F.W. Legg – A formidable master

Fred copy

“Fred”, as he was fondly known, was a master at Loughton School from 1955 until 1967. He was born in Romford, Essex, on May 3lst 1932 and educated at Gidea Park High School then Clarks College, Romford, where
he completed his teacher training qualifications. His first job, however,
was in the insurance industry.

As a master at Loughton he will be remembered as a formidable figure
whose mere entry into the classroom would reduce even the most
vociferous pupils into total silence. All of us who were taught by Fred will
have memories of the large moustached figure with gown billowing behind
him, waistcoat and watch-chain on prominent display, brogues clicking
and pipe erupting, whilst striding purposefully from class to class. Some
(including myself) will vividly recall the occasions of being on the wrong
end of the cane which Fred administered every Thursday morning in that
infamous venue known as the “Boot Room”.

Fred was indeed a disciplinarian, but underneath the surface was a very
generous and kind man who dedicated his life to the School and who gave
unstinting service during his years there. He organised frequent summer
camping trips, which were always well attended, as well as many school
plays, debates and other social activities. Fred always carried out, with
great effect, the duties of auctioneer at the parcels auctions on the occasion of the annual school garden party. This must have taken some courage, because of course he had a fairly serious stammer, which was one of his most distinctive characteristics.

After leaving Loughton School Fred went into business, but soon
returned to teaching, the profession in which he excelled and where he was in his natural habitat. His last appointment was at Yately Manor School, Camberley, Surrey, where he was deputy headmaster until his retirement at the end of the 1993 academic year.

Regrettably retirement was brief, because shortly after moving back to Essex, he succumbed to throat cancer and cardiac failure. Fred died on August 22nd 1993, but his memory will live on indelibly, in the minds not only of many Old Loughtonians but also of the members of the charities and youth clubs which he served in his native Romford for many years.

The most amazing fact about Fred was that he was only 23 years old when he joined Loughton School in 1955 and 35 when he left in 1967. Although I have verified this, l still find it difficult to believe! He is survived by his mother, Ivy, and his three sisters, Pauline, Barbara and Ivy.

Derrick Wallace (1959)

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