Bedford Modern School
(May Bedford Flourish)
|Type||Public School and Independent day school|
|DfE URN||109728 Tables|
|Houses||Oatley, Mobbs, Tilden, Farrar, Rose, Bell|
|Colours||Black and red|
|Publication||The Eagle/ The Sports Eagle/ The Eaglet|
|Former pupils||Old Bedford Modernians http://www.obmclub.co.uk|
|School Song||"School of the Black and Red"|
|Unofficial Motto||"Modern 'till I Die"|
Bedford Modern School (often called BMS) is an HMC independent school located in the county town of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. BMS comprises a junior school (years 6–11) and a senior school (years 11–18).
- 1 History
- 2 School houses
- 3 Monitors
- 4 Uniform
- 5 Coeducation
- 6 Extracurricular activities
- 7 List of headmasters
- 8 Notable masters
- 9 Miscellany
- 10 Old Bedford Modernians
- 10.1 Academic and educational
- 10.2 Actors, directors and entertainers
- 10.3 Adventurers, exiles and aviators
- 10.4 Architecture and art
- 10.5 Armed forces
- 10.6 Industry and commerce
- 10.7 Journalism
- 10.8 Law
- 10.9 Literature
- 10.10 Medicine
- 10.11 Music
- 10.12 Public office in church and state
- 10.13 Sport
- 11 Further reading
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Bedford Modern School has its origins in The Harpur Trust, born from the endowments left by Sir William Harpur in the sixteenth century. Since the separation of Bedford School and BMS in 1764, the School has had four names – the Writing School, the English School, the Commercial School and finally Bedford Modern School, the last change being made in 1873 to reflect the School's modern curriculum, providing an education for the professions. BMS provided education not only for the locality but also for colonial and military personnel seeking good education for their young families.
In 1834 BMS moved to buildings designed by Edward Blore in Harpur Square, Bedford. The successful growth of the school meant that the buildings became increasingly cramped and in 1974 the school moved to new premises in Bedford. The Foundation Stone for the new building was laid by Margaret Thatcher. On 11 May 1976, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a commemorative panel at the new school building during her visit with H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh.
Following a tradition of over a hundred years the Senior School Houses of BMS were: North, South, East, West, County and United Boarders. This last comprised the combined boarding houses: Culver, Shakespeare, and School House. The day boy houses often, though not always, reflected the parts of the town or county from which the boys hailed and were mentioned in the chorus of the school song.
A decision was made in October 1997 for the House system to play a more central role in the School and to reinvigorate internal competition whilst upholding its fine traditions. Six Heads of House were appointed from the staff under the direction of a Senior Head of House, with the brief to establish a modern House system to be integrated into a new school structure and working week, beginning in September 1998. A competition was launched to establish the new house names. The Houses were named in honour of six Old Bedford Modernians who had gained national or international recognition in their field.
Each house has its own tie which consists of stripes of the three school colours and their own house colour. Inter-house sports cover all major and minor sports run by the school, at both Junior and Senior level, and range from rugby and hockey (major sports) to shooting and fencing (minor sports). There are also non-sporting events such as quizzes and Music and Drama competitions. Students take leadership roles as House Captain or House Deputies.
Monitors are selected, following a written application process, from students in the Upper Sixth. Each team of monitors works with a specific year group, and are led by two Senior Monitors, appointed by the Head Master. Senior Monitors, along with the Heads of School, are entitled to wear a red trim on their blazer.
Boys in years 7 to 11 wear their house tie and school blazer alongside black trousers and a white shirt. Girls may wear the school shirt or black trousers with the school blazer (girls' blazers have a red and black braid). Sixth form students wear a business suit.
Until 2003, BMS was a day and boarding school for boys. Following 12 years of discussions, Bedford Modern School closed its boarding houses and became coeducational in September 2003. In 2013, BMS celebrated 10 years of coeducation, with a play written by Mark Burgess commissioned to celebrate the event.
BMS is notable for both rugby union and rowing, competing regularly against other schools such as Bedford School, Berkhamsted School, Bishop's Stortford College, Eton College, Hampton School, Harrow School, Kimbolton School, Haileybury, Merchant Taylors, Oakham School, Oundle School, St Albans School and Stamford School. Other popular sports include athletics, fencing, rugby fives, football, swimming, table tennis, tennis and water polo.
Bedford Modern has a strong sporting tradition with many former students going on to compete at national and international levels including two former Captains of the England Rugby Team and a former Captain of the England cricket team:
- England Rugby Caps: Horace Finlinson, WB Thomson, Edgar Mobbs (Captain), Arthur Gilbert Bull, Dick Stafford, Harold Day, Dickie Jeeps CBE (Captain) and Lionel Edward Weston
- England Cricketers: Arthur Jones (Captain), Geoff Millman, Monty Panesar
- Olympic Medallists: Major-General Charles Howard Foulkes CB CMG DSO (field hockey Bronze), John Yallop (Rowing Silver), Tim Foster MBE (Rowing Gold)
- Boat Race Oarsmen: Sir Archibald Dennis Flower Kt, William Poole, Sir George Edward Godber GCB, David Leadley, Joseph Dominic Kinsella, JD Hughes, Tim Foster MBE, David Gillard, Kenelm Richardson (Cambridge cox)
- Paralympian, Julie Rogers
- Rugby Fives British Champion: Matt Cavanagh (2004 and 2006)
The school was selected as an official training site for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The Maldives National Olympic Committee based its competing athletes in Bedford, while Paralympic athletes from Angola, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Lesotho, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda were also based in the area. With the exception of Weymouth (which hosted various sailing events) Bedford accommodated more Olympic teams in 2012 than any other town or borough in the UK.
BMS Drama Website Bedford Modern celebrates a national reputation for excellence in the performance arts. Each year, the school puts on two major productions, normally musicals, with full orchestra and set, in its 300-seat auditorium. It also hosts its own Shakespeare Festival, in which local schools are invited to take part. The Sixth Form has its own theatre company, Theatre in Transit, which puts on a piece of theatre each year at professional venues. Music also thrives at BMS, with over 20 bulbs including the School Orchestra, Choir, Chamber Choir, and Concert Band. The Music School also features a recording studio, and individual practice rooms. In September 2014, the Chamber Choir performed The Armed Man at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Sing UK's 'A Mass for Peace'.
Combined cadet force
The School's CCF is one of the oldest in the country, having existed since 1863. BMS is one of very few schools in the UK to have all four arms of the Service within its Corps: Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Bedford Modern CCF also invites students from nearby Rushmoor, St Andrew's and Bedford Free School to be part of the Corps.
List of headmasters
The following have been Head Masters of Bedford Modern School.
|Name||Years as Head Master|
|William Henry White||1821–1831|
|Rev. Robert Burton Poole||1877–1900|
|Cecil William Kaye||1901–1916|
|Canon Arnold Cecil Powell||1917–1922|
|Henry Weddell Liddle||1922–1946|
|Rev. John Edward Taylor||1946–1965|
|Peter John Squire||1977–1996|
- Rev. Thomas Blyth DD (1844–1913), later author and Commissary to the Archbishop of Ottawa and Bishops of Niagara
- Professor William Hillhouse FLS (1850–1910), first Professor of Botany at the University of Birmingham
- Edward Mann Langley (1851–1933), founder of the Mathematical Gazette and creator of Langley’s Adventitious Angles
- William Jesse MA (1870-1945), later Principal of Meerut College (1903–23) and Headmaster of Kenton College, Kenya
- Sir Percy Nunn (1870–1944), educationalist
- Ronald Welch (1909-1982), author
- Michael James Hugill (1918–2013), later headmaster of Whitgift School (1961–70) and Assistant Master at Westminster School (1972–86)
- Michael Harrison OBE (born 1925), later Chief Education Officer, City of Sheffield (1967–85)
- William Birkett Cook MA (born 1931), later Headmaster of Durham School (1967–72) and Magdalen College School, Oxford (1972–91)
- James Geoffrey 'Fess' Parker CBE (1933–2012), later Headmaster of Manchester Grammar School (1985–94)
- John Moore (born 1943), footballer, 1st team football coach
- Christopher Stuart Parker CBE (born 1947), later headmaster of Nottingham High School (1995–2007)
- David Davies (born 1957) author and historian, former history master
- Mark Burgess (born 1960), actor and playwright, Head of Speech and Drama
- Jason Riddington (born 1968), actor, former Head of Drama
- Rob Hardwick (born 1969), Director of Rugby, former England Rugby International
- Chris Willmott (born 1977), football coach and retired English footballer
- H.D. Harvey-Kelly (OBM) was a World War I pilot who was credited with being the first RFC pilot to land in France in the war, and of being the first RFC pilot to down an enemy aircraft
- Charles Carroll Wood (OBM) was the first Canadian to die in the Second Boer War. He was the great grandson of Zachary Taylor (12th President of the United States) and is the namesake of Chaswood, Nova Scotia
- Cecil Vandepeer Clarke and Stuart Macrae, WW2 inventors, took a prototype of their limpet mine to Bedford Modern School swimming baths, which were closed for such occasions. Clarke was an excellent swimmer and was able to propel himself through the water with a prototype bomb attached to a keeper plate on webbing around his waist
- Dame Alice Owen's School was evacuated to BMS for the entire duration of World War II
- A.O. Jones (OBM), former captain of the England Cricket Team, invented the cricket position of gully
- James Oswald Anderson (OBM) played football for Argentina in its first ever official national game against Uruguay in 1902
- Bedford Modern has educated two former captains of the England Rugby Team namely Edgar Mobbs and Dickie Jeeps. Jeeps was also captain of the British Lions in 1962
- Christopher Fry (OBM) talks about BMS when interviewed by Roy Plomley on Desert Island Discs – Christopher Fry on Desert Island Discs
- John Sessions (OBM) talks about BMS when interviewed by Sue Lawley on Desert Island Discs – John Sessions on Desert Island Discs
- An annual ‘Long Swim’ was established under Dr Poole (headmaster 1877-1900), a ‘free-for-all’ swimming race in the River Great Ouse from Bedford town bridge to the ‘Suspension Bridge’. The gruelling event was stopped in 1957 due to river pollution
- An annual compulsory steeplechase takes place at the school for each year group
- David Scott Daniell (OBM) wrote about his schooldays at BMS in his first novel, Young English
- The school’s Prichard Museum, a collection of artefacts sent back to the school mainly from old boys around the world, became Bedford Museum. George Witt was also a major benefactor to the school's museum
- Norman Friskney, later headmaster of Wilson's School, writes about his time as a Master at BMS in his memoirs, With Gun and Gown (2012, ISBN 978-1-86151-009-9)
Old Bedford Modernians
Academic and educational
- Sir William Augustus Tilden FRS (1842–1926), Chemist & Dean, Royal College of Science, London
- Joseph Reynolds Green FRS (1848-1914), Professor of Botany to the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
- Professor William Hillhouse FLS (1850–1910), first Professor of Botany at the University of Birmingham
- Edward Mann Langley (1851–1933), founded the Mathematical Gazette, created Langley’s Adventitious Angles
- William Robert Bousfield FRS (1854–1943), Fellow of the Royal Society
- Dr John Holland Rose FBA (1855–1942), Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, University of Cambridge (1919–1933)
- George Charles Crick FGS FRGS FZS (1856–1917), geologist, authority on Cephalopoda, 1st Assistant at the Natural History Museum
- Professor Richard John Durley MBE (1868–1948), Professor of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University (1901–12)
- Edward Augustine Lowe Laxton MBE (1869–1951), expert on fruit production (Laxton's Superb)
- Professor Henry Payne FRAeS M.Inst.C.E. (1871–1945), Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne
- Jannion Steele Elliott (1871–1942), ornithologist
- Dr Eric Temple Bell, (1883–1960), mathematician who specialised in number theory and formulated the Bell series
- Sir Charles Oatley OBE, FRS FREng (1904–1996), Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Cambridge
- Gerald Dunning, D.Lit, FSA (1905-1978), pioneering medieval archaeologist, authority on Anglo-Saxon and medieval ceramics
- Professor William Francis Grimes CBE (1905–1988), Professor of Archaeology, University of London (1956–1973)
- Reverend Francis MacCarthy Willis Bund (1906-1980), Chaplain, Dean and Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford
- F.G. Emmison MBE FSA FRHistS (1907–1995), archivist, author and historian
- Jack Naisbitt King MBE (1928–2007), Bursar and Founding Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge
- Professor John Richard Anthony Pearson FRS FIMMM MIChemE (born 1930), pioneer in fluid mechanics
- Professor David John Bartholomew FBA (born 1931), Professor of Statistics at the LSE (1973–96)
- Professor Philip Bean (born 1936), Professor of Criminology at Loughborough University, former President of the British Soc. of Criminology
- Professor George Richard Pickett FRS (born 1939), Professor of Low Temperature Physics at Lancaster University
- Professor Sid Gray PhD FASSA FCCA (born 1942), Professor at the University of Sydney Business School
- Professor Richard Hugh Britnell FBA (1944–2013), Professor of History at Durham University
- Dr Vaughan Southgate DL FRSM FLS FSB (born 1944), British medical parasitologist
- Professor Sir Peter Knight FRS (born 1947), Professor of quantum optics at Imperial College London
- Professor Stephen Wildman (born 1951), Professor of the History of Art at Lancaster University
- Dr. Roger Geoffrey Clarke (1952–2007), ornithologist, world authority on harriers and other birds of prey
- Professor Barry H.V. Topping MBCS MICE MIStructE MIMechE FIMA (born 1952), authority and author on computational mechanics
- Professor John Clibbens FRSocMed (born 1953), Professor of Developmental Psychology at Birmingham City University
- Professor Stephen Taylor (born 1953), Professor of Finance at Lancaster University
- Professor Richard Charles Murray Janko (born 1955), Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan
- Professor Brian Derby FIMMM (born 1956), Professor of Materials Science at Manchester University
- Professor Gavin D'Costa (born 1958), Professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Bristol
- Jonathan Gillespie FRSA (born 1966), headmaster of Lancing College (2006–14) and St Albans School (2014–)
- Professor Nick Groom FRSA (born 1966), Professor of English Literature at the University of Exeter and author
- Dr Peter David Wothers MBE FRSC (born 1969), chemist and Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge
Actors, directors and entertainers
- E.E. Blake (1879–1961), pioneering exhibitor of motion pictures and owner of cinemas
- Harrish Ingraham (1881– ), Hollywood film director, writer and actor in the era of silent movies
- Gillie Potter (1887–1975), comedian and broadcaster
- Kenneth Alexander (1887–1975), Hollywood photographer for United Artists and 21st Century Fox
- Reginald Berkeley (1890–1935), playwright and screenwriter in Hollywood (Cavalcade, The World Moves On)
- Robert Luff CBE (1914–2009), theatrical agent and producer (The Black and White Minstrel Show)
- Derek Scott (1921–2006), double act (with Terry-Thomas and Tony Hancock) and music director (The Muppet Show)
- David Tringham (born 1935), assistant film director (Lawrence of Arabia, Highlander, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
- David Firth (born 1945), actor (Casualty, Midsomer Murders), screenwriter (Home James!, Sorry, I'm A Stranger Here Myself) and singer in musicals (original cast of Phantom of the Opera)
- John Sessions (born 1953), actor (Gangs of New York, The Iron Lady, Filth), comedian and broadcaster (QI)
- Timothy Toni (born 1956), award-winning television producer (Big Brother Australia)
- Julian Hector (born 1960), head of radio at the BBC Natural History Unit
- Russell Barnes (born 1968), television producer (The Enemies of Reason, The Genius of Charles Darwin)
- David Jubb (born 1970), theatre director and chief executive of the Battersea Arts Centre
- Russell Howard (born 1980), comedian and presenter (Russell Howard's Good News)
- Leon Parris (born 1981), writer, composer, musician and actor (Scary Musical, Wolfboy, Monte Cristo)
- Jeremy Irvine (born 1990), UK and Hollywood actor (War Horse, Now Is Good, Great Expectations, The Railway Man)
- Suhani Gandhi (born 1994), model and actress
Adventurers, exiles and aviators
- John Percy Farrar DSO (1857–1929), soldier and mountaineer, President of the Alpine Club and member of the Mount Everest Committee
- Sir Reginald Wolseley, 10th Baronet (1872–1933), dubbed the elevator baronet
- Captain and Bimbashi Henry Haymes SBStJ MRCS LRCP (1872-1904), military surgeon, one of the original explorers of the Bahr-el-Ghazal
- George E.M. Kelly (1878–1911), early aviator in the Aeronautical Division, US Signal Corps
- Captain Aeneas Lionel Acton Mackintosh (1879–1916), Antarctic explorer, commander of the Ross Sea party expedition
- Duncan Alexander Eliot Mackintosh (1884–1966), 31st Chief of Clan Chattan (1942–66)
- Wilfrid Thomas Reid FRAeS (1887–1968), aircraft designer and a pioneer of the Canadian aircraft industry
- Desmond 'Dizzy' de Villiers AFC (1922–1976) chief test pilot at de Havilland and English Electric, second British pilot to exceed Mach 2
Architecture and art
- Josiah Conder (1852–1920), architect who designed the Rokumeikan and other public buildings in Tokyo
- Henry John Sylvester Stannard RBA FRSA (1870–1951), watercolour artist
- Major Hugh Patrick Guarin Maule DSO MC FRIBA (1873–1940), architect (Royal Veterinary College in London)
- George Loraine Stampa (1875–1951), artist, contributor to Punch and other illustrated papers and magazines
- Algernon Winter Rose MC (1885-1918), architect
- Robert Tor Russell CIE DSO (1888-1972), Chief Architect to the Government of India
- Thomas Francis Ford FRIBA (1891–1971), Diocesan Architect for Southwark and a translator of the New Testament
- Dennis Sharp (1933–2010), architect, professor, curator, historian, author and editor
- Alex Chinneck (born 1984), sculptor and installation artist
- Major-General Francis John Fowler CB DSO (1864–1939) Commander of the Derajat Brigade (1914–16)
- Major-General Charles Astley Fowler CB CSI DSO (1865-1940), Brigade Commander at the Battle of Loos, 1915
- Brigadier-General Sir Arthur Long KBE CB CMG DSO (1866–1941)
- Commander Willoughby Huddleston CMG (1866–1953), ADC to Lord Pentland, Governor of Madras (1912–19)
- Colonel Reginald Ruston CB (1867–1963), commander of the Mounted infantry of the Devon Regiment (1891–1903)
- Lieutenant-General Gerald Robert Poole CB CMG DSO (1868–1937), Commandant of the Royal Marine Artillery
- Colonel Ernest Clive Atkins CB TD DL JP (1870–1953), Battalion Commander of the 2/5th Leicestershire Regiment, High Sheriff of Leicestershire
- Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Haymes DSO (1870–1942), first to establish an OP at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle
- Rear Admiral Alfred Ransom CBE (1871-1953), First World War naval officer
- Major-General Herbert William Jackson CB CSI DSO (1872-1940), Officer of the British Indian Army
- Major George Godfrey Massy Wheeler VC (1873–1915), was a recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Charles Rothery Nutt DSO (1873–1946), inventor of the artillery miniature range
- Sir Ernest Whiteside Huddleston KCIE CBE RIN (1874–1959), Aide-de-camp to the Viceroy of India
- Lieutenant Charles Wood DSO CD (1874-1899), first Canadian to die in the Second Boer War
- Major-General Charles Howard Foulkes CB CMG DSO (1875–1969), Britain's chief adviser on gas warfare
- Brigadier-General Herbert Cecil Potter CB CMG DSO (1875–1964)
- Colonel Charles Temple Morris CBE (1876–1956), Commander of the 5th Battalion of the 1st Punjab Regiment between 1921 and 1926
- Lieutenant-Colonel James Knox DSO&bar (1878-1918), Battalion Commander, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 1915–18
- Brigadier-General Herbert Dobbin CBE DSO (1878-1946), Brigade Commander at the First Battle of Bapaume 1918, Colonel-Commandant of the Iraq Levies and the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
- Brigadier-General Arthur Turner CB CMG DSO (1878–1952), was an English cricketer, rugby union player and soldier
- Brigadier-General Percy Robert Clifford Groves CB CMG DSO (1878–1959), Air Strategist
- Colonel Wilfrid Stanley Richmond CMG MICE (1881–1962), Deputy Director of Roads in the BEF during World War I
- Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Cecil Prescott CMG CIE (1882–1960), Inspector of Police in Iraq
- Colonel Guy Sutton Bocquet CIE VD FRSA (1882–1961), ADC to the Viceroy of India
- Brigadier Harold Evelyn William Bell Kingsley CIE DSO (1885–1970), Aide-de-Camp to King George VI
- Lieut-Col Charles HGH Harvey-Kelly DSO (1885–1982) was Military Governor in Jerusalem after Allenby's entry in 1917
- Lieutenant-General Reginald Dawson Hopcraft Lough DSO OBE (1886–1958), Aide-de-camp to King George VI
- Lt.-Col. A.E.F. Fawcus DSO MC TD (1886–1936), Battalion Commander of the 1/5th North Staffordshire Regiment and the 1/5th Sherwood Foresters
- Air Vice-Marshal Robert Dickinson Oxland CB CBE (1889–1959), Group Commander in Bomber Command (1943–44)
- Lieutenant-Colonel Melville Ten Broeke MC&bar (1891–1963), commander of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment (1927–32)
- Major H.D. Harvey-Kelly DSO (1891-1917), Squadron Commander, Royal Flying Corps
- Major-General L.A. Hawes CBE DSO MC DL (1892-1986), responsible for preparing the transport to France of the British Expeditionary Force
- Brigadier W.C.V. Galwey OBE MC&bar (1897–1977), senior officer who served in World War I and World War II
- Captain John Ellis Langford Hunter DSC DFC (1897-1971), World War I flying ace
- Commander Herbert Newton OBE DL (1900–1973), Royal Navy Commander and Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire
- Brigadier Ernest Dynes CBE (1903–1968) was Aide-de-camp to HM Queen Elizabeth II (1955–57)
- Rear-Admiral Jack Kenneth Highton CB CBE (1904–1988), Aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II
- Brigadier Thomas Henry Scott Galletly DSO&bar MC (1905–1972), Commander of the 1st Brigade, Arab League
- Major-General Reginald Booth Stockdale OBE (1908–1979)
- Lt.-Col. Edward Peter Fletcher Boughey OBE (1911–1986), Special Operations Executive, special agent in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland
- Wing Commander Ernest Leslie 'Johnny' Hyde DFC (1914–1942), RAF officer during WW2, lead role in the M.O.I. film Coastal Command
- Captain Richard 'Dick' Howe MBE MC (1916–1981), Escape Officer Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle) (1942–1945)
- Squadron Leader Roland Anthony 'Tony' Lee Knight DFC (1917-1941), RAF flying ace of the Second World War
- Captain Frederick Stovin-Bradford CBE DSC&Bar (1919-1974), Royal Navy Commander (Fleet Air Arm)
- Sir Ted Horlick KBE (born 1925), Vice-Admiral
- Major-General Keith Burch CB CBE (1931–2013)
Industry and commerce
- John Howard (1791–1878), industrialist, inventor of agricultural equipment and four times Mayor of Bedford
- James Howard (1821–1889), industrialist and inventor of agricultural equipment. MP for Bedford
- Sir Frederick Howard JP DL (1828–1915), industrialist
- Captain Charles Wells (1842–1914), founder of Charles Wells Ltd, progenitor of the Wells Baronets of Felmersham
- Hon. Arthur Carter (1847-1917), businessman in Australia, Australian Consul to Norway, Member of the Queensland Legislative Council
- Sir George Farrar, 1st Baronet (1859–1915), mining magnate, politician and soldier
- Hon. Walter Nutt OBE (1874–1940), managing director of The Straits Trading Company (1918–21)
- Sir Noel Mobbs KCVO OBE (1878–1959), founder of Slough Estates and High sheriff of Buckinghamshire
- E.E. Blake (1879–1961), Chairman of Kodak UK 
- Sir Henry Cecil Johnson CBE (1906–1988), chairman of the British Railways Board (1968–71)
- Francis Coulson MBE (1919–1998), chef and hotelier
- Lieutenant-Colonel Ray Daniels MC (1923–2003), Chief Executive of the William Press Group
- Max Wideman (born 1927), expert in project management
- Sir Anthony Hartwell, 6th Baronet (born 1940), Master mariner and Marine surveyor
- John Quenby (born 1941), Chief Executive of the RAC Motor Sports Association (1990-2001)
- Andrew Stuart Winckler (1949–2007), Chief Executive of the Financial Services Authority (1996–98)
- Adrian Penfold MRTPI FRSA (born 1952), Head of Planning at British Land
- Dr Harry Brünjes (born 1954), Chairman of Premier Medical Group, Governor Lancing College, former Governor BMS
- Graham Clive Watts OBE MCMI FRSA FRIBA (born 1956), Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Council
- Richard Bradbury CBE (born 1956), Chief Executive of River Island (2008–11), director of Boden (2012–)
- Steve Gibbons (born 1956), graphic designer
- Steve Melton (born 1962), Chief Executive of Circle Health Ltd
- Nick Blofeld (born 1964), Managing Director of Epsom Downs Racecourse (2007-09), Chief Executive of Bath Rugby (2009-14)
- Marcus Weldon (born 1968), 13th President of Bell Labs
- Lindsay Bashford OBE (1881-1921), Literary Editor of the Daily Mail
- George Matthews (1917–2005), leading communist and editor of the Daily Worker/Morning Star from 1959–1974
- Eric Litchfield (1920–1982), sports editor of The Rand Daily Mail (1956-1970), the Cape Times (1970-82) and author
- John Akass (1933-1990), Fleet Street journalist
- Sir Nicholas Lloyd (born 1942), newspaper editor, News of the World (1984) and the Daily Express (1986–95)
- Michael Toner (born 1944), leader writer at the Sunday Express and Daily Mail. Author and novelist
- Christopher Wilson (born 1947), journalist and Royal biographer
- Nicholas Shaxson (born 1966), author, journalist and associate fellow of Chatham House
- Ben Anderson (born 1975), television reporter and writer (Holidays in the Axis of Evil)
- William Robert Bousfield KC FRS (1854–1943)
- Sir William Tudball (1866–1943). Puisne judge of the High Court of Allahabad (1909–1922)
- Sir Sidney Abrahams KC (1885–1957), Chief Justice of Tanganyika and Ceylon; Privy Councillor
- Sir Clement Thornton Hallam (1891–1965), Solicitor to the General Post Office
- Dr James Mould QC (1893-1958), Queen’s Counsel, Bencher of Gray’s Inn and a Fellow of University College London
- Stephen John Wooler CB (born 1948), HM Chief Inspector to the Crown Prosecution Service (1999–2010)
- Nicholas Stewart QC (born 1947), Queen's Counsel, Bencher of the Inner Temple, Deputy High Court Judge, former President of the Union Internationale des Avocats (2001–02), current Chairman of the Democratic Progress Institute
- Hon. Tim Lord QC (born 1966), Barrister, Queen's Counsel and Bencher of the Inner Temple who acted successfully for Guardian Care Homes against Barclays as part of the Libor fixing scandal
- William Hale White (1831–1913), author known by his pseudonym Mark Rutherford
- Neil Wynn Williams (1864–1940), novelist, writer and contributor of short stories and articles to periodicals and journals
- George Moreby Acklom (1870–1959), writer, literary editor of E.P. Dutton, father of the Hollywood actor David Manners
- Sir Henry Howarth Bashford (1880–1961), author of Augustus Carp, Esq. and several other satirical novels
- Eric Temple Bell, (1883–1960), science fiction author (as John Taine)
- Albert Scott Daniell (1906–1965), author, playwright and regimental historian
- Christopher Fry (1907–2005), poet and playwright. Awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1962
- Gordon Thomas (born 1933), investigative journalist and author (Gideon's Spies, The Pope's Jews)
- John Andrews (born 1936), author and antiques writer
- Russell Ash (1946-2010), author (The Top 10 of Everything)
- S.I. Martin (born 1961), author, historian and journalist specialising in Black British history and literature
- Stephen May (born 1964), novelist, playwright and TV writer
- Toby Litt (born 1968), author (Beatniks, Corpsing, Finding Myself)
- George Cleghorn (1850-1902), President of the New Zealand Medical Association
- Walter Jessop FRCS (1853–1917), Senior Ophthalmic Surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital, President of the UK Ophthalmological Society
- Major-General Harold Percy Waller Barrow CB CMG DSO OBE (1856–1957), Honorary Surgeon to King George V
- Major-General George Francis Angelo Harris CSI FRCP (1856–1931), Professor at the Calcutta Medical School
- Rickard William Lloyd MRCS LRCPEd (1859–1933), Consulting Anaesthetist and author
- Charles Hubert Roberts FRCS FRCP (1865-1929), Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
- Claud Alley Worth FRCS (1869–1936), ophthalmologist, inventor of the Worth 4 dot test and Worth’s Ambyloscope, world authority on squint
- Frank Atcherley Rose FRCS (1873–1935), surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital (1928–31)
- Thomas Shephard Novis FRCS (1874-1962), Professor of Surgery at Grant Medical College, Bombay
- Major-General Harold Rothery Nutt FRCS (1876–1953), Honorary Surgeon to the Viceroy of India and King George V
- Cyril Arthur Bennett Horsford FRCS (1876–1953), Laryngologist to the Royal College of Music
- John Wycliffe Linnell FRCP (1878–1967), Consulting Physician
- Sir Henry Howarth Bashford (1880–1961), Honorary Physician to King George VI
- Sir Adolphe Abrahams OBE (1883–1967), Olympic Medical Officer from 1912
- HLD Kirkham (1887–1949), Professor of Plastic Surgery Baylor University, Texas, recipient of the US Legion of Merit
- Frank Cook FRCS FRCOG (1888–1972), Beit Fellow, obstetric and gynaecological surgeon
- Basil Laver MS FRCS (1894–1934), surgeon
- Professor Anthony Andreasen FRSE FRCSE FICS (1906-1986), surgeon to the Viceroy of India
- Sir George Edward Godber, GCB (1908–2009), Chief Medical Officer for HM Government in England (1960–73)
- William Edward Lancaster CBE AM (1909–2003) was Chief Executive of the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia
- Professor Joseph Graeme Humble CVO FRCP (1913–1980), Professor of Haematology at Westminster Hospital
- Professor Michael Tynan MD FRCP (born 1934), Professor of Paediatric Cardiology at Guy's Hospital (1982–99)
- Michael Trudgill FAsMA FRAeS (born 1966), Senior Medical Officer at the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
- Roland Bocquet (1878-?1945), Composer, Professor of Music Theory at Dresden Conservatory
- Richard Capell OBE (1885–1954), music critic for the Daily Mail (1911–33) and the Daily Telegraph (1933–54)
- Derek Scott (1921–2006), composer and music director for film and television (The Muppet Show)
- Gordon Langford (born 1930 as Gordon Colman), brass band and orchestral music composer, arranger and performer
- Paul Paviour OAM (born 1931) is an English composer, organist and conductor based in Australia
- Tim Souster (1943–1994), composer
- Justin Lavender (born 1951), operatic tenor and professor of vocal studies at the Royal College of Music
- Paul Christison Edwards (born 1955) is an English organist and composer of music for the Anglican Church
- Nicholas Carthy (born 1957), Conductor of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (1993–96), Professor of Music at the University of Colorado
- Michael Hext (born 1961), inaugural winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition
- Max Richter (born 1966), composer
- Don Broco, band
Public office in church and state
- James Howard (1821–1889), Liberal MP
- Rev. Thomas Blyth DD (1844–1913), author and Commissary to the Archbishop of Ottawa and Bishops of Niagara
- William Robert Bousfield KC FRS (1854–1943), Conservative MP
- Arthur Pedley CB (1859–1943), senior civil servant
- Arthur Sheppard MVO (1862–1944), Private Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury (1902–1928)
- Sir Archibald Dennis Flower (1865–1950). Chairman of the Trustees and Guardians of Shakespeare's birthplace
- Colonel John Alfred Lawrence Billingham CBE FRICS (1868–1955), Chief Inspector of Works, War Office (1928–33)
- Edmund Dene Morel (1873–1924), Labour MP for Dundee (1922–24)
- Sir Ralph Endersby Harwood KCB KCVO CB CVO CBE (1883–1951). Financial Secretary to three Kings (1935–37)
- Davenport Fabian Cartwright Blunt CB (1888–1965), Under-Secretary at HM Treasury (1946–48)
- Reginald Berkeley (1890–1935), Liberal MP
- Sir Laurence George Gale CB OBE (1905–1969). Controller, Royal Ordnance Factories
- Arthur Hugh Chaplin CB (1905–1996), Principal Keeper of Printed Books at the British Museum
- John Percival Morton CMG OBE (1911–1985). Assistant Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Defence (1968–71)
- The Ven. Robert Brown MA (1914–2001) was Archdeacon of Bedford (1974–79)
- Arthur Jones (1915–1991), Conservative MP. Mayor of Bedford
- Rowland Thomas Lovell Lee (1920–2005), Recorder of the Crown Court (1979–92)
- Edgar William Boyles (1921–2001), Under-Secretary at the Inland Revenue (1975–81)
- Reverend Noel Stanton (1926–2009), founder of the Jesus Army
- Brian Ernest Maitland Prophet OBE TD DL (1928–2004), Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire
- Sir Stanley John Odell (born 1929), former Chairman of the National Union of Conservative Constituency Associations
- Sir Herbert Keith Speed DL (born 1934), Conservative MP. Undersecretary of State for Defence (1979–81)
- Jeffery John Mumford Speed CBE FRSA (born 1936) was Director of Fundraising at Conservative Central Office
- Reverend Jeffrey James West OBE FRSA (born 1950), Inspector of Historic Buildings, English Heritage (1983–86)
- Patrick Hall (born 1951), Labour MP for Bedford and Kempston (1997–2010)
- Michael Crowther (born 1952), wildlife conservationist and founder of the Indianapolis Prize
- The Rt Revd Anthony William Robinson (born 1956), Bishop of Wakefield
- Nick Hawkins, (born 1957) former Conservative MP for Blackpool South and Surrey Heath
- Andrew Charles Gilchrist (born 1960), former General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union
- Nicolas John "Nick" Gibb (born 1960), Conservative MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton
- Richard Fuller (born 1962), Conservative MP for Bedford and Kempston
- Matt Cavanagh (born 1971), special adviser to New Labour (2003–2010)
- Sir William Morgan KCMG (1828–1883), Premier of South Australia (1878–81)
- The Right Reverend William Toll (1843–1915), Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago (1911–15)
- Leonard Isitt (1855-1937), M.P. for the New Zealand Liberal Party and member of the New Zealand Legislative Council
- Charles Frederick Gale (1860–1928), senior Australian civil servant, Chief Protector of Aborigines in Western Australia
- Henry George Graves ARSM (1864–1929), Controller of Patents and Designs in India between 1904 and 1919
- Sir Ernest Colville Collins Wilton KCMG (1870–1952), President of the Commission for the Government of the Saar Basin
- Herbert George Billson CIE (1871-1938), Chief Conservator of Indian Forests, 1922-26
- Sir William Pell Barton KCIE (1871–1956). Resident in Baroda (1919), Mysore (1920–25) and Hyderabad (1925–30)
- William McKinnell (1873–1939), politician who served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, Canada (1920–36)
- Sir Robert Daniel Richmond CIE (1878–1948), Chief Conservator, Indian Woods and Forests
- Archie Rose CIE FRGS (1879-1961), diplomat, explorer and businessman in China
- Sir Francis Moncrieff Kerr-Jarrett (1885–1968), Custos Rotulorum of St James's, Jamaica
- Stanley Wyatt Smith (1887–1958), Consul-General of Manila (1938–42) and Honolulu (1943–44)
- Major-General Ronald Okeden Alexander CB DSO (1888–1949), Inspector General, Central Canada (1942–46)
- Frederick Williamson CIE (1891–1935), Consul-General of Kashgar (1927–30)
- Walter Ian James Wallace CMG OBE (1905–1993), Assistant Undersecretary of State at the Colonial Office (1962–66)
- Sir Arthur Mooring KCMG (1908–1969), British Resident in Zanzibar (1959–1963)
- Cyril Herbert Williams CMG OBE (1908–1983) was Provincial Commissioner of the Nyanza Province of Kenya (1951–56)
- Victor Yarnell (1919–2005), American politician, Democrat Mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania (1968-1972)
- Malcolm Geoffrey Hilson OBE (born 1942), High Commissioner of Vanuatu (1997–2000)
- Paul Reddicliffe OBE (born 1945), British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia (1994–1997)
- Sir Archibald Dennis Flower (1865–1950), rowed for Cambridge in the 1886 Boat Race
- Horace William Finlinson (1871–1956), England Rugby International
- Wardlaw Brown Thomson (1871–1921), England Rugby International
- William Mansfield Poole (1871–1946), rowed for Oxford in the 1891 Boat Race
- Arthur Jones (1872–1914), Captained the England cricket team. Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1900
- James Oswald Anderson (1872–1932), footballer for Lomas Athletic Club and Argentina, President of Argentine Rugby Union (1904–05), cricketer for Hertfordshire (1906–11)
- Lionel Brown (1872-1938), Cricketer
- Charles Howard Foulkes CB CMG DSO (1875–1969), field hockey player who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics
- Arthur Jervois Turner (1878–1952) was an English Cricketer and rugby union player
- Thomas Edgar Hammond (1878–1945) was a British track and field athlete who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics
- Sir Robert Daniel Richmond (1878–1948) played cricket for Jamaica
- Andrew Ralston (1880-1950), amateur footballer for Spurs, Watford. FA administrator.
- Lieutenant-Colonel Edgar Mobbs DSO (1882–1917), Captained the England Rugby Team and Northampton
- Sir Sidney Abrahams KC (1885–1957), competed in the Long jump at the 1912 Summer Olympics
- Arthur Gilbert Bull (1890–1963), England Rugby International
- Frederick Charles William Newman (1896-1966), cricketer
- Dick Stafford (1893–1912), England Rugby International
- Basil Rogers (1896–1975), Cricketer
- Harold Lindsay Vernon Day (1898–1972), England Rugby International who also played first class cricket for Hampshire
- Ernest Dynes CBE (1903–1968) was an English Cricketer
- Sir George Edward Godber GCB (1908–2009), rowed for Oxford in the 1928 and 1929 Boat Races
- G.T. 'Beef' Dancer (1911–1991), rugby player who participated in the 1938 British Lions tour to South Africa
- Ian Mantle (1920–2010), engineer and rally driver
- Eric Litchfield (1920–1982), footballer (Newcastle United F.C., Leeds United F.C.)
- Gordon Brice (1924-2003), Cricketer and Footballer (Fulham F.C.)
- Tony Leadley (born 1928), rowed for Cambridge in the 1953 Boat Race
- Arthur Grenfell Coomb (born 1929), Cricketer
- Dickie Jeeps CBE (born 1930), Captained the England Rugby Team and the British Lions
- Bob Gale (born 1933), Middlesex Cricketer
- Geoff Millman (1934–2005), England Cricketer
- Graham Jarrett (1937–2004), Cricketer
- Peter David Watts (born 1938), English Cricketer
- Hamilton ("Tony") Pierre Matt Milton (born 1938), swimmer at the 1960 Summer Olympics
- Peter Kippax (born 1940) was an English Cricketer who played for Yorkshire
- Lionel Edward Weston (born 1947), England Rugby International
- Peter George Knapp (born 1949) is a British rower who competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics
- John Yallop (born 1949), British rower who won a Silver Medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal
- Neil Alexander Keron (born 1953) is a British rower who competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics
- Harold James Plaskett (born 1960), British Chess Champion in 1990
- Alan Fordham (born 1964), Cricketer
- Joseph Dominic Kinsella (born 1966), rowed for Cambridge in the 1984 Boat Race
- Neil Stanley (born 1968), Cricketer
- Andrew Trott (born 1968), Cricketer
- Paul Owen (born 1969) played cricket for Canada
- Matthew White (born 1969), Cricketer
- Tim Foster MBE (born 1970), British rower who won a Gold Medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney
- David Gillard (born 1971), rowed for Cambridge in the 1991, 1992 and 1993 Boat Races
- Matt Cavanagh (born 1971), British national champion at Rugby Fives in 2004 and 2006
- Rod Chisholm (born 1974), rower who participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London
- Mark Denney (born 1975), former rugby union footballer who played at centre for Bristol, Castres and Wasps
- Kelvin Locke (born 1980), Cricketer
- Oliver Clayson (born 1980), Cricketer
- Jamie Wade (born 1981), Cricketer
- Monty Panesar (born 1982), England Cricketer. Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2007
- Richard King (born 1984) is a former English Cricketer
- Robin Andrew Kemp (born 1984), Cricketer
- Henry Staff (born 1991), professional rugby union player who plays for RFU Championship side, Bedford Blues as a Centre
- Julie Rogers (born 1998), participant in the 2012 Summer Paralympics
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- "Lot 31, The Allan and Janet Woodliffe Collection of Medals... (18 May 2011) - Dix Noonan Webb". dnw.co.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
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