There may be a few Old Wandsworthians wondering what the ‘HR King award’ is and who he was?
Mr H. R. King was Headmaster at Wandsworth School from 1932 to 1963. To Mr King duty, diligence, respect and achievement were extremely important. The son of a railwayman he attended King Edward VI School at East Retford; leaving at the age of eighteen to join the army and serve on the Western Front. He rose to the rank of Company Sergeant Major and won the D.C.M, M.M and Croix de Guerre for bravery. In 1919 he went up to Cambridge and studied at the University Training College for Teachers. He had chosen his profession. After teaching at Westminster School and Portsmouth Grammar he joined Scarborough High School as Headmaster where he developed and introduced the set system. He entered the London County Council educational system as headmaster at Forest Hill in 1930 and accepted the post at Wandsworth Grammer School two years later. Mr. King was a visionary who not only introduced the tutorial system, diligence assessments, the parents association and a careers master, but was also instrumental in the building of the’ fives courts’ and ‘swimming pool’ at the school. He pioneered international student exchanges and the introduction of technical studies alongside the more academic grammar stream. Mr. King was a radical thinker and had a remarkable presence. He was at the forefront of comprehensive education and was appointed a C.B.E. for his services as a teacher and innovative educationalist.
The Memorial Trust chose to name their award after this inspiring long serving Headmaster of Wandsworth School.