January 26th 1919

Kildare Dobbs, who in 1913 won a scholarship to St Columba’s College Dublin, writes from Dundrum in Ireland, having (thankfully) just escaped the clutches of the Great War:

“I joined the Dublin University OTC in December 1917, and was within four months of my commission. The WO won’t demobilise us yet, though I am trying to get my discharge.”

Kildare shares with us a sense of great loss at the deaths of two of the boys’ most popular masters. It was my habit to fine any boy late for breakfast a penny, and well do I remember the times Kildare recalls here:

“The OPS would hardly seem to me to be the same today without Mr Higginson and Mr Eastwood. They were the very life and soul of the Boarding House, and were ready for all the fun and mischief. I remember when Higgy came down to breakfast late, and Skipper would hand the money box to him amidst uproarious cheers. And once upon a time they were seen wrestling in the Common Room like a pair of schoolboys, and indeed they they weren’t very much more.

I really knew Higgy better, as I used to take music all the time I was there, and perhaps the fellows who thought of him as a theme for fun didn’t quite realise what a good earnest Christian he was, and how his energy and enthusiasm were all unconsciously the bulwark of the keenness of the School in all the projects in which he had a share.

For his (and others) loss I suppose the School will always mourn: the shadow will lift, but even time cannot entirely blot out the remembrance.

As the French proverb says, ‘Suffering passes; to have suffered abideth forever.’ 

And so it is.”

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