James Seddon RIP


James Seddon was an old boy of both the Prep and the Senior School and you will see his name on the prefects board outside the Head’s study in the main house. He came to be Headmaster of Clayesmore Prep in 1973 from St Edward’s, Oxford, where he taught PE. It was his task therefore to see the school properly and newly established on the Iwerne Minster site in its new building which he invited WW2 flying ace, Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader to open in September 1974. James left to become Headmaster of Durlston Court School, New Milton, in 1983 having done a first class job at Clayesmore, making the Prep School into a much sought-after and very successful school in every area. This was very much the time when Clayesmore started to build on co-education. There had been a few girls at Charlton Marshall, but this really took off now, with girls being admitted throughout the whole Clayesmore age range. 

Martin Cooke writes “When I arrived in 1994, there were still many staff who had served under him and who remembered him and his first wife Anne with great affection and respect. James was always a welcome visitor and loved to hear news of Clayesmore having been at the school both man and boy. He went on to serve Durlston Court with great distinction, and at both schools was supported in his role by Anne who very sadly died soon after James retired from Durlston in – I think – 1996. James’ name has lived on at Clayesmore since the day he left, not just through the happy memories of so many but because one of the ’teams’ or ‘houses’ as they are now called was named after him as was the custom at that time. More recently, the main Prep School building of which he was so proud and which was so unusual at the time for being a custom-built school building, has been named the Seddon building.  Many will remember James as a truly distinguished and highly successful Headmaster.  Clayesmore has much for which to be thankful to him and Anne, and many old friends, both former staff and Old Clayesmorians, will be very sad at the news of James’ passing”.