August 15th 1920

There are always sad farewells at the end of the Summer Term, not only to the boys, but also the staff. We are very sorry to be losing Mr. Bye.

Capt. Walter Bye

Mr Bye joined the staff in 1914, but on the outbreak of war he joined the University and Public Schools Brigade of the Royal Fusiliers. After his training with them, he took up a commission with the Royal West Surreys. He returned to us at the OPS last year as Capt. Bye DSO MC and he has shown himself to be an excellent schoolmaster and housemaster. He has taken the top mathematical set during the year, and has carried out some systematic science teaching, with most satisfactory results.

General Science lessons have been given on Thursday evenings to the boys in the upper part of the School, and I think this innovative action in the School curriculum has been quite justified, in spite of the fact that some boys have missed a small amount of Classical Prep!

That some form of Scientific teaching is necessary is to my mind a settled fact. It can, at least, cater to some extent for the intense natural curiosity about ‘things of everyday’ with which these boys of 12-14 come into constant and immediate contact. It can also attempt to give them some slight appreciation of the greatness of Science in modern life, and to give them some idea of what the great men of Science have done for everybody’s comfort and health. The pre-existing state of affairs has been that boys are well able to write five lines or so on such historical celebrities as Lambert Simnel, Perkin Warbeck etc, but not one line could they have supplied on such men as Galileo, Faraday, Newton, Kelvin or Crookes

The following are some of the subjects with which Mr Bye has dealt in broad outline: the Atmosphere and Atmospheric Pressure, Water, Combustion, some of the fundamental principles of Electricity and Magnetism, Radio-activity, Liquid Air, X-rays and the Solar System.

Mr Bye has been appointed Headmaster of Thame Grammar School, and we wish him good luck.

August 7th 1920

As the summer edition of the ‘Draconian’ is assembled and I come to the examinations section, I recall that there may be a number of you interested in the the results of the English Literature Paper set by Frank Sidgwick towards the end of term.

He duly furnished us with the marks (out of 100) which ranged from 85-21. The joint winners were JM Huggins & Isabel Fausset-Farquhar (85%) with J Betjemann (75%) third.

For those of you who attempted the paper at home, here are some of the answers:

1 (a) Charles Kingsley (b) Erskine Childers (c) Rudyard Kipling (d) Alfred Lord Tennyson (e) Sir Walter Scott (f) Charles Dickens  (g) William Blake (h) John Masefield (i) Edward Fitzgerald (j) George Chapman.

2 (a) ‘The Pickwick Papers’ – Charles Dickens (b) ‘Kidnapped’ – Robert Louis Stevenson (c) ‘Peter Pan’ – JM Barrie (d) ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ – WS Gilbert (e) ‘Hiawatha’ – HW Longfellow.

6 (a) And never brought to mind,/Should auld acquaintance be forgot/For the sake of Auld Lang Syne? (Robert Burns, ‘Auld Lang Syne‘) (b) ‘All things both great and small,/For the dear God who loveth us,/He made and loveth all’. (S. T. Coleridge, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’) (c) The captains and the kings depart:/Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,/An humble and a contrite heart. (Kipling, ‘Recessional) (d) A thing of shreds and patches,/Of ballads, songs and snatches,/And dreamy lullaby (W. S. Gilbert, ‘The Mikado’).

Frank Sidgwick also provided these comments regarding answers to the other more general questions:

“The paper was not so much a test of knowledge of the facts of English Literature as an attempt to probe general literary intelligence and thought: this was particularly the purpose of questions 3, 4, and 5 which gave scope for the display of literary history, and the comparison of ancient and modern literatures…

In question 3 most showed good sense, but this was often nullified by bad expression… Isabel, Betjemann and Vernon did particularly well.

Question 4 was rather a disappointment in the result. Nearly everyone proposed to ask Shakespeare whether he wrote his own plays, and which he thought his best play. Burton suggested asking him what he thought of the OPS performances, and others had original ideas; but on the whole the opportunity was missed. Somebody ought to note that that Elysian Fields do not mean the Champs-Élysées.”