Window sheds light on school day memories and friendship for one of our oldest alumni

Monday 11 June 2018

Geoffrey Wilson (OL40) from Shadwell visited The Grammar School at Leeds recently to view the ‘new home’ of the Fairfax window outside the school chapel.  Geoffrey, who recently attended the Back to School alumni event at the former Leeds Grammar School at Moorland Road, expressed an interest in seeing the window during a tour of the former school chapel, now a textile museum.

The window is named after Anthony Fairfax (OL38) who was killed on active service in 1941 at 21 years of age.  Tony, as he was known to Geoffrey, although a few years above him at school, was a good friend and a key influence on Geoffrey’s own military career. One of Geoffrey’s favourite memories was driving to Lawnswood playing fields from Moorland Road in Tony’s brand new open top MG TA!

They were both in the LGS scout troop; Tony, a troop leader and Geoffrey, a patrol leader, and soon after both became members of the RAF Volunteer Reserve.  RAF and Army officers visited Leeds Grammar School in the late 30s to recruit pupils to join the VR.  Geoffrey, at the time, was only 14.  The boys would attend lectures on flying theory in nearby Woodhouse Lane.  During the war years both boys joined the RAF as pilots; Tony was in 9th Bomber Command Squadron and Geoffrey flew light aircraft until converting to become a Navigator on Lancaster bombers in 50th Bomber Command Squadron.

Tony’s American mother who lived in Headlingley commissioned the window following his death in 1941 and the then headmaster, Terry Thomas, had it installed in the school chapel. Geoffrey is pictured by the Fairfax window with Neill Hargreaves, school archivist and former LGS librarian and Laurence Wilkinson, GSAL CCF Commander.

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