Business & Politics

Sir Harold Atcherley

(1918 – 2017).  Attended Gresham’s from 1932 to 1935 (Woodlands).

Sir Harold was an executive with Royal Dutch Shell.  He served on many public bodies, including the Armed Forces Pay Review Body and the Police Negotiating Board, of both of which he was Chairman.  He was also Chairman of the Aldeburgh Festival.  During the War, he was an Intelligence Corps Staff Captain at HQ 18 Division at Singapore, becoming a Japanese PoW.  His harrowing experiences at Changi and on the “Death Railway” are vividly and movingly described in his recently reissued War Diary.

Sir James Dyson OM CBE FRS FREng

Attended Gresham’s from 1956 to 1965 (Old School House).

Sir James Dyson is literally a household name. With inventions such as the ball wheelbarrow and the bagless vacuum he has shown how research and design combine and has built up an enormously successful and innovative company. A passionate advocate for Engineering education, he founded the James Dyson Foundation in 2002. In the 2016 New Year Honours, Sir James Dyson’s appointment to the Order of Merit (OM) was announced for “contributions and achievements in industrial design”.  Sir James joined Gresham’s Board of Governors in 2017 as representative of the Old Greshamian Club.

Professor Sir Christopher Howes KCVO CB

Attended Gresham’s from 1955 to 1959 (Woodlands).

A leading figure in the world of land and buildings with a career in the public, private and academic sectors, Sir Christopher was from 1989 to 2001 Second Commissioner and Chief Executive of the Crown Estate.

James Klugmann

(1912 – 1977).  Attended Gresham’s from 1918 to 1922 (Kenwyn).

A contemporary at Gresham’s of Donald Maclean, Klugmann was a leading British communist who served with the SOE during the War and later became official historian of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Rhodri Oliver

Attended Gresham’s from 2003 to 2007 (Tallis).

At 22 years old, recent OG Rhodri Oliver is the youngest member on North Norfolk District Council and in January 2013 was appointed its deputy leader. Currently a law student, Rhodri holds a degree in physics and works part time as a maths and sciences tutor. He hopes one day to be an MP and is keen to show that young people can make a real difference in their communities.

Sir John Ibbs KBE

Attended Gresham’s in 1939 (Old School House).

“Robin” Ibbs trained as a barrister and later became Head of the Central Policy Review Staff in the Cabinet Office.  He was Chairman of Lloyds Bank and Lloyds TSB, holds two honorary doctorates, is both a Knight Bachelor and a KBE and an Honorary Fellow of UCL.

Erskine Childers

(1905 – 1974).  Attended Gresham’s from 1918 to 1924 (OSH & Woodlands).

Erskine Childers was the 4th President of the Irish Republic. His father, the novelist, First World War hero and Irish republican, Erskine Childers, was shot by a Free State firing squad for possession of a pistol (given to him by Michael Collins) while Erskine junior was a pupil at Gresham’s.

Lord Lindsay of Birker

(1909 – 1994).  Attended Gresham’s from 1922 to 1927 (Farfield).

Michael Lindsay, 2nd Baron Lindsay of Birker, was a university lecturer in Peking when Japan declared war on Britain. With his Chinese wife, he then operated behind enemy lines assisting Mao Tse-Tung’s communist troops as well as working for the New China News Agency. Two of their children were born during their 500-mile journey on foot to Mao’s headquarters.

After the war, Lindsay lectured at the Australian National University, subsequently becoming Professor of Far Eastern Studies at the American University in Washington DC.

Donald Maclean

(1913 – 1983).  Attended Gresham’s from 1923 to 1931 (Old School House & Woodlands).

Maclean, son of the Liberal politician Sir Donald Maclean, was recruited to the Soviet intelligence service by Anthony (later Sir Anthony) Blunt while an undergraduate at Cambridge. He joined the diplomatic service and became a highly effective agent. When it became clear that he was about to be unmasked, he escaped to Russia in 1951.

Lord Strabolgi

(1914 – 2010). Attended Gresham’s from 1926 to 1931 (Howson’s).

David Kenworthy, 11th Baron Strabolgi, was a Labour Party peer and the holder of one of Scotland’s most ancient titles of nobility. He served as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard, Labour Party Deputy Chief whip in the House of Lords and Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords.