Campbell, Laurence ('Laurie') J.
1927-2012; e.m. 1988

Laurie Campbell, headmaster of Kingswood School from 1970 to 1987, was born into a Presbyterian family, went to school in Glasgow and graduated from Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities, where he studied History. After national service he spent eighteen years, 1952 to 1970, as an educational missionary in East Africa. From 1962 he was headmaster of the Alliance High School in Nairobi, Kenya, which involved teaching future Cabinet ministers and the informal coaching of Kenya's athletic team at the Commonwealth Games.

His headship at Kingswood followed the turbulent '60s decade. He oversaw the process of continuing development in response to changing circumstances; notably, the school becoming co-educational in 1972, following the closure of Trinity Hall. He was noted for his ability to know pupils individually and for his energy and enthusiasm. Following his retirement in 1987, he was ordained into the Methodist ministry in 1988 and was minister of Trinity Church, Newport, Gwent, from 1987 to 1994.


'Finally, students of Kingswood, let me say this to you: hold on to your emthusiasm, retain curiosity and wonder, avoid dullness. Take hold of your future with energy and good humour. Life is risk! Be committed to God in Christ, and never cease to listen to the cry of the poor.'

Laurie Campbell, addressing the school on his retirement.

  • Kingswood Magazine, September 1987, pp.3-7
  • Gary M. Best, Continuity and Change: a history of Kingswood School, 1748-1998 (Bath, 1998) pp.235-59
  • Methodist Recorder, 15 March 2012