Soham Grammarians - The Edens at SGS and EHS

Many families have long connections with Soham Grammar School. One of these is the Eden family, Edens being at the school from 1921 to 54, and 1971-72 - certainly from before and at the start of SGS's time in Beechurst and at its end. The editor is grateful to Fred Eden 44 for untangling this particular web! Note: following the convention used on the Soham Grammarians' website Fred Eden 44 indicates Fred entered Soham Grammar School in 1944.

Fred is a handy reference point to link all the others. Just to make everything really clear, all the Edens, certainly the older ones, were known as Knox - when Fred 44 arrived at SGS Taffy Thomas said to him "Not another Knox, surely".

Several Eden girls were at EHS - see below: it is hoped to add information about them when available.

Cyril Eden 42 muses: "We may also wonder what would have happened had Dad (Alfred) and his Brother (Uncle George), father of Alfred and Mary, been given an educational chance. The 1870 Education Act (Forster) gave the opportunity for Her Majesty's Inspectors to permit children to leave school at age 10 if they were 'sufficiently well educated'. Uncle George left at age 10 and Dad (Alfred) left at age 11 (both to become Agricultural Labourers)" [at the end of C19, early C20].

Mrs Mary Eden with her five sons on her 70th birthday, 13th July 1963
L-R: Jack - Fred - George - Cyril - Alfred Edward

1929 School Photo
1. ALFRED EDEN 21, born in 1912, died 1986.
Son of George Eden, cousin of Fred Eden 44 - he was named after Fred 44's father.
Alfred was at SGS 1921-1930, entering at the age of 9. He was the only one to start at the Old Grammar School. He stayed until 1930 as St John's College would not allow him to go up until he was 18.
He passed the Final Examination for the Agricultural Diploma, and obtained a Research post in Animal Nutrition at the School of Agriculture, Cambridge; awarded an Open Travelling Scholarship in Agriculture of the College of Estate Management, Lincoln's Inn Fields.
Dr Alfred Eden PhD MA worked all his life with the Ministry of Agriculture. He was awarded the ISO.
On October 4th 1957 he was one of the speakers at the Opening of the New Assembly Hall.

See also 1981 Dinner

in his mid fifties
1929 School Photo
2. JACK EDEN 28, born in 1918, died 1991.
Fred 44's oldest brother.

Trained as an industrial chemist and metallurgist, first working on aircraft production during WWII. After a period in Australia in engineering management he continued in this work on return to the UK, rising to senior responsibilities. In 1967 he went to New Zealand, using his management skills in various consulting roles in manufacturing.

After retiring early at about the age of 59, he and his wife travelled the world before settling on the E Coast of Australia. Failing health meant a return to the UK, settling first in Hampshire, before moving back to his roots in Cambridgeshire. He died of leukaemia in 1991, aged 73.
see also John Eden 49, his son.

1935 School Photo

1937 School Photo
3. ALFRED EDWARD EDEN 34, born 1923, died 2004.
Fred 44's 2nd oldest brother. Named after Fred 44's father (Alfred) and one of Alfred's brothers (Edward).
753 Eden, AE appears in the Admission Register for the School Year 1934-35.
Prefect. School Certificate 1939. Higher School Certificate 1941. 1st XV. Rugby. 1st XI. Cricket. Vice-Captain, Ridley. Games Committee. School Athletic Team.

In 1941 he registered for war-time employment the the laboratory of a munitions factory in North Wales. He joined the Royal Navy in 1942 as a Wireless Telegraphist. After WWII he studied Dental Surgery at the Royal Dental Hospital, Leicester Square, London. He set up a practice in Golders Green and in Wimpole Street. He spent a day a week at the Royal Middlesex Hospital, principally working with one of the professors on jaw reconstruction. Although he also had a medical degree (he had MB BS BDS) his preference was dental surgery. He completed his working life with a practice in Brighton, retiring in his late fifties, in Rottingdean, Sussex.

Taken in 2002 or 2003
January 1946 just before National Service
4. GEORGE EDEN 39: born 1928, died 1997.
Fred 44's 3rd oldest brother.
School Certificate 1944.
George does not appear on any of the whole School photos which we have at present. However, we do have the account he provided of being Fire Brigade runner at the time of the ammunition train explosion at Soham Station in June 1944, his final year at SGS.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1946 for National Service. He worked as an accountant with the Robinson Group (Motor Vehicles) moving to S Pauley Ltd (wholesale distributors of paints and wallpapers) as General Manager & Buyer, managing the company when it later became Willow Wholesale Ltd. When the Science Park opened in Cambridge he joined Coherent Ltd whose main product was a military laser. When this part of the company eventually moved to California and offered him the post of Chief Buyer he decided to stay in the UK, took early retirement and moved to Wisbech. He toured the world with his wife Doreen (née Long, an EHS girl) in their motorised caravan. They joined the Motor Caravan Club, George becoming Chairman of the Anglian group of the MCC and then National Chairman, and Doreen National Rally Chairman. He was later Chairman of the Walsoken, Wisbech Branch of the British Legion.

In 1988

1946 School Photo

1949 School Photo
5. CYRIL EDEN 42, born 1931, died 2018
Fred 44's next eldest brother.
School Certificate 1946

Did 2 years National Service 1949-51 after which he joined the Royal Insurance Group and became Administrative Manager (Life) Ipswich until his retirement in 1991 at age 61.

Married Marlene Fleet (Peggy), an EHS girl.

see 1988 Dinner

June 2010, 79th birthday

1946 School Photo

1949 School Photo
6. FREDERICK L EDEN 44, born 1933.
School Certificate 1949; 1st XI Football; Colours 1949

Some of UVA after School Cert Exams, 1949

Fred played in the Old Boys side which beat the School 1st XI 4-2 in the 56-57 season.

National Service RAF (Cad-Nav). After 10 years in the timber trade he joined an International Roofing Company to become Senior Technical Representative until early retirement in 1988 at age 55. Since then he has bought and sold property as a hobby.

Married Brenda Ames, an EHS girl.

June 2008
1954 School Photo
7. JOHN EDEN 49, born 1938.
A nephew of Fred 44 - his eldest brother Jack 28's son. John stayed for a term and a bit, then the family emigrated to Australia. He returned to SGS for 1952-54, then moved to Ealing GS for a further two years. In 1954 he was one of the Sailors in Rex Waller's HMS Pinafore.

Qualified with an Honours degree in engineering and after a brief time in manufacturing he became a lecturer/consultant on the staff of a technological university. After 12 years he was invited to join the board of a specialist engineering company. During the next 12 years he served on various boards before becoming MD of a precision lathe tool manufacturing company. His skills in education and industry were combined when he took up the directorship of an entreprenurial college. In 1988 he went into business on his own account in video/photographic work, which he still continues, although not so actively since retirement.

1972 School Photo
8. STUART EDEN 71, born 1960.
Fred 44's son.

BSc University of Salford, MSc at LSE. Now works in financial services in the City.

In case you wonder about his tie, by his time a House stripe was added, in this case yellow for Hereward (the other House stripes were green for Cromwell, bright red and purple.)

Summer 2009

Ely High School

An instance of the family links between the two schools, the following members of the Eden family attended Ely High School [photos etc to be added]:

by birth

Beryl (1938 EHS photo 4/9 row3 #1) and Ruth Eden (sisters of Jack, Alfred, George, Cyril and Fred).
Beryl Eden married William McIlroy born 25/1/1925, who also attended Soham Grammar School (1937 entry).

Mary Eden (1938 EHS photo 8/9 row2 #2, sister of cousin Alfred 21)
Fred Eden 44's daughter Karen (1971 EHS photo 4/15 row1 #4).

by marriage

Brenda (née Ames) married Fred Eden 44
Born 1935, attended EHS1946-51.

Marlene Fleet (known as Peggy outside school) - married Cyril Eden 42
Eden, Peggy: Marlene Peggy Eden (née Fleet) formerly of Isleham, Bottisham and Ipswich, passed away on Sunday October 19, 2008, after a long illness bravely borne. Beloved wife of Cyril, mother/mother-in-law of Susan and Dave, nanna of Eloise and sister of Doreen.
Born in 1934, attended EHS 1945-1950

Doreen Long - married George Eden 39
Born in 1930, attended EHS 1941-1948

Ely High School 1905-1972

If you can add photos or recollections or other items to this page, please contact the editor.
page created 22 Dec 10: updated 20 Sep 19