Richard Balbernie was born in 1926. In 1942 at the age of sixteen he lied to recruiting authorities and joined the 4th Battalion and saw active service in Burma. In 1945 he was left active service and took a degree in psychology at the University of Cambridge. For the next thirty five years he dedicated himself to the rehabilitation of what were then termed 'delinquent' or 'maladjusted' boys and men. In 1968 he was appointed Principle of the Cotswold School, a traditional Approved School, with the remit of transforming it into a therapeutic community. At the renamed Cotswold Community, Balbernie created a new system involving remedial and social education, a positive group living experience, individual and family casework and community links. He encountered resistance from both staff and pupils who clung to the traditional hierarchy and its system of punishments and rewards. Throughout this period he work closely with contemporaries in the field, most notably Barbara Docker-Drysdale, founder of the Mulberry Bush School, who acted as a consultant. Balbernie remained Principle of the school until his early retirement on the grounds of ill-health in August 1988. He died in July 1989.