Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School in Crosby was delighted to welcome back one of its Old Boys, Major General Paul Nanson, CBE to deliver a lecture on ‘Leadership Under Pressure’ as part of the Merchant Taylors’ Speaker Series. Paul Nanson, who was appointed Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2015, spoke to an audience of 400 including parents and guests, the Schools’ Combined Cadet Force (CCF) cadets, current pupils and Year 11 pupils from Hillside in Bootle and Stanley High, Southport and talked about his experiences of leadership and the most important element of getting the difficult balance right between the task, team and individual.
Paul Nanson was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire and educated at Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School Crosby, Runshaw Tertiary College and Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Territorial Army in 1984 and then into the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1986. His early service was spent in Regimental duty as Platoon Commander, Adjutant and Company Commander with 3rd Fusiliers and 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment. He has served on operations in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kuwait and Iraq, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and received his CBE in 2015 for services in Afghanistan.
Headmaster David Cook reminded General Paul that his career may well have been forged during his time as a school boy in Crosby. Paul was a keen member of the school’s CCF contingent and was even recognized for his contribution at that time when he received the W E Richards Memorial Prize for Services to the CCF in 1983. General Paul told the audience that the ‘CCF gives you that extra experience to put in your armoury for future leadership roles.’ Mr Cook, commented that ‘our CCF is flourishing with over 260 boys and girls involved in weekly training and camps and courses. One of its central aims is to develop the leadership and teamwork skills of our young people. It was an honour to welcome General Paul back to his old school to talk to us today’. Last year the school welcomed HRH The Duke of York to celebrate the contingent’s centenary.
Paul Nanson left Merchant Taylors’ in 1983 and this is his first visit back since he left. “It feels as if nothing has changed” he told the audience as he remembered the daily assemblies in the Williams Hall with the Headmaster at that time, Mr Johnston-Jones.