David's Diary: David Starts School
David Cummins (40-50G) recalls how he ended up at WBS!
In the summer of 1940, my father met Mr Fred Hussell, who also had sons at Plymouth College where my brother and I were, and, in the course of the conversation, said that he had found this boarding school in the wilds of North Devon and was sending his three sons there to avoid the bombing of Plymouth by the Luftwaffe.
After a visit, my parents decided to send my brother Michael, and, as a special concession, me, to West Buckland School. At that time, it was a boarding school for 180 boys aged 13-18. My brother was 13 and I was just 8 years old.
West Buckland School was a very different place in those days to what it is today. Mother remarked, when visiting a typical W.B. grey, misty day and the walls were wet with condensation, that it could not be any worse than Dartmoor Prison!
So it was, in September 1940, that my time at W.B.S started with a train journey to Filleigh Station (changing at Exeter and Dulverton) from where we walked to school carrying an overnight suitcase. I met another six similar aged boys and we were taken care of by Mrs Corless, wife of James, a master at W.B. who had joined the Army for the duration of the war, and we slept in her house (Greystones).
On account of her white hair we were known as ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’! My ten years at West Buckland had begun.
David Cummins (40-50 G)
Patron of the OWBA