Parry Gold Medal

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Overview

The Parry Gold Medal is the most prestigious academic prize conferred at Boston Grammar School. It is awarded annually to the highest performing student in the Upper Sixth. Recipients' names are recorded on dedicated display boards in the school library.

1875 - Origins of the medal

In 1875 it was announced that Thomas Parry, who had been unseated on petition after winning the secondary Boston parliamentary seat at the previous year's general election, had vested the sum of £1,200 in trustees to provide a number of scholarships to Boston Grammar School and a gold medal, "to the value of ten guineas", to be awarded annually to the best scholar of the year.

It was, said the Boston Guardian, "a charitable act... unparalleled in the wisdom of its conception and in the admirable purposes which it has in view".

At Christmas speech day in 1875 the first gold medal was presented; it had, said Major Hopkins, who made the presentation to his "old friend Fred Pattenden" been "fairly and honourably won". The Rev George Coltman, rector of Stickney, who gave the address referred to Parry's "truly noble and magnificent gift". Fred Pattenden was "not allowed to share in the distribution of prizes, because he was the headmaster's son", but his poem and that of Richard James Newcomb - both entitled "Visit of the Prince of Wales to India" - were read by the headmaster.

1942 - When gold was not gold

Extract from a letter by John Dickson dated 2003

I was awarded [the Parry Gold Medal], ...in 1942, just as I left to go to Cambridge. I hasten to say that winning the medal that year was not an indication of outstanding merit. The second year sixth form had only two or three members and I, alone, was the third year sixth. The Head had little choice. However the interesting point was that I was awarded a bronze (gold) medal. Although the previous year's winner received a gold, gold medal. By 1942 the nation's finances were such that gold could not be used for such frivolous purposes. I was promised that after the war I would be given the 'real thing'. When the dust of war had settled, my father and I enquired about this, to be told that as a result of the 1944 education act the expenditure of money from endowments such as the Parry Medal fund for frivolous matters such as medals was now forbidden. Retrospective action could not be taken. [I think] my position is unique; I was told that gold medals were awarded again in latter years of the war...

2005 - The first female winner

Boston Grammar School is predominantly a boys' school with three girls who entered the sixth form in 1954 believed to be its first female pupils. This trend continued intermittently until the sixth form became fully co-educational in the late 1990s. Subsequently the proportion of girls in the sixth form has steadily increased.

Sunita R Deshmukh became the first girl to be awarded the Parry Gold Medal in 2005, achieving what had previously seemed the impossible feat of following in the footsteps of her brother, Sandeep R Deshmukh, who won the medal in 2002. Sunita later related that the first time she looked up at the Parry Gold Medal board in the school library she saw "SR Deshmukh" and thought for a moment her name was already there when of course it was her brother's. Two years later her name did indeed join Sandeep's on the roll of honour.

Recipients

Year Winner
1875 Frederick William Waldebrand Pattenden
1876 Robert John Reynolds
1877 W F Dingwall
1878 Arthur James Grant
1879 Cameron Quilter Knowles
1880 Vernon Howard
1881 T H Baxter
1882 E T Allen
1883 Cecil H Lowe
1884 Charles W N Lowe
1885 Harry Whilton Palmer
1886 David Landale Johnston
1887 Benjamin Ward Wood
1888 Percy W A Wilson
1889 John Alexander Johnston
1890 Thomas Slator
1891 Richard Slator
1892 W H Claypoole
1893 Thomas Kenneth Johnston
1894 Frank Porter
1895 Walter Swain
1896 William C Burnett
1897 Charles G Barton
1898 Walter Joseph Tombleson Small
1899 John Basil Simpson
1900 Charles S Phillips
1901 R W Ryder Cross
1902 J A Cheesewright
1903 Hermann Wedd
1904 W Ingram Cooke
1905 Herbert Weightman
1906 Basil W Armstrong
1907 Edwin A Herringshaw
1908 Joseph Langley Burchnall
1909 Edgar Dawson
1910 Clifford Ingram
1911 Robert L Patterson
1912 Walter Ingram
1913 W John Peck
1914 Douglas Merson Steel
1915 Robert Leonard Chapman
1916 John V Armstrong
1917 Percy Wharf Clark
1918 Herbert J Davis
1919 John C Turner
1920 C C Norrey Vass
1921 Arthur Ingram
1922 Ralph Carter
1923 G W Foster
1924 Albert E Clark
1925 Arthur W T Daniel
1926 Geoffrey Hensman
1927 Colin Pidd
1928 Charles Thomas Hambleton Sharp
1929 William Edward Cox
1930 Sidney C Fyson
1931 Alec Edward Davis
1932 Jack Sydney Sheppard
1933 H B Howett
1934 William Alfred Broughton
1935 Ken W Andrews
1936 Douglas Guy Andrews
1937 J Edward Littlechild
1938 M R Horne
1939 A J Harrison
1940 R A Baxter
1941 R H Garnham
1942 John Lewis Dickson
1943 Philip M Walmsley
1944 Charles W Taylor
1945 Dennis H Yarsley
1946 Nigel O Hudson
1947 John H Jordan
1948 John I Taylor
1949 John Anthony Newton
1950 Michael T Kirk
1951 Victor John Emery
1952 Peter Edward Luff
1953 Peter D Richardson
1954 John Kinsey
1955 John D Lowe
1956 Robert M Sheehan
1957 Edward A Hackford
1958 John D Sharman
1959 Richard Stanwell
1960 T D Gledhill
1961 Christopher R Holmes
1962 Richard Cammack
1963 Michael H Gledhill
1964 John M Parker
1965 Philip Martin Hollins
1966 R N Fisher
1967 H R Hundleby
1968 J Upsall
1969 G P Blackbourn
1970 Richard Gill
1971 Paul Burnet
1972 Nick Hodges
1973 L H Cope
1974 J Woodthorpe
1975 W Joseph Kuhn
1976 Nigel D Hardy
1977 S Kempson
1978 S F Leafe
1979 D P Moon
1980 Michael J Godfrey
1981 J S Squires
1982 Philip J Bullen
1983 Kevin J Ashton
1984 A R Dodsworth
1985 Duncan E Walker
1986 Richard M Haseldine
1987 Andrew M Cummins
1988 R T Kilcoyne
1989 Richard G Tooley
1990 S R Davy
1991 G M Bellamy
1992 J M Oliver
1993 S N Bland
1994 B Allen
1995 B E Hinson
1996 D A Hughes
1997 A J Walling
1998 E Cooper
1999 R D Lister
2000 G D Extence
2001 S R Barker
2002 Sandeep R Deshmukh|
2003 Patrick A Turner
2004 Sam J Steer
2005 Sunita R Deshmukh
2006 J Watson
2007 David P Walder
2008 Waleed Butt
2009 Tim Worall
2010 D Jacklin
2011 A Sawer
2012 Baghya Raj
2013 Lawrence Hamshaw
2014 Alice Stacey
2015 Nicholas Doddrell
2016 Mihir Rao
2017 Matthew Wearden
2018 Neelay Sant
2019 Seth Greeves

See Also