Durban High School

Durban High School
Durban High School (D.H.S.)
Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Type All-Boys Public School(state)
Motto Deo Fretus (In God We Trust)
Established 1866
Locale Urban(125 st.Thomas Road,Durban)
Headmaster David Magner
Grades 8 - 12
Number of students 1000
Houses Swales, Grice, Langley, Campbell and Payn
School Color(s) Navy blue and Oxford gold
Newspaper The Herald
Boarding houses Blackmore

Durban High School is an all boys public school in Durban, South Africa.



DHS opened its doors in 1866 in two rooms and with seven pupils in Smith Street. From there it moved to a disused granary in Cato Square in 1880, just after the Zulu War, and then to the Old Hospital on the foreshore. In 1895, it moved up onto the healthier Berea to its present site, where it flourished. The ten acres (four ha) plot was granted to the School by the Durban Town Council. The first enrolled student was a boy called Eben Coakes and he was also the first Head-boy. There is also a related primary school: Durban Preparatory High School (D.P.H.S.). The school has approximately 1000 enrolled students, all boys, and includes a small boarding establishment and over 75 teachers. The headmaster is David Magner (since 2004), the sixth 'old boy' to lead the school. It is the oldest standing school in Durban and one of the oldest in South Africa.


There are six houses:

  • Swales – Old Gold
  • Grice – Turquoise
  • Langley – Red
  • Campbell – Green
  • Payn – Oxford Blue
  • Blackmore (the boarders' house) – White


Blackmore House is a home for over 120 boys. The boys' needs are catered for by food provision and dormitories with a maximum of 28 boys. The boys can go home most weekends and return on Monday mornings.


  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing
  • Chess
  • Climbing
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Indoor Hockey
  • Inter-House Sports
  • Rugby union
  • Rugby 7s
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Sport Climbing
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Touch Rugby
  • Waterpolo
  • Hardball

Notable alumni



  • Justice A E Carlisle.
  • Justice Leo Caney.
  • Justice O N Holmes.
  • Justice Ramon Nigel Leon.
  • Justice B D Burne.



Presidents of the National Union of South African Students

  • Phillip V. Tobias, Professor of Palaeoanthropology.
  • Ian Robertson . Banned for inviting Senator Robert Kennedy to SA.
  • Karel Tip.Senior Counsel.
  • Duncan Innes.


  • Bronek Masojada, Rhodes Scholar. CEO Hiscox Insurance,London. Past President of Insurance Institute of London and Director of Lloyd's of London.
  • Dr Aaron Beare. International financier and philanthropist.
  • Dr Cecil Renaud, international financier and philanthropist.
  • Stephen Bradley Saad. Founder and CEO of Aspen Pharmaceuticals, Africa's largest pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Graeme Robertson. Direct marketing advertising guru in the UK. The Graeme Robertson Trust was established in 1991 in his honour.
  • Alan J Hellman. Founder and original CEO of Game Stores, Africa's largest discount retailer.
  • Howard Buttery. CEO of Bell Equipment, Africa's largest manufacturer of heavy earth- moving equipment.


  • Major Edwin Swales VC, DFC. SAAF and RAF. Pathfinder 'Master' Bomber.
  • Lt-Col JFO Davis SAAF. DFC and Bar and AM(American).
  • J.J.le Roux. RAF. Squadron Leader 602 Squadron. DFC and 2 Bars.
  • Major EC Saville SAAF. DFC and Bar and American DFC.
  • Paddy Roberts. Laywer and WW 2 RAF pilot. Turned to songwriting and singing writing numerous UK hits and film scores. Won five Ivor Novello Awards.
  • Captain W L O Moon, DFC and Bar.
  • Lt.-Col J A C Rademan, DSO and DFC.
  • Lt.-Col E M Baker,DSO, DFC.
  • Lt.-Comdr. J E H McBeath RN,DSO, OM.
  • Sq.Ldr. 'Paddy' Hopkins, RAF Coastal Command. AFC and DFC.
  • Wing-Commander David Haysom RAF, DSO and DFC.
  • Major G R O Edwards, DSO and Bar.
  • Lt-Col.A Winter Evans, DSO,DCM.
  • Lt J F Britz, MM. SA Boxing.
  • Sgt Peter Keogh, MC -Afghanistan 2010.

Over 250 old boys died in both World Wars. I Victoria Cross(VC), 27 Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFC), 21 Military Crosses (MC) ,10 Military Medals(MM) and 8 Distinguished Service Orders (DSO) were awarded to old boys in these and subsequent conflicts.

The arts and media

  • Roy Campbell, poet, author and adventurer.
  • Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet.Won the Queen Victoria Memorial Prize for English in 1903.Also wrote in French.
  • Marc Raubenheimer, concert pianist.Won the Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition in 1982.Killed in the Barajas Airport tragedy in 1983 aged 32.Acclaimed in Austria, Switzerland, Germany,London and New York.
  • Noel Langley novelist and playwright. Wrote the film scenario for The Wizard of Oz.
  • Howard Carpendale, 'Schlager' singer and songwriter. Had number one hits in all German speaking countries.Received Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2004 Echo Awards.Sold over 25 million records.
  • Jack Cope, author.
  • Professor Geoffrey Smithers, Rhodes Scholar. World authority on Middle English. King's College, Oxford and Durham Universities.
  • Conrad Arthur Skinner,author. Wrote under the pseudonym Michael Maurice.
  • Victor Stiebel. London fashion designer.
  • Stephen Mulholland. Editor of Financial Mail(JHB) and CEO of South African Associated Newspapers, now Times Media and the Fairfax Group(Australia).All-American swimming champion(1960) while at Purdue University.
  • Tony Heard, editor of the Cape Times and Advisor to the SA Government.Given Golden Pen of Freedom Award by World Association of Newspapers.
  • Laurence Gandar.Editor the Rand Daily Mail. Named a World Press Freedom Hero in 2010.
  • Professor Tim Couzens. Literary and social historian.



All represented South Africa

Over 100 old boys have played first class provincial or county cricket in SA and the UK. [* All five played in the second test at Lords in 1960.]


  • Alistair Hargreaves, South Africa - Springboks, Position - Lock.
  • Greg Rawlinson, New Zealand - All Blacks, Position - Lock.
  • BJ Botha. South Africa - Springboks, Position - Prop. World Cup Winner 2007.
  • Andrew Aitken, South Africa - Springboks, Position - Flank & Eighth man.
  • Neville 'Jacko' Tod. South Africa - Springboks, Position - Wing.
  • Matthew Alexander. USA - Eagles, Position - Flyhalf. Scored 286 points for the Eagles.
  • Graham Downes. USA - Eagles, Position - Prop.
  • Guy Manson-Bishop. Played on the flank for the British Barbarians against the Springboks at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, 1994.


  • Clarence Oldfield, Silver medal 4x400m relay in 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Sydney Atkinson. Gold medal 110m hurdles, 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, silver in the same event in 1924 Olympics.

Surfing, swimming and lifesaving

  • Shaun Tomson, 1977 IPS World Champion Surfer.
  • Travis Logie. 2002 ISA World Champion Surfer.
  • Jason Ribbink, surfer. Captain of the winning SA team at the 2002 ISA World Games.
  • David Weare, international surfer.
  • Leandro Jorge. Swam for Mocambique in the Olympic Games in Atlanta, 1996.
  • Alan Burt. SA Lifesaving.
  • Guy Nothard, SA Lifesaving.
  • R Coetzee, SA Lifesaving.
  • T Dumas, SA Lifesaving.
  • B Edwards, SA Lifesaving.
  • Lester Kitto,SA Lifesaving.
  • M Hardaker.SA Lifesaving.
  • J Zwart, SA Lifesaving.
  • Michael Bolstridge. Chosen to swim for SA in the Montreal Olympics.
  • G May, SA Swimming.
  • D Collopy, SA Water-polo and Lifesaving.
  • Colin Woodcock,SA Water-polo.



  • VG Kirby,SA Davis Cup.
  • David Adams, SA Davis Cup.
  • C J J Robbins, SA Tennis.
  • E Getaz, SA Tennis.
  • J Hendrie, SA Tennis.
  • John Yuill, SA Tennis.


  • Rory Donnellan, Rhodes Scholar. SA Equestrian.
  • David Uniacke, SA Basketball.
  • Lt.J F Britz, Military Medal. SA Boxing.
  • E J W Browne,SA Rowing.

External links


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