William Wall was headmaster of Great Witley School from 1901 to 1932. He was aged 30 when he came, and taught for 31 years until his retirement at 61.
In addition to being school headmaster, he was choir master at Great Witley Church, clerk to the Parish Council, secretary to the bowls club, and also helped put on local concerts which included the children of Lord Dudley.
Judy Henshaw, a resident of Great Witley says ‘I can just remember him – a tall man, he was well respected, strict but fair. Men touched their forelocks when they met him.’
William Wall was born in 1871 in St Peters, Worcester. His father John was a grocer and his mother Frances Elizabeth was a draper, but his father died before William was 10 and thereafter he lived with his mother in Worcester until sometime after his 30th birthday when he married Elizabeth, also from Worcester. Williams vocation was always teaching, the 1891 and 1901 census’s record him as headmasters assistant.
William and Elizabeth had three children, but sadly their first child Arthur John Wall died in 1909 just 19 days old. This must have been a sad occasion for the village of Great Witley as well as the Wall family. They went on two have two more boys, William Henry Thomas Wall born in 1905, and Stanley George Wall in 1910.
The family lived in the old school house, which was on the opposite side of the road from the new school building where he was master. This picture on the left shows the Old School House (left of centre) as it was when they lived there. To the right is the black & white Old Smithy, and in between is gap where Clent View bungalow was built later.
In 1927 when William was 56 his wife Elizabeth died aged just 48. William continued as headmaster for a further five years until his retirement in 1932 aged 61. As a mark of gratitude to Mr Wall, the Parochial Church Council built a bungalow on the corner of Worcester Road and Martley Road, in the gap between the Old School House and the Old Smithy, for his retirement. He called it Clent View.
The original Clent View bungalow can be seen in this picture on the right, partly hidden by bushes just behind the road signs. It stood on the corner of Martley Road and Worcester Road. This bungalow was later demolished and re-built around the year 2000 but still has the same name. In the foreground on the left is the Old School House after the family lived there. The right side of the building was the Schoolmasters house, and the left side was the original school, later becoming known as ‘The Institute’, and also used by the Scouts. To the right, behind the road signs, can be seen Clent View where Mr Wall lived in retirement.
In his later life William was looked after by a local lady known as ‘nurse Tilley’. He died aged 80 in 1951.