Bill Jackson 1929-2010

Introduction by Doug Murgatroyd

Having only just got a handle on how to access the Old Cicestrians Website and learnt only recently how to “upload” information onto it, I thought that an appropriate area of interest would be Teacher Memories. To this end, I have begun the process of collating articles we have previously published in past newsletters and, hopefully, will add others that you the readers might contribute. To this end, if you email me at with your own memories I would easily be able to paste them directly into this section of our website. Also, do let me have your ideas on other areas of interest.

Bill Jackson

Many Old Boys will remember fondly Mr Bill Jackson, especially if they studied Biology, botany or zoology in the 6th form. Sadly he died last year. Christened William, he was born in 1929 in a small village in the North York Moors National Park and attended a two-roomed village school where he gained a scholarship to attend Lady Lumley’s Grammar school in Pickering and went on to read Botany at Leeds University where he gained a BSc and an MSc.

From there he joined the Colonial Office and was sent to Sierra Leone where he served in an extremely remote area that could only be reached by river launches. His remit was to develop new strains of rice which would yield double the crop which would, in turn, alleviate the annual periods of famine. Sadly he discovered that his techniques were largely ignored by the natives who were only willing to produce the amount they had always expected to produce and no more!

On his return to the UK in 1955 he became a lecturer at Leeds University for a while before turning to teaching. He taught first at March Grammar School in Cambridge in 1957, staying three years before his appointment to Chichester High School where he only ever taught the 6th form and achieved outstanding A and S level results.

He was promoted from Head of Biology to Head of Science and later to Senior Master. His hobbies were botany, reading and crosswords.

He was also an Examiner for UCLES (Cambridge) and rose to the rank of Principal Examiner in Biology worldwide and in addition examined for London University. He left the School in 1989.

He loved his work and carried on examining almost to the end of his life. He was married for 55 years and had three daughters.