Crossing the bar

"Crossing the bar” refers to the death of a Mariner. The phrase has its origin in the fact that most rivers and bays develop a sandbar across their entrances and “Crossing the bar” meant leaving the safety of the harbour for the unknown.This is the famous poem entitled "Crossing the bar" by Alfred (Lord) Tennyson.

 SUNSET and evening star And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep,Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness or farewell, When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place

    The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face

    When I have crost the bar.


Paul Pollard
20th January. 2010.

From the Winter 2010 edition of "Guild Messenger".

Paul Pollard died on the 25th January 2010 aged 79 years.Paul was admitted to barnardo's in 1940 when he was nine years old.

He was boarded out in Swaston (1941-1943) and Boy's Garden City (1943-1944). He was then sent to RCNS (1944-1947).

Basil Cozens.
12th. November. 2007.

Basil Cozens
passed away 12th November 2007 aged 89. In accordance with his wishes, only his daughters Christine and Alison attended the crematorium.

Basil attended Russell-Cotes Nautical School from 1930-33 and  from 1933-37.  He was an able boy, both in his studies and on the sports field, playing in the soccer and cricket teams as well as being a member of the gymnastics display team.  After his initial disappointment at not being able to join the Merchant Navy because of poor eyesight, he became a printer in Guildford.  With the support of his local church, he attended theological college in Manchester and became a congregational minister.  Marrying Margaret in 1944, they lived much of their working life in Coventry with their three daughters.  Leaving the church in 1960, Basil taught English and Business Studies at the Coventry Technical College.  He was one of the first students of the Open University in the early 1970s, graduating in 1975 with a BA.  He had many interests, chief among which were a love of cryptic crosswords (both completing and compiling) and a quiet thirst to understand the meaning of life which led him to read the work of many religious thinkers, philosophers and ‘big bang’ scientists.  In his later years, he described himself as a humanist.

Throughout his life he paid tribute to Barnardo's, valuing highly the skills he learned and the values given him.  In retirement he volunteered for his local Barnardo's shop for seventeen years.  In replying to a letter of thanks for his service in 2003, he wrote:

‘I have Barnardo's to thank for “giving me back a future” in which I have been able to develop my independence and achieve what I am sure would not have been possible without the Homes.  My service in the shop is simply the tail end of a longish life in which I have maintained my interest in Barnardo's while they remained ‘Homes’ and beyond.’

He was a loving and supportive father and husband, and celebrated his diamond wedding anniversary with Margaret and his family in 2004.  Margaret survives him; she suffers from Alzheimer's disease and is in care.


Ivan George Carson.
PSTS. Broughton 109.
28th October. 2004.

Ivan (Paddy) Carson2004. Ivan George (Paddy) Carson. Broughton House No.109. At PSTS from 1954 to 1957. Many of you will remember Ivan as a bugler, who used to wake us up with Reveille at some unearthly hour of the morning.

He originally came from N.Ireland and was a gifted musician. Well known and greatly respected in his home town of March, Cambs, where as you can see in the photo, he was still playing in a group.

Ivan died while undergoing heart surgery at Papworth Hospital on 28th October. 2004, he leaves a widow, two children and two step-children. (RRE)


Robert John Wallace.
PSTS. Howard 38.
11th March. 2010.

John Wallace 2010. John (Joe) Wallace, Howard House, No. 38,  passed away on 11th March, 2010, at his home in Irthlingborough, Northants after a long illness.

He leaves two daughters and four grandchildren of whom he was very, very proud.

John joined PSTS in 1954, he was an extremely good athlete being in the Gym team and winning cups for swimming and diving. He was also a good boxer and thanks to "Bandy" Joyce, found he had a musical talent being a drummer and cornet player in the school band and in later years became an accomplished guitar player.

Although a very independent man, he made friends easily and had a ready wit, he was a very generous person a good and loyal friend and a devoted Tottenham Hotspur fan.

It was mainly from his idea and his generosity that this web-site came into being.

John had a hard time before he came to PSTS, so I have included a passage that he wrote for this site, sadly we will not get Part 2.

It was 1954 when I arrived at PSTS and was placed in Howard House and given the number 38. Under the very watchful eyes of smile a minute Bert Busby. It was a unhappy time for me and I'll try to explain how and why I became a Dr Barnardo's boy.

Like the rest of the lads there, we were born in the middle of a bloody war. I came into the world in the April 1942. My father who was a Royal Marine Gunner was serving aboard HMS Cairo on the Malta Convoys. On the 12-8-1942 four months after I was born, the Cairo was torpedoed and my father lost his life in that action. We never saw each other. Towards the end of the war, my mother remarried. As things go, a really bad move. My stepfather was a wicked bully. I was often beaten for trivial things and when mum tried to intervene she in turn was also beaten. Hospital visits were all to often and I can still recall my mum with terrible black and blue
eyes. I'd like to point out. In those days it was not a criminal offence to lay into the wife and kids, to the police, it was just a domestic and  took no action. It was after one particular beating which I have no memory of I woke up in hospital, my mum decided enough, and when I was well grabbed a few things and we fled. I was 8yrs. Over the next three years we lived in single rooms, only moving when my stepfather traced us. Mum had to work. Not the benefits like there is today. So it was impossible for mum to keep me with her all the time. So I lived with all sorts. Some were kind, others not. I still remember how I cried when mum had to leave me. The knot in the tummy is true. One of the threats often made in those days was, " Behave, of you'll go into a home " a line I'd heard many times. My 11th birthday. Mum was going to take me to the pictures as a treat. Instead we received a visit from the powers to be about me only attending school three months over the last three years. Mum was in a corner and knew it. But she insisted she selected where I went. Where PSTS came from, I've still no idea. But it was mum's choice. The how and why a streetwise kid from London's East End became a Barnardo's boy.

Because I was placed in PSTS and I had no say in the matter, I supposed I looked upon the staff as prison warders. The one exception was Mr Harrington. The PE instructor. Him I liked. The man I had the utmost respect  for was Mr. Joyce, band master. Drums and cornet were my instruments, I enjoyed the band. Also enjoyed being a member of the gym team. The only thing that stopped me doing a runner from there was the sport. Always loved playing football, won most of my swimming races lifted the diving cup every year. Came top in my year  boxing, (house comps) and was only beaten twice by the same lad Grahame "Dinger" Bell. Once at school and again in Poole Town. Both fights were split decisions. We became the best of friends and we still are. I contacted him around eight years ago and asked for a rematch. He suggested feather dusters at twelve paces. Twelve paces, he's trying to tire me out before I can reach him, dumb he ain't. 

John Wallace 2About three years ago, I along with another old PSTS boy Richard Eastwood went to a reunion at the old place. There I applied for my records. I was amazed at the amount of lies in them. My mother who was the most wonderful person ever on this or any other planet was berated, while my hateful stepfather drew Brownie Points. No words were ever spoken between Captain Felton and myself. So how could he write such long detailed reports about me ? There is only one way. He went to the same school as  Harry Potter. There's plenty more, but, what the hell, that was yesterday. I left PSTS Easter 1957. Went on home leave and when it was time to return, said " sod it " I'm going to run my own life from now. So as us Cockneys put it. " I was on me bike down the old frog and toad "

From Parkstone to Irthlingborough, Northants. Later !!!!   

So, goodbye John, it was great knowing you, I bet you've got the best seat at White Hart Lane, stay lucky. (RRE)


Ray Sandford.
PSTS. Howard 34.
13th June. 2009.

Ray Sandford 19552009 Ray Sandford 34 Howard House, passed away on 13th June 2009 after a stroke. The service took place at Poole Crematorium at 2pm. On the 26th June 2009 and was conducted by Jacqui Masserella. It was nice to see so many of Ray's mates from the Labour Club in attendance and the Chapel was quite full for the service.  Afterwards we filed out to see the floral tributes sent by family members and friends.  We then returned to Hamworthy Labour Club for the wake.  Where again I got into conversation with several of Ray's mates.  It was very touching to notice that the place where Ray always sat to do his crossword puzzles and quizzes was left vacant.

Ray joined PSTS in 1951 aged eleven. Whilst there he was a trombonist in the band, led by Bandy Joyce one of our favourite officers. He was also a good athlete, being joint holder of the Victor Laudoram in 1955.

He left PSTS in November 1955, to attend NSTS Gravesend, training as a steward for the Merchant Navy. However this was not for Ray who joined the Royal Navy at the end of training. Ray left the Royal Navy to join civilian life and settle down with his wife Anne. They lived in Hamworthy, Poole. Just around the corner from Bert Busby and his wife.

Ann has his ashes at home at the moment and when appropriate she will scatter them at sea as was Rays wishes.


Reginald Knapp.
10th September. 2007.

2007. Reginald Herbert Knapp “Reg” passed away on 10th September 2007, just two months short of his 101st birthday.  He was born on 14th November 1906 in Brighton, the youngest of three children. Sadly, he was orphaned at the aged of four, when both his parents died within a few months of each other.  Reg, along with his elder brother were sent to Dr Barnardo’s home, Boys Garden City at Woodford Bridge, while his elder sister was sent to the Girls Village homes at Barkingside. When he was nearly 13 Reg was sent to the Watts Naval Training School where he stayed until he was 17.  He then went to Liverpool and joined the Merchant Navy where he was a wireless operator (in 1929 he became the Senior Wireless Operator on SS Phemius).

In 1934 Reg left the Merchant Navy to join civilian life and lived in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.  In 1940 Reg married Olive and they had two daughters.  They lived all their married life in Newton Longville, near Bletchley, Buckinghamshire.

At the outbreak of war in 1939 Reg volunteered to return to sea as a radio operator.  He spent three months in the Home Guard before being offered a position by Marconi to operate their equipment aboard ship.  He considered himself very lucky that he went through the war without seeing any trouble.  On Christmas Eve 1945 he docked at Newcastle.  It was to be the end of life at sea for Reg.

Reg was a family man, loving and caring, young at heart and loved children. When Olive died in 2002, Reg went to live with his youngest daughter in Stockport, Lancashire.  He spent the last few years of his life in a nursing home in Stockport.  Reginald Herbert Knapp is survived by his two daughters, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.


David Taylor.
RCNS. Arranmore 52.
19th December. 2006.

I have today (12/03/11), sadly, been informed that David Taylor (RCNS 1942-1945) died in 2006. He lived in Highcliffe, Dorset, and is buried at the Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground, Walkford, near Highcliffe. (RRE)

Tony Gavin
Arranmore 1955-1957
Believed to be in the early 1960s.

Have been informed, by Allan Pennifold, that Tony was killed in a road traffic accident around the early 1960s. Tony came from Hove and there is a photo of him with "The Brighton Boys" also another with John Trott.  "Gav" was in Arranmore house, a good swimmer, good at sports and a very popular boy. To be taken at such a young age is very sad but I am sure he will be remembered with great affection by his many friends. (RRE)

Malcolm Allen
Broughton 118.
March 9th 1991.

1991. Malcolm Allen. Broughton House No.118. At  PSTS  from 1956 to 1959. Malcolm joined the Royal Navy at H.M.S. Ganges after leaving Parkstone. He served on many ships including H.M.S. Tartar / Fearless / Tiger / Victory / Glamorgan / The Royal Yacht and on the Falklands for 6 months, he served in the RN for thirty years ending as a Chief Gunnery Instructor. Malcolm spent his early years in Highcliffe (then in Hampshire) and after he married, in New Milton, Hants. Malcolm died on 9th March 1991, he  leaves a widow and two sons. (RRE)


Gerry Bevan

gerry bevan

Died suddenly on the 14th May aged 72 Gerry had only moved  to Spain some weeks before. Gerry attended Watts between 1944 - 1947 On leaving he joined the Royal Navy where he rose to the rank of Petty Officer. On leaving the Royal Navy Gerry ran his own successful business before retiring.

Gerry and his wife Kay were long standing members of The Sea Schools Association. He was the standard bearer of the white Ensign at the watts Centenary reunion in 2003