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Distinguished Old Olavians

This list does not claim to be complete, and probably never could be. If you would like to nominate a distinguished Old Olavian for inclusion, please email with details.

  • John Harvard (1615), educational benefactor, was baptized on 29 November 1607 at St Saviour's Church, Southwark, Surrey. His father, Robert held a series of influential local offices, including vestryman, churchwarden, overseer of the poor, and governor of St. Olave's Grammar School, which his son John almost certainly attended, probably beginning in or about 1615. In 1637 John Harvard and his wife were living in Charlestown, Massachusetts. The goods they took with them from England included his large personal library of about 400 books on subjects both sacred and secular. While the Harvards were establishing themselves in their new home, the college that would bear the family name was being organized a few miles away in Newtown (renamed Cambridge in 1638). Authorized on 28 October 1636 and granted £400 by a vote of the colony's general court, the school opened under the mastership of Nathaniel Eaton, a college contemporary of Harvard, some time between early June and 7 September 1638. John Harvard's only claim to lasting recognition results from his bequest to this infant institution which included £800-half of his monetary estate-as well as his entire library. In money alone, the bequest was about twice the size of the legislature's original grant. Six months later, on 13 March 1639, the general court voted "that the college agreed upon formerly to bee built at Cambridge shalbee called Harvard College". 

  • Francis Brockett (1658), went up to Queens', Cambridge in 1658 and was Master of Dulwich College 1664-80 when he died. 

  • Peter Sterry (1613), entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1629, became Oliver Cromwell's private chaplain.

  • Sir William Heberden, F.R.S (1710), eminent English physician.

  • William Van Mildert (1773), Bishop of Durham and last count palatine of Durham. Founder of the University of Durham.

  • Professor V. H. Mottram (1898-1901), Authority on Dietetics. Professor of Physiology, Queen Elizabeth College, London.

  • Sir Norman Gibb Scorgie, C.V.O., C.B.E (1894-1903). Deputy Controller, H.M. Stationery office, 1919-40; Controller 1942-9.

  • William Burton (1896-1903). Chief Justice of Straits Settlements and Singapore.

  • Rev.Professor Frank Bertram Clogg (1895-1903). Principal of Richmond College.

  • Sir Thomas St. Quintin Hill, K.C.M.G., O.B.E. (1899-1908). Senior Civil Servant in Board of Trade

  • Alfred Oliver Pollard (1904-1910), V.C., M.C. & Bar, D.C.M. Captain, 1st Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company. Born 4th May 1893, Melbourne Road, Wallington, Surrey. Died: 4th December 1960 aged 67 years at home. On 29th April 1917 at Gavrelle, showed exemplary bravery for which he was decorated. He wrote his biography and then proceeded some 45 novels and factual books under the name Captain A O Pollard VC. He became an aviation specialist and saw service in the second world war. He married in the late 1940's and had an adopted son and a daughter. He died from the result of gangrene when a shell splinter from WW1 hidden in his leg pierced a vein.

  • Sir Leonard Day Wakely, K.C.I.E., C.B. (1893-8), Deputy Under-Secretary of State for India, 1934-41

  • Sir Wilfred Neden, C.B., C.B.E. (1905-10). Chief Industrial Commissioner, Ministry of Labour, 1954-8; Deputy Chairman, B.O.A.C., 1960-3.

  • Frederick E. A. Manning, C.B.E., M.C., T.D. (1911-15). Chartered Engineer. Served in the Post office in Wales and the Border Counties, 1950-9; prominent in University of London affairs, member of Senate; first Chairman of Convocation, City University.

  • Kenneth M. Lindsay, (c.1910-19), M.P. for Kilmarnock Burghs 1933-45, and for Combined English Universities 1945-50; Civil Lord of the Admiralty 1935-7, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education 1937-40; Chairman, National Book League.

  • Sir Leon Bagrit (1917-20), pioneer of automation; Chairman and Managing Director of Elliot Automation Ltd. Since 1963, and Deputy Chairman of English Electric Company since 1967; a director of the Royal Opera House; Reith Lecturer 1964.

  • Air Marshal Sir Brian Reynolds, K.C.B., C.B.E. (c. 1913-20), C-in-C Coastal Command, R.A.F., Air East Atlantic and Air Channel Command, 1955-9; Deputy Lieutenant for Sussex.

  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Hill of Luton, P.C. (1915-1922), "the Radio Doctor", Secretary, B.M.A. 1944-50, Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of Food 1951-5, Postmaster- General 1955-7, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1957-61, Minister of Housing and Local Government and Welsh affairs 1961-2; Baron (life peer) 1963; Chairman, Independent Television Authority 1963-7, Chairman B.B.C. 1967.

  • Conrad Veale-Williams, C.M.G. (1911-22), Judge in Africa

  • Ernest H Mansbridge, CEng, MRAeS (1913-21), A member of the original Supermarine design team which produced the seaplanes that won the Schneider trophy in perpetuity for Great Britain and went on to design the immortal Spitfire. He took his degree at the University of London and became one of the first to be qualified uin aeronautics at degree level.

  • Most Rev. Leonard James Beecher, C.M.G. (1917-24).C.M.G. (1917-24), Bishop of Mombasa 1953-64; Archbishop of East Africa 1960.

  • Rt. Rev. George Eric Gordon (1916-24), provost of Chelmsford 1951-66; Bishop of Sodor and Man 1966.

  • His Honour Judge F. D. L. McIntyre, Q.C. (1918-24), Judge of County Courts (West London) 1964.

  • Sir Maurice Dean, K.C.B., K.C.M.G. (1918-25) senior Civil servant in various departments; Ministry of Defence (Deputy Secretary); Treasury (Third Secretary); Board of Trade (Second Secretary); Air Ministry (Permanent Under-Secretary); Treasury (Second Secretary); Ministry of Technology (Permanent Secretary); Visiting Professor of Industrial relations, University of Strathclyde 1966; Director, British Printing Corporation 1966.

  • S. P. Kennan, Irish Ambassador to the United Nations.

  • Professor Harry Burrows Acton (1922-7), Professor of Philosophy, Bedford College, London 1954-64; professor of Moral Philosophy, Edinburgh 1964.

  • Sir Alan Marre, K.C.B. (1925-32), Civil Servant; Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Health 1964-66; Ministry of Labour 1966; Joint Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Security 1968; Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman) 1971.

  • Professor Francois Lafitte (1925-32), Professor of Social Policy and Administration, University of Birmingham, 1959.

  • Abba Eban (1922-34), Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations; Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1966; writer on Jewish history and affairs.

  • Professor Harold Ellis (1935-43); Professor of Surgery, University of London.

  • Sir Roger Sims (1946-48), Vice president of the NSPCC, Vice President of the Royal College of Nursing, Member of the Royal Choral Society since 1950, MP for Chislehurst 1970-1983, a governor of the school since 1950.

  • Peter Lambert (1954-61), Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute 1979. Director of the British Pavilion at Expo '92 in Seville. Appointed OBE in 1998 for services to aerospace and defence.

  • Squadron Leader Andy Green, O.B.E. (1978-80), awarded O.B.E. in 1997 who drove the Thrust supersonic car to a 763mph world land-speed record in Nevada during October 1997.

  • Edmond Warner (1974-81), was appointed Chair of the Palace for Life Foundation, the official charity of Crystal Palace Football Club, in 2017. He was also Chair of UK Athletics, the sport’s national governing body, for over a decade. He was Chair of the successful London campaign to host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships, and subsequently led the staging of these Championships and of the World Para Athletics Championships in London’s Olympic Stadium in the same summer. He remains Chair of World Para Athletics on behalf of the International Paralympic Committee, and was awarded the OBE for services to British athletics in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List.

    Ed is a City financier and is currently chairman of accountants Grant Thornton UK, and of derivatives exchange LMAX