The life of Ronald Worsley Oldham, OBE, unfolded into three orderlystages of service - three ascending levels, some might say, a distinction that would have been pooh-poohed by the man himself as fanciful. As an amateur playwright, however, he just might have agreed that his experiences developed through three distinct acts.
The first period was with the premier military service, the Royal Navy. He began his career as a naval cadet on 15 September 1903 and retired as a rear admiral on a battleship on 11 January 1938.
Back in Civvy Street at the outbreak of World War II, Rear Admiral Oldham continued a life of service, this time to his local community, by applying his organisational skills to local government.
The third part of his life's work was less obviously one of service, but only because it was played out in accordance with a discipline beyond the ken of everyday life. In 1956, after having thought deeply for some time about the meaning of life, he came in contact with a group of people who followed what is called the Fourth Way.
For nine years Mr Oldham was able to benefit greatly from Mrs Pogson's teaching, for when she died on 5 February 1967, he showed that he had learned well how to lead a group on the Fourth Way.
Beryl Pogson (1895-1967) was a pupil of Dr. Maurice Nicoll for nineteen years and his secretary for fourteen years. Many of her writings have been published only privately for the benefit of her students and groups. Now for the first time much of her Teaching has been republished and is now more widely known. She often made connections between The Work and sacred books, literature, plays and poetry as will be seen in these books. Her Work teaching was based on The Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of G.I.Gurdjieff and P.D.Ouspensky by Maurice Nicoll, and of course, from G.I.Gurdjieff's and P.D.Ouspensky's own writings.