H T R Twyford

[Hector Thomas Rosely Twyford according to an unusually reliable source.]

Mr. Twyford came to the School in 1935 to take Junior School games, P.T., and general subjects. From August 1939 to August 1945 he served with the R.A.F., returning to K.E.S. in September 1945. From January 1946 to July 1947 he was Headmaster of the Junior School, and following its closure in that year he has taught French and Mathematics in the School for eighteen years. Mr. Helliwell writes:

"One of my earliest recollections of H.T.R.T. was shortly after the British Expeditionary Force returned from France after Dunkirk. He returned to the Common Room in Air Force uniform, his chest very squarely filling out the smooth grey cloth. Those were hectic days, and all were eager for first hand news. There had been much in the press about the "fifth column", the agents behind the lines, and H.T.R.T. mentioned how he had come across someone suspiciously signalling with a lamp, whom he threatened - perhaps some with a romantic idea of war and power were all attention for something dramatic: but H.T.R.T. gave us a quick glance and repeated his words - "I'll smash the lamp!".

Photo by G.M.

Now this story has been told as an example of the level-headed personality, for here also was the voice of the umpire and the schoolmaster, a character that did not shoot on suspicion.

And surely one of his major contributions to School life has been on the field in charge of first and second year games and Second XI cricket for many years. He had an uncanny eye for the outstanding player at a very early age, and it was quite remarkable how he could spot in a single afternoon a talent that later proved itself, taking particular delight in left arm slow bowlers. As coach and umpire he was as famed for his comments as his decisions, and always quite vociferous for Lynwood. To his credit are also several occasions as a player, including the Wesley College Centenary Match, and he last played soccer for the Staff XI in the early fifties.

Of his qualities as a schoolmaster one was very much aware of his painstaking thoroughness, of his essentially benevolent and genial authority coupled with the stubborn and rocklike persistence so frequently necessary for the guidance of youth. He presented a strong, dignified and fatherly figure, the memory of which will remain for a lifetime with those who came into contact with him.

It may not be every schoolmaster who is also a wise parent, but in this also he has proved consistent in good sense and judgement by perceiving that his son, a one-time pupil of the School, was naturally destined for an artistic career, now thoroughly justified by success as sculptor and lecturer. Indeed, it might well be that this ability bears some direct relationship to the family tradition from the potteries, where the highest craftsmanship and sound business were established by their forebears.

Of course he is missed in the Common Room, where he was so familiar, central to the pyramidal figure composition that hovered daily over the "Times" crossword puzzle. On his retirement last December the School gave him a very warm farewell and parting gift, since when he has received many written tokens from old boys of good memories on the games field. The Director of Education paid tribute to such long service by the gift of a certificate with a personal touch.

Only the other day I was enquiring my way "With your back to Mr. Twyford's Room, go straight forward " said a third-former. Mr. Twyford's Room! And as I glanced at the door I realised that, however Mr. Twyford is spending his well earned retirement, he is already one of the Great Benevolent Ghosts of K.E.S.

To him and Mrs. Twyford we send our warmest wishes for a long and happy retirement."

Mr. J. S. Fordham, Mr. Twyford's successor as Housemaster of Lynwood, adds the following tribute:

"In 1940 Mr. F. T. Saville, who was known by all in the School as "The Man", was succeeded as Housemaster of Lynwood by Mr. H. T. R. Twyford. He was certainly "the man" for the job. For twenty-six years, until his retirement, H.T.R.T. led Lynwood with the easy authority of a giant. Few school masters can ever have been more revered by their junior pupils, more respected by their senior students and more often remembered with genuine affection by those who  became their "former pupils". Lynwood House knew great achievements under his leadership, and in this day and age, when fine traditions, like high ideals, are so often derided by those who lack them, we of Lynwood House are proud of all that this great man has handed on."

[KES Mag Spring 66]

Hector T.R. Twyford was born in Longton, Staffordshire, in November 1900. His father was Rowley Twyford, a laundry manager, and his mother Daisy L. Twyford. His grandfather was Thomas Twyford, a pottery manager of Stoke-on-Trent. [Genealogy website; courtesy of P E Robinson]