This month marked the college’s 106th year

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AS WELL as marking the First World War centenary we also celebrated our own anniversary this month, writes Clare Young, head of marketing at the school.

On Tuesday, November 4 we turned 106.

We gathered at St John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth to remember all those who have given so much to ensure we still thrive today.

The service was also broadcast live on the internet – a real sign of the times.

It was on November 4. 1908, the feast of St Charles Borromeo, that headmaster Brother Firme opened St John’s College (at 27 South Parade).

The college then comprised a community of five Catholic brothers from France and a school of just two boarders and five day students.

Our college librarian is currently trawling though our archives, so was able to tell us a little more about the first students on the school roll.

The two boarding students came from France: siblings Henry and Maurice Joulfoin – they left the college in 1914 and went to work for their father in France.

The day students were Fred Bell-Syer, who left in 1912 to go to Farnborough College (and later served in the First World War); Charles Hall, from Highbury Street; brothers Gerard and Terence O’Connor, whose father was in the navy, and Felix McCarthy who lived in Goldsmith Avenue.

It was so interesting to read about these students, and to see photos.

The college moved to its current site on Grove Road South in 1912.

By 1935 the college had grown to more than 360 pupils and now there are currently over 600 students across the whole college, including 125 boarding students from the UK and overseas.