Gresham's School in Wartime

We would like to invite people who have an interest in our WWI story to get in touch with us through the blog. Our sixth form researchers will be contributing their own experiences of the project to the blog and we hope to update the website as new material becomes available. If you have any relevant comments or contributions of stories or archive material we would be delighted to hear from you.

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Prize book - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - awarded to G.H. Lowe donated by his father-in-law Tony Mortlock

The prize was awarded for English in 1913 to Guy Humphrey Lowe(9/6/1898) who was born in Harrow.  His father was Charles, a surveyor, his mother Charlotte, and like his older brother Harlowe, Guy attended Woodridings School in Pinner before Gresham’s. He registered at Old School House in May of 1911 and progressed to Woodlands, where he was soon representing the House at cricket.  Guy also played hockey and rugby for the School, returning as an OG to play in matches, and did well in the steeplechase and athletics.  He won prizes for Latin, English and History in 1913, and performed a piano solo at a concert, as well as singing in the choir.  In 1916 Guy achieved promotion to Lance-Corporal in the OTC, and in the following year is reported to be at a training centre prior to becoming a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. He attended OG events in the early 20s and married Miss Ella Brookes at Hendon in June 1923.  The register records that Guy went on to have a career as a technical brewer, and his father-in-law believes he suffered lung damage throughout his life because of gas attacks during the War.  Guy died aged 89 in Staffordshire.

Harlowe Robert Lowe(9/5/1897) began the family tradition of boarding in Woodlands, having registered at Michaelmas 1905 in the Junior House.  Like his brother, he too showed promised at athletics and steeplechase, played cricket for Woodlands, and hockey and rugby for the School. Harlowe won a prize for French and was promoted to Band Corporal in the OTC.  The family were great supporters of the School, Charles giving money to the Chapel Fund in 1912, and both sons subscribing to the Old Boy’s and War Memorial funds.  Harlowe is listed as serving as 2nd Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1916, being awarded the M.C. for “handling his platoon with great courage and skill.”  He married Miss Molly Doig at the Savoy Chapel in 1931, attended a London OG dinner in the following year, and like his father, became a chartered surveyor. Harlowe died in 1950 and the OG magazine printed an obituary reiterating his great love of Gresham’s, showing his faith in all it stands for by sending his son Ian to Woodlands. 

Guy and Harlow had another brother, John Henry Charles Lowe, too young to serve in the Great War, who boarded in Woodlands from 1926-30.  He too won prizes for French and English and served in the OTC, as well as performing in House and School plays.  In his final year, he took part in debates on subjects such as the spirit of adventure and progress in modern society, often in the company of another Woodlands boy, young Donald Maclean.