Rare view of Dover Grammar School for Boys from Dover Castle, Kent, England, UK

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Ex-Dover County School founded in 1905 by headmaster Fred Whitehouse as mixed-sex with premises in Ladywell and Frith Road. Segregated before above building opened by Duke of York (future King George VI) in 1931. Used by Royal Navy in World War II as a station for WRNS (Wrens). A 2500-yard zoom shot taken from the castle's Saluting Platform. Urban Architecture, History, Travel and Tourism.

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Comments (3)

John Latter on March 7, 2013

Dover Grammar School for Boys, Astor Avenue, Dover, Kent, CT17 0DQ. Telephone: 01304 206117. Non-denominational: Official DGSB website.

For more on the history of the school see:

Dover Grammar School for Boys, Astor Avenue, Dover CT17 0DQ

And all other Dover Grammar School for Boys photos.

WRNS: Women's Royal Naval Service. See the HMS Robertson "Comment" entry further down this page and all Dover Royal Navy and Second World War photos.

Of related interest:

The Funeral Locomotive of King George VI, Dover Priory Rail Station

The photo was taken from above Queen Elizabeth Road near the edge of the White Cliffs of Dover. See:

Royal Ordnance QF 25-Pounder Field Guns, Saluting Platform, Dover Castle

John Latter

I was a pupil at DGSB from September 1962 to June-July 1967 (Forms 1B to 5B) in Frith House (dark blue blazer badge and cap panels). My first form master was Mr 'Dickie' Bird who taught French and who also ran the Combined Cadet Force. My second form master was Mr 'Dizzy' Denham who taught Mathematics.

I joined the Army section of the Combined Cadet Force and remember two summer camps to Sennybridge (Brecon Beacons, South Wales) and Dartmoor.


1963-1964 DGSB School Photo

Elsewhere in the photo

Centre right: The location where post-Second World War prefabricated bungalows once stood on Noah's Ark Road is hidden by the single Anselm Road housing block; below it are the houses of Hamilton Road, Chamberlain Road, Northbourne Avenue. Also Devonshire Road and Wyndham Road.


66 Noah’s Ark Road Post-Second World War Prefab Site, Dover

Top right: Immediately behind the school the ground drops steeply away into the unseen Combe Valley with its Industrial Estate, St Radigund's Housing Estate, and Buckland Hospital. The appearance the photo gives of being able to walk to the school from the field (with horses) in the top corner is therefore illusory.

The line-of-sight from the castle to the school passes close to where I live:

Robsons Yard, West Street, Tower Hamlets, Dover

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any red or blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

John Latter on March 7, 2013

HMS Robertson

The Old Pharosians Association (DGSB's "Old Boys") newsletter of January 2005 recorded a find made while the Library was being renovated:

One item of particular interest was an unposted letter, presumably written during the war when W.R.N.S. personnel were billeted in the school. Written on an 8 May by a Deidre, it was addressed to Third Officer Maureen Bradish-Ellams on H.M.S. Robertson. In the letter there was reference to the consequences of war activities. A Mrs Gosling said Bill had been wounded about 17 times and Anthony Courage was still missing. Deirdre wrote that she was doing coding but "not officially yet". Perhaps she was working in the "secret underground works" at Dover Castle.

The "secret underground works" are associated with the Dunkirk Evacuation and D-Day Normandy Landings. See:

Rare view of Cliff Casemates Balcony, Secret Wartime Tunnels of Dover Castle


The Stone Map and Statue of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, Dover Castle

HMS Robertson, like Dover's HMS Wasp, was a shore station (which accounts for the female officer!):

HMS Robertson was a Combined Operations Landing Craft (LC) base at Kitchener Camp, Richborough, Kent with hutted accommodation for Royal Marines Landing Craft personnel (Guns' crews). It was commissioned on 23 Jun 1943 and paid off (decommissioned) on 31 Aug 1946 although a retard party, administered by HMS Pembroke II, remained until 12 Oct 1946, presumably to clear everything away.

Rootsweb record that a "Helen Maureen Bradish-Ellams" had been born on Tuesday, the 28th of November 1922.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 7, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/07/03 10:55:38
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 0.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/10.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash