PLJ

Share your memories of life at the RGS, stories of masters, etc.
User avatar
John Saunders
Site Administrator
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:08 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

PLJ

Postby John Saunders » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:14 pm

I had an email from the great-great-niece of Peter Lewis Jones who, whilst doing some family history, found a photo of him on the website (or it might have been Tony's website).

It took a few seconds for my brain to register that Peter Lewis Jones was the one and only PLJ! Hard to think of him having forenames, somehow. Even when Sam Morgan wrote a valedictory to him in the school mag in 1964, he was referred to only as PLJ.

Here's a picture of him being presented to the Queen in 1962...
Image

Left to right: ER Tucker (back to camera), HM Queen, ?? (governor?), Sam Morgan, W Clark, PLJ, W Watmough.

PLJ (Peter Lewis Jones) was born on 14 May 1892 (in West Wales) and died in the final quarter of 1970 (his death was registered in Amersham - the May 1971 Wycombiensian may have the exact date of death but I don't have access to a copy). So he was 24 when he started teaching at the school and 72 when he finally finished.

Anyone have any reminiscences of PLJ that they would like to share here?
Last edited by John Saunders on Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

User avatar
John Saunders
Site Administrator
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:08 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: PLJ

Postby John Saunders » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:11 am

I put Jennifer in touch with Tony Hare, who has now put up a very informative Pilgy page as a result. Well worth a look. If anyone has any Pilgy anecdotes, why not post them here?
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

User avatar
John Saunders
Site Administrator
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:08 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: PLJ

Postby John Saunders » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:41 pm

Here is the text of an email which Roy (RC) Jones (RGS 1951-59) has just sent me...
Roy Jones wrote:Hi John

Saw your bit about Pilgy and thought I would add my twopennorth though I suspect mine is a common story shared by many others. When you were due for a punishment (this was in my first year at RGS in the Uplyme classrooms - 1951 - 60 years!! ) you were sent to Pilgy for the appropriate punishment. Pilgy would offer you an array of weapons and you chose the instrument of your choice . There were several: I remember a thin cane, a much thicker one, a plimsoll, a thickish ruler ( a bit like the one Gag Grant used when he got frisky ) - there may have been more. Anyway, you were beaten with the weapon of your choice; most boys, including me, chose the thickish cane as it was quite heavy and didn't leave much of a mark on your arse afterwards. As I remember the beating was usually administered with a smile and a few words of advice. I remember the beatings but not the advice afterwards.

Roy (RC) Jones 1951 - 1959
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

User avatar
John Saunders
Site Administrator
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:08 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: PLJ

Postby John Saunders » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:21 pm

I was having another browse through John Comer's excellent book The Old Time and came across this passage relating to John Comer's first term at the RGS (in 1954):
John Comer, in The Old Time wrote:I found myself regularly being kept behind at lunchtime by Pilgy, Head of the Juniors, and having my ears pinged with elastic bands. Pilgy kept a tin of elastic bands in his desk drawer for precisely that purpose. He needed a whole tinful, he explained to me once, so that he had exactly the right size and thickness of elastic band for every boy and every occasion.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

Ian Tomes
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:50 am

Pilgi Jones

Postby Ian Tomes » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:17 pm

I have one distinct memory of 'Pilgi.' It would have been early 1952, during my first year at the RGS and when the first (and second?) years classrooms were in the grounds at Uplyme. Six classrooms, I recall, built round a central hall. It must have been quite soon after school started in the morning when we were all summoned, unexpectedly, from our classrooms into the Hall. Pilgi then, in a very emotional voice, told us that the King (George VI) had passed away that morning. I recall the absolute total silence that followed, before we returned very subdued to our classrooms. Apart from this my memory of Pilgi was of a fine man, very well respected and rather liked by the schoolboys.
Ian Tomes (1951-58) .

User avatar
John Saunders
Site Administrator
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:08 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: PLJ

Postby John Saunders » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:32 pm

Thanks to the kindness of Mervyn Darville, I now have a copy of the May 1971 Wycombiensian and it does have an obituary of PLJ.

Here is the link to the full issue: http://www.rgs.saund.co.uk/pdfs/viewer. ... ensian.pdf

Here is the relevant extract:

The Wycombiensian, May 1971 wrote:Mr. P. L. JONES (1916-64) [died] on December 22nd 1970, in Amersham Hospital, aged 78 years. Mr. Peter Lewis Jones was born in Carmarthenshire and educated at Carmarthen Grammar School. He gained his B.A. degree in Mathematics at Aberystwyth University College in 1913. He came to the Royal Grammar School in 1916. He served in the Artists’ Rifles from 1917 to 1919 and then returned to become resident assistant housemaster at School House under the Headmaster, Mr. G. W. Arnison. When he married in 1925 he left the boarding house but in addition to his teaching, he took on the job of Headmaster’s secretary and careers master. When Mr. W. J. Bartle retired in 1935 he became Honorary Secretary of the Old Boys’ Club. To this he gave his constant and devoted attention. He was Headmaster of the Junior School formed at ‘Uplyme’ after the last war and after his official retirement he taught in the mornings at the School until 1964 by which time he had completed 50 years as a schoolmaster.

On December 29th [1970] many friends, colleagues and Old Boys gathered at St. Margaret’s Church, Tylers Green, to pay their last respects to him. At the service the chairman of the Old Wycombiensians’ Club, G. W. RAY (1917-23), paid tribute to the memory of Mr. ‘Piljy’ Jones. He said: ‘Mr. P. L. Jones was a dedicated and sincere tutor and had that rare and great ability of respecting other people’s thoughts and minds and of being highly respected himself. His academic teaching was first class but his building of young people’s characters by this mutual respect was unique, not only in the classroom and on the playing field and at all School functions but also after one left school. He was then a constant and kind friend.’

Mr. P. L. Jones leaves a widow, Mrs. Phyllis Jones, who will continue to live at ‘Nutwith Cottage’, Tylers Green, with her sister Mrs. Marjorie Elsom.


I must confess, this struck me as something of a perfunctory obituary considering just how significant and colourful a figure PLJ had been at the RGS for so long. I had expected to read pages of material, anecdotes about his 'elastication' technique, other endearing foibles, but this was the lot. Of course it's true that only a handful of the current pupils in 1970/71 would have remembered him from his final academic year of 1963/64, and Sam Morgan had written a piece on him when he retired. But it's a pity that the editors didn't canvas a few old boys for their reminiscences, which would surely have filled an entire issue.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)