D A R Young

D A R Young, Stanley 1914
Courtesy of Wellington College Archive

Douglas Alec Radford Young came to Wellington in the spring of 1910. He was a member of the Stanley.

He was both an Open Scholar on arriving and the Wellesley Scholar in 1915, became a prefect as well as a being member of both the XV and the XI. He won a scholarship to Jesus College Cambridge.

The War saw him serving in France and Belgium with the Pioneers, before heading back to Cambridge, taking his degree in 1920. Coming down he became a schoolmaster at St Paul’s.

He made his mark as a schoolmaster: “an English scholar, an eccentric and a great stimulator of love for English literature” but it seems to be his insight and ability to connect with the boys that stands out. No lesser figure than Prof Sir Robert Winston sites him as his mentor at St Paul’s, describing him as “a singular educational force” (FT 25/6/2011). He was known rather unimaginatively as DARY by the boys.

One of his last pupils remembers him as “an extraordinary figure. He would often stop teaching and read to us, usually Dickens, most often The Pickwick Papers, for which he had an extraordinary love. The volume he had was extremely battered; it might have been a first edition it was so old. It was loose-leaf because it had been opened and closed so often that the binding and the pages had come apart. He would start reading and if he thought someone was being inattentive he would shut the book and throw it in the direction of the boy concerned. There would be a shower of paper and the boy would have to put the pages together in the right order.

He had some curious mannerisms. He didn’t like boys picking their nose, and when he noticed someone doing it, rather than draw attention to them he would draw a pick and shovel on the board. He didn’t really interface in other ways with the boys and he was rather frightening, but also compassionate. His bark was worse than his bite.

I think he understood the disorientation for these small boys coming into a large school such as St Paul’s which was an academic hot-house. He only taught me for a year, when I was 13 – he died the following year”. (Harvey McGavin, TES, 6/7/2001)

He joined the Lodge in 1948, and was Master in 1952 and again in 1974. His mother lodge was the Old Pauline Lodge No 3969.