ADVANTAGES

Hamish Drummond asks about the school trip to Germany in the late 30's and it's reporting in the school newsletter ....... I cannot help I'm afraid ........ Roland Birch was my form-master in 2c and 3C (1939-4O and 1940-41) ...... it was unusual I understand for a class to retain it's form master when moving upward through the school ....... we all felt at the time that Birch had prevailed on the Head to allow him to carry on with us as he was trying , we believed, to inculcate a spirit of "leadership" in certain selected boys .... those who in Birch's opinion most closely fit the Hitler Youth mould that he so much admired ...... I am happy to say that I was not one of the elect ......... in normal classroom activities Birch gave no sign of his political and social leanings ....... however he was always ready to let us review pictures of the school outing to Germany ........ one of the most notorious pictures ....... and the one that may have contributed to his subsequent incarceration under Regulation 18B ...... was of Birch, in lederhosen, atop some sort of dais with his right arm outstretched in a Nazi salute ........ when Birch was marched off to clink we took it all in stride ........ we were by then accustomed to male teachers disappearing into HM Forces ( and some, even returning briefly in uniform ( Dave Crowley e.g.)) so Birch's departure was just one more wartime anomaly .............. if the green book that Hamish is seeking turns up I hope that we may all have the opportunity of seeing parts of it in the OGA magazine.

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