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Greetings All,

Dr. Corran Laurens wanted to share a note with the Alumni & Friends of Cradock before our Come Home to Cradock 2004 event.

Should you want to E mail her:

Corran has become a true Cradock supporter!
See you many of you next month.



Dr. Corran Laurens' Note

Last year something wonderful happened to me when I found out by chance at home in England that there was a community named after my great-great uncle Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock in Virginia. I contacted the city library and this led me to Alumni members who were able to give me details of this first planned community with its own fire-house, school and utility systems and laid out in the shape of an anchor.

As a child my father had sometimes spoken of this ancestor, my grandfather's house was called Coronel after the naval battle and my first name came from this. I had a photo of him on which your School portrait is based and thought he had a look of kindness and strength. I always used to ask him for a bit of his courage when times were bad! The First World War affected the lives of millions across numerous fronts but the actions of individuals remained paramount and there were key players who influenced the course and conduct of the war.

Admiral Cradock appears to be have been one of those players and his heroic conduct in engaging an overwhelming German force seems to have struck a chord at the time. The fate of Britain's empire hung on these naval encounters and losing a battle could mean losing the War. Some years ago I used to meet elderly naval gentlemen in the yacht-clubs of Cowes who would misty-eyed at the mention of Admiral Cradock but they are now long gone. It appears Cradock was named after him following British involvement with the Gosport Shipyard at the end of the Great War.

After correspondence with my new friends in Portsmouth and Norfolk I was invited to Come Home to Cradock for the 85th event. I was enchanted by Cradock with its wide spacious streets and its beautiful central square with the bandstand. I did feel instantly at home and had the most magical five days - riding in the Parade in a red convertible with that mad colonial Colonel Ricky, waving at the most gorgeous children I have ever seen, cutting the cake and unveiling a plaque and then Mrs Heath's chorus and the school anthem. I was so touched by everyone's kindness. Cradock is obviously a rare and unique place and I could vividly imagine the School in its heyday with its cheerleaders and great musical soundtrack. It is quite special that students have retained this bond and are now embarked together on a revitalization programme. I am sure this year's celebration will be just as wonderful and hope many Alumni and Friends are able to attend. It is an unmissable event! I shall be thinking of you all wistfully and imagining myself back in the Square. The Admiral will be looking down I am sure - friends used to come back from York Minster cathedral and tell me about the handsome man in the statue looking older than his 52 years. On either side of the memorial to the Admiral are two statues denoting Loyalty and Courage and these qualities are obviously abundant in the Cradock community. Cradock is the "jewel in the crown" of Portsmouth and soon there will be intense competition to live in this special place. I just hope I can Come Home to Cradock again soon.

Dr. Corran Laurens