Arthur Herman Gilkes

Arthur Herman Gilkes

Arthur Herman Gilkes MA, (1849 - 13 September 1922) was a noted educationalist, author, and clergyman, and was Master of Dulwich College from 1885 to 1914.

Early life

He was born in Leominster, the son of William Gilkes a chemist. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and went on to Christ Church, Oxford from where he received a First Class Honours degree in Literae Humaniores in 1872 having achieved a first class in Mods in 1870. He received his MA in 1885. On 19 May1892 he married Millicent Mary Clarke, the daughter of Bennett Michell Clarke, and sister of three brothers who attended Dulwich College. He had four sons (all of whom went to Dulwich College)Ormiston, T. L., (1926), "Dulwich College Register",page 53, (J J Keliher & Co Ltd: London)] and one daughter,"Who Was Who 1916-1928", (A&C Black: London)] one of whom, Christopher would later also become the Master of Dulwich College.


Having completed his education he went on to become Assistant Master from 1873 to 1885 at Shrewsbury School. From Shrewsbury he left for London to become the Master of Dulwich College from 1885 to 1914. The work he did at Dulwich College raised its reputation considerably, and he did this with only modest financial resources. During his tenure Dulwich became renowned for a number of areas notably including engineering and science. It was also A H Gilkes who first accepted London County Council scholars from elementary schools. Richard Aldrich and Peter Gordon, (1989), "Dictionary of British Educationists", page 94, (Routledge: London)]

His being emersed in the life of the school went beyond that of an administrator and a teacher, for he also had extensive family ties with the school. All four of his sons went to the school, as did his three brothers-in-law, three nephews and his first cousin.

Following his retirement from Dulwich College in 1914 he became ordained in 1915 and acted as the Curate of St James Church, Bermondsey for a year. He was also Vicar of St Mary Magdalen's Church, Oxford from 1917.


*School lectures on Electra and MacBeth;
*Boys and Masters
*The Thing that Hath Been
*The New Revolution
*A Dialogue
*A Day at Dulwich
*Four Sons

Further reading

*W R M Leake, (1928), "Gilkes and Dulwich, 1885-1914: A Study of a Great Headmaster", (Published: Alleyn Club)
*Hodges, S, (1981), "God's Gift: A Living History of Dulwich College", (Heinemann: London)


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