A Head of his Time: John Loraine Spencer at LRGS (1961–1972)


This book is dedicated to the memory of John Loraine Spencer (1923–2003) Headmaster of Lancaster Royal Grammar School 1961–72. His war service from 1942–45 is covered and his professional life from 1947–72, though most is about his time at LRGS. He was a young man reading Classics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge when, after one year of study, in 1942 he was called up. He landed in Normandy on D-Day 1944 and fought with the Essex Regiment until the war ended, by which time he had been mentioned in dispatches and was a Temporary Major. Demobilised, he returned to Cambridge to complete his Classics Tripos, achieving a Double First, and went into teaching, at Haileybury, before his appointment to Lancaster. In May 2018, the authors and three other OLs, Mike Barton, Jerry Duerden and Paul Fitton, who were all at school in his time, followed some of the route he and his regiment took during the bitter fighting of June, July and August 1944. The authors have spoken to or received written recollections from members of staff who worked under him, and also from boys of his era.

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Christopher Critchlow and Martin Alexander (15th July 2019)


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