Unit History: Nautical College Pangbourne
Pangbourne College is a coeducational public school located in the civil parish of Pangbourne, just south-west of the village, at Bowden, in the English county of Berkshire.
The college was founded by Thomas Lane Devitt in 1917 as Pangbourne Nautical College with the function of preparing boys to be officers in the Merchant Navy through the Devitt & Moore shipping line, and later in the Royal Navy.
Devitt and Moore ran a fleet of about 20 sailing ships in the wool trade to Australia in the 1800s and early 1900s and had operated the following seagoing Merchant Navy Cadet Ships:
Harbinger 1890 - 1897
Hesperus 1890 - 1899
Illawarra 1899 - 1907
Medway (dates not known)
Port Jackson 1906 - 1916
St George 1919 - 1921
In the 1920s Devitt & Moore disposed of the ships and concentrated on the Nautical College Pangbourne which, along with the Conway and Worcester, provided cadet training for the Merchant Navy and Royal Naval Reserve, as well as direct entry to the RN College, Dartmouth
In 1969, the college shed much of the nautical training in favour of a more traditional academic focus, and became Pangbourne College.
Though the college is now more academically oriented, it still holds true to many of the traditions which makes it a unique school today. The college was traditionally male orientated, but it has been fully co-educational since 1996.
Harbinger Division is the oldest division at Pangbourne College due to it being part of the original mansion that was privately owned before being passed on to being a training school for naval officers. Sitting on top of Pangbourne Hill it is also connected to Devitt Tower.
Old Pangbournians Society
4 Lycroft Close
Goring on Thames Berks RG8 0AT
Phone: 01491 873118
Search for a name in our archive