Wellingborough School
Wellingborough School is an independent fee-paying day school in Wellingborough
Wellingborough is a market town and borough in Northamptonshire, England, situated some from the county town of Northampton. The town is situated on the north side of the River Nene, most of the older town is sited on the flanks of the hills above the river's current flood plain...

, Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire is a landlocked county in the English East Midlands, with a population of 629,676 as at the 2001 census. It has boundaries with the ceremonial counties of Warwickshire to the west, Leicestershire and Rutland to the north, Cambridgeshire to the east, Bedfordshire to the south-east,...

, England. It was established in 1595 and is one of the oldest schools in the country.


The original school was a Tudor Grammar school in the centre of the town; its original building, built 1617 at a cost of £25, still survives. In January 1881 the school moved under the 28th Headmaster to its present 45 acres (182,108.7 m²) site on the edge of Wellingborough. It has developed a strong reputation for football, cricket and cross country and has produced 43 first class county cricketers, including the Northamptonshire and England cricketer, George Thompson
George Thompson
George Thompson may refer to:*George Thompson , British anti-slavery lecturer and British MP for Tower Hamlets*George Thompson , one of Colorado's earliest aviators...

. Another old boy is Arthur Henfrey
Arthur Henfrey
Arthur George Henfrey was an English footballer who made five appearances for England between 1891 and 1896 playing initially as a forward and later as a half back...

, who played football for England five times.

During the Great War about 1,060 Old Boys saw action. These included the flying-ace Henry Winslow Woollett
Henry Winslow Woollett
Henry Winslow Woollett DSO, MC & Bar was a World War I fighter ace who scored 35 victories and continued to serve in the Royal Air Force during the 1920s.-Early life:...

DSO may refer to:Decorations* Distinguished Service Order refers to a number of decorationsMusic* Dallas Symphony Orchestra* Dark Star Orchestra* Deathspell Omega, a French black metal band* Detroit Symphony Orchestra...

, famous for 35 victories in the air. 181 Old Boys and masters were killed in action, amongst them the former School Chaplain, Bernard Vann
Bernard Vann
Lieutenant Colonel Bernard William Vann VC MC & Bar) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Early life:Vann was born in Rushden, Northamptonshire and...

, who was awarded the Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....


Between the wars the school's sporting prowess continued, and in 1929 a thatched pavilion was built on the playing fields, paid for out of tuckshop profits. The pavilion has the front door step of the former home of W.G. Grace, acquired in 1939 when his old home in Bristol was demolished. One local lad who sat the scholarship entrance exam unsuccessfully was H.E. Bates.

By 1940 the school was failing. It was saved by the arrival of boys from two other schools. The first comprised 33 boys and masters from Weymouth College, a public school in Dorset which was closing; their arrival was marked by the addition of a House to the school: Weymouth House was originally a House for boys, but it became a House for girls in the late 1980s, as the number of female students increased. The second arrival was a group of boys from Lynfield Preparatory School in Norfolk, with their headmaster Robert Britten, the elder brother of the composer Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...


In the Second World War, 95 Old Boys were killed in action. Among survivors was Major George Drew. A serial escaper, he spent most of the war in Colditz
Colditz is a town in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, near Leipzig, located on the banks of the river Mulde. The town has a population of 5,188 ....

. The most distinguished Old Boy was Group Captain
Group Captain
Group captain is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks above wing commander and immediately below air commodore...

 James Brian Tait
James Brian Tait
Group Captain James Brian Tait DSO and three bars, DFC and bar was an officer in the Royal Air Force during and after World War II. He conducted 101 bombing missions during the war, including those which finally sank the German battleship Tirpitz in 1944...

, one of the RAF's most highly decorated bomber pilots, who led the attack which sank the German battleship Tirpitz
German battleship Tirpitz
Tirpitz was the second of two s built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. Named after Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the architect of the Imperial Navy, the ship was laid down at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven in November 1936 and launched two and a half years later in April...

 in 1944.

In 1965 the school received a visit from Her Majesty the Queen. This was arranged by the chairman of the governors, Albert Edward John Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer (chairman 1946-72). By coincidence, the surgeon, Sir William Gilliatt KCVO, who had attended the Queen at the births of Prince Charles and Princess Anne was an Old Wellingburian as is her current Dermatologist.

Until the late 1970s the school was still predominantly for boarders. Girls were admitted for the first time in 1970 and it became fully co-educational in 1979, following the sudden closure of Overstone School in Northamptonshire. In July 2000 boarding ceased.

Combined cadet force

Wellingborough School’s Combined Cadet Force
Combined Cadet Force
The Combined Cadet Force is a Ministry of Defence sponsored youth organisation in the United Kingdom. Its aim is to "provide a disciplined organisation in a school so that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self reliance,...

 has a long and distinguished history, having been established in November 1900; on the occasion of its centenary in 2000, the Annual Inspection was covered by BBC television. The CCF has facilities behind the Sports Hall as well as an indoor .22 shooting range. In over a century it has passed through numerous phases often reflecting changes in society. Today Wellingborough School CCF is a compulsory activity for all S9 pupils until the completion of the S10 year after which it continues to attract both boys and girls at instructor level. The annual Presentation Evening in January for the new S9 recruits is usually a memorable occasion, at which serving members of sections provide a graphic picture of the experiences of life in the CCF.

Three major trips are undertaken each year, one of which is compulsory; the others are during holiday time though we always take the majority of pupils : each year Exercise First Field takes place during the first weekend of the Easter holidays at the military training area in Thetford Forest in Norfolk and all of S9 and S10 travel to the Peak District during the last week of the Trinity Term for a 2 night Adventure Training trip.

Wellingborough School CCF compromises four sections in total:
  • Army
    An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

  • RAF,
  • Navy
    A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

  • Royal Marines
    Royal Marines
    The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...


Facilities include a CCF operations area and an indoor .22 25-yard shooting range. The contingent is staffed by officers from the school. The Contingent Commander, Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

 S. Garfirth, has been in post since 2000. He is supported by Regimental Sergeant Major
Regimental Sergeant Major
Regimental Sergeant Major is an appointment held by warrant officers class 1 in the British Army, the British Royal Marines and in the armies of many Commonwealth nations, including Australia and New Zealand; and by chief warrant officers in the Canadian Forces...

 Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

 S. Moffatt.


The Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

 section staff also consists of Captain G. Moss and Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 L. Belford.

Royal Air Force

The RAF section staff includes Flight Lieutenant
Flight Lieutenant
Flight lieutenant is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many Commonwealth countries. It ranks above flying officer and immediately below squadron leader. The name of the rank is the complete phrase; it is never shortened to "lieutenant"...

 M. Walker and Flying Officer
Flying Officer
Flying officer is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence...

 L. McAuley. The RAF section visits RAF Cranwell every year for the regional Ground Training Competition where they compete against 15 other schools in order to gain a place in the Finals. In November 2009, the Wellingborough School RAF GTC team were awarded 2nd place thus being promoted to the Finals, also held at RAF Cranwell. Wellingborough School RAF section is linked to No. 5 Air Experience Flight at RAF Wyton
RAF Wyton
RAF Wyton is a Royal Air Force station near St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, England.In terms of organisation RAF Wyton is now part of the combined station RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow, a merger of Wyton with two previously separate bases, RAF Brampton and RAF Henlow. Wyton is the largest of the three. It...

, where cadets are flown on Friday afternoons in the Grob Tutor training aircraft, and to 616 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, at RAF Henlow
RAF Henlow
RAF Henlow is a Royal Air Force station in Bedfordshire, England, equidistant from Bedford, Luton and Stevenage. It houses the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, the RAF Signals Museum and 616 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.- History :...

 in Bedfordshire, where cadets go on Sundays to fly in the Grob Vigilant motor glider, and where Flt Lt Walker is a C Category instructor.

Royal Navy

The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 section staff includes Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

 P. Waugh and Sub-Lieutenant Commander J. Gray. The current Head of Section (Coxswain) is Stewart Parsons.

Royal Marines

Entrance to the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 section is by virtue of stringent physical tests in the Lent term of S9. As a result the Royal Marines’ Section is one of the most successful in the country as the performances in the annual national “Pringle Trophy” illustrate.


Cadre is a Junior NCO
Non-commissioned officer
A non-commissioned officer , called a sub-officer in some countries, is a military officer who has not been given a commission...

 training course in which cadets from each section of the contingent (apart from the Royal navy who have their owen version of Cadre) take part in. The cadets involved are always those who wish to stay on in the CCF voluntarily, thus in S11, and learn primarily how to teach others as well as gaining further military experience including fieldcraft and working with weapons. After the Cadre course, which lasts for a school term, the cadets return to their own section and those who showed capability are promoted to the junior-most rank. Other cadets who are not promoted are then trained within their own section and promoted internally once ready. Two important exercises are held in conjunction with the assessment of the cadets; Teaching Practice - a weekend spent teaching other cadets within the Cadre section; Cadre night-exercise - a weekend spent orienteering and completing military-simulated missions at Yardley Chase
Yardley Chase
Yardley Chase is a fairly large forest in Northamptonshire , which consists of two similar shaped forests, which are each about long, and wide, in places...

 currently run by WO2 CSM Miles Galloway.

Shooting Team

Members of the school's CCF are eligible to join the successful shooting team that operates in the indoor .22 shooting range. Many cadets shoot after school recreationally and those that are recognisably good and shoot regularly become part of the Wellingborough School Shooting Team. Usually on a termly basis, the shooting team will visit the National Shooting Centre at Bisley
-Places:* Two villages in the United Kingdom:**Bisley, Surrey**Bisley, Gloucestershire*Bisley Ranges is near the Surrey village and is the headquarters of the National Rifle Association, UK -Others:...

, for training on 7.62 rifles in anticipation for the annual Ashburton Trophy. The Ashburton Trophy lasts for four days, where shooting teams of CCF sections from all over Britain compete.

Old Wellingburian Rifle Club

Many Old Wellingburians, ex-members of Wellingborough School, were involved in shooting for the school years ago. Many members of the club shoot professional and veteran matches at Bisley
-Places:* Two villages in the United Kingdom:**Bisley, Surrey**Bisley, Gloucestershire*Bisley Ranges is near the Surrey village and is the headquarters of the National Rifle Association, UK -Others:...

 but also return to compete with the present Wellingborough School Shooting Team occasionally throughout the year. Some Old Wellingburians participate in the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom
National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom
The National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom is the governing body of full bore rifle and pistol shooting sports in the United Kingdom.- History :...

 Imperial Meeting (held after the Ashburton Trophy), where senior members of the Wellingborough School Shooting Team are sometimes offered the chance to shoot and compete with them, during the Imperial, improving to a more professional level along the way.

The School Today

The school is divided into three sections:
  • The Pre-Preparatory (founded 1990) caters from nursery to Year 3;
  • The Preparatory School (founded in 1913), caters Years 4 to 8; and
  • The Senior School, Years 9 to 13.

The Senior School has five boys' houses:
  • Platt's (1924),
  • Garne's (1924),
  • Fryer's (1924),
  • Parker-Steyne's (1924) and

Cripps' (1967);

There are also three girls' houses:
  • Weymouth (1940),
  • Marsh (1977) and
  • Nevill (1984).

  • Headmaster of the Preparatory school:Mr Richard J Mitchell (ages 8-13)
  • Headmistress of the pre-Paratory school:Mrs Jocelyn Everett (ages 3-8)

It is known for its academic as well as extra-curricular activities in football, rugby, cricket, cross-country,
Duke of Edinburgh's award
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award , is a programme of activities that can be undertaken by anyone aged 14 to 24, regardless of personal ability....

, CCF, shooting, drama, art and music. The Chapel Choir often attend Choral Evensong at various churche including Coventry cathedral
Coventry Cathedral
Coventry Cathedral, also known as St Michael's Cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of Coventry and the Diocese of Coventry, in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The current bishop is the Right Revd Christopher Cocksworth....

. Recent drama productions include West Side Story, The Crucible
The Crucible
The Crucible is a 1952 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the US government blacklisted accused communists...

, Anything Goes
Anything Goes
Anything Goes is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The original book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London...

, 42nd Street
42nd Street (musical)
42nd Street is a musical with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin, and music by Harry Warren. The 1980 Broadway production, directed by an ailing Gower Champion and orchestrated by Philip J. Lang, won the Tony Award for Best Musical and became a long-running hit...

 and The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the 1975 film adaptation of the British rock musical stageplay, The Rocky Horror Show, written by Richard O'Brien. The film is a parody of B-movie, science fiction and horror films of the late 1940s through early 1970s. Director Jim Sharman collaborated on the...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.