It is with sadness that we have to inform you of the passing of Bruce Mitchell, Gloucester Cathedral chorister from 1942 to 1949, and subsequently a teacher at The King’s School from 1959 to 1967.
Bruce’s funeral will take place in the Cathedral on Tuesday 21st November at 1pm. All who knew him are welcome.
Becoming a Chorister completely transformed Bruce’s life, opening up horizons, which children from his background never even dreamt of. His life has reflected the ideals and commitment he learned as a Chorister and from the many inspirational people he met in his early life, in particular Archdeacon Wardle and Canon Fendick. Highlights included regular visits to Badminton House to sing to Queen Mary; climbing up the outside of the Cathedral Tower on the ladders put up for fireman in case of bombing. Playing football on the Cathedral choir roof and sitting in the Coronation chair which was in the crypt during the war.
King’s School, under Canon Noot, was very small at this time, but the boys were taught by some very highly qualified but elderly teachers, mostly Canons of the Cathedral or local Clergy – men who were unfit for military service. The boys reached School Certificate by the age of 14.
The time when Dr Sumsion told him that he could no longer sing in the Choir was devastating, but Bruce continued to attend services and to help Dr Sumsion in any way he could. He continued as a Server. It was decided that King’s should become a Prep school, so all the senior boys were told to leave and were sent off to other local schools, Bruce to The Crypt. However, Bruce maintained his Cathedral connections whilst at The Crypt and Canon Fendick and Archdeacon Wardle encouraged him to apply to Oxford University when the time came and he gained a place at St Catherine’s Society to read Maths, later changing to Modern History.
After Oxford, Bruce returned to Gloucester and following a period teaching at King’s under Tom Brown, he served as a local councillor and took up subsequent positions with the National Association of Youth Clubs, GLOSCAT and worked with numerous local and national charities.