‘At the age of six I was enrolled in a Church of England primary school in Ruislip. I remember tormenting the vicar who could not keep order. I enjoyed walking the mile between home and school and playing on the way, as I was often in trouble in both places. I soon got myself expelled from my dancing class. I learned a lot from my high spirits and punishable escapades that proved an enormous help when I myself became a teacher.
…Although I was very young I still remember the sense of foreboding…World War II broke out when I was eleven… After experiencing some of the bombing and blitzing of London in 1940 our mother decided to take my brother and me to greater safety in Wales
…In every school I attended we seemed to study A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I became allergic to it for a while… I developed a great dislike of Welsh nonconformity. Everyone went to Chapel so I soon stopped going. For some years my only interest in visiting churches was to study the architecture…. After I matriculated at the age of fifteen we moved back to England… [where] I…studied English, Latin, French and History for two years in the sixth form…As the war was ending we got news of concentration camps. By then I was seventeen and began to realize even more of the horror of war.’