Ian Blewett 72-77 G
Ian Blewett arrived at West Buckland School as a refugee from Barnstaple Grammar School in 1972 and was welcomed into Grenville House by its then Housemaster John Avens. It would be fair to say that it took the young and slightly wild Blewett a while to settle – but settle he did. He soon became a Regular in School Rugby at UXIII, UIV and UXV and went on to represent the School at 1st XV in both Lower and Upper Sixth. Likewise he was a regular in both track and field; representing School at discus and javelin. He became an enthusiastic and longstanding stalwart in the CCF which was to have a profound effect on the choice of his later career. Starting cadet life under the bearded gaze of Ollie Shaw in the Navy Section and then moving to the Army section and finishing up as a Cadet SSgt. Then as now, pupils led pretty full lives. He was appointed a Senior School Prefect in 76/77, a Member of the Phoenix Society and a keen member of the WBS Amateur Dramatic Society – the highlight being cast as a rockin’ rollin’ Pharoah in the School’s Dreamcoat Production under the wise tutelage of the then Head of English Charlie Phelps. Following School, Ian decided to pursue career in the Army and in the interim worked on a trawler in the South West Approaches. Having passed the Regular Commissions Board he entered into the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and in 1979 was commissioned as a Subaltern in the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and was posted to the 1st Bn in Osnabruck in the then West Germany. A long and varied career in the Infantry followed, including numerous tours of operational duty. He has been Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) and has received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) on operations. Amongst other things, he has commanded the Rifle Volunteers (a volunteer infantry battalion), been a Deputy President at the Army Officer Selection Board and was Regimental Colonel The Rifles. He now delivers Simulation Programmes in support of the Army’s Recruiting and Training Division. Ian is married to Amanda who is a Master Upholsterer and runs her own North Devon based business. They have twins; Abigail and James. Both of whom attended WBS and followed their Dad into Grenville House. Ian enjoys rugby, fly fishing for salmon and sea trout, shooting, breeding chickens and pigs, early medieval history, being outdoors, proper beer and a good yarn.