Headmaster's Logbook, March 1941


Headmaster’s Logbook, March 1941


March 1941

Headmaster – Dr William Barry

March 3rd, 1941

‘In connection with circular re formation of A.T.C. (Air Training Corps), I issued invitations to 42 boys, aged between 16 and 17 ½, to call and see me here on Sunday 2nd March. 19 were present and having explained the particulars, I asked them to talk it over with their parents and return, if so minded, to School on 6th March.

The County papers of the Senior Leaving Certificate March Terminal Tests were to hand and 8 candidates sat English today in Room 10. Miss Lucas acted as supervisor.

Circular received ordering pupils to carry gas masks daily.

Immunisation against diphtheria Consent Forms to the number of 589 names of pupils attending School and 91 pre-school pupils were handed in and transmitted to the County Medical Officer – Dumbarton.’


March 5th

‘A.R.P. Rehearsal today, 2.25 to 2.40pm – satisfactory. Many pupils still without gas-masks. Warned them regarding the matter.

Enquired into loss of two half-pennies in Room 8 during sewing lesson. Matter was reported to me by Miss McHugh, teacher.’


March 6th

‘Parents of pupil involve in theft of two half-pennies called this fore-noon.

Examination in Maths (HR) and (Lr) took place today.

Met boys for A.T.C. this evening. 12 gave in their names to join.’


March 7th

‘Fire Watching arrangements for this school have been approved and are working satisfactorily.’


March 12th

‘Headmaster left School at 10am to attend funeral in Edinburgh of Mr. Ian Henderson, B.Sc, F.R.S.E., F.E.I.S., General Secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, who died in a Nursing Home in Edinburgh after a fortnight’s illness.’

March 14th

‘Attendance this morning by 10am was 160 in Primary out of a Roll of 498 and in Secondary Department the attendance was under 50%. This was due to a “Blitz” on the previous night from 9pm to 6.15am over the Clydeside area.

All the teachers reported during the forenoon, except Miss Doyle.

The “Alert” sounded again at 8.40am and the “All Clear” at 9.20am.

Made a “double” attendance at 1pm.

At 12.45pm Headmaster received phone message per janitor to be ready to receive by 2pm 800 evacuees for tea. This message was sent round Staff when all volunteered to remain behind and assist. Later that number was modified to 450, who were to be fed communally and sleep here until billeting had been completed.

Asked for and received a dozen soldiers (A.S. Corps) at present in the Town who cleared desks out of Rooms 1 to 15, into which were placed 320 camp beds ready for use. Rooms were not blacked out. Janitor pulled switches of Rooms to be used.

Instructions were that all evacuees receive cup of tea and biscuit and those desiring a meal or meals after that were to fill in form giving all particulars as to their last address, occupation, age, identity card etc before receiving meal or meals.

At 8.40pm the first lot arrived. They were sent to the Dining Hall where they received a substantial meal, purveyed by Dickson, and the filling of forms was dispensed with as being out of the question. Bus loads came in succession until the Assembly Hall was packed with men, women, children, babies and some with their dogs. Many had cases, others had nothing but their working clothes on; women in house slippers etc.

On behalf of the Staff and people of the Town, the Headmaster welcomed them all in their sad plight and asked for their co-operation in making their stay under the dreadful circumstances as pleasant as possible with the material at his disposal. He told them about the rooms, the beds, and the communal feeding, regretted he had not beds for all and had only 75 blankets which, he suggested, might be given to the most deserving among the women. All seemed agreeable and resigned.

Four relays of people were fed – over 400 in all.

The “Alert” sounded again at 9.15pm and continued until 4.15am when “All Clear” sounded. Anti-aircraft guns were in action all night and this upset the evacuees. They refused to remain in the Rooms owing to darkness and flashes of flares falling in the distance, in addition to the noise of guns and rattling of doors and windows. Gradually they all trekked to the Assembly Hall to be near the Air Raid Shelters and in the light as the Assembly Hall and Dining Hall were “blacked out”.

Mr Monaghan remained in charge during the night with some other members of the Staff.’



March 15th

‘ All evacuees were fed in dining hall – breakfast, dinner and tea. Room 1 became a billeting centre from which people were sent in army lorry under Corpl. Higham to houses in Town. Miss Cameron, Rev D. McMath and Fr Hamill were assisting. Room 2 was used for storing iron rations – bully beef, sweetened and unsweetened milk for families. Room 3 was centre for the Assistance Board who paid out war relief claims. The Library was centre for landward billeting.’


March 16th  

‘Same as yesterday – three meals supplied in relays; complete sittings each time and admission by ticket.’


March 17th & 18th     

‘Communal feeding both days, but numbers fell as persons were billeted. The Ministry of Information sent out an official on behalf of Sir S. Bilsland, Regional Commissioner, to kill a rumour that the military were in charge of Clydebank, that there was compulsory evacuation etc.

On Tuesday night no unbilletted persons were in the School. One or two stragglers were accommodated for the night.’


March 19th

‘Teachers were arranged from 17th March into two lists – A, all living at a distance, B, all living in the vicinity. The A lot came on duty from 10am to 3pm and the B lot from 3pm to 8pm, when the Fire Watchers took over. Mr Arbuckle (H.M.I.) from the Ministry of Health called on 15/3/41.

The County Convenor Mr Rutherford called on same day and approved of what was being done.

On 16/3 the names present address and former address of all Clydebank persons had to be written out and sent to Clydebank Police Office to enable lists to be made out.’


March 20th

‘School opened for Assistance Board – Room 3.

Mr Hyslop H.M.I. called at 1.30pm to hear of arrangements and report.

Meeting in Town Clerk’s Office on Tuesday, 18/3 along with Rev D. McMath, Dr Cowan, Miss Fletcher, Mrs Duncan & Miss Marshall as deputation to the Provost (Mr Duncan) for a grant from County Benevolent Fund to buy prams for refugee mothers.

Meeting in Town Clerk’s Office at 4pm on 20/3 of local headmasters (Mr Philllips, Farquharson, Russell and self) to consider the question of communal feeding – one meal at mid-day, as from next week.

Met Director of Education on Tuesday at Town Council Offices. Most of Clydebank Schools demolished or useless.’


March 21st

‘Teachers here as usual. Made the arrangement of duties and sent others away.’


March 17th

‘School closed for week owing to it being used as Rest Centre etc.

Arranged for two pupils to sit test in Chemistry on Monday 17.3.41 at time (9.30am – 11.30am) stated on Senior Leaving Certificate Time-Table in Room 22.’


March 21st

‘Assembly Hall and Classrooms are being washed out in readiness for reopening on Monday, 24th March.’


March 24th

‘School reopened today after being closed since 14th March. All rooms used had been thoroughly cleansed and washed, extra women had been engaged for this purpose.

Practical tests in Physics, Chemistry and Music were given to the candidates in these subjects for the Senior Leaving Certificate.

Today, enrolled 93 evacuees from Clydebank and Glasgow Catholic Schools.

Misses Hourigan & Marron from O.H.R. School, Clydebank began here today temporarily, by reason of increased roll, and Miss McCluskey from St Stephen’s, Dalmuir was sent for Infants’ Department.

Headmaster attended meeting in Town Clerk’s Office at 4pm. Decided at that meeting to feed communally evacuated pupils, who desired luncheons, along with other pupils, who purchase meals daily. At Miners’ Institute parents etc were to be given opportunity of purchasing or partaking of daily meal at mid-day.’


March 25th

‘Enrolled more evacuated pupils today.

Mr Edmund, Supervisor of Music, called today.

Served 89 dinners, 148 teas and 22 soups at mid-day. Dinners cost threepence and consist of potatoes, vegetables and meat; tea (including milk and sugar) three half-pence, and soup – twopence per plate.’


March 28th

‘For the week ending today, the following numbers were served in the dining-hall – 227 dinners, 578 cups of tea and 133 plates of soup.

Headmaster absent in afternoon to go to Edinburgh to give report of air-raids and their effect on Schools in this County to the Emergency Committee – A.R.P. of the E.I.S.’


March 31st

‘Janitor was absent three days last week – Monday to Wednesday – through illness. In his absence, his brother, Mr John Callaghan acted as substitute.

Dr Paterson of the County Medical Staff called to arrange for pupils, who had filled in forms desiring treatment, to attend at St. Ninian’s First Aid Post on Monday, 7th April for immunisation against diphtheria.

Messrs Coleman, Mackinnon and Monaghan are absent today on panels for Art, Latin and Science respectively, in connection with Senior Leaving Certificate.’