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Former Orpington teacher hopes to reunite with his first class

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 July 2018

Doug Champ hopes to reunite with this former class. Picture: Amy Orr

Doug Champ hopes to reunite with this former class. Picture: Amy Orr

Archant

A resident at an Orpington care home is reaching out to the community in hopes of reuniting with his former primary school class after discovering a photograph from 1951 online.

Whitstable Boys School 1951. Picture: Care UKWhitstable Boys School 1951. Picture: Care UK

Douglas Champ, a resident at Care UK’s Foxbridge House care home on Sevenoaks Road, stumbled across the photograph during one of the home’s regular computer lessons.

Doug, a former teacher at the Whitstable Boys School, was delighted when the photograph of his first class popped up on screen and recognised the children immediately – Doug could even recall the boys’ names and backgrounds, reminiscing to the residents and the team about his time teaching.

The team at the home are now hoping to organise a school reunion for Doug and his former class, and are asking the community to help identify the people in the photograph.

Carol McCormack, home manager at Foxbridge House, said: “We were thrilled when Doug found the picture of his first class online, and enjoyed listening to his stories from his years teaching.

“He was naturally fond of this particular class, as it was the first he taught after college, and we’re eager to invite the members of Mr. Champ’s class to the home so they can reunite with their former teacher.”

Doug said: “I was excited to find the picture and can’t wait to find out if anyone remembers being taught by me.

“I’m looking forward to meeting up with my class again and finding out what they are doing now.

“I’d like to thank everyone in the community who helps us get back in touch.”

Born in 1928, Doug grew up in Fulham and was offered a scholarship to the prestigious Emanuel School in Wandsworth, however he didn’t get the chance to attend as he was evacuated in September 1939.

At 18 years old, Doug was called for duty and joined the Royal Air Force, spending over two years working in Egypt and Iraq.

Keen to return to education after his time in the RAF, Doug applied for a university grant to become a teacher.

He met his wife Joyce through a mutual friend at college and they married on December 1 1951 - the same year that Doug started teaching.

He worked at a number of schools during his 38 year career, working his way up to the position of headmaster before his retirement.

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