OBA Newsletter November 2013

Please click HERE to access the November 2013 newsletter and also click HERE for details of a 60 years plus reunion and golf in 2014.


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Old Boys Rugby 2013

Here follows an invite from Andrew Black, President, Duke of York’s Memorial RFC.

“On behalf of The Duke of York’s Memorial RFC, I would like to extend an invite to all Dukies and other halves to come and witness that unique spectacle of a Dukie Rugby match.

Indeed, if you play, please feel free to contact me via andrew.a.black@gmail.com and I’ll add you to our list.”

The basic timings for the Saturday are as follows:

Meet – 1230 Hrs

U30’s KO – 1330Hrs

O30’s KO – 1415Hrs

Awards – 1600 – 1630Hrs

Venue: Dover RFC, Crabble Athletic Ground, Crabble Road, Dover, Kent

CT17 0JB

In the summer of 2001 a group of Old Boys, on a train, headed by Dave Shott discussed the possibility of senior rugby players forming an Old Boys side. The weekend routine of “arrive Friday then drink, get to the pub for opening time on Saturday and drink, parade with a hangover on Sunday” had become quite dull. We felt there must have been more on offer if we put our Dukie Spirit into it; and we were right.

The initial matches were played at Folkestone RFC because four of us played there and, it proved a popular addition to the Old Boy’s Calendar. That may have been the end of the idea had it not been for a very sad event.

Christian Redman, whose father taught at the school for many years, was sadly taken from us in the Bali bombing. This was just one month before he was due to play in the second match and his name was already on the team sheet. This set in motion a driving force of Dukie proportions and the Christian Redman Memorial Match was born.

As the years progressed, the word spread and through various Dukie connections and support, Dover Rugby Club has become our spiritual home. So much support was gained within 3 years that one team became two; an Over and Under 30’s.

Sadly, there was another loss when in July 2009, Flt Lt Richard Credland died very suddenly; he was 29 years old. Rich was a great player and the first 15 minutes of that year’s game were played without one flanker as a mark of respect. The Credland Cup became the trophy for the U30’s.

As the club moves into its 12th year, we have a playing contingent of some 50 people with a supporters group now at nearly 100. However, this is only because of the foundation the club was ultimately built on: The Duke of York’s Royal Military School.

As the club has become more established, we have pressed to make the event a more formal part of the weekend. In part due to RFU insurance requirements however, we will always be sited under our affiliated club, Dover, as an associate team. This will also allow the team to play in its own rite at any time of the year.

So how will TDA and The Dukie Memorial RFC work together? The RFC intends to remain apolitical as that was the basis on which the club was formed. When discussed with the RFC Committee it was felt that remaining independent was the most appropriate way to maintain the spirit of Dukie Rugby and both the Memorial games. However, that said, the RFC will happily direct members to join TDA and help to create a mutually beneficial working relationship.

That particularly unique brand of humour and self belief that the school leaves its alumni with shines through in this club. Although it is now established and growing in numbers, the match is still a viewed as a relatively unofficial part of the weekend. This however could not be further from the truth and in 2014 the match is to be played “at home” on the 1st XV pitch.

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November Reunion 2013

Ted Bartlett, The President of the OBA is pleased to announce this year’s dinner/dance will take place at the School on Saturday 9 November 2013.

TDA members are also welcome.

Details are as follows:

Time: 1830hrs for 1900hrs

Venue: The Dining Hall , Duke of York’s Royal Military School

Disco: 2100hrs

Carriages home: midnight

Dress: Black Tie or Lounge Suits for Gentlemen, Ladies suitably attired.

Cost: £17.50 per person which includes a four course meal, coffee and a bottle of white and red wine on each table. A vegetarian option is available and there will be a bar selling a variety of drinks on the night.


Local hotels are offering Dukie guests a discount on their room booking. These are:

The Ramada Hotel, sole use £64, twin or double room £74 includes breakfast, free parking, wifi and mini gym (quote YORK). Phone 01304 821230.

The Dover Marina Hotel, sole use £69, twin or double room £79 includes breakfast (quote YORK) and free parking and wifi. Phone 01304 203633.

The County Hotel £40 per twin or double room, £6 per person for breakfast (quote Duke of York’s Royal Military School). Phone 01304 509955.

Please visit the school website for further information


Minibus service

A free school minibus shuttle service will run between the School and the three hotels cited above at the beginning and the end of the evening. Please indicate whether you will be taking advantage of this service when you book your place. We would need to know what hotel you are staying in please.

Book your place

The School is managing the administration of this event on behalf of OBA President Ted Bartlett. Please book by emailing Amanda Baker Amanda.baker@doyrms.com with the following information:

  • Your name, years at the School and House
  • Your guests’ names, their years at the School and House (if applicable)
  • Any special dietary requirements
  • Who you would prefer to sit with for the meal
  • Your decision about use of the Minibus service if applicable

Cheques should be made out to “Duke of York’s Royal Military School” and posted to Amanda Baker, The Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Guston, Dover, Kent CT15 5EQ. A BACs payment can also be made. The bank details are Lloyds TSB, Sort Code 30-93-34, a/c 31351460.

Invitations for the event and entry to the School site will be issued upon receipt of payment.

Derek Jones

DYRMS OBA Hon.Gen.Sec.

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Grand Day 2013

Dear Dukies

The OBA has received the following communication from the School.

Grand Day 2013

Grand Day and Trooping the Colour takes place on Friday 28 June this year. The School welcomes Air Marshal Baz North OBE MA RAF who will be the Reviewing Officer. The event will include a fly past by a Spitfire from The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a visit from The Tigers, PWRR Free Fall Parachute Display Team and a static display of a Spitfire, Hurricane and ME109, courtesy of The War & Peace Battle of Britain Experience.

From 12.30 noon

There will be a buffet lunch on sale in the marquee opposite Nye Hall as provided by the Friends of the School (a small charge will be made). In addition there will be a cash bar and tea/coffee.

We politely ask all guests to be seated by 14:10 for Trooping the Colour


Please allow plenty of time for arriving and parking on site. Please use the Main School Entrance (by the roundabout). Due to the on-going extensive building works programme security marshals will direct visitors and guests to a number of parking areas. Please follow the marshals and park where they direct you to do so. Additional parking areas are being provided in the field opposite the old main gate.


Please bring suitable ID with you for checking on the day (a driver’s licence will be fine).

Local hotels

We have negotiated a discount with some of our local hotels for Old Boys, parents and friends. Please visit our website http://www.doyrms.com/discounted-accommodation.html for further information.

On behalf of everybody here at The Duke of York’s Royal Military School, we look forward to welcoming you.

Amanda Baker

Marketing Director, The Duke of York’s Royal Military School

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Past pupil and friend of DYRMS runs London Marathon to raise school funds

Please click HERE to visit a page on the School website for details.


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Syd Paris

Dear Dukies

I’m writing to let you know that my dear dad, Syd Paris, passed away peacefully on 8 March 2013. He had been in failing health in recent years, due to his chronic kidney disease, but thanks to modern medicine, he had been able to lead an active life and, indeed, our whole family was able to attend the Celebration Event at the school last March. He, in fact, died of a spontaneous brain haemorrhage, nothing to do with his chronic illness. The funeral will be held on 26 March at St Etheldreda’s Church, Hatfield, Herts, the church where he and mum were married exactly 58 years ago to the day.

Kind regards

Elaine French

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Jim Macdonald

Jim MacDonald joined the school in 1938 and left in 1943. During his time at the school he spent time at the school, Cheltenham and QVS. He then served in REME and traveled the world. He supported the OBA until he was taken ill some 6 months ago.

I hope that we can all attend his funeral Thursday 7th March 2013, St Peters Chatholic Church, London Road, Gloucester, GL1 4PA, Burial service at Coney Hill Crematorium, Gloucester, GL4 4PA. Donations to Royal British Legion, no flowers.

Jim has left the oba £50 to purchase books. I have ordered “Manual of First and Second Fixing Carpentry” and “The forgotten punch in the Army’s fist in Korea 1950-1953″ recounting REME involement.

God rest Jim.


Ray Howorth

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Old Girl Running The Marathon Needs Support

varietyMy name is Laura Wakeford, I attended Duke of York’s from 2003-2008. I am 21 years old and studying Law at Southampton University. I am currently in my first year of studying Law. Last year I was at Loughborough studying Graphic Design and I had a change of heart. Having worked out in America for 2 summers on a disadvantaged children’s camp, I heard some terrible stories of things my kids had to go through. Things such as abuse, parents in jail and some of them being put into care. Having had such a privileged and opportunity filled education, it was hard to relate to their tragic stories, but I realised I wanted to do something to help young children like them. So I changed to Law, and hope in the future to be able to use these skills for their benefit.

In light of this, I have decided to take on the epic challenge of the London Marathon this April. I am running for Variety Children’s Charity and have pledged to raise a massive £2000 to help the disadvantaged, sick and disabled children the charity support everyday. Every donation will help sick children to be taken on a day out to remember by providing special coaches and mobility aids. Donations will help disadvantaged youth groups seize opportunity for the chance of a better future. I am honoured to take on this responsibility and to perhaps help these young people get a bit closer to the wonderful opportunity and education I received through out my life. For more information please see www.varietyclub.org.uk.

I would be so grateful if there was anything to spare towards this wonderful cause and to see me over that finish line in April.


I have also been keeping a training blog www.laurasmarathon.blogspot.co.uk.

Thank you.

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Message from the OBA Chairman

Below is a detailed note about the discussions and meetings that have taken place over the last 6 months. Your committee believes that it is important that the membership are kept fully informed on these discussions as this MAY lead to a significant change in the way in which you as members have a relationship with the school.

In short, the school are taking the following action:

A new past pupils ‘Alumni’ is being set up which will be known as the ‘Dukies Association’. The school has funds from a number of past military Charities. This will be transferred to the new fund. Please read the notes prepared by Geoff.

Your committee is fully aware that these ‘developments’ could lead to the end of the OBA in its current form, but this will be a decision that will be decided by you the members. We, as an OBA committee, will monitor the progress of the new committee by the presence of our members, and then when we feel we are able to make a recommendation to the members, will do so. Please let us have your feedback on the major change.

The OBA, its future and the School’s plans

1. Background

2012 saw some significant changes in

1) the OBA’s activities in collecting money for charities at our April and November events and
2) the relationship between the School and the OBA

1.1 Funds raised by the OBA Raffles.

During 2011 the DYRMS OBA decided to set aside a sum of money in memory of its former President Aubrey Sadler.

Further funding would come from collections and raffles held at our OBA events and be used for the benefit of OBA members who had need for emergency funding e.g. poor health, grants for specialised equipment etc. The money so far collected in 2012 is in a separate account whilst the future of the fund is being considered.

The OBA committee insisted the fund be managed in a transparent way, that it be ring-fenced from other OBA accounts and preferably be in a charitable trust. However, the setting up of a charity fund would have created a number of administrative and resource difficulties for the OBA.

Requests to OBs to join the Committee and help run the events continue to fall on largely deaf ears with the same few members attending the meetings and AGM.

As it stands the membership of the OBA numbers about 750 and has remained close to this number for a number of years. It is not growing but it is ageing. Younger former pupils are not joining in any significant numbers, few attend the OBA events and less than 5 girls have joined the OBA.

1.2 The School and its relationship with the OBA

In 2012 the School also took a fresh look at how it markets itself. It now has a full time Marketing Director and a new Executive Vice-Principal. At the April 2012 lunch the headmaster informed the OBA that they would like to have closer links with the OBA in a way that could be mutually beneficial and felt that with their resources they could offer some assistance with activities involving the OBA and the School.

Three OBA Committee members were asked to form a sub-Committee to
1 find the best way to manage the monies raised
2 explore with the School how School/OBA relations could be improved in light of the Headmaster’s comments.

This sub-Committee was subsequently invited to meetings at the School in May, August and October. The team was enlarged from 3 to 5 after May.

The School explained that they wanted to broaden their appeal to all former pupils and make better use of such media as Facebook, Twitter and websites to reach across all sexes and ages.

They also wanted to establish an association along the lines of other public schools where former pupils support their old school not just financially but by, for example, networking, providing internships and job opportunities. This would be a School initiative and would run with or without the approval of the OBA. They stressed they would welcome our involvement and hoped we would be supportive of their ideas.

2. The Outcome
As a result of these meetings it became clear to the OBA committee that the School was
1 going to go ahead with its plans to set up an alumni association
2 inviting the OBA to be part of the process
3 offering the OBA the use of its resources
4 able to use its current charitable fund to accommodate the OBA’s funds for the purpose the OBA had been collecting them.

In turn the sub-Committee was able to appreciate the need for a modern, media friendly association that encompasses all ages and sexes and realised that if the OBA did not accept change the OBA could carry on as it is or would eventually wither and die.

The OBA is clearly unattractive to the younger School leavers and given the School’s approach to an alumni association (see below) the OBA committee was forced to address the rationale and future of the OBA.

The School expressed its clear wish that it would welcome an input from the OBA and that the OBA could have an influence on the future of the new association and the management of the funds collected. This is explained in more detail below.

2.1 The New Association – The Dukies’ Association (TDA)

The new association will be called The Dukies’ Association. It will be run and managed by the School. The objectives are:
• to provide an active link between former pupils and the school
• to facilitate events, reunions, careers support and fundraising between past and current pupils at the school.
• to offer networking opportunities through a shared website and social media pages.
• to build a database of names to contact using various communications channels including email, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) and post.
The Draft Proposal for its structure has been produced by the School. See Appendix 1.

The involvement of the OBA is sought and the OBA has been asked to nominate three people from the current OBA committee to sit on the new Dukies’ Association. Three people have been nominated and will attend the first meeting in February.

2.2 The OBA’s Future

Where does that leave the OBA?

The OBA will continue to exist. It will run in parallel with TDA for the present but members of the OBA will need to consider whether they join the new Dukies’ Association or stay in the OBA or join both associations.

As it stands the membership of the OBA is about 750 and has remained close to this number for a number of years. It is not growing but it is ageing. Younger former pupils are not joining in any significant numbers, few attend the OBA events and less than 5 girls have joined the OBA.

There are mixed feelings in the Committee as some see the new association as the beginning of the end of the OBA. However, whether we join forces with TDA or carry on separately, it will be an OBA members’ decision and at the next AGM the way forward will be on the Agenda.

2.3 The Management of OBA Funds

During the meetings it came to light that there is a fund managed by the School for the benefit of the pupils. It has charitable status and has about £600k in its coffers.

The Board members of this Trust have agreed for it to be renamed ‘The Dukies’ Foundation’ and to invite a former Dukie to sit on the Foundation’s Board and represent former Dukies’ interests including a fund to help any Dukie in need. See Appendix 2
This fund will provide a well invested, charitable and resourced fund for the monies currently held by the OBA. However, any decision to move the OBA funds will be up to the OBA membership.

The OBA representative who has been put forward by the OBA is the current Treasurer, and any decision involving the OBA funds will probably be deferred until such time as the Treasurer is able to report back to the OBA.

3 Summary

• The School is going to set up and run a new association for former pupils – The Dukies’ Association. This will go ahead with or without the OBA’s approval. (not that the School need it).

• The OBA have an opportunity to influence the new Association

• The OBA need to ask:
Where are future recruits to the OBA coming from?
Where are the younger members coming through to take office?
If TDA takes over running events – especially November – where does that leave the OBA?
Is it time to disband the OBA and migrate to the Alumni association?
Should the OBA continue and run in parallel to the Alumni?

• As it stands the membership of the OBA numbers about 750 and has remained close to this number for a number of years. It is not growing but it is aeging. Younger former pupils are not joining in any significant numbers, few attend the OBA events and less than 5 girls have joined the OBA.

• There are those who consider the OBA to be “withering on the vine”, whilst others feel it isn’t broken so don’t fix it.

All of the above issues will be decided by the membership. Attend the AGM or table questions to be raised as it is the OBA’s future under discussion.

Geoff Ralph, OBA Committee Member

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AGM – 2013

This is to inform you that the Annual General Meeting of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School Old Boys’ Association will be held on the 8th March 2013 at 1830hrs, with coffee/tea and a finger buffet available from 1800hrs. This will be a very important meeting and it is therefore imperative that as many as possible attend.

To remind those who do not read the newsletter, at the last AGM , a proposal to change the voting system was passed. This being that we will now accept postal votes. I will allow your proposals/nominations to be accepted by 9th February 2013.   

Nominations for Officers and Committee members must be submitted to HonGenSec, Mr C R Howorth, 14 The Spinney, Brackla, Bridgend, Glamorgan, CF31 2JC.

The venue for the AGM will be Suite 23/24 near to the London Gate at the RoyalChelseaHospital. Look forward to seeing you there.


Ray Howorth, Hon General Secretary

Important note about the AGM and VOTING

As a result of a recent rule change, postal voting is now allowed for AGM decisions, including Election of Officers and Committee.  In order to allow for this in this first year of operation the time scale and procedures below shall apply.

Nominations for all positions except President, Vice-President and Chairman shall be submitted to Hon Gen Sec in writing (or by e-mail) by Saturday 9th February.  Contact details for nominees MUST be provided at the time of nomination.

All nominees MUST HAVE AGREED to be nominated at the time of submission.

To be a valid nomination, the Nominee must be a paid up member of the OBA by Saturday 9th February 2013.

To be a valid nomination, nominees MUST BE PROPOSED AND SECONDED by paid up OBA members. Contact details for Proposers and Seconders must be provided at the time of submission

Assuming valid nominations are received, ballot papers for any CONTESTED positions will be sent to members by Saturday 23rd February

They must be RETURNED and RECEIVED by Wednesday 6th March to be included in the ballot result, which will be amalgamated with the result of any ballot taken at the AGM

Results will be announced at the AGM and reported by email as soon as possible thereafter and by normal mail recipients at the next mailing

All successful nominees will be informed as soon as practicable

Please note:  As this is the first time the OBA has engaged in a postal vote of members, any problems occurring with the process of this inaugural ballot will be resolved by decision of the President, Chairman and a Vice-President by a simple majority if necessary

Posts available for nomination (although there are current postholders) are as follows

Vice-Chairman – currently David Gardiner

Note the Vice Chairman is Chairman for the following year

Hon Gen Sec – currently Ray Howorth

Hon Treasurer – currently Andy Barlow

Hon Social Sec – currently Ted Bartlett

Membership Sec – currently Arthur Hickman

Committee Members

Note that Committee Members are voted in for a four year term, but this does not preclude anyone from taking office for a shorter term.  There are usually members coming to the end of a four year stint every year.  Committee Members who have completed four years in office are eligible for re-election.

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