Trevor Foulkes, Master 1958-1965 (December 2014)

Trevor Foulkes

Lancing was Trevor’s first school where he was a member of the English Department from 1958-1965, followed by two years spent teaching in Kenya. He returned to England to various teaching posts before taking up his career-defining position as Headmaster at Caistor Grammar School.

The following was written by Donald Bancroft in the Lancing College Magazine, Summer 1965: 'Most people would agree that no young master has made a greater impact on Lancing than has Trevor Foulkes, in the course of seven crowded years. Though fortified in the great Oxford schools of classical Mods and Greats he has made his finest contribution through his enthusiastic teaching of English. For him literature has not been merely a specialist study, or a sidelong venture into escapism. Literature has been taught for the sake of life; the works of great poets, novelists and dramatists have been held before our eyes as torches illuminating the moral values by which we live. Trevor, besides being able to inspire and guide the abler boys, has led the slower brethren by the hand, scattering in their way a profuse harvest of Banda sheets covered with useful notes. (The story that the Prime Minister of Malawi is angling for his services is purely apocryphal). The inception of the General Studies Course for the Sixth Form gave him a fresh opportunity to exercise his powers of organisation and vision, and it is to a large extent due to him that the school has had during the last four years a succession of distinguished visiting lecturers. He has also lectured vigorously himself and has provided the dynamic which has caused several of his colleagues to lecture. Books and pamphlets have descended upon us in a steady stream. Parties have been organised to attend theatres, political meetings, debates. The microcosm of Lancing has been opened up to a wider social and political environment. Trevor has touched the life of the school at so many points that it is almost tedious to enumerate them. Debating Society, Elizabethans, Scouts, Social Services - to these and many other activities he has made an outstanding contribution. And somehow he has found time to take part in local affairs, in particular as President of the Lancing Branch of the United Nations Organisation. We shall remember him for what he has done, but perhaps we shall remember him more for what he is. He exemplifies the great Roman virtues of gravitas and pietas. He is serious in the best sense of the word, but has endeared himself to his colleagues and pupils by his ability to laugh at himself, by his modesty and utter freedom from affectation. If we have wanted to understand what Christianity in action means, we have known where to look. Lancing’s loss is Kenya’s gain.’