Robert John Buchanan Eddison was born in the middle of World War 1, the son of the Rev. F. W. Eddison who ten years before had been domestic chaplain to Handley Moule, Bishop of Durham. As a boy at Wellington College, Berkshire, John was a school prefect and a fast bowler in the Cricket XI. He also ran a Christian Union, which attracted some 70 boys to talks and Bible studies. He followed his father to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history, and went on to train for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. Meanwhile he had become a trusted helper to Rev. E. J. H. Nash in the early days of his camps and house-parties for public schoolboys, and here, after a single curacy at St John’s, Tunbridge Wells, he found his life’s work.