Cheltenham College

Missing image
Cheltenham College chapel and library (Big Modern)

Cheltenham College opened in July 1841, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. Cheltenham College was the first major public school founded in Queen Victoria's reign (1837-1901). An Anglican foundation, it is known for its strong classical, military and sporting traditions. More than six hundred Old Cheltonians (former pupils) were killed in the service of their country in World War I, and more than 400 in World War II. (These statistics are recorded in the College chapel completed in the 1890s, which to a degree resembles King's College chapel ( in Cambridge and is one of the finest chapels of any English public school.) Most pupils are boarders, though there are also many day pupils. The school is now co-educational and maintains a formidable academic reputation, with the brightest pupils going on to Oxford and Cambridge universities. There is a also a prep school, Cheltenham College Junior School, most of whose pupils go on to the senior school.

Motto: "Labor Omnia Vincit" (Work overcomes all things)


Former pupils (Old Cheltonian Hall of Fame)

Distinguished alumni are many, and include for example:

Victoria Crosses won by Old Cheltonians

In total fourteen Victoria Crosses ( have been won by Old Cheltonians, making the school third only in this regard to the much larger Eton College (22 awards) and Harrow School (15 awards). A replica of the Boyes VC is on permanent display in the library (Big Modern) with photographs of all 14 Victoria Cross winners and a world map showing where they were won. Below the Victoria Cross display a selection of other medals won by Old Cheltonians is displayed intermittently. The alphabetical list of names, with age and rank at the time of the deed which merited the award of the Victoria Cross, is as follows:

VCs on public display: Bogle, Boyle, Melvill, Moor, Neame, Reynolds, Ryder (7)

VCs location unknown, presumed in private hands: Booth, Boyes, Channer, Forbes-Robertson, Grant, Hart, McDonell (7)

George Cross recipient

  • KEMPSTER, Major André Gilbert (né Coccioletti). Royal Armoured Corps; Algeria, 21 August 1943

The Times of 10.11.1943, p. 4, states:

“On August 21, 1943, near Phillipeville, Major Kempster was carrying out grenade throwing practice with two others in the same pit. A grenade which was thrown by Major Kempster rolled back into the pit. Major Kempster attempted to scoop the grenade out of the pit but failed to do so. By this time detonation was due. Without hesitation Major Kempster threw himself on the grenade just before it exploded and received fatal injuries. By his self-sacrifice, Major Kempster undoubtedly saved the lives of the two other occupants of the pit. Major Kempster’s act meant certain death, and he must have known this at the time. His was a supreme act of gallantry.”

André Gilbert Kempster ( on the George Cross database.

Headmasters and Principals

The present headmaster is John Richardson, formerly head of Culford School.

The full list of past principals and headmasters is contained in Cheltenham College Who's Who 5th edition, 2003, and is as follows:

Principals (1841-1919)

  • Rev. Alfred Phillips, D.D. 1841-44
  • Rev. William Dobson 1845-59
  • Rev. Henry Highton 1859-62
  • Rev. Alfred Barry, D.D. 1862-68
  • Rev. Thomas William Jex-Blake 1868-74
  • Rev. Herbert Kynaston, D.D. 1874-88
  • Rev. Herbert Armitage Jarnes, D.D. 1889-95
  • Rev. Robert Stuart de Courcy Laffan 1895-99
  • Rev. Reginald Waterfield, D.D. 1899-1919

Headmasters (1919 - now)

  • Henry Harrison Hardy 1919-32
  • Richard Victor Harley Roseveare 1932-37
  • Arthur Goodhart Pite 1937-38
  • John Bell 1938-40
  • Alan Guy Elliott-Smith 1940-51
  • Rev. Arthur Godolphin Guy Carleton Pentreath 1952-59
  • David Ashcroft 1959-78
  • Richard Martin Morgan 1978-90
  • Peter David Vaughan Wilkes 1990-97
  • Paul Arthur Chamberlain 1997-2004
  • John Richardson 2004-


  • Cheltenham College: The First Hundred Years by Michael C. Morgan [Chalfont St. Giles: Richard Sadler, for the Cheltonian Society, 1968]. A formal history, starting with the meeting on 9 November 1840 of Cheltenham residents (presided over by Major-General George Swiney) who decided to set up a 'Proprietary Grammar School' and appointed a committee to achieve this. ISBN unknown/unavailable.
  • Then & Now: An Anniversary Celebration of Cheltenham College 1841-1991 by Tim Pearce, (Cheltonian Society, 1991). The author explains in the Preface that this is "more of a scrap book than a formal history, and like all scrap books it reflects the tastes and interests of its compilers and depends on what in the way of pictures and documents may be available to them". ISBN 085967875X
  • Cheltenham College Who's Who, 5th edition ed. John Bowes, (Cheltonian Society, 2003) No ISBN on book.
  • Floreat, A collection of photographs of College life from the 1960s and early 1970s compiled by the late M.F. Miller, a physics master at the school

External links


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools