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Samuel David Grice

Common Room, 1967-1997

Sam joined the Common Room in 1967 as assistant to Ken Naylor in the Music Department. He proved to be a perfect foil to Ken: he had an infectious extroverted personality, was an outstanding trumpet player, and his background was as a bandmaster. Under his leadership the School Band was of exceptional quality. It accompanied the annual inspection parades, performed in concerts, or provided wind players for chapel performances. The climax for the band was its concert in the marquee at the tea interval in the cricket match on Speech Day, when all flocked into the tent to hear the band perform. Sam also used to lead congregational practices on Fridays before the weekend services, where again he was in his element as a showman but also in getting all to participate whether they could sing or not.

Sam’s other major contribution at The Leys was to establish a Clay Pigeon Society in 1976. He went on to help run the East Area Championship and then the British National Championship. The School won the East Championship five times and the National seven times. The ‘Grand Slam’ of titles was to win both of these, plus the Framlingham Invitation and the Warwick Challenge. In 1990, 1991 and 1992 the School won the Grand Slam and again in 1997. After Sam’s retirement, clay pigeon shooting finished at The Leys, but he went on to act as a coach and many members of his teams kept in touch. He was a larger-than-life figure who will be remembered with great affection.

Words by John Harding (Common Room, 1968-2005)