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News > Alumni News and Profiles > King's Remembered > John Rammell (N43/47) on the skiing trip he will never forget!

John Rammell (N43/47) on the skiing trip he will never forget!

An idyllic skiing trip for John marking the end of WWII
New House, John's house whilst at KSB
New House, John's house whilst at KSB

I was reading some other King’s School O.B. memories and I began remembering a couple of my own. 

I recently read an article about a skiing trip from King’s to Les Diablarets, Switzerland, in 1947. In fact, if my memory serves me right, I went on a trip from school to that same, quiet Alpine town in 1946. We were accompanied by three adults: Alan Yeats-Brown, a female member of staff whose name I forget and, finally,  a popular master with the boys named Geoffrey Eagar(sp?). This last person drove a motor bike, was divorced and had a great sense of humour which, combined, made him somewhat exotic in our eyes.

We skied the slopes for a few days and then, using a relatively short ski lift which was the only one available in the village at the time, we started on a major excursion. Leaving the lift we set off on our skis up the mountain, trudging up and up, and then up again, for what must have been some considerable length of time, until we arrived at a remote chalet where we were to stay the night. Here in the evening we feasted on a magnificent meal, with which we were offered red wine to drink. Unbelievable!  After the years of war, dark gloom and anxiety,  our young lives were shocked by the blaze of freedom and hope for the future that had suddenly touched us. After the feast and the wine, exhausted, we went to bed.

The next day we had a very early start in order to cross the snow-covered ground before the sun hit the white surface and increased the danger of an avalanche. Then, standing poised at the pinnacle, from which we would launch our swoop down to the village far below, and with  the snow-covered alps shimmering in the distance, we then  tipped forward on our skis, initiating a thrilling swoosh of speed to the village in the valley. Never to be forgotten.

One other memory while I’m at it. Four of us decided to have a séance and decided to hold it in a room in Memorial Hall. It was a small room. Barely furnished with a table and chairs. In one rather dark corner there was a rocking chair that had some kind of reed covering. I don’t remember what it was but it wasn’t soft fabric. The four of us sat at the table, in a circle, fingers touching, waiting in absolute silence. Suddenly there was a slow, unmistakable and protracted creak, as though someone was settling, quite slowly and deliberately, in the rocking chair. With a cry, one of our number fled the room. Those who remained agreed that four was the requisite number for a séance. So there was no point in staying. As I left the room I looked back at the chair. It was quite empty.


If you would like to publish your memories of your time at King's, we would love to hear them.  Please email

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