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Former pupils & staff


From time to time, both the Association and the College get requests for help in tracing former pupils / possible former pupils. We're happy to do what we can but the Association holds no resource other than the collective memories of our Members.

If you want to try, then please send an email to the web manager. We'll put the mail up
verbatim, and will create a link to your own email address. Sorry, we cannot offer anonymity or mailboxes.


Here's the first "looking for" and although the story is somewhat sad, at least it has a successful outcome to the question.

Our secretary, Nick Williams, received an email from a Mr Ray Millard in Bridgwater.

Dear Sir, I wonder if you could help me, please find out further information regarding the above person who it is believed to have been a pupil at the school. A friend of mine is very interested in family history and would welcome information about Dan.

So far I have been unsuccessful in tracing him in the RAF and I wonder if his name is on the School's Roll of Honour? Thank you very much.

The question came to me to put up on the website. I've a keen interest in Genealogy, especially when crossing over to military aviation and I dug around myself, to no avail. I replied to Ray and asked him a couple of questions about Dan. Ray replied to say that Peter May, who left the School in 1934 and is now 91, had been in contact to say that "Dan" was actually "R H" May, and that he was still keen to learn more about Dan, believing that Dan was an RAF pilot who had died in the WW2, grave unknown. Armed with this new information, I was able to discover that Reginald Hubert May had left the school in 1929 and had indeed joined the RAF. Sadly, he had indeed been posted as Killed In Action on 3rd September 1941. He and his Wellington crew, of 214 (FMS) Sqn RAF, had crashed into the sea near the French coast, during a mission to Frankfurt. Far from having no known grave, Flt Lt May and several of the crew lie buried in Dunkirk town cemetery, France. Dan was 28.

If you can add to the story here, please do contact Ray Millard directly.


This time, the request went directly to the college and Janie Norman there involved the OHA in her search.
Dear Staff, I'm in the process of tracing my family tree, and I'm looking for a Bruce Robert Schmidt who went to a Taunton school sometime between WWI and WWII. He was my father. At around this time his family changed their name from Schmidt to Munro-Smith. I wonder if you would be so kind as to check the records and let me know if my father attended Huish back in thos days. He was born in 1911 in Bideford, Devon. Thank you for any help with this. Regards, Allan Munro-Smith Sydney, Australia

Born in 1911 makes Bruce 100 years old this year, and I suspect there is little chance of a successful outcome here -but you never know. If you can shed light, please do email Allan directly.


Here's an email from Geoff Norway - yet again, in Australia. Hello, Would any members of your Association know of, or have memories of, husband and wife teachers Mr & Mrs Rutt who taught at the school in the 1950’s, possibly before then and after. They both taught me (1953 – 1956). Mr Rutt taught mathematics. I believe their names were Cyril and Hilda. I’m interested because I know a possible family connection to Cyril Rutt. Kindest Regards, Geoffrey Norway

Presumably Cyril is "Ginger" Rutt... and if so, I should imagine there are plenty of memories that could be shared with Geoff. Contact him directly, please.


I received this in November 2011:
"Hi, I am looking to re-connect with my old friend Brian Chandler, he attended Huish's School in and around 1960-66. He then moved to Glastonbury/Wells then on to the Birmingham area and his parents moved to the Burnham on sea/Highbridge area. That's where I lose trace. I would be delighted if I could find him, any help would be greatly appreciated.

This was a message from Chris Fisher and his email address suggests a Canadian connection.


A young lady has recently (January 2012) written to the web site concerning her Grandfather, Joseph Francis Xavier Giorgio, born in Malta. Other than he died - in Australia - recently, I as yet have no other information than he may have a link to the school. Any bells ringing?

Looking for (6)

The website has been contacted by David Patten, who is writing a book about North Curry. He is especially trying to establish a link between Kathleen Tacchi-Morris and former Huish's pupil Michael Somes. He hopes that Members of the Association, who may be aware of Michael, or of his life, may be able to help.

David has anecdotal evidence that Michael was born in North Curry in 1917, whilst several websites state Michael was born in Horsley, Glos. Regardless, several North Curry residents recalled him being pushed around in his pram in the village. He presumably went to Huish's from 1928 > 1933 : he certainly appears as a "Prominent Old Huisher" in Gordon Baker's opus. Leaving Huish's, he was awarded the first scholarship for boys given by what was then the Vic-Wells Ballet School (later to become Sadlers Wells) in 1934. Michael was Margot Fonteyn's long term dance partner.
Michael was made a CBE in 1959and was Roy Plomley's castaway in 1960. He died in London in 1994, aged 77.

David tells us that the new SCC Heritage Centre holds a programme for "A dancing matinée at The Lyceum Theatre by the pupils of Miss Hayward, in aid of the Taunton and Somerset Hospital and the Somerset Association for Mental Welfare on 25 April, 1928" which contains a picture of a young Michael aged 11. There is a great deal on the internet about Michael.

So far as Michael's early years are concerned, David holds the following information.

Michael's mother Ethel lived briefly at White Street Farm in North Curry around 1911. Michael's father Edwin is recorded in the 1911 census as staying there and Ethel & Edwin were married in N Curry church in 1912. Edwin was a professional musician, an organist, and Ethel was a teacher at Huish's in East Reach. Huish Old Boy Dennis Calvert certainly recalls being taught by her. In the late 1930's, she may have run her own school in East Coombe House (or possibly Beulah), Holway Avenue.

Kathleen Tacchi-Morris came to N Curry in the late 1930s, some time after Michael had left the area. Kathleen is far too well known for this website to need to describe her accomplishments and legacy - but she did run a dance school. Michael came to North Curry often after the war and, coincidence or not, one would imagine that two such high-profile ballet enthusiasts in a small village would have made some connection, but where and how at present remains unknown.

Finally, and unconnected, David's son Sean Patten attended Huish 20+ years ago and played the lead in "A Day in the death of Joe Egg".

David may be contacted here.


An email came to us from Annabel Caple the other day.

She is interested "… in finding out a little more about Tommy Tate whom believe was the Deputy Head at Huish Grammer School around the 1935-1940 time.

He was my great grandfather. My father was Peter Tate, also a pupil at Richard Huish from 1937 - -1942 , who passed away in 2003 so sadly is no longer here to ask these questions.

I read from one of your memoirs (Frederick Grummitt) that Tommy Tate was a drawing and woodwork master which may indicate he was not the deputy head.

I would be really interested to find out more about my great grandfather and father's lives at school, and would welcome any feedback anyone may have.

I look forward to hearing from you."

Readers may click here to email Annabel directly.

Accessing Gordon Baker's "History", I came across this short mention.

In 1914, ..."Mr Tate became Head of the Junior School, now growing quickly in numbers from the age of 7 upwards, his salary also being increased by £10 per annum" In 1918, his salary was again raised by £10, now to £200 a year.


I had an email from a lady in Australia recently:

"After a bit of searching I've coming across this website and hope you can help me. I bought a book, "Grimm's Fairy Tales" at a market about 5 years ago. It was an old, worn book that was missing the back cover. I kept It, and recently delved into finding out a little more about it.
I live in Brisbane, Australia so you tell my surprise when I found the school that has its emblem pressed into the front was in the UK. Upon opening the front cover, there is a slip of paper glued onto the first page. It is still quite readable, although it is among water marks and staining.

It says,
Huish Grammar School, Taunton.
Form 2
I. Daniels
Prize For English
Arnold Goodlife, (headmaster)
Midsummer 1919

Above and below that, someone has written in pencil and blue pen;
" Presented, speech day at Lyceum Theatre.
By the Minister of Education, The Duchess of Atholl."

" 11years old

School Motto, Spe Certain Quid Melius
(What is more certain than sure hope) "

Like I said, the book isn't in great condition, but it is readable and has lead me here! Anything you could tell me about it would be wonderful."

I Daniels woudl be 105 now and so we're unlikely to discover anything of him, but as ever any light shed woudl be warmly appreciated.


Are you TONY JOHNSON? Do you know or are you in contact with Tony? He left Huish Grammar School in 1960 and joined the Army, No 15 Entry at Welbeck College.
Christopher Urquhart, a fellow member of that intake is attempting to trace him.


STEVE LAMBDEN emailed the OHA in May 2015 - "I'm hoping you can help me. I'm trying to find information about my father Kenneth John Lambden who was at Huish Grammar School in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He went onto Oxford University as part of the air training squadron and flew Spitfires in the Second World War with 208 Squadron."

If any readers have recollections of Kenneth, please click here to email Steve directly.

SOPHIE ABSON emailed us in March, saying "Hello, I'm looking for a former pupil who left 1963/1964 called James Ward or James Guyton Ward. He used to be friends with my grandad David Evans and it would be lovely to reunite my grandad with James! Thank you! "

TONY PRIDDLE emailed all the way from Oz :

Just by sudden spontaneous curiosity I decided to look up Huish's. I was a pupil there in the 60's and I have lived in Australia since 1965. The photograph you display in 3 sections is the same as the school picture I still have! I can name most of the staff, and most of the boys I knew.

The woodwork master (who I never heard referred to as 'Abdul'!) was Mr. Benetto or Beneto. A good man, and I still use those basic skills I learned. Interestingly, David Hembrow, the champion swimmer who was a close friend of mine for a while, and is in front of Head Master Peel-Corbin, is also in the first photo, 3rd row from bottom, second from left - I have never noticed this in the actual photograph I have! It is of course made with a slowly rotating camera, with subjects holding positions. It would be possible to duck ahead after the camera has moved on. I knew the boy could swim, but I did not know he had made the Olympics….almost 50 years on, I'm proud of you David.
Ray Handford, howver, refutes the "appeard twice" theory, saying "In fact he only appears once 'in front of the Head Master'. The person identified as '3rd row from the bottom, second left' on the far left of the photo is in fact Tony Payne. In the school photo there is a resemblance. Tony is sitting next to the late Nicky Jennings on his right and Michael Rawlings on his left - all in the same class. Tony Payne played football on leaving school as a professional for Taunton Town."

I would of course so love to hear from any of those guys I knew; Jamie Markham, Alan Castro, Alan Rouse, Roger Curtis, Lionel Chillcott, David Hart, David Gorham, David Hembrow, Brian Murless, John Pridmore: I have forgotten none of you!

Mr Aggrell stands out as a teacher who was commited, compassionate, and effective. There was another Art teacher I think who I can't find in this picture, and who's name I can't recall, but who did offer encouragement in the direction I took, which was Visual Arts.

Tony Goodwin was my name then (Anthony Richard Goodwin in full.) However that was an adoption name from when my mother re-married in 1958, and in the 1970's I changed it back to my father's name, which is as it appears on my birth certificate, and below

Very Best Regards from
Anthony Priddle

Contactable via website: www.apriddle.net.au. email: priddle.tony@optusnet.com.au

The Website received this email a few weeks ago -
Hi. I am writing a mini biography on Roy Smith which will feature in a forthcoming book on Somerset cricketers. Unfortunately, Roy is unable to help me with the task as he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I would be surprised if anyone remembers him as a pupil at Huish's (1940/41 to c 1944) but I would be grateful for some assistance with piecing together his career as a teacher. I believe he started at Huish's around the time I went there in 1957 and I remember he was my form master in my second year. As I left before the change to Richard Huish's College can anybody tell me what
became of him? Did he remain with the College? When did he retire? Roy's wife Mary (Ginger Rutt's daughter) died in 1992, was Roy still a teacher at that time? Was anything written of him on his retirement in the school mag?
The request comes to us from Barry Phillips - click to contact him directly.

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