Mr Henry John Beare was headmaster of the school during the First World War. He lived at Saxons, which the School Board would have rented for him. E. W. Challice wrote of him:
Mr & Mrs Beare were very highly respected and liked. Those of us who were his pupils have much to thank him for. It is probably not generally known that Mr Beare made his own considerable contribution to the provision of munitions for the Great War 1914 – 1918. He purchased and installed in his house a small foot-treadle operated, screw cutting centre lathe of a design and capability as used by professional engineers. He obtained from the Ministry of Munitions a supply of shell nosecaps in rough steel casting condition. These, on his lathe, he machined to closely controlled requirements, turning and threading so that the cap could be screwed into the nose of an artillery shell after the explosives had been inserted. This operation was by no means an easy one, technically or physically, and for an amateur engineer quite remarkable. This work was unpaid and without much thanks or recognition. Many medals & honours were awarded for much less effort.