Serve and Obey.

My old school has just produced an old boy’s jacket and I’m tempted to purchase one, it comes in the form of a blazer which is red, white and blue stripped and has the school moto Serve and Obey on the breast pocket.

Image result for haberdashers askes motto

Anyone who knows me will know I’m quite partial to a blazer and have many, some of which are quite subtle and some like the Bentley Drivers Club which has red, silver and green stripes which must have been designed by someone who was completely colour blind, even I with my mild colour blindness find it jars on the eye.

I’m unsure whether the blazer produced for The Old Haberdashers Association is stylish or as with the Bentley blazer absolutely awful, it is as I said red, white and blue stripped which may be construed as extremely patriotic or rather chavish depending on how you look at these things, although having the Serve and Obey moto on the pocket brings it back from the brink, I hope.

Having looked at the school uniform of both Eton and Harrow while their everyday wear of morning suits and boaters and the like may seem a little over the top it is still in the best of taste, however the ordinary school blazers are quite subdued being dark and with braid round the edges except when it comes to their games blazers for cricket, soccer and rugby where they really let themselves go.

It seems then that to some extent the more upmarket the school, the more lairy the blazer especially where sports are concerned or in my case the old boy’s blazer.

The saving grace of my old boy’s blazer I feel is the moto which set me wondering what the moto’s of perhaps our two finest schools might be and through the wonder of the interweb I can quote directly from both schools websites.

Firstly Eton who’s motto is often thought to be Floreat Etona, which can be translated as ‘May Eton flourish’ or ‘Let Eton Flourish’; but Esto perpetua (‘May it last forever’) came into usage if anything a little earlier. In fact, neither phrase is officially a moto; they are unofficial creations that, over time, have stuck.

Now Harrow’s Stet fortuna domus means ‘May the fortune of the House stand’. Donorum dei dispensation fedelis means ‘the faithful stewardship of the gifts of God.

Both of these quotes seem to be concerned with perpetuating the establishment and why not?

However my old school while certainly not at the bottom of the pecking order must have had a different outlook on maintaining the establishment, it is some many years since I was at school and can therefore not remember whether we were taught the meaning of the moto or whether it had any special significance, which unless I’m reading wrongly is much more subservient.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s was founded in 1690 by a Royal Charter granted to the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers to establish a hospital for twenty boarders with £32,000 from the legacy of Robert Aske (£4,300,000 in today’s money)

One was encouraged to do your best, to do your duty and as with all schools when at the Armistice Day service the names of the fallen were read out one felt there would have been an expectation that should the occasion occur we would have all gone merrily to Serve and Obey.

Whilst both my father and grandfathers all fought in both the First and Second World War I was extremely lucky not to have been called as whilst I would have been the right age, this country was not involved in the Vietnam War which means I can maintain that I would have been happy to sacrifice myself for my country in some corner of a foreign field, whether this is true or not!

There are few things which are good about getting older, however passing an age where one might be called upon to take part in a futile war has got to be one of them and I am now at the age where I would be taking part in Dad’s Army rather than the real thing.

I tend to see myself as Sergeant Wilson although others may see me more as Corporal Jones, I would certainly be useless in a modern war where everything is done by computer, men would have to run for their lives if I were to be let loose with the controls of a drone.

To end, here is the most magnificent photograph which is entitled Toffs and Toughs which  portrays a group of local boys looking on with curiosity and amusement at Harrow boys in their formal uniform at the Eton vs Harrow cricket match held at Lord’s cricket ground in London.





About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase.
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