Rev. Richard Langhorne, Headmaster (1915-1944)

Rev Langhorne, Headmaster

The school's Headmaster, Rev. Richard William Bailey Langhorne (1879–27 May 1944).

Nickname by the boys = Guv.

Married Victoria Winifred Helen Poole (1887-1968) in June 1906 in Yeovil, Somerset.

Appointed as Deputy Priest-Vicar to the Cathedral in 1909; Priest-Vicar in 1910. Sub-Librarian at the Cathedral from 1911. Became Headmaster in 1915.

In Besleys Streets Directory, 1917, Langhorne is listed twice in the Cathedral Close entry:

Langhorne, Rev. Richard William Bailey, M.A., Priest Vicar and Sub-Librarian of Exeter Cathedral, and Licensed Preacher in the Diocese, The Abbot's Lodge.

The Choristers' School, Rev. R.W.B. Langhorne, M.A., head master

He had six children:

Eadward John Bailey (1907-1995) Student at St Edward's and Keble Colleges, Oxford. Married Foster Scott in 1932. Joined the RAF on the first day of the Second World War, becoming Squadron Leader. Awarded MBE in 1946 for services to the RAF as a flying instructor during the War. Headmaster of Dean Prior Junior School, Cheltenham, 1949-1972. The school hall is now named after him. (sources: and

Eleanor Eveline (1911- ?) Married in the cathedral, April 1941, to Captain Herbert William Benjamin (Bertie) Ashe, Royal Corps of Signals. He rose to rank of Major; killed in Italy, 1944. (source: Mary (1909-1984), known as Mary. She was a nurse during the War. She was an artist and textile designer. Attended the L.C.C. Central School of Arts and Crafts. While at that College, in 1930, she was commended for her design for printed silk for Dress Wear ('Report on the competition of industrial designs, 1930', Journal of the Royal Society of Arts Vol. 78, No. 4063 (1930), pp. 1150-1172, listed on page 1167). One of her paintings, Azaleas (c. 1945) is in Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum (shown right, copyright RAMM Exeter. Source: She is listed in Sara Gray (2019) British Women Artists. A Biographical Disctionary of 1,000 Women Artists in the British Decorative Arts. At the time of her death, she lived at the Nail House, Ferry Road, Topsham, near Exeter. (source:

Margaret Elizabeth (1913-1942) Killed in the bombing of 25 April 1942, aged 29. She was at home in Abbott's Lodge, Cathedral Close, residence of the Headmaster and his family. Accoridng to one source, Rev. Langhorne never got over her death and died two years later ( See negative 95 for more about the bombing.

Ruth (1917-2000) (one source gives birth as 1915 - Ruth and Glyn Daniel - Antiquity 1987 Studied Geography at St Anne's College, Oxford. Joined the WAAF during the War and served as a photographic interpreter in India. Married in 1946 in the Grandisson Chapel in Exeter Cathedral, to Wing Commander Glyn Daniel, whom she met in India. They lived in Cambridge, where Glyn was a Fellow and Steward of St John's College. He became Disney Professor of Archaeology. (photo right: Ruth and Glyn Daniel, from Antiquity 1987)

Ruth Daniel studied calligraphy at the local technical college and drew maps for her husband's archaeology books and some of those he commissioned from other specialists. He was archaeological adviser to Penguin Books and was appointed editor of Thames and Hudson's Ancient Peoples and Places series in 1955 and of the quarterly periodical Antiquity in 1957. It was then that Ruth came into her own. She joined her husband as production editor of Antiquity, which they bought in 1960. Ruth worked alongside her husband until December 1986, when he died and she chose to retire.

She was a talented musician and a strong supporter of St John's College choir. The Glyn and Ruth Daniel Memorial Fund, administered by the Senior Bursar of St John's, will be used to promote graduate research in archaeology or music.

(source: and Antiquity 1987, editorial)

Janet (1919-2011) From the Ashe Family History ( I was born in 1919 in the Cathedral close at Exeter. My father was a clergyman, the Revd. R. W. B. Langhorne. He was a priest vicar at the Cathedral and he was also headmaster at the Cathedral choir school. I was at home in Exeter at school and then when I left school in 1937, I worked for my LRAM (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music) piano.

When war broke out, I wasn't immediately called up, but was appointed temporary sub-organist at Exeter Cathedral because all the regular men had been called up. I did that for a while, and I also taught arithmatic and other things to the young boys in my father's school.

Then I was drafted to the Aeronautical Inspection Directorate of the Ministry of Aircraft Production. After some training, my job entailed touring the West Country, Devon and Cornwall, visiting the factories and garages that had been turned over to construction. They were making parts for airplanes. My job was to go an look at the drawings from which they were doing it and making sure it was accurate, putting my stamp on it.

In 1942, the Choir School and my house at Exeter received a direct hit from a German bomb, intended for the Cathedral. The bomb totally destroyed the building, killing my sister and three domestic servants. Fortunately, the choristers were on holiday and my parents away.

I did that until the war finished in 1945, by which time I decided I was not going to be a piano teacher, which had been my original intention. I went to london and did secretarial training and then got a job in the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, as assistant to the publications officer. I worked there until I got engaged and married in Exeter Cathedral in 1948 to my Irish husband, Lt. Col. Robert Arthur d'Escourt Ashe, and we moved to Ireland.

I played the organ at St. Matthew's Church, Newtown Mount Kennedy, for over 50 years.

She died at Valle Pacis, Newtown Mount Kennedy, Wicklow.

She may be shown in photographs 18f and 32a.

Extract from the Western Morning News, 1st May 1944:

The Rev. R. W. B. Langhorne, priest-vicar and headmaster of the Choristers' School, has to undergo a major operation. He will be laid aside all through the coming term. Mr. Langhorne has endured much during the last two years since April 1942.

Extract from the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 2nd June 1944:

Death of Rev. R. W. B. Langhorne in R.D.& E Hospital. We regret to announce the death in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on Saturday of Rev. William Bailey Langhorne, Priest-Vicar of Exeter Cathedral and Principal of the Cathedral Choristers School.

[source of newspaper quotes:]

Langhorne 78 rpm records Langhorne obviously liked listening to music, as a collection of his 78 rpm records came up for auction in November 2019, in a house clearance sale in Griesemount House, Ballitore, Co Kildare, Ireland. The sale particulars for the item read:

A quantity of Classical 78's in six cases. They were the collection of the Rev. RWB Langhorne, late headmaster of Exeter Cathedral Choir school. The school along with his family home in the lodge of the Abbots of Buckfast, both in the cathedral close was completely destroyed in one of the first of the so-called Baedeker bombing raids, the German retaliation for the British bombing of Lubeck and Rostock, on 25th April 1942, killing four people including one of his daughters. The collection somehow survived, possibly kept elsewhere. [source:]

The records were presumably taken to Ireland by Janet Langhorne, when she moved there with her husband. Griesemount House was owned by a son and daughter-in-law of Janet, who sold most of the house contents when they sold the house.

Many of the photographs and negatives in the Gibb Archive feature Langhorne. His family are shown in some too.