n 1866, Durban High School was established in just two rooms in Smith Street, making it the oldest school in Durban and one of the oldest in South Africa. Seven pupils were enrolled on that first day. The school grew quickly and larger premises were soon a necessity. A disused granary in Cato Square became the school’s new home just after the end of the Anglo-Zulu War in 1880 and one more move, to the Old Hospital on the foreshore, took place before DHS settled in its present location on the Berea in 1895. Almost a 120 years ago, the Berea was the height of fashionable areas and considered to be a healthier environment than the city centre and harbor. The Durban Town Council granted the school a ten acre (four ha) plot which was plenty of space for classrooms and fields. Eben Coakes was the first pupil enrolled at the new premises and he went on to become the first Head Boy of DHS. In 1910, Durban Preparatory High School was established as the feeder school for DHS. It is also still a school of choice in Durban.
Durban High School is still one of the foremost boys’ high schools in Kwa Zulu Natal and produces excellent academic and sporting results each year. The school has approximately 1000 enrolled students, all boys, and over 75 teachers. A small boarding establishment, Blackmore House, provides a home for 144 boys. The school boasts state of the art facilities including a new theatre and recently upgraded Media Centre as well as the outstanding sports facilities which have always been a hallmark of DHS. The school’s current headmaster is Mr Leon Erasmus who leads a team of dynamic and dedicated staff.