The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

Mr. F.R. Dale C.B.E. D.S.O. M.C.(1883 - 1976)

          We deeply regret the loss to the Association of one of its longest-standing and most distinguished Members.

       Mr F.R. Dale attended the Summer School in 1913 at which A.R.L.T. Was formally founded. Apart from breaks during two World Wars (and in 1914-18 he served with gallantry and distinction) Mr. Dale, as far as I know, attended every Summer School and Week-end Course up to 1972.  At the 1919 Summer School Dr Rouse invited him (to his great pride) to take a reading class. Thereafter his leadership in all the activities of the Association was continuous.

He was a Vice-President of the Classical Association, a President of the Virgil Society, an honorary member of J.A.C.T. And several times President of A.R.L.T., holding office for the first time as early as 1921.

In the formative years of A.R.L.T. he keenly supported Dr Rouse in his pioneering of the Direct Method, and was a stalwart champion in defending it against its critics. He also took a very active part, through reading classes at Summer Schools, in advocating the use of the tonic accent in Greek and of the natural word stress in Latin verse.  His renderings of of verse in both languages gained in effect when he recited long passages from memory.  Many of us owe him a great deal especially for his help with the spoken word. His own delivery, coupled with William Eagling’s awakened us to the beauty of Greek and Latin as living languages, and I always derive much pleasure from the recordings he made.

For many years his lectures on his favourite authors were a highlight of successive Summer Schools and his scholarship took us all back to University days.

Another memory is of his experiments in translating verse into corresponding English metres.  His Horace Odes in particular captured a surprising amount of the rhythm, flow and gracefulness of the originals.  His advice to translators into the modern idiom was “ avoid bombast and pompousness by all means - but do not cheapen”.

A man of simple tastes, “simplici myrto nihil adlabores”  typifies him.  

For over sixty years his wisdom and authority were of immeasurable value  to the standing of the Association and his scholarship to the quality of its work.

We shall remember with affection his unstinting loyalty and devotion.

Joan Newey

A Personal Note

         One of my husband’s college friends, Mr John Procter, was taught by Mr Dale at the City of London School and has the following recollections.

It was well known that he had been gassed on the Somme, and despite that, remained remarkably fit. He taught Greek, Latin and English.  He was a strict disciplinarian but treated the weaker members of the class with forbearance.  One particular idiosyncrasy was to hum under his breath quietly but just audibly - which meant that any headmasterly prowls round the corridors were preceded by adequate warning.

        At the end of Summer Schools he would relax his habitually severe appearance and would take part in amateur dramatics with the rest of us.  This included the ability to alter his facial expression at will, in contrast to his normally rather austere bearing.

Joan Newey