Past Boys and Girls who gained Fame

The School, known from 1905 as East Ham Technical College, was a mixed Boys' and Girls' School until 1932, when a separate Girls' School was opened as East Ham Grammar School for Girls which, in 1972, became Plashet School. The 'Tech' which, in the intervening years had become the 'East Ham Secondary School for Boys & Girls' (and known locally as the 'East Ham Sausage Shop'), became the Boys' Grammar School and then, in 1972, Langdon School. Thus, the 'famous' come from both sexes and the several schools. The ones which I recall, or have come my way, in date order as far as I know them, are:

E K Myles. Capt. VC, DSO. 1914-18. His Story

Others who Gave their Lives and/or received Military Honours in both World wars are listed under Section 9 of this History of the School.

Greer Garson. 1916-21. Actress and Film Star.

Horace Mayes. ?1918-1923. Born 1906. Head boy 1923 at the EHGS predecessor school,  East Ham Secondary School.He went on to the local part of the University of London, East London College (now Queen Mary) where he got a Bachelor of Science, an MSc and a doctorate in record time, leaving at 21 in 1928, with the Arnott Medal for the best student. In 2006. at the age of 99, he emigrated to New Zealand, being one of the oldest ever immigrants. He died in  late 2010/early 2011, aged 104, also surely our oldest ever OEs.
A full account of his life can be seen at (that poorly spelt url is correct!)

Charles John Birkett Clews. 1923-29. Until 2011 he was oldest known surviving OE in 2002 - was 90 years old in June 2002. Head boy in 1929. A Major during the war, and was associated with the location of the V2 launching sites. In 1952 was appointed Professor of Physics at the University of Western Australia. During his appointment he became Deputy Vice Chancellor and had a road named after him.
After retiring he returned to the UK and lived in Folkestone. In 2002, by now a widower, he lived with his daughter Diana in Oxford.

Allan Harry Beckett was born on 4th March 1914 in East Ham, London. He read civil engineering at London University. He was educated locally and it's therefore highly likely that he attended EHGS, or The Tech as it was then known, starting in 1925 and leaving in 1930 or so. I can't be sure, but it's probable. Before the war worked with the consulting engineers A. J. Bridie. When war came he was called up into the Royal Engineers in January 1940, and after basic sapper training was, at the time of Dunkirk, engaged in trench digging, watch duties and manning a searchlight at Folkestone. Commissioned in 1941, he was sent to King’s Newton, near Derby, to work under Lieutenant-Colonel W. T. Everall, a specialist on the rapid construction of railway bridges for battlefield use. As such he gained valuable experience in assembling light steel trestling.
He later went on to develop the floating pontoon system for the 1944 Mulberry harbours, used on the post D-day Normandy beaches. He ended up a Major. For his pontoon work he was awarded an MBE in 1949. He died on 19 June 2005, aged 94.

J.A.C.Kelsey (John). 1931-1939. Head Boy 1938. Admiralty September 1939  until 1973. Transferred to be Finance Officer of the  Lord Chancellor's Department. CBE 1982.

H.W.Pout. ( Harry) 1931-1938. Head Boy 1937. State Scholarship 1938. Imperial College London. In 1973 he was a Deputy Chief Scientific Officer and Head of the Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment at Portsdown. He led the team that designed Sea Slug.  OBE. Contributor to 'Applications of Radar and Other Electronic Systems in the Royal Navy in World War 2', 1995.

Kathleen Byron (nee Fell) 1932-37. Actress and film star who most famously appeared as a nun in the 1946 film Black Narcissus, along with Deborah Kerr. The Daily Telegraph obituary can bee seen here.

Wolf Mankowitz. 1935-42. Author. Perhaps his most famous book was 'A Kid for Two Farthings', which was turned into a film.

Sidney A. Self. 1939-1946. Won a scholarship in physics to UCSWE Exeter and a State Scholarship in 1946. Went  to Stanford University California in 1962 and became a Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Norman Browse. 1942-49. Surgeon. Professor of Vascular Surgery, St Thomas' Hospital, London. Knighted. President, Royal College of Surgeons of England 1992-95.

Barry Bloomfield. 1943-49 (approx). Barry died on 2nd March 2002. He was an outstanding Librarian, who gained National and World recognition for his work. He published many books and articles and was President or Secretary of many Library associations. He had also been visiting Professor to Universities in the USA.

Jean Eldred.1944-1951.  In the US she is known as Jean Eldred Pickering, which follows the US custom. Professor of English Language & Literature at California State Univ., Fresno. PhD  from Stanford. Now Emeritus Professor.

Bob Glading 1944-51. AM (the Australia Medal, equivalent to an OBE) for services to World Banking.

Derek Johnson. 1944-51. Athlete. Silver medallist 800m 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. Died 30 August 2004. Obituaries.

Gordon Leedale. 1944-51. Professor of Botany, Univ. of Leeds.

Tony Dixon. 1947-51 (3rd year entry). Professor of Zoology, Univ. of East Anglia.

Chris France. 1945-52. Civil Servant. Knighted. Permanent Secretary Dept of Health 1988-92 and MoD 1992-95.

Terrance Dicks 1947-1953 Prolific script writer for the Dr Who episodes. Also wrote other science fiction books, numerous children's books  and was a producer of some TV dramas. See here Now lives in Hampstead.

Stan Lebor 1947-1953 Actor, one time Royal Shakespeare Company, in numerous TV dramas. Mostly recognised for his role in the comedy series "Ever Decreasing Circles", with Richard Briers and Peter Egan, where he played the character "Howard". Stan used to drift into card sessions held on Friday evenings at the Old E's Clubhouse in Church Road, Manor Park in the mid-1950s.

John W Smith. 1948 -56. OBE, "For Services to HM Customs and Excise"

Barry Knight. 1949 -?55. Essex and England Cricketer 1960s & 70s. Emigrated to Australia

Ron Edgeworth. ?-1955. Brilliant pianist and highly amusing personality who turned professional and became accompanist and musical director of "The Seekers" lead singer Judith Durham who became his wife. Frequently on TV in the 70's/80's.
Tragically died in early 90's of motor neurone disease; nursed devotedly by Judith. Great loss.

Peter Strange. ?-1955. Accomplished Jazz trombonist who started Apex Jazz Band while at School. Went on to become professional and played with many top-line bands before becoming resident trombonist with Humphrey Littleton for many years. Died 14th August 2004. Obituaries

Warwick Pearson. 1950-57. Australian Ambassador to Spain in 1993.

Derek Steinberg. 1950-57. Eminent psychiatrist who specialised in the treatment of adolescents with mental illness and wrote several books. Two key interests, including Art, and not seen as part of mainstream psychiatry, characterised his approach. An obituary appeared in the Guardian in December 2006.

Roger Protz, 1951-56. One of the leading British experts on beer. Editor of the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) annual Good Beer Guide 1978-1983, and 2000 to 2003. Past Editor of CAMRA's national newspaper What's Brewing. Author of 15 books on the subject, including Pulling a Fast One; The Great British Beer Book; The Real Ale Almanac (5 editions); Britain's 500 Best Pubs; The Organic Beer Guide; Heavenly Beer. Has also produced videos about beer and contributed on the subject to The Guardian; Morning Advertiser; What's Brewing; Brewers' Guardian and All About Beer (US)

Michael Tabor. ?-1957. Race Horse Owner. Millionaire.

Edward Osmotherly (1953-60). Knighted. CB. Local Government Ombudsman and former chairman of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association. Independent Assessor to the Financial Services Ombudsman 2001-02.

Ian Frank Rushbrook (1953-60). Investment expert and millionaire. Died 12 Oct 2008. Obituary.

Kate Williams (1953-58, or later): this is her stage name - she was Carole Wilmser at EHGSfG. Actress / Director. Appearances include films - 'Poor Cow' (Beryl) 1967; 'Quadrophenia' 1979; and 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' 1993. TV - 'Love Thy Neighbour' (Joan Booth); 'On The Buses'; 'Please Sir' and the 'Widows' series. Many stage involvements including being a director of the Stratford East company. For full details of TV shows, film, etc., see

Ronnie Boyce. 1954-58. Ex West Ham player and cup final goal scorer whose Dad had a greengrocer's shop at the junction of Chesley Gardens and Haldane Road in the 50s and 60's.

Keith Gurry. 1957-?. A senior violinist in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Leader of the Essex SO. Keith died in May 2012. An obituary can be read here.

Lawrence Alexander Green. 1957-1964. Bishop of Bradwell

David Agass. Student (?-1962) and then Teacher. MBE (for services to the community, especially school sport).

Keith Baptist 1957-64. Honorary Australian Consul in Ghana, West Africa

Barrie Keeffe. 1957-64. Successful journalist, author & playwright, including the screenplay of the 1980s film "The Long Good Friday" starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren.

Malcolm McVicar. 1958-65. Vice Chancellor of the University of Central Lancaster. 1998-. Educated at: University of Exeter, 1965-1971 and part-time at the University of London, various dates Employment History: joined the University of Portsmouth, (then Portsmouth Polytechnic) on 1/1/1973 and held a succession of posts at the University culminating in Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic).  Appointed to the post of Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire in 1998.  Holds Honorary Professorships at two leading Chinese Universities.

Derek Smith (1959-65) OStJ. (Ian Buckmaster wrote: “Granted by the Queen for voluntary service to the community, mainly but not necessarily through the St John Ambulance. The Order has several grades – Knight (KStJ), Commander (CStJ), Officer (OStJ) and Serving Brother or Serving Sister (SBStJ, SSStJ). Membership of the Order is an Honour ranking after all other British Orders but before decorations such as the George Medal, QPM, QFSM, and Military Medal.”)

Chris Stringer. 1959-65. Professor and head of the Human Origins Group at the Natural History Museum, expert in human evolution, author of at least one popular science book on the subject (African Exodus, with Robin McKie), and occasional commentator on such matters in the media.

Steve Bacon ?-1968. Since 1975 the Official Photographer for West Ham United Football Club. Has travelled the world with the team and has published a book "Hammers in Focus" which is a pictorial record of his life with the Team.

John Mason (1963-70). The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Ian Buckmaster (1964-71). OStJ.

Keith Burman (1966-72). SBStJ (Serving Brother = MBE)

John Buck. 1965-71. Ambassador to Portugal in 2006 and earlier.

Clive Burr.?-1971. Drummer with Iron Maiden. Made a fortune apparently.

Cock Sparrer 1972 (Added by Paul Anness). Cock Sparrer were, are and always will be: Colin McFaull, Steve Bruce, Mick Beaufoy and Steve Burgess (managed by Will Murray). They must be famous because I bought their CD "Two Monkeys" in the Virgin Megastore, Union Square, New York, USA - at full price no less ($13.99).

Peter Hucker ?-1975. Goalkeeper. Played League Football at the highest level, including 10 years at Queens Park Rangers in the 70's and 80's when they were in the first division under Terry Venables. Highlight of his career was probably the 1982 FA Cup Final - he was Man of the Match in the Wembley game, keeping QPR in the match against Tottenham at 1-1. Unfortunately they were out-gunned in the replay, 0-1.