The Old Godhelmian Association (OGA)

Keeping in Touch


As circulated by email (but with many bounces):


Dear OGA member


We are sorry to inform you that the officers and committee of the Association will be unable to continue as from now, due to ill health, relocation and advancing years.


We are conscious that this is the year for the biennial Reunion, with the college provisionally booked for 20 October, but this will not be possible unless a new committee can be formed. That said, Judy Stoker and I are very happy to advise as to past procedures.


We therefore invite your thoughts as to how take 20 October forward, and indeed on the future of the Association. We look forward to hearing from you and are very hopeful that a new committee can be formed. It would be a shame if the Association has to be archived.


Talking of which, I am in contact with Surrey County Council’s archivist who is keen to explore the possibilities of gathering items about GGS together for the sake of posterity.


I am assured by the Information Commissioner’s Office that we will be exempt from the requirements of the new Data Protection Act (effective 18 May).  This email is going to every email address we have, though I fear a number will bounce where mailboxes have been changed or are no longer in use. A few OGs have requested postal notification, and we shall accommodate them.


Yours in anticipation


Mike Brayshaw


Old Godhelmian Association

E:;  W:

58 Upper Brighton Rd, Worthing   BN14 9HT

T:  01903 239753





Ida Elsa Staerck (nee Wright) 

03/09/1917 – 11/01/2013 


Ida Elsa Staerck (n'ee Wright) known as “Peggy”  - 03/09/1917 – 11/01/2013

Attended Godalming Grammar School 1930-34

Peggy was born and grew up in nearby Farncombe. She always loved school and on winning a scholarship in 1930, she was thrilled to be among the first pupils to attend the new Godalming Grammar School. Fond memories of her days at the school always remained, and she maintained contact with friends that she had made there for the rest of her life. Her closest friend Brenda Evans (nee Stevens) was the remaining one of these old school pals until sadly she too passed away in April last year. They had written to each other for over eighty years.

She excelled in the sporting opportunities that became available to her at the school and her school reports book lists these as follows:

Hockey, Captain of School X1 & Page House X1Teams

Netball, Senior School Team and Page House Team

Cricket, Captain of School first X1 and House Teams

Rounders, School Team

Tennis, School Team

Page House Athletics Team


Page House Lacrosse team

She became Page House Captain, and enjoyed taking part of the activities of the Dramatic Society’s Entertainers Section, the Garden Section, the Science Society and became a Commander in the Mallory Section Girls.

In September 1934 Peggy’s final school report tells that she

...gained Matriculation exemption on the General Schools examination, with ‘distinctions’ in French and Mathematics and ‘credits’ in English, Geography and Biology. She is to be congratulated on such a good result.”

On leaving school, Peggy first worked in the Guildford telephone exchange, but soon moved into the Civil Service and worked in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Whitehall, London.

When war broke out she moved to the war department services located at Princes Risborough, where amongst other things she worked on interpretation of aerial photographs.

In 1943 Peggy married her handsome and dashing Lieutenant Leslie Staerck, and on her birthday in 1944 gave birth to her first son Christopher John, later followed by daughter Jacqueline Mary in 1947, and Richard Henry in 1952.

The deepest sadness of her life was when Christopher died in 1949 in an accident which for the rest of her life she would blame herself and her God, and could forgive neither.

In the late fifties she returned to work in the Civil Service, working in the Pay Office she enjoyed making good use of her mathematics, and latterly in the local military Education Office where she also found delight in running library section until she retired.

Her husband Leslie died of cancer in 1973. She was content and busy with life on her own for many years until at 80 she decided it was time she downsized and moved from our large family house to the other end of the village into a small bungalow - along with Henry her character full black-and-white cat. To her surprise she and Henry loved the house and her new smaller environment.

In her late eighties the ghastly dementia began to show its merciless progress and overwhelmed so much of the character of Peggy we had known and loved.

In February 2011 she moved into the caring hands of the wonderful staff at Green Gables Nursing home in Grayshott – they gave Peggy skilled and heartfelt care with endless patience.

Overtaken by her illness and in her 96th year Peggy died in Green Gables on 11th January 2013.

Peggy is survived by her daughter Jacqueline who lives in London with her husband Brian Young, and her son Richard who lives in Norfolk with his wife Amanda.


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