Farnborough Grammar School

Prospect Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire

Telephone : Farnborough 539
Give me this land of Wessex…

This page was added to the site on 8 July 2007 when I wrote “If anyone has the words of the School Song written down on some yellowing exercise book or concert programme I’d be most grateful if you would allow it to be published here. Does anyone know who wrote it?”

On 13 July 2007, John Cook (F.G.S. 1948-1952) sent me the words from memory - See left column below. Amazing! Thank you very much John.

Then just one month later Tim Feest sent the words he had copied from a Speech Day programme from 1955. Tim says the words were by E.C. Cumberbatch M.A. and music by T. Hopkin Evans, Doctor of Music. The reduced number of choruses presumably indicates an abbreviated version was inflicted on the visiting dignitaries. Thank you Tim.

The origins became a little clearer when some Speech Day programmes from Aldershot County High School arrived. They show that their school song was also by Cumberbatch and Hopkin. The origin was finally confirmed when Michael Websell submitted a copy of the booklet written for F.G.S.’s 21st anniversary. On page 7 the origins are revealed in full.

Pupils with a desire to relive the sounds of their youth and sing the song may wish to look at the sheet music kindly supplied by Russell Harvey (F.G.S. 1958-1966)

Give me this land of Wessex
a land as old as time
of ling and broom and rolling down
of forest old as English crown
give this for land as mine

(CHORUS)

aedes
Oh filii adeste
Alumni all sing heartily
Stet firma nostra cedes
Through fair or foul through fair or foul
Through weal or woe
If loyalty to school we show
Haec stabit semper aedes

In this good land of Wessex
secure at night we sleep
for off Spithead our warships go
and in our camps the bugles blow
good watch and ward they keep

(CHORUS)

When schooldays past we must away
to face life’s sterner rule
tis ours to prove that chivalry
true fellowship and modesty
grew up within our school

(CHORUS)
Give me this land of Wessex,
A land of fir and pine,
Of ling and broom and rolling down,
Of forest old as English crown,
Give me this land for mine.

(CHORUS)

O filii adeste,
Alumni, all sing heartily,
Stet firma nostra sedes,
Through fair or foul, through weal or woe,
If loyalty to school we show,
Haec stabit semper sedes
Haec stabit semper sedes

When, school days past, we must away
To face life’s sterner rule
At home, abroad, on land or main,
Whate’er betide, for all maintain
The honour of our school.


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