Jess, Ariel and Emma were reunitedo n the lacrosse field as Fettes and Glenlamond played this afternoon!
Congratulations to former pupil Bethany who was successful in gaining a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland 2022 senior orchestra!
Scotland U21 women get 2022 underway with matches against Durham University this weekend as they build towards the EuroHockey Championships and the opportunity to qualify for the Junior World Cup.
The Scots will take to the pitch this summer at the Junior EuroHockey Championships in Ghent in July to try to retain their position at the top table of European hockey. Scotland also has the opportunity to qualify for the Junior World Cup with a top six finish in Ghent.
Top opposition in the form of Belgium; England; Germany; The Netherlands; Russia; Spain; and Wales will stand in Scotland’s way. Scotland will come into the tournament with an exciting young team and as EuroHockey Championship II champions after winning the tournament in Alanya, Turkey, in 2019.
The journey all gets underway this weekend at Peffermill as Scotland U21 women welcome English Premiership side Durham University to Edinburgh with matches on Saturday and Sunday getting underway at 2:30pm.
Scotland will be missing a number of players who have been selected for the senior women’s indoor squad for the Euros, while another four players are at college in the USA and are unavailable at the moment. This will be the first time that this squad has been together and will be an exciting start to a fantastic year.
Spectators for these matches are permitted, as per Scottish Government Guidance, with up to 500 capacity at the venue. We would ask spectators to follow guidance with 2M social distancing between groups and masks worn in all indoor spaces unless proof of exemption is provided.
However, we will report the results from each match and encourage people to consider carefully the risks of attending, due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, and current government restrictions.
The team will also begin fundraising to further support their campaign and any sponsorship enquiries can be made to [email protected]
Squad to play Durham University Jessica Barr (Birmingham)
Rhiannon Carr (Glasgow University)
Grace Drummond (Glasgow University)
Ava Findlay (Edinburgh University)
Ciara Forgie (Glasgow University)
Abbie Grant (Edinburgh Hockey Club)
Neave Halliday (Edinburgh University)
Corrie Hay (Glasgow University)
Itske Hooftman (Edinburgh University)
Anna Hoolaghan (Clydesdale Western)
Georgia Jones (Edinburgh University)
Faith Joubert (TBC)
Zara Mason (Glasgow University)
Cara McAllister (Clydesdale Western)
Michaela McCarthy (Durham University)
Anna McWilliams (SV Arminen)
Amber Murray (Edinburgh University)
Emma O’Neill (GHK)
Eve Pearson (Edinburgh University)
Ava Smith (Edinburgh University)
Lucy Smith (Glasgow University)
Rachel Strachan (Glasgow University)
Katie Swanson (Edinburgh University)
Jenn Tait (ESM)
Skye Waugh (Leeds University)
Lucy Williamson (GHK)
Full Scotland squad Full squad
Jessica Barr (Birmingham)
Ruth Blaikie (Netherlands)
Jess Buchanan (Terrassa)
Kirsten Cannon (Western Wildcats)
Rhiannon Carr (Glasgow University)
Grace Drummond (Glasgow University)
Ava Findlay (Edinburgh University)
Ciara Forgie Glasgow University)
Abbie Grant (Edinburgh Hockey Club)
Neave Halliday (Edinburgh University)
Cailin Hart (USA)
Corrie Hay (Glasgow University)
Sophie Hinds (Edinburgh University)
Itske Hooftman (Edinburgh University)
Anna Hoolaghan (Clydesdale Western)
Georgia Jones (Edinburgh University)
Faith Joubert (Netherlands)
Ellie Mackenzie (Loughborough)
Zara Mason (Glasgow University)
Cara McAllister (Clydesdale Western)
Michaela McCarthy (Durham University)
Anna McWilliams (SV Arminen)
Hannah Miller (Fjordhus Reivers)
Molly Morris (USA)
Amber Murray (Edinburgh University)
Lunjika Nyirenda (Edinburgh University)
Emma O’Neil (GHK)
Eve Pearson (Edinburgh University)
Ellie Rutherford (USA)
Aisha Saini (Western Wildcats)
Amy Salmon (Bristol)
Bronwyn Jones (Clydesdale Western)
Charlotte Simmers (Bristol)
Ava Smith (Edinburgh University)
Lucy Smith (Glasgow University)
Ellie Stott (Watsonians)
Rachel Strachan (Glasgow University)
Katie Swanson (Edinburgh University)
Jenn Tait (ESM)
Skye Waugh (Leeds University)
Lucy Williamson (GHK)
Georgie Yuille (USA)
Lieutenant General Sir Alexander Crawford Simpson Boswell, KCB, CBE, DL (3 August 1928 – 13 November 2021) was a British Army officer. He joined the army as junior officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders shortly after the Second World War and, following a series of regimental and staff postings, was second-in-command of 1st Battalion the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation. He later commanded the battalion, then 39th Infantry Brigade, before taking command of the 2nd Armoured Division in 1978. He was later the General Officer Commanding in Scotland and Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey before retiring in 1990.
After an education at Cargilfield, Merchiston Castle School and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Boswell was commissioned into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1948. He remained with his regiment until 1959, when he attended the Staff College, Camberley, and on completion of the course in 1960 was posted to the Berlin Brigade as military assistant to the commander. In 1962 he returned to his battalion as a company commander, later second-in-command, and was mentioned in despatches for his services in Borneo during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.
Following Borneo he spent four years on the staff of the Staff College, Camberley, before rejoining the Argylls in 1968 as the commanding officer, a posting he held until 1971. He then served on the general staff for a year before taking up the command of the 39th Infantry Brigade in 1972. The 39th Brigade was one of the units permanently stationed in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and for his work there Boswell was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974.
In 1974 he was appointed chief of staff to I (British) Corps in Germany, then posted to Canada, before becoming General Officer Commanding 2nd Armoured Division in 1978. He held divisional command until 1980, when he was appointed Director of the Territorial Army and of Cadets. In 1982 he was appointed the General Officer Commanding in Scotland and Governor of Edinburgh Castle, then in 1985 Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, before retiring in 1990.
From 1972 to 1982 he was the Colonel of the Regiment of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and from 1982 to 1986 the Colonel Commandant of the Scottish Division. In 1993 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for East Lothian.
Congratulations to former pupil Lulu who has been won a place in the Senior National Youth Orchestra of Scotland for 2022! Now at St Marys Ascot #music #cargilfieldconnected
Congratulations to former pupil Rory who has been selected in the Warwickshire CCC U14 winter squad. He is now at Rugby School. Rory is also part of the Cricket Scotland U15 winter squad who are taining throughout the winter.
Wonderful to see four former pupils in the Fettes 1stXV this weekend when they played George Watson’s College.
Many generations of the Blair family have attended Cargilfield since 1948, with Archie the latest addition!
Great Uncle Robin went in 1948 to 53, Great Uncle Michael 1950 to 54, Grampa 1954 to 59 and Great Uncle David 1956 to 61. Robin was Secretary of the Old Boys Association from 1966 until the School took it on. Great grandfather became a Governor (and latterly Chairman) 1950 to about 1961.
Great to see former pupil, James, receiving his medal (bottom left photo) at Catterick Garrison.
Former pupil, Harry, played for a Scotand select side at the weekend against ther Lord’s Taverners and bowled the former England and British Lions fly half, Rob Andrew! Rob is now CEO at Sussex CCC and played first class cricket when at Canmbridge University. Well bowled, Harry!
Many congratulations to fomrer pupils, Harry and Jack, now at Fettes, for their internation selection over the summer holidays. Harry played for Scotland U15 cricket team and Jack for the U16 Scotland Hockey team in a number of fixtures over the course of the summer.
Here’s former pupil Robin at a workshop held at the University of Cambridge for people who got the highest (Roentgenium) award in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Robin, who went on to Eton as a King’s Scholar, hopes to read biochemistry at university next year.
Zoe, who moved on to Kings’ Canterbury after Cargilfield is now in Plymouth doing medicine), and is currently cycling from Lands End to John O Groats (nearly 400 miles in) with a group of 10 selected from the University Royal Naval Units (URNU) around the country. She is a member of the Devon University Royal Naval Unit. They are raising money to support the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity. I wonder if you would be kind enough to publicise the event on the Cargilfield social media as she would very much like to raise as much as possible for such a great effort! Here is the link to the just giving page which gives more details about the event & offers the opportunity to donate.
The Futures Cup, organised by England Hockey, brings the best young hockey plays from the UK to play in an age grade tournment every August. Sophie, now at Oundle, played in for the Saxon Tigers who won the competition with Sophie playing a major part in the team’s success. Jack, now at Fettes, played for the Calendonian Cougars and they won the Bronze Medal with Jack scoring a goal in the 3rd/4th place game.
A fantastic achievement!
Former Cargilfield pupil, Andrew Lownie, discusses his new book ‘Traitor King’, which delves into the lives of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson after the abdication crisis of 1936. The discussion ranges from their sympathies for the agents and aims of Nazi Germany to their opulent and eccentric post-war lifestyle.
Listen to the interview on the latest History Extra podcast.
You can buy the book from Amazon here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Traitor-King-Scandalous-Duchess-Windsor-ebook/dp/B091G16SQW
Good Luck to Sophie, now at Oundle, who will be playing in the England Hockey Futures Cup for Saxon Tigers U15 team this week from Wednesday to Saturday!
Harry has been representing Scotland U15s over the past few weeks playing a number of matches in the North of England and Yorkshire, scoring runs and taking wickets. Well played! Harry is now at Fettes.
What a fabulous day for former pupil Clara at Kinross Show today! She won Show Hunter Pony Supreme Champion, Overall Supreme Show Hunter Champion, and Working Hunter Supreme Champion! She also qualified for Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials 2022 and also for Stars Champions of Champions at Aintree in November! We wish Clara well when she starts at Glenalmond College in September.
Sir Anthony Seldon, historian and former Headmaster ofWellington College, is about to walk the 1000km The Western Front Way, a path across the Western Front, first envisaged by Alexander Gillespie, an old boy of Cargilfield and Winchester College.
2nd Lieutenant Alexander Douglas Gillespie of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders writes a letter to his Headmaster at Winchester from the front line to tell of his vision of ‘a via sacra’ (a sacred road), a route for peace between the battle lines.
“when peace comes, our government might combine with the French government to make one long avenue between the lines from the Vosges to the sea….I would make a fine broad road in the ‘No-Mans Land’ between the lines, with paths for pilgrims on foot and plant trees for shade and fruit trees, so that the soil should not altogether be waste. Then I would like to send every man, woman and child in Western Europe on a pilgrimage along that Via Sacra so that they might think and learn what war means from the silent witnesses on either side.”
Gillespie’s great nephew, Tom Heap, a trustee of the Western Front Way, opened our AstroTurf named after Gillespie in 2019.
Anthony Seldon writes: That first step tomorrow of the million I need to take will, I know, be the hardest. It has taken eight years to get here, ever since I first came across a letter by a First World War junior officer, AD Gillespie, written to his former headmaster at Winchester College.
￼￼￼It was the harsh spring of 1915 and Gillespie — freshly out of school — found himself on the line near where his only brother had been killed the previous year. No doubt that loss was in his mind when he wrote to his headmaster that if he survived the war he wanted a 1,000km walk to be created, from the Swiss border — where the front line ended — to the English Channel. He wanted every man and woman in western Europe to follow this route as a reminder — from the “silent witnesses” on both sides — of where war leads.
Click on the link to read the article from today’s Times.
Walk for peace along the Western Front Way https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/55693e42-f85d-11eb-8f01-2c678acbb979?shareToken=29bb604e54f2da0cc068514a3591171e
Congratulations to Grange Cricket Club U14s who won the Cricket Scotland Cup today, with a team including Edward, Rory and Harry, all former pupils of Cargilfield, now at Rugby School and Fettes College.
Congratulations to former pupil, Hamish Imrie, on being selected for the Scottish Hockey squad to take part in the EuroHockey Championship II later this month.
We are delighted to congratulate Cargilfield old boy and current parent and governor, Lord Sinclair, for the following appointment:
“The Queen is pleased to appoint Matthew Murray Kennedy St Clair, The Lord Sinclair, as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in succession to the late Mrs Elizabeth (Patsy) Gilroy.”
After leaving Cargilfield he went on to Glenalmond, then completed a Diploma in Land and Estate Management from the Royal Agricultural College Cirencester. After graduation, he worked with Smiths Gore BVI Limited in Edinburgh and qualified as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1994. Lord Sinclair is now the Founder and Director of Saint Property Services and owner of Knocknalling Farms, a farming and forestry enterprise in Kirkcudbrightshire. He has also recently been appointed Governor of Cargilfield School. He was previously Chair of Scottish Land & Estates, South West Region and Chairman of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Scottish Auction.
Congratulations to former pupil, Hamish Imrie on being slected in the Scotland Men’s Hockey team to play Ireland this week!
Many congratulations to Anna who along with her friend Leila, has raised neary £8500 for epilepsy by walking 300km. What a fabulous achievement!
Many congratulations to former pupil, Elle, who has been selected to play for Scotland U19 Women’s Hockey side in their matches against England this weekend!
Congratulations to former pupil, Harry, who has been selected to play against Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire next week for Cricket Scotland U15s in the ECB U15 County Cup. Harry is now at Fettes. We wish him every success in his international call up!
Well done Katinka, currently at Cargilfield but soon to be at Oundle, and to former pupils Hannah, now at Uppingham, and Rosanna, now at Glenalmond, all enjoying their cricket, playing for the combined GranceCC/Watsonians CC team!
Many congratuations to Edward (pictured right), on being appointed a School Prefect at Sedbergh in September!
Many congratulations to William, appointed Head of House and Vice Captain of Boats at Winchester College in September!
Many congratuations to Sophie on being awarded the Grocers’ Scholarship at Oundle!
They are awarded to academic leaders of the Third Form, a pupil who sets an example through their ability and work ethic, who inspires others, who displays initiatve and acadmeic curisoity and who takes a lead in class.
Sophie was Head of School here last year before moving on to Oundle. What a fabulous achievement!
Many congratulations to former pupil, Graham, who has been appointed Head of House and a School Prefect at Harrow School in September! #cargilfieldconnected
Anna is a former pupil of Cargilfield, now at Fettes.
We are two girls going into our final year of school. Over lockdown, we planned this trip and won an award that has allowed to fund the trip essentials (i.e. cost of camping and food). Both of us respectively have a sibling with Narcolepsy and Epilepsy, and we see first-hand what the impacts of these medical conditions are. We are raising money for the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre and the Sleep Research Unit at Edinburgh University. We will also be raising awareness about these disorders with daily informative posts. We have been planning and training for this endeavour since the start of the year. We will be covering large distances each day, challenging ourselves physically and mentally, so any donation will be much appreciated. Anna and Leila xx
Todd, Edo and Ramsay were playing for Edinburgh BATs tonight. Their first game of rugby for over a year! All former pupils of Cargilfield, now at Merchiston and Fettes.
Former pupil, Daniel, is currently the Returning Officer at the The Oxford Union. He went on to Loretto School as a Music and Academic scholar before reading Mathematics at Magdalen College, Oxford.
Many congratulations to Izzy, now at Fettes, who played for East of Scotland U14 Girls’ Hockey team this weekend!
Congratulations to former pupil, Edward, who came 30th in the famous 10 mile #WilsonRun at Sedbergh School on Tuesday, the 141st year of the event #cargilfieldconnected
Many congratulations to Edward, who would have been last summer’s Captain of Cricket has we not been in Lockdown, who was a member of the winning Grange CC side that won the 2021 U15 National Cup this afternoon. He is now at Fettes. Also in the team was Rory, this year’s Captain of Crciket, who has recently won a sports scholarship down to Rugby School where he will be starting in September.
With international age group hockey restarting, it was terrific to see that Hannah (now at Dollar Academy) played for Scotland U17 girls’ hockey team over the weekend, against Ulster. She has also been appointed as Captain of Hockey at Dollar for 2021/22.
Great to see Nico and Johnnie ready to perform in Eton College’s Tattoo this evening (11.6.21). Both are old boys of Cargilfield but maintaining strong Scottish traditions down at Eton!
Congratulations to former pupil, Harry, who scored 51 for Eastern Knights U17s win against @Warrior_Cricket at the weekend. He is now at Fettes, but is part of the Cricket Scotland development programme and the Eatsern Knights is a regional representative side and a stepping stone to Scotland age group teams #cargilfieldconnected
Good luck to Jess and Issy who are history makers and in the first ever Girls’ 1stXI Cricket team at Fettes!
Sophie worked really hard at her cricket whilst at Cargilfield and we are delighted that she is reaping the rewards now she is at Oundle. A fabulous unbeaten 50 at the weekend. Well batted!
Harry, Edward and Jack played for Edinburgh Lightning against Dundee Devils today in the Scottish Hockey Emerging Talent League. They won, and Jack scored twice! All old boys of @cargilfield now ar Fettes College #cargilfieldconnected
Great to see Harry (1stXI Captain 2019) captaining the Eastern Knights U15s today! A former pupil of Cargilfield now at Fettes also in the team is Edward (Captain 2020) and also at Fettes, and Rory who is this year’s Caption of Cricket
Hannah, now at Dollar Academy, who will captain the Dollar Academy 1st XI next season was selected for the ‘Dundee Devils’.
Having played no cricket last summer due to Lockdown, it was lovely to see these former pupils play some cricket at last! Captained by Edward, the Fettes U14A team also contains Ollie, Seb, Max, Jack, Joshua, Adley and Leo.
They won their first game of the seaon with Edward taking a hat trick!
Congratulations to Former Pupil Katy Dalglish on her appointment as Athletic Union President for 2021/22 at the University of Exeter. The campaign took place under several COVID restrictions, so it is an even greater achievement for Katy given the difficult circumstances.
“Initially I found the campaign process quite daunting, since it was unlike anything I have ever done before, but once I got started, I really enjoyed it - despite it being hard work! It was different this year under the circumstances, as no ‘in-person’ campaigning was allowed, it all had to be virtual. As a result, I felt that I had to be very present on social media and really think outside of the box in order to get people’s attention. Speaking to lots of other Club Captains about how they thought university sports could be improved was very helpful and I also had a lot of fun making promo videos for social media! I was fortunate to have a very good campaign team helping me throughout the week and I learnt a lot from them as well as the process as a whole. I’m very excited to begin working this Summer and hope that I can achieve the goals I have outlined in my manifesto. In short, these are to make sports more inclusive, particularly focusing on disability sports, to provide more opportunities for beginners and to support students further by providing more training opportunities for Club Committee members.”
(With thanks to Fettes College)
Fornmer Cargilfield and Glenalmond pupil, Alexander Wallace, nowe studying Mathematics at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, has been announced as a finalist in the Walter Hussey Composition Competition, a choral music composition competition organised by Reading Phoenix Choir in honour of the late Walter Hussey (1909–1985).
The judges’ praise for Alex’s competition entry, which was entitled Gnìomh Gràidh (text from Litirdi Albannach), included:
“This is a beautiful piece that immediately instils a sense of calmness. The text is Gaelic and one could almost imagine being on the shore of a Scottish Loch as the opening chords emerge. The melody is very lyrical and would be lovely to sing and to listen to. The accompanying voices are utilised well with harmonic interest throughout. There is a well worked climax in the middle of the piece before a calm reflective ending.” Alex is currently the junior organ scholar at St Catharine’s and President of the St Catharine’s College Music Society. Although primarily a choral composer, he has also written a treble recorder sonata and a piano trio, which have been performed in Scotland and in Cambridge.
Alex commented, “I have really enjoyed writing this piece and taking part in this year’s competition. I aimed to partially keep the sound of Gaelic psalm chanting, whilst mixing that with more modern choral styles. It’s also been a fantastic project to complete while the country has been in lockdown and we are looking towards musicians at home to be creative.”
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Well done to Harry, Edward and Jack who have all been selected in the Scottish Hockey Edinburgh Lightning U16 squad as representative hockey gets back underway again.
With the good news that cricket matches have restarted, it was great to see Harry playing for the Fettes 1stXI against the MCC this week Harry is in the 5th Form and we wish him well this season!
Many congratulations to former Cargilfield pupil, Anna, on being appointed as RSM for the next academic year at Fettes College. A fabulous achievement! #cargilfieldconnected
Who killed Mountbatten? In today’s Sunday Times written by Andrew Lownie, an old boy of Cargilfield, who went on to Fettes_College and then Westminster School.
Many congratulations to former pupil, Tom Sole, on being awarded a contract by Cricket Scotland for this season.
Congratulations to former pupil Sophie, now at Strathallan School, on a wonderful performance at this evening’s Edinburgh International Harp Festival concert! Watch her at 11m55s on this link.
Despite a very truncated cricket season this year due to COVID, with many schools playing their only matches at the start of the Autumn Term in September, Archie (now at Oundle) played for the 1stXI (what would have been his L6 year) and his name is now up in lights on Oundle’s historic Cricket boards. He is hoping, like all of us, that he gets a normal summer of cricket this year in his final term at Oundle. Good luck, Archie!
Captain CH Anderson and Captain EK Anderson were two of a family of four brothers killed in WW1. Both were old boys of Cargilfield and Fettes, whilst their older siblings attended The Glasgow Academy before moving on to Fettes. Bertie, their eldest brother, died at the Somme on March 25th 1918, and was subsequently awarded the VC #lestweforget #WW1
Read about him here.
Read about the tragic story of the Anderson family here.
A fabulous achievement, Emma!
Many congratulations to Johnnie who has been selected for the Scottish Schools’ International shooting team. A fabulous achievement indeed! Johnnie is now at Merchiston, having been Head Boy at Cargilfield. His passion for shooting bergan at Cargilfield when he headed over to Merchiston on a Monday night for weekly shooting sessions during evening clubs.
Fabulous news. Well done to Flossie who has an offer from Oxford to read Human Sciences. Flossie is currently in the U6th at Fettes
Congratulations to former pupils Ariel, James and Jack who all starred in Glenalmond College’s production of Epicene, Ben Jonson’s 1609 Renaissance comedy #cargilfieldconnected
A lovely Christmas carol sung by the Chapel Choir of Eton College, including old boy Fergus!
On Saturday 14th November, former pupil, Andrew Lownie, starred in a documentary about Lord Mountbatten of Burma, confident of Prince Charles, last Viceroy of India and killed by an IRA Bomb in 1979. The programme examined his life and legacy and was very interesting. Andrew has written a highly acclaimed book about the life of the Mountbattens which was published earlier int he year.
You can watch the programme on Catch Up here.
You can order Andrew’s book on the Mountbattens here.
Many congratulations to Harry, Edward and Jack who have all progressed to the next round of regional training sessions for the U15/16 Scottish Hockey Academy. All are former pupils of Cargilfield and now at Fettes College.
Many congratulations to Eliza who has won the Outlet Publishing Young Writers’ competition! She is a former pupil of Cargilfield, now at Rugby School.
‘Eleven Months is part of a bigger project that I am working on; I am in the process of editing a draft of my book that I have been writing. It is my personal experience of the battle between Cancer and my Mum, who died in 2016 when I was 12. As I was so young, I want to publish this book to different help centres and areas for people who have been through what my family have been through and, hopefully, find some consolation from it. I took several different areas of my Cancer experience and molded them into a present tense reality and past tense flash backs. In this process of writing and revisiting memories and times that I had shut off for a few years, my writing is both very honest, real, and emotional. I have tried to portray my own emotions from the time, as well as the endless days spent waiting for the day my life would change, within the story. Cancer is a topic that is often shied away from, as often it is one that struggles to be breached, whether it affects you directly or not. This is something that I want to change, so I want to share my experience with the disease so that others feel that they can do the same.’
A fabulous achievement! Well done, Eliza.
Here is Eliza’s winning entry.
The door cracks open and Dad’s familiar hand gently shakes my shoulder urgently. Having hardly slept, light floods into my eyes and, when the speckles fade, I see it‘s 5:13. I realise within seconds I’m not at home and the memories of the last day crash into my brain just as a tsunami crashes into a village.
“Siz, come through,” he says, fear holding his eyes. My head dizzies, my stomach curls, my palms are sweaty.
Suddenly we are by her side, thick rasping breaths filling the air. My sleepy heart thumps in rhythm to the bleep of machines in the room.
I grip Dad’s hand tightly, his body a plank next to mine. Nurses flap around Mum’s body and I just want to rip the tubes off her face and unplug the wall and to put a plaster on her lungs like she does to my knees when I fall in hockey and have her hold me and stroke my hair and feel her soft cashmere on her cheeks which she doesn’t mind me soaking when tears seep from my eyes and my heart aches as I think that it’ll never happen again.
Charlie looks up sadly at me, still holding Mum’s hand tightly. Both my Granny’s and Auntie Caroline are sitting in a semi-circle around the foot of the bed and Dad resumes his place on the other side of Mum, holding her other hand. I sit on his knee but my little arm is too small to reach over the rail, so I just hug Dad limply. I think of Halloween, just two months ago in October; Mum had patted her knee, asking for me to sit, but I felt I was too heavy for her fragile frame, that her knees may snap if I sat down. I shook my head and hated the flash of hurt in her eyes. How could I tell her I thought I might squash her?
If this is to be it, if this really is Mum leaving, then all I want is to climb under the covers with her by my side and just hold each other like we did when I had been sick or had a nightmare.
I sit by her side, we talk to her.
I hold her hands, letting go when the nurses come throughout the early hours of the morning.
I watch with a hole in my heart as she wheezes and grasps for the tiniest piece of oxygen.
We stare in disbelief as we think of the woman who, eleven months ago, was the brightest butterfly out there; it doesn’t seem like the Mum who came to pick me up from school that day when we saw Dad and Tokai, our Vizsla, on a run, trainers splashing water up from puddles.
“Should we soak them?” Mum asked wickedly.
Of course I said yes, and Mum revved the engine as we passed, spraying water all over him. Mum rolled down the window, grinning, and flicked the V’s to Dad who stood there laughing.
When came Dad back through the door a few minutes later, he tried to hug a laughing Mum who thwacked him with a pillow up the stairs to have a shower.
It didn’t seem like the Mum who plaited my hair after Mum and Dad told Charlie and me of the diagnosis, holding me, radiating love. But now I feel disconnected from my body, the only evidence of reality is when I pinch my leg, gently at first, and when I’m still in the room and haven’t woken up from this dream, I pinch harder. There she still is in front of me, hairless, unnaturally skinny, lying in a decaying cocoon of skin and bones. I can hardly believe the past Eleven Months; the frightening days, the incessant savage nights, the infinite chemo and radiotherapy. The sympathetic looks, the multitudes of drugs and injections, once causing a burst vein, the rollercoaster of better and then worse. The nurses and live-in carers invading our house, the relentless uncertainness every hour, the never-ending shadow of death.
This woman who lay in front of me is not the Mum I know, and I despise it.
I long for Mum who I used to snuggle with on the sofa.
Mum who took me to Waitrose and bought me the Beano when I was little.
Mum who went shopping with me, drove me to school, picked me up from school.
Mum who is so much more than any Mum;
Mum who is just Mum.
She survives the night.
The next day, we shower to wash yesterday’s grime off ourselves and wipe away the crusty sleep off our faces. Deep caverns of purple are engraved under all our eyes, faces pale compared to our normally healthy and tanned complexions.
We agree that Auntie Caroline and I will drive home to pick up clean clothes for everyone and some forms of entertainment; I jumped at the opportunity to escape. The last time we had been alone together was just a mere seventeen hours ago where I had asked Auntie Caroline how long Mum had left. It was now the first of December and Christmas was only a few weeks away; what if she died on Christmas?
“I don’t really know, Lizy. The doctors haven’t given a date; it really could be a day, could be a couple.” She had said, putting her arm around my shoulders. I was stunned. Mum and I had already started listening to Christmas music in the car and now she wasn’t even going to be there for the real day?
As we drive along, memories flood my mind. First, we pass the road to Mulberry Walk where Mum and I had gone to have her hair shaved off back in October. We had parked the car right outside smugly as we had our disabled badge, the key to unlocking different and normally unreachable places for Mum.
The foyer of the salon was decorated with brightly coloured roses, yellows, reds and pinks. I imagined the colours to be the same as the wings of the butterflies in my stomach.
I held Mum’s hand; although I was scared, I didn’t hold her hand for me. I held it for her; this was the biggest moment for her that she had had to face. The thing that would make it really real for her.
Mum smiled at me in the mirror as we sat side-by-side and made herself more comfortable, adjusting the head back seat so it wouldn’t put pressure on her thorax.
You okay? She mouthed. I nodded.
You? She smiled.
“Right then, Mrs Bruce-Jones,” Derek, Mum’s hairdresser, said, but there wasn’t a hint of formality in it. Mum had that effect; instantly you felt comfortable in her presence, and she’d been with Derek long enough that they considered each other as friends. Everyone always says to me that Mum lit up every room; she was the sun that every person orbited, a light to an array of moths. “What are we doing today then?”
As Mum explained, I didn’t see a hint of pity in Derek’s face; not out of spite, but just because she was his friend and he didn’t see her any differently.
“As fond as I am of the ratty mullet, I think we can do something about it, can’t we.” He had said, his fingers played gently with the wisps hanging at the nape of her neck contemplatively before explaining his thoughts to her.
When my own hairdresser appeared, she manoeuvred me to the wash basins, chatting away. They gave me towels to sit on as I was too small for the adult chairs.
Mum joined me shortly and we sat side by side as suds fell down our ears, Mum quickly so that she wouldn’t be leaning back for too long, letting ourselves relax to the knead of hands on our scalps.
My trance was broken when Mum was taken over to the seats again and I watched the ratty mullet bound away. Slowly.
When I joined Mum, the front half was already shaved I watched Mum in the mirror, seeing the remainder of hair fall away, always thinking of when we’d be sat here again, Mum’s hair grown back again, needing to be taken care of to get back to her sunny, glorious blonde hair.
My heart saddened slightly as I saw the scars of chemo being shaven away, but, as my own hair was chopped two inches, it didn’t make a huge difference. It was just tidier.
The little ratty mullet was gone, replaced with a buzz, little tufts covering her head like sprouts of grass.
When we were finished, we both grinned gloriously at the results.
The reception area, full of the roses, seemed brighter as we paid.
We walked out, arms linked, her head held high.
She didn’t wear her hat.
As Winter settles a dark blanket over Edinburgh and twinkling lights begin to grow outside houses as we drive by, I think of the time Mum forgot to collect me from Grange hockey club. It was Mum’s turn to pick me and my friend, Jess, up, but she never appeared.
When I had finally gotten home after a lot of confusion, Mum had been lying on the sofa. When she saw me, she apologised profusely through half-closed eyes.
“I’m so sorry, Lizy. Trish was meant to wake me up.” There was no way I would’ve been angry at her, and I sat on the floor next to the sofa where she lay while stroking my hair.
“I think I’d better go to bed; I’m knackered!” she had said, and slowly eased herself off the sofa and we headed upstairs. I shouted goodnight to Trish who was making a cup of tea in the kitchen.
I headed into Mum’s room to go and say goodnight. She was just swallowing some pills (there were too many to remember the names) and gave her a big hug.
But she jerked back from me, hand springing over mouth, clamped, as she retched and hurried into the bathroom, goo oozing out of her fingers.
“Mum? Mum? Are you okay?” I had asked worriedly, right behind her. She was spitting into the sink. I shouted down to Trish, grabbing a glass of water, grabbing tissues, grabbing cardboard-like pots for her to guzzle and spit into whilst rubbing her back and muttering soothing words as her eyes watered with the gagging motion and tears streamed down her face as she tried to regain her breath and not be sick again.
“I’m so sorry, Lizey.” She said, giving me hug. “Sorry you had to see that.”
I told her not to be silly, for I always apologised for being sick in the night.
It was a rough night, that night; even home couldn’t protect us.
When we pull into the drive at home, I run upstairs, immediately grabbing my special teddys, my two little polar bears, who make my arms feel empty at night when they’re absent. We pick up clothes, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, drawing pads and pens, Christmas paper chains (which I hadn’t made for years). I give Tokai, our Vizsla, a huggle and she licks my cheek tenderly, putting one long paw onto my arm.
On the way out I see my pendant necklace Mum had given me for Christmas that year; our final one. It’s a silver circle with a small heart on it, ‘I love you more’ engraved in it.
“I couldn’t find one with ‘I love you most’ on it’.” She had said. It was our thing before going to bed;
“Love you,” I would say.
“Love you more,” She would say.
“Love you most,” I would say, giggling at this point.
“Not possible!” She would call as I walked out the door.
“Yes it is because I do!” I would shout back.
I grab it and hold it tightly in my fist.
On the way back to the hospice, we stop off at my school to pick up my Zovirax from the changing rooms because I have a bad cold sore.
I desperately want to see Claudia, my friend, and tell her what was happening. I continuously contemplate texting her She’s going to die., so that she will know and I’ll have someone to talk to about it.
Seeing school reminds me of a Science lesson in September. My teacher had warned me that we were having a lesson on Cancer, and that I could leave any time I wanted. When he had started the video, I asked to go to the loo. He looked at me sympathetically and nodded.
I went to the loo, washed and dried my hands.
I walked back in, interested in the video and the research.
I didn’t leave because of the video; I was absolutely fine.
I just needed a pee.
I climb back into the car, although I’m slightly reluctant to leave the familiarity of home. We drive through town back to Leith to the hospice, past Fettes, Inverleith, Comely Bank (where we used to live; I stare longingly at the front door), past Edinburgh Academy and the sports’ pitches where boys are kicking rugby balls around.
When we arrive, we sign back in at the reception, walking past the glass corridor and the yummy café. Up the elevator we go. We drop our things off in the family room and go to see everyone.
We hear voices in the TV room, so we peak our heads round the door to see Uncle Mark and Granny Rosemary chatting, accompanying Granny Maggles asleep in just her knickers and a long-sleeved white top; it’s all she seems to wear here! She doesn’t seem to care that there is another family who also duck in and out of the room. We giggle and close the door gently.
When Auntie Caroline and I walk into Mum’s room, Dad looks tired so I tell him to go and have a sandwich and some sleep which he gratefully accepts when I promise to wake him if anything were to happen.
Charlie and I are left in the room alone with Mum. We speak of the future and the past; even though she cannot talk, I know she’s listening and that she’s loving our presence.
Charlie says, (because I’m Head Girl at school), “and Eliza will be head girl at senior school”, which I scoff to.
“Nah, Charlie you’ll be head boy!” I reply, and Mum seems to snort too, kindly, making a noise that sounds like a laugh so we giggle at the silliness of it all, even if Mum won’t be there to see it. (Safe to say, Charlie wasn’t head boy…)
At night, the first of December makes the sky darker and gloomier, but in the day time the crisp, warm air is a lovely wisp in the morning as we stand on Mum’s balcony, absorbing the December sun, and look at the beautiful shadows the leafless trees make, and how the frost glistens and shimmers like precious and rare diamonds that, by the end of the day, would soon melt away into the grass.
That night, because day and night merge into one, I wander down to the café where we got a sandwich or salad or chomp on a rouge apple. After, I sit with Mum and talk to her or sit with Dad and draw; together we think of memorials for Mum to have her with us always, and I draw multiple sundials with my silver pen which we all love. Sometimes I make some Christmas chains, but they either rip or I become too bored and only manage five or six links; I can’t sort the chain out without Mum. Sometimes I wander into the TV room and watch “I’m a Celebrity: Get me out of here!”.
Dad doesn’t leave Mum’s side, sitting next to her without fail; they are destined together, so when, two years or so later, Ariel, my best friend, told me of how, when herself and Anna, her Mum, often spoke of Mum, Anna bore stories of dinner parties:
“No other couple bounced off each other like they did; never any arguments, never any insecurities, never any jealousy, not even a sliver.” she had said. “They were soulmates; hard, evident proof that they do exist.”
When they told me this, I thought of two days ago; I was sitting with Mum at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, before she was moved to St Columba’s, quite unsure what to say, when suddenly she started thrashing about, shouting, “I need loo! Let me go loo!” so I ran out to the nurses’ and told them, stuttering in a breath, “Excuse me, I think my Mum needs the loo, she’s trying to go and she’s ripping out her tubes.” and the nurse walked off and I stood there worried and thinking please hurry; this is my Mum.
They were so oddly calm about it that it was unnerving. I didn’t want to think it, but I knew that if this was the end, then a small part of me would hold that nurse accountable.
I went in again so Mum wasn’t alone as she ripped her wires. This was it. She wasn’t meant to get up because of her broken hip, but then again, she wasn’t supposed to have broken the hip, or be there, or have cancer.
Finally, the nurse burst in, busying herself with the bedpan and calling other nurses and then Dad came back and was in the room and I didn’t feel like breathing, ironically when that was Mum’s one job right now and she couldn’t, and my cheeks were hot and red and my head was dizzy and I wanted to cry but I saw Dad and knew I had to stay strong and Dad bent over her head and stroked her hair and she stopped whimpering and wriggling and seemed to just lay in his arms while the nurses did their job and there they were, my Mum and Dad together just being, while he whispered “Stop, sweetheart, you can’t get up. I love you, I’m here.” over and over and over again. And then she was almost alright again, except our ‘alright’ was far from everyone else’s alright.
When there isn’t anything good on TV, I go and sit with Mum, hugging her and holding her hand as the oxygen mask wheezes and her eyes droop heavily. I hold her hand, kiss her head and whisper goodbyes in her ear. Hardly sleeping, I lie in a small ball on a beanbag, my neck cramping. Mum’s breath is short and ragged and groaning, an uneven lullaby for us as we drift in and out of dozing and dreariness.
I really struggle to be in there. It isn’t that I don’t want to be there, obviously, but I find it difficult to watch, like someone forcing themselves to watch a war film when they hated blood.
When I am alone, I just don’t know what to say. I tell her I love her, I tell her she is the best Mum, that she is brave, that I will never forget her. Tears prick my eyes as I recite quietly, my voice sounding strange:
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be ever at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, And, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
I wonder, when I fell short of words, whether she is disappointed that that is all I have to say to her.
On Friday, the 2nd, I sit and laugh and mourn and kiss her and hold her hand and whisper in her ear and stroke her tender, sweaty, bald head. Guiltily, I want to escape once again and go home, but there’s nothing we need and so my service in that perspective isn’t necessary.
I look out the window at the sun which smiles gloriously into our room, refracting off the light of the balcony outside Mum’s door. I know our story is a doomed fate, and yet the sun made me hope for a miracle. I pray meaningfully for one of the last times in my life.
And then the sun goes behind a cloud, leaving menacing shadows to flit across the room. Coward.
Friday evening means fish, chips, jelly and ice cream for supper which our favourite nurse, Craig, brings for Charlie and me. We eat quickly, regularly going into Mum’s room to check on her before retreating into the TV room to watch the final of ‘I’m A Celebrity’.
I sit and wait.
I watch Scarlet win.
At 22:28, Dad comes into the room.
He bends over with his hands on his knees.
He holds his breath.
His shoulders shake in defeat.
His eyes, which stare at the ground, turn black like oblivion.
And then he says two words that change my life.
Fuck you, Cancer.
Many congratulations to former Cargilfield pupil, Natasha, who has been named in the Scottish Canoe Association Slalom Performance Squad for 2020-2021. A fabulous achievement! After moving to Strathallan School, Natasha is currently at Glasgow Uni studying veterinary medicine #cargilfield
Congratulations to Sophie on her selection to attend England Hockey Age Group Trials over Half Term. She will have the chance to demonstrate her skills over 3 days, assessed by coaches looking at technical, tactical, mental & physical development qualities. Sophie was Head of School last year and is now at Oundle School.
Many congratulations to Charlie on being appointed Captain of Rugby at Fettes this year!
Today (Sunday 4th October) would have been the 100th birthday of Sir Thomas Macpherson, an old boy of Cargilfield and Fettes College.
Colonel Sir Ronald Thomas Stewart Macpherson CBE, MC & Two Bars, TD, DL (4 October 1920 – 6 November 2014) was a highly decorated Scottish British Army officer during and after the Second World War. He fought with the No. 11 Commando unit and French Resistance forces, becoming infamous among Axis forces as the “Kilted Killer”. He caused so much damage to enemy military infrastructure, a bounty of 300,000 francs was placed upon his head. He was awarded the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre three times, and the Légion d’honneur.
Below is his obituary from The Times published on his death in 2014.
Serial escape attempts, remarkable bluffing tactics, and sheer bravery behind enemy lines made Sir Thomas Macpherson one of Britain’s most decorated veterans of the Second World War. In addition to his three Military Crosses and three Croix de Guerre, the Pope personally awarded him the Star of Bethlehem and a papal knighthood.
As a young wartime commando, Macpherson took part in the ill-fated operation to kill General Erwin Rommel immediately before the Eighth Army’s “Crusader” offensive in November 1941. Two parties landed in rubber boats from the RN submarines Torbay and Talisman to make the 18-mile night approach march in pouring rain to the villa at Beda Littoria (Libya). Subsequent intelligence, however, was to prove that Rommel had never used the place. Many of the commandos were killed and the rest taken prisoner. Among them was Macpherson, who had been commissioned into the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. The adventures that followed were nothing short of swashbuckling. While held in a prison camp near Genoa, Macpherson would not allow his spirit to be broken and took advantage of incarceration by becoming fluent in Italian. In 1943, when Italy surrendered, he and his fellow PoWs were loaded on to a train by the Germans to be moved to a different camp. Seizing his moment, he tried to flee but was swiftly caught by a guard who marched him back to the station — and vented his anger by emptying his rifle in single shots between Macpherson’s feet. Then forced to stand against a wall, he was about to be shot when another officer ordered the guard not to kill him.
Despite a number of failed attempts to escape — including one from a transit camp in Spittal when he tried to slip away amid a party of agricultural workers — he did not despair. He eventually escaped from Stalag XXA at Thorn on the Vistula, in occupied Poland, after crawling under two perimeter fences and dodging the searchlights. He made his way back to England via Sweden, having been smuggled on to a Baltic collier at Gdynia by some friendly Poles. On board he narrowly escaped detection by customs officials by climbing down into the hold. Back home, he was recruited by the Special Operations Executive to be dropped into occupied France at the time of the Normandy invasion. Formed into three-man teams codenamed “Jedburghs”, their mission was to make contact with the French Resistance movements, arm them where necessary and encourage them to engage in sabotage helpful to the Allies’ campaign to liberate France.
The Jedburgh team of which Major Macpherson was in charge, codenamed “Quinine”, was flown from Blida in Algiers and dropped near Aurillac, in the Cantal department, on the night of June 8, 1944. Accompanied by Aspirant (officer cadet) Prince Michel de Bourbon of the French Army and Sergeant Arthur Brown of the Royal Tank Regiment, Macpherson — a proud Scot — wore his kilt for the occasion. The attire caused some confusion and the first report to reach the local maquisards claimed “a French officer has arrived with his wife”.
In order to swell partisan numbers, Macpherson drove around in a car — still wearing his Cameron Highlander tartans — openly flying the Union Flag pennant and the Croix de Lorraine, much to the astonishment of his comrades. After establishing contact with the Gaullist FFI (Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur), he urged them to disrupt railway lines and to destroy a number of locomotives at Capdenac. Attempts were made to trap Macpherson and it was said that a 300,000 franc price was put on his head.
He became known for leading large-scale guerrilla operations — including one against the Das Reich Panzer division shortly after his arrival in France. Macpherson and the “Jeds” demolished a bridge the Germans were hoping to cross, and defended another for six days against their attacks. He turned his attention to the communist FTP (Francs-tireurs et partisans) who, at his suggestion, stole two Citroën cars from the Vichy-French police to enhance their tactical mobility. Macpherson later moved Quinine to Toulouse and became part of a French Resistance force known as the Groupement Mobile du Sud Ouest, which moved north of Clermont- Ferrand.
Whether through bravery or chutzpah, Macpherson won the surrender of 23,000 Wehrmacht troops by spouting a series of brazen lies. He presented himself to the commanding officer, Major-General Botho Elster, and assured him that heavy artillery, 20,000 troops and RAF bombers were waiting for Macpherson’s word to attack. In reality he had only the aid of another Jedburgh team. Surrender or die, he urged Elster; the bluff worked. Elster and his troops eventually passed into US Army captivity.
After Macpherson was withdrawn from France in October 1944, he was sent to work with the partisans in northeastern Italy, where he helped to unify bickering groups and led a successful raid on a marshalling yard in Udine.For his exploits in France in 1944, he was awarded a bar to the MC he had received for escaping from the Stalag XXA camp and evading the Germans in 1943; and a second bar came in 1945 for his service in Italy. He was also appointed a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour and awarded the Croix de Guerre with two palms, the Italian Medaglia d’Argento and the Resistance Medal.
Ronald Thomas Stewart Macpherson, known as Tommy, was born in Edinburgh in 1920, the fifth son of Sir Thomas Stewart Macpherson. He was a small and sickly child who suffered from osteomyelitis, a debilitating infection of the bone marrow that left him confined to his bed for several months. During that time he read voraciously, finishing a book every two days; Robert Louis Stevenson’s Alan Breck became his childhood hero.
Once recovered, he gained a reputation at Fettes College as a talented sportsman. On the rugby pitch he took after his older brother, the renowned rugby union player GPS “Phil” Macpherson. After demobilisation he headed to Trinity College, Oxford, where he continued to excel on the pitch and read a First in PPE. Aside from intellectual jousting with his tutorial partner, the future Labour minister Tony Crosland, Macpherson won an athletics Blue and could even boast a rare victory over Roger Bannister. He also competed as an international student athlete against Emil Zatopek in the World Student Games.
Oxford eased him back into civilian life — “Our life was finished, and then it started again”. For nearly 30 years he worked for the timber company William Mallinson & Sons, where he started as a personal assistant to the chairman and finished as managing director.
Before being appointed CBE (Military Division) in 1968, he commanded 1st Battalion the London Scottish TA (1961-64) and was Colonel TA London District (1964-67). He was knighted for services to commerce and industry in 1992.
Together with his wife Jean (née Butler Wilson), whom he married in 1953, he divided his time between homes in London — where he travelled everywhere on foot — and the family seat, Biallid House, in Newtonmore, Inverness-shire. Lady Macpherson survives him, with their two sons and daughter: Duncan is a barrister; Angus is managing director of
the Environment Exchange; and Ishbel is non-executive chairman and director of several companies. As children they recall their father beginning every day with a cold bath and an hour of exercise.
Aside from his love of fishing, shooting and languages, he served for 40 years as president of the Achilles Club (for Oxbridge athletes). He resigned after a stroke.
His passion for the outdoors never waned and he insisted on going for walks twice a day, even in ailing health, regardless of whether it was raining or snowing. Though an animated raconteur he rarely spoke of his wartime experiences until his eighties. He published an autobiography, Behind Enemy Lines, in 2010. Once asked to name his proudest moment, he pondered and said: “It’s very often that one remembers the small things and forgets the big ones.”
Sir Thomas Macpherson, CBE, MC and two bars, soldier and businessman, was born on October 4, 1920. He died on November 6, 2014, aged 94
Many congratulations to Max who has been appointed Captain of Hockey at Merchiston this year. Max already plays for the Scotland U18 side and we wish him well when competitive matches start up again.
Logie Bruce-Lockhart died last week aged 98, and not only was he the oldest surviving Scotland cap (he won 5 caps between 1948 and 1953 at fly half), but he was also the oldest living rugby internationalist in the World. He was a pupil at Cargilfield before moving on to Sedbergh in 1935 when his father, John, who was Headmaster at Cargilfield, was appointed Headmaster at Sedbergh. He was a true polymath and Renaissance man: he was one of the first soldiers who liberated Belsen concentration camp during WW2, before going on to be a great reforming Headmaster of Greshams School in Norfolk for 27 years until his retirement in 1982. He was a prolific writer, and regularly wrote lengthy letters to Cargilfield giving his views on education and other matters!
Obituary in The Times on 18th September
Longest-serving headmaster of Gresham’s School and dashing fly half for Scotland, renowned for his speed off the mark
When a young pupil at Gresham’s School approached Logie Bruce-Lockhart and asked him to sign his absence slip, he found the task a little more difficult than he expected. “He refused to sign my sick note until I spelt ‘diarrhoea’ correctly,” he recalled many years later. The boy would grow up to become Sir James Dyson, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner. Just as well he was not one for bearing a grudge. He returned to Gresham’s last year with a cheque for nearly £20 million to endow a new teaching block and research facility at the school.
Dyson had reason to feel indebted to the school and Bruce-Lockhart, its charismatic headmaster. At the age of nine his father, a classics teacher, had died of cancer and his family was unable to continue paying his fees. Bruce-Lockhart pulled strings, came up with a scholarship, and set Dyson on his way.
Logie Bruce-Lockhart was born in Warwickshire in 1921, the youngest of four sons of JH (Rufus) Bruce-Lockhart, a teacher, and Mona. Rufus was a housemaster at Rugby when Logie was born. The family moved to Edinburgh when he became headmaster of Cargilfield, and then to Cumbria when he took the same position at Sedbergh. It was at Sedbergh that Logie’s sporting talents emerged. He broke the school record for discus and shot and became head of school.
After the outbreak of war, he began studying languages at St John’s College, Cambridge, before being commissioned into the 9th Sherwood Foresters, an armoured car regiment. When that was disbanded he joined the 2nd Household Cavalry, the reconnaissance unit for the Guards Armoured Division. He took part in the northwest European campaign as a troop commander, where his skills in French and German proved useful.
He was one of the first of the Allied forces to arrive at Belsen concentration camp after its liberation but found many of the inmates “looking like ghosts from Hell, not yet fit for freedom”. Bruce-Lockhart oversaw a refugee camp for 5,000 displaced people, mostly Poles, before returning to Cambridge to resume his studies.
Boarding a crowded train in March 1944, he had struggled to find a seat but eventually settled down in a first-class carriage opposite “an extraordinarily pretty girl in a smart civvy suit”. Her name was Jo Agnew and they bonded over a shared love of Rupert Brooke, whose poetry he was reading on the journey. They were married for 64 years until her death in 2009. He is survived by four of their five children: Jennifer, Rhuraidh, a property developer, Fiona, a retired English teacher, and Duncan, who worked in the City. Kirsty died aged seven when she was run over by a car, an event that affected Bruce-Lockhart deeply.
Returning to Cambridge after the war, he gained honours in French and German, won the Wright prize for languages and was awarded Blues for rugby and squash. On graduation he joined Tonbridge School to teach modern languages and played rugby for London Scottish, eventually captaining the Richmond-based side.
A fly half, renowned for his speed off the mark and a devastating sidestep, Bruce-Lockhart was widely viewed as one of the most skilful players in English rugby. The first of his five caps for Scotland was in the Calcutta Cup win against England at Murrayfield in 1948, but he had to wait two years for his second, against France in 1950. He played once more that year, against Wales, but had to wait another three years before being recalled to face Ireland and England in 1953.
Bruce-Lockhart was just 33 when he assumed the headship at Gresham’s. While his style was enlightened and he was no stern disciplinarian, he had little time for fashionable left-wing educational theories. His school speeches were renowned for being funny and down to earth.
Bruce-Lockhart published books on fishing, birdwatching, poetry and conservation. He was a talented musician with a particular love of Schubert. For a year before his death he held the distinction of being Scotland’s oldest surviving international rugby player.
Logie Bruce-Lockhart, headmaster and rugby international, was born on October 12, 1921. He died after a short illness on September 7, 2020, aged 98
Former pupil, Louis, has raised over £32,000 in aid of Cystic Fibrosis by riding all the way from John O’Groats to Land’s End. A quite amazing achievement. After Cargilfield, Louis went to Ampleforth and is now an aspiring actor!
Read more here.
We wish Quin and Ned well as they start their new adventures at Eton College this term! They look very smart too!
THE older sister of an eight-year-girl who died more than 10 years ago has reached the finish line in a charity walk.
Nina Young spent the majority of August covering the North Coast 500 in aid of the Teapot Trust, which was formed after the death of her sister Verity.
Nina, 20, set off from Inverness Castle on July 28 and completed her trek on Sunday at Applecross on the west coast.
Joined along the way by friends Lunjika Nyirenda and Jessie Brown, Nina said: “I couldn’t be more chuffed that the walk’s come to fruition.
“Even after being attacked by a bajillion midges and having our socks walked off our feet, I’ve enjoyed every minute and been blown away by the kindness of the people who’ve donated.
“Jika and Jessie have been amazing; I couldn’t have done it without them.
“I cannot wait to have a proper shower, though!”
Verity spent much of her short life in hospital, coping with illness and managing the effects of her treatment for lupus and then cancer.
Art proved a way for the youngster to express herself and became an essential coping strategy for the whole family.
Following her death, Verity’s mum and dad, Laura and John, set up the Teapot Trust to help other children and families who were struggling.
Since then, the Teapot Trust has helped more than 12,000 children and young people in Scotland by giving them art therapy sessions.
Nina, who is a medical student at the University of Edinburgh, explained exactly how the sessions helped both children and families.
The former Gullane Primary School and Loretto School pupil said: “Children diagnosed with a chronic condition, they don’t understand it.
“Dealing with hospital appointments, no normal kid goes through the stress of going into hospital all the time.
“The Teapot Trust takes their mind off of it and gives them an escape.”
Nina left her Gullane home at the end of July before starting off in the capital of the Highlands.
Nina and Lunjika, 19, started walking north and covered an average of 15 miles each day along blustery and steep coastal paths.
On day 10, Jessie, 21, stepped in for Lunjika, with the duo wild camping each night.
Applecross is home to the Bealach na Ba road, which at 2,053ft is one of the highest in Britain and is one of the most famous sections of the North Coast 500 route, a circular route from Inverness, popular with intrepid motorists and less travelled on foot. The friends chose coastal paths rather than roads on their adventure.
Nina spoke to the Courier on Monday afternoon and revealed that, despite completing the gruelling challenge, she was getting ready to go for a cycle with Jessie!
Nina had set a target of raising £10,000 for the Teapot Trust from the walk – but smashed that total, bringing in more than £17,000.
Like many other charities, the Teapot Trust, which is based in Musselburgh, has suffered due to a shortage of community fundraising events and needs extra funds.
It is particularly difficult for those on immune suppression drugs and the Teapot Trust has been instrumental in helping isolated children with video call art therapy sessions.
In an intra club game for Eastern Knights U14s this afternoon, a number of former Cargilfield pupils, along with Rory who is in Form 8, came up against each other on the cricket field! Harry, Vinjero and Edward are now at Fettes_College whilst Todd is at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh. We play cricket 12 months a year at Cargilfield, and our strong cricketing culture and a developing programme for our girls, with outstanding indoor and outdoor facilities, provides our children with a life long love of the game with many going on to play at a high level at senior schools, for club sides and also at international level.
Former pupil, Nina, has raised over £17000 for Teapot Trust by walking 500 miles round the North Coast of Scotland in memory of her sister, Verity. An amazing achievement! She was accompanied at various points on her walk by a number of friends including Lunjika and Zoe, both also former pupils of Cargilfield! All three are now studying medicine at University.
Many congratulations to former pupil Sophie who has gained a 1st Class degree from Cambridge!
Old boy, Louis Hall, is riding the length of the country for charity……you can donate here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louis-hallcf
On 17th July, Irelanda and I will begin our journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust: The Big Hoof. I expect the ride to take between 6-7 weeks. We want to average between 20 - 25 miles a day, but we will see what happens on the way…
In 2015, Leo, a family friend of mine, died from Cystic Fibrosis. He was 26. Leo was an incredible inspiration, friend and human being to everyone he met. He chose to live his 26 years full of love and hope; he never wasted a second, and remains a hero to many. I am now not so much younger than he was when he died, and during the spread of the Coronavirus, I realised how many people with underlying health issues, such as CF, would need serious help and support during, and after, the spread of the virus. Cystic Fibrosis is a condition that can directly inhibit the lungs; Leo would have been extremely vulnerable during these times.
This challenge is something I am doing independently for all those who suffer from the horrors of Cystic Fibrosis, and for Leo. Nothing that anyone does can overturn the suffering that Cystic Fibrosis inflicts upon an individual and their family, but with each step that Irelanda and I take, and with every donation big and small, we will all be fighting this disease and helping to prevent further loss in the future.
With thanks to Tunnock’s, Yorkshire Tea, Mackie’s of Scotland, Sip Smith’s of London, Adelphi Whisky, Glenfiddich Whisky and Ormiston Highlands.
We were very sad to hear that our former long time fencing coach, Bert Bracewell, died on June 14th. He was appointed Scotland Head Coach in 1966 and had coached countless enhusiastic fencers at Cargilfield over the years. He will be rememebred fondly.
Sasha was hoping to complete Edinburgh 1/2 marathon to raise money for The Jasmine Foundation, a charity supporting teenage mental health, set up in memory of her sister, but lockdown meant that it was cancelled. Instead, she completed a 20K run in under 2 hours, supported by Edward and Flora. A fabulous effort! #cargilfieldconnected
Former Pupil, Zinnie Hall, in her PPE at an intensive care unit at St Peters hospital in Chertsey, Surrey. After Cargilfield she was at Kilgraston and qualifies as a doctor from Aberdeen University.
We are extremely grateful to all those in the NHS who are working so hard on the Front Line at this time, along with other key workers.
It was a real pleasure to welcome old boy, Mr John A.L. Gunn, to Cargilfield today. He enjoyed looking round the school and he spent time answering lots of questions from the children about his time at Cargilfield and what life was like up at Lawers House. Now aged 86, he was a boy here when the school was evacuated from Barnton in Edinburgh up to Lawers House near Comrie in Perthshire during World War 2. He was the top academic scholar to Fettes_College in 1947!
Thank you so much for coming to see us!
Congratulations to old boy, Leonardo, and the Fettes College Pipe Band who won the Junior A section at the Scottish Pipe Band Championships in Kilmarnock last weekend.
Many congratulations to Jessica who has been selected for the U19 Scotland Lacrosee U19A team for Home Internationals in April. A fantastic achievement!
Congratulations to Charlie P (r) who has been selected for the Edinburgh U17 rugby squad to play in the Fosroc Super4s this weekend.
Dr Barr is out in Sri Lanka for two weeks and he met some former Cargilfield parents! He sent a photo with Saliya and Shalini Wickramasuriya whose children attended Cargilfield 20 years ago. They are members of the Scots Kirk in Colombo where Russell was the guest preacher this morning and send greetings to the school.
We were delighted to see that Jamie Sole, a former pupil of Cargilfield, has been selected to play for the Scotland Club XV against Ireland this Friday as a precursor to the start of this year’s Six Nations. He is the fourth of the Sole children, who are all Cargilfield FPs, to represent Scotland with Gemma (Netball) and Chris and Tom (Cricket) having already represented their country. We wish him the best of luck, and of course to the full Scotland team as they start their 6 Nations campaign against Ireland at the weekend.
Jamie is also the 1stXV Captain of Edinburgh Accies.
TRIBUTES have been paid to veteran campaigner and “Mr Edinburgh” Ronnie Guild who has died, aged 98.
Born and bred in the Capital, he taught at Fettes College for 30 years and counted former Prime Minister Tony Blair among his ex-pupils.
He stood unsuccessfully for election the council or parliament as a Liberal many times, but was never deterred from fighting for the causes he believed were important.
He campaigned on a huge range of issues, from the need to promote the historic heritage of Cramond to calling for the conversion of a former signal box in Princes Street Gardens into a tearoom with model railway outside and stopping soldiers defacing stones at the entrance to the Castle with graffiti.
Daughter Shena said: “He never gave up and he devoted his life to Edinburgh. He was ahead of his time on conservation. He did a lot to prevent the destruction of Edinburgh as a historic city. He was key to stopping them building a motorway through the centre of it.”
The son of a prominent Edinburgh lawyer, Mr Guild went to Cargilfield School and then to Glenalmond. He joined the Black Watch and ended up in the Indian Army and served in Burma.
After a degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford he taught for a short time in St Andrews and then got his job at Fettes.
Mr Guild joked that as housemaster he had given Tony Blair his first promotion. “I made him head of the dormitory. I think there were eight people in a dormitory and someone had to be head. Obviously, that put him halfway to Downing Street.”
Son Alistair said: “At Fettes he started what was called the Outside Service Group, which was an alternative to the CCF. He took the boys to housing estates and got them to help with gardening and painting. He believed very much in doing rather than talking.”
Alistair also remembered his father’s involvement in a wide variety of community issues.
“He often got calls of an evening from people in the area who thought he was the MP or councillor because he was so active. But he didn’t mind because that was his interest - helping people who needed it.”
Mr Guild was one of the first people to submit a petition to the Scottish Parliament after it was created in 1999, urging an investigation into Cramond’s history. He took several more petitions to Holyrood on various issues in the following years.
Robert Philp, a former colleague at Fettes, said Mr Guild’s “sheer persistence” had to be admired.
“He went round Edinburgh with his file and he was always noticing things he thought were affecting the lives of ordinary people. If you were on the council you probably thought ‘This chap is a nuisance’ but his persistence was amazing.”
Mr Philp also recalled how a large company wanted to build its headquarters on part of the Fettes land. “It was going to pay the school a vast sum of money for it, which would have helped the school, but Ronald, because he thought it was bad thing on planning grounds, campaigned to have it rejected even though he was on the staff.”
Mr Guild had to ease off on the campaigning in his last few years, but he continued living in his own home and enjoyed reading. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer, although he never smoked, and it spread to his throat. He died while visiting his daughter near Oxford for Christmas.
His funeral will be at Whitekirk Parish Church in East Lothian on Friday February 7 at 2.30pm.
I am James Younger - JEG Younger (Viscount Younger of Leckie) and son of the late George Younger, sometime on the Governing Body). My role now is under-secretary-of-state at the Dept of Housing, Communities and Local Govt. I am a member of the House of Lords having won a by-election in 2010 as a hereditary peer. Since leaving Cargilfield in 1969, I went to Winchester College, then St Andrews University gaining an MA Hons in Mediaeval History. I worked for Coats Patons for 5 years before settling in the City (1984 - 2010)working in Human Resources (10 years UBS) and executive search. I am married to Jennie with three “young” now in their mid-late 20’s, and 2 working cocker spaniels. I am a member of the Royal Company of Archers and the Highland Society of London. I enjoy highland dancing, sailing and skiing.
Congratulations to Henry for being selected to the Scotland U16 Reds Rugby Squad. He will be involved with training days and camps over the next few months culminating in a International Tournament in South Wales.
Alastair ‘Sandy’ Gunn, an old boy of Cargilfield, took part in The Great Escape when 76 officers escaped from Stalag Luft III having been shot down over Surnada Norway; his amazing story featured on the Antiques Roadshow over Christmas. Sandy is one of 190 Cargilfield old boys who died in World Wars 1 and 2 and whose names appear on our War Memorial in Chapel.
The Great Escape remembered 75 years on. Read more here.
Watch the full video here.
We are hoping to see lots of former pupils on Friday 13th December for our FP hockey match starting at 2pm. Last year, we welcomed lots of old faces, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back again this year!
Do get in touch if you are keen to play!
Many thanks to Glenalmond College for a fantastic evening watching ‘Anything Goes!’ last night. What a fabulous evening’s entertainment, and we loved seeing Scarlett, a former pupil of Cargilfield, on stage and in the spotlight! Thank you for inviting us! #cargilfield
St Andrews Day at Eton College. Nico and Johnnie in very different attires! #eton #cargilfield
Tom Sole is currently out in Dubai playing for Scotland as they bid to qualify for next year’s World T20 Finals out in Australia! He has performed well with both the bat and ball so far, and we wish him well in the remaining games.
Francis Salvesen, a former pupil of Cargilfield and now an artist, has been interviewed in the latest BBC Countryfile magazine about his love of art and how he became inspired to become an artist! Spending lots of time in the art room here at Cargilfield, so it seems!
Kilted up at the World Cup! Joss (Winchester College) is out in Japan on his Gap Year. He manged to avoid the typhoon and was cheering on Scotland in their final group game against Japan. Och well. In four years’ time we have another chance!
Henry and Edward were reunited at Sedbergh School this afternoon. Henry, now at Fettes, was playing for Edinburgh rugby U16s v Sedbergh and although Edward was not playing for the team in Brown (he was unfortunately injured), he popped along to watch!
Great to see Chidaro, Jessica and Isabella in the winning Fettes 1stXI Girls’ Hockey team who won the Independent Scottish Boarding Schools’ tournament at the weekend. Very well done indeed!
It was lovely to be sent this photograph of James, formerly of Fettes, and Alexander, formerly of Glenalmond, together as they start new adventures at Cambridge University this week! We wish them both every success.
Great to see Archie and Will playing for the Oundle 1stXV on Saturday in their match against Bromsgrove. We wish them well for the rest of the season!
Having finished his A Levels, Jocey (Winchester College) is heading off to Tokyo where he has a position as a gappy until Christmas then heading round the World before coming home to take up a place at Exeter University to read Natural Sciences.
The first Newsletter for former pupils has just been published and can be downloaded below.
If you would like to receive this on a regular basis via email, you need to register your details on the FP page on the website which can be accessed here https://www.cargilfield.com/about-cargilfield/former-pupils/.
FP Newsletter - August 2019
A fascinating and revealing biography about the Mountbattens by Andrew Lownie, an old boy of Cargilfield, is published on August 22nd. Lord Mountbatten was formerly Chief of the Defence Staff, the last Viceroy of India and Great Uncle and Mentor to Prince Charles before being assassinated by the IRA in 1979.
Extracts have been published in The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph this weekend and make for very interesting reading.
Andrew is a literary agent and author and after Cargilfield he went on to Westminster School then Cambridge University.
We were delighted to hear that James gor in to Cambridge with A*s in both Latin and Greek. James js an old boy of Cargilfield before going on to Fettes after winning the too academic scholarship! We know that Mrs Wilson will be thrilled to see this fantastic performance in the Classics!
Former pupil, Alexander Wallace, achieved A* grade in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Music and has secured a place as an organ scholar at Cambridge University to study Maths. While at Cambridge Alexander will continue to pursue his passion for music, including playing the organ as he has loved doing in Glenalmond’s Chapel. An outstanding set of A level results and we wish him every success down at Cambridge.
Delighted to hear that Gordon Porter gained a first class honours degree in Business Management from Manchester Met! Many congratulations!
William Leckie, an old boy who has just finished his A Levels at Eton, wrote a play about the life and loves of artist Francis Bacon which enjoyed a hugely successful run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. It played out to packed houses and received lots of critical acclaim too. We wish William luck on ‘Results Day’ as he hopes to go to Cambridge!
Many congratulations to Marcus, an old boy of Cargilfield, who left Oundle in July amd was made Dux of the School for all that he achieved there. He now moves on to Oxford to read Chemistry.
Well done to former pupils Abigail, now at Westminster, and Emily, now at Wycombe Abbey, on beong selected for the U19 Scotland Lacrosse team that played in the World Cup in Ontario, Canada, at the beginningnof August! A wonderful achievememt and aome lofelong memories made!
Wonderful to hear that James has recently passed out of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and commissioned in to the Scots Guards. An old boy of Cargilfield before moving on to Harrow, he was supported by family and friends, including lots of other old boys and girls from Cargilfield.
Cargilfield is a place where life long friends are made!
Former pupil, Soohie who is now at UCL, did the National Three Peaks with other members of the Ladies’ Hockey team last week. They attempted to climb BEN nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden in 24 hours…..and their attempt was reported in detail in the Daily Mail!
Great to see Freddie, an old boy of Cargilfield, playing cricket for Eton against Harrow at Lord’s on Bank Holiday Monday today. He is the last century maker at Cargilfield, reaching a 100 for the 1stXI back in June 2014!
I believe he is the first Cargilfield old boy to play for Eton in this fixture. Stan Shillington played for Harrow in this fixture a few years ago.
Tom Sole, currently with a contract at Northants CC, played against Pakistan in a One Day match at the end of April as part of the tourists’ build up towards this summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England. Tom is a current Scotland International too and we look forward to watching his cricketing career develop!
Many congratulations to Max, and old boy of Cargilfield now at Merchiston, on being selected to play for the Scotland U16 Hockey side who played a series on international matches against Wales over the Easter weekend. A terrific achievement indeed!
Former pupils Ellie, now at Mary Erskine’s and Emma, now at St George’s played for the Scotland U18 Ladies’ Hockey team at the age group festival down in Wales held over the Easter weekend. A fantastic achievement!
Trees planted to remember 157 Old Glenalmonds who died during World War I
Last week, we planted a total of 157 oak trees in the School grounds to represent the Old Glenalmonds who lost their lives during the First World War.
The idea was proposed by Upper Sixth pupil Rory S-N, (Skrine’s) as a way of marking the centenary of the global conflict and breathe new life into the unused patch of land near Skrine’s Boarding House. The trees were donated by Rory’s father Jamie and uncle Hamish who are part of a well known family of Fife farmers and landowners. It is hoped the oaks will still be growing strong when the bi-centenary comes around.
The school plans to install signs to tell visitors the story behind the oaks, and explain how they symbolise the Old Glenalmond boys – also known as OGs – who died for their country.
Jamie said: “The seed for this idea was planted when my brother went to pick up Rory at the school on the Friday before Remembrance Sunday. Rory had told Hamish that the school had been reading out the names of the 157 old boys who had died in the war. And the idea grew from there.”
Jamie and Hamish are both OGs, as is Jamie’s oldest son Alistair. With the four of them having been through the school, theu thought this was a nice way to give something back. Something that will be there for many years to come.
During our Battlefields trip, our pupils and staff commemorate the youngest OG who died on the Western Front, Francis Faithfull, by making a pilgrimage to his grave. We also run two scholarships named after two pupils who died in the First World War: Alfred Raeburn and Arthur Gowan.
Warden Hugh Ouston said: “This will be both an environmental enhancement, as well as an explicit memorial. These oaks are all about the future, and it’s the future that these men laid down their lives for.”
Many congratulations to Max on being selected for the U16 Scotland hockey team to play in home international matches over Easter. Good luck!
75 years ago today Alastair ‘Sandy’ Gunn, old boy of Cargilfield, took part in The Great Escape when 76 officers escaped from Stalag Luft III having been shot down over Surnada Norway.
The Great Escape remembered 75 years on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47684249
Many congratulations to Hector who finished 11th in the 136th running of the famous 10 mile Wilson Run at Sedbergh School, widely seen to be the toughest schoolboy event in the UK. A fantastic achievement indeed!
The U11 boys caught up with former pupils Charlie and Eliza down at Rugby School today. They were there to play in the IAPS National Hockey Finals where they ended up 14th out of 24 teams. Charlie and ELiza are thriving and doing very well, with Charlie about to move in to the Upper 6th in September!
Scarlett, now at Glenalmond College, is currently on exchange at Brooks School in Masachusetts and she played the bagpipes as the school’s ice hockey side took the ice! It sounded very good - see our Facebook page to hear her!
A trip down memory lane at the start of Calcutta Cup Week!
The Calcutta Cup visited Cargilfield back in 2006, as we welcomed parent and Scotland team manager, Guy Richardson, to tell us all about the famous old trophy after Scotland had famously just beaten England at Murrayfield. We wish Scotland the best of luck down at Twickenham this Saturday as they look to hold on to the Calcutta Cup which they famously won last year.
Steven (2016-2018) joined us for one year from the USA, but enjoyed his time at Cargilfield so much that he stayed for a second year and so finished in Form 8 along with the rest of his cohort who made him feel very welcome indeed and played a large part in ensuring that Steven left Cargilfield with some very special memories. Now back in the USA, he has got in to his college Basketball team and they won this season’s conference! Very well done!
What an amazing rescue of four sherpas by Alastair Hopper, an old boy Cargilfield and now a helicopter pilot in the Himalayas!
Click on the link below to find out more!
The opening of the new astroturf pitches at Cargilfield took place on Tuesday 5th February 2019.
The Gillespie Pitch was completed in November 2018. It is named in memory of two brothers, Alexander Douglas Gillespie (Cargilfield 1900-1903) and Thomas Cunningham Gillespie (Cargilfield 1900-1905), who both went on to Winchester College and New College, Oxford. They were killed in Northern France during the First World War and their names can be found on our war memorial in Chapel alongside the other 123 old boys and masters who fell in the Great War.
Alexander was Head Boy at Cargilfield in 1903 and won a scholarship to Winchester before completing a first class degree in Classics at Oxford University. He served in the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was killed on 25th September 1915 at the Battle of Loos while leading a charge against an enemy position. According to observers, he was the only officer to reach their objective. A collection of his letters home were published in 1916 and, in one to the Headmaster of Winchester College, he described his wish to see a memorial walk along the line of the Western Front. He wrote that he dreamed of a “long avenue between the lines from the Vosges to the sea… I would make a fine broad road in the ‘No Mans Land’ between the lines, with paths for pilgrims on foot and plant trees for shade.” He wrote that he wanted it to be “the most beautiful road in all the world”.
The first 100km of this walkway The Western Front Way from Arras to Ypres was completed in early 2019.
Thomas competed in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, winning a silver medal for rowing in the British VIII and was commissioned into the 2nd Batalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers at the outbreak of the War. He was killed on 18th October 1914 while leading his men to advance over the La Bassee Canal.
The Gillespies fell within a few miles of each other near to La Bassee although neither body was found. Thomas is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial and Alexander on the Loos Memorial: both sites were visited by the Headmaster of Cargilfield in Autumn 2018.
The Gillespie Pitch was opened by their great nephew, the BBC Rural Affairs presenter, Tom Heap, on 5th February 2019.
The Harper Gow Pitch was resurfaced in 2018 on the site of tennis courts that were built in memory of Leonard Harper Gow. He was a boy at Cargilfield from 1900 and Head Boy in 1905; he then returned as a Governor of the school from 1927 to 1958. The new playing surface was opened by his grandson and Head Boy of Cargilfield in 1968, also Leonard Harper Gow, on 5th February 2019.
Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.