Prefect told school of King’s death

Young Michael given a special task on historic day.

A BICKINGTON pensioner has recalled a very special schoolboy task he had to perform the day King George V1 died, 60 years ago.

Michael Scott, aged 14 at the time, was called to the headmaster’s office at South Molton School when the news of the King’s death broke on February 6, 1952

A prefect at the newly-built school, Mr Scott said he thought he’d done something wrong when he was first summoned to Mr Hawkes’ office.

“Instead he said he had some sad news to tell me,” said Mr Scott, now aged 74.

“He said ‘the King has died’ and it was my job to go around and announce it to each classroom.

“I always had a bit of a grin on my face, so I had to compose myself before going around and knocking on each door to tell them the news.

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“The school had just been built and there were a lot of classrooms; in fact I think I can remember work still going on in the grounds,” added the retired North Devon College caretaker.

“I also remember the Queen’s Coronation the following year. I grew up in Filleigh and we had a big party to celebrate.

“It was very funny because we held a tug-o-war and there were five on my team and 10 on the other. The team of 10 was unable to defeat my team and couldn’t work out why until they eventually realised we’d tied our end of the rope to a gate post.”

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