Memories of the Day – William Marshall

by William Marshall, Head Prefect

The most remarkable part of my day was the service at St. Mary’s Church. After much practice I was certain I could play the difficult organ accompaniment to Parry’s anthem I was glad impeccably, but, an inveterate sufferer from nerves, I was not certain that I would. Thus, when the green light above the organ console indicated I should bring the voluntary to a premature close in readiness for the introit (l am still sure the Duke arrived early!), I considered it a distinct possibility that the organ music would be characterised by an abundance of wrong notes. From the first chord, however, my fingers ceased to quiver and I remained, if not relaxed, certainly philosophical. The choir sang excellently and the organist actually found himself enjoying an occasion he had awaited with great trepidation.

This sense of relaxation permeated the entire day’s proceedings, for the Duke, I discovered, has the ability of radiating his friendly goodwill. This was particularly noticeable in his informal conversation in the Head’s study before lunch, but was also very much in evidence during his chats with the pupils he met while touring the school. For me, the day was characterised by this pleasant atmosphere.