Author Topic: THE REV CECIL CULLINGFORD 1904 to 1990  (Read 890 times)

Online rhychydwr1

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THE REV CECIL CULLINGFORD 1904 to 1990
« on: January 19, 2018, 08:17:54 pm »
THE REV CECIL CULLINGFORD 1904 to 1990

Cecil Howard Dunstan Cullingford was born at Battersea M Sept 13 1904 and educated at the City of London School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he had a brilliant academic career, taking firsts in both parts of the Classics tripos and then in History.

Thus equipped, he became a sixth-form master at Brighton College. But in 1932 his evangelical convictions took him to Clifton Theological College, Bristol.  Here, curiously, he held the office of vice-principal while he prepared  himself for ordination.

Cullingford stayed on for a time as assistant chaplain, but his heart was still in school teaching and in 1935 he became chaplain of Oundle.

Having joined the Reserve of Officers, be was among the first Army chaplains to be called to active service in 1939 and was soon in France, serving first with the Grenadier Guards and then with the Welsh Guards.

He returned to England via Dunkirk in 1940, and was senior chaplain to the 79th Armoured Division when the 21st Army Group under General Montgomery drove through France and the Low Countries and into Germany in 1944 and 1945.

On demobilisation Cullingford was appointed headmaster of Monmouth School, conveniently placed for the Mendips and the cave systems of South Wales.  He brought to the school an invaluable combination of intellectual gifts, teaching skill, pastoral sensitivity and wide experience. Originally introduced to speleology through his interest in archaeology, Cullingford came to believe that the exploration of caves by groups of schoolboys had great educational value, since it combined scientific discovery with physical demands and experience of teamwork.
 
But in 1956, after his wife, Olive, whom be had married in 1933, developed a distressing mental illness, be felt obliged to resign the headmastership.

After a three-year spell at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, where be lectured in naval history, Cullingford became chaplain of St John's School, Leatherhead, from I960 to 1964. then of St Mitchael's School, Limpsfield.

Cullingford wrote and edited several books on caving, some of which are now standard works on the subject, instructive for beginners and experts alike. To all he emphasised the importance of responsibility and the need for scientific judgement rather than foolhardy risk when venturing into unknown territory.

His own extensive caving experience never received the credit, that was due,  as his important pioneering work, mainly in South Wales and the Forest of Dean had to be curtailed just before spectacular breakthroughs were made by others.

The most important of his books were Exploring Caves (1951), a delight account of caving in both Wales and England.  This was followed by British Caving (1953 and 1962), long regarded as “The Cavers’ Bible”.  Next was  A Manual of Caving Techniques (1969) and The Science of Speleology (1976), which be co-edited with Trevor Ford.  Both are still regarded are classic monographs in their field.

In 1967 Cullingford moved to north Norfolk to join a rural group ministry based at Blakeney, where he had particular responsibility- for the parish of Stiffkey with Morston. On his retirement in 1972 be served for a time as rural dean of Bececles and assisted in several Suffolk parishes.

His first wife died in 1971. and the following year he married Penelope Wood-Hill.


not sure where i lifted this from.




Offline martinr

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Online rhychydwr1

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Re: THE REV CECIL CULLINGFORD 1904 to 1990
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 08:53:41 pm »
Thanks

Offline Graigwen

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Re: THE REV CECIL CULLINGFORD 1904 to 1990
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 09:23:25 pm »
Aberystwyth University CC created the post of Club Librarian just to care for the Rev.'s "Manual of Caving Techniques". It was the bible of techniques for some years.

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Offline Mattrees

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Re: THE REV CECIL CULLINGFORD 1904 to 1990
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 11:41:35 pm »
Cullingford was the Grand-daddy of caving in the Forest of Dean:

'The "Wet Sink" to the west of this [Dry Sink] is less imposing, but is more likely to have an extensive cave system beneath.'

The British Caver [a Netherworld Journal] 22 (1951) Pages 48-55: Cullingford,C.H.D.The Limestone Area of the Forest of Dean

The article contains an amusing description of using a slim schoolboy to explore otherwise inaccessible potholes. I think they call it character building!