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Elmhurst School for Boys

5th November 2014 | Heads Blog

[caption id="attachment_3675" align="alignleft" width="190"] Capt. E S Underhill[/caption]

“Now, Mother dear, I am going to tell you something. Please don’t get alarmed. I am going to the trenches tomorrow. I can hear the guns even as I write this.  All I hope is that it doesn’t rain too much.  Now cheer up, Mother dear and don’t get downhearted. I shall take care of myself.”
This is an extract of a letter from Captain Edward Underhill (pictured), written in September 1915 ahead of his move up to the front line. Captain Underhill attended Elmhurst from January 1905 until July 1908 when he then joined Whitgift School. How frightened his Mother must have been, knowing her son was soon to be on the frontline. No mobile phones in those days the wait for the postman each day must have been agonising!
With the centenary of WWI being the focus of such attention, most notably with the wonderfully poignant display of poppies at the Tower of London, it is the appropriate time for us to remember all the boys from Elmhurst who fought for their country.
Elmhurst is one of, if not, the oldest boy’s primary school in Croydon and we are very lucky to already have a reasonably comprehensive history of the school. However more detailed records of the school prior to the 1950’s haven’t survived. In addition I can find no record of the school ever having a “Role of Honour”.
So next Tuesday on the 11th November we will be launching a project to establish Elmhurst School’s Role of Honour and we aim to enlist the help of as many people in the local community as well as the alumni of the school in helping establish this record of any Elmhurst boys who fought for their country in the two major conflicts of the 20th century. This project will involve current pupils, staff and parents at Elmhurst in the preparation of this Role of Honour, which will eventually be displayed in the School Hall. We will also establish a page on the School website that will allow you to follow our progress as this exciting project develops.
If you have any information that you think would be of interest please contact the school at office@elmhurstschool.net or telephone on 020 8688 0661.
Charles South
5/11/2014

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