Memories and More Memories of Wellingborough Grammar School: Mr Woolley and the War Years
by Graham and David Tall
Margaret Hopkinson-Woolley Mr Woolley’s daughter-in-law
I have finished the book. . I thoroughly enjoyed a very good read. Congratulations on your hard work and efforts to record so much history of your school in the war years. I think it is brilliant and well put together with so much of interest. I had quite a few chuckles, especially my mother in law and her ear-rings swinging in time to the music. She was a marvellous lady and must have been an asset to the school at times. . I like the history of the war as it is summarised so well. It was sad to read of the boys who fought and died during the war.
Alexander remembers Miss Bavin. Mr Hole rented the converted stable block of the Woolleys. His daughter, Josephine, was a little younger than Alexander. He always says she was his first girl friend. Her mother abandoned the family.
The books were wrapped up beautifully and I have already recycled the box and brown paper. Thank you for sending them. They are giving us much pleasure and will do so to all who read them. You must be very proud of WGS.
Major Gerry Madigan Canadian Historian
I read your book last night. It was a fascinating read!
I was quite impressed with the way you developed a timeline on key events of the war over the years in Chapter 5. I have read quite a bit of history over the years and these were the critical turning points and bang on in my opinion!
I was both fascinated and impressed with the number of distinguished men that this small school produced. It surely points to the quality of education and the dedication of the teachers of the day. As to corporal punishment...this was very reminiscent of my early days at school as well....I shuddered just thinking about it!
The vignettes of individual service are insightful. I was touched by one remembrance of service in the far east as a "forgotten" war. We often tend to think of WW II as the war in Europe and Japan but fail to remember what some term the sideshows as being significant too. They and their operations were conducted bravely with little or no resources with great ingenuity and courage by those who fought and died there!
On a personal note I observed First Lieutenant Edwin Hudson - 4th MTB (Motor Boat) Flotilla based at Felixtowe, pg 112. My Uncle Jim was an AB who also served at Felixtowe with the 29th Flotilla MTB (RCN). Regrettably Jim died 7 years ago and didn't say too much about his experiences in the fleet. So this passage provided a great insight into the times. The MTB service, like the one cited above , was often lost in the big picture.
I see that you used Ernst Allen's material too (pg 121)! His son Mike Allen allowed me to use Ernst's material for my first and second paper. I drew heavily on it for the Hornsey story. I can't promise anything but I'm planning on turning these papers into a book. I've one paper in progress right now and am setting my self up for a new project. If and when I do it, I plan on devoting a chapter to Hornsey's story.