David Gillard’s poem (1947)

I have just received an interesting email from the late David Gillard’s son which includes a request for some information.

Dear Mr Willis,

I was very interested indeed to read the 2012 Old Suttonian Newsletter which contained my father’s (David Gillard) obituary notice. Thank you very much indeed for publishing it.

On a related matter, my mother has been sorting through my father’s books and recently discovered a volume of Walter de la Mare’s ‘Collected Poems’ which was presented to my father in 1946 for a ‘prize poem’.


I’ve attached to this email a copy of the inscription on the title page which reads:

“Sutton High School, Plymouth
This Prize was given by his Parents in memory of their beloved son:
Suttonian 1935 – 1942, School Prefect; State Scholar 1942;
Student of Exeter College, Oxford 1942-4.
Scholar, poet, musician, wit.
L/C. The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regt;
Killed in action in Italy, March 3rd 1945;
“We raise thanksgiving
For those who went before, and, passing on
Pointed our way of working, playing, living-
Still their tradition stands, though they are gone”.”


As Armistice Day approaches I found this inscription quite moving and I pass it on as I thought it might prove interesting material for your next newsletter. Mr Eveleigh was clearly an Old Suttonian to be celebrated and remembered.

Also, I wonder if, by any chance, there might be a copy of my father’s poem that won this prize? My mother would, I’m sure, be delighted to read something written by her husband aged 17. Would it perhaps have been published in a school magazine of that year or recorded anywhere else?
Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration.
Yours sincerely
Nick Gillard

If you can help Mr Gillard and his mother in anyway or if you remember Phillip John Eveleigh and can add something about him then please let me know via Roger Willis. I’m sure that this topic could make be a valuable contribution to the next Bulletin but I need your help to make it happen…

Ut serviatur

Roger Willis (1976-83)

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