Mr Herbert The Headmaster - Dacious
Mr. Herbert

The original Ancient Mariner, complete with wooden leg, this octogenarian was our beloved headmaster and scripture teacher, not that we took any notice of his religious education, we were more interested in his wooden leg and his huge nose which always seemed to be full of massive bogies hanging on to his nasal hair.

I recall once when he was sat on my desk which was at the front of the class as usual so he could keep an eye on me, I suddenly felt wet on my trousers, looking down I realised that it had come from our headmasters leg, his catheter must have overflowed, being in awe of him I kept quiet until the end of the lesson, whilst I was leaving the classroom at the end of the lesson he noticed my trousers were wet, briskly whisked me of to his office and caned me for being a disgusting boy. As Clive says it was always the victim who was punished.

His most famous episode was the fight with Mr. Milward; I remember it slightly different to Clive so I will recount my memories of that fateful day.

Milly was in one of his fitful technical drawing trances, he was not to be seen behind the cloud of chalk dust he always managed to create whenever he was drawing on the blackboard like some destroyers smoke screen in the second world war, his tongue at this stage had started its interminable wandering around the right hand side of his face. He took absolutely no notice of us as usual, and carried on with his fetish drawing engineering blueprints on the board, in fact why were we there in the first place, in his opinion just to annoy and interrupt him.

We were as usual messing about behind his back and he turned round and caught Ian Woolley twisting Neil Kays ears from his head. At this stage he would normally throw the blackboard rubber at the perpetrator but in his right hand was the blackboard setsquare almost 3 feet long, and made from solid wood, he launched this at Woolley and it shot across the classroom like a Greek Olympians javelin, and buried itself into Woolleys forehead.

Everybody went quiet for a split second, seeing the blood pumping out of our classmates head and the setsquare still lodged in his skull.

Woolley, not to be outdone picked up his compass and opened it up and threw it across the classroom straight at Mr. Milward, who promptly took evading action and ducked. The compass buried itself in the blackboard and at this stage our Headmaster Mr. Herbert came in to the classroom, after seeing the blood running down Woolleys head and the compass hitting the blackboard with such force inches away from Mr. Milward, he exclaimed..

"What the hell is going on here?"

"It was Woolleys fault he started it didnt he boys?"; shouted Mr. Milward.

As if a teacher could expect our support after almost killing one of us.

"It was him sir, Mr. Milward threw it at him for nothing"

"You did what, have you lost your mind?"

Had he just realised that? Must have been dafter than we thought, we knew it from the first day we met him!

"You have lost your mind for listening to these bloody idiot, in fact you're a bloody idiot aswell" retorted Mr. Millward.

Mr. Herbert had had enough and lunged across the classroom on his wooden leg and smacked Milly in the solar plexus, Milly crouched in pain and grabbed on to the Heads leg on his way to the floor, well not exactly, because he grabbed the wooden leg which meant the head had to fall with him to ensure his leg did not come away from his stump, as being made of solid oak it would have been difficult to replace it. The skirmish carried on, on the classroom floor, much to our delight. What with Dacious trying to fight whilst trying to ensure his leg did not come adrift, and Kenny still covered in chalk dust and his tongue whipping out periodically it was an amazing thing to witness. Eventually Jack Ripon came in after hearing us shouting.


Jack grabbed the head and extracted him from the classroom, leg and all, then Mr. Grant came in and took Milly away, and the school nurse came in and took Woolley away.

What an episode, if I was writing a book nobody would believe it, but it all happened, in fact later at lunch they started again and had to be separated once more by other members of the staff.

Just another day at The Graham Sea Training School for Boys....

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