Remembering old headmaster


Hearing of the closure of the Beauvale School which DH Lawrence attended I decided to remember his headmaster William Whitehead.

He was the first headmaster of the school and when it opened in 1878 he was 45-years-old.

There was harsh discipline at the school, classes were large and it was no means uncommon for several sets of 60 pupils to occupy the same room, each working on a different lesson.

Mr Whitehead used the cane freely to compel respect and attention from unruly pupils.

On the eve of the school closure I placed white chrysanthemums on his grave in the St Mary’s Greasley Churchyard where he was laid to rest after his death on July 24, 1913, at the age of 80.

In retrospect, was I linking this headmaster with his famous pupil who wrote the short story ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’?

Doreen Lockett