The school was founded in 1675 by an amalgamation of various
legacies of an earlier date together with subscriptions taken then.
Its motto was Sic Luceat Lux Vestra - "Let your light shine forth."
After re-organisation moved as the Buxton Endowed School to
new premises, opened on 27 September 1881, built on land off
Green Lane. The new building was designed by William Pollard
By 1900 there were nearly 100 boys of whom 60 were boarders.
By 1910 there were still over 70 boys but the number of boarders
had dropped to 26 and the position of the school was precarious.
After the War, in 1923, the School joined the state sector as a
The 1911 Census Return (RG 14/21237) shows the School staffed by Harry Sackville Lawson (Headmaster), with his wife and young son; a Matron, Helen Theodore Fox Harvey; four School Masters, living in, including English and History teacher, Robert Edward Knight; 12 boarding pupils and 5 female Servants - i.e. Cook, Nurse and Housemaids. This was down from 46 boarders and 9 Domestic Staff 10 years earlier. [1901 Census RG 13/3270]
Both Harry Sackville Lawson and Robert Edward Knight were subsequently to lose their lives during the War and are commemorated on this site. Virtually all of the boys attending the School listed on that Census were probably too young to enlist, but reference to earlier School records show that many of Buxton's War dead attended the School in earlier years. In addition, of course, as boarders came from all over the Country, others may well be commemorated on their home Memorials.
As far as is known the School erected no individual Memorial to its War Dead from World War 1. However, at the end of the Second World War a Plaque was erected in the School Hall, by "Old Buxtonians", "In memory of their comrades who gave their lives in War, 1939-45".
This Plaque listed the names of 33 Old Boys who made the Supreme Sacrifice and was mounted in the School Hall. However, when the School was re-organised in 1990 by merging with the local girls' School to become Buxton Community School, internal renovations meant the Plaque was removed and placed into storage.
After research by Scott Allsop - then a pupil at the School - now administrator of this website - the Plaque was found, and reinstated in its rightful place. The Buxton Advertiser carried the story, which can be read by clicking the photo below right.
[N.B. After reading History at Cambridge, Scott now teaches and runs the very popular History Revision website -
The introduction of the Elementary Education Act 1870, commonly known as Forster's Education Act, created the concept of compulsory education for children under thirteen, although it only required the provision for education of children up to 10 years of age.
The Elementary Education Act 1880 insisted on compulsory attendance from 5–10 years. Children under the age of 13 who were employed were required to have a certificate to show they had reached the educational standard. An Act brought into force 13 years later went under the name of the Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act 1893, which raised the minimum leaving age to 11. This act was later amended in 1899 to raise the school leaving age up to 12 years of age.
The Education Act 1902, also known as the Balfour Act, abolished School Boards and replaced with Local Education Authorities, which are still in use, by and large, today . It was not until after The Great War that the Education Act 1918, commonly also known as the Fisher Act, introduced compulsory education from 5 – 14 years.
BUXTON SCHOOLS in 1914:
As a result of the The Education Act 1902, compulsory education had to be provided
for children aged from 5 – 14 years. In the outlying villages, such as Fairfield, Burbage
and Harpur Hill, this was still being provided by local 'Church' Schools, some of which
may have been incorporated into the Local Authority [LEA] system. It is without doubt
that many of the War dead from these villages would have attended their local School
as a child.
In Buxton town itself there were still the provisions provided for both boys and girls by
the former 'Board Schools', and in addition the town had a number of Independent,
Private Schools, for both boys and girls - many of the former being linked to acceptance
into Public Schools and on into the Armed Forces.
The Principle boys' Schools at the time may be summarised as under, although it is unclear whether the LEA boys' School was known as 'Kents Bank' then, or this name was attributed later. There was another Junior School at Hardwick Square, Buxton, which had opened in 1875. The other three Schools listed were all Independent and Private.
The Village School, Fairfield
BUXTON JUNIOR SCHOOLS:
As stated above - and as with the local Village Schools, such as Fairfield, Harpur Hill and Burbage - it is most probable that many of the Buxton men who subsequently enlisted attended, at some time, the local 'Board School' located on Kent's Bank Road, Buxton, prior to its re-organisation in 1902. Hardwick Square Junior School, which exists on the same site today  was opened in 1875 and was for boys and girls.
The School, which later became 'Kent's Bank Boys' School' and now houses Buxton Library and certain Council Offices, has no Memorial for its World War 1 casualties. It does, however, have a Memorial for World War 2 dead, as an engraved stone insert into outside end wall of former main school hall.
Kents Bank School World War 2 Memorial Names
[All also appear on the Town Memorial on The Slopes]
Pt. 40926 George MITCHELL, 1st Battalion, Leicester Regiment, was killed in action on the 11th September 1917. George was employed as a 'Library Assistant - Public', and although the Library was not in its present location at that time, a Plaque in his honour can now be found inside the current building.
At the end of World War 2 the Memorial was added to with the names of
those who fell in that conflict. [See: photo - below right]
In more recent times Scott Gregory Taylor joined the Marines in September 2007, aged 18, after completing his GCSEs and A-levels at Buxton Community School. Scott died in an explosion on Sunday 30th May 2010 while on foot patrol near Sangin with Alpha Company, 40 Commando.
He was brought home and buried with full Military Honours. Thousands of local residents lined the route of his cortege and Scott now lies in Buxton Cemetery, with the War Dead from earlier conflicts.
For a full list of names on the School Memorial -
CLICK on the picture
Holmleigh School Memorial
[CLICK photo for details of names]
For the purposes of this analysis - and discounting the girls' only Schools - Buxton Schools have been divided into four Centres: