The Pupils

                                                    Edna Stoyle (photo courtesy Ian Stoyle)

The school was aiming to attract the children of business and professional people, and inevitably in a rural community, many were from farming families. This reflected both Henry and Edith's own background – Henry's father had been both a farmer and carpenter, and Edith's had been a draper.  A lot of farmers' children came from Totnes and Buckfastleigh - Eric Smerdon came from Buckfastleigh on the train. (Joy Smerdon)

Anne Douglas, who went to Greylands in the 1950s, believes that most of the pupils were day girls – some left after the 11+ to go to grammar schools. As well as local children, girls also came from Holne, Yelverton, Rattery, South Brent, Ivybridge – their parents were farmers, clergy, doctors, business people in the town and the surrounding areas. Hazel Bray remembers the children of the local bank manager going there. As with the earlier Wilderness School, many of the pupils were from abroad – India was particularly mentioned.Siblings often attended the schools, and the staff's own children and relatives swelled the numbers: Henry Naylor's youngest two children, Margaret and David were enrolled. When Ivan Stoyle came to teach at The Wilderness School in the mid 1930s, his sister Edna Stoyle boarded at Greylands. (Ian Stoyle ephemera ) One of Edna's teachers at this time was Isabella (Ella) Fox – later Ivan Stoyle and Ella Fox married.


 The following list contains all the pupils that I have come across so far,  from a variety of sources - there may be errors. It is certainly not complete.


Pupils at the Wilderness:

1933 Cambridge December examinations: O.E.Ghaleb, C.H. Naylor, W.L. Wright (Western Times 20 Jan 1933 )

Sports Day 1934 (from the Wilderness Magazine 1934-35)


Bovey i






Thomas i and ii













*The Rev H Mylchreest presented the prizes

'Form notes' (from the Wilderness Magazine 1934-35)

Rogers and Savery had joined the Fourth Form the previous term.

Nicholson had joined in the current term.

'In Forms I and II there are sixteen boys....There are five boys in Form I and eleven in Form II.

In our form there are two boys from India and Cyprus. There are two clergymen's sons, counting myself.

M D Mylchreest.'

School Football Team (from the Wilderness Magazine 1934-35)



Bovey i












4 pupils had left the Wilderness by May 1935 (from the Wilderness Magazine 1934-35)


Thomas i

Thomas ii


School Roll, Summer Term 1935 (from the Wilderness Magazine 1934-35)

Prep and K.G.





Law ii

Shellard ii

Tuckett ii


Form I






Form II









Shellard i

White ii

Bearns absent

Form III

Bovey i










Tuckett i

White i

Bearns i absent

Form IV












1935-36 Old boys who had recently left the school:

J. W. Naylor at Exeter College, Oxford.

C.H. Naylor at London University.

N. Nash, Woolbrook Garage, Sidmouth

T. Savery, Glencoe, Totnes

L. (J?) Beavis, Devon Constabulary, Broadhempston, Totnes

W. Tuckett, Yeo Farm, Bickington, Newton Abbot

H. White, Wottons Farm, Broadhempston, Totnes

A Rogers, Goodstone, Bickington, Newton Abbot


Current pupils in The Wilderness Magazine, 1935-36:

Beavis, Bovey, Christophers, W. Evans, Faiz, Fraser, Furneaux, Giles, Guy, E. J. Hill, D. Jago, Janes, A. Joyner, Knight, Lee, Marks, Nash, D. S. Naylor, Shearburn, Sproule,

M.D. Mylchreest, form 3,

John Coaker, H. McKinley, J.W. Nicholson, J. Palk, E. W. Stonely, form 4

Vincent S. Charry, form 5

Recently left: Beavis, Faiz, Fraser, Hughes, James, Nash, Rogers, Saunders, Shearburn, Savery, Tuckett, Ware, White,

Recently arrived: Blight, probably Gerald Blight (Heather Woodley; Richard Blight confirms this) Charry, Furneaux, Goodall, McKinley, Pethybridge, Prescott, Race, Russell (i and ii)

(All the above from The Wilderness School Magazine)

Eric Smerdon (information submitted by Joy Smerdon)

 Cambridge School Certificate successes: R. L. Boxall, H. A. Gartner, H. W. Goldstein. (Western Morning News 18 Jan 1940 p2 col4)

School sports: D.S.Naylor, Evans, Mathieson. (Western Morning News 28 May 1937 p4 col1)

Pupils at Greylands:
1931 Cambridge School Certificate successes: A. E. Curley [should be Gurley?] W. J. Stumbles
Western Morning News 26 August 1931 p6 col3
Cambridge School Certificate successes: L. Gurley
Western Morning News 17 January 1933 p9 col2
Cambridge School Certificates to M. A. Naylor, Joyce M. Piller
Western Morning News 26 August 1935 p8 col2
Cambridge School Certificate successes: E. H. French
Western Times 22 January 1937 p8 col5
Cambridge School Certificate successes: V. I. Belgrave, M. D. Islip
Western Morning News 14 January 1938 p4 col3
1930s Heather Shilstone (her own information)
Joan, Patience and Barty Mylchreest (information from Heather Woodley)
1939 Entertainment by pupils: S. Belgrave, J. Boyer, P. Collins, J. Evans, G. Guy, J. Palk, J. Taylor.
Western Morning News 29 June 1939 p5 col6
G. Guy probably Gwendie Guy (Heather Woodley)
1940s Cambridge School Certificates: M. Hunt, J.E.A. Taylor, A. A. Walke,
Western Morning News 18 January 1940 p2 col4
A. A. Walke probably Audrey Walke (Heather Woodley). (James Parnell in Canada remembers a Mary Hunt and a Joan Taylor)

In 1941 a document headed Regional Advisory Committee concerns Elisabeth Stein, a schoolgirl. Born in 1925 in Berlin, she had recently become 16, and was attending Greylands School, Ashburton, Devon. A German national, Elisabeth had not had to go before a tribunal - she was classed as a refugee.
Britain enemy aliens and internees, via Findmypast

1940s Sheila Bligh
Martin and Patricia Daw (Adrian Daw)
1942 Cambridge School Certificates: Anne M coaker and Sheila Belgrave
Western Morning News 26 Janaury 1942 p4 col7
1940s Margaret Cornish, Yvonne Hoare (possibly also Elizabeth and Margaret Hoare?), Hilary Beard, Brenda Kerslake, Marcia Turrell, Mary Churchward, Daphne Tuckett, Rosemary Davies, Sheila Wyatt, Shirley Stoyle, Mary Hall (possibly with sister Cynthia Hall) (information from Margaret Briggs and Hilary Beard).
1950 Royal School of Music successes: Hilary Beard, Mary Churchward, Arleen Da Costa, Rosemary Davies, Shirley Stoyle, Elizabeth Tredinnick, Daphne Tuckett, Sheila Wyatt.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 14 April 1950 p6 col3

1950s Geraldine Mann, Andy Dent, Shelagh Dent, Peter Bellamy, Felicity and Rosemary Patrick (daughters of the Vicar of Rattery), Dawe from Holne, Palmer from Yelverton (previous four from Anne Douglas), Arthur and John Smith.
Susan Hall, a Teresa (Terri for short), a Felicity, June Setters (?) from Buckfastleigh, a Hazel from Buckfastleigh, Susan (?) Paul, whose parents owned a pub or a guesthouse at Holne, (see Pawley below), a Cynthia Hall and her sister, Margaret Cornish, who lived with her aunt at the Toby Jug Inn in Bickington. Daphne Tucket, a Jamaican girl, Arlene, and her brothers Alistair and Algernon - their surname was De Costa, and they lived at the school. There were two doctors' daughters, one of whom was called Fiona, and Anne Gibson - she lived at Holne Court Farm in Holne, which her father had bought in 1947. Jane Gibson, younger sister of Anne. Rosemary Davies, whose parents had a hotel in Totnes? Susan Davenport (from Pat Blayney and Anne Mortimore)
Susan Pawley, whose father was a publican at the Church House Inn, Holne.
Sylvia Pinch from Totnes, whose father had an electrician's.
Margaret Weaver, who was adopted at age 5 by Miss D'O, who by then had married David Weaver.
Rosemary Davis (?)
Shirley and Pauline Stoyle (Shirley the older sister)
Susan Lewis, a boarder. Her father was in the services (army?)
Caroline Stevens, whose family farmed near Widecombe

Rachel Green and twins Cloe and Stella ('Pip') Green, from Rill Farm, Buckfastleigh
Jean Thorn, from Beara Farm, Buckfastleigh. Her father was a farmer.
Sally Palmer, from Bowerdon Farm, Buckfastleigh. Her father was a farmer.
Anne Lethbridge, whose father farmed at Buckfastleigh.
Hazel Whitney, Buckfastleigh.
Mary Hall and younger sister Cynthia Hall, who lived at the school. Miss D'O was their guardian.
Felicity Burrows, whose mother was a teacher at the school.
Susan Ashford, whose father was the manager of Lloyds' Bank
Pat Blayney
Bridget Hunt and her younger sister; lived at the school house with Mr and Mrs Hunt, both teachers.
Glyn Middlemas from Holne, whose father was a travelling salesman.
Muriel White from Littlecombe Farm, Holne, whose father was a farmer.

Gillian Burtram
Sandra Sherman
Sisters Caroline and Janet Dawe, and their cousin Pat Dawe.
Mavis ?
Virginia Lamplough
Angela ?
June Setters, from Buckfastleigh
Olga and Mary Churchward sisters, from Churchwards Grocers (Olga the elder sister)
Rosemary Edwards
Daphne Tucket, whose father was a farmer.
Susan Blair, and her younger sister. Their father was a medic in Ivybridge
Teresa Bradridge ?
? Counter. Her parents kept a sweet shop near the school.
Mary Toocker? Her father was a farmer at Luscombe Farm, Buckfastleigh
Rosalind Ash
? Pedrick. Her parents were hairdressers, just below the school in East Street
Geraldine Mann
? Pearce. One of three children from Peartree, Ashburton
Hillary Beard, from Buckfast.
Brenda Kerslake, whose parents were Kerslakes the chemists.
Sheila Wyatt
Shelagh Dent (had brother  -  see 'Boys')
Pauline Palmer from Yelverton. A boarder?
Susan Davenport

Alistair Grundy
Brian Street
John ?
Andrew Dent
Peter Bellamy. Later a doctor in Ashburton.
(all the above from Anne Mortimore)

(From Anne Mortimore)

 Photo courtesy Ian Stoyle

Some of year '38

Richard Blight has identified Gerald Blight as the child in row 5, photographs 3 (child on the right in front of the woman wearing a patterned skirt) and row 5, photograph 5.

Many thanks to Richard

Photos courtesy Heather Woodley 

 Boarders had to pack quite a trunk full when they came to school - here is what Edna Stoyle had to bring:

1 gymnasium tunic (navy)

1 jumper suit (fawn)

2 pairs of dark knickers with pale blue washable linings

2 coats – 1 fawn (belt), 1 school navy (there is a note here that says 'Wrong' – 1 dark navy for belt)

1 umbrella

1 waterproof hat to match

1 dressing gown

2 night dresses in case (additional 1 to follow)

3 vests

3 pairs of black stockings and mending

1 pair of fawn stocking and mending

3 pairs of knickers – blue green and pink

1 pair of tennis shoes

2 pairs of black shoes

1 pair of brown shoes

1 pair of wellington boots

1 pair of slippers, leather

1 pair of bedroom slippers

1 pair of gymnasium shoes




3 washing blouses (?) for gymnasium dress (white)

12 handkerchiefs

2 serviettes and ring

2 (linen ?) bags, brush and comb (2 bags), tooth brush, soap, flannel, nail brush, bath sponge and sponge bag

3 towels and 2 bath towels

2 pairs of sheets, 2 pillow cases

2 hats – one navy with badge and one to match best coat

1 prayer book and Bible

1 knife, 2 forks, dessert spoon and teaspoon

2 liberty bodices

2 pairs gloves – 1 leather and 1 (unreadable)

1 clothes brush

1 manicure set

1 blue petticoat

1 work bag (with scissors etc)

1 pinafore

1 pair shoe stretchers

1 handbag with purse

(Ian Stoyle ephemera )