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Francis Whaley 1946-1962

Clive Bevan, a relative living in Narrow Neck, Auckland, New Zealand has been researching his family history, and writes:

Francis's mother was Mary Sophia Bevan, born Melbourne c1860, who married the Rev Oswald Whaley in 1882. Mary Sophia Bevan's brother was James Alfred Bevan who was the first Captain of the Welsh national rugby team in 1881. They had four children but only two boys lived to reach adulthood, Francis and his brother Oswald.

They were in the same regiment and fought at Gallipoli where Oswald was killed in 1915. Francis survived the war and won the MC. Francis' parents died within 6 months of each other in 1933 and Francis was largely forgotten by the family. He married Joan Eleanor Weekes in 1938 and I believe she predeceased Francis. Francis was educated at Eastbourne College and Cambridge University. I am keen to fill out the details of Francis' life."

Dale Vargas has researched this fascinating summary of Francis Whaley's life

Ray Dunsbier writes:
just received from my brother Derek Dunsbier in Canada, who was at Belmont a few years before me:

”Somebody in Form 4  shone a piece of mirror onto the blackboard. Mr Whaley’s aim was perfect, when the offending item was thrown through a small gap in the top of one of the tall windows. No further action was taken.”

Quite a character. I am almost sure he used to smoke his pipe in class. He certainly reeked of it!

Peter Gorle adds:
It was the boys vs staff match in about 1950.  Whaley was late, but finally appeared and made a fine innings. Much later it transpired that his little dog [terrier?] had been run over and killed just as he set off. He stopped to bury his friend and then sped off to the match.

The Passing Tramp blog: Francis Whaley


In Wilson adds:
I am sharing detail from the Hampshire Regimental Journal
(Sept 1917) announcing Whaley's Military Cross.

David Chaundler writes:
I remember FW had an obituary in the Times or Telegraph but this was presumably back in 1977 and this was the first I knew he had a Military Cross.  I remember he had an accident on his motor bike and lost a finger.  I also remember an incident on a walk when the local boys were taking the mick our of us, so I hit one of them and we were rolling in the ditch when FW came up, picked the boy-up by the scruff of the neck and gave him such a clout he probably landed in Kent.  Pity one can't do that now.  I did not get into trouble - probably should have - but I rather got the impression that FW  approved.

Gus Gordon adds:
I did know that he had been awarded and MC and told people so, but nobody would believe me! Anyway he once told me that he had saved a German medical orderly in the first war, who was cowering in the bottom of a trench, which his Company had just captured and was about to be bayoneted when FW intervened. He was very remorseful for his actions as the Corporal was none other than Adolf Hitler, and FW said that he always felt that he was responsible for the Second World War!

John Taft adds:
It's a nice story, and one would want to believe it, but I fear not accurate - unless Hitler was spared more than once which is a possibility. I guess we'll never know: BBC link



Mr Tony Eggar & Paul
1946-1948, 1957-1972

Tony Eggar died peacefully on 18th July 2015 aged 100


Mr Dale Vargas


Mrs Nilla Burr - Mr Packwood


Anthony Walters
[1930 - 2005]

taught mathematics and carpentry at Belmont 1958 - 1964.

inspired many to achieve great things both in and out of the classroom.

Garage extension at Belmont built by AW and pupils 1960

AW with team of workers

The back-up team on a tea-break!

One of many Belmont built canoes, inspired by AW, being tested at Burnham on Crouch (1960)

Douglas Butler's Belmont canoe, hanging in a barn in Oundle! (2004)


Michael Beckinsale attended Mayfield College from 1973 -1979. His brother Steve also went there. He writes (February 2007):

I did go up to Mayfield College about three weeks ago. The security guard said Mr. Walters died a couple of years ago. Looking on the 'Friends Reunited' site for Mayfield College I found this message, added by Fela Oke in April 2005:

Sad news ...... Anthony Walters (known at Mayfield College as 'Bonk') passed away peacefully in his sleep in his "Bonk Mobile" on Saturday 16th April 2005 at the school. His funeral was on Friday 29th April 2005.

After leaving Belmont, Anthony Walters joined the staff at Mayfield College, a boarding school for boys which was situated nine miles south of Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex. He carried on working as a maths teacher, and House Master, at the college for many years.

He had helped to build a 5th form Common room/Woodwork classroom.

He lived in a Camping van, on the grounds, while work was (and still is) being done to convert Mayfield College into luxury flats.

Sadly he passed away in his camping van. He has been buried in the monks Graveyard at Mayfield College. He was 77 when he died.

I have fond memories of Mr Walters, as will many of the old boys of Mayfield College.

A short history of Mayfield College

Prior to Bellerby's taking over this school in about 1995 it was known as Mayfield College. Mayfield was founded by the Duchess of Leeds as an Orphanage. In 1868 a Roman Catholic Order of Religous Brothers, known as the Xaverians Brothers, moved from Hastings to run Mayfield College as an independent boys boarding school. The school continued to flourish under the direction of the Brothers until 1977 when, due to a shortage of vocations into the Brothers, the school was taken over by the Mayfield College Educational Trust. It retained strong links with the Brothers several of whom still lived and taught at the College.

However in about 1995 the Trust felt unable to continue the administration of the school and it was sold to Bellerby's of Wadhurst, they changed the name of the school to Bellerby College, Mayfield. The school has now closed down; about two years ago. In its day Mayfield College owned its own Prep. School at Waldron in East Sussex. This was known as School of St Edward the Confessor, but was often refered to as 'Foxhunt'.