Radnor, Class of 1953

Zoë Ann Graves (Wasson)

Zoë remembers fondly her years at Claremont School after the War and boarding in ‘The Vic Dorm’:

“In 1946 my family moved from Palm Beach, Florida to London, England where my father, Elgin Wasson was head of the UNRRA (United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration). Due to the destruction and dangers caused from WWII my mother, Grace Wasson, along with myself and brother Channell Wasson had to wait for Congress to pass a bill which would then allow us and families alike to join their fathers and husbands in England. 

I attended Claremont School in Esher, Surrey at the age of 9, 10, & 11 years old. My brother Channell Wasson was a student at Fan Court while I was at Claremont. My parents lived about an hour and half away at 50 Camden Hill Square, Notting Hill Gate where they rented a 3-storey house that was situated up a hill on the right. 

During my time at Claremont I learned that it was the Summer home to Princess Charlotte and her great love, King Leopold of Belgium. Leopold was the uncle to who would eventually become “Queen Victoria. In 1817 the then Princess Victoria was visiting Claremont and was awakened early in the morning to be told she was “Now Queen” to Claremont due to the unfortunate tragedy of Princess Charlotte passing away a few days later after giving birth to a stillborn son. Leopold would be the admired and trusted advisor to Queen Victoria until his death. 

During my years at Claremont my living quarters were in ‘The Vic Dorm’ – Princess/Queen Victoria’s armoire (made for a child with painted flowers) was where we kept our uniforms. Ten girls stayed in the Vic Dorm. My bed was by the 1st window to the left of the pillar on the 2nd floor. I was happy to attend Claremont School with its rich history but must confess at times I did feel homesick being away from my family.”