John D. Timmins

John D. Timmins

Sheffield House was my home when I joined Kingham Hill School back in September 1957. Just to give you some social history a time line in English hisatory that was in fact just four years after Queen Elizabeth 1st. was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

operation deadstick 1Use photo operation_deadstick_1

'Operation Deadstick' which was the codename used for the opening gambit of operation Overlord that was the Allied invasion of Northern Europe in to Normandy France on D-Day 6 June 1944.

This action was the spearhead of the Allied invasion by airborne forces and was an All British Affair.





  Sheffield House is 125 years old now in 2015.


Sheffield House was my home  when I  joined the school in those days the colour of our house tie that we had to wear on all days Monday to Saturday was a deep blood red. On Sundays we all wore our school ties in the school colours Oxford and Cambridge blue diagonal stripes.  


In that September of 1957 when I joined Mr. & Mrs. David and Audrey Gooding,were the house parents at Sheffield during my first term. In all of the houses boys slept in dormitories usually with up to twelve boys per dorm. The five most senior boys usually in their last year at school if they were not a school prefects or monitor they became a house prefect and would assist the house parents. I arrived at Sheffield and was greeted by the Gooding’s. The only other thing I remember from my first day was that evening after unpacking choosing the bed we wanted in the junior dorm then after evening prayers going up to bed. Five of us were new in Sheffield; two moved up from Plymouth and three of us new to the school. One of boys was crying, missing home his first night away, another boy started to tease him, making him even more embarrassed. I told him to stop it and leave him alone; well the banter degenerated to verbal challenges, so I got off my bed and went over and gave him a right cross on his nose. That gained his attention then half a dozen other boys joined in. In that fracas beds got turned over, pillow fights started, complete and utter mayhem. I recall hearing a door down stairs squeaking violently open, sounded like an air raid siren.


Like a bolt of lightning into the junior dorm came Mr. David Gooding, a well built man who stood about 5’ 10” tall, ex World War II RAF pilot who flew Catalina’s over the Atlantic hunting the U-Boats. On his entrance the mayhem became tranquil calm. Like a Bobby on the beat, Hello, Hello, what’s going on here? What’s all this fuss about, why are you out of bed, how did this start etc. etc ?


As no one else was forth coming so I admitted my part in that fracas. “Come with me, down stairs”  he instructed so we went into his study. Bend over touch and hold on to that radiator, I did.... and I was then introduced to Evil Edna, a size 11 carpet slipper. What some of us new boys had failed to grasp was the room directly under our dormitory was the Gooding’s living room. So when the ceiling was bouncing up and down due to beds being turned over he knew a riot was taking place. I was the example he was looking for that night, and I very quickly learnt. But I did win two or three friends on the occasion. Certainly the boys of Sheffield junior dorm knew I was no underdog at the bottom of the pecking order nor to be threatened or pushed around.


That sound of the Sheffield housemasters living-room door squeaking violently open, very clearly registered with me over the next five years as an alarm of imminent danger on future occurrences for some one. Any reader wishing to learn more about Sheffield House you can do so from the articles on this site at:-


Now celebrating our seventy-fifth birthday being born out of necessity in 1940.

Remembering that WWII was declared in September 1939, and it was from that British military disaster in the May and June 1940 the Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo . That is best summed up by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in his speech to the House of Commons that year in which he called the events in France "a colossal military disaster", saying that "the whole root and core and brain of the British Army" had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to perish or be captured. In his “We shall fight on the beaches speech” he hailed their rescue as a "miracle of deliverance". He also reminded the country: " We must be very careful not to assign this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations”.

The original crest was designed by The Rev. Horsefield (1935-1945). It is thought that Reginald Durrant also made a contribution to its design.

Research carried out into the original design has enabled the KHS Association to produce a reproduction of the school's crest. (See image right)Click for a larger image

The School Motto:


Translates as Unto a Perfect (or complete) Man. The words are from Ephesians 4 v13, and in more modern translations are rendered as to mature manhood.






Comparing the changes between the original design above and that worn by boys from the late fifties, through to the seventies, and at least early eighties, (shown on the right) it is evident the cross, crown and the letters KHS were depicted in gold.

In November 2006 the current school badge (shown below) was issued to our historian.

This is nearer to the original design by Rev. Horsefield.



Current school badge


We are grateful to Rev. Godfrey Nicholson BSc CTM MTh, who taught at KHS between 1973 and 1988, for this translation. In a letter to our historian the Rev. Nicholson also wrote that the words of our school's motto "are, of course, an excellent summary of the aims of Charles Baring Young and of Teddie Cooper (and many others). The spiritual, academic, cultural and physical aspects of each pupil were all important, and to neglect any was to do disservice to them".


Charles Edward Baring Young - Founder of Kingham Hill School

Born: 19th March 1850

Died: 22 September 1928

Attended Eton College May 1863 (Joynes House)

Went up to Trinity College Cambridge in the Michaelmas term of 1868.

Graduated with a B.A. degree Classical Tripos in 1872

Obtained an M.A. degree in 1876.

Called to the bar of the Inner Temple.

Charles Edward Baring Young


In September of 1883 he purchased the estates of Daylesford and Kingham Hill from R Nichol Byass, the Lord of the Manor. The estates consisted of 1,547 acres extending from the River Evenlode in the parish of Oddington, Worcestershire, to the Mill stream near the parish boundary of Churchill, Oxfordshire. It included the home of Warren Hastings, a well wooded park, five farms and land in Kingham.

C E Baring Young became member of Parliament for Christchurch, Hampshire in November 1885.

It was aslo during the first year of his entry into parliament that that first turfs were cut to begin the foundations of Durham House and other buildings. Construction work would last some thirty years.

Durham House now

It was in the late summer of the following year, 1886, that the first house was ready for occupation.

Our founder chose all the names of the houses; the first being Durham.

On the 14 September 1886, after a short service given by the Rector of Spitalfields, Durham House was commisioned and its first residents took up occupation.

C E Baring Young renounced his seat in the General Election of 1892 by not standing for the next parliament.

He retired to Daylesford, aged 42 years, to dedicate the remainder of his life the building of Kingham Hill.

Charles Young made it known very clearly that Kingham Hill was not an institution (he detested that word and all its attributes) but a home, above all a Christian home where love should guide, direct and rule.

To this end he appointed to each House a married couple to have the parental care of a family of some forty boys of all ages, and to these men and women the boys owed a great deal of their happiness.

Each Housemaster, in addition to his duties and responsibilities in the home, had charge of one of the trades and instructed the boys in the workshops.


CEBY at age 77

The Housemistress fulfilled the role of mother and nurse, supervised the domestic side of the home, taught the boys how to cook and prepare meals, and to mend and repair their clothes

Within the home a new boy soon became aware that he was one of a family and that his well-being and happiness mattered to every member of that family.

C E Baring Young always attended reunions of former pupils on the hill. The last one being the August reunion of 1928 known as the "Gathering of the Clans".

Sadly this last reunion taxed his strength and we know that he last visited The Hill on Wednesday 22 August 1928 (to Bradford House). He passed away on 22 September 1928.

Click on images to enlarge:


Memorial to C E Baring Young



A collection of photographs and memories about Kingham Hill School's Combined Cadet Force (CCF).




Recollections and images of KHS's Combined Cadet Force CCF

After school for one hour on Mondays and'or on Thursdays only.

The actual polytunnel was set up by the orginal group of Eco Warrior's and it has been producing vegetables since June 2010. This year (2011-2012) our volunteers have now started to develope this outside area adjacent to the polytunnel that is known as Area 51.

Spring becomes SummTunnel_Speechday_Smaller 2010

It was in the spring of this year, 2010 that my research took me to a college and a commercial enterprise who use Polytunnels as both teaching and commercial ventures. I did this to find out just what would be the best set up to suit the schools needs.

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