War Memorials -
Upland House School

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Memorials Page

The Upland House School screen in St Martin's Church
The Upland House School screen in St Martin's Church
Click to enlarge.
Photograph courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Upland House Postcard
Upland House Postcard
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum (Opens in a new window)

Upland House School was founded on 1 January 1884 by George Frederick Burgess M.A. as a small Preparatory School for boys. It was situated in Downs Road, Epsom on a site that is now occupied by a housing estate that includes The Ridings.

The school offered a wide range of sporting activities including football, golf, cricket, swimming and diving, fives, gymnastics, boxing and rifle shooting.

Upland House shown on the 1912 OS Map
Upland House shown on the 1912 OS Map

When the 1891 census was taken the school had 14 pupils whose ages ranged from 8 to 14. In the 1901 census the school had 20 pupils whose ages ranged from 9 to 13. By 1911 there were 19 pupils with ages ranging from 9 to 13.

Upland House School photograph c.1905
Upland House School photograph c.1905
Headmaster George Frederick Burgess is seated with a child on his lap.
Image courtesy of Dr S.J.Harris © 2004

It appears that sometime in the 1920s the school was sold to Mr Hugh Beasley Browne, who then in the 1930s sold to E.T. Davis and A.J. Curry, and the name changed to St Andrews School.

This tiny preparatory school was destined to lose 17 of its former pupils in the Great War. Staff and pupils attended St Martin's Parish Church, and to honour the fallen of the war, a memorial to old boys lost was erected within the church. The names of the fallen engraved in wood are shown here.

Upland House School photograph July 1910
Upland House School photograph July 1910

The pupils at the school came from far and wide, so their only link with Epsom would have been their education at Upland House School. However, Walter Hampton was local and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard, Ewell and also appears on the Dipping Well and the St Mary's Ewell Memorials.

Commencing in 1902, at the end of the year the school produced a small magazine called 'ANNUAL RECORD', about the school and its achievements. The front covers of the magazine all conformed to the same format, the 1908 front cover being reproduced here.

Upland House Magazine Cover1908The Headmaster George Burgess was obviously very proud of his school and its pupils, maintaining links with 'old boys' for many years, often publishing their addresses, achievements, marriages and the birth of their offspring. The 'ANNUAL RECORD' also published the names of all the boys attending school that year, lists of awards and prizes given to boys for excellent work and for trying their hardest and reaching their own potential. An interesting insight into the ethos of the school comes from the section listing the names of boys who were "SENT UP 'FOR GOOD'". Quoting from the magazine, being "SENT UP 'FOR GOOD'" is defined as follows:
NOTE.-A boy is sent up 'for good' when he has done his best, according to his powers, during the fortnight, and has had no complaint made against him.
Thus a pupil did not necessarily need to be brilliant at a particular skill to be praised, but he had to have done 'his best'. An incentive to all to reach their potential.

The Territorial Army had been introduced on 1 April 1908, and another interesting insight comes from the Headmaster's introduction to the 1908 edition, the final paragraph reading as follows:
I am glad to say that nearly all my Old Boys join their School Cadet Corps when they go to the Public Schools, and I have had proof of the advantage derived from the drill and shooting learnt here. At a time when recruits are wanted for the Territorial Army, I hope Upland House boys will come to the front in showing an example of unselfish patriotism.

With best wishes,
     Yours very truly,
                     GEO. F. BURGESS.

Later editions reveal the realities of war listing the Old Boys who had been killed, wounded, were missing or taken prisoner, or had received an award for bravery. The Headmaster's introduction to the 1918 edition is reproduced here in full:
Laus Deo.

At last our Righteous Cause has triumphed. Our Crusaders have not fought and suffered and died in vain.

Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory. Gratitude, undying gratitude, to the men who have wielded the sword of victory, Pro Deo, Pro Patria, Pro Nobis: All honour to the officers of the Navy and Army who have tempered and edged the sword, for it is true to say of the Army as one of our old boys said of the Navy:--"It is that extraordinary sense of comradeship between officers and men that is the backbone of the Navy."

On that wonderful 11th November two thoughts stood out and filled our minds; thankfulness that at last the hearts of parents were relieved from the nightmare of anxiety; deep, deep, sympathy with the bereaved.

I hope soon to form a small Committee of parents and old boys to consider the question of a permanent memorial of the fallen. My niece, Miss Gretel Hunt, is designing a board for the names to be placed in the Dining Room, but I suggest that a permanent memorial should find a place in the Parish Church.

We are proud, indeed, of our Roll of Honour, and one knows that the Honours are only samples, and many acts of heroism have gone unrecognised. For example no greater heroism has been shown than that of A.C. Barton, 16th Middlesex Regt., who fell at Loos. Left for many hours under shellfire with a smashed thigh-bone, he crawled about and gave water and aid to others more helpless than himself. Though of weak physique he got himself accepted and enlisted as a Private in the Public Schools Battalion. If he had lived a few days longer he would have received his Commission.
The activities of our boys have been various, and carried on in strange and varied spots.

A.H. Danby was in charge of the signalling station on the Mount of Olives, and afterwards took part in the big cavalry drive, and C.C. Courtney-Lewis is Resident Political Officer in the Garden of Eden!

R.B. Deedes was officer of the watch in the Queen Elizabeth when the German Admiral was received by Admiral Beatty to arrange for the surrender of the German Fleet, and J.H. Edelsten in the Champion directed manoeuvres of the first flotilla of thirty destroyers who met and shepherded the surrendering Destroyers to their anchorage in the Firth of Forth.

Mervyn Reeves' list of services are worthy of mention as typical of the activity and versatility of our New Army. Sept. 1914, enlisted as Private in the Hon. Artillery Company, and served in France and Belgium from Sept. 1914 to Feb. 1915 (invalided home with trench fever). April 1915 to July 1915, at Gallipoli (wounded in head and ankle); Oct. 1915 to Feb. 1916, Adjutant to O.T.C. Bedford; Feb. 1916 to April 1918, Recruiting Officer, Bristol; April 1918 to Aug. 1918, Legal Adviser, Ministry of National Service, Bristol; August 1918 Assistant-Director of National Service, Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

And now with full and grateful hearts we send you greetings.


The following was printed in the Epsom Advertiser dated 1 October 1920:
To Those Who Fell
Past and present members of Upland House Boys School, Epsom, and their friends assembled at the Parish Church on Tuesday afternoon to witness the dedication of a large screen in the chancel in memory of seventeen old scholars who fell in the war. There were special hymns, the Rev. F. S. Farebrother recited part of the burial service and the Vicar, the Rev. W. Bainbridge Bell, read the verses from Revelations 21. Canon Hunter, the Rural Dean, dedicated the screen "To the glory of God and in loving and proud memory of the former scholars of Upland House, Epsom, who gave their lives on our behalf in the Great War" and afterwards addressed the gathering on the meaning of the sacrifice that their men had willingly made and on their thankfulness for victory. He need not remind them how more than ever necessary was the life of every Christian in order that the dear old country might be reconstructed and the world which seemed upside down put right side up.
Click on a name
Details of the Upland House School memorial screen
To read more about an individual please click on their name.
Photograph courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2010

Alison,LH Barton, EC Crewdson, TW Carter-Wood, JA Dickinson, FA Forest, CE Feild, JF Harrison, CH Hampton, W Herron, KC Hussey, CF Kite, RB Murray, CW Pearson, EH Saumarez, RS Turner, HC Willson, EB

This article was researched and written by Clive Gilbert with assistance from Margaret Bower

School Magazine Cover image courtesy of Surrey History Centre © 2010