News headlines – October 2014

21 Oct 2014  –  Piers O'Conor named in England U20 rugby squad
17 Oct 2014  –  Tom Lewis memorial rugby match
15 Oct 2014  –  Derek Granger: Brideshead Revisited and More
15 Oct 2014  –  Christopher Kirk-Greene
10 Oct 2014  –  'Taking Command' by Lord Richards published
4 Oct 2014  –  Ian Mortimer (Wargrave 1980–85) at the Appledore Book Festival
3 Oct 2014  –  The annual London business lunch

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21 October 2014 - Piers O'Conor in England under 20 rugby squad

Piers O'Conor (Gonville 2009–13) has been named in the England Under 20 rugby squad.

The 32-man group will compete in the Under 20 Six Nations Championship in the New Year, with the first match against Wales on Saturday 7 February 2015.

They then head to Italy to defend their IRB Junior World Championship trophy in June.

Earlier in the year Piers signed a two-year contract, which started on 1 August 2014, with London Wasps Rugby Club as a player in their Senior Academy, one of six players who progressed from the Junior Academy.

In December 2012 he was picked to play for the Ireland U19 rugby squad in their international match against the Australian U19 team at the Ravenhill Stadium in Belfast.

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17 October 2014 - Tom Lewis memorial rugby match

On Friday 17 October, the whole school was on College Field to support The Tom Lewis Memorial Rugby Match.

A team of young OEs, pictured, took on the 1st XV in memory of Tom Lewis, a Lower Sixth pupil in Craig House who died in April 2014.

Throughout the match, pupils, staff and other spectators helped raise monies from cake sales (made by pupils), programme sales, shirt bids and donations. 

Over £4,000 was raised and all proceeds will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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15 October 2014 - Derek Granger: Brideshead Revisited and More

Derek Granger visited the College to give a talk in the Birley Centre on Brideshead Revisited, the 1981 television serial of which he was the executive producer. Derek, an Old Eastbournian, was in Powell House from 1935 to 1939. He was also a producer of Coronation Street  in its early days, as well as being a journalist and scriptwriter. 

We were also pleased to welcome Anthony Andrews (Sebastian Flyte), who opened the evening with an account of how he got involved with the production, and Nickolas Grace (Anthony Blanche) who joined us later with reminiscences of his own.

Using clips from the series, Derek told the behind-the-scenes story of its production, which took two-and-a-half years, being interrupted by an ITV strike at one point. It also had to be put on hiatus for a few months when Jeremy Irons was unavailable after being cast in The French Lieutenant's Woman.

Luckily Granada Television had the financial resources to keep the production going, with the company executives having enough faith in Derek and his team to produce what has since become recognized as one of the greatest television dramas of all time.

After a question-and-answer session with the audience, there was a drinks reception in the Birley Centre foyer.

Pictured are, left to right,  Anthony, Derek and Nickolas.

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15 OCTOBER 2014 - Christopher Kirk-Greene

The funeral of Christopher Kirk-Greene was held on the morning of Wednesday 15 October, followed by a Service of Thanksgiving at the College Chapel at 12.30pm.

Christopher, who was a member of the College teaching staff from 1949 to 1986, died peacefully in Eastbourne on Tuesday 23 September, aged 88.

He studied French at Christ Church, Oxford, and was Head of Modern Languages for 16 of his 37 years at the College, between 1962 and 1978. He was also Master in Charge of Tennis for 22 years, and made a great contribution to the development of fencing during his time at the school. He later became a member of the Devonshire Society.

On his retirement in 1986, the Eastbournian magazine commented: 'Christopher is a gentleman in the real sense of the word, and his gentle, warm nature won him respect and friendship from pupils and colleagues alike. Also, his knowledge of the French language was vast, and pupils were indeed lucky to be taught by a man of his expertise.'

Following the Chapel service a reception was held at the Birley Centre, at which a book of condolence was available for guests' contributions. We had also received many emails and letters from Old Eastbournians and former members of staff who were unable to join us on the day. Their comments have also been added to the condolence book, which has been passed to Christopher's brother Anthony.

A full obituary for Christopher will appear in the forthcoming edition of The Old Eastbournian magazine.

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10 October 2014 - Taking Command by Lord Richards published

The autobiography of David Richards (Wargrave 1965–70), General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux GCB CBE DSO DL, has been published.

Taking Command is the story of Lord Richards' career of over forty years in the army, in which he served in the Far East, Germany, Northern Ireland and East Timor. He was the last Governor of Berlin's Spandau Prison, when Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, was its sole prisoner. In 2005 he was appointed Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in Afghanistan and as commander of NATO forces became the first British General to command US Forces in combat since the Second World War.

In 2000, Richards won acclaim when he brought together a coalition of forces in Sierra Leone to stop the ultra-violent Revolutionary United Front from attacking the capital, Freetown. In so doing he ended one of the bloodiest civil wars to bedevil the region. He did so without the official sanction of London, and failure could have cost him his career.

As Chief of the Defence Staff between 2010 and 2013 he advised the government during the crises and interventions in Libya and Syria and oversaw the controversial Strategic Defence and Security Review.

His story reflects the changing reality of life for the modern soldier over the last forty years and offers unprecedented insight into the readiness of our military to tackle the threats and challenges we face today.

'Not the usual dry treatise on the use of force, his memoir is a highly readable account from someone involved in all the key theatres of our recent history' (The Sunday Times) 

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4 October 2014 - Ian Mortimer (Wargrave 1980–85) at the Appledore Book Festival

The historian Ian Mortimer (Wargrave 1980–85) gave a talk about his new book Centuries of Change at the Appledore Book Festival in Devon on Saturday 4 October.

By coincidence, David Blake from the Eastbournian Society was in Appledore that day and had a chance to speak with Ian, who kindly signed a copy of the book to be presented to the Learning Resources Centre at the College.

Ian's history books include biographies and the popular Time Traveller's Guides. In June 2013 he presented a three-part BBC2 television series based on his guide to Elizabethan England.

He also writes poetry and songs, as well as fiction under the pen name James Forrester.

Ian had hoped to see Euan Clarke, his history teacher at Eastbourne, at the recent OE reunion but unfortunately Euan was unable to attend as planned.

However, seeing Euan's name badge on the day prompted Ian to write this tribute to 'An Extraordinary History Master' on his website, which we would happily recommend.

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3 October 2014 - The annual London business lunch

Fino's Restaurant in Mayfair was once again the venue for the London business lunch for members of the Eastbournian Society.

This annual event brings together Old Eastbournians, parents and members of staff in an informal atmosphere where business acquaintances can be made and younger OEs can discuss career options and build a network of useful contacts.

The lunch is just one of a number of networking events offered by the Eastbournian Society. For more details, please see our Networking page.

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