Oldfield Park Junior School (Bath) WW1 Memorial Project

South Twerton School

"...a commodious group of schools are being erected by the School Board.  They are in the middle of the uplands, isolated at present from any dwellings, but they will not, it is known, long remain in lonely grandeur."

BIT37285 South Twerton School
An early photograph of South Twerton School, seen here circa 1892,
before the surrounding houses were built.There is the tantalising
glimpse (right) of the countryside beyond the school.

Some general historical notes and items in connection with the school.

In the 1890s, Twerton was still separate from Bath and decided on its own parish affairs within the County of Somerset. The original Parochial School in Twerton was on the Lower Bristol Road near Twerton Arch. The development of housing eastwards towards Bath had caused an additional church (St Peter's) and school (East Twerton - now Oldfield Park Infants) to be built. When the housing development went further south up the hill, the parish put in another church (this time a tin hut in what became Maybrick Road) and Twerton School Board decided that there was the need for a new school in what was then known as 'South Twerton' or 'Oldfield-park West'.

The Twerton School Board of the time was made up of the Vicar (Prebendary Stokes Shaw), Jonathan Carr (of Twerton's cloth mill-owning Carr family) and three other gentlemen (G. Luton, G. Hill and G. Coles)

A contemporary article - leaving the reader to read between the lines! - noted of that part of the parish:

"Though we have referred to the respectable tone around, the population belongs almost exclusively to the artisan class from which (church) workers cannot be enlisted. If there are any ladies elsewhere 'unattached' who want a field for Christian usefulness, here they would be welcomed and find scope for their philanthropic aspirations."

South Twerton School built.

Appointment of head teachers for the three school departments:
  • Miss Mary. Smith, head mistress of the Infants School, previously assistant-mistress at East Twerton Board School for Infants
  • Miss Florence V. Jones, head mistress of the Girls' School, previously assistant-mistress at East Twerton Board School for Girls
  • Mr G. E. A. Skinner, head master of Boys' department, former assistant at East Twerton Schools
June 5th: South Twerton Schools opened.

News items named two of the school masters as Mr J. Angell and Mr Arthur Smith

Two additional classrooms (one for boys and one for girls) were suggested for South Twerton School when the Board decided it did not have enough school places in the parish. The Board also revisited the boundaries within the parish that defined which child went to which school. But in the end it was decided that a new school was needed in the western part of the parish and the additional classrooms at South Twerton would not be required.

The School Board was increased to nine members. One of the new members was Mr Ernest Pitman of the renowned printing family.

Notes from various Board meetings give us the names of some more of the teaching staff of the school:
  • Mr Collins and Miss Pritchard, who had just finished their terms as pupil teachers at South Twerton in November. 
  • Assistant teachers Miss Hewitt and Miss Clark. 
  • Miss Ella Thompson of Bath, newly appointed as mistress in September.
  • Mr Frederick Morris, newly appointed in December with a salary of 50 per annum, to rise to 60 and a post as assistant master on passing the relevant exams. 
  • Mr Pullin (assistant master) and stated to have been in the school's service for three years (i.e. since its inception).
  • Mr Hyman, receiving 1 3s. 1d per week. Mr Hyman was a well-regarded footballer who represented Somerset in these early days of Association Football and also played for Bath City. He was also an accomplished pianist and came second in the Twerton Churchmen's Club billiard handicap in 1886! In the summer he would turn his hand to cricket and he was prolific with the bat, being called up to represent Somerset against Gloucestershire in 1900 and making 359 not out against Thornbury in 1903. We may assume that he was involved with sports and physical education at South Twerton School!
The school closed on 18th December for three weeks' Christmas holidays, on the understanding that this was not to be taken as a precedent!

Mr Morris resigned, having gained a post in Kilburn.

Boys scholarship to Junr. Co. [not sure where this is] won by C. Hodges.

By 1898 the school buildings were being used for evening classes for 'continuing' education.

Miss Florence Jones, headmistress of the Girls' School, resigned in October, as did her sister Alice (an assistant mistress). Both were shortly to be married (married women did not generally continue in employment at this time).

Mr Skinner, headmaster of the boys' school, offered to commence swimming lessons and the Board assented, even though it would mean the boys being taken out of regular lessons.

On the occasion of the retirement of Mr J Hippisley, clerk to the School Board, the heads of the South Twerton Schools are listed as G. E. A. Skinner, C. F. Bryant and Mary E. Smith. From this it is clear that C. F. Bryant succeeded Miss Florence Jones in 1898.

Mr G. E. A. Skinner received the Diploma of Association of the College of Preceptors and was at that time president of the Bath and District Teachers Association for the year.

Standard V Boys Class Photograph
South Twerton Standard V boys circa 1900
This photograph from c.1900 was kindly sent by Mr Dexter Smith, grandson of pupil Percy Bainton, who is one of the pictured boys, although Mr Smith does not know which one! Percy was born in 1891 and 'Standard V' would have included boys aged circa 10 years old. The schoolmaster is Mr. Skinner (Head of the Boys' School).

Attendance at South Twerton School stated as: Boys 164; Girls 154; Infants 218. 

Miss Edwards and Miss Allport named as teachers at the girls' school attending a meeting of the Bath Teachers Association.

Girls scholarship to Bath High School won by A. England.

Plans drawn up for the extension of the school.

Mr G.W. Strong of the Boys' School, an Article 50 teacher, now getting 50, who recently took a First Class in his King's College examination, was recommended for an increase of 10 as from April 1st and annual increments.

The Chairman of the Board had interviewed Miss Alport with regard to the question of destitution through parents being out of employment, and he was informed that no cases had occurred at the school so far as was known.

County Education Committee approved the school extension plans.

Mr George Strong, assistant master, tendered his resignation.

Lady Tweedmouth donated an annual scripture prize to the Council Schools, but died just two years later.

School extension completed.

First school swimming competition. Mr Skinner's Tuesday afternoon classes, agreed in 1899, had lapsed for a time, but begun again when Mr A. T. Taylor - one of Mr Skinner's original swimming pupils - became an assistant master at the school and took the swimming class. They swam at Brock Street Bath (the site of Brock St Chapel) and in the Cross Bath. Coming second in the '2 lengths' race was G. Naish and the winners of 'two lengths (any style) and 'race for learners' were won by L. Hayes and C. Swain (younger brother of Harold Swain) respectively. E. Membery (brother of William Membery) came second in the 'consolation race'.

Claude Avenue bridge over the Somerset & Dorset Railway widened specifically as school children were in danger from sharing a 9' 6" wide roadway with vehicular traffic. [The effect of the widening work is clearly evident from beneath the bridge today].

Boys scholarship to Junr. Co. [not sure where this is] won by E. J. C. Griffin and to the Technical School by Charles Whereat.

Scarlet fever adversely affected attendances in the early part of the year. Average attendances overall were: Boys 239; Girls 236; Infants 219.

Mr G. E. A. Skinner (head master) became President of the County Association of the National Union of Teachers.

Mr L. A. Sheppard resigned as assistant master to go to Cambridge for further training.

The report of the school prize-giving names Miss Pritchard as the head mistress of the girls' school. Cookery had been introduced to the curriculum during the year. 11 more boys were taught to swim in 1909, bringing the total to 98. The School Championship (Swimming) Cup was won by Charles Swain (brother of Harold). Fourteen boys completed the Gardening course and Charles Swain again won first prize for best plot. 320 children were medically examined during the year; 27 pairs of spectacles were supplied and 'several latent weaknesses discovered'.

Miss Hill (from West Twerton School) appointed in place of Miss Scott with a salary of 65 per annum.

Completion and dedication of the Church of the Ascension next door to the school.

Girls scholarship to P.T. Junr. Co. [not sure where this is!] won by A. Davis & A. Dunham.

A pupil called Ernest Hendon painted a protrait of King Edward which was shown by the head master to the Government Inspector and it was later sent to the Queen Mother, who sent Hendon a letter of thanks.

Miss M. E. Smith (head mistress of the infants school since its inception) leaves the school in order to be married. She was presented with a silver tea service, kettle and lamp. her successor was Miss Millie Ryall.

Miss Pritchard took a group of twenty teachers to a demonstration of Plasticine modelling with its inventor, Mr Harbutt of Bathampton.

School closed on 12th December until after the Christmas holidays on the order of the Medical Officer of Health, on account of an outbreak of measles.

At the school prize-giving it was related that 59 pupils had been in receipt of spectacles and 200 toothbrushes had been supplied at cost price, together with a card relating to the instructions for use.

The school football team won the League Cup.

Girls scholarship to P.T. Junr. Co. [not sure where this is!] won by Maud Sheppard.


Opening of the Higher Elementary School in Lymore Avenue (later West Central School and Culverhay Lower School, now Culverhays Nursing Home) which took oler pupils from multiple local schools and thereby eased the pressure for space at South Twerton.

Twelve cases of scarlet fever in the Infants' department.

The school was broken into via a window in the teachers' room; the object of the unsuccessful burglary attempt was the 'handsome silver Challenge Cup which was offered by the Bath Elementary Schools League....valued at twenty guineas and regarded as one of the most valuable in the West of England'.

In 1911 Twerton Parish was subsumed into the City of Bath and administration of the schools therefore passed from Twerton and the County of Somerset to the Bath Corporation under the Council Schools Board.

The Infants School organised a May Festival at which Evelyn Coombs was crowned May Queen with Joyce Perry and Nellie Tucker named as Maids of Honour. The event was organised by the staff of the Infants' School, named as Miss Millie Ryall, Miss L. Pritchard, Miss Richardson, Miss E. Quarterman, Miss A. Keevil, Miss L. Emery and Miss F. Watkins.

Girls scholarship to Bath Secondary School won by M. Brodribb and Boys scholarship to the City Secondary School won by G. Price.

An outbreak of measles in the infants' department and numbers depleted (also in the Girls department, with girls staying home to tend sick infant siblings), but school closure not recommended.

Mr W. Hyman resigned as teacher at the Boys' school.

Pupils of the Infants' School participated in some fundraising:
1913 South Twerton Chinese display
1913 See saw
1913 Rocking Horse Car
1913 Maypole

Boys scholarship to the City Secondary School won by A. Harrison.

Miss Martin resigned, having only worked two weeks since commencing employment and the rest of the time having been unwell.

Miss Martin (Girls) and Mr Robbins (Boys) installed as uncertified assistants.

Infants reprised 'A Peep at China' at the United Schools Concert at the Assembly Rooms, Bath

1913 United Schools Concert
The first dramatic number was produced by the South Twerton infants, who had been trained by the headmistress, Miss M. Ryall. This was the cantata 'A Peep at China', describing the visit of the five little English girls to the Chinese Empire. The principle characters were: The Mandarin (Percy King), his six wives (E. Barrett, V. Brooks, H. Dale, E. Payne, W. Redwood, I. Burge), Chinese soldier (Fred Turner), Chinese waiters (E. Poole & D. Quick), English visitors (M. Harvey, G. Binet, E. Crouch, W. Lumber and A. Witcombe). There was a chorus of Chinese. This cantata has already been produced in public this year with satisfactory results, having been performed in summer in the schoolplayground to obtain funds for the purchase of a rocking-horse and other apparatus for the infants department. as on the earlier occasion, the young actors and acttresses displayed very creditable self-possession and the humorous side of the libretto was well emphasised. The dresses and dances again proved features of the production which was quite 'stage-like'. Much of the attractiveness of this cantata, which it would be more correct to describe as a musical play, consists in an umbrella drill, which involves some grouping and posturing quite elaborate in character. Percy King as the Mandarin was quite at home in his part and Fred Turner was almost equally resourceful as the soldier. He sang 'Chinee Sozee Man' from 'San Toy', from which a good deal of the incidental music was taken. The two waiters looked particularly smart in their neat white suits.

It had been brought to the attention of the managers that the Infant School was operating with too few teachers and that funding was therefore jeopardised. Miss Spear moved from the Girls' School to the Infants department, and Miss Richardson made the move in the opposite direction.

The South Twerton football team. The inscription on the ball reads 'South Twerton 1913-14':

1913-14 South Twerton Football team

The school managers refused to provide a flagstaff for the school playground, but the firm of Erwood & Morris, who were carrying out other improvements to the playground at the time, donated and installed one. A large Union Jack was also being procured to be flown on Empire Day, May 22nd.

Mr Robbins (now a teacher) tendered his resignation.

Girls scholarship to Bath Secondary School won by K. Holmes & Enid Price and Boys scholarship to the City Secondary School won by A. Wheeler.

The newspaper published a Roll of Honour of those who had enlisted to serve in the War:

The following names form the Roll of Honour for South Twerton Council Schools:
E. Swift (9th Cavalry Reserve);
R. Burge and A. Davis (North Somerset Yeomanry Cavalry);
A. Collett, S. Davis, R. Morris and J. Turner (Royal Field Artillery);
C. Davies (Royal Garrison Artillery);
S. Hunt, W. Stokes, A. Turner, W. Willis and C. Wiseman (Royal Engineers);
A. Flowers (Royal Flying Corps);
E. C. Stafford (Wessex Divisional Signalling Co. R.E.);
P. Whiting (King's Royal Rifles);  
G. Collins, A. Green, W. Smale and E. Waldron (1st Somerset L.I.);
A. A. Escott, F. C. Escott and B. Waldron (2nd Somerset L.I.);
A. Lane (3rd Somerset L.I.);
F. Bartram, V. Beale, E. Bellringer, S. Carless, S. Hawkins, J. Hockey, C. Horler, P. Ingram, A. Nixey, R. Pinchin, S. Ponfield, A. Silcox, F. Silcox, G. H. Strong,  A. Swift, F. Watkins, P. Watkins, S. Weldon, R. Wilmot and W. Wilmot (4th Somerset L.I.);
L. Edwards (4th Wilts.);
A. F. Escott (late Lce.-Corpl., 3rd Hussars) (5th Wilts);
R. Ruddick, (Royal Marines);
A. Lockyer (R.A.M.C.).

Girls School closed owing to an outbreak of scarlet fever.

Poppy 1st November 1914
Former pupil Walter Billett killed in the Battle of Coronel while serving aboard HMS Monmouth with the Royal Navy.

Poppy 17th November 1914
Former pupil Alexander Davis killed at Zillebeke on the Western Front while serving with the North Somerset Yeomanry.

A further 26 names were added to the list of those from the school who had enlisted to serve:

From the "South Twerton School Magazine" :
Last month's list gave the names of 48 of our old scholars serving with the colours. The following 26 names form our second list:

Naval Forces:
Douglas Hayes (H.M.S. Forward), Wm. Sheppard (H.M.S. Warrior), Lionel White (H.M.S. Jackal), R. Padfield  (Royal Marines).

Land Forces:
N. Somerset Yeomanry Cavalry: G. Newman;
Royal Artillery: F. Padfield;
Royal Field Artillery: S. Daymond;
Coldstream Guards: F. Membery;
Royal Engineers: Sapper V. Beale;
7th Welsh Cyclists: A.C. Dutton (Signaller)
Rifle Brigade: A Cadby;
6th Gloucesters: C. White;
Loyal N. Lancashire: A. Flagg;
4th Somersets: H. Chappell, F. Cook, C. Cross, S. Cross, Corporal C. Hallett, Lance Corporal R. Pinchin, R. Weeks, T. Maggs;
6th Staffords: Leo. Hayes;
Royal Army Medical Corps: E. Branstone (the author's grandfather!), A. England, F. White;
Canadian Army Service Corps (2nd European Service Section), Wm. Smith.

The last meeting of the session in connection with the Men's Classes at South Twerton Council School was marked, on Tuesday evening, by a presentation to Mr. Skinner, by the members of the class, in token of their appreciation of all he had done for them during the session. The gift took the form of a handsome cigarette case, and was accompanied by hearty expressions of the goodwill of the class. Mr. Skinner suitably acknowledged the presentation.

At the monthly meeting of the Twerton School Managers, it was resolved to recommend the appointment of Miss Florence Parmee, of Port Isaac, as an uncertified assistant at the South Twerton Girls' School in the place of Miss England, a certified assistant, who has been transferred to the East Twerton Girls' School.

Entertainments at the Infants' School raised 6. 10s towards the equipment fund for the Bath War Hospital, this sum being presented to the Mayor.

From Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette, 24th July 1915:



A consignment of cigarettes was recently sent out to No. 20 General Hospital, France, from the boys of South Twerton School, as a gift for the wounded soldiers. It is at this hospital that the Rev. F. B. Kerr-Thompson, curate at Christ Church, Bath, is chaplain, and the cigarettes were conveyed to him by the son of the headmaster, Private Cyril Skinner, who is stationed in the same district. Before the war, Private Skinner was engaged at Messrs. Copestake, Crampton & Co's warehouse in Trim Street. He enlisted six months ago and has been in France now for two months. Mr. G. Skinner, headmaster of the school, has received the following letter from Mr. Kerr-Thompson acknowledging the gift of the boys:

No. 20 General Hospital, France
Monday, July 19th
Dear Mr. Skinner.
Will you please thank the boys of your school most heartily for their most generous gift of cigarettes. I have given them to the wounded this afternoon and have, in each case, told them from whom they came. Two or three are, I know, going to write to the bovs. The men were very glad indeed to get the cigarettes and very pleased to know that the boys of South Twerton School were thinking of them. Cigarettes are most acceptable, as the supply, in many cases, does not meet the demand and these came as an extra and were all the more valued. As I was going round the wards, one man was having his wounds dressed and was suffering a good bit of pain, but as soon as the dressing was done he had a packet of cigarettes from your school and he was glad to get it.
Your son brought down the cigarettes on Saturday evening, but I waited until I had a chance of giving them to the men, and I could not do that Sunday as that is a busy day. We have Holy Communion at 6 a.m. and 7a.m. and every other Sunday also at 8 a.m., the parade service at 12.15 and services in the wards during the afternoon. I constantly see your son. He is not three minutes walk from me most of the time. He seems very well and to be getting on very happily. it is like home to have someone from Bath so near one. Again with many thanks to the boys for their kind thought, believe me.
Yours sincerely,

A report from the school's annual swimming event lists Mr. Gill as the school master involved with swimming lessons. The report also states that, since swimming lessons began at the school (some years previously), 166 boys had been taught to swim. A pupil called Dallimore is mentioned as having come second in two races at the gala, despite only having learned to swim that year. He also gained a scholarship to the City Secondary School this year.

Boys scholarship to the City Secondary School won by F. Dallimore.

Poppy 26th July 1915
Former pupil Ernest Mundy killed on the Western Front while serving with the Wessex Royal Engineers.

Bath  Education Authority's annual accounts published in the local newspaper make reference to the extension of South Twerton school (864) and its playground (141).

These excerpts from the report of the school's annual prizegiving allow some insights into school life:

Miss Pritchard, the headmistress [of the Girls' school], read her report for the vear, which showed an average number on the roll of 258 and an average attendance of 236. In March the girls were medically examined by Dr. Morris, who commented most favourably upon their excellent physical condition. The girls had also been examined by the nurse, whose report reflected great credit upon the parents. Whilst all references to the practice of war had been avoided, sympathy with our soldiers and sailors had been fostered and encouraged. On Empire Day 366 candles were collected for the soldiers in the trenches; on Queen Alexandra's Day 404 oranges were sent to our sailors; 80 pairs of socks and several pairs of mittens had been dispatched through the medium of Pageant House to the soldiers.

Fifteen girls had passed the examination for admission to the Higher Elementary School [this is now the nursing home on Lymore Avenue]. Their scholarship winners had secured desirable places in the various examinations. Miss A. Davis (1910 scholarship) had passed the Senior Oxford with honours; M. Sheppard (1911) the Junior Oxford with honours; and M. Brodribb (1912) had gained the Roxburgh Scholarship and special needlework prize. Practical domestic training figured largely in the curriculum the seniors, and between 80 and 90 attended the Technical Institute. In the school, girls were taught needlework, the use of the sewing machine, personal hygiene, the nature and treatment of common ailments, etc. The report concluded with thanks to the teaching staff and the parents for their co-operation.

Mr. Skinner presented his annual report, and he took occasion to remark that this was his 23rd annual prize-day there. The vear had been one of steady progress. The school roll of honour (a list of those serving in the war) contained over 200 names of old scholars;  two, Walter Billett and Sapper Mundy, had paid the supreme sacrifice [in fact it was three, with Alexander Davis also having died]. Every eligible member of the present staff had enlisted under Lord Derby's scheme. The school had been visited by several old scholars who had been in action. One of them was the Admiral's signaller on the bridge of the Lion during the engagement with the Germans in the North Sea. The scholars had responded most readily to various appeals — to the Y.M.C.A. huts, the Empire Overseas Fund, the R.S.P.C A. fund for treating wounded horses, another fund for Christmas comforts to the men in the trenches, etc. The swimming class had done good work, thanks to Mr. Gill, and the present total of boys who had been taught to was 168. For the stimulus given to the gardening classes, and his generous offer to repeat his gift of prizes in the coming year, their thanks were due to the ex-Mayor, Councillor F. W. Spear. They had opened a savings bank, and in seventeen weeks some 80 had been deposited. Even after Christmas withdrawals, the sum of 66. 11s. remained.

Headmaster G. E. A. Skinner took up a position as Lay Reader in St James' parish (the southern end of the city centre), with a special responsibility for leading Sunday afternoon men's services. He had previously been a Lay Reader in St Mark's parish.

Headmaster G. E. A. Skinner received news that his son, Private Cyril Skinner (serving with the Royal Army Medical School), had been knocked down by a motor car while serving in France and was admitted to 24th General Hospital.

Miss Margaret Pritchard, headmistress of the Girls' School, was married at Hay Hill Baptist Church to Rev. W. Linton, minister of Oldfield Park Baptist Church.

The 'South Twerton Magazine' of that month also carried news of (former) members of staff and pupils who were serving in the war: "A card has been received from Co-Quartermaster-Sergeant W. Hyman (France) who is quite well and promises a letter. Mr Gill has written from Chelsea, S.W., where he is in training. Percy Whiting wrote from the trenches and we have had a visit from Mr. E. Field, who is an engineer on board HMS Shannon with the Grand Fleet."

The following article appeared in the newspaper of June 3rd, detailing the first wounded soldier to make use of the Bath War Hospital bed sponsored by funds raised at South Twerton School (see July 1915):

South Twerton's Own Cot

Lance-Corporal John Smith, 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment, bears the proud title of South Twerton Infants' Own Soldier, being the first occupant of the school cot at the Bath War Hospital. Permission was obtained for a few children to visit our soldiers on certain days, and many were the gifts sent to Ward 8. The soldiers were delighted to see the visitors, and on May 5th, six of them visited the school to see and thank all the children for their gifts.Lance-Corporal Smith, who is now quite well, and has gone home to Wolverhampton to spend ten days with his wife and two little girls before rejoining his regiment, made a suggestion that each soldier who occupies the S. T. I. cot should present the school with the badge of his regiment to be framed and kept in the school for future generations to see what part the little girls and boys of South Twerton School played in the great European war. We think it a splendid idea! - South Twerton Magazine

On 7th June, the city motor ambulance was summoned by telephone to the school playground, where Ronald Carless (brother of Harold Carless) had sustained a fracture of the left thigh by falling while playing with a schoolfellow. The Headmaster had rendered first aid, and the boy was promptly conveyed to the Royal United Hospital (then in Beau Street).

The Bath City Tribunal was a body made up of civic leaders and the military Recruiting Officer (General Bradshaw) which met to hear cases of men who wanted to be exempted from the call-up to join the military. The tribunal met on 28th June to discuss, among others, the case of a student teacher at South Twerton School, a Mr. Harold E. G. Beer, aged 18 years & 2 months, who:
"asked for exemption until September next, when he sits a matriculation examination, and for conditional exemption afterwards on conscientious grounds. He stated that he had already communicated with a farmer in Wiltshire (farming was sometimes considered 'protected' work) who was ready to employ him after the examination in September.

The Recruiting Officer objected, saying the youth should either serve or do work of national importance.

A question being raised about joining the Volunteers, Beer's father said his son was so fully occupied in studying for his examination he had no time for drill of any kind.

The Chairman said a certificate (of exemption) would be granted until the boy was 19, conditional on him continuing in his present training. He added he felt conscientious objections should be the established convictions of a man and not the fancied opinions of a boy.

Mr Beer said he was engaged in religious work in the city, and his son had been brought up in a religious atmosphere. The Town Clerk said the exemption would expire on April 22nd (the applicant's 19th birthday).

Former Mayor of Bath F. W. Spear came to the school to judge the annual Gardening prizes. The school is described as being one of only two in the city (along with Odd Down School) to include practical gardening in the curriculum. F. W. Spear had donated gardening prizes to the school and returned each year to present them. On this occasion he was accompanied in the judging by Mr C. F. Langdon (of Blackmore & Langdon), but was waylaid in his duties by Miss Ryall, head of the Infants' School, who asked him into her school under a pretext. There, Mr. Spear was able to witness the emotional farewell that the school was bidding to his daughter, Miss Spear, who had been a teacher in the Infants' School for two or three years. An excerpt from the school magazine:

"Happy thoughts of holidays will marred for teachers and children alike at the thought of losing Miss Spear, who, we are sorry to say, is leaving us when we break up. During her sojourn in our schools, Miss Spear, by her keen interest in her work, her unceasing energy and her charming personality, has endeared herself to everyone and is beloved by all. A great loss will be felt by every one of us, and we cannot fully realise how much we shall miss her until she has gone. Miss Spear will take away our warmest wishes for her future happiness, and all sincerely hope that her visits to South Twerton will be very frequent. We want Miss Spear to visit whenever she likes and is able, so that we may not quite lose her altogether."

When Councillor Spear and other visitors had been thus brought into the infants' school, Miss Ryall gave a short speech which was suitably couched in language that could be " understanded of" by the young people who were her audience. She asked them if they loved Miss Spear, and if they were sorry she was going to leave them, to both of which the tiny tots replied with a fervent "Yes!" Then Miss Ryall said thev were not going to let Miss Spear go away without giving her something to remember them by, although at the same time she knew that Miss Spear would never forget them. Thereupon the headmistress handed to Miss Spear a handsome travelling clock, of brass and crystal, with visible works, and enclosed in morocco leather case. The clock had been supplied by Mr. E. P. Mallory, and in handing it to the recipient. Miss Ryali said, "That is with all our love, Miss Spear."

Next. Miss Ryall called out for "Bertie," and a little boy advanced with a handsome bouquet of roses, which he handed to Miss Spear, and he was rewarded with a kiss.

Miss Spear, in responding, said she could never forget them. They had had such happy times together. That was the happiest school in the world, and she was ever so sorry to leave it, but she hoped to come again and see them. The ex-Mayor said he had been into all schools of Bath, but had never found it more difficult to speak than that afternoon. He knew his daughter had been very happy. Miss Ryall, the headmistress, had made in the school an atmosphere of happiness that all who came in were filled with it. After two or three years there, his daughter felt the parting very much. In fact, he himself had been so closely linked with that school that he felt he could call it his own. He had rejoiced in all the developments—the enlarged playground and all the improved healthy surroundings. The fact that that school was the best in the neighbourhood was due to having at the head a lady who so loved her work. He hoped the day would never come when his family would cease to remember the school."

Poppy 27th August 1916
Former pupil George Collins killed at Delville Wood in the Battle of the Somme while serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

Poppy 13th September 1916
Former pupil Stanley Welchman killed at Beaucourt-Hamel in the Battle of the Somme while serving with the Sussex Regiment.

Poppy 17th September 1916
Former pupil Percy Whiting killed during the Battle of the Somme on the Western Front while serving with the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Poppy 30th September 1916
Former pupil William Membery killed on the Western Front while serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

Poppy 5th October 1916
Former pupil Ernest West killed in Greece while serving with the Wessex Royal Engineers.



Poppy 3rd January 1917
Former student teacher George Strong killed in Africa while serving with the Nigeria Regiment.

Poppy 11th January 1917
Former pupils Harold Carless and Percy Ware killed in the same action at Beaucourt Hamel on the Western Front while both serving with the Dorsetshire Regiment.

Poppy 10th February 1917
Former pupil Horace Bradley killed on the Western Front while serving with the London Regiment.

Poppy 1st March 1917: Former pupil Joseph Randall killed while serving on HMS Pheasant with the Royal Navy.

The boys of the school's Gardening Class reported being 'quite happy' in the pages of the school magazine, even though their gardens were not yet planted. They had instead been busy tending to - and digging - twenty or more gardens of households in the area whose menfolk were away serving in the war. While there was no charge for this service, some grateful households had paid and the pupils decided they would like to put this money towards a permanent memorial to South Twertonians killed in the war. 

Poppy 10th April 1917: Former pupil Reginald Smith killed on the Western Front while serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

Poppy 11th April 1917: Former pupil Harold Swain killed at the Battle of Arras on the Western Front while serving with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Poppy 23rd April 1917
Former pupil Albert Hole killed on the Western Front while serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

Poppy 27th April 1917
Former pupil Walter Gould killed on the Western Front while serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

The Girls' School choir scooped second prize in the Midsomerset Festival in the section for choirs who had not won a prize in the previous two years. They were under the tutelage of Miss Jessie Phillips.

The May Fair was held indoors owing to awful weather. The report tells us that there were 180 infants enrolled at the school and that the May Queen, 6-year-old Winnie James, was elected by her peers as the most popular pupil. She was attended by eight maids of honour and a page. Other performances included 24 little 'Jack Tars', maypole dancing, country dancers, a sailors' hornpipe, and shield dances. A collection was taken to continue the school's contribution to the school's bed at the War Hospital.

Crowning the May Queen headline
May Queen
Country dancers
May Queen & attendants

Poppy 21st July 1917
Former pupil George Ruddick killed on the Western Front while serving with the Canadian Infantry.

Entrance exams to the Higher Elementary School were passed by G. Allen, E. Gregory, L. Haines, M. Hallett, G. Hoare, D. Jewell, M. Mills, M. New, B. Ponter, P. Rawlings, D. Reed, E. Saywood (girls) and D. C. S. Wiltshire, L. Parsons, R. Augustin, V. A. May, E. R. Perry, E. L. England, G. J. Sainsbury, W. H. Sprewels, O. C. Davies, L. B. Carless, L. C. May, G. Clarke, D. G. Lumber, A. H. Gradwell & C. Burge (boys).
Boys' Scholarships to the Bath City Secondary School were gained by Gilbert J. Sainsbury & Edward R. Perry 

Poppy 7th August 1917
Former pupil Harry Holley killed on the Western Front while serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Poppy 22nd August 1917
Former pupil Clifford Daymond killed on the Western Front while serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

Poppy 26th September 1917
Former pupil Charlie Edwards killed on the Western Front while serving with the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

A "Children in Fiction" Pageant at the Theatre Royal featured a tableau by children from South Twerton Girls' School under Miss Phillips. Part of the three-hour extravaganza of child performances, the school's contribution evoked the old English pastoral setting with the crowning of a May Queen and the song "Come Lasses and Lads". The May Queen was played by Mabel Knight, and other characters by Dorothy Harrison, Winnie Cross, Marjorie Kitley, Gladys Binet, Lily Hockey & Winnie Burge.

Theatre Royal Pageant

Poppy 6th November 1917
Former pupil Reginald Brock killed at Passchendaele while serving with the Devonshire Regiment.



The Bath newspaper carried a photograph of South Twerton pupils with relatives serving in the War:

ST pupils with relatives serving


Poppy 11th April 1918
Former pupil Albert Rickards killed in action while serving with the Royal Fusiliers.

Poppy 16th April 1918
Former pupil Stanley Gunning killed in action while serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers near Armentieres.

Poppy 19th April 1918
Former pupil Reginald Giddings killed in action while serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps near Ypres. 

Poppy 29th April 1918
Former pupil Leonard Hayes killed in action while serving with the South Staffordshire Regiment near Lens.

Poppy 29th April 1918
Former pupil Reginald Maggs killed while serving with the Lancashire Fusiliers near Gonnehem.


An item in the Bath Chronicle reported that there were now 22 names on Roll of Honour, with five casualties having been named in the last week (probably relates to those who died in April). In fact, by this time, 27 former South Twertonians had died. 

Poppy 19th June 1918
Former pupil Arthur Naish killed in action while serving with the Inniskilling Dagoons.


Bath Chronicle carried an article marking Headmaster George Skinner's 25 years of service at South Twerton School, noting that this was also the school's 25th anniversary:

G. E. A. Skinner, Headmaster

From Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette, 27th July 1918



The 25th anniversary of the establishment of the South Twerton Boys' School was suitably commemorated on Wednesday afternoon, when a presentation was made to the headmaster (Mr. G. E. A. Skinner). The ceremony, which took place in the playground, really marked a double anniversary, since Mr. Skinner has been head-master at this school since it was opened. The idea of the presentation was first suggested by Mrs. Button, the mother of one the scholars. Mrs. Button mentioned the idea to the school staff, and the project was taken up enthusiastically by parents, teachers, and scholars alike. The gift selected was mahogany Sheraton bureau, and the presentation was made by Mr. G. T. Kingston, who is the father of an old scholar.

Mr. Kingston said that Wednesday was the 25th anniversary of the opening of that school. On behalf of the parents and scholars past and present, he heartily congratulated Mr. Skinner on the great success which had attended his work for so many years in educating the boys who had passed through that school. Having read a letter from Lady Stothert, which expressed regret at her absence,  Mr. Kingston addressed some suitable remarks to the boys.

Accompanying the presentation was a framed address, written by a friend of the school. The text of the address, which was read by Mr. Kingston, was—"To Mr. George E. A. Skinner, F.E.L.S., A.C.P., headmaster of South Twerton School. We, the parents, teachers, and scholars, desire to express to you on this 25th anniversary of the South Twerton Boys' School our admiration for the good work you have done, the faithful and skilled service you have rendered, and the interest you have taken in the spiritual and moral welfare of the boys under your care. We, the parents, also desire to express our thanks for the courtesy and kindness you have shown us, and ask your acceptance of this address." The address bears the autographs of Miss Millie M. Ryall (headmistress of the Infants' Department), Miss Jessie Phillips (headmistress of the Girls' Department), Mr. Arthur J. Benson, Mrs. Button and Mr. Kingston. The balance of the fund was devoted to the purchase of a purse, in which a sovereign was placed. This was handed to Mr. Skinner by Arthur Button.

Mr. P. Woodward, until recently the lay reader in charge of St. Barnabas' Church, Twerton Hill, endorsed Mr. Kingston's remarks, and paid a special tribute to the value of spiritual and moral training in an elementary school. The opportunity which was afforded for such instruction in the week was really greater than that available in the Sunday School, and for that reason the co-operation of the teachers in the day schools was greatly valued. He hoped Mr. Skinner would be spared for many years to continue his good work.

Mr. Skinner, who was heartily cheered, assured the company that the secret of the presentation had been very well kept, because at the earlier celebrations of the 25th anniversary he did not know that any gift to him was intended. He thanked all the subscribers for that beautiful present. He referred to the great development in the surrounding district since that school was built, and recalled the fact that was appointed to the headmastership by the Chairman of the old School Board, Mr. Jonathan Carr. Since the school was opened its enlargement had been found necessary, and over 18.000 boys had passed through his hands. He had endeavoured to make the ideal of service for others a guiding principle in the conduct of that school, and he cited many instances of the assistance which the scholars had given to war funds and charities as a proof of the extent to which this ideal had been adopted. The children had purchased War Savings Certificates, and the penny bank had some 200 to its credit. He thanked Mrs. Button, Mr. Kingston, Mr. Woodward, and all who had organised that presentation.

The ceremony was attended by many of the scholars' parents, and the presentation was preceded by an entertainment. Winnie Cross sang the Shakespearean song. "When Daisies Pied”, and Gladys Binet recited John Oxenham's poem "Blinded." Unison songs and part-songs were sung by the boys' and girls' choirs, conducted by Miss Jessie Phillips. There were dances by the infants, under the direction of Miss Ryall.

Mr. Skinner intends to use the balance of the presentation fund as a nucleus for the erection a memorial in the school to the South Twerton Old Boys who have perished in the war.

The Sheraton bureau was supplied Mr. F. R. Clark, Stall Street.

Also in the same issue:

The commemoration of Mr. G. E. A. Skinner’s 25 years’ headmastership of the South Twerton Schools, which took place on Wednesday during the observance of "Parents' Afternoon," was an honour to a member of the teaching profession who is also a Bathonian; for Mr. Skinner is a native of this city. He commenced his career as a teacher at St. Saviour's Schools, under Mr. Clark. When that gentleman was transferred to East Twerton, Mr, Skinner went to St. Mark's School to complete his apprenticeship. He afterwards became an assistant at East Twerton. His first headmastership was at Hullavington and he subsequently returned to this district to become the headmaster of the Bathford Mixed School, when the late Canon Harford was Vicar of that parish. He afterwards returned to Twerton as the first headmaster of South Twerton School on the invitation of the Chairman of the old School Board, Mr. Jonathan Carr.

South Twerton Council Schools are the only institutions their kind in the city which have had bound assigned to them in order to limit the number of scholars. Among the teachers trained there were the late Lieut. G. H. Strong, Headmaster of St. Saviour's School, and Mr. L. A. Hill, Headmaster of Walcot Central School. Mr. Skinner's regime has been noted for the inauguration of two innovations in local school curricula, swimming and gardening. The former department was developed by Mr. T. H. Gill, one the school staff who is now serving in the Army abroad.


The pupils of the South Twerton Council Schools this week obtained 2 10s. in aid of St. Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers by collections and the sale of flags and postcards among their friends. This was supplemented by a collection among the parents and friends at Wednesday's anniversary celebration, which realised another 2.


In other news, Sidney Hatherill and Ernest Poole gained free exhibitions to the City Secondary School and the school magazine congratulated them and their master, Mr. Pullen.


Poppy 29th September 1918
Former pupil Sidney Crew died as a prisoner of war in Poland.

Poppy 29th September 1918
Former pupil Claude Warren killed in action while serving with the Dorsetshire Regiment. 


Poppy 8th October 1918
Former pupil Reginald Crocker killed in action while serving with the Army Service Corps attached to the Welsh Regiment.

Poppy 23rd October 1918
Former pupil Arthur Jewell killed in action while serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

Poppy 31st October 1918
Former pupil Stanley Burch died while serving with the Royal Field Artillery.



The re-opening after the War of ‘Evening Continuation Classes’ at sites across the city, including South Twerton School.


From Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette of 11th April 1919: 


The members of the staff South Twerton School held a re-union at the Red House Restaurant, New Bond Street, on Friday evening, in honour of the return to civilian life of three soldier colleagues —Messrs. T. H. Gill, A. H. Sparey and L. R. George. A whist drive and musical evening were arranged. The toast of “Our Guests” was proposed by Mr. G. E. A. Skinner, and seconded by Miss M. Ryall, and acknowledged by the three recipients. The prizes at the whist drive were the gifts of Mr. Pullen, and were won by Miss Gill and Mr. Pope. Pianoforte solos were played by Miss Ada E. Keevil, Miss Blandford and Mr. Brown, and a violin solo by Miss Amy Gill. There were songs by Miss J. Phillips, Miss Ryall, Mr. Benson and Mr. Gill, and humorous song by Mr. Skinner.


The Bath Chronicle carried a photograph of the South Twerton choir competing in Mid-Somerset Festival:

South Twerton choir in 1919


Revival of the annual school swimming gala (following the end of the War and the return of swimming master T. H. Gill) and held at the Cross Bath.



Dedication of the school's War Memorial.  See main memorial page.


South Twerton Boys won the schools’ Cup competition in football:



After Thursday evening's display at the City's Lambridge enclosure, it would be idle to deny that "Soccer" is booming among the younger element of Bath. The game, fought out between the South and West Twerton Schools for Mr. Harry Tanner's magnificent cup, produced scenes of enthusiasm rarely equalled at Bath City's most important fixtures. The demand for' tickets during the past week had ensured a good gate, although an hour or two of sunshine would have made a vast difference to the numbers present. As it was, the thousand odd spectators fairly made “the welkin ring” with their partisan cries.

The Mayor (Alderman Percy Jackman) was present, in spite of the inclement weather, and after the "Chronicle" photographer had concluded his operations, his Worship opened the game by kicking off.

 Victorious South Twerton football team 1920

The South Twerton team: Weeks; Clarke and Lintern (capt.); Smith, Cavill and Miles; Walters. Stafford, Stacey, Collins and Oatley.

 South Twerton, who head the League table with twelve points to their credit, were quite a hefty side, while the West, who have obtained the position of runners-up with two points less than their opponents, were small but nippy. Curiously enough, two of the three goals scored came in the first quarter hour, West Twerton, after ten minutes' play, notching their solitary point through Cook. This reverse had its effect on the South, for five minutes afterwards Collins obtained the equaliser. With the score level once again, both teams warmed to their work, but half-time arrived before either regained the lead. Shortly before the end a miskick by Jones let in the South’s forwards, and Stafford securing, smartly converted his advantage into the winning goal. Final :

South Twerton … 2

West Twerton … 1

Amid much excitement, the Mayor presented the Cup to Lintern, South Twerton's captain, and personally pinned the medals on the breasts both winners and runners-up. He congratulated the boys on their skill and sportsmanlike qualities, emphasising the necessity of learning to play the game in the true British spirit. Votes of thanks, and loud cheers for the Mayor and Mr. Harry Tanner, concluded the proceedings.

Back in school, there were prizes for Franklyn Taylor, Joseph Dury, Winnie Cross and Gwennie Cooper, plus certificates for Percival Cavill, Stanley Lintern, Gladys Berrett and Marjorie Roberts. 


Girls’ Sports Day held on Somerset Boys’ Home (now Hayesfield Lower School) field and also competitions in singing, elocution and nature studies.

The girls' choir sang at Weston Flower Show:

South Twerton girls choir 1920


The Bath Chronicle carried a story of a merry ‘breaking-up party’ at the Infant school, with a tree (provided by Mr J. G. Young of the Somerset Boys’ Home) which was laden with gifts, all funded by an earlier sale of work. About 200 children received gifts and Father Christmas was played by Mr Saunders. The event was organised by Miss Millie Ryall (headmistress), who subsequently provided tea for staff and guests.



Changes in the school staff were recorded in the Bath Chronicle of Saturday 26th March:

Presentations at South Twerton School.

Many changes are taking place in the staffs of the Boys’ School, and on Friday afternoon presentations were made to those teachers who are leaving

Mr. A. J. Benson, who is transferring to West Twerton Boys' School, received a tobacco pouch from the lads in his class, the present being handed to him by A. Bishop, who, in a neat little speech, expressed the feelings and wishes of his class-mates. Mr. Benson made a suitable reply.

Mr. C. H. George, who has accepted a post at Portishead, also received a tobacco pouch presented on behalf of his class-mates by Daniel, the top boy. ln acknowledging the gift, Mr. George said it would be a real wrench  to leave South Twerton after twelve years’ service.

Mr H. Gill, who was recently transferred to Oldfield Council School, at very short notice, was not forgotten by his class. A pipe was sent to him by Sainsbury, and a letter from Mr. Gill was read.

Miss Mabel Edwards, who is going to Newnham-on-Severn, where Mr. King, formerly of Weymouth House School, is Headmaster, was the recipient of a scent spray. This was handed to her by Wanson.

Miss Edwards, in reply, said she had been very happy indeed in South Twerton.

The  Headmaster referred to the great change taking place in the grading of the schools, and said the boys had shown their appreciation of their teachers. He would like to add his personal tribute to the worth of those who had for so long a period been his colleagues., to thank them for their valuable help and to wish them every success in their future spheres of work.


South Twerton School football team again won the League, but were defeated in the cup final by West Twerton.

A group of schoolchildren presented The Masque of the Shoe as part of the Red Cross Fete in Sydney Gardens.

 South Twerton children in the  Masque of the Shoe 1921 



More to follow...