequently worked for Debenham and Freebody's, now Debenhams. At the end of the twenties she and her mother joined her brother on his ranch in South Africa. In retirement she returned to the UK and was probably the last surviving of those who were at St Christopher on the first day in 1915. She died in February 2004, in her late nineties.

13. Miss Hensley continued as Matron until 1918.

14. Blake Wicksteed left in April 1916 and we know no more of him.

15. Frank Austin left school in December 1925 and joined Heals. He turned up for work as a stevedore during the General Strike of 1926. By the end of the twenties he was in Germany studying developments in furniture, and returned to write a series of articles for the local paper on his travels. In 1933 he opened The Hermitage Gallery in Hitchin, designing and selling furniture. In 1947 he was head designer for the Utility Design Panel of the Board of Trade and became the Head of Furnitire Design and Interior Decoration at the Central School of Art in the nineteen fifties. He died in 1995.

16. Dennis Wells-Bladen, brother of Violet, left St Christopher in 1924 and went to South Africa, where he subsequently ran a ranch.

17. "Laddie", or Cecil Swanson left at the end of 1915 and we know no more of him.

18. Billy Palmer left St Christopher in 1916. He later read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and took his BA in 1932.

© The St Christopher Club, 2014.