The Prescotian Webzine

H.E.Chant (Art and History)
Julian Roberts, who left PGS in 1941 enquired about the lack of a page dedicated to popular post war teacher, "Herbie Chant".Julian wrote, "At 91, I must be in one of the last living cohorts of the former Prescot Grammar School. I wonder why there is no entry in the list of former teaching staff of Mr H Chant, whose beautiful illustration of the school coat of arms was displayed on the main corridor near the Staff Room. He taught Art, and I think, History".

The Prescotian has collated as many references to Mr. Chant and these are presented here for your interest.

An initial search by the Editor into the annual Prescotian Journal reveals that Mr. Chant;
  • ..... was the first co-editor until the late forties when it appears that the journal was then edited by senior pupils at the school.
  • ......his co-editors included W.F.Corpe, from 1924 to 1928 and then G.F.Dixon from 1929 to the late forties.
  • ..... was the senior group master for the Lambda House.
  • ..... received a B.A from Manchester University.

Readers Comments and Memories

"It was typical end of term class, when very little was being done and we got him talking about himself.

He had won the Albert Medal, the fore-runner of the George Medal, which apparently he had won during the Irish uprising, but as it was never declared Britain was at war with Ireland, this was the highest medal that could be won, as the VC is only awarded during war. he would not tell us what he had done to earn the medal.

However he had been injured and in hospital recovering he was nursed by his future wife. He was also a great collector of stamps but only British and British Empire stamps

He only took us for history, and was actually my favorite teacher, perhaps because in part he looked a lot like my grandfather who had died in 1946, but he really was a very nice man". (Alan Curphey)

"Herbert Chant was an excellent, inspiring teacher. His main subject was History but he had a sound alround knowledge of most subjects including Algebra, Geometry,Trigonometry, Latin, French,English Language. English Literature and was an invaluable help to me in my early years at PGS.Thank you Mr Chant". (Jim Atkin)

"Herbie was my much loved English teacher, launched my career in journalism. I was at PGS 1943 to 1948. I reckon he produced the children’s page in the Prescot Reporter. He told me I had won a writing completion, age 12, a week before the paper announced it. Hence my career in journalism? (Ken Ashton)

"I remember Herbie well. His "catchphase was "Are you with me?" as he cast a glance around the room. I never saw him refer to a book or notes. It was all in his head. There was a rumour that he was a published cartoonist. A great man". (Ian Patterson)

"I remember Herbie teaching history while I was there – 1948 – 55. I wondered at one time what he did in the war as the name came up in a couple of books". (Keith May)

"Wow! Herbie must have been pretty old when he taught me History in the late 50s and early 60s". (John Hardy)

"Herbie Chant taught art and history I think, and I recall that he drew the front cover illustration on the school magazine, ‘The Prescotian ”, which depicted a herald on horseback blowing a horn. I recall an occasion in class when some of the lads were poring over a copy of ‘Reveille ‘- older pupils will recall the weekly paper which specialised in pictures of scantily-clad young ladies – Herbie sighed and quietly remarked ” You’ll grow up some day “. He was a quiet and gentlemanly master, with a dry sense of humour". (Gordon A E Williams)

"Herbie Chant taught me history from 1951 until 1955 or thereabouts! With me it was a total waste of time!" (Harry Moore)

Links to H.E.Chant on The Prescotian Website
Jack Smith Memoir Ricky Jones Memoir PGS Masters versus Boys Cricket 1954
Two Heads John Littler Memoir Alan Jones Memoir
Gerald Gleave Memoir    

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