SCHOOL friends were reunited for the first time in 55 years last week with their much-admired former teacher.

Ian Harley, 73, of Cinder Hills Way, Dodworth, began conducting research in 2019 into former pupils from Holgate Grammar School who lost their lives serving in World War Two.

Along with friend and fellow ex-pupil Melvyn Dunn, the research led to the idea to create a group email with former friends from Holgate who studied there from 1961 to 1965.

“Melvyn knew some people and so did I, so we got in contact,” Ian said.

“We now have 16 members in the group, with one living in Florida and another in Australia.”

They also managed to get in touch with 93-year-old Horace Jarvis, who was most of the group’s form master during their time at Holgate, and who spent his full working life teaching pupils there.

Ian, a retired journalist, added: “He had a genuine concern for all members of the group and we feel we owe him a great debt.”

After a few of the members met up at a Barnsley Football Club match in March, joined by season ticket holder Horace, Ian decided to put together a more organised reunion.

Last Saturday, eight members of the group met up in Pocklington, where Horace now lives, at the Burnby Hall Gardens, and spent hours talking to ‘sir’ as they still call him.

“We had a lot to catch up on, there’s been a lot of years between 1965 and now,” Ian said.

“Sir amazed us with his memory and we quickly discovered we could still learn from him.

“Without GCE ‘O’ levels in English and Maths in particular, none of would have enjoyed the careers we have had.”