Whitehill Former Pupils’ Club
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I have been researching some of my father’s early history and believe that he was a pupil at Whitehills School in the 1930s. The attached picture shows him wearing, I believe, a Whitehills School blazer. He had just won the sprint championship organised (I think) at Kelvin Hall as part of the Glasgow Civic and Empire Week May 29th to June 6th 1931. The pocket watch (sadly stolen during a burglary) bore the inscription “W. Cameron Civic Week 1931” but I cannot make out the inscription on the cup. I was also unable to identify the school blazer badge but having deciphered that the motto was Altiora Peto I traced the motto and badge to Whitehill.
I wonder if the photograph would be of interest to your archivist?
If the school records have any information that goes back to Waverley Cameron’s time at Whitehill I would be very interested to learn what you have.
Noël Cameron BEd, MSc, PhD, CBiol, FRSB
Professor of Human Biology
Centre for Global Health and Human Development
National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
The Mystery of Waverly Cameron
Thank you for contacting me and enclosing a picture of your father. At home I only have school magazines starting from 1958, a little after when your father would have left school. This is not a decade we have spent much time researching, so, at the outset, I cannot predict what if anything we will find.
The school has comprehensive archive material, and, as such thing normally are, never disturbed. We will search the archives for any reference to your father’s achievements.
It is assuredly a Whitehill badge but the double breasted blazer is sartorially superior to the blazers sported in our school days.
With your permission, and, depending on what we can discover, we would like to turn this round as an article for the next News Letter.
Thank you again for contacting us.
Than you Ron – that sounds brilliant. Would you like me to put together some copy about his life after Whitehill?
Thank you Noel.
That would be very useful; also another photo of your dad would be appreciated.
Just a note to let you know that we are actively finding out more about our father Waverley Cameron. We have now accumulated a good series of photographs from the 1920s onwards that cover his school years and Whitehill.
Have you managed to find anything in the archives?
I have not been able to find anything in the paperwork we have.
However, I am going to the Mitchell Library on Thursday, when I am in Glasgow, to see what I can find.
Will keep you informed.
Visited the Mitchell Library with no luck.
Looked through the school diary, written by hand by the head teacher, and could find no reference to your father’s achievements.
Checked the available Glasgow Herald microfiche records over the Festival period but there were no details of any junior events.
Looked through the school admittance role 5 and 6 years before the date on the trophy but could not find his name listed.
I had to give up as I had developed a blinding headache from trying to focus on the microfiche reader.
I will return and check the roll to see if he was admitted in second or third year. I will also look at the Glasgow evening papers as they tend to be slightly more parochial.
Looking forward to seeing what you can come up with.
Hi Ron - thank you so much for going to so much trouble - greatly appreciated. I'll be in touch in the next week or so.
At last some good news. My wife and I went to the school to look through their archives. They were well organised and I was wading through cardboard boxes full of papers when my wife said, “Is this not the cup that is in the photograph?” And there it was, the Whitehill Junior Championship Cup. The first ever winner, in 1930, W Cameron.
Elaine then found a book of bound School Magazines and found an article about how the cup was donated to the school.
Looking further, we found an article about the School Sports day mentioning your father.
Delving even deeper into the cardboard boxes, now that we had tasted some success, we found two Athletics programs featuring your father in the 100 yards race.
I have scanned the programs and will send them as pdf files along with photographs of the trophy using an app called “Transfer Big Files”.
You will receive an email from them telling you how to download the files.
My wife and I really enjoyed the “archaeological” detective work and hope you get great pleasure from the results.
Looking forward to seeing what you managed to turn up.
I am forwarding a copy of this email to Iain Callander, the Club Secretary, as he intends to write an article about your father for the F.P. Newsletter.
Elaine and Ron
Thank you very much indeed for the documents you managed to find – it really was a surprise and greatly appreciated.
We have been able to find a number of photographs of my father both as a young man. In the ones in which he is wearing his school blazer he is posed beside the Willis trophy and two watches (sent to you earlier), and another with his mother (attached).
I also attach another series of 4 photographs from the WW2 years. In the first he is with my mother (handsome couple!) and then he is pictured as a Sergeant in the RAF Regiment (Ground Gunner) and subsequently as a Squadron Leader both in England and Burma. You can see how his time in Burma affected him – I am sure it was not a party for anyone and his job of leading the RAF Regiment to “clean out” the Japanese prisoner of war camps must have been particularly gruelling. He had the following medals - the 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal and War Medal.
At rear: John, Sandy, Jane, Margaret
Sitting: Waverley, John
Margaret, John, Waverley, Sandy
With regard to the watches with which he is posed in the first photograph I sent you – the pocket watch was a Waltham (USA) model and bore the inscription “Civic Week 1931 W. Cameron” - he always told us the watch was for winning a sprint race during Glasgow’s Civic and Empire week in late May/early June 1931. So maybe this photograph was taken some time after the school sports in 1930 – probably the next year when he posed with all his winnings!
The family had strong religious beliefs. His mother (Jane Drummond) had been a missionary in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where her first husband (Robert Drummond, also a missionary) died and she then returned to Scotland and married my grandfather (John) who was the driver of the Glasgow-Oban express. They settled in Oban (actually Dunstaffnage just outside Oban) and had 4 children. Three boys (John, Sandy and Waverley) and a daughter (Margaret). Both John and Sandy became Presbyterian ministers – John in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Sandy closer to home in Slammanan, Falkirk. Margaret married a John Kennedy and moved to London. Waverley completed an apprenticeship in process engraving in Glasgow and then moved to London where he finally married my mother (Renee) who was the daughter of the house in which he rented a room.
So we have a learned good deal on our journey so far and it has been extremely interesting.
Thank you so much for your interest and help. If there is anything we can contribute to an article please don’t hesitate to contact us.