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|Motto||Fortiter ac fideliter
("Bravely and faithfully")
|Type||Independent day and Boarding school|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Head||Mr Thomas Garnier|
|Founder||Sir Thomas Lane Devitt Bt|
|Former pupils||Old Pangbournians|
Pangbourne College is a co-educational independent day and boarding school located in the civil parish of Pangbourne, just south-west of the village, in the English county of Berkshire. It is set in 230 acres, on a hill above Pangbourne village, in an area designated as of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Headmaster, Mr Thomas Garnier, served in the Royal Navy before switching to a career in teaching. He taught physics and was a Housemaster before becoming Headmaster in 2005, after Dr Kenneth Greig. He is the fourth civilian Headmaster; previously the administrative Heads of school were retired Royal Naval officers with the title of Captain Superintendent, who were assisted by civilian Directors of Studies.
Mr. Garnier, as well as overseeing a steady improvement in academic results, has also been presiding over a prodigious building programme, which has seen the construction of two new futuristic looking Divisions for girls, and brand new state of the art centres for Music and I.T. Each building is modernistic in design, and if not to everyone`s taste, each is nevertheless striking in appearance, and extremely well funded and built. Indeed the College has much to be grateful for in its Headmasters; to previous Headmaster Mr. Points, first civilian H.M., and former Royal Marine, who had an uphill struggle to take the College away from its emphasis on physical training and instil a more academic rigour, and who left behind as legacy The Peter Points Library; to former H.M. Mr. Hudson, for the building of The National Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, which is indeed an object of national, nautical and royal focus; and to Mr. Garnier, for his unstinting drive and commitment to the betterment of Pangbourne College, academically, materially, and in terms of the quality of students` lives and the resources available to them, as well as the aforementioned new buildings.
The College is renowned for its traditions and holds a parade on the first Sunday of every month, throughout the academic year. These parades culminate in 'Founders Day' on the last Saturday of the year. Pangbourne has its own vocabulary, much of it nautical. A pupils' study bedroom is called a 'cabin', house common rooms are known as 'gunrooms' and home clothes are referred to as 'scruff'. The Good Schools Guide describes Pangbourne as "a modern and successful school which concentrates on bringing the best out of each pupil." The College has a very strong boarding culture with sixty per-cent of the pupils living at the College. The Independent Schools Council described Pangbourne as "a highly distinctive school, where developing individual talent and fostering a real enthusiasm for learning is a key priority."
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The College was founded by Sir Thomas Lane Devitt Bt. in 1917 as "The Nautical College, Pangbourne" (NCP), on the site originally occupied by Clayesmore School, now located in the County of Dorset. (He also founded Bearwood College as an orphanage for MN children, at around the same time.) The NCP's purpose was to prepare boys to become Officers in the Merchant Navy through his shipping company 'Devitt and Moore', although both he, and later his son, Sir Phillip Devitt Bt., also wanted the boys to have a well rounded education in case they later changed their minds about going to sea. 1917 saw the height of the German submarine scare, and this was a main reason for a nautical training school to be sited inland. Almost immediately after founding, the Admiralty took a keen interest, and naval uniform together with Cadet RNR (Royal Naval Reserve) status was awarded to every student, putting the College in line with similar schools at that time, such as HMS Worcester and HMS Conway, although Pangbourne cadets were known as "farmers" by their contemporaries at Worcester and Conway, due to the College`s distance from the sea. These last two institutions closed in the late sixties and early seventies respectively as the number of young men seeking a career at sea declined, and in 1969 The Nautical College, Pangbourne became "Pangbourne College". This also saw a shift in emphasis to a stronger academic programme, and with a civilian Headmaster to replace the former post of Captain Superintendent. Directors of Studies were replaced by the post of Second Master.
During its early years, and right up until the 1960`s, life was austere and physically rigorous, and in line with contemporary ideas on "character building." For example, cadets, as all the boys were referred to, rose early to the call of a bugle, went for a brisk run and did organised P.T., then "showered" under a cold water hose pipe, before changing for cleaning duties followed by breakfast. Then came Morning Divisions on the Parade Ground, for Roll Call, the inspection of their uniforms, the raising of the Ensign to the call of a bugle, and morning prayers. After this they were marched down to the Study Blocks for their morning lessons. Afternoons were taken up with sports, followed by an evening parade, called "Evening Quarters," when the Ensign was lowered to the Naval bugle call of "Sunset." After supper and prep, a further "muster" took place in the Divisions. Cocoa, Lights Out and sleep were a blissful prelude to the next early morning bugle call and "ackers," the aforementioned P.T. and run. Every Sunday morning there was a full dress parade in No.1 uniforms, known as Sunday Divisions. Sunday afternoons were free time.
Punishments could include the holding up of P.T. clubs or rifles with both arms as the cadet concerned ran around the Parade Ground. Extra drills for poor marching were common. Boxing was compulsory for all cadets. Indeed, local villagers often referred to the College as "the Brawn Factory at the top of the hill." By the late 1960`s the early run and P.T., or "ackers," had disappeared, and cold showers had become reserved for punishments. Courts Marshal by Cadet Officers and canings ("cuts") continued, but they have now been discontinued too. There was also a punishment known as C.P. (Corrective Punishment), whereby cadets would be inspected up to 13 times a day for smartness and cleanliness by C.O.`s, with all their free time taken up with cleaning duties or extra drill. Not measuring up could lead to their time in C.P. being extended, days at a time. Most cadets did measure up of course, and inevitably, most preferred "cuts" to C.P.: over and done with!
If this sounds harsh to more modern ears, it was not out of keeping with the times, even though other schools did regard Pangbourne as a tough one. However, Courts Marshal, known as "Pegs," were run according to Naval style procedures, including panels of Cadet Officers, and there were rules for the submission of evidence. Cadet Officers were constrained within the limits of their office, and there was a general perception of fairness among the cadets, with reference to the administration of authority. Needless to say, Housemasters and Divisional Tutors also kept up a professional awareness of the goings on within their Divisions. Bullying therefore was rare; this was no Dickensian "Dotheboys Hall" or Rugby School at the time of Tom Brown`s School Days. It was perhaps a fairer environment to be educated in than many contemporary schools of the time. Now of course life at Pangbourne reflects the much more gentle attitudes to education that currently exist.
In addition to normal academic subjects, the College`s curriculum included the teaching of Seamanship and Navigation, theoretical and practical, to O Level for all boys, and to the A Level equivalent of Higher National Diploma, (H.N.D.), for cadets wishing to embark on a career in the Merchant Navy, (M.N.).
The College was traditionally an all-boarding, all-boys school, but has been fully co-educational since 1996, and with day pupils as well. However many of the founding traditions continue to reinforce the values that lie at the core of the College today. A key example of this is the raising of the flag - (a defaced Blue Ensign with the College`s naval crest in the bottom right hand corner) - during "Divisions" on a Wednesday. Divisions have happened since the College's founding in 1917, but are now held once a week on a Wednesday (except for those Wednesdays preceded by a College Sunday). Also, prefects are still known as Cadet Officers, with their various ranks, and of course naval uniform is still worn by all senior school pupils. The teaching of Navigation and Seamanship O Levels continued right up into the early eighties. However, the official title of Cadet RNR for every pupil has now fallen into disuse.
Pangbourne takes students with a range of academic abilities. Students achieve good results and all but a few who study at A-Level go on to university, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Subjects taught to GCSE include: English, Business Studies, History, Design Technology, Geography, French, German, Spanish, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Drama, Music, Art and Design.
Subjects such as Mathematics, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Religious Education are mandatory at GCSE level.
Subjects available at A-Level are: Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Computer Science, Design Technology, Drama & Theatre Arts, English, Economics, Film Studies, French, Geography, German, Spanish, History, Information & Communications Technology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Music Technology, Physics, Physical Education, Religious Studies.
The boarding houses at Pangbourne are known as Divisions.
|Name||House Letter(s)||House Colours|
All of the Divisions (houses) are named after ships operated at various times by the Devitt and Moore Line, and all contain roughly 65 pupils. Every pupil at Pangbourne is allocated to a boarding house when applying to Pangbourne whether he/she be a boarder or day pupil. Pangbourne does not use the system whereby scholars live in their own separate house, but instead chooses to integrate them into the regular Divisions. The Divisions constantly compete against each other in sports and extra-curricular activities, ranging from debating and singing to running and marching. The Division which has performed best at the end of the year is presented with the coveted Headmaster`s Cup on Founders Day. Each Division is presided over by a Housemaster or Housemistress, Assistant Housemaster/mistress, Matron, and a number of House Tutors. In addition to these, each Division has a Chief (head of house or Chief Cadet Captain), deputy Chief (Cadet Captain - some Divisions choose to have more than one), and a new entry C.O. (Cadet Officer). Each Division also has a set of house colours, which are only worn by its members on sports fields. Every Division has its own Galley (Kitchen), IT facilities, TV room and Gunroom. *Pupils aged from 11–13 years belong to Dunbar.
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Like most traditional public schools, Pangbourne has its own distinctive vocabulary.[according to whom?]
- ARCTIC ORDER - a state of dress permitted only by the Headmaster that allows pupils to wear an extra garment on top of their uniform.
- BEAT RETREAT - a ceremony performed by the Guard and Marching Band on Founders Day.
- BIG SIDE - the first XI cricket pitch.
- BLUES - shorts worn by the youngest members of the Rugby Club.
- BOWDEN - one of Pangbourne`s playing fields. Also refers to the First XV rugby pitch.
- CABIN - a pupils personal study bedroom.
- CABIN C.P. - a "Corrective Punishment" given for an untidy cabin whereby it is inspected by the Sixth Form three times a day for three days.
- CHIEF - the head boy/girl. Can also mean the head of house or Division when used within house context.
- COLLEGE SUNDAY - the first Sunday of every month, including a Chapel service followed by a parade.
- CONGERS - every Saturday morning the College practises singing hymns in the Chapel in preparation for College Sunday.
- DESOLATION - a very steep hill at the edge of campus that is included in the annual cross country race.
- DEVITT - the tower and house in the centre of the College where the Headmaster lives. The tower was originally a folly attached to Bere Court, which was itself formerly part of a medieval abbey. It is currently named after the College`s founder.
- DIV SONG - the inter-house singing competition.
- DIVISION - the name given to the houses at Pangbourne.
- DIVISIONS - a tradition dating back to the founding of the College, whereby every Wednesday the whole school turns out for an inspection and the raising of the Ensign.
- DRUM MAJOR - the Cadet Captain in charge of the Marching Band.
- FLAG - a ritual whereby four pupils raise the Ensign each morning and lower it each evening. Divisions take turns each week.
- FOUNDERS DAY - the last day of Summer term, including prize giving, speeches, a picnic, a cricket match, a morning parade involving the whole College, and Beat Retreat in the afternoon.
- GALLEY - the name given to every house`s kitchen.
- GATED - a punishment whereby a pupil is confined to his/her Division for the duration of their free time.
- GUARD - a self-elected body of pupils that march separately from the Divisions, wearing their own distinctive white belts and gaiters, and carrying either rifle with blunted bayonet, or Cadet Officer`s cutlass. They also perform a unique rifle drill during Beat Retreat on Founders Day.
- GUARD COMMANDER(S) - the C.O.(s) in charge of the Guard. Elected by the previous year`s Guard Commander(s).
- GUNROOM - the main congregation and community area in each house, where "Musters" are also held.
- H - the letter representing Harbinger Division.
- HUNDRED PERCENT - the annual cross country race. All pupils must take part - hence "100%."
- I - the letter representing Illawara Division.
- JUBILEE - the college AstroTurf.
- LONG SLEEVE ORDER - a state of dress worn on Divisions and parade practice where the pupils must wear their jumpers, as ordered by the Chiefs of College.
- MEDWAY - the Sixth Form Common Room where pupils can buy alcohol (limited to two evenings a week).
- MESS HALL - the main dining hall of the College.
- MUSTER - a house meeting where important notices are delivered to the pupils, and Roll Call is taken.
- NEW ENTRY C.O. - the Sixth Form Cadet Officer responsible for looking after the Third Form during their first year at the College.
- NO.1'S - the formal naval officer cadet`s uniform worn by pupils once a month on a College Sunday.
- NO.2'S - the naval uniform worn by pupils during a normal school day.
- OP'S - Old Pangbournians.
- PARADE PRACTICE - every Friday morning the whole school goes through a parade in preparation for a College Sunday.
- PIGORIES - a field on school campus used for various activities - and a pre-war vegetable garden with pig sheds.
- PJ - the letters representing Port Jackson Division.
- PREP - homework. Can also refer to period after supper whereby pupils are expected to work in their cabins.
- Q - the letter representing Maquarie Division.
- Q-TOWN - An affectionate nick-name for Maquarie Division.
- REC RIG - a uniform worn when travelling to away matches or competing in inter-house competitions.
- RED - refers to the red badges that denote rank worn by the pupils on their no.2 uniforms - (which are gold braid on their No. 1 uniforms).
- REDS - shorts worn by members of the Rugby Club`s First XV.
- RED WALL - refers to the College`s First XV rugby team.
- S - the letter representing Hesperus Division.
- SCRUFF - home clothes.
- SIN BIN - a punishment awarded for bad behaviour during class.
- SHORT SLEEVE ORDER - a state of dress worn on Divisions and parade practice where the pupils do not wear their jumpers, as ordered by the Chiefs of College.
- ST.G - the letters representing St.George Division.
- WEDNESDAY - a detention held after school on a Wednesday.
- WHITES - one of Pangbourne's playing fields.
- WHITES - also refers to the shorts worn by the Rugby Club`s 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd XV team members.
Pangbourne has a very distinctive uniform which includes Royal Naval uniform and is a matter of great pride to the pupils, with huge care taken over the state of their dress.
On the first Sunday of every month the students have a parade. For this, Royal Naval No 1 Uniform is worn: double-breasted black jacket with two rows of four RN brass buttons, and cadet insignia on the lapels; matching black trousers; white shirt and black tie; peaked cap with naval officers` cap badge, and black leather Sanders shoes. The black leather shoes are expected to have a very high polish, which the students are required to work on in their free time throughout the weeks leading up to the parade each month. Turnout is expected to be immaculate.
Normal day to day uniform is referred to as No 2's and is the Royal Naval blue No 4 Action Working Dress (AWD); blue shirt and black trousers, with a blue belt. The blue woollen jumper (often referred to as a "woolly pully") with epaulettes and cadet insignia is worn depending on the weather.
All shoes are expected to be polished and maintained to a high standard throughout the year. Royal Naval berets are worn when raising and lowering the Ensign, at parade practice, and at Wednesday Divisions.
Divisions occurs on all Wednesdays apart from those preceded by a College Sunday. This is an event where the whole college turns out for an inspection and the raising of the Ensign. In accordance with the naval traditions at the heart of the school, turnout is expected to be very good.
Rec Rig is a uniform worn when both No.1's and No.2's would be inappropriate or impractical. For example when travelling to an away match, or partaking in an inter-divisional competition. For boys the uniform consists of No.2 trousers along with No.2 shoes, a white shirt, divisional tie and a blazer, embroidered with the College`s Naval Crest. Those in the Sixth Form are permitted to wear chinos, brown leather shoes and a respectable shirt of their choice. Additionally, pupils who have obtained their full College Colours can choose to wear the Old Pangbournians` gloriously striped "Paravicinni" blazer. For girls the uniform consists of No.2 skirt and shoes, black tights, white shirt, divisional tie and navy blue jumper.
Pangbourne has a strong sporting tradition, and offers students a wide range of sports to participate in, together with professional coaching and well-resourced facilities. Despite the small size of the College, the performance of its rowing crews towards the upper years is exceptional. The school has won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup four times at the Henley Royal Regatta, a record exceeded only by the very much larger Eton College. The College held the record for the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup from 1992 to 2011, when the cup was finally taken by Abingdon School.
The College also has a formidable Rugby Club, with the First XV often progressing to the latter stages of the Daily Mail Cup. Great pride is taken by the players in playing for the First XV, or 'The Red Wall' as it is often called by the pupils. In 2013 "The Red Wall" became associated with the London Irish Rugby Club. This now gives team members access to professional training through the London Irish`s Academy. Seven Pangbournians are also playing this year for Bucks/Berkshire or Oxfordshire Under 15/16 or 18`s and two of them are also playing for the England Lambs, whilst another is playing with the Wasps Academy.
The College also has a very strong Equestrian Team.
The College is renowned for having an exceptional CCF Contingent consisting of all four sections: Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines. The College is one of only twenty or so schools in the entire country to host an R.M. C.C.F. Section! The Royal Marines Section is an annual competitor for the Pringle Trophy held at the R.M. Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, in Devon. (The College has a formidable reputation for winning in this competition).
All students who join the school in the Third Form participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at Bronze level and attain their award. This has proven popular with the students, many of whom continue through to complete their Silver and Gold awards. This year, 2013-2014, 13 pupils went to the Falkland Islands to complete their Gold Award expedition from Goose Green to Stanley: a real-live "yomp!" "Everyone on the trip felt lucky to experience such a wonderful environment as the Falkland Islands, with its wildlife, stunning scenery and rugged terrain; but above all, it is the people of the Islands who will be remembered." (The Ensign: Pangbourne College Newsletter).
The College Marching Band is also worth a mention here. Formed originally to provide Fifes, Drums and Bugles to lead the College parades, it has now developed substantial Brass and Wind Sections as well, and has become much sought after outside the College for charity events, and each year leads the Remembrance Sunday service through Pangbourne village.
Each year the College Choir takes part in the National Seafarers` Service at St. Paul`s Cathedral in London. This year it was the Lead Choir, with the College`s Director of Music conducting. Indeed, Music and the Arts play an important part in Pangbourne life - the College has recently obtained the distinction of becoming an All-Steinway Piano School - as do a whole range of other activities and sports. (For more information on these, please see Pangbourne College`s official website).
Although Pangbourne places great importance on developing leadership qualities throughout the pupils' time at the College, it nevertheless puts particular emphasis on developing these skills in members of the 6th form (years 12 and 13), with a Peer Mentoring course for the Lower 6th, and the opportunity to be promoted, with wide ranging responsibilities, in the Upper 6th. Promotions are as follows:
CCCC - Chief Cadet Captain of College (Head of College, one male, one female. They are effectively the Head boy and girl)
CCC - Chief Cadet Captain (Head of a Division, one in each of the six Divisions)
CC - Cadet Captain (Deputy Head of a Division, one or two in each house)
CL - Cadet Leader (As of September 2013 all Upper 6th are made Cadet Leaders to encourage leadership)
CO - Cadet Officer; a general term for all of the above.
The Upper 6th formers have a significant say in the college and are responsible for: teaching their 3rd formers to march; the quality of dress in their Divisions; helping to maintain good order in their Divisions and helping the younger pupils generally. There are also many Inter-Divisional activities that the 6th formers organize, which all work towards the awarding of the Headmaster's Cup at the end of the year.
Leadership is also widely encouraged in Sport, the DofE schemes and also in the CCF sections, where Combined Cadet Force ranks are awarded to reflect the merit of the individuals concerned.
Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel
The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel was opened by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in March 2000. It was built to commemorate the lives and sacrifice of all those who died during the Falklands War of 1982, and the courage of those who served with them to protect the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The shape of the building was designed to resemble a ship, reflecting the college's naval history. It was largely due to this history that the College was chosen as the site for this national memorial chapel, together with the fact that 40 Old Pangbournians served in the Falklands conflict. More than a third of these OP`s were either decorated or mentioned in despatches; most publicly known of the OP`s taking part at the time were D.H. Scott-Masson (1944–46) who was Captain of the "Canberra," the Cunard liner converted to troop ship and hospital ship for the conflict; and Major (later Lt. Col.) S.E Southby-Tailyour R.M. (1953–59), who was one of the first ashore with the retaking of the Islands. Apart from also being a gifted yachtsman he is a prolific author, and among other books, he'd published a detailed sailing guide to the coasts around the islands called "Falkland Island Shores," which had to be hastily withdrawn by the M.O.D. at the outbreak of hostilities: (Lionel Stephens: "Pangbourne College - The Nautical College and its History," ibid.) The Queen returned to the College in 2007, together with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Ministers Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, and Service Chiefs responsible for the conduct of that war, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Argentine surrender.
On the south side of the building, there is also the WW2 Memorial Window, commemorating the more than 200 former cadets who lost their lives in that conflict - a huge number, when one considers that between 1917 and 1939, the College only ever averaged around 150 cadets in any given year. A staggering number of medals and citations were won during this war by OP`s, including 31 DSO`s, 91 DSC`s, and 2 GC`s - for service in the MN (an Albert Medal won on the famous convoy to relieve Malta and converted to a GC in 1971) and in Naval Bomb Disposal. 2 G.M`s were also won. There were 18 DFC`s, 7 AFC`s, and 17 M.C.`s. There were also 2 CBE`s, 21 OBE`s, 7 MBE`s, and 2 BEM`s. 168 O.P`s were mentioned in despatches. (Lionel Stephens: ibid.) The window denotes an Airman, an MN Seaman, a Commando and a Naval Officer. It was transferred from the former St. Nicholas Chapel.
Pangbourne`s war effort was so significant that it prompted a special visit from HM King George VI and his daughter, the then Princess Elizabeth, (the Queen being unwell), for the Founders Day Prize Giving in 1943, at the height of the war. Indeed the College has had many other visits from members of the Royal Family over the years, beginning with the Prince of Wales in 1927 for the College`s 10th Anniversary - he later became Edward VIII, and continuing through to three further visits of Her Majesty as Queen, three from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, a visit from H.M. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1980, and visits from The Earl and Lady Mountbatten and HRH The Duke of York, who is also Patron of the Chapel. Other visitors of note have included Admiral Lord Jellicoe of Jutland, Field Marshal Lord Slim of Burma, and Admiral Cunningham, of WW2 Mediterranean fame, and one time Admiralty representative on the College`s Board of Governors.
The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel cost a total of £2.3 million when it was opened by Her Majesty. The chapel seats 580 within the ground floor area and gallery. The design, which came about as the result of a nation-wide competition won by Crispin Wride Architectural Design Studio, is reminiscent both of the shape of a ship – and an almond or ‘mandala’ shape – denoting hands ‘cupped’ in prayer. Natural light flows down the pale coloured walls from the clear glass surrounding the curved roof, and diffuses through its focal feature at the north end. Here there is a memorial window with stained glass, depicting the Falkland Islands within Christ’s Cross, surrounded by a lively sea in vibrant shades of blue, green, yellow and grey – designed by John Clark[disambiguation needed]
Visitors experience a feeling of calm and comfort within the body of the church and gallery area – created by the soft ash and neutral colours surrounding them. There are also some beautifully engraved clear glass panels within each of the main internal and external doors, which take them on a journey from the turbulence of war to the tranquillity of peace. Each seat has been donated by an organisation or individual, and under each seat is a kneeler with the name of one of the Falklands` casualties. Special care is taken by the pupils to look after the chapel, and it is always kept in an immaculate condition.
Notable Old Pangbournians
- Jeffrey Bernard, journalist and subject of the play: "Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell," by Keith Waterhouse
- Beverley Cross, playwright of "Half A Sixpence," starring Tommy Steel, among many other productions, (and husband to actress Dame Maggie Smith)
- Hon Jeffrey Richard de Corban Evans S.B.St.J., Past Prime Warden Shipwrights' Company, and Sheriff of The City of London, 2012–13
- Sir Robin Gillett G.B.E., R.D., 2nd Baronet, Master Mariner; youngest ever Staff Commander: Canadian Pacific Lines; R.N.R. Officer; Lord Mayor of London (1976-77), at the time of the Queen`s Silver Jubilee; and former Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod
- Jefferson Hack, journalist and magazine editor, co-founder of Dazed & Confused
- Sir William Garth Morrison K.T., C.B.E., D.L., former Naval Officer, former Chief Scout and now Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian
- Mike Hailwood M.B.E, G.M., motorcycle racer and 12 times Isle of Man T.T. champion - regarded by many to be the greatest motor-cycle champion of all time
- Rodney Pattisson M.B.E., yachtsman and twice Olympic gold medallist
- John Pattison, National Firefly Champion, 1965, (aged 18)
- Captain John Ridgway M.B.E., S.A.S and Parachute Regiment Officer, writer, yachtsman, first Atlantic rower (with Chay Blyth), and founder of Ardmore Adventure School
- Ken Russell, film director and producer
- Andrew Simpson MBE, sailor and Olympic gold and silver medallist
- Colonel David Smiley L.V.O., O.B.E., M.C. and Bar, WW2 special forces and intelligence officer, SOE (Albania) and MI6 agent, author, and OC Mounted Escort at Queen's Coronation; and often considered to be one of John le Carre`s inspirations for "George Smiley," in his "Tinker, Tailor" series of spy novels
- Frederick Treves B.E.M., actor
- Very Rev Richard Shuttleworth Wingfield-Digby, Dean of Peterborough
- Lt. Col. Ewen Southby-Tailyour O.B.E., Royal Marines officer, author, Yachtsman of the Year, 1982
- David Cobb, former President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists
- Glyn Charles, National Laser Champion, 1985
- Richard Aylen, actor
- Brian Matheson, actor
- Colin Heald, former Governor of HM Prison, Dartmoor
- Charles Stuart, co-founder and former President of the Air Traffic Controllers` Association
- Tom Spencer, former Conservative MEP
- Admiral Sir John Barker, former Chief Administrator of the Missions to Seamen
- Andrew Richmond, former Chief Executive of the RSPCA
- Christopher Rawson, former Sheriff of the City of London
- Rory Byrne, Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 1989
- Nigel, Lord Vinson, L.V.O., former Army Officer, currently Chairman of the Development Commission and UKIP leading light
- John Young CBE, former Naval Officer and Chairman of Young's Brewery, Wandsworth
- Guy MacPherson, former Naval Officer and later General Manager of the Walforf and Gleneagles Hotels, and then owner of a chain of hotels in Madeira
- Captain G.A. Wild, first Captain of the Canberra
- Captain D.H. Scott-Masson, Captain of the Canberra during the Falklands War
- Rear-Admiral Sir Paul Greening G.C.V.O., former Naval Secretary and Master of the Queen's Household
- Rob James, top world marathon yacht race skipper (and husband to Naomi James - first single round-the-world yachtswoman)
- Captain C.P.R Collins, former Master of Sail Training Association ship for disabled sailors Sir Winston Churchill
- James Paterson, former Army Officer and HM Consul-General, Geneva
- Christopher Rankin, former Chief Executive Officer, TransFreight Lines, NJ, USA
- David Harding, chief City of London financier and main sponsor of Pangbourne`s new Music and IT Centres
- Sir Max Williams, former President of the Law Society
- Robert Swann, actor
- Tyler Butterworth, actor
- Gary Beaumont, former Chief Surveyor, Lloyds Register of Shipping
- John Lowein, former MD of Mobil Oil, and Ian Shuttleworth, former Naval Officer, both trustees of the Jubilee Sailing Trust for disabled sailors
- Edward Bence, former General Manager, Imperial Hotel, Torquay and owner/manager of two large West Country hotels
- Vice-Admiral Sir John Webster K.C.B., former Flag Officer, Plymouth, and now renowned marine artist
- R.C.C. Hall, Royal Marine and Indian Army officer who became CEO of the N.I.Tourist Board during "The Troubles"
- Sir Colin St. Clair Ford, brewer and 8th Baronet
- Hon. R.D. St. Clair Ford, Scotland international rugby player
- H.C.C. Laird, England international rugby player
- Rex Willis, Wales international rugby player, (21 Caps), and played for British Lions against Australia and New Zealand
- Dr. Graham Perry, MN Master Mariner who later became New Zealand's leading Rheumatologist
- Patrick Dereham, one time Glasgow council estate boy who having gained a Pangbourne scholarship, eventually became H.M. of Solihull School, then H.M. of Rugby School, and is now H.M. of Westminster School
- Andrew Simpson, actor
- Admiral Sir Michael Layard K.C.B, C.B.E., Second Sea Lord
- Lt. Jack Easton G.C., R.N.V.R. Despite severe injuries received during the investigation of his 17th bomb during WW2, he went on to become the solicitor to the V.C. and G.C. Association
- J.C. Gregson G.C., M.N. He won the Albert Medal for bravery in saving life at sea, during the famous battles to relieve Malta by convoy in WW2. This medal was converted to G.C. in 1971
- Colin Hodgkinson, who despite losing both his legs in an accident, continued to fly in WW2 combat, just like Douglas Bader
- Colonel G.J.S. Chatterton D.S.O., founder and leader of the WW2 Glider Pilot Regiment
- Archibald Kennedy O.B.E., D.L., 7th Marquess of Alisa and Scottish Peer
- Frank Davies, multi-award winning record producer
- Richard Brooke-Hart, Master Mariner, successful businessman in shipping, and Chairman of the S.A. Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Durban
- Harry Sykes M.C. and Bar, Hon. O.P. He served the College for nearly 50 years, teaching, and then serving the O.P. Society, having arrived at the College in 1919 as a twice decorated WW1 veteran, who`d been invalided out of the Army
- Lionel Stephens, Hon. O.P. He arrived at the College in the mid 1950`s, and stayed on for nearly 60 years, as History Master, Head of History, Second Master and finally Hon. Sec. of the O.P. Society. He even married in to the College, marrying Patricia, the College nurse. Between the two of them, Harry Sykes and Lionel Stephens, they notched up nearly 110 years of service to the College and the O.P.`s, and Pangbourne can claim to have had not just one "Mr. Chips," but two! Both men had a phenomenal memory for O.P. faces and names, and did a tremendous job in forging links between the College and its old boys
- There have been many senior O.P. service officers of flag rank and above, including Admirals and Vice-Admirals, Generals and RAF officers, with two Commandant-Generals, (Lt. Generals), of the Royal Marines. There have also been two OP MN Shipping Company Marine Superintendents and many Master Mariners
- Inevitably, a school with strong traditions like Pangbourne has had its misfits and rebels, most notably Jeffrey Bernard and Ken Russel. However there have also been an extraordinary number of more conventional success stories, (if too numerous to mention them all above), in both service and civilian walks of life - the latter being more prominent in recent years. There are and have been many other O.P. Captains of Industry, Commerce, Finance and Charities, and many professionals of all kinds, with many leaders of their various professions. The College has of course also produced its share of adventurers and others of less conventional outlook too. Above all, Pangbourne is a College, which despite being small, has always seemed to punch well above its weight! The discipline, self-discipline, and sense of adventure inspired, instilled and encouraged by the wearing of the Kings` and Queen`s uniform over the last century has undoubtedly been a very important factor in this! "Proud to be different!"
Edited and updated by Hesperus "Binnie," (1967-71), with grateful thanks and acknowledgement to Lionel Stephens: Pangbourne College - The Nautical College and its History; ibid; and to all other contributors. March 8th, 2014.
- http://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/schools/102931/pangbourne-college#results Good Schools Guide
- Pangbourne College Website
- Pangbourne Intranet
- Berkshire History: Pangbourne
- City of Adelaide Clipper Ship Website: Devitt and Moore
- Good Schools Guide
- Designers of Falklands war memorial gardens at Pangbourne