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News > Lyonian News > The life of Philip Henry Cresswell (OL1929) at John Lyon School

The life of Philip Henry Cresswell (OL1929) at John Lyon School

The print is one of a limited series and bears the number 32, and is signed by the artist G V Dauner. It was owned by Philip in the 1930's, when he started his career as a solicitor.
Old print of John Lyon School presented to us by Philip's sons.
Old print of John Lyon School presented to us by Philip's sons.

Philip Henry Cresswell entered John Lyon School in January 1925 at the age of 11 and left in 1929. His life at John Lyon was apparently a very happy one and academically very successful.  His brother Barry, four years his junior, also attended the school. Their talent extended to being gifted pianists often being called upon to entertain at local functions with songs and piano duets.

Before leaving, the Headmaster (Mr O. A. Le Beau) wrote a letter of recommendation for Philip as he intended to become ‘articled’ to a solicitor and enter the legal profession. The letter, which is still in the family’s possession, states that “He is a gentleman in every sense of the word, and I can unhesitatingly testify to his high character…….”. Philip was also involved musically with the school Cadet Force Band and the Headmaster’s letter praised that the band “owes much to him for his zeal and encouragement”. 

It obviously did the trick as, soon after, Philip became articled in the City of London. With his characteristic youthful zeal he passed his exams and received accreditation as a ‘Solicitor to the Supreme Court’ in October 1934 at the remarkably young age of 21. His brother, Barry, later qualified as a Chartered Surveyor.

The family lived in Kenton Road, Harrow until just before WWII.  The picture of the Lower School that has been donated to the John Lyon Alumni by Philip’s sons had hung in his Northwood home since the 1950’s until his death in 2007. The print measures approximately 30 cm x 21 cm but what is striking is the manner in which the mounting board has framed the school crest.

A huge thank you to Nick Cresswell and the family for donating the print and sharing Philip's stry with the School.


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