DWS Changes from 1939 - 45

When my parents took me to see the school in the summer of 1939 and have tea with Miss Nightingale, there were girls playing lacrosse on the Headmistress' lawn, housemaids in green/grey uniform darting around. The school motto had recently been changed from, "Honour before Honours" to a more utilitarian and modern, "Ardua Semper".

These changes were soon overtaken by world events. There was an influx of girls and staff from more vulnerable parts of the U.K. e.g. an ex BBC employee who taught elocution and attempted to modify our lilting Welsh accents, a native French teacher [much harder to understand!] and so on.

In my entry form, I remember two sisters who arrived from Beadles School, one became famous as the wife of Kingsley Amis and mother of Martin. A good friend arrived from Malaya where her Father had been imprisoned by the Japanese. She eventually returned by ship and convoy to join her Mother in Australia. We even sheltered a whole school from Kent, briefly.

As our individual war efforts, we went picking stones off fields at Staylittle Farm near Pen, and sphagnum moss for the Red Cross among other efforts.

There were, however benefits for us. As London theatres were closed, there were excellent touring companies. I remember seeing Sybil Thorndyke and Lewis Casson in Macbeth. French Resistance fighters and Russian specialists talking about their respective countries, both then allies as well as much local musical talents, it was a very varied time

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  • Uploaded by:Anonymous
  • Approximate date of item:
    From: -- - 1939
    To: -- - 1945
  • Location:Dolgellau
  • County:Merioneth
  • Creator:Glenys Davies
  • Related Story:
  • Themes:Pupil experience  

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