Herbert Pitchford

Pitchford Herbert Harrington Pitchford, better known to all as ‘Horace’, was educated at Adams Grammar School in Newport, Shropshire. From here, he was successful in gaining a place at Saint Catherine’s College, Cambridge where he read Geography and History. During his time there, he also gained his college colours for football and represented the college for athletics.

On completion and deciding to pursue a teaching career, in 1922, he became master at Thetford Grammar School in Norfolk. He remained there for four years before being successfully appointed as Senior History and Geography Master at Burton Grammar in 1926.

PitchfordAt this time, the school was lacking in facilities and equipment, even by the standards of the day, but Mr Pitchford was to soon make his presence felt not only in the classroom but also on the playing fields and in the choir. He gained a strong reputation for being able to communicate the knowledge of his subjects to his pupils, many of whom enjoyed good results.

He was responsible for building up an extensive reference library for the sixth form which enjoyed an increased success and many of them went on to achieve high academic and political success. He also instilled an interest in local history in his pupils and took it upon himself to arrange a number of visits to sites of historic interest which was fairly innovative at the time.

PitchfordFor some years, he was Secretary of the Burton and South Derbyshire Historical Society where again, he had a very positive influence and persuaded a number of significant speakers to provide lectures. Herbert also served a term as President of the Burton-upon-Trent Natural History and Archaeological Society where he again used his abilities to arrange a number of excursions for members.

During World War II, he became Secretary of the Committee of No. 351 Squadron of the Air Training Corps.

PitchfordOn the retirement of Mr T.W.Parkin in 1946, Horace took over as Senior Master and in 1950, having now spent twenty-four very productive years the school, he was appointed to replace Harold Moodey as Headmaster after his very tragic suicide.

This represented a marked career change for Mr Pitchford as his responsibilities now became largely administrative rather than teaching. In 1952, plans for the new Grammar School in Winshill were finally accepted and a large proportion of his time was taken up with the preparatory work for the new school. Horace was still Headmaster when the time came to transfer from Bond Street to Winshill which he saw as a great opportunity for the academic and sporting expansion of the school.

PitchfordHorace Pitchford finally retired in 1958 after thirty-two years at the school but this was not to be end of his association with it. Post-retirement, he became a co-opted member of the Burton Education Committee where he did everything possible to further the interest of the school, as well as education in the town in general. He was also a staunch of the Old Boy’s Society and in 1959, he became President following which, he was voted a permanent member of its committee.

Outside of the school, Horace was an ardent churchman and was influential in the activities of Burton Parish Church. Extremely conscientious and hard-working in his many capacities, there can be no doubt that he is one of the school’s most important characters.


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