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Eric A Harle

Eric A Harle

(1923 - 2017)

Eric A Harle (1923 - 2017)

23 July 2017 | Tagged: Senior School, Junior School

The School was saddened to hear of the death, after a short illness, on 17 July 2017 of Mr Eric Harle, former Headmaster of Drewsteignton School and the first Rector of the new independent High School of Glasgow.


Eric A Harle was born in 1923 and attended Portsmouth Grammar and Winchester College before graduating with a 1st in Mathematics from Clare College Cambridge. He began his teaching career at Monmouth School before moving to Wycliffe College where he served as Head of Mathematics for 21 years before moving to Scotland in 1971.

Mr Harle was appointed as Headmaster of the new senior school of Drewsteignton for pupils in primary 5 to S2 in 1971 at the buildings now occupied by our Junior School in Ledcameroch Road, Bearsden. Throughout the early 1970s he was involved in the discussions between the Directors of Drewsteignton and the High School of Glasgow Club to create a new independent High School.

The old High School of Glasgow closed its doors on 30 June 1976 and on 1 July 1976, the new independent High School of Glasgow came in to being with Mr Harle taking on the title of Rector of the new school.


Eric Harle would serve as Rector of The High School of Glasgow for seven years between 1976 and 1983 during which time the development of the site at Old Anniesland moved apace, with the work done by Norrie Thomson and the Appeal Committee, with the opening of the main buildings, Assembly Hall, Science and Arts blocks all during Eric’s time as Rector.

It wasn’t however just bricks and mortar that are Mr Harle’s legacy to the current school. The establishment of the House System under the guidance of Audrey Whitefield, the growth in numbers, the development of sport and academic excellence all began during Eric Harle’s time as Rector in those fledgling years of the new independent High School. Many former pupils will remember trips he organised with his wife, Ruth, to France and Switzerland.

As Brian Lockhart states in his history of the High School, The Town School, “In an awkward transitional period from the old to the new High School, Eric Harle can be credited with producing a sound base for the developing new School. He was always supported in this objective and achievement by his loyal wife, Ruth. He was at his best when planning complicated future building arrangements, for then his rigorous mathematical training came into its own.” “Harle’s blueprint opened the way for further building. This was to be his lasting contribution and legacy. He had also played and important part in his years as Rector (1976-1983) in bringing together two very different traditions. On his retirement he had achieved a balance of the caring Christian ethos of Drewsteignton with the corporate character of the High School. As time went on, it began to appreciate how he had laid the important foundation for the development of a special school.”


On his retirement he moved with his family back to Gloucestershire where he and Ruth enjoyed their retirement, whilst still keeping a keen interest in the School. Eric died at the age of 94 and just weeks before his 67th wedding anniversary.

Eric is survived by his wife Ruth, daughter Elizabeth and sons Timothy and Jonathan and the thoughts and sympathies of the whole High School community go out to the family at this difficult time.

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