Armed Services

Brighton College has a long & proud history of service in the Armed Forces - both in times of peace and of conflict. We present here a collection of related articles, obituaries and features - a growing resource of content that we hope will adequately represent the high regard and pride in which we hold these brave men & women.
06 June 2024

D-Day: Fallen OB commemorated in Abingdon bar

Lieutenant Raymond 'Bunny' Charles Belcher (Sc. 1935-36), originally from the Oxfordshire town, was one of the first men to die on D-Day.

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04 June 2024

D-Day: Remembering the fallen Old Brightonians

80 years ago this month, the largest seaborne invasion in history took place. On 6th June 1944, the Allied invasion of Western Europe began, with the airborne and amphibious landings of thousands of British, American, and Canadian soldiers in Normandy.

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02 June 2024

From the Archive: Approaching D-Day

As we approach the 80-year anniversary of the D-Day landings, we look back to the night of the 5th June 1944, when boys at the College witnessed at first hand the start of the Allied invasion of Normandy.

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19 February 2024

Chris Terrill (Al. 1965-70) to run Brighton Half Marathon on crutches for RNRMC

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) Ambassador aims to complete his 46th half marathon, and his first after hip-replacement surgery. 

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15 August 2023

Air Commodore Nick Hay (Ch. 1981-86) awarded CBE in New Year’s Honours List

Air Commodore Nick Hay was presented with a CBE from King Charles at Windsor Castle on 11 July in the presence of his family, and at the end of almost 35 years’ service in the Royal Air Force.

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21 April 2023

Zac Stenning (Ha. 1985-90) meets King Charles at Sandhurst

Last week, King Charles visited Sandhurst for 200th Sovereign’s Parade for his first time as monarch. Old Brightonian Major General Zac Stenning (Ha. 1985-90), Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), met the King for the Parade.

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02 November 2022

Victor Courtice (Le. 1955-58) has died

We are sad to announce the death of Victor Courtice (Le. 1955-58).

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11 November 2018

Brighton College marks the Armistice Centenary

On the morning of Friday 9th November, the entire school body of Brighton College, including staff and pupils from all schools, united at the front quad for a short, but moving service, as we remembered with gratitude all those who have died in the course of war.

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23 August 2018

HMS Belfast Pocket Manual by John Blake (Br. 1957-61)

A familiar sight on the Thames at London Bridge, HMS Belfast is a Royal Navy light cruiser, launched in March 1938. Initially part of the British naval blockade against Nazi Germany, from November 1942 Belfast escorted Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union, and assisted in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst.

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06 July 2018

Prendergast’s lost sword: A whodunit in Brighton College Chapel

Last November The Telegraph published an article, after receiving a letter from the previous College archivist, regarding the theft of the sword of General Sir Harry Prendergast VC GCB from Brighton College.

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11 April 2018

Chris Terrill (Al. 1965-70) and "Britain's Biggest Warship" on BBC2 this week

Chris Terrill (Al. 1965-70) has a brand new 3 part series starting on BBC2 at 8pm on Sunday 15th April telling the story of "Britain's biggest Warship". It is the inside story of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest and most advanced warship ever constructed in Britain.

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10 November 2017

Remembering the 170

At this year’s remembrance service, the Head Master will read the names of Old Brightonians who lost their lives during the Second World War. Some of these men, like John Sulman, lived to marry and have children, while others were children themselves, like Frank Stuttaford. Although their lives were very different, each would have walked through the archway in the College’s gatehouse. They would have posed for their house photograph in September, and sat in the chapel each morning, alongside their friends.

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03 November 2017

Stories from the Archive: Prendergast's lost treasures

Almost two years ago, Hew Prendergast emailed the College about his ancestor, Sir Harry North Dalrymple Prendergast (BC 1849-50). We were thrilled to hear from a descendent of such an illustrious OB, and invited Hew to speak to our 4th Form. Much to their delight, Hew brought along one of Sir Harry’s swords. It was fascinating to see an object with such an exciting story; an object which also prompted me to learn more about the sword that had once been kept in the College’s chapel, above Sir Harry’s plaque.

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17 March 2017

Colonel John David Shallow, (1927-2017)

John David Shallow has died aged 89. He was born on June 4 1927 at Brighton College, where his father, George, was serving as a housemaster and his mother, Phyllis, was the daughter of the Headmaster, Canon William Dawson.

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08 November 2016

NEW COLLEGE BOOK* Never to Return Brighton College’s Fallen 1914-18

The 2014 / 2015 Fourth Form pupils and their families were each assigned one name from the Roll of Honour as part of our Lest We Forget Project. Their task was to discover all they could: where each was born, where he lived, when he was at Brighton College, and how and where he died.

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20 June 2016

NEWS & PHOTOS: The WW1 Memorial Statue unveiling, 17th June 2016

On Friday 17th June we gathered to remember the 976 Old Brightonians who served in the Great War and in particular the 149 who died, never to return.

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24 May 2016

Old Brightonians who died at The Somme 100 years ago commemorated

Brighton College commemorates the Old Brightonians who died at The Somme 100 years ago this year.

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02 February 2016

The family of Lister Durell Wickham (Ch. 1908-13) donate his medals to The College

The North family bestowed a great favour on the College in June 2015 when they arranged for the medals of Lister Durrell Wickham to be donated to the College. Head Master Richard Cairns was delighted to meet with the Phillipson family and to receive the medals, which are now on display in the College Chapel. After serving at Gallipoli Lister had been home ill, and had married his sweetheart musician Marguerite Dickensen.

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18 December 2015

The story of William Gill (BC. 1856-61) is told in the forthcoming book, "These Chivalrous Brothers"

My book ‘These Chivalrous Brothers. The Mysterious Disappearance of the 1882 Palmer Sinai Expedition is to be published on January 29th. The book tells for the first time the story of the Palmer Sinai Expedition, a spying and terrorist mission that ended in the murder of its participants and was one of the great cause célèbre of the nineteenth century.

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06 December 2015

Rear Admiral Peter Dingemans (D. 1948-52)​, Falklands DSO & former President of the OBA, has died

We are sad to report the death of Peter Dingemans, who has died in hospital at the age of 80, having contracted pneumonia. His naval career is aptly summed up in the title his book: 'My Incredible Journey: from Cadet to Commander'. He entered the Royal Navy a year after leaving school and from the outset proved to be an able tactician, notably as an anti-submarine specialist. He had four commands in his career, the peak of which came in 1982 when he commanded with such distinction HMS Intrepid in the South Atlantic.

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11 November 2015

Treasures from the Archive: Proclamation from the Third Anglo-Burmese War

Earlier this month, I gave a short talk to our 4th Form Academic Society. Deciding on a theme was tricky, but since I’d recently worked on the school’s roll of honour – ensuring it was ready for our new memorial statue – the theme of ‘conflict’ seemed fitting.

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06 November 2015

Every Boy Remembered - an update

The Brighton College Roll of Honour lists 147 former pupils killed during the Great War. One of the first two officers killed in the conflict was Second Lt. Vincent Waterfall, of Hampden House/Chichester House, aged just 22. Old Brightonians fought and died in Palestine, at the Somme, at Ypres, and in the final push for victory in the week before the Armistice was signed, on 11 November 1918.

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07 October 2015

New documentary by Chris Terrill (Al. 1965-70)

In a new documentary Chris Terrill (Al. 1965-70) shines a light on the wives and girlfriends of Royal Marines, filming them on a 104 mile 'yomp' - a 36 hour non-stop march along the entire length of the South Downs Way.

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22 April 2015

Brighton College to re-introduce boaters as homage to our fallen OBs

Head Master Richard Cairns is re-introducing the classic Brighton College Boater for the first time in 47 years. The decree is a moving homage to the 147 Old Brightonians who died during the Great War, and will be in force from Thursday 23rd April to coincide with St. George's Day.

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21 November 2014

In Memoriam of Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh MC (BC. 1905-09)

by Ewart Alan Mackintosh (killed in action 21st November 1917 aged 24)

So you were David's father,
And he was your only son,
And the new-cut peats are rotting
And the work is left undone,
Because of an old man weeping,
Just an old man in pain,
For David, his son David,
That will not come again.

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11 November 2014

Report & photos: Remembrance Ceremony 2014

All three College schools came together this morning in the quadrangle, to join the nation in observing silence at 11.00 on Tuesday 11th November.

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09 November 2014

REPORT: Remembrance Service 2014

Old Brightonians, including previous members of the Common Room and other ex-Brighton College staff, pupils, masters and parents came together for a moving Remembrance Service on Sunday 9th November. Houses in attendance were Aldrich, Durnford, Hampden, and Seldon. Wreaths were laid at the altar and at the 1914-18 and 1939-45 War Memorials by School Prefects and Head Master Richard Cairns, and CCF colours laid by representatives of the three armed services. 

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14 August 2014

Peter Farrar (Ch. 1938-42)

Peter Farrar (Ch. 1938-42), a former city education official of more than 30 years who helped set up some of Oxford’s most recognised institutions has died aged 89.

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02 July 2014

Tony Bray (L. 1939-42)

Tony Bray (L. 1939-42), who died on July 2nd 2014 aged 88, was a stockbroker who was identified, last year, as the first serious boyfriend of the young Margaret Thatcher (or Margaret Roberts, as she was before her marriage to Denis Thatcher). 

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06 June 2014

A new show by Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70): "Commando: Return to the Front Line", ITV1, Wed 11th June 2014

"It feels pretty strange that I'm going to be going back there, I had thought that I'd seen the last of the place. I am fearful that nothing will have changed and that, indeed, it may have gotten worse. I think I probably was quite pessimistic when I left." - Bertie Kerr, former Royal Marines Commando


This new ITV documentary features former Royal Marine officer Bertie Kerr and his emotional return to Afghanistan, eight years after he was first plunged into the planet's most dangerous war just three weeks after passing out as a young officer.

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08 May 2014

Lt. Col. USAF (Ret'd) Charles R Alexander (L. 1943-45) - OB of the Month, May 2014

Charles is flying over from the USA to attend our Pioneers Club next week at the College, and we are very much looking forward to catching up with his news. As a Lt Col. retired anaesthetist in the US Air Force we are sure he will have a few good yarns to tell us over lunch.

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09 April 2014

Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70)'s new show, "Marine A: Criminal or Casualty of War?" on BBC1 tonight

Alexander Blackman, a Royal Marine sergeant, was convicted and jailed for life for shooting an injured Afghan insurgent on the front line. Some condemn him as a war criminal; others claim he is a casualty of war. The nation is divided.

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13 November 2013

A new show from Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70) on Channel 5: "Surviving"

Channel 5's new show sees Chris travel to the most extreme environments on Earth, to meet people who endure ferocious conditions all year round.

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27 October 2013

Norman Francis Keith Wilson (C. 1934-39)

Died 27th October, 2013, Aged 93. He was born in Hove on 15th August 1920 then lived in Kemptown until the outbreak of war.


In 1934 he entered Brighton College as a boarder in Chichester House where his main achievements were to play in the 1st XI Cricket team, 1st XV Rugger team, and first team captain of Squash. He also took female parts in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas until his voice broke. He joined the Territorial Army in his last term and in May, 1939 was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Engineers.

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15 May 2013

James Stuart-Smith (H. 1933-38)

Born September 13 1919, died May 15 2013, James Stuart-Smith was Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces from 1984 to 1991.

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09 May 2013

A memorial bench for Sgt Instructor S J Beckett

Sgt. Instructor S J Beckett served the College and its community from 1919 until 1956 and is remembered with great fondness by many Old Brightonians. Last month we launched an appeal for funds for a Memorial Bench for Sgt. Instructor S J Beckett.

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08 April 2013

A new documentary series from Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70) broadcasting on Channel 5

Every year, 20,000 people leave the armed forces, but how do they cope with the return to civilian life? It's a question that British journalist and filmmaker Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70) has set out to answer in this four-part documentary series.

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02 April 2013

Sergeant-Major S J Beckett

It is never too late to honour and pay tribute to a stalwart of Brighton College, who encouraged and inspired us as a friend during our time at the College. Sarge gave thirty seven years of loyal service from 1919 to 1956, being responsible for PT lessons, gymnastics, boxing, swimming and not forgetting school drill in the Quadrangle.

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25 March 2013

Lt Col Zac Stenning (H. 1985-90) awarded OBE

Our warmest congratulations to Lt Col Zac Stenning (H. 1985-90), awarded an OBE in the Military Honours Announcements on Saturday 23rd March for his actions during Operation Herrick.

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13 November 2012

Rear Admiral Peter Dingemans (D. 1948-52) - OB of the Month, November 2012

Rear Admiral Peter George Valentine Dingemans, CB, DSO, FIMgt was awarded the DSO during the Falklands campaign.

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08 November 2012

Memories of Flt Lt. O .C. Chave ( C. 1926-31)

Following the recent death of Flt Lt Walker (G. 1927-31) Christopher Chave (BCJS 1954-56, D. 1956-60) kindly got in touch with the OB office and sent us some rather wonderful newspaper cuttings and photographs of his father, Flt Lt Owen Cecil Chave (C. 1926-1931) who was killed in action in WWII.

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21 October 2012

Flight Lieutenant William Louis Buchanan Walker (G. 1927-31)

Flight Lieutenant William Walker, who has died aged 99, was shot down in his Spitfire during the Battle of Britain and wounded. Late in his life, having become the oldest surviving pilot of the Battle, he wrote poetry in memory of his fellow aircrew.

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18 October 2012

Charles Fraser-Smith (S. 1918-22)

Charles Fraser-Smith (26 January 1904 - 9 November 1992) was an author and one-time missionary who is widely credited as being the inspiration for Ian Fleming's James Bond quartermaster Q. During World War II, Fraser-Smith worked for the Ministry of Supply, fabricating equipment for SOE agents operating in occupied Europe. Prior to the war, Fraser-Smith had worked as a missionary in North Africa. After the war he purchased a dairy farm in Bratton Fleming, Devon, where he died in 1992.

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18 June 2012

Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70) produces, directs & films "Theatre of War" for BBC1

As reported in the last edition of The Pelican, Chris Terrill has been working on a project called 'Theatre of War' which will be shown on BBC1 at 10.35 on 26th June.

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16 April 2012

Group Captain Nick Hay (C. 1981-86) awarded OBE

Having recently had dinner with a number of Old Brightonians in January, I was lambasted for not letting you know that I was presented with an OBE by the Queen on 30 November 2011.  The award was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on 11 June 2011.  Also in attendance on 30 Nov were Brian Ferry and Mark Cavendish and it appears they received more publicity than me!

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23 January 2012

Chris Terrill (A. 1965-70) new series on Channel 5

My new series "Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan" starts on Jan 30th on Five at 9pm.

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14 January 2012

Sgt. Major Chris O'Connell eulogy

"On behalf of the wider O’Connell family, especially Shirley and Doreen I would like to wish you all a very warm welcome and thank you for attending today, to celebrate the life of Sergeant Major Chris O’Connell BEM. This large gathering clearly reflects the love and status with which Chris was undoubtedly held.

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14 January 2012

Sgt. Major Chris O'Connell Memorial Service

The Sgt. Major Chris O’Connell Memorial took place on a freezing January afternoon, but the warmth of feeling amongst the Old Brightonians who came to celebrate Chris’s life staved off the cold. Two former Headmasters were in attendance, Bill Blackshaw and John Leach, and Brighton College was represented by various staff including Deputy-Head John Weeks, Elizabeth Cody and Common Room President Steve Radojcic.

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13 November 2011

REPORT: Remembrance Service 2011

Old Brightonians, including previous members of the Common Room and other ex-Brighton College staff, pupils, masters and parents came together for a moving Remembrance Service on Sunday 13th November.

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11 November 2011

Ceremony of Remembrance, 2011

More than 1000 staff and pupils of Brighton College, its prep and pre-prep schools filled the College's historic quadrangle to join with the nation in observing silence at 11.00am on Friday 11th November 2011.

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