Old Cliftonian Society

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Founded in 1862 as a school for boys, Clifton College is a major public school, now co-educational, in Clifton, Bristol, England. There are currently around 720 pupils in the upper school - about one third of whom are girls.

The Old Cliftonian Society (OCS) is the Society for the alumni of Clifton College (both pupils and staff) and organises regular reunions at the school and publishes a regular newsletter for alumni.

The Society publishes an annual magazine for alumni called "The Cliftonian".

Clifton College Register[edit]

Clifton College Upper School seen from the Close. Left - the Dining Hall, centre - the Chapel, right - the science block

The register's motto:

"There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported..."

The Clifton College Register is the definitive set of records held for Clifton College in Bristol. The Register is kept and manintained by the Old Cliftonian Society.[1]

The record has been maintained unbroken from the start of the school in 1862 and lists every pupil, master and headmaster. Each person is allocated a unique and consecutive school number - and for masters and headmasters the number is prefixed with either an M or HM as appropriate. The Register also maintains a record of the school roll in numbers, the Heads of School and summarises the major sporting records for each year.[2]

The Register is periodically published by the Old Cliftonian Society; at present there are three available volumes:

  • 1862 - 1947
  • 1948 - 1977
  • 1978 - 1994

A new edition is currently being prepared (2010).

School slang and terms[edit]

  • 'Coal Up'- an old expression, meaning 'hurry up'.
  • Big School - The school canteen
  • Big Side - 1st and 2nd XV rugby pitches
  • Congers - (short for congregation) school congregational hymn singing
  • Exeat - 'Let him go out' (Latin) - permission for boarders to go home at the weekend or for longer periods
  • Head Man - the headmaster
  • Holder of the Big Side Bags - Captain of the School Cross Country Team
  • HoM - used in conversation to mean housemaster or mistress
  • Little Side - all other rugby pitches
  • Praepostor (Praep)- school prefect
  • Rustication - a milder form of suspension that isn't listed on a student's permanent record
  • Terriers - an activity programme for the 3rd form (year 9) where they learn life skills, such as table manners.
  • The Close - the grass in front of the school (inc. big and little side pitches)
  • The Grubber - the school stationers (historically, the school tuck shop)
  • The Huntsman - Vice Captain of the School Cross Country Team
  • The Pens - School cross country races (long pen and short pen)
  • The Percy - the (Percival) library
  • Yearlings - the youngest year in the (upper) school

List of Headmasters from the register[edit]

Allocated consecutive numbers, prefixed HM

Old Cliftonians[edit]

See List of Old Cliftonians

First entries in the Register[edit]

Pupils Allocated consecutive numbers, prefixed P

  • P1. Sept 1862 - Francis Charles Anderson (b 14 Nov 1846 - d 1881)

Masters Allocated consecutive numbers, prefixed M

Headmasters Allocated consecutive numbers, prefixed HM

The early years[edit]

  • Numbers of pupils in the school
  • 1862 - 69
  • 1863 - 195 (including the new junior school)
  • 1864 - 237
  • 1865 - 258
  • 1866 - 278
  • Heads of School
  • 1862 - HW Wellesley
  • 1863 - AW Paul


  1. ^ Clifton College Annals and Register; 1860-1897 - Publisher: Bristol: J.W. Arrowsmith Publication date: 1897
  2. ^ A history of Clifton College, 1860-1934 - Octavius Francis Christie Published 1935


  • The Clifton College Register - various editions.

External links[edit]