Robert Vickers Rowland    

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58 to 64:
Mr Rowland left WHS at the end of the summer term in 1961 when I was just finishing my third year. He was Housemaser of Johnstons and I was then in Halls. I am personally very puzzled, because I started German in my third year (1960 to 1961), but do not remember being taught by Mr Roland, only by Mr Waters - but he arrived in September 1963 after Bob Rowland had left. On the one hand he must have taught me (because I don't remember any other teachers of German being at WHS at that time) but on the other I feel sure I would remember him better, as he was very memorable ........

Anyway, I did not know him well, but remember feeling a considerable sense of loss when he left. And later I found out more about his life and career - including from "Janus" articles. He was a really impressive guy: a fighter pilot in the war, a 1st in German & English at Birmingham University and by all accounts a great teacher: one of those formidable pioneers who really put WHS on the map in establishing its academic excellence and credibility. And so it was very sad when we learned of his death in a car crash in 1964, just three years after leaving WHS to become Headmaster of The City of Coventry Boarding School. Just as with Patrick Richardson in 1979, it was a devastating blow both to those who knew them and to education in general.

Terry Carr Johnstons 55-61): Bob was, I believe, killed in a car crash several years later, and I remember feeling a great sense of loss on hearing this. He was exceedingly kind and understanding to me when I went through a particularly dark period whilst at school and his influence on my life has been immense. His charming wife, Barbara, died a short while ago. I believe there was a period when she was our Matron in Johnstons, and not surprisingly, everyone loved her to bits.

Under Bob, Johnstons were the first house (I think) to stage House Concerts and Barbecues, something which would have been unthinkable under Butch Richardson, and I believe these continued under Jimmy Hyde. I didn't know Jimmy Hyde that well, but what I did know of him I am sure he was a marvellous successor to Bob Rowlands."



Terry Carr - Johnstons 1955 to 1961: I think it was it 1958 that Iain Richard Richardson (aka Butch) left and Bob 'Rommel' Rowland took over. This man was, again in my opinion, an absolute star. Hard? Yes, but very fair and with considerable regard and affection for the boys under his control. Doc Lewis, who taught physics, was the Assistant Housemaster at this time.

Bob Cromarty succeeded Lewis as Assistant Housemaster and it was around 1961 that Jimmy Hyde came on the scene in Johnstons and he then took over as Housemaster when Bob Rowland left Woolverstone to take up a headmastership in the Midlands.

Tragically, Bob Rowland was killed in a car crash several years later, and I remember feeling a great sense of loss on hearing this. He was exceedingly kind and understanding to me when I went through a particularly dark period whilst at school and his influence on my life has been immense. His charming wife, Barbara, died a short while ago. I believe there was a period when she was our Matron in Johnstons, and not surprisingly, everyone loved her to bits.

Under Bob, Johnstons were the first house (I think) to stage House Concerts and Barbecues, something which would have been unthinkable under Butch Richardson, and I believe these continued under Jimmy Hyde. I didn't know Jimmy Hyde that well, but from what I did know of him I am sure he was a marvellous successor to Bob Rowland.


Jonathan Briggs - Johnstons 56 to 63: Unfortunately, Terry died in 2015. Several of we old boys went to his funeral, which was attended by over 1000 people, in fact standing-room only. He was held in very high regard for his work in the community.

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