Updated 05 Dec 2014
Retford Grammar School
Physics master 1926-62
by John Palmer
Bernard Beasley joined the School as the only Physics master in 1925
and died while second Master in 1962. He taught the author his
favourite subject, and became his favourite teacher. He was kind,
patient and often sucked a peppermint as he explained the structure
of the atom. His shoulders shook as he laughed. What I never knew was that
he ran a small holding with poultry, tractor and plough. My thanks to him for
guiding me to a Scholarship in Physics at U.C.L. London.
The Retfordian, Dec 1962, page 4
The sudden and unexpected death of Mr Beasley on Saturday
20th October, has shocked and saddened us all. Apart from an
injury to his foot - characteristically he treated this very lightly - he
had been very fit, in the best of spirits and playing his full part in
the life and teaching of the School.
Patrick Bernard Charles Beasley was just old enough to serve
in the First World War. With the coming of peace, he went up to
King's College, Cambridge, to read Natural Sciences: then, after
teaching in Cornwall and in Switzerland, he joined the staff of King
Edward VI Grammar School in September 1925.
For thirty-seven years he gave loyal service to the School;
never missing a day but for his one serious illness in 1958. A
delightful, dry sense of humour (better known perhaps to colleagues
and Old Retfordians than to junior members of the School!) made
it a pleasure to work with him. He had a burning sense of justice
and fair play; he was always ready to stand up for the rights of
colleagues or of pupils. Above all, we valued his immense kindliness
which showed itself fully in the welcome and encouragement he
gave to the younger Masters.
Alone of the present Common Room, Mr Beasley remembered
Mr Skrimshire as Headmaster. Residential duties with the boarders
of Merton House were an early responsibility of his; later he was for
many years Overend Housemaster. Appointed as the one Physics
Master, he became the Senior Physics Master, working in friendly
collaboration with Mr McNeil. His kindliness, and Mr Beasley's,
when they fetched Elizabeth from Yorkshire after the tragic death
of Duncan and Mary McNeil was profound.
At all times Mr Beasley took an immense interest in the welfare
and progress of individual boys. Many have cause to remember
with gratitude the special "borderline" classes in Physics which he
took for many years after school in the Certificate term. Others,
who went on to the Universities, owed much to the solid grounding
he had given them, and even more to the fact that he had taught
them how to work.
In January 1958 he was appointed by the Governors to succeed
Mr McFerran in the high responsibility and dignity of Second
Master. It was in these later years that a love of music found its
expression in his unfailing encouragement of school singing and in
his valuable advice on all electrical and acoustical equipment.
The School has sustained a great loss: his colleagues, with his
many other friends, suffer a personal sorrow. Our fullest sympathy
goes out to Jimmy, to David, and above all, to Mrs Beasley.
“PATRICK BERNARD CHARLES BEASLEY was for thirty-seven years a master at
King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford, and Deputy Headmaster at the time
of his death from a heart attack on October 20, 1962. He had never missed
a day of school, but for one illness in 1958, & he was teaching the day
before he died. Born on January 3rd 1900, the son of Dr. H.C.Beasley, he
was for ten years at Epsom College, & won an Exhibition to King’s in
Natural Sciences before joining the Royal Artillery in the last months of
the war. He was demobilized in time to come up in January, 1919, & he
graduated in 1922 with a Second in Part I & a Third in Part II. After a
year at Newquay College & another at Chillon College in Switzerland he
settled down at Retford in 1925, teaching Sixth-Form Physics & Middle-School
Mathematics & Science. He also had tutorial duties in the boarding house,
& after the Second War was Housemaster of Overend House until 1958. He
married Miss Barbara Bell in 1929, & they had two sons.
Kings College - Cambridge University
Annual Report of the Council by King's College (University of Cambridge):
Page 20 - 1963
Bernard Beasley had a number of private interests, notably
high-fidelity radio, photography & motoring. He will be remembered by
generations of Retfordians for his delightful, dry sense of humour, his
passion for justice & fair play, his interest in boys who needed special
coaching, & his encouragement of school singing.”
The Retford Gainsborough & Worksop Times
Fri Oct 26th 1962
- “Death of Mr. P.B.C.Beasley
At the age of 62, Mr. Patrick Bernard Charles Beasley, of 74 Tiln Road,
Retford, who was Deputy-Headmaster of the King Edward VI Grammar School,
Retford, died suddenly at his home on Saturday.
Mr. Beasley, who served in the first world war with the Royal Artillery,
was an exhibitioner of King’s College Cambridge, where he read natural
His first teaching post was on the staff of Newquay College, after which,
for a time, he taught at Chillon College in Switzerland, before his
appointment as sixth form physics master at the King Edward VI Grammar
School, Retford, in 1925.
Later he was appointed senior physics master & in 1958 became
Deputy-Headmaster on the retirement of the Rev. W.P.McFerran.
For many years Mr. Beasley was housemaster of Overend House.
He leaves a widow & two sons”
- “Sale at short notice. Sale today.
The late Mr. P.B.C.Beasley.
HENRY SPENCER AND SONS
Have been instructed to Sell by Auction, on the Premises, at
74 TILN ROAD, RETFORD
TO-DAY (FRIDAY), 26TH OCTOBER, 1962
340 HEAD OF POULTRY
Including 184 Light Sussex Cross Cockerels (8 weeks old onwards);
155 White Leghorn Cross Rhodes (Just in Lay.)
Two Small Poultry Houses; a Timber & Felt Laying House, chiefly
Sectional, measuring 20-ft. 6-ins, X 16-ft., with perches, dropping
boards, nest boxes & wooden floor. Various Feeders, Drinking Troughs
& Feeding Equipment.
A Fordson Standard Tractor on pneumatics,
with Cultivator & a Two-furrow Semi-digger Trailer Plough.
Sale to commence at 12.30 promptly.
On view on the Morning of Sale.
Full particulars from HENRY SPENCER AND SONS,
20 The Square, Retford (Tel. 531/2)”
"BEASLEY. - Mrs Beasley, of 74 Tiln Road, Retford, wishes to thank
all relatives & friends for their kind thoughts,
messages of sympathy & floral tributes at this time of her bereavement"
- “Many Mourners at Funeral of Mr. P.B.C.Beasley
Colleagues on the teaching staff, members of the Governing body & boys &
old boys of the King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford, of which he was
Deputy-Headmaster, were among the mourners at the funeral on Wednesday of
Mr. Patrick Bernard Charles Beasley, whose death is reported on page 1.
The service at St.Saviour's Church was conducted by the Rev. W.A.Williams,
Rector of Ordsall, who was assisted by the Curate, the Rev. Peter Bailey.
Mr. J.C.H.Glover, Headmaster of Edward VI Grammar School, read the lesson
- Revelations Chap 21.
In paying tribute to Mr. Beasley, the Headmaster spoke in high appreciation
of his 37 years service with the school. Firstly as the only physics master,
& later as head of this department.
His long service to the school he said included many years as a house-master,
& for the last 5 years as second master.
Concluding, Mr. Gover paid tribute to Mr. Beasley’s five special points –
his loyal service, sense of humour, sense of fairplay, his kindness & his
love of music.
Mr. H.W.Bramma F.R.C.O., Director of Music at the school & organist at
St.Saviour’s was at the organ & the trebles of the school choir led the
signing of one of Mr. Beasley’s favourite hymns
“Lift up your heads Ye mighty Gates”.
Internment followed at Retford Cemetery.
Chief mourners were-
Mrs. Barbara Beasley (widow); Mr. & Mrs. James Beasley, &
Mr. & Mrs. David Beasley (sons & daughters-in-law);
Dr.H.E.Beasley (brother); Mr. Eric Bell (brother-in-law);
Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Bell (brother-in-law & sister-in-law);
Mr. C.M.Bloore; Mrs. A.G.Schultz; Mr. & Mrs. R.Griffiths &
Mr. & Mrs. K. Griffiths (Friends)…..”
Passport photo 1924, probably to go to
Chillon College, Montreaux, Switzerland.
Henry Cecil BEASLEY married Millicent Detta HOUGHTON at Ledbury in June 1894
1901 Census for Ivy Lodge, Church Road, Village, Ashford, Staines, Middlesex
Henry Cecil BEASLEY Head Marr M 32 1869 Medical Practitioner Liverpool, Lancashire
Millicent D BEASLEY Wife Marr F 35 1866 - Leyton, Essex
M P M BEASLEY Dau Sing F 6 1895 - Chatham, Kent
Henry Eric BEASLEY Son Sing M 4 1897 - Chatham, Kent
Patrick B C BEASLEY Son Sing M 1 1900 - Ashford, Middlesex
Margeret Chowne Serv Sing F 19 1882 Nurse Domestic Stoke Newington, Middlesex
Edith H Fairbrother Serv Sing F 27 1874 General Serv Domestic Ashford, Middlesex
1911 Census for Epsom College, Epsom, Surrey
Patrick B C BEASLEY Inmate (infirmary) M 11 1900 School Ashford, Middlesex
Henry BEASLEY Boarder M 14 1897 School Chatham
1911 Census for 114 Grange Road, St Lawrence, Ramsgate, Kent
Henry Cecil BEASLEY Head Marr M 40 1871 Medical Practitioner Lancashire Liverpool
Gertrude Eva BEASLEY Wife - F 28 1883 - Hampshire L
Wilfred Cecil BEASLEY Son - M 4 1907 - Sussex Bognor
Aileen BEASLEY Dau - F 0 1911 - Kent Deal
Susan Mary Palmer Serv Sing F 20 1891 General Servant Domestic Kent Ramsgate
Millicent Phyllis M BEASLEY born 17feb1895 died Q4 1969 Bournemouth
Patrick B C BEASLEY married Mar 1929 E.Retford to Barbara BELL
James P BEASLEY born Mar 1931 East Retford
David BEASLEY born Jun 1936 East Retford
----Anyone with more details for publication on this webpage,
please email ----
Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded,
and copyright © 2009,
All Rights Reserved.