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The venerable institution of Brookfield has grown a little poorer. Its memories have faded, just a little more swiftly than memories are apt to do, having lost its greatest memory-keeper. The teachers, the staff, and even the boys that passed through its halls, considered Arthur Chipping to be as much a part of Brookfield as the stone and mortar of its walls. However, in the end, he proved to be flesh and blood. Arthur Chipping died in his sleep today, at the age of 85, after a long life of service to the young men of England.
Chipping was born in 1848.
In 1870, at the age of twenty-two, Chipping “took his prep” at in the Big Hall of Brookfield, a boys’ public boarding school. It was at Brookfield that he remained until the end of his life, although he had retired in 1913, at the age of 65. Viewing hours will be between 7 p. m. and 9 p. m. tomorrow. Flower donations should be sent in care of Mrs.
Wickett, Brookfield. Chipping was a master throughout his career, teaching classical history, Greek, and Latin for all of his 42 years at Brookfield. In 1900, Chipping briefly served there as Acting Head, following the sudden death of the Head of Brookfield, from pneumonia.
Following his retirement in 1913, Chipping remained active at the school, attending important matches and dinners and taking it upon himself to prepare and edit a new Brookfeldian Directory (91). In 1916, Chipping returned to teaching at his old post, due to the teaching shortage created by the First World War.
During this time, he acted as a stabilizing force for Brookfield, keeping, as he was fond of saying “a sense of proportion” about it when he was again appointed to Acting Head of Brookfield. He retired for a second time in 1918; this time his retirement was permanent.
It would not be overstating the matter to say that Chipping, fondly known as “Mr. Chips,” was a once in a lifetime master. Only one other individual seems to approach his dedication: a Mr. William Balgarnie, a master at The Leys (Carroll par. 8), whose life was similar enough so that they seemed modeled after one another. Chipping leaves no living relatives. At 48, he met 25-year-old Katherine Bridges, an out of work governess, while walking at Great Gable. They married only a week before the autumn term began that year, not leaving themselves time for a honeymoon.
It was Katherine who gave Chipping the nickname of “Mr. Chips. ” She predeceased him after a brief marriage, while giving birth to their only child. Although he leaves no heirs, Chips once commented that he had “thousands” of children. All boys. Goodbye, Mr. Chips. You will be missed.
Works Cited Carroll, Timothy. “Who was the real Mr. Chips? ” 12 Sept. 2002. 6 June 2008. <http://www. telegraph. co. uk/arts/main. jhtml? xml=/arts/2002/12/09/batc09. xml>. Hilton, James. Goodbye, Mr. Chips. 1934. New York: Little, Br
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