Editor’s blog

In his role as historian for the Royal High School and the RHS Club, your editor responds to an average of around one query or request a week.

The Editor in his now annual envelope-filling role for the Prize-Giving

These items emanate mainly from the school, but are increasingly coming from other sources including the contact form in this website. While some are dealt with by a couple of emails or telephone calls, many result in projects of varying sizes, and it is thought that you, the readers of the site, might be interested in their lifecycle. Help with their resolution is often sought from and provided by Tom Bacciarelli and Ian Cowie.

Recent projects have included:

  • The school prize history (initially sixty current ones) to be included in the 2021 Annual Report, and prize or bursary description to be added to the prize envelopes
  • The discovery of two RHS prize medal designs by the archivist at the Abbotsford Trust. The Sir Walter Scott Medal is particularly appropriate this year, given that his 250th birthday is on 15th August. It was first awarded in 1932. The other medal is the Muir memorial medal, first awarded in 1929 to the 5th year Dux, and still awarded to this day.
  • The initiation of the biography project based on correspondence with FP’s
  • The 1934 Melrose Sevens winning team explained
  • The 1903 Macmillan club prize winner’s watch – used daily in Upper New York State
  • The English High School, Boston, 200th anniversary – Wikipedia says “It was modelled after the Royal High School Edinburgh” (actually just the ‘High School’ as it was known then)
  • 1938-39 School Captain James Lewis Gilmour, killed at El Alamein 25th October 1942 – helping a close relative documenting his life.
  • Working with ESMS staff in the creation of their 2020 Remembrance virtual tribute
  • The 100th birthday of John Cruikshank VC. A video tribute was made.
  • Hamilton and Inches archivist seeking information. Sir Robert Inches was a pupil in the 1850’s
  • The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence request use of our image of Douglas Ford GC
  • The establishment of two Spanish language prizes, requiring visits to the Consul in Edinburgh
  • James Pillans, Rector 1810-1820, credited with inventing the chalk blackboard. Is it true?
  • The creation of a flyer for the 2019 School yearbook, and potentially Schola Regia?
  • JG Robertson, who played for the RHS FP rugby team from 1871-76, and also represented Edinburgh v Glasgow, could possibly be the world’s first black rugby player. Support for the author of the article available here
  • The 1906 Dux of German – the gold medal won by Henry C Gardham, was retrieved by an anonymous British soldier from a dead German soldier after the battle of the Somme in 1916. A Fife ex-servicemen’s club contacted us in 2019 – follow the story…

Earlier projects included help for the embroidery team making a panel for the Scottish Tapestry, showing the first Scotland versus England Rugby match at Raeburn Place in 1871 when Royal High FP Angus Buchanan was the first man to score an international try.

Further information about all these projects will be available here in due course…