Glenwood High School (South Africa)

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Glenwood High School
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa
Type Public, Boarding
Motto Nihil Humani Alienum[1]
Established 1910
Locale Urban
Headmaster Tony Pinheiro (Acting)
Grades 8 - 12
Number of students 1,300 boys
School color(s) Green, gold, red
Mascot Stormin' Norman (Grasshopper)
Rival Durban High School

Glenwood High School is a high school for boys located in Glenwood, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It one of the elite South African Schools, and continues to hold a historic place in South African education. It currently enjoys a reputation built on the achievements of the past and present. Its boys have over the years distinguished themselves in all fields and endeavors. The School began life in 1910 to meet the challenge of the new era of technology. Today Glenwood stands unquestionably high in the ranks of the country’s prestigious schools.

Glenwood boys have regularly featured among the top learners in KwaZulu-Natal. They have gone on to excel at University and have achieved the highest academic honours as winners of Rhodes Scholarships, Smuts Scholarships and Elsie Ballot Scholarships.

Glenwood High School was ranked 21st out of the top 100 best high schools in Africa by Africa Almanac in 2003. This list was predicated on the quality of education, strength of alumni, school profile, internet and news visibility.[1]



Glenwood High, circa 1914

Formed in 1910 and originally known as the Day Continuation School, the name was changed to the Durban Technical High School in 1916 by which time the school had 150 pupils.[2] Student numbers continued to grow during the First World War and by 1918 there were 267 scholars. In the same year the Natal Provincial Council appointed a commission to investigate the feasibility of expanding the school and the subsequent Coleman-Dukes Report stated that ..a large increase in the numbers [of students] for which it is exceedingly difficult to find accommodation... and recommended the allotment of 10 acres of land on the corner of what were then Alan Paton and Bulwer Roads in Glenwood. After much wrangling, the actual occupation of the allotted land and the construction of the school buildings eventually took place and by 1934 the current premises were ready for occupation.[3] On occupying the new premises in Glenwood, the name was changed to Glenwood High School.[4]

War Years[edit]

In 1915 South Africa sent one brigade of Infantry to support the Allied war effort on the Western Front. The 1st South African Infantry Brigade comprised four battalions with the 2nd Battalion being known as the Natal & OFS Battalion, containing many men from Durban and Pietermaritzburg.[5] In 1915, there were only 120 boys at the school,[4] of which (from the Class of 1914 and earlier) twenty five ex-Glenwood pupils lost their lives as part of this Battalion during World War I[6] Of those killed, four were killed during the Battle of Delville Wood, in The Somme region of France. (Refer External Links section below for World War I Roll of Honour).

Glenwood High School crest in Delville Wood Memorial commemorating the death of Glenwood old boys in the 1916 Battle of Delville Wood (2009)

In 1939, at the start of World War II there were 490[4] pupils in the school and during the six years of war, 457 Old Boys served in East Africa, the Western Desert and Italy. Of these, 109 were in the South African or Royal Airforce.[4] Out of the 457 who served, 120 old-boys lost their lives during this war. There is a very poignant picture of the school's 1st Rugby Team of 1935 where at least 15 of the 18 boys in the photograph volunteered for service in the war and six of those in the photograph were killed. These included Roy Gibson, son of Durban's Lady in White (Perla Siedle Gibson),[7] and Clement (Neville) McGarr, who was one of the prisoners of war to escape from Stalag Luft III as part of the "Great Escape".[6][8]

The six were:[6]

  • C. Roy Gibson
  • J.Vic Rochford
  • Daniel J. Jacobs
    Glenwood High 1st XV 1935. At least 15 of the 18 boys in the photograph are known to have volunteered for service of which six were killed in WWII
  • Clement A. Neville McGarr
  • Rolf Meyer
  • Frank J. Ball

The following eulogy was added to the Glenwood Roll of Honour in December 1945:


Glenwood High is one of the few Durban public schools with a boarding establishment. The boarding establishment, opened around 1935, is known as Gibson House. It was named after Roy Gibson, the first past pupil to be killed in World War 2 - and the son of "The Lady in White" who saw off soldiers at the docks embarking on ships for tours at the front during the Second World War.

Gibson House is situated on the corner of Alan Paton and Esther Roberts Roads, a short walk from the main school. The original boarding school took only a small number of boys (three dormitories) but has been expanded.

Notable alumni[edit]


Notes, References and External links[edit]

References and Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Nihil Humani Alienum "Nothing that concerns humanity is unimportant to me" The mutual development of humanity is our goal. "Glenwood High School Prospectus". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  2. ^ "Glenwood High School website" (PDF). Chapter 3: Developing a school whilst the world is at war. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Glenwood Boys High website". History. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Commonwealth War Graves Commission:". A School in South Africa. Archived from the original on 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  5. ^ Buchan, John (1992). The history of the South African forces in France (Litho reprint of 1920 ed.). London: Imperial War Museum & Battery Press. ISBN 0-901627-89-5. 
  6. ^ a b c "Facts about Durban". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  7. ^ "Durban's Lady in White". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  8. ^ 95691 2nd Lieutenant Clement A.N. (known as Neville) McGarr (24 Nov 17–24 Mar 44) 2 Sqdn SAAF escaped by tunnel on 24 March 1944. He was caught and executed by the Gestapo. See photograph of memorial with McGarr inscription at List of Allied airmen from the Great Escape
  10. ^ "Steven Jack: South Africa". ESPN Cricinfo. 
  11. ^ "Jordy Smith - World Age Group Surfing Champ". Glenwood High School.  line feed character in |title= at position 39 (help)

External links[edit]

*["top20highschools". Africa Almanac. Africa Almanac. 1 October 2003. Archived from the original on 14 January 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2016. The research leading up to the publication of the 100 Best High Schools in Africa began with the launching of the website in December 2000.[1]Glenwood High School official site
  • Roll of Honour: World War I [2]
  • Roll of Honour: World War II [3]