Stowe School’s pride at ex-pupil who saved 669 children from Holocaust

Sir Nicholas Winton (right) with Dr Anthony Wallersteiner
Sir Nicholas Winton (right) with Dr Anthony Wallersteiner

Stowe School has paid tribute to a former pupil who was among the very first to study there – Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton, who died aged 106.

Prime Minister David Cameron was among those to pay tribute to ‘great man’ Sir Nicholas after his death on Wednesday.

His life serves as an exemplar to us all”

Dr Anthony Wallersteiner

But before he organised the rescue of 669 children destined for Nazi concentration camps, ‘Nicky’ learned English and maths at Stowe School from 1923-1926.

He was in Grenville House and left without any qualifications to eventually become a stockbroker.

Stowe’s current headteacher, Dr Anthony Wallersteiner, said Sir Nicholas ‘embodied many of the characteristics’, such as courage and humility, which first headmaster JF Roxburgh, instilled in pupils.

In 2003, the year of his knighthood, Sir Nicholas was the first recipient of the Old Stoic Award and in 2008, he opened new girls’ boarding house, Stanhope.

Ruth Humphreys – one of the 669 children rescued from Czechoslovakia and both of whose parents were gassed in Auschwitz – was also at the ceremony. She thanked him for ‘the gift of life’.

Dr Anthony said: “Sir Nicholas was characteristically modest in his reply. He claimed that he only did what every person of conscience would do and warned current Stoics against complacency when confronting evil in the world today.

“Today, there are more than 6,000 descendants of the original children rescued by Sir Nicholas. His life serves as an exemplar to us all and we are proud to call him an Old Stoic.”