Prince of Wales

Criticism of the ‘cranks’ who condemn the O.T.C. (Officers Training Corps) movement in this country was made by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, in an address to 500 boys at Berkhamsted School, prior to visiting the castle.

“We live in very interesting times now,” he said, “and it takes people of all ideas to make up a community. But it is always a mystery to me how certain people – I will even go so far as to call them cranks – feel that the only way they can express the feeling which all of us have of the abhorrence of war and of the appalling disaster to the world if another war occurred, is by discouraging, or, if they happen to be in authority, by prohibiting any form of healthy discipline and training. After all, you may say, ‘Don’t discipline boys at school,’ but, believe me, whatever walk of life you go into, you will have to submit to discipline. I can think of no better way of disciplining boys than by the healthy form of training given by the O.T.C. and the different corps in our schools throughout the country, of which all of us are very proud.”

Prince of Wales visit 1935

Prince of Wales visit 1935

Earlier in his speech to the boys he said: “Your head prefect has told me that he was relieved that he did not have to speak or address me in Latin. Well, I am neither relieved nor care at all, because I could not do it even if I tried, whereas he could.” (Laughter). [This was a reference to a former Prince of Wales, later to be Charles I, who made an official visit to the Manor of Berkhamsted and heard an address in Latin given at the Grammar School.]

(Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser, 19 Jun 1935).