Breeks Memorial School

Breeks Memorial Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School is a Christian co-educational school established in 1874. It was named after James Wilkinson Breeks, the first Commissioner (District Collector) of the Nilgiris. It was erected for the children of Europeans and Eurasians by public subscription shortly after his death, as a memorial to his services to the Nilgiris community.[1] The school is just 1.5 km from the Government Botanical Gardens, Ooty.

Breeks Memorial Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School
Charing Cross

Tamil Nadu

Coordinates11°24′46″N 76°42′27″E / 11.4127°N 76.7075°E / 11.4127; 76.7075
MottoAd Rem Latin
(To the point)
Religious affiliation(s)Christianity
Established1874; 150 years ago (1874)
FounderBritish Government
Sister schoolBreeks All India Secondary
School districtNilgris
HeadmasterK. Saravana Chandar
Age range5–18
Number of students~800
Student to teacher ratio1:26
Education systemTamilnadu State Board
LanguageBritish English
Hours in school day6
  • Charing Cross
  • Botanical Garden
  • Collectorate
Campus typeRural
  • Willy  
  • Bury  
  • Theobald  
  • Fox  
Colour(s)Cardinal red and black   
Song"High in the Nilgris"
Fight songWe the Breeks
YearbookBreeks Chatter Box
Portrait of Breeks, (the first Collector of Nilgris) in the main block of Breeks Memorial School.



On the death of Mr. J.W. Breeks the first commissioner of Nilgiris in 1872, it was decided that a memorial in the form of a school should be built in his name. The public, government, municipality and the trustees raised fund. The foundation stone of Breeks Memorial School was laid in 1872, the school was completed in 1874 and follows Anglo Indian syllabus up to secondary school. Higher secondary school follows the state board. The Breeks All-India Hr Sec School, opened in 1974, is located on the same campus and follows the Central Board of Secondary Education. This school is managed separately.[citation needed]



The school was started in a heritage building, which is now a part of the Nilgiris District Court complex. The district court with its unique clock tower which is one of the oldest in Tamil Nadu, was originally a part of Breeks Memorial School. It was then moved to Charing Cross near the Adams Fountain in 1886. The special architectural features are the cloister vault roof, the arched masonry decorations seen above many of the rectangular doors and windows, gable decoration above the central building.[2]



It was in this institution where Lord Macaulay coined the syllabi of the education system for India under the British rule, which still remains as the backbone of the modern Indian education system.[3] He called an educational system that would create a class of anglicised Indians who would serve as cultural intermediaries between the British and the Indians. By doing so, Macaulay wanted to "educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother tongue" and thus, by incorporating English, he sought to "enrich" the Indian languages so "that they could become vehicles for European scientific, historical, and literary expression".



Breeks Memorial School follow traditional housing system. There are four houses are named Willy, Bury, Theobald and Fox after four principals E.A. Willy, Mr. Bury, W.M. Theobald, and Mr. Fox.

Notable alumni



  1. ^ The first non Christian principal and correspondent was Mr N Raman. He headed the school for a very long time."Breeks, James Wilkinson".
  2. ^ Hockings, Paul. Talence : DYMSET, 1996. Talence : DYMSET, 1996. p. 147.
  3. ^ "Modern Indian Education System". Archived from the original on 10 April 2009.