On the first of July 1968, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery visited Winchester and renamed Winchester County Secondary School for boys to Montgomery of Alamein School.
It was a significant event as it was the only Montgomery of Alamein school in the world.
Brian Green from Chandler’s Ford was a teacher at the school and witnessed the historical event.
Today Brian sent me a “humorous little memory” below through his daughter Sarah Richardson to share with readers of Chandler’s Ford Today.
What’s in a name?
Lord Montgomery renaming Montgomery Of Alamein School, 1st July 1968
“The whole school was gathered, seated in rows of chairs on the grass in front of the main entrance. The sun was bright and warm and everyone was in a state of high excitement as we awaited the arrival of the wartime hero “Monty” who had agreed that the school could be re-named Montgomery of Alamein, thus becoming the only school in the entire world to bear that. ”
“It was a special moment for the headmaster, Dennis Beacham, for he had been an officer in Monty’s regiment during the war.”
“Anxiously we watched for Monty’s car to appear up the drive. The vehicle which chugged its way into sight was no spick and span car, but a corporation dust cart proudly bearing the maker’s name – DENNIS – across the front. Not quite what the headmaster had envisaged.”
By Brian Green, from Chandler’s Ford, former teacher of Montgomery of Alamein School in Winchester.
Sarah has shared the published stories about Montgomery of Alamein School with her father.
“Bob Ellis, the Geography teacher, was a great friend of Dad. They used to travel to school together each day. ”
“Needless to say, Dad really enjoyed reading these articles. He has also written another humorous little memory for you.”
By Brian Green’s daughter, Sarah Richardson
History of Montgomery of Alamein School
Kings’ School was formed in 1985 by the merging of the previous Winchester Girls’ Secondary Modern School otherwise known as Danemark, with the Winchester Boys’ Secondary Modern or Montgomery of Alamein School.
The first school to be built in Romsey Road was the Winchester County Secondary School for boys, a boys secondary school, opened on site in Romsey Road 1952. It was based on boys from St Thomas Secondary School in Mews Lane and the boys from the Winchester County Secondary School (previously Danemark), both closer to the town centre (URL27).
Mr Dennis Beacham was appointed headmaster of the new school in 1967. At the start of World War II he volunteered and was eventually commissioned as an infantry officer, serving with East Lancashire regiment, part of the 53 Welsh Division; with whom he saw action in Belgium, Holland, the crossing of the Rhine and the battles of the Reichwald and Hamburg. Following the war he returned to education and attended King’s College London, from where he graduated with a BA in history (URL28).
Mr Dennis Beacham arrived in Winchester in 1967 becoming the headmaster of ‘Winchester County Secondary School for boys’ and he quickly decided to rename the school Montgomery of Alamein. He approached Montgomery who agreed if ‘of Alamein’ was added to his name.
Montgomery opened the renamed school in 1968, on the anniversary of the battle of the Somne.
On 1st September 1984 Montgomery was combined with Danemark school. The combined school was called Kings’ School.
Information from Weeke local History – Kings’ School