The Stortfordian Foundation Team had the pleasure of meeting John Mussellwhite (GH, RPH, 35-40), to celebrate Mr Mussellwhite's 100th birthday in June.
We travelled to Basingstoke where Mr Mussellwhite has lived in the same street for the last 97 years to meet for lunch. It was wonderful to learn how the family joined the College community - Mr Mussellwhite's brothers Alan (RPH, 36-41) and Richard (GH, RPH, 39-46) also attended the College.
Mussellwhite Brothers 1939 proudly displaying their College uniforms
At 10 years old he and his brother Alan were sent away to school and after a year or so had the opportunity to join the College - which the family had learned of as a result of their non confirmist background. Richard joined them a few years later. Their older sister Yvonne worked in a South African hospital as a physiotherapist after the war, but returned to England thereafter.
Mr Mussellwhite is standing at the left hand end of the middle row of the RPH House photograph
Mr Mussellwhite recalled how his father had exchanged letters with the then RPH Housemaster Walter Strachan who so elouqently referenced his studies demonstrating achievements in games, athletics and English and of Mr Mussellwhite being of a "sound and pleasant disposition". Mr Mussellwhite still has this letter some 84 years after it was written!
Mr Mussellwhite is seated at the right hand end of front row o fthe swimming photograph and is standing 3rd from the right in the back rown of the Rugby photograph.
After leaving school in 1940 he trained as a photoreconnaissance pilot and spent time in Rangoon. After the war he joined the family building business which was extremely successful and at one point employed some 200 staff, trading for 150 years before merging with another company.
Mr Mussellwhite has a large extended family and remarkably he still enjoys living independently. Many years ago a relative gave Mr Mussellwhite some good advice which he still upholds: count your blessings.
We enjoyed a lovely day with Mr Mussellwhite as he shared memories of BSC and his wonderful life. We felt very privileged to have had the opportunity to meet this remarkable gentleman.
Sad loss of Elizabeth 'Bet' Soady from the Stortfordian Community More...