I and my two brothers, Mark & Colin, were some of the large number of boys who came out in 1940 to spend the war in India with our parents; while Europe was in turmoil and even the defeat of Britain seemed a possibility.
Mark & I came out with about 600 other children on a passenger ship with Thomas Cook staff looking after us and arrived in Bombay(!) in September. We started at BCS later that month but due to the large number of ‘new boys’ the Headmaster, George Sinker, took about 20 of us into his house while another similar number of older boys went to a house near the school gate with a matron in charge. These arrangements were only for sleeping and we each belonged to one of the four houses for everything else including inter-house games.
Some of my memories include stealing chemistry lab equipment to make hookahs in which we smoked all sorts of strange things, climbing over the barbed-wire school fence to ‘scrump’ bhuttas which we roasted in the school boilers and fighting with kites with ground-up glass glued onto their strings. Also that some of the older boys had their eye on Joy Sinker, the Head’s pretty daughter! And at the end of term in December, the school train spread a trail of destruction along the various lines to where the boys’ homes were all over India. Why do we always remember the naughty things?
At prize-giving every year the current Viceroy came to preside and I was lucky enough to shake hands with Lord Linlithgow, Lord Wavell and one other whose name I forget. And of course we made many wonderful friendships which I’m glad to say joining OCA has opened the possibility of renewing.
David M. Wood-Robinson
Here is a listing of the boys who joined BCS in 1940/41/42/43/44 – general information for those who might be interested : [ bcs-list-1940-1944 ]