Brilliant.... but cursed

This is one of mi all time favourite shows, but is it me, or is something seriously creepy going on? Half the cast died before their time!

Barnaby, Howarth, Alderman Blunt (ok, so he lived an ALRIGHT amount of time), and even BOYER, who died just a few years later and can only have been a boy at the time!!!

I think it's seriously nasty.

And also, Frank Middlemass (Algy Herries) is still alive.

Looks like what David P-J said about how Algy would "see us all out" was pretty much correct!!!!

Xx Fleur xX


A slight exaggeration, don't you think? ;-) Ian MacNaughton (Howarth) lived to be over 80. Nice to see Frank Middlemas holding on, though.


Yes, I suppose you're right. Perhaps I was exaggerating a LITTLE, but still, it's a bit eery...

But one up for Frank Middlemass anyway!


Yes, perhaps you were exaggerating a little... I have always found it a bit eerie, however, that more than one of the young actors playing schoolboys in "To Serve Them All My Days" died long before their time. As mentioned before, the brilliant Simon Gipps-Kent (Boyer) for instance died very young. So did Piers Flint-Shipman, who admittedly though only had a small part in the series as Havelock's house prefect Ridgeway. Mr. Flint-Shipman later died in a car accident, aged 22.


That's horrendous. :( All these lovely actors dying young, it kind of makes you aware of your own mortality. Still, at least they'll never be forgotten. :)



I had no idea all those people were dead!

Oh my God oh my God oh my God!

:'( :'( :'(

*runs around in circles like a headless chicken*

That's ruined my day! And two of them were only lads! It's awful!

By the way, TSTAMD is my favourite show as well, even though I'm only 14! It makes me proud to be British. :)


It was a really large cast - to say that HALF of them died prematurely or not long after the airing compells me to agree with an earlier comment that calling that this series is "cursed" may be a bit of a stretch. ;-)

Also, almost all the folks who passed away were 60+ years old - some due to natural causes, others to cancer - with the notable exception being Simon Gipps-Kent ('Boyer'/student), who died at the age of 29 of morphine poisoning (suspected drug overdose).

This thread started last year; since then (almost a year later to the date), Frank Middlemass ('Herries') has passed away - he was well into his 80s. It struck me sadly but also by surprise - he seemed close to that age when this show aired in 1980.


Oh, shoot! I hadn't realized that Frank "Algy" Midddlemass had passed away. Here is a link to his obituary in The Times:,,60-2352990,00.html

He was born on May 28, 1919,and died on September 8, 2006, aged 87.

RIP, dear "Algy."


But in the movies,he lives on! Actually,before the movies,death was absolute.Now,most of the people I love to watch are "dead"-but on film/tape and dvd they live forever.......for me,anyhow.Trevor


I am so used to watching my DVD of TSTAMD and constant re-runs of As Time Goes BY that I had not realised that the wonderful Frank Middlemass had left us.

Havnig gone into the world of films, I have harboured a desire for the last thirty years to see a new drama series with Frank Middlemass and Patricia Lawrence reprising their roles of Algie and Ellie. Their stories would start with Algie's retirement from Bamfylde. It can never be made now because no other actors could replace them. Patricia Lawrence died in 1993. For anybody really interested in the the story, take a trip to West Buckland, near South Molton in North Devon. West Buckland School is the real Bamfylde, where the story's author R F Delderfield was a pupil and later a teacher. The 'real' Algie and Ellie are buried in the graveyard of St Michael's Church, East Buckland, about a mile and a half from West Buckland School. Look for their gravestone: their names were Arnold and Elizabeth Harries.


A chance look at these posts meant that I was able to find Ernest Harries' grave when I was on holiday near Parracombe in Devon last week. I'm very indebted to don-344 for providing the directions (although you got the names slightly wrong, don).
If anyone's interested, this is the inscription:

Headmaster and Chaplain of West Buckland School 1907 - 1934
Born 7th June 1868
Died 10th May 1954

Also ELEANOR, his wife
Born 27th May 1886
Died 7th Dec 1985


Eleanor lived to the ripe old age of 99, so saw the book published and the series broadcast. I wonder what she thought of them?

I also had a look at the school as I drove past. Here's it's website (with a photo of the building):

According to wikipedia, West Buckland School has a girl's boarding house called Bamfylde, and a boy's boarding house named Boyer House!

Seeing all these sights has sent me watching the DVD (and leafing through the book) again. And I love it just as much as I did thirty years ago. Why don't they make 'em like that anymore?

"You don't understand, Osgood. I'm a MAN!"
"Well, nobody's perfect!"
Some Like It Hot.


Yes live on live on. What a great story with great acting.
Likes movies, taken away, but thoughtfull


Well most of the actors who have since died went of natural causes. The only unnatural deaths were the boy who died in the car crash, Simon Gipps Kent who died of a drugs overdose and Peter Arne who was murdered just before taking on a part in Doctor Who in 1983.
Frank Middlemass
Alan MacNaughton
Patricia Lawrence
John Welsh
Cyril Luckham
David King
Simon Gipps Kent
Norman Bird
Peter Arne
Are the main actors to have passed on.
Just look at a series like Porridge where most of the actors have now gone.