Yardley Court

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Yardley Court
Motto Comites in comitate
Established 1898
Type Other Independent School
Headteacher Mr John Thomas Coakley B.A. (Hons), M.A., P.G.C.E.
Deputy Head Mr Christopher Murray B.A.(Hons) P.G.C.E.
Location Somerhill
Tudeley Road

TN11 0NJ
51°11′05″N 0°17′57″E / 51.18468°N 0.29905°E / 51.18468; 0.29905Coordinates: 51°11′05″N 0°17′57″E / 51.18468°N 0.29905°E / 51.18468; 0.29905
Local authority Kent
DfE URN 118960 Tables
Gender Boys
Ages 7–13
Website www.somerhill.org

Yardley Court is a preparatory school in Tonbridge in the English county of Kent, for boys aged seven to thirteen. The school motto is Comites in comitate. This has been translated at various times as "Friends in Friendship"[1] and "Comrades in Comradeship". The school's alumni are known as Old Yardley Courtiers (OYCs).

Founded in 1898, Yardley Court was in its early years run by members of the Bickmore family, including Maurice Bickmore (MHB) and Eric Bickmore (AFB). Eric played cricket for Oxford University (1920–21) and for Kent County Cricket Club (1919–29).[2] They were known at the school as "Dr Maurice", "Dr Eric", "Dr John" and "Dr Michael" on account of their honorary doctorates. By the '70s they were all known as "Mr".

In 1983 John Barber was appointed joint headmaster. He resigned in 1992 and was replaced by acting head Tony Brook . [3]Since 1997, John Coakley has been the headmaster. The deputy head is Dr Christopher Murray, who arrived at the school in September 2015.

Yardley Court has had close links to Tonbridge School for many years. A high proportion of boys have gone on to Tonbridge, many of them winning scholarships. Some Yardley Court choristers are members of the Tonbridge School choir.[4] [5]

The school moved to its current site in 1990; having been situated on Yardley Park Road, close to Tonbridge School. The Yardley Park Road site was sold to a housebuilder for a substantial sum, which secured the school's future. Derwent Lodge joined Yardley Court in 1993, with a Pre-Prep school joining in 1996. The three schools are now known collectively as "The Schools at Somerhill" and are overseen by Mrs Diane Huntingford.

The school's facilities include a sports hall that was opened on 4 July 2002 by Dr Godfrey Jayne Hallows Bickmore, new dining room and an indoor swimming pool. Dame Tessa Sanderson opened the dining room and swimming pool on the 1 October 2009. A dedicated music block was built in October 2014.

Roll of Honour[edit]

44 former students, Masters and catering staff lost their lives in World War I and 63 in World War II. Their names are listed on two plaques on the Roll of Honour in the Green Space of Quiet Memory on the school grounds. A wreath laying ceremony is held each year on Remembrance Day.[6]

The OYC Roll of Honour includes Wing Commander Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC, Battle of Britain fighter pilot and recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Other notable alumni[edit]