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Distinguished OFs

To visit another section please click on one of the headings below.


(where hyperlinked, click names below for additional information)


This first section provides some background to the families behind the 4 original houses of Garrett, Kerrison, Rendlesham and Stradbroke.

GARRETT - Garretts of Leiston

KERRISON - Sir Edward and Lady Kerrison

RENDLESHAM - Fifth and Sixth Lord Rendlesham

STRADBROKE - Earls of Stradbroke

The College have also put together this note on all the current houses - click here

For a brief note on the background to Berners Library click here.

Please click HERE to see a full list of all the contributions that have been made to the College and Brandeston by individual OFs, the OF Society and the OF Masonic Lodge. You can also click HERE to see a detailed list, produced by Commander John Simpson (K32-36), of all the Prizes at the College.

The rest of this section covers those OFs and Honorary OFs who are distinguished for their service to the Society and/or the College/Brandeston and who do not already feature in one of the other sections.

HERBERT PRETTY (1865-70) - born in 1854, he was 1st President of SOF, following being captain of the School in 1869 and 1870. He had a successful career as Managing Director of the famous Huntley & Palmer biscuit company prior to WW2. Died in 1935.

ALFRED PRETTY (1870-77) - born in 1859; founder and 1st secretary of the SOF. He was a master at Framlingham in the 19th century – a demanding teacher who loved precepts e.g. “Whatsoever they find hardest to do, do it with all thy might” or Goethe’s “Ein unnutz Leben ist ein fruher Tod”. Fine teacher and sports coach. Played golf wearing red jacket and knickerbockers. Few people have worked more devotedly for the good of the College. Died in 1950.

EDWIN PERKINS RIDLEY (1873-77) - born in 1858 and qualified as a solicitor. He went on to be Mayor of Ipswich in 1898-9. He was president of the Society in 1903 and was the 1st OF to become a member of the Corporation and a Governor. He died in 1939.

JAMES MASON MARTIN (1888-94) - born in 1876 and qualified as a solicitor. He was a member of the Corporation and a Governor. He was one of the College’s most generous benefactors. Many parts of the College buildings bear witness to his generosity, including the Chapel doors (an obscure corner bears the initials JMM) and the Clark Martin Reading Room, now the Board Room. He died in 1960 and in his will provided for 6 English Prizes at the College and Brandeston.

JOHN BOOTH (1898-03) - born in 1886, he was responsible for writing the history of the first 60 years of the College, which was published in April 1925. Prior to that he had written a number of other books on the Old Vic and Shakespeare. He also wrote the booklet for the original Brandeston Hall Appeal and was a Vice President of the Society. He died in 1965.

CECIL ISHERWOOD STAPLETON (1913-15) - on his death he left significant shares in HSBC to fund 6th form bursaries at the College, with the intention that recipients would hopefully follow in his footsteps and attend Exeter College, Oxford. The bursaries total approximately £30-40,000 pa.

THOMAS “TOM” GEORGE SAUL (R19-24) – he was President of the Society in 1968/9 and editor of the Overseas Bag for many years. His other great joys were Bishop Stortford Hockey and Cricket Clubs.

VENTURA GEORGE BROMAGE (G24-26) – he was elected to the SOF Council in 1942, became Secretary in 1945 (till his death in 1976), President in 1957/8, he joined the Corporation in 1962 and the Governing Body in 1967 and was chairman of the Executive Committee of Governors from 1974 until his death on 20 August 1976.

LEONARD MARK LIELL (S19-27) - born in 1909 he qualified as a solicitor. He was for very many years a Trustee and in 1951 President of the Society, as well as a founder member of the Essex branch in 1929. He was also a member of the Corporation and Governor of the College. In 1987 he made a gift to allow a replanting programme of trees to take place.

HORACE JAMES “JIM” SMITH (G24-27) – he became a solicitor after leaving the College and soon became active in the Society being a founder member of the Essex branch in 1929. During WW2 became a Squadron Leader in RAF Fighter Command and was mentioned in dispatches in 1942. He was President of the Society in 1961/2 and was appointed a Governor in 1962. He was Vice Chairman of the Governing Body from 1973 until 1987 and finally retired as a Governor in 1987 after 25 years. Perhaps one of his most long lasting contributions was as Chairman of the Committee set up to consider the taking of girls at the College and Brandeston.

BENJAMIN “BEN” HUNT THOMPSON (G27-31) – he was SOF president in 1971/2, Governor from 1971 to 1988 and a long term organiser of the Suffolk Supper at the College.

KENNETH KESTER KNIGHT (K32-38) – he was a Governor of the College (73-92), Past President (1968), Trustee of the Society (68-91), Council Member since 1951 and Finance Committee (55-91). He died on 20 January 2007 and a link will be provided to his obituary when written. In the meantime a link is provided to Jim Blythe’s (K48-54) address at the Memorial Service in the College Chapel.

COMMANDER JOHN RUSSELL SIMPSON (K32 -36) - had a distinguished naval career and was then a Governor of the College for many years and SOF President in 1975/76. He died on 4 April 2020, just four days after his 101st birthday. He did a lot of research on the origin of Speech Day prizes which you can read here.

VENTURA NEVILLE BROMAGE (G47-54) – after being captain of Rugby, Hockey and Swimming while at the College, he went into the license trade and ran an old people home. He was a member of the MMC, played rugby for Harlequins and was Secretary and Commodore of the Aldeburgh Yacht Club. For many years he was on the SOF Council and became Secretary in 1976 on the death of this father; a post he held fro 25 years until his own death in 2001. He died in June 2001 at the age of 64.

ROBERT JAMES “JIM” BLYTHE (K48-54) – followed his father to the College and was the second boy to arrive at Brandeston in 1948. On leaving joined he Merchant Navy and was on the last convey to sail through the Sue Canal before the conflict. He joined his wife’s family nursery business in 1965 and went on to exhibit successfully at County and RHS shows across the country, including Chelsea. He is a Past President and for many years a Trustee of the SOF. He was also a Governor for 17 years.

JOHN WALDEN EDWARDS (K44-55) – he was a towering figure both within the Society, and also in his service to the Governing Board of the College and had a special affection for Brandeston Hall, having been one of the original pupils starting there when it opened in 1948. He was SOF President in 1977 and 1978 and a long-term member of the Board of Governors, including chairman of what was then styled the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

DAVID EDWARD MASON BEM (S55-59) – he was involved with the SOF and College for nearly 60 years and was a trustee for half that time and Chair for nearly 30 years.  He was also President for 2 years (2009-11).  As well as his involvement with the SOF/College he was also a member of Carshalton Beeches Rotary Club for over 30 years and also supported the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Sutton Community Transport, the day centre in Carshalton Beeches and many others, often providing advice and looking after their accounts. He was a mentor with the Prince's Trust and in the 2016 New Year's Honours List he fittingly received a British Empire Medal for services to charity and the local community. 


REV OLIVER DIGBY INSKIP (HON OF) – he was headmaster of the College for twenty-six years from 1887-1913 and saw pupil numbers increase from just 72 to over 300. He was the instigator of “The Framlinghamian”, which was first published in April 1899. He retired in 1913 and died on 28 May 1934 at the age of 81.

DAVID FOREMAN (HON OF) – he was a steward at the College for nearly 50 years. The picture attached was painted of him in the Crown bar by W O Hutchison and was hung in the 1935 Royal Academy Exhibition. It was jointly purchased by the College and the Society in 1948, a year after he retired. He used to ring the bell each morning at 7.15am. After his death a memorial seat was placed on the Back.

REVD RUPERT H W KNEESE (HON OF) – he joined the College in 1920 as Chaplain and went on to become Second Master and a Housemaster. He was made an Honorary OF in 1942. He retired from the College in Easter 1953. He died in July 1957, just four years after retiring and he left a bequest which was used to buy a lectern in the College Chapel.

CHARLES EDGAR THOMAS (HON OF) – he joined the College in 1921 and was for many years in charge of Hockey. He was also housemaster of Stradbroke for 26 years. He died on 31 October 1958 at the age of 70 and while still teaching Chemistry after more than 37 years at the College. He is buried near Francis Stock (headmaster 1913-29) in Framlingham Cemetery. In his honour the field, now called the Norman Borrett Ground, was named Thomas’s Field after him. He had, of course, been responsible for coaching Norman Borrett at hockey.

WALTER ELLIOTT WINSTANLEY (HON OF) – he joined the College in 1925 and within a year had taken on the Editorship of The Framlinghamian, a post he held until 1963. He has a strong interest in cricket and was in charge of 1st XI for 32 years and took over the Quilibet Cricket Club from the founder Rupert Kneese, in 1953. When he retired from cricket in 1956 he handed over to Norman Borrett who 22 years earlier had been his captain of 1st XI. In early 1954, as Second Master, he temporarily took over from Reginald Kirkman when he had a minor heart attack. He retired in 1967 after 42 years.

SIR FRANK GARRETT (HON OF) – he was the son of Richard Garrett, one of the original founders of the College. He became a member of the Corporation in 1903 and finally resigned 46 years later in 1949, after having witnessed the unveiling of the WW2 War Memorial and the opening of Brandeston Hall by the Earl and Countess of Athlone. He was also President of the Corporation for many years.

REGINALD WILLIAM KIRKMAN (HON OF) – he was headmaster at the College from 1941 until 1955 and is perhaps best remembered for increasing the number of pupils from just 100 boarders and 35 day boys when he arrived, to a total of 425 when he left. His period at the College also saw the opening of Brandeston Hall on 2 July 1949. He died in 1975.

DAVID DARLINGTON KITTERMASTER (HON OF) – he was appointed Brandeston’s first Headmaster in January 1948 and retired in July 1968 after 20 years in office. He grew the school to 102 boarders and 39 day boys and built up every activity and interest from nothing.

ARTHUR GEORGE “ARTIE” HALL (HON OF) – like David Foreman, he was steward at the College for nearly 50 years, joining in 1958. The attached picture and clock were presented to Artie by the Society and now hang in the Masters Common Room.

LESLIE “BOB” GILLETT (HON OF) – he came to teach at the College in 1947 and remainder a teacher there for the next 31 years. As well as a teacher he wrote “Framlingham College : The Second Sixty Years” in 1992 and “Remembered Days: The S.O.F. Centenary” in 2000, as well as writing a novel in 1978 called “The Apprentice”. For his work on behalf of the College and Society, he had the rare distinction, as an Honorary OF, of being made a Vice President of the Society. To quote Bob Williams he was “schoolmaster, author, historian, raconteur, lover of good music; there are an abundance of good memories.”

WALTER STANLEY PORTER (HON OF) – in 1955 he became headmaster of the College in succession to Kirkman and was a science teacher by training. During his headship the College celebrated its centenary and the opening of the Athlone Hall. This period also saw the building of the Science Block and Moreau House. He retired as headmaster in 1971. He died on 6 July 2000 aged 91 and left a legacy of around £750,000 to the College, which has been used to build the Headmaster Porter Theatre in the Athlone Hall. This was officially opened in November 2006 by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

JACK WILLIAM MEYNELL (HON OF) - he worked at Glaxo before taking a job at the College as lab technician and shooting master, where he remained for 35 years. He is mainly included in this section for his shooting prowess. He is believed to be the only man ever to have won the Queen’s Medal with two different weapons.