Celebrating Women

As part of International Women's Day 2022 the Diversity Committee led an initiative for members of staff to recreate images of iconic women whilst the Art Department dedicated Vol 2 of their Art Zine to the theme of Women. Pupils and staff were asked to submit images of women in all forms, from painting to poetry! See the fantastic outcomes below:

IWD Recreations

Art Zine Vol 2: Women

The Alumni Office recently received the news of the passing of Les Hanks (Cornwallis, 1940) when a friend, Mr Williams informed the school of Les’s wishes for RHS to have his medals.  

His father was killed at the Battle of Jutland and in 1936 Les joined RHS with the intent to continue the family endeavour into the navy. He left RHS at 14 and entered HMS Ganges, joining HMS St George. He was then sent to the Isle of Man to train as a Telegraphist and was subsequently drafted to sail to Singapore. On arrival in Singapore his ship was instructed to surrender, with the crew persuading to the Captain to leave port, the ship sailed to Java where Les’s adventures to return to the UK started. He trekked for two months through the Malaysian jungle with four other men, travelling across India by train, finally managing to reach the British naval base in Trincomalee in Sri Lanka by stealing a boat. He returned to the UK and was then drafted on HMS Warspite, where he took part in D-Day.  

Les also had a passion for submarines, taking up his first submariner post on HMS Truculent in 1944 and trained telegraphists for 12 years. After leaving the navy his love for submarines continued; he became Chairman and later President of the Portsmouth Branch of the Submariners’ Association. 

Les was married to Jean, his wife for 74 years, having met in a Savoy Ballroom at Southsea in Hampshire, they were quick to become experts in the ‘jitterbug’ and won the Portsmouth Championships together. They were a devoted couple who fell ill together, and both succumbed to COVID-19 within 2 days of each other. 

Lucy Pembroke went down to Portsmouth in June to meet Mr Williams and receive the medals which include the Veterans Star. The medals will form part of the RHS Archive.