Extracts From A Tribute Read by John Alexander’s Daughter In Law At His Funeral
John was a good and kind man, an “officer and a gentleman” is the phrase that comes to mind. His School and Army friends remember him for his complete integrity. As an Adjutant working with the Territorial Army he was described as “the most civilised of adjutants, smooth and steady”. For myself, I was always proud to introduce John to any of my friends and …for example… walking around London he would always insist on walking on the kerb side of the pavement. Which I think is what gentlemen used to do!
John’s first love was rowing and the River Thames. At St Pauls School in London, he is remembered as a remarkable sportsman. He was stroke for the winning crew at Henley Royal Regatta, winning the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup in 1950. And in the subsequent year he stroked the Ist 8 to 8th place in the Tideway Head of the River Race against some of the best adult crews in the country – a remarkable achievement for a schoolboy crew. His friend Tom Knott kindly requested St Pauls to send him the following extract from the Pauline : “The highest praise is due to Alexander, the stroke, Captain and in every way the leader of the crew: throughout the season’s racing and training his judgment and rhythm were rarely at fault”.
Tom himself has the highest praise for John as a captain and leader. Another friend says that John was an exceptional oarsman. He was headstrong, focussed, knew his own mind, and stuck to it. Full of guts and determination, there was no compromise. I would say that this attribute turned out to be a key part of John’s character throughout his life.
John was always fond of Henley. Gavin Sorrel, fellow Old Pauline, oarsman, student at Cambridge and best man at John’s wedding to Jennifer, remembers a lovely day at Henley when John’s father Charles, and another parent took them out to various pubs in Charles’s Aston Martin and a Vintage Raleigh. No drink driving rules in those days.
His children Mark and Maud have many happy memories of growing up the River Thames at Sunbury. The family rule in those days was that they had to be able to swim across the river before they were let loose on their own in the family rowing boat Hyacinth– enjoying tremendous freedom to explore – for as John certainly knew, quoting one of his favourite books: “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”.
As well as the Thames, John loved the Norfolk Broads. Mark recalls a family holiday on the Broads in a boat named Calypso, which had more than its fair share of incidents. On one occasion after a day’s sailing when mooring Calypso to the river bank for the night, the boat started to drift away. John was standing on the focsle and seeing the danger seized a line and bravely made a tremendous jump for the shore – failing to take account of the length of the line, he was brought up short in mid-air between boat & bank – like a cartoon character frozen momentarily in time – before crashing into the water with a huge splash. John dragged himself up the bank – dripping wet – line still in hand. And to the relief of his on-looking crew, proceeded to roar with laughter.
John loved talking and having long discussions. He was a very clever and knowledgeable man. He enjoyed talking to a wide range of people on many topics. He would have been my “phone a friend” if I was on “Who wants to be a Millionaire”.
Since moving to London 35 years ago, he built up some local friendships and seemed to me to be rather in with the Notting Hill bohemian art set. He was interested in many things. To keep fit he cycled to work every day to the Treasury through four parks – Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park, negotiated Hyde Park corner, and then Green Park, and St James. In retirement, he took a Maths degree and, in his typical way of knowing what he wanted, persuaded Birkbeck College to provide exactly the personally customised course that he wanted to study.
John joined the Royal Engineers from school, who sent him to Cambridge where at Jesus College he studied Engineering. The engineer in him came out in many ways….such as in the detailed level of understanding and solutions during the renovation of his house. Michael, his very experienced builder, worked closely with John for the last 17 years and says that John’s analysis was in some cases better than his own and he was often right. To quote Michael, he was “scrupulous to details” and “always knew what he wanted”.
With John, conversation was always the order of the day. He had strong views and could be forthright, but you were always able to say back what you felt. As many have told me, he had great wisdom and patience, and you could talk to him about anything personal. John was a great reader! – reading lots of books -many at the same time – and covering them with yellow post-it notes to recall key points. Daunts bookshop on Holland Park Road has lost a very good customer. Memories of many Christmases are of John in our sitting room dishing out books… one year we would all have to read Evelyn Waugh, the next Iris Murdoch ….and so on. This Christmas he bought four copies of HG Wells ‘A Short History of the World’ – one each for his Grandchildren.
John liked places and particularly London. His wife Jennifer remembers how very much they enjoyed motoring trips in their Morris Traveller to the Hartz mountains on breaks in Germany when posted there in the Army; and driving down to Italy to visit Venice. When he retired from his second career as a government statistician, John did some consultancy work for the Turkish Government and loved his visit to Istanbul.
John loved what London has to offer. He enjoyed music, supporting the Portobello Orchestra and for many years he was a choral singer. He enjoyed the theatre and was a regular supporter of the Tower Theatre Company. He was a friend of the Royal Academy and always went to the Summer Exhibition.
Family was very important to John. John and Jennifer were married for over 60 years. They met Scottish Dancing at Cambridge where John was a student and Jennifer worked. They lived in many places with John’s Army career, Mark being born in Germany. Even though they have for many years had separate homes – John in town and Jennifer in the country – they were both prodigious letter writers and continued regularly to meet up at weekends and occasional holidays.
John took an enormous interest in the lives and interests of his children and grandchildren. He was very proud of Mark and Maud. He always showed a great interest in the companies Mark worked for and the management issues involved. John was particularly interested in Mark’s current role running the Defence Academy at Shrivenham – originally the Royal Military College of Science, where John attended the Technical Command and Staff Course in 1963. He was proud also of his daughter Maud with her incredible skills in green woodwork and furniture making, moving into art and now teaching at art college.
He enjoyed long discussions with his grandson Jack, also in the engineering field, and there was a deep bond between them. He was proud of Lilly and enjoyed her thoughtful gentleness in their many conversations. His granddaughter Mary stayed with John frequently on her social trips to London – he would buy cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Road for her – and more recently he received comfort from her in her capacity as a medical student. He was delighted that his grandson Henry is studying at Cambridge University and is continuing his sporting tradition – though sadly in football, not in rowing – and that Henry has taken up Scottish dancing as John did. He would love to know that his old dinner jacket and tails – made in 1952 – have been passed on to Henry, fit beautifully and will be worn with fond remembrance. John said to me recently about his four grandchildren that he could not have asked for more.
Brian Barnett attended St Paul’s in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War and with his parents having moved out to rural Rickmansworth, he was immediately enrolled in High House, where he was a weekly boarder throughout his time at School. In his first year, he received instruction for his bar mitzvah from the late Reverend Sam Vennett of the Hammersmith Synagogue, which was then opposite in Brook Green. At School he was a keen boxer, captaining the School team. He made lifelong friendships, and his regular Monday night bridge games with Old Paulines John Garden, the late Raymond Davoud and Clive Moss were to last half a century.
He left St Paul’s to read economics and international history at University College London and then joined the army for National Service, during which he narrowly avoided court martial for using an army vehicle to take a girl on a date.
On leaving the army, he joined public company Ellis & Goldstein Plc, a manufacturer and retailer of ladieswear, rising over 30 years to become the Group Managing Director before the company was taken over in 1988. During his time there, he was Chairman of the British Mantle Manufacturers’ Association and a pioneer of what was then called shop within shop retailing, which is the model that all department stores operate on today. He also successfully developed the manufacture of what we now call loungewear, using the advent of the fax machine to have London designs made seasonally in the Far East.
He was particularly proud when his son Keith (1974-1978) joined the School and when his daughter Joanna married Old Pauline, Jonathan Mindell (1973-1977), also the son of a School friend, Bertram Mindell (1945-1950).
In later life, his joy was his family. He is survived by wife Susie, three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and will be very sorely missed by us all.
John ‘Tub’ Beastall, who died in June at the age of 80, was a decorated Civil Servant who was best known in the Pauline community for being one of the principal leaders of the Pauline Meetings, the group which organised House Parties, Sunday Meetings and other activities for boys who attended the St Paul’s School Christian Union. He ran the Ealing Meeting for some 40 years and the affection in which he was held by generations of Paulines was evident in the large numbers who attended his funeral.
Tub had joined the Christian Union while a pupil at St Paul’s and maintained his involvement on leaving school. He was asked to become a Meetings ‘officer’ while at university and served in that role for over 40 years, retiring in 2004 after overseeing the relocation of the Ealing Sunday meeting to Chiswick. His commitment to the role was immense and he was ever present at House Parties and Sunday meetings. He also helped to organise regular work parties, often leading groups in decorating flats for elderly residents in the Hammersmith area.
All Tub’s activities were underpinned by his own personal faith; he involved himself in the life and community of all the churches he attended, including St Peter’s in Ealing, St Michael & All Angels in Chiswick and St Martin’s in West Acton, always giving more than he received.
John entered St Paul’s in the autumn term of 1954, arriving on a scholarship from Colet Court. He went straight into Remove and was clearly earmarked for success as a classicist. He duly won an Exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford, leaving St Paul’s in 1959. At school he played as hooker in the 1st XV, was a prefect and captain of G Club and, in his final year, addressed the Queen in Latin when she visited the school as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations.
At Oxford he continued both his classics studies and his rugby, playing in the same college team as the then England fly-half Richard Sharp.
From university, he went straight into the Treasury. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jim Callaghan, when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and later worked on a wide range of economic policy issues. He was awarded a CB in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1995 in recognition of his outstanding career of public service.
He took early retirement from the Treasury in the late 1990s and became the first Development Director of St Paul’s School; starting the campaign of fund raising for bursaries.
Later he became a school governor and served as Chair of Governors and Trustee of the Green School for Girls in Isleworth and was an integral part of the team that helped establish the Green School for Boys as well. For some years he was also a director of Feltham Community Chaplaincy Trust.
He continued playing rugby after university, appearing for and captaining the Old Pauline 1st XV as a technically gifted hooker. When he gave up playing, he refereed Old Pauline teams at Thames Ditton for many years.
His commitment to the St Paul’s community was recognised in his becoming a Vice President of both the Old Pauline Club and the Old Paulines rugby club and he was delighted to attend the rugby club’s 150th anniversary dinner at Twickenham Stadium in March this year.
Tub’s funeral at St Peter’s Church in Ealing was attended by his extended family and many friends.
Our father John Bellamy was a proud Old Pauline; he often reminisced fondly about his time at St Paul’s. He’d won a scholarship from the junior school and was a prefect in his final year. He told hilarious stories of classroom antics – mainly to the detriment of the teacher in charge and was surprisingly proud that, due to being a Scholar, he had received the most minimal of science education. We were reminded frequently that the only topics on which he had any scientific knowledge were water fleas and Magdeburg hemispheres!
As a sportsman he made his mark – as a wing forward in the 1st XV Rugby team (1954 and ‘55) he gained the reputation of being able to ‘turn on a sixpence’. He also played for the 1st XI Cricket team in 1956. Having completed two years of National Service with the RAF, his academic and sporting prowess continued at The Queen’s College, Oxford where he read Greats, played lots of rugby and cricket and discovered his singing voice.
Cricket remained an important part of his life while we were growing up. Together with our mum, Jane, many happy Sunday afternoons were spent at the Old Pauline club in Thames Ditton – our chance to wangle a pint of coca cola or, if we were lucky, a shandy. Fellow Old Paulines John Farrell and Godfrey Whittingham became very good family friends.
John made a career in IT and Management Consultancy but his real passion was for acting and singing – he sung in many London choirs and took part in numerous local musical and drama productions. His knowledge of history, ancient and modern, inspired frequent overseas travels – his other big passion. He took pride in being an ‘all-rounder’ who could hold his own in any social situation. We’ll remember him as a people person, a wicked observer of others and someone who refused to lose an argument!
John Beveridge, who died recently aged 79, was one of the most successful and distinguished of Pauline oarsmen of his generation. He was also a successful rugby player for 2 years in the St. Paul’s School 1st XV; as well as a first class classics scholar who won a major scholarship in Classics to Jesus College Cambridge.
After Cambridge, rowing for Molesey BC, he won gold and bronze medals at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth Australia.
In the 1950s St Paul’s School, as now, had many splendid masters. Not the least of these was JH Page (“Freddie Page”) who was President of the Boat Club. It was a time when St Paul’s rowing was always at or near the top. Coached by Freddie Page, Beveridge rowed in the St Paul’s VIII at Henley Royal Regatta in 1953, 1954 and 1955. The 1953 crew won the Princess Elizabeth Cup; the 1954 and 1955 crews lost only to the eventual winners.
For national service Freddie Page advised Beveridge to apply for the RAF, and arranged that he be posted to RAF Benson where the RAF rowing club was based. In those days successful service sports clubs were regarded as useful for recruiting; and national service men helped in achieving this. Thus it was that Beveridge rowed in excellent RAF crews in the Thames Cup at Henley in 1956 and 1957.
In 1956 Beveridge decided that when he arrived at Cambridge he would read Engineering rather than Classics, and so, with typical determination, during his national service he read on his own to take and pass the 3 science A levels required to allow him to begin reading engineering as soon as he arrived at Jesus College in Michaelmas 1957.
Once up at Jesus Beveridge soon made his mark on the river. He stroked Jesus to the head of the river in the Cambridge May Races and to win the Ladies’ Plate at Henley in 1958. 1959 marked his first of 3 appearances at 6 in the Cambridge Boat Race crew, but it was not until his third appearance, as President, accompanied by 2 other Pauline oarsmen that he was successful in defeating Oxford by over 4 lengths.
John Beveridge married Margaret Shelton in 1961 with whom he had four children.Subsequently with his second wife Diana Millett he lived in retirement at Henley where for 7 years he was Hon. Secretary of Leander Club and played a strong part in its re-development, helping it to become the most successful sports club in any sport in the world.
John Beveridge. Born 22nd September 1936, died 12th April 2016; is survived by his wife Diana, and 4 children, Fiona, Rachel, Justin, and Hallam.
We are sad to announce the passing of Tim on 16th February who had battled with multiple myeloma for the last 8 years. He lived longer and more happily than we thought possible, in part due to the provision of drugs that France pays for that the UK NHS would not have, and surely due to the Provencal way of life that his wife Mary and he adopted from the turn on the millennium. A smoker from 16, hitting 40 a day until he quit overnight when Maggie Thatcher raised duty, he had already survived bowel and prostate cancer.
Born in Fulmer, attending Thorpe House and St Paul’s where he was an able sportsman, he suffered from dyslexia that was not appreciated until he was nearly 50 when his daughter Clare was diagnosed. It was tough enough that he once skipped school for 6 weeks and spent the time in London’s galleries. He became fluent in French at 7 during a 6 month stay in Paris with his maternal great grandmother which also gave him a love of all things French that subsequently infected his whole family.
He was a technophile and adept at maths which, after emigrating to Australia with his new wife as 10 pound Poms in 1965 (why did they sell those Beatles albums?!), led him to become a management and computer consultant in Melbourne – which had one of Australia’s two computers.
Several years later, keeping adventure close with a 6-month-old daughter in tow, Mary and Tim decided to travel back to the UK over 6 months via New Zealand, Tahiti, Jamaica, Mexico and the USA. Through connections, he joined stockbrokers Tustain & L’Estrange, borrowed money to become a partner and then soon after the firm went bankrupt. Undeterred, 20 years later, he would later start High Peak Unit Trust with Roger Tustain eventually selling to Martin Currie.
In the late 70’s, he joined his mother, Lesley, at LH Engineering (later, LH Fermentation) and helped transform it into a successful supplier of fermenters to the early biotechnology businesses like Glaxo and Porton. With Celltech, LH developed novel airlift bioreactors; at Porton, they had Botox but didn’t know how to make money from it; with Lonrho, research started on monoclonal antibodies, a class of drugs that helped prolong his life over 40 years later (one of which was actually manufactured with equipment supplied by his son). He was early, perhaps the first, to attach personal computers to fermenters, such as the Commodore Pet with a 4Kb memory.
Tim helped create the BioIndustry Association (BIA) and was chair for two years. He influenced the change in stock market rules to allow unprofitable biotech companies to list – hard to imagine in today’s speculative world. He collaborated with many: helping launch ESACT, running several meetings; unsuccessfully interacted with certain Green groups; helping UCL grow; and contributing to many conferences on computer modeling and control including ICCAFT with Henri Blachere, a future business partner. While often thought of as a leader, he was never comfortable giving speeches and preferred to be in the background.
A couple of companies later, in the 1990’s, he started Adaptive Biosystems which was one of the first to utilize AI in fermentation and the first to release a standard product which could predict productivity from a few runs – yet it was too early for the market and failed.
Tim was also involved in the politics of Richmond, Surrey. He was treasurer and, once, an agent for the Liberals which slowly turned yellow and green over the years. Along with others, he pioneered recycling with profits donated to local charities – much later recycling became an obligation for councils.
He served on the boards or was a trustee of several charities including Richmond Parish Lands Charity, which provides educational or housing help to disadvantaged people, One plus One, to support families, and supported the launch of the Florence Nightingale museum (a distant relative who was financially advised by Tim’s great grandfather).
None of his achievements would have been possible without the constant support and strength he drew from Mary. Through the good and bad times, their obvious love for each other shone through keeping them resilient, while others often benefited from their generosity despite occasional adversity.
His final “Good Years” were spent happily with Mary, and often many friends and family, in a Hameau in Provence enjoying the local rose wine and cheese. His joviality, kindness, welcoming attitude and smile will be greatly missed.
Sir David Brewer, who died in May aged 83, was successively Lord Mayor of London and Lord Lieutenant of Greater London before being appointed a Knight of the Garter.
David William Brewer was born in Luton in May 1940 to parents both of Cornish descent. His father, Dr Hugh Francis Brewer, was a clinical pathologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital specialising in blood transfusion; his mother, Elizabeth, née Nickell-Lean, sang with the D’Oyly Carte opera company.
Brought up in Hampstead, David was educated at St Paul’s School and the University of Grenoble before joining what was then Sedgwick Collins in 1959.
David spent his working life with Sedgwick, the City insurance broker, and latterly with its US parent, Marsh (which bought Sedgwick in 1998), specialising in developing the group’s Asian businesses. Having joined as a teenager in 1959, he completed his half-century when he was Marsh UK’s Vice-Chairman from 2007 to 2009.
Genial, courtly, voluble and energetic, Brewer went on to be Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London from 2008 to 2015 – fulfilling a vast number of public and royal engagements, including the late Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and was awarded a Garter Knighthood in 2016.
His involvement in the life of the City and its liveries had begun early, when he was apprenticed to the Merchant Taylors’ at the age of 14, his father’s forebears having worked in the drapery trade. He was Master of the Company in 2001-02.
David loved music and listed his recreations as “golf, mechanical gardening, chocolate and paronomasia”, the latter being a love of punning. He was a Vice President of the Old Pauline Club.
In 1985, David married Tessa Jordá, daughter of the Spanish-American orchestral conductor Enrique Jordá, who survives him with their daughters Olivia and Gabriella.
Adapted from the obituary published The Daily Telegraph on 4 July 2023
Alan Cameron died last July in New York aged 79, of pneumonia following an operation. Two years ago, he had been as active as ever, but a year later was diagnosed with MND. He was one of the most distinguished classical scholars of his time, the author of ten books and many articles, always original and discussing important topics.
My earliest memories of Alan go back to the day in autumn 1946 when we both started at Colet Court, then in West Kensington. To get there, from Egham, Alan had to spend serious travelling time, while it was my local school. Our first teacher was a Miss Welch, a native French speaker, who (she insisted) was the grand-daughter of a man who fought at the battle of Waterloo. an early chronological challenge for Alan who was to become such a great re-dater of classical authors and texts. We spent ten years from 1946-56 in the same sequence of classes, starting Latin when we were eight and Greek when we were eleven. By fourteen we had given up all other subjects, except for a very little Ancient History, to concentrate properly on translating in and out of Greek and Latin, in prose and verse, which we accepted as our destiny. In my memory at least, we were not in these early days great successes in these dark arts; particularly not, from 1947 when we acquired an amiable if somewhat taciturn classmate called Martin West, who left little room at the top of any class, until he was finally promoted a year ahead of us..
Up to age sixteen or so, nobody would have thought of Alan as a great intellectual force, except just possibly when playing bridge. But then there was a metamorphosis: his marks floated up and up into the stratosphere and stayed there for good. Another boy’s triumph one might have envied, but it was just impossible not to rejoice for and with Alan. After his time at St Paul’s, he read Greats at New College, Oxford, getting a double first and (remarkably) a Lectureship at Glasgow University before he even had the degree. He also skipped the normal PhD and went straight into producing his first book in 1970. He worked in London University from 1964 to 1977, becoming Professor of Latin at King’s College London, at thirty-six. In these years he was married to a fellow scholar, Averil Dees (now Professor Dame Averil Cameron) with whom he had two children Daniel (another Old Pauline) and Sophie, whose baby son Silas he was just in time to meet last year. The marriage with Averil broke up in the seventies and in 1977 Alan took the Latin Chair at Columbia University, New York, where he lived from that time on, productive as ever.
His academic research covered a strikingly wide area, both Greek and Latin, literary and historical, from the third century BCE till the fifth CE, all taken very seriously by specialists in many different subject-areas. His books ranged from Greek poetry, through circus racing in Rome, to the history of religious conflict; but his most constant concern was with the writings of the later Roman Empire, where he was one of the pioneers of working on what had been a neglected period. Among many honours and awards, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1975 and won their Kenyon Medal in 2013.
In character, Alan was something of a paradox: to meet, he was the most relaxed and friendly of men, with catholic tastes, including baseball, opera at the Met and romantic movies, and ready for any new experience and new friends; but in his publications, he was seriously combative — destroying misguided arguments with relish and fiercely rebutting critics of his works down till his last few weeks. His last years, in retirement in New York, were much enriched and supported by his wife since 1998, Carla Asher, who survives him.
Written by: John North (1951-56)
A tribute to Alan Cameron, delivered at an event in his memory, at the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London.
It is a great privilege to speak about Alan Cameron this afternoon, sad though it is that he isn’t with us to answer back, as he would have done in the past; it is not difficult to find things to say about him: he was on anybody’s view, a major influence on the subjects that interested him and endlessly productive of books and articles, of striking originality over a very impressive range of subjects. To me, he was a great friend for 70 years, which is a long time not to have had a quarrel.
On the subject of his productivity, I remember years ago asking him about some topic (I have completely forgotten what). ‘I think’ (he said) ‘I once wrote a paper about that’. He went to the desk opened a deep drawer, sifted through the contents, endless unpublished but fully prepared papers. Finally, out came the one he was looking for. The story illustrates: first, Alan’s amiable concern to be helpful; secondly, his rich and seemingly careless academic productivity; thirdly, a certain kind of modesty. With anybody else, you might think there was at least some element of showing off in this story, but Alan didn’t really do showing off. He didn’t need to.
I had met him first in September 1946 – both of us New Boys at the St Paul’s prep school, Colet Court, not even knowing any Latin — despite being fully eight years old. We were in the same succession of classes together for ten years. We received together an education, if that’s quite the word for it, consisting almost entirely of translating in and out of Greek and Latin. We both finished up in Oxford, but had not much to do with one another there, because Alan did his National Service or rather started it, before being diagnosed with Osgood Schlatter’s disease and discharged — to his fury because he’d been enjoying life in the Army and he was now denied it. I went straight from School to Oxford, so he was a year behind.
His academic career started with the offer of a job in the Glasgow Classics Department made (I believe) before he’d taken his degree (not quite so unusual as it would be today, but still remarkable). He then omitted such formalities as a getting a PhD, and of course needed no supervisor. There is nice story he tells somewhere of going to consult ‘Tom Brown’ Stevens, the gifted but erratic and not invariably sober Ancient History Don of Magdalen: Alan asked him whether he should start research on the poet Claudian. Tom Brown strongly advised him to think of something else. Alan characteristically went on with his Claudian. All the same, he did get some very distinguished helpers later on, such as Arnaldo Momigliano who gave him a helping hand with publication; and Louis Robert, who gave him access to the dossier of inscriptions which led to his second book – Porphyrius the charioteer.
The choice of, or rather insistence on, Claudian, was making points that have a good deal of validity through all his writings: first, he was always very insistent that the study of literature had always to be integrated with the study of history; even more significantly, perhaps he was one of those who drew ancient historians’ attention away from their familiar preoccupations and towards the later Empire. That implied tackling the significance of the rise of Christianity, and especially the impact on individuals of the new religious situation. These issues remained a central theme in Alan’s work, but at no point did he allow himself to be limited to the Late Antique. Finally, by his choice of Claudian, he was asserting the inseparability of Greek and Latin culture from one another. Claudian was a Greek who wrote in Latin. Alan was able to do what few can — move comfortably from one language and culture to the other.
While it is certainly true that he saw literature and history as intimately linked, the fact is that his work was usually driven by the literary authors he was most interested in: Claudian as a starter; Callimachus in mid-career; Macrobius, Servius and the other Virgil-commentators; the poets of the collections of epigrams (the Greek Anthology, which we did first meet in St Paul’s); Synesius in the book on Barbarians and Politics.
To follow his career for a moment, after his time at Glasgow he became a Lecturer and then a Reader in Bedford College, (1964-1972), in the days when it was still rather elegantly housed in Regent’s Park and devoted to women students as it had been since its foundation. From 1972-1977 he held the Chair of Latin at King’s College London. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1975. He went to Columbia University in New York as Charles Anthon Professor in 1977. All this when he was not yet forty and was to spend the second half of his life in New York, to which he grew very attached and from which he published another six or so books.
He occasionally spelled out in their rather chatty prologues, that his books became what they are because he just started the ball rolling, with limited ambitions or plans, but then the book itself ‘just grow’d’ (like Topsy): In some cases, that account seems entirely convincing e.g. ‘Greek Mythography’ and perhaps the larger Callimachus; but I can’t believe that the Last Pagans ‘just growed’, There were many delays when he seemed to abandon his Pagans, many distractions on the way, and a struggle to produce the book in the end..
There is no ducking the fact that Alan was very polemical in an academic context – very good at put-downs. One of many contradictions about him: there was no sign of this aggression in normal life, in which he was as mild and amiable as anyone could be. It might be fairer to say that the right word would be adversarial – rather than polemical, He had a rhetorical trope, which began: ‘Prof X argues for proposition Y; but there is a small problem here’: very mildly expressed to start with, but then it turns out that the small problem grows and grows till the whole theory falls to pieces under successive hammer-blows.
This brings us back to the 850 odd pages of the Last Pagans (2012)
On any reckoning, Last Pagans is destined to be a talking point for many years to come: in fact, it already has whole books of discussion devoted to it; it is extraordinarily well-informed; it argues very forcefully for a specific thesis and takes a highly controversial view of the religious attitudes (I have selected that word rather carefully) of the Roman pagan aristocrats in the fourth century CE. It consists of the usual Cameron rhetorical trope writ very large: the whole is attacking one view of pagan resistance, originally put forward in the 1940s. I do think it comprehensively destroys this view, but leaves open the question of where the subject should go next. The arguments it contains about various texts (such as Macrobius’ Saturnalia and the Carmen contra paganos), will need to be reexamined in their own right. Last Pagans is a massive achievement and will remain so no matter what the conclusions may be about its individual arguments.
Alan was extraordinarily efficient in the production of books and articles yet notoriously erratic as an administrator. He did what he wanted to and never seemed to mind not having done what he should have done — or what others thought he should have done. He was totally without pomposity or side.. A rich variety of activities made him happy: Opera at the Met; wrestling on the television (well that once strangely popular form of tele-entertainment, called wrestling, but more akin to a drama); sentimental movies; baseball; tennis and so on. His capacity for enjoyment of so many kinds is just one of the features of his character that makes it so difficult to accept that he has really gone. I shall miss him as a good friend and great intellectual force. John North
Alan Cameron’s Books
• Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (1970)
• Porphyrius the Charioteer (1973)
• Circus Factions: Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (1976)
• Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius (May 1992) (with Jacqueline Long and Lee Sherry)
• The Greek Anthology: From Meleager to Planudes (1993)
• Callimachus and his Critics (1995)
• Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004) (reviewed by T P Wiseman in the Times Literary Supplement, 13 May 2005 page 29)
• The Last Pagans of Rome (2011) (reviewed by Peter Brown in the New York Review of Books, 7 April 2011)
• Wandering Poets and Other Essays in Late Antique Poetry and Philosophy (2015).
Nigel Ian Cameron arrived at St Paul’s from Willington School, Putney along with lifelong friends Geoffery McAra and Jon Grugeon. He enjoyed boxing and cricket, played bridge and became interested in philately. Inspired by the senior history master Philip Whiting, he founded the Historical Society in 1950 (other notable members being Lord Baker of Dorking and John Adair) and won a place at Cambridge.
He did national service in the RAF where he was proud to have learned to fly before he could drive but actively decided to qualify as a navigator. He was proud to have commanded the RAF streetlining contingent in Belfast for the Queen’s visit in 1953, just one month after her coronation.
He went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1954 to read history and geography. He enjoyed travelling and had made his first forays in continental Europe immediately after the war. Cameron was one of the founders of the Cambridge University Explorers & Travellers Club. He ended his time at Cambridge by travelling overland to India and back over four months.
Having arrived back from India in October 1957, Cameron joined the Post Office almost the following day, an employer he was to remain with for the next thirty-six years. Notably he directed the Norwich team that laid out the first postcodes in the world. Most of the principles they established endured for the postcoding of the whole of the UK. Aged 43 he was appointed as Chairman of the Midland Postal Board, serving a population of 8 million with a staff of 26,000. Energetic, inquisitive and decisive he built a loyal and effective team. After a series of re-organisations with which he had little sympathy he retired in 1993.
Thereafter he developed his interest in genealogy and local history in which he wrote two published books and some articles in specialist magazines. He also spent time on philately, his garden, and his family, including some further adventurous travel with his wife to, inter alia, Uzbekistan, Yemen and various parts of Africa. He had married Angela Twyford in 1964 and they had three sons, all of whom survive him. He died on 19 December 2021 aged 87.
Alistair was born in Twickenham in 1937. He attended the Mall School and then St Paul’s from 1950 to 1955. He was a prefect, captain of the Boxing Club and the 2nd Cricket XI, secretary of the Christian Union and treasurer of the Historical Society. Alistair was posted to Wuppertal for his National Service and was commissioned in The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). He was appointed Education Officer, where his role was to help sergeants to get through their basic exams. It was during his National Service that Alistair developed his lifetime love of reading. He read history at Downing College, Cambridge, between 1957 and 1960, specialising in the medieval period of English and European history and also in historiography. He obtained his boxing Blue as a featherweight. He then studied at Lincoln Theological College and was ordained in Durham Cathedral, as a deacon in 1962 and as a priest in 1963. He was a curate at St Paul’s in West Hartlepool in the Durham Diocese from 1962 to 1965. Alistair then spent a year at Busoga College in Uganda as school chaplain and assistant housemaster, where he taught English, history and R.E. In the holidays he toured Uganda and Kenya.
Alistair was school chaplain at Shrewsbury School from 1966 to 1973. He also taught English and R.E. and helped to coach the under-14 football and cricket teams. He met his future wife, Bella, at Shrewsbury. They used to go to Shrewsbury Town matches together; Alistair remained an avid Town fan and he continued to go to football matches until his health declined. Alistair and Bella were married in the school chapel in 1968 and in the following years their first two daughters were born.
Alistair and his family then moved to Scotland, where he was the rector at St Anne’s, Coupar Angus (in the diocese of St Andrew’s, Dunkeld and Dunblane). He was also the Assistant Editor of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s newspaper. Alistair and Bella’s third daughter was born in Scotland. Despite having three young children, Alistair still found time to watch the local football team and to play cricket! In 1978 he became vicar of St Peter’s, Ravenshead, in the Southwell Diocese and served as Rural Dean of Newstead from 1990 to 1993. He then became rector at All Saints, Collingham and St John the Baptist, Collingham (along with three other local churches in the Southwell Diocese) and served as Rural Dean of Newark from 1995 to 2002. He played cricket for the Southwell Diocesan Clergy team and was its captain for some years. Alistair retired in 2002, serving with permission to officiate until 2017. He had an active retirement; he was a literacy volunteer at a local school, he undertook several courses, and he spent many happy hours at Trent Bridge.
Alistair had lots of interests. He was an avid reader and had thousands of books, covering a broad range of topics. He loved listening to jazz and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of it; he would make corrections to sleeve notes, concert programmes and book chapters where the author had got something wrong! He enjoyed watching films and was a regular cinemagoer. He loved playing and watching sport throughout his life. He enjoyed walking with family and friends and he completed many of the National Trails. He loved learning and helping others to grow and learn.
Alistair was described as being ‘stimulating company’, ‘a man of very great integrity’, ‘a great support’ and it was said that ‘his judgements were always sound, humane and brave’. As one parishioner said, “While many of his sermons were beyond my intellect, I was aware of his many acts of kindness around the village for so many people that were unknown to most of those in his congregation”.
Alistair’s health deteriorated rapidly after Bella died in 2014. He was diagnosed with dementia in 2016. He died peacefully on 26th March 2020, aged 82 years. He will be remembered for his kindness, his caring and gentle nature, his dry sense of humour, and his strong sense of fairness and social justice. He lived a deep and full life, but also lived a life in the service of others.
Chris was born in Birmingham in 1937. His mother was a Londoner, his father Freddie a geography teacher came from Derbyshire. In 1950 Freddie was appointed Head of a school in Staines and the family moved south. Chris won a place at St. Paul’s and so began an exciting and stimulating time for him, travelling daily across London. He became a scholar always treasuring his silver fish. He especially enjoyed the school’s music, theatre and debating society, playing the violin in the orchestra and taking an active role in the Scouts.
University and engineering beckoned ; having won an exhibition to Imperial College he turned down a place at Cambridge. After gaining full membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers his uncle, already a leading water engineer, encouraged him to specialise so he returned to Imperial College to study Hydrology. For the first time River Authorities had to appoint hydrologists, so Chris took up his new role in Kent in 1963.
For the next 20 years he masterminded demand forecasting, tidal and river floods and defences, advising farmers and industries and predicting the need for new reservoirs. With larger Water Authorities being planned he trained in management techniques, becoming the Assistant Director of Resource Planning at the newly created Southern Water authority, covering Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. His experience and temperament made him the ideal person to guide his enthusiastic young staff.
For the final 15 years of his working life he became an independent Water Consultant, working in Thailand, Burma, China, Cyprus and Samoa, all wonderful experiences living among and learning from other peoples and cultures.
Throughout his life he took great interest in community matters, chairing the local National Trust committee for 20 years . He found an outlet for his love of history and old buildings by guiding at Lancing Chapel and leading a NADFAS team recording the local parish church. Chris never stopped solving practical or cerebral problems. He built a swimming pool with a spade, giving 30 years of joy to his family. He loved caravanning, enjoying an annual reunion with O.P s RJ Winkworth and L. Webber. He especially valued joining the Luncheon for the Oldest Leavers at school a couple of years ago. He constantly reminded one of how proud he was to be an O.P. He played golf all his life and took up skiing seriously in middle age; he enjoyed tennis ( on his own court) and dabbled in yoga. He gardened passionately, controlling the vegetable patch as his own.
Only in his last year were his activities reduced as he succumbed to Pulmonary Thrombosis. He remained brave and philosophical, savouring every moment with his family and friends. The Macmillan team helped him to remain at home where he passed away peacefully on 22nd March, surrounded by his wife Heather ( married 57years), daughters Alison and Sarah and son Christian. He leaves six grandchildren.
Roger Lawrence Earl was not a man whose life can be condensed into a few minutes, or a few anecdotes – he truly lived life to the full.
Born in 1940 in Hove, East Sussex, Roger was an only child, and he achieved so much in his 81 years with us. In 1946 Roger was, as he put it, “dispatched to a boarding school in Kingswood, one designed for the sons of army officers who required a bit of discipline”. He made friends easily and quickly came to understand what was right and wrong. At school Roger witnessed bullying and anti-Semitism and it affected him deeply – and as a result he adopted and followed a very clear set of principles:
Fight anti-Semitism; Fight for the underdog; Do not suffer bullies; Fight for those who seek opportunity; Fight for a meritocracy that enables them to achieve; Respect success, especially against the odds; Fight for morality and honour; Fight for and honour family; and Fight for and honour friends
– and that is what he did – for the whole of his life
Roger was always pushing the boundaries and being slightly rebellious – he was expelled from the Kingswood school for a number of reasons: riding a drunk horse into the school swimming pool; putting Potassium Permanganate into the water supply thereby turning it purple and putting nitro-glycerine crystals onto the hall floor. Can you imagine what he must have been like as a child!
He was though very bright; and he went on to win one of the very few full scholarships to St Pauls, and he never lost that spark. He felt indebted to St Paul’s for how they crafted, guided and educated him while never stifling aspects of his personality that were challenging in a young person but served him so well later in life. He continued to support the school throughout his life.
Soon after leaving St Pauls, he joined Arbon Langrish, a private Lloyd’s broker, and his life in the market began. He moved to Bland Welsh, rising to the Main Board when they merged with Bland Payne; and resigning, as a point of principle when they merged with Sedgwick. Then came Fenchurch where he was elected to take the MD role as he was “clearly the right person to do so”. Roger was in his element, and really excelled. Only two months into his time at Fenchurch, the office manager come to Roger asking if he had mixed up the premium and the sum insured on his broking slip. “No” said Roger – the premium was 4million dollars, the poor chap had never seen anything like it.
In 1986 he was part of the group that bought Fenchurch and then floated it onto the Market. As in all things associated with Roger, he was the real architect behind it, using all his broking skills, his great intellect and his leadership qualities. Roger then moved to a Non-Exec role and finally he retired. One of his business partners sums it all up so well: “For me, and so many others, it was the best day of our professional lives when we ran into Roger”
He remained very close to the market and his many friends there; following 9/11 Swiss Re appointed him as an expert witness on the Twin Towers case – his testimony, using Pearl Harbour as precedent, was key to the decision that it was a single, not a double event – a decision that made a multi-billion-dollar difference to the market.
His success at work allowed him to indulge in his great passion of cars. He had an incredible ability to buy the right car at the right time, including some wonderful road cars: Maseratis; Ferraris, a C-Type Jaguar. But his real passion was racing cars, and racing. He achieved what most of us can only dream of – buying and racing the ex-Patrick Depailler Monaco Grand prix winning Tyrell. He was good, touring Europe with the Historic Grand prix crowd; his greatest race being at Monza.
He was also very generous with his cars and sharing his passion gave him such joy, giving his daughter and his friends the opportunity to race and compete in events such as the Mille Miglia. The Osca MT4 he owned with best friend Tony Pickering introduced him to Stirling Moss, and the two of them raced together all over the UK and Europe.
Roger had many interests, and he approached each one at 100 mph. He was the Chairman and then Honorary Life President of the Lloyds Motor Club; he supported many great causes including the RAF Benevolent Fund (Bomber Command), Fly Navy Heritage, and the 11EOD Felix fund, constantly raising money, organising lunches and dinners, particularly supporting and helping those from the two World wars. He was a liveryman in the Honourable Company of Coachbuilders and Coach Harness Makers.
Roger had a passion for music, playing the trumpet in a band in early life continued to enjoy many Jazz gigs with his daughter Meredith to his 80’s. Meredith also went with him to experience his other real joy – cricket at Lords.
However, what was most important to Roger was his family – he met Lyn at a wedding, when her cousin John married Roger’s cousin Anne; she was 19, he was 21. They married in 1968, with Meredith being born in Canada in 1970 and Alexandra following in 1972. Alex grew up to marry Darryl and to give Rog two fabulous grandsons – Hayden and Kieran. The whole family provided such joy to him; and that joy was reciprocated by them.
Above everyone else though – there was Lyn – his rock; the one person in the world who could put up with him; she should have been canonised years ago. He loved her with all his heart, and she was always there for him. They had many happy years together, and travelled extensively, but perhaps where they were most together was at their house in France – in the middle of nowhere, with no phones, just a fantastic view. They went there every year for their wedding anniversary; it was the place where they realised what was important in life – where they were together.
Just before he died, Rog wrote a letter to the girls in which he said:
“Don’t mourn me, be happy to celebrate my life – it’s been long and truly wonderful. I’ve enjoyed everything I could have dreamt of, the support of a fabulous and ever beautiful and loving wife and best friend, of my equally extra special and much adored daughters and my lovely grandsons, and Son in Law; an exceptional circle of true, loyal friends, several of them heroes from the Greatest Generation, an almost total absence of enemies, travelled the world, raced a Formula 1 car and a D Type at the greatest circuits on the planet, ‘done’ the Mille Miglia, flown in a Spitfire, missed out only on a flight in a Lancaster (but I guess something had to give!), and have been wholly fulfilled in a long and fruitful business life. So smile for me, laugh and don’t cry, no man could have asked for more!”
“Make it a joyous day, to celebrate a wonderful life, a marvellous wife (my best mate), and two fantastic daughters – no bloody whingeing or gloominess allowed! No man could have asked for more out of life or for better friends.”
Rog was an extraordinary man – He had the ability to be the person he needed to be in the company he was keeping at the moment he was in. If he had been in Stalag Luft 3 he would have led the Great Escape and he would have definitely got home
Roger was utterly unique; a true force of nature – and we all miss him hugely. He lived live so well and with such honour, leaving such a legacy and impact on so many people. Thank you for all you have given us.
David was born in Liverpool and spent the war years in North Wales. He then attended St Paul’s and boxed for the school. He was ever the gentleman when he boxed (as seen in the attached report from one of the masters). He also played rugby and was later selected to play for Surrey County. He always spoke very fondly of his time at St Paul’s. He was contemporary with Jonathan Miller and Oliver Sacks.
As a committed Quaker and Pacifist he became a hospital porter rather than do his National Service. This experience led him to choose to study Medicine at Christ’s College, Cambridge. Whilst a student, David ventured to Moscow, with other Quakers, courageously breaking through the Iron Curtain in order to establish links with young Russians. After graduating he worked at the Middlesex Hospital, where he met nurse, Eleanor Woolley, daughter of the President of the NFU, Lord Woolley. He married Eleanor in 1961 and they worked at Clatterbridge Hospital on the Wirral. Then David took up General Practice in West Kirby. They had three children. David was a much loved GP. He was involved in research into epilepsy and ran a pioneering clinic for drug addicts. He also spearheaded the campaign to save Hoylake Cottage Hospital and to open St John’s Hospice. In 1990 he and Eleanor bought an eleven hundred acre farm on the slopes of Snowdon – Clogwyn y Gwin (Precipice of Wine). Eleanor farmed there alone until David retired and joined her. He swapped his stethoscope for shears and his clinics for pens. This was the happiest time of their lives as they farmed a thousand sheep and thirty cattle. David sang in Welsh in a local choir and attended Bangor Quaker Meeting. Sadly Eleanor died of breast cancer in 1999. David sold the farm in 2005 and moved to Cambridge to be near his son, James. Then he moved to The Isle of Mull in 2009 to be near his daughter. David had a wonderful time in Tobermory. He joined the Gaelic Choir and he and his daughter set up Mull and Iona Quaker Meeting. He made many friends on Mull and became much loved by the local community who cared for him as his Dementia developed. When he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2016 he said “Good, it will be a kinder death than from Dementia”. Nursed by his daughter for the last year of his life, David died a peaceful death, in the local cottage hospital on the Isle of Mull in August 2017. He leaves behind him his children: Andrew, Katharine and. James and grandchildren: Grace, Hamish, Ben, Robert, Lauren, William and Daisy.
Hilary Haydon, who died on 7 June aged 91, spent the last 27 years of his life as a Brother of Charterhouse. His training for this role started at Colet Court, now St Paul’s Juniors, and then at St Paul’s. Possibly the least sports-minded boy ever to have passed through the school, he did admit to having enjoyed shooting whilst in the school’s CCF. It suited him, he said, right down to the ground. “You lie on your tummy, as still as possible, and then, with your index finger, attempt to make the most infinitesimally tiny movement possible.” Despite what the boys of the late 1940s were told, he always said, being in the CCF proved absolutely no help whatsoever during national service.
He then studied Moral Philosophy at Trinity Hall, Cambridge on a scholarship. From Trinity Hall he went to another institution characterised by quads, rooms off stairs, communal meals, wood panels and a Master – Gray’s Inn.
In 1959 he married Australian journalist Judith Whitlock and, with family in mind, they moved to Broadstairs in Kent, where he took up a post at Kingsgate College teaching law for the Workers’ Education Association. When the WEA ceased operations at Kingsgate in the early 1970s, Hilary commuted to London to work for, successively, the P&I Clubs, Holborn Law Tutors and Hambros Bank, finally returning to the practicing bar for a brief spell at the newly formed Canterbury Chambers before retiring.
Widowed in 1993, Hilary joined his last wood-paneled institution with a Master, The Charterhouse, in November 1996. This was an ideal base for him to explore his great passion, London, about which he had an extensive library and an even more extensive knowledge. He made an ideal Charterhouse Brother. Widely travelled, Hilary preferred the inaccessible to the well-trodden, counting Hoxha’s Albania and North Korea amongst his more unusual destinations. Hilary leaves a son, Peter, and a daughter, Katharine.
My brother, Ronald Hayman, theatre director, writer and critic, died 20 January 2019. Known as Ronnie to family and friends, he was born in Bournemouth in 1932 and, as a child, lived in East Cliff Court, the Jewish hotel founded by our grandmother. This period is described in Secrets: Boyhood in a Jewish Hotel, Ronnie’s 1985 memoir, which also contains vignettes of his time at St Paul’s. Contemporaries will recall the physics master C.N. (‘Bo’) Langham (‘Mr Hampton’ in the book), with his list of ‘Avoidable Errors’. For making any of these you received one stroke of the cane. This was a distant era in which prefects could cane their juniors, and St Paul’s limited its intake of Jews to a quota. Yet, it was a golden age for the History Eighth, with the charismatic P.D.Whitting (‘Mr Harding’) as Head of History, determined that all his students should go to Oxford or Cambridge. F.G.S.Parker (‘Mr Fletcher’), taught French and German, re-iterating his slogan of ‘Efficiency, gentlemen!’. His system of ‘mnemonic cards’ ensured that his students carried in their pockets the means of revising their lessons in any spare moment.
Ronnie joined St Paul’s soon after the School returned to the Hammersmith Road building it had vacated during the Second World War. He had gained one of the one hundred and fifty-three Foundation Scholarships. He became editor of The Debater and started a literary society, for which he persuaded Harold Nicolson to give a talk. He won an open scholarship to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, with the intention of reading law. However, while still at the School, he decided he wanted to be a writer and obtained permission to read English instead. It was also in the later part of his stay at St Paul’s that he changed his mind about religion, and stopped practising Judaism.
Ronnie left St Paul’s in 1950 and did National Service in the RAF, before going to Cambridge. He then lived in Germany for a couple of years, spending some of the time in the Western Sector of a divided Berlin, and managing to interview Brecht. On returning to England, he settled in London, progressing from St George’s Square, Victoria, via Regent’s Park Road, to Church Row, Hampstead. He passed his final years in Highgate, occupying a penthouse flat with an extensive view of the city where he had spent his working life.
On returning from Germany, Ronnie acted in repertory companies, then took to directing, including An Evening with GBS, a one-man show with Max Adrian, which had a successful London run and world-tour in the nineteen-sixties. Ronnie’s 1977 production of Troilus and Cressida at the Roundhouse had men taking the female roles and vice versa, before gender reversal became common in theatre productions.
He wrote slim volumes on playwrights and the theatre. Later he wrote over fifteen fat biographies, including Sartre, Proust, Nietzsche and Jung. He contributed regular articles to The Times, where an obituary with far more details of his career has been published (2 March). He took part in Radio 3’s Critics’ Forum, which he chaired on occasion. He turned his pen to comedy for a radio series, Such Rotten Luck, starring Tim Piggot-Smith and Zoe Wanamaker. Ronnie’s drama about Strindberg Playing the Wife was performed in Chichester in 1995, with Derek Jacobi, and was later revived in Richmond-upon-Thames.
Ronnie’s marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his two daughters, Imogen and Sorrel, to both of whom Secrets is dedicated. He is also survived by his ex-wife, Monica Lorimer (Imogen’s mother) and Sorrel’s mother, Sue Trenchard.
Malcolm was a true polymath. His life was one of creativity and joy which he instilled in everything he effortlessly accomplished.
He was born in Somerset but spent his early life in Richmond, Surrey the son of a bespoke automobile manufacturer. Aged eleven he began acting for the long-running Anthony Buckeridge BBC radio serial ‘Jennings at School’, in which he played Jennings. Later, up until the age of sixteen, he acted in numerous Shakespeare’s productions.
At St Paul’s he eschewed the then popular boxing curriculum to train as a pianist and entered the Guildhall School of Music to achieve distinction and concert pianist standard. He was a talented lyricist and wrote (with the Hollywood film composer John Scott) librettos for opera, pop songs advertising slogans and numerous television programmes, such as the much-lauded Jacques Cousteau series.
At that time, he entered advertising as head of television for the prestigious firm of Benson’s where he commissioned films from such later famed directors as Ridley Scott, Hugh Hudson and Ken Russell.
He then changed direction and established a famous garden design and florist business in Barnes where he created gardens in London, the countryside (in Dorset he built the largest maze in Britain – two and a half miles of box hedging) the Caribbean and south of France. He started writing books first on dried flowers (it sold a million copies and has never been out of print) and eventually sold over four million books world-wide which were translated into over ten languages.
Latterly he wrote cookery books and lectured in America and the UK as well as entertained weekly at his Chelsea homes (first Turner’s then Whistler’s houses in Cheyne Walk) where he established a world-famous garden. At this time, he also bought a mountain in the Caribbean where he gardened, made furniture, wrote and published poetry and most importantly photographed the flora and fauna which led to successful exhibitions in London and New York. He was also an accomplished ceramicist and devised his own glazes.
He continued to compose poetry and latterly librettos (the final work a stirring Norse legend set to music by John Scott) and text for a symphony based on the Mayflower commissioned by the Boston Symphony.
He passed away peacefully aged eighty-five at his riverside home in Kew Gardens and is survived by his partner of thirty years Rodney Engen.
William B (Bruce) G Hopkins (1948-51), 1934 – 2016
Born in Ealing in 1934 my father was raised in Kingsbury, North London along with his elder sister Dera who survives him. At the start of the Second World War he was evacuated to Family away from London, but due to illness of those looking after him he returned to the family home in Kingsbury in 1940. As he said himself he returned “just in time for the Blitz”, but there is no doubt that period influenced his future career path. As a 6-year-old boy he spoke of watching the Few who fought the Battle of Britain spiralling in dogfights and contrails overhead, and he dreamt of being a fighter pilot one day.
Educated at St Paul’s School for Boys where gained his School Certificate, his passion as a lad was swimming where he excelled. His circle of friends centred on the Kingsbury Baths, friendships that he renewed only a few years ago with a reunion at the family house here in North Walsham.
In February 1952 (before his 18th birthday) he started on the path he had dreamt of, and entered the Royal Air Force for officer and flying training, receiving his Commission and earning his Wings in March 1953. From then on he realised his dream, achieving combat ready status on the Venom and serving on that, and other fighter aircraft, in Germany and the UK through the 50s. This dashing young fighter pilot then met my mother during an operational deployment to Cyprus, swept her off her feet and they married in 1959. And they were to be a great Team during the rest of his career.
In the early 60s he was assigned to the Air Fighter Development Squadron just up the road from here at RAF Coltishall, and he was closely involved in the evaluation and introduction into service of the Lightning, the first single-seat high-performance, supersonic, radar-equipped fighter to enter service in the RAF. In 1967 we moved as a family to the USA where my brother was born. This time he was again at the leading edge of the introduction into service of a new aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas Phantom F4. For 2 years he flew with the US Navy in St Louis, Missouri conducting experimental and production test flying on both US and British aircraft.
In 1972 he was given command of 23 Fighter Squadron equipped with the Lightning Mk6, the final development of an aircraft he had helped bring into Service and then at the forefront of the Cold War flying Quick Reaction Alert from RAF Leuchars in Scotland – fighters ready at 2 minutes notice to intercept probing Soviet bombers. He led the Squadron for 3 years and this was truly the pinnacle of his operational career as a fighter pilot; he was recognised by the award of the Air Force Cross for his command and leadership skills, which was bestowed on him by HM The Queen. He then commanded RAF Wattisham in Suffolk for 2 years at the end of the 1970s and the picture of him in your Order of Service was taken in 1978 as he assumed command of that station. Again this was a unit at the forefront of the Cold War, with 2 squadrons flying the Phantom F4 on Quick Reaction Alert. I suspect he saw this as the crowning moment in his career, having achieved far more than he had hoped for as a cadet in 1952.
After a few more staff tours, one at the Supreme Headquarters in Belgium, he elected to leave the Service in 1986. He was never prepared to play the political games needed to achieve the very highest ranks in the Service – he merely believed in being the best you could possibly be professionally in your chosen walk of life. He had served in uniform for 34 years, made a great many friends, flown over 3800 flying hours on 16 different types of aircraft (mostly fighters) and had inspired another little boy (me) as to his future career. Huge achievement and a strong, but not overbearing, sense of duty characterised his RAF service, and I know he was immensely proud of what he had achieved. These traits were to be evident too in his retirement, but what did others think of him? An Army Major General for whom he worked in Belgium wrote recently “I had a great respect for Bruce’s professionalism, and also his light and sympathetic touch, which made him such a valuable colleague”.
Life after the RAF was 7 years in Kent working for GEC Avionics in Rochester in Business Development, living in Maidstone. But just as he was turning 60 he decided to retire to Norfolk for good.
Unwilling to just relax his sense of duty came to the fore again – he wanted to give something back having considered himself very fortunate in his own life. So for his first 5 years of ‘relaxation’ he was Secretary (a voluntary post 3 mornings a week) of the Norfolk Branch of SSAFA, the oldest of the Armed Forces Charities that provide welfare to those in need, and he played golf for the other 2 mornings. From 1999-2013 he was the Secretary and Welfare Officer for the North Walsham Branch of RAFA (the Royal Air Force Association), another charitable organization delivering welfare to those in need. He was on the Committee and Captain for 1 year of the Veterans Section of the Royal Cromer Golf Club. He was on the Committee and Chairman for a period of the North Walsham Community Centre. And last, but not least, he was Chairman of the Aylsham Bridge Club. Golf and Bridge were his passions, but he was prepared to give back in amongst those and not just enjoy.
Again I turn to comments made in notes of sympathy to my mother: A truly charming gentlemen, modest though of such achievement. The Section owed a lot to Bruce for taking up the reins so quickly (after the next Captain became unwell) and without any fuss. That was typical of his attitude in that he would never let anyone down. He worked so hard for RAFA and helped so many people during difficult times. The Bridge Clubs at Aylsham, North Walsham, and Hoveton were so appreciative of his skill and gentlemanly manner. One remarked that he was the most intelligent, distinguished Chairman Aylsham had ever had.
He was a determined man in anything he did and would not quit easily. On a family holiday in Western France in the early 80s he bought a windsurf board. For one day he relentlessly tried to get sailing without success and at the end his hands were rubbed raw. The next day he was back at it, determined to succeed but this time sporting a pair of pink marigolds to protect his hands – ingenious and a style all of his own. On a family holiday in Menorca we all went donkey riding as a big group. My mother had great difficulty getting on her mount to much hilarity of all including the Spanish owner. My father was not going to make such a fool of himself and took a run-up, mounting his ride in one movement in the style of Audey Murphy. The donkey looked most surprised!
What of the family man? He would say that he never really enjoyed his own childhood, and his mother was very ill for a lot of it. But he loved his subsequent family life and relished large gatherings, particularly with the Grandchildren. Although not necessarily a demonstrative person, he was proud and loving of his family, particularly my mother. He would often remark at family get-togethers, much to the annoyance of my mother “I wonder what the poor people are doing”. This was not a comment on the poor and possessions, but merely that he felt rich and lucky in life.
He was a kind man but he believed in children achieving success through their own abilities and not through being given a bye in life. Indeed, I remember as a 12-year-old playing squash with him – he never let me win unless I deserved it. Wind on 40 years and on their Golden Wedding Anniversary family week in Spain he played snooker throughout the week to win with his grandson Alexander – Alex did triumph eventually though.
In his last few years he was troubled by health issues, which no doubt frustrated an ex-fighter pilot who was used to being in control. In particular, he suffered for 7 years with trigeminal neuralgia, which is a most painful condition, and arthritis of the spine in the latter few years. Throughout, such was the man that he remained stoical and uncomplaining to the end.
So in sum his was a life of success and achievement. He was a determined gentleman with a sense of duty and a desire to give something back, but also a loving and kind, husband, father and grandfather.
I am sorry to announce the passing of my Dad on 19th January 2022, aged 84.
Dad was born in Norfolk in 1937. After the war, the family moved to London where he attended a small primary school, achieving the highest marks in the London area and making his mark as a high performer. He was awarded a scholarship to St Paul’s School and was confirmed in the crypt at St. Paul’s Cathedral. At St Paul’s he learnt to play the violin and developed his love of classical music. St Paul’s was also Dad’s first experience of Scouting where he joined the St Paul’s Boy Scout Troop. After finishing school, Dad went into the Army and did much of his National Service in Germany.
He went on to study Electrical Engineering at London University and was involved extensively in designing radar installations, his first work was at Decca Radar and later Plessey.
In 1964 he and Mum, Lynda Mogford, met while out horse riding and in due course they married and moved to South Africa in 1968, where Dad first worked for Fuchs Electronics and then moved to the Chamber of Mines of South Africa.
My brother, Lester and I were born and raised in South Africa and since Dad had been a Boy Scout and Mum had been a Girl Guide it was decided that Lester and I would join cubs and later the Scouts. This was to become the over-riding passion and family activity throughout our youth, with Mum and Dad playing taxi driver all around the country taking us to camps, hikes and other outdoor adventures, and Dad was in his element, drawing on his memories and experiences of the army and his own Scouting days to help us with our advancements. Dad was a perfectionist and would never settle for less than the best and on seeing the state of the equipment in our Scout Troop’s equipment store, volunteered for the job of Quartermaster and proceeded to ensure that everything was in its place, numbered, catalogued and correctly cared for. The poor scouts were never the same again.
As we grew up, he taught us about attention to detail, getting things right and most importantly the importance of proper communication and treating people politely and with dignity and respect. Dad wanted the best for us, and while it wasn’t always possible, he would do everything he could to make it happen. In our late teens and early 20s, Dad was at the peak of his career with the Chamber of Mines and, while Lester and I pursued our studies, he continued to work hard. He was meticulous in his documentation and paperwork and often worked late hours.
Dad was an avid photographer from the age of 15 and his passion is evident by the scattering of classic and collectable cameras all around the house to this day. He never left the house without a camera. He also loved reading, with a particular fondness for historical, factual and technical books ranging from Winston Churchill to ships of the realm.
In 1997, Dad retired as an Assistant Director of the Chamber of Mines after 26 years and he and Mum moved to Hilton, Kwa Zulu Natal to enjoy the climate and peace of the countryside.
Mum, Lester and I, and our families, will remember a Husband of 55 years, Dad and Grandad as a loving, caring and compassionate person. While he wasn’t a great walker or hiker, he enjoyed nature and the outdoors. With his camera in hand, he would take in the grandeur of the Drakensberg or even just enjoy a sunset on the patio. He loved animals and over this last December, just a few weeks ago, took great comfort from our two little dogs, Sparky and Toffee who lay by his side or on his lap.
Today we thank him for what he has done for our families and we celebrate a life well lived.
The Very Reverend Dr Robert Jeffery (1948-53), 1935-2016
Obituary by Canon Dr Daniel O’Connor (2017) – friends with Bob Jeffery since their ordination in the Durham Diocese in the 1950s
Preparations for an event as significant as a Lambeth Conference are a complex affair needing much of the preceding decade to put together. In the case of the 1968 conference, however, the saintly and scholarly Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, his mind on higher things, had forgotten that it was coming up. It was only when the secretary of the Church’s Missionary and Ecumenical Council, the gifted but under-acknowledged David Paton reminded the Archbishop, that. with less than three years to go, things began to happen. The first of these was that Paton turned to his new assistant secretary, Bob Jeffery, fresh from his second curacy, to start work on the agenda. To Bob, that was “a magic day” for a young man, to be given such responsibility – including in time the preparation of the 38 sub-group themes to which the Lambeth fathers would turn their attention.
The Very Reverend Robert Martin Colquhoun Jeffery was born at Uxbridge on 30th April 1935, son of Norman and Gwennyth Jeffery. His father worked in the Inland Revenue and was a leader in the Scout Movement. Bob attended the Prebendal School, Chichester (where George Bell confirmed him), then St Paul’s School, Kensington (where the chaplain, Christopher Heath, sowed early seeds regarding ordination). After National Service in the R.A.F., he studied for a BD and the AKC qualification at King’s College, London, with a final year’s preparation for ordination at St Boniface College, Warminster.
Jeffery was ordained deacon at Durham in 1959, priest in 1960, served his title in Sunderland and went to a second curacy with Heath, now at Barnes. At this time he became an associate of the Society of St John the Evangelist, the ‘Cowley Fathers’, supporting their work in UK and the USA thereafter. In 1964, he was appointed assistant to David Paton at ‘M.E.C.C.A.’ as it was then known, and was soon plunged into his work for Lambeth 1968. Ruth Tinling was a colleague on the Council staff – they married in 1968. Subsequently, he was Secretary for Mission and Unity at the British Council of Churches. These two appointments early in his career brought many opportunities to think boldly, write widely, and, more significantly, broadened his knowledge of the churches in Britain, and their leading personalities. This last was a particular gift, so that over time he became known, not least to senior church appointments secretaries, as a master of the grapevine, shrewd and unsentimental in his judgement.
After seven years as Vicar of St Andrew’s, Headington, Oxford, and father now of four children, he was appointed by the radical, Kenneth Skelton, Bishop of Lichfield as his Diocesan Missioner. He went on from that to be one of Skelton’s archdeacons (of Salop). Throughout these two jobs, he was also Vicar of Tong in Shropshire, this leading later to his wonderfully readable and often hilarious Discovering Tong (2007). From 1987 to 1996, Jeffery was Dean of Worcester. The cathedral had already entered on a major restoration programme costing many millions, and Jeffery, working with the canons of the chapter, stonemasons and fundraising laity, saw this through. Despite the demands of the restoration, he found time to publish in 1994 Anima Christi: Reflections on Praying with Christ. A deep shadow fell over his last year at Worcester with the sudden death of Ruth. He was fortunate to be able to move to be Sub-Dean and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, a post that suited him well and helped him, if anything could, in his loss. At Christ Church, he was a wise but lively guardian of the cathedral’s liturgy, also of the high table’s menu, and himself a generous entertainer. No one better informed, he enjoyed identifying candidates for Christ Church’s many parishes and arranging the clergy’s annual summer school. At this time, in 1999, he was awarded a DD by the University of Birmingham. His appointments, to Worcester then Oxford, and a sabbatical tour of Anglican Communion cathedrals, equipped him for his popular training sessions (with John Rogan) for English cathedral staff.
On retirement in 2002, Bob stayed in Oxford, where he developed a particular and unstintingly caring ministry, to the elderly and their families. He was also warmly hospitable, loving to cook for his many guests and to share his incomparable knowledge of the Church of England. This last made him a wonderful conversationalist, watchful over movements in the Church, with a keen eye for nonsense, and for character. He also completed a new translation of The Imitation of Christ (Penguin 2013), wrote innumerable fine obituaries for leading newspapers, and, so long as his own health allowed, went off to preach at funerals and festivities throughout the country and to visit his exceptionally wide circle of friends.
Bob Jeffery was a model Anglican clergyman, with a pastoral heart, an ever-developing spirituality, a broad and liberal theology, and gifts as both preacher and writer – never letting these obstruct his parental concerns, for he was a loving and proud father to his gifted family, Graham, Hilary, Philippa and Charlie, and their children. He will be sorely missed by them and by his many friends.
Brian’s primary education was disrupted. He was evacuated with his mother and younger brother Colin (51-55) to mid Wales during the war. Notwithstanding, Common Entrance to St Paul’s was achieved.
Like many of his sons and grandsons he was six foot at age 12! He excelled in every sporting activity he undertook. First XV colours two years running and Brian also represented the school at boxing, water polo and cross country running. He was also a leading light in the school Combined Cadet Force which stood him in good stead later. He was selected to line the route at King George VI’s funeral.
St Pauls was followed by National Service and he joined the Royal Artillery, spending most of his time in Oldenburg, Germany where he was made regimental sports officer which involved running: rugby, football and cricket teams as well as a dinghy sailing club and passage racing in the Baltic. It was a tough life in the British Army! Later he played rugby for the TA for several years. He even got a promotion during that period.
After National Service he joined the family firm of advertising agents in the city.
His love of rugby continued, being a stalwart of the Old Paulines, for whom he was Captain and later President.
Brian held the record for the most OPFC 1st XV caps. When the records showed that fellow player, Nick Carr (1963-67) had overtaken, it was Nick himself that refused the mantle, arguing vehemently that Brian retains that record, because Brian played many, many games for the OP 1st XV before the records began.
Holidays were invariably Studland, Dorset and there Brian met Mary and together they developed their love of sailing.
As 3 large boys reached their late teens, you’d have thought that 3 boys would have been enough for Brian and Mary. However, when a great family friend, Andrew Puddifoot’s (1977-82) widowed mum died, Brian and Mary didn’t hesitate to offer him a home.
Brian and Mary were always wonderfully welcoming to all. Many evenings after rugby matches, there would be friends, OPs and Ps, at home to feast on Mary’s bean pot and to sup to much of Brian’s fantastic homebrew.
Similarly, many OPs and Ps were welcomed on family sailing holidays, complete novices recall Brian was very patient, kind, engaging and understanding while teaching them the ways of the sea.
When Brian retired early from the city, they moved to Rampisham in Dorset for 30 years, where Brian: renovated houses, was editor and contributed his poems, to “the Chimes” village magazine and an active village supporter. He masterminded and ran the “Grave dodgers” rota to maintain the churchyard and was part of the team that successfully applied for grants to rebuild the community village hall. Then, inside it he read his poems, acted, and gifted his homebrew at Harvest Suppers and quizzes that he organised.
In retirement, new sporting prowess was achieved. Having excelled as prop and backrow, Brian then transformed to distance running! Many age category wins and podium finishes came, notably his 2006 London Marathon – when he ran, on his 70th birthday, the incredible time of 3 hours 57 minutes (see photo). This formally defined him as “elite”, with London Marathon organisers making him an automatic elite invitee for the next year.
Amongst all that, Brian also managed to provide all their needs in fruit and vegetables for a few decades, conceding a tiny area of the garden to lawn. A highlight for the many visitors to Glebe Farm Cottage, Rampisham, was always a tour of the vegetable and fruit plot.
Brian leaves: Mary, wife of 63 years, sons Mark P. Jones (1974-78), Bruce A. P. Jones (75-79), Guy J. P. Jones (1977-82), brother Colin P. Jones (1951-55), nephew Nigel. P. Jones (1977-82), 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
There will be a celebration service and beach party in Studland, Dorset on 13th May.
Written by: Brian’s family. Ed. Guy Jones (1977-82), son.
At St Paul’s, David was a school Prefect, Captain of H Club, an Under Officer in the CCF and a member of the 1st XV and 3rd XI. After National Service, during which he served in Nyasaland and on operations in Malaya, he worked for four years in Baghdad, where he met his wife Nicola.
Returning to the UK after the Iraq Revolution in 1958, he worked for Gestetner Ltd for several years, and then joined Rank Xerox Ltd, with whom he stayed for the rest of his career in sales, sales management and marketing, retiring in 1987.
On retiring he moved to East Devon, where he had owned a home since 1972, and spent many happy years with his wife and children. All in all, as he said, it was a very happy, very contented, very fortunate life.
Brian was born in Twickenham in 1934 to a prosperous family of Billingsgate fish merchants. He attended the Mall School before entering St Paul’s where his genial personality shone through. He raised eyebrows when, in his last school year, he came to school on his powerful motorbike. Leaving school early, he secured a job selling cars at a prestigious Mayfair dealer, which set the pattern for his future career in the motor industry. He quickly joined the OP sports clubs at Thames Ditton, which started him on an amazing membership as an active and popular member spanning almost 70 years.
At rugby, he played mostly for the 2nd or 3rd XV in those halcyon days when the OPs ran up to 7 rugby sides. At cricket, he was a stalwart of the 2nd XI and will always be remembered for hitting a huge six onto the roof of an adjacent bungalow against Datchet C.C that prompted his skipper, Neil Fitch (1955-60), to call him ‘Bunga’ – the name that stuck to him for the rest of his life. After retirement from field sports, he continued as a very regular attender at TD and joined rugby and cricket tours. He was also a tennis and squash player and in his eighties played croquet.
Bunga became a prominent member of the OP golf society. As past captain, he managed matches against Fulwell Golf club for over 40 years and played until he was 80. In his seventies he was elected a VP of the OP Club to add to his Vice Presidencies of the Golf and Rugby clubs.
Bunga married twice and then had a final good run of 25 years with his partner Jane. His children kept in close and loving contact. Jane sadly died in 2019 after a short illness and her demise upset him so that he quickly declined himself, becoming too weak to fight some underlying health problems. Bunga will be sadly missed.
Howard Manuel, who died in August last year at the age of 81, was a proud ex Pauline who talked of his time at school with obvious affection. Whilst at St Paul’s it was always assumed that he would become a classicist but, following an appendicectomy in adolescence, he set his heart on becoming a doctor, studying at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and the Middlesex Hospital.
Howard had a lifelong fascination with the army and embarked on a military career aged 13 by joining the school Combined Cadet Force. This training continued during his three years at University, where he was a part of the Officer Training Corps and on qualifying, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corp. He specialised in Pathology becoming a Senior Specialist in Pathology, awarded first prize by the Royal Army Medical Corps in Military Medicine, Army Health and Pathology. Howard served in Malaysia and Borneo and was posted to Singapore, Germany and Hong Kong.
One of the highlights of Howard’s army medical career was his role as Medical Officer on active service to the 2nd King Edward II’s Own Gurkha Rifles in the Borneo Jungle in 1965. Howard clearly made his mark with the Gurkhas and they talk with pride of his heroic actions following an ambush in September 1965 when he volunteered to trek into the jungle swamps for many hours to treat an injured man in enemy territory and stay with him until a helicopter was flown in. To their knowledge, no other Medical Officer at that time in Borneo had done such a thing and they were clearly enormously impressed with his commitment and skill at keeping the man alive. Howard never told his family about the incident. They found out when news of his death reached the Ghurkha Battalion.
Howard married Gloria Balloch in 1961 and they went on to have three children. The family lived in Singapore, Germany and Hong Kong before settling in Surrey. Having reached the rank of of Lieutenant Colonel he retired from the army in 1979, though continued his relationship by joining the TA, Royal Yeomanry in 1980 as Regimental Medical Officer. Howard became a GP in 1979, practicing in Pimlico for over twenty years. He continued learning, gaining additional qualifications in Tropical Medicine, Care of the Elderly, Care of the Homeless and Women’s Health.
Howard was a passionate and committed doctor who was clearly adored by his patients. He continued working as a Locum GP until 18 months before his death. He and Gloria separated in in 1994 and he went on to live with retired army nurse Maura Mulhern until her death in 2016. Howard died unexpectedly on the 6th August 2019 and is survived by his children Chris, Nicky and Katy, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Gordon was born in Hong Kong in 1935 to Freda Amy and Frank Gordon. From the age of six to ten he was imprisoned by the Japanese in Camp Stanley together with his mother and two younger brothers. He never said much about this remarkable experience. When they were freed, they sailed to England, a country he didn’t know. On board he met his father again on his way home from a camp in Japan. By some miracle, they had all made it – and made it out on the same ship.
Here, he went to St. Paul’s school as a boarder, staying in Colet House, and became head boy as well as Head of F Club. He both played rugby, captaining the Colts XV in 1951, and rowed for the school. He was very proud of the fact that his education was paid through scholarships.
He would go and visit his parents who had returned to live in Hong Kong in summer by flying boat. An old Short Sunderland converted from a WWII coastal patrol plane. The journey involved first traveling to Genoa by train, then five days of flying which involved crossing to Alexandria, Karachi, Calcutta, Rangoon, through the Himalayas (as the aircraft couldn’t fly over them), and Bangkok. In those days the pilot would make a detour to show you the pyramids or the golden dome in Rangoon.
He lined the street as a young Naval Cadet at King George VI’s funeral and cheered in the street at the coronation of Elizbeth II. After school, he served two years national service in the British Army, first in Wales, then was quickly selected to become an officer, training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot. He then served in Hong Kong as second-lieutenant in the 27th light battery.
His two years up, he read history at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he slept in John Milton’s room. Here he renewed his passion for rowing, and found a new one: poetry. He went straight into the Christ’s 1st VIII and was Captain of Boats in 1958/59, the year the college won the Michell Cup. He was very proud to be the first captain of boats to get a II-1 in a very long time.
He then went to Japan to work for Shell. He was a very imaginative man and used pioneering remote sensing techniques to identify and buy land for his company as Tokyo’s population exploded. He learned fluent Japanese in a year and made many friends. He fell in love with the country, its landscape and its arts. He had forgiven all for the horrific experiences he experienced in wartime, and focused on what was important in life and what was good in people.
Here in Japan, Gordon also learned another great passion: skiing. He would take night train out of Tokyo to Hakuba at the weekends to ski. He was called up to join the British Olympic coaching team at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, where he acted as an interpreter. He also took part in the athlete’s parade.
Gordon then went to London Business School in its earliest years to study business, starting his career as a consultant in London with the UK’s premier management consultancy firm, Urwick, Orr and Partners and travelled extensively. He spent a long time on Turkey and went skiing and climbing in the Lake District, Scotland and Austria, then Zermatt, where he met Suzanne who was to become his wife in 1970.
A month later they married in London, and a month after that in the Münster in Berne. They were married for 52 years, initially living in a small mews house in Holland Park and spending weekends with his family in Hayward’s Heath, cutting a dashing figure in his AC Aceca Bristol sports car, “the Bomb”.
Eventually, he was sent by Urwick Orr, to Milan to start an office. First, he stayed in a monastery in Perugia and learned fluent Italian. Here, he used his creativity to lead a successful career, and developed and put into practice a number of management methodologies, in particular developing a methodology for Overhead Cost Management that became an exceptionally successful product and made his name in business. When Urwick, Orr was bought out by Price Waterhouse in 1984, Gordon was made a Partner in Price Waterhouse in Milan, with his office eventually becoming the Mediterranean HQ for PW.
That’s when he felt the need to slow down. He and Suzanne moved to Switzerland and started a family. They found Torre, in the southern Alps, where they built a house. Here, he found happiness and peace.
In later years he was severely affected by Parkinson’s disease. As he began to get trapped more and more in his body, he rekindled his passion for poetry. He refused to give up. He was always positive and he fought for every movement and for every moment. He ran and went cross country skiing into a surprisingly old age, and was in his garden up until his last day.
He is survived by his wife, Suzanne, his daughter Frances and son Andrew, and his granddaughter Eleni.
Peter Alexander Mawer was born in Putney on the 19 April 1941 and lived there for most of his life. He attended Willington School in Putney and in later years became a governor of the school. He went to St Paul’s in 1954 and departed three years later to attend the College of Estate Management in Kensington to qualify as a Chartered Auctioneer, Estate Agent and subsequently as a Chartered Surveyor. He then joined his lifelong friend and fellow OP David Cons in the Estates Department of the Legal and General Assurance Society in Aldwych and then the City.
He moved on in the mid-sixties to Montague Evans to do valuation and professional work where he became an Associate partner. Peter’s father was an Estate Agent in Putney and when he died suddenly in 1980, Peter left Montague Evans to take over his late father’s practice.
Peter was a rower at school and joined Vesta Rowing Club in 1959 whose boathouse is on Putney Embankment. He subsequently became a Life Vice President. For a number of years he was an official at the annual Head of the River regatta.
Peter married Lesley and whilst Peter had no children, Lesley had a son and daughter and grandchildren who bought love and laughter into his life and home.
Peter’s great interests were in music particularly Jazz and the Arts. He had a wide circle of friends including a number from School and was an authority on theatre, ballet and films. He enjoyed his life and walked the towpath from his home most days, as well as practicing Pilates and yoga. Peter and Lesley also gave wonderful parties at their house to watch the start of the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race each year.
He was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer last July and after several months of painful treatment, he died peacefully earlier this year.
He will be sadly missed by Lesley, his step children and his many friends.
Charles was born in Surrey in 1941. He predominantly spent his early years in Surrey, travelling for a year to Val Pariso, Chile to visit family.
Following preparatory school at Micklefield and Hawthorn’s, Charles gained a scholarship to St Paul’s School in 1954. Whilst academic, Charles also enjoyed and participated in the Combined Cadet Force, Rugby, Swimming and Boxing teams. He continued to play rugby for the Old Paulines. Charles spoke fondly of his time at St Paul’s and the friendships he made.
Charles followed in his father’s footsteps when he took up a career in accountancy with Price Waterhouse. Accountancy underpinned his further careers in Outdoor Advertising and Computer Software, but mainly a long career in Travel and Tourism. This started with Whitehall Travel in the 1960s. He then progressed to Lord Brothers, Lakers, and Ellerman Sunflight. Charles latterly ran his own travel business. He was a founder member of the Institute of Travel and Tourism and was honoured with a “Fellowship” for his work in the travel business. He was also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. Charles was highly respected in the travel industry by his colleagues and by his clients. He always enjoyed working in travel and this interest continued when he retired.
Alongside travel, Charles’ keen interest was motor racing and rallying. This began with Mini Coopers and subsequently Austin Healy Sprites. He would travel to Brands Hatch, Thruxton, Silverstone and other circuits competing in races. This passion also took him abroad where the Porsche 928 team successfully won the Porsche Beaujolais Run three years in a row, using his keen and accurate navigating skills to achieve the shortest distance between two points. As a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists he became an “Observer” in order to pass on his skills to others.
Charles had a positive outlook on life, a twinkle in his eye and an impish sense of humour that was very infectious. In addition to his many interests, Charles always had time to help others, both by arranging and engaging in charity and church events and through teaching and supporting people. Reverend Canon Les Wells described Charles as “a man of God”. St Paul’s ethos is to ensure its education is spiritual and holistic, as well as academic. Charles’ life was entirely underpinned by this principal. He worked hard at a successful career whilst also ensuring those whom he met felt at ease, supported and educated. He took a genuine interest in others.
Charles is survived by his wife Sue, daughters Katherine and Elizabeth and four grandchildren. He died peacefully at home with his family by his side. He is sorely missed by them, his church and friendship group, who are blessed with many beautiful memories.
Image: Jonathan Miller pictured with Oliver Sacks OP
Miller was born in St John’s Wood in 1934. His mother Betty (née Spiro) had published her first novel at 23 and his father Emmanuel was an eminent paediatric psychiatrist.
He wrote of his schooldays, ‘I went to St Paul’s, initially as a classicist, but after two years I changed to biology. It was then I encountered a rather miraculous teacher called Sid Pask.’
In an interview in the 1982 edition of The Pauline, Miller described how he met his wife, Rachel Collet: ‘My wife was at St. Paul’s Girls’ School. There was a play-reading society called the Milton Society, and once a year we had a joint play-reading with the Girls’ School: we met in the Walker Library round a great big table.’
After a double first at Cambridge, Miller moved to University College, London qualifying as a doctor in 1959. It was in 1960 when a house surgeon at UCH that he was asked to take part in Beyond the Fringe with Alan Bennett, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. The revue was a massive success and ran for 3 years. On returning from a tour in New York, Miller was offered a job as editor of the BBC arts programme Monitor. There followed a glittering artistic career. He became artistic director of the Old Vic, directed more than 50 operas (without being able to read music), films and TV plays and wrote 15 books.
But he was often drawn back to medicine. From 1970-73 he was research fellow in the history of medicine at UCL and in 1984 studied neuropsychology at McMaster University in Canada. Miller was haunted by his mother’s death from Alzheimer’s disease (he was later diagnosed with it) and so helped found the Alzheimer’s Society becoming its President in 1984.
Miller was featured in this spring’s Atrium. On reading Last Word, Peter Kraushar (1947-53) was moved to write in, ‘I have never met anyone with more gifts or who had done more in his life: an extraordinary man.’
Tony Naldrett was one of the world’s best known experts in the study of nickel and platinum group element deposits. During an outstanding academic career Tony undertook research on most of the world’s magnetic sulphide ores in Australia, Zambia, China and various areas of North America but it was his work in Norilsk, Russia and the Bushveld in South Africa for which he is best known.
Born in 1933 Tony grew up near Weybridge in Surrey and attended St. Georges College where he was a bright pupil and did well academically and in his School Certificate. However, being keen for him to get into Cambridge University, his parents then enrolled him at St Paul’s to complete his schooling and where he took up rowing. Tony was tall for his age, which was noted by the rowing coach, the legendary Freddie Page who trained him for the 1st VIII. In his last year, 1951, he rowed for the school at Henley Royal Regatta, dead heating with Winchester and beating them in the re-row, only to lose to Radley the next day! Tony believed it was the confidence he gained at St Paul’s and from rowing that was to help him to qualify for pilot training when he joined the RAF for his National Service where he learnt to fly Tiger Moths, Chipmunks and finally Meteor jets.
On leaving the Air force in 1953, Tony went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge to study Chemistry and continue rowing. The Natural Sciences tripos required three allied subjects and, with rowing taking up the afternoons, he had to chose subjects with lectures in the mornings, one which fitted these criteria was geology, which quickly became his chief interest and developed his career.
From Cambridge, Tony went to Canada and worked in Sudbury Ontario as a mine geologist. After two years, his interest in mineral deposits required further study so he went to Queen’s University Ontario where he achieved his Ph.D. After two years as a fellow at the Carnegie Institute in Washington, Tony returned to Canada to take up a position as assistant professor at the University of Toronto where he combined his love of research with lecturing. Tony was made a full professor in 1972.
During his outstanding academic career Tony published over 200 scientific papers and 62 books or chapters in books. He was awarded a DSc from Laurentian University and University of Pretoria. He was visiting Professor at the Universities of Orleans, Florida, Witwatersrand and Royal Holloway College. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and won awards from Institutions and Museums around the world. In 2005 he had the honour of having a newly discovered mineral named after him – Naldrettite.
After retiring from the University of Toronto in 1998 Tony continued his research in many countries around the world, which continued after he returned to England in 2003 until shortly before his death.
Image: Dennis Napier as Marcus Brutus in a school production of Julius Caesar, January 1952
Dennis spent his early years living in London. He narrowly escaped death during the war when a flying bomb landed on a nearby house. He and his younger brother John were evacuated twice, in 1940 and 1944 (following the flying bomb escape) which for both boys was happily a good experience. He attended St Paul’s School where he developed a love for Classics and acting. After National Service in the Royal Artillery based in Yorkshire and Germany, he continued his love for Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Leaving Cambridge, after a brief spell teaching at Charterhouse School, he moved to Eastbourne and taught Classics at Eastbourne College. He met his future wife, Henrietta, through a relative, and they married in 1961. They had three children, Alice, Andrew and James.
Dennis moved from teaching into a career in publishing, specialising initially in educational publishing (Cassell’s, Longmans, Oliver & Boyd) and later in religious publishing (The Bible Society and Bible Reading Fellowship). This meant a number of moves for the family, to Edinburgh, Harlow, Cambridge and back to London.
On retirement to Chichester, Dennis enjoyed having time to read and travel, including family holidays on the Norfolk Broads (where he revisited the places where he had first learned to sail in the late 1940s), in France (where the family owned a house in Normandy), Crete and the Isle of Wight. At home in Chichester he and Henrietta shared a love of gardening, reading, walking their beloved Norfolk Terriers, seeing friends and family and enjoying the theatre.
Dennis had a profound Christian faith which gave him great comfort throughout his life and particularly when his health declined after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. He and Henrietta were regulars at their church. He was a very kind and compassionate man, always putting the needs of others first. He is greatly missed by his wife, friends and family.
Peter escaped from Czechoslovakia in January 1939 with the help of the Barbican Mission to the Jews. Aged 4 ½ he was one of the first refugee Jewish children to be flown out of Prague to Croydon Airport. With good fortune and hard work he won a scholarship to St Paul’s School in 1947 where he was taught by the dream team of Cotter and Cruickshank and made lifelong friendships.
From St Paul’s he won an open scholarship to study Classics at Oriel College Oxford. After Oriel he spent 2 years completing National Service, which he loathed. His duties were restricted as he was considered a security risk as his father was in Government Service in East Germany.
With his love of Classics, Peter became a school teacher firstly at Bromsgrove School and then at Magdalen College School where he spent 4 happy years before moving to Eton in 1964. Here he found contentment and worked happily for over 30 years.
We married in 1971 and Peter became a devoted family man with two wonderful children and, over the years, 3 badly behaved border collies, the last one joining us in retirement in Datchet in 1998.
Although he rowed at Oriel, Peter was not a natural sportsman, however he was a devoted Arsenal fan from an early age until his sudden death in March this year.
While still teaching he translated two books from German into English. “Caesar” by Matthias Gelzer and “Latin Can Be Fun” by Georg Capellanus. Shortly before retirement Peter translated “A Bear Called Paddington” by Michael Bond into Latin (“Ursus nomine Paddington”).
In early retirement Peter translated the first two “Harry Potter” books into Latin, “Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis” and “Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum”. This occupied and helped him adjust to a slower pace of life.
Reflecting on Peter’s life a friend wrote of his “… escape from Czechoslovakia to Oxford and Eton and finally Paddington and Datchet followed by Hogwarts. What a life”.
David died peacefully at home, a year after deciding to discontinue chemotherapy for his metastatic bowel cancer. His father was London manager of a Scottish canvas-making company and after wartime evacuation from the Essex coast to Hertfordshire he later moved his family to Twickenham so that his son could more easily attend St Paul’s School. Here, David excelled at Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry but was always a practical rather than theoretical scientist. His hobby as a youngster was tinkering with wireless and he later enjoyed the maintenance and repair of his BSA motorbike. After leaving St Paul’s, he did his National Service with the Royal Signals and then was a Scholar at Corpus Christi College Cambridge. He was awarded a first class degree in Mechanical Sciences with Part II in Electrical Engineering.
After graduating, he joined Decca Radar as a design engineer and stayed with the company until his retirement. His Cambridge course included work with the then new semi-conductor devices and so he was well placed to introduce the use of transistors to replace valves in marine radar and airborne navigation equipment. He was particularly involved with the design of the airborne Doppler 70 which was installed in many fixed and rotary winged aircraft for both civil and military use. These included the Buccaneer, TSR2, Lynx, Sea Harrier and Tornado. He was proud that Decca were given the Queen’s Award for both technical innovation and for outstanding export achievement. Later in his career he was appointed Quality Manager for what was now Racal Avionics, responsible for the quality assurance of all projects both in development and in production -a position well suited to his meticulous attention to detail.
In his retirement, David gave a lot of time to his hobby of model engineering, building passenger-hauling locomotives which he ran at the Guildford Model Engineering Society of which he was a long-standing and active member. He married Shirley Smith of Girton College Cambridge and they had three children and four grandchildren. They greatly enjoyed walking holidays in Switzerland, Shirley studying the flowers and David appreciating the efficiency of the Swiss transport system and the amazing feats of railway engineering while both loved the wonderful scenery.
Associate Professor Michael H Pritchard (1951-56), 1938-2020
Born in Southampton, England on 10 August 1938, Michael died in Auckland, New Zealand aged 82, on 18 August 2020. His mother, widowed when he was six, worked as a housekeeper to send him to Colet Court from 1944, and St Paul’s School (1951-56), where he flourished as a choirboy, rower and scholastically. Rejecting a place at the University of Cambridge (then not offering geology), Michael graduated with an Aberystwyth University Bachelor of Science. Aged 23 – with a young family (eventually seven children, fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren), he migrated to New Zealand in 1961 to take up a position with the Ministry of Works, going on to study Town Planning at the University of Auckland. Recruited to the staff in 1965, he helped fashion Planning education in New Zealand, then an emerging discipline and profession. He established the New Zealand Planning Institute’s professional journal, Town Planning Quarterly while writing a regular newspaper column to enhance public recognition and understanding. An outstanding teacher, he received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1994). Prominent in academic leadership, he headed the Planning Department (1990-93) and the Faculty of Architecture, Property, Planning and Fine Arts (1996-2004). Michael was also a community activist and at the forefront of New Zealand’s heritage and environmental movements. He entered local politics in his home suburb of Devonport, as a councillor (1971-83) and Deputy Mayor (1977-80): reversing an unpopular seabed reclamation development; and pioneering anti-nuclear, recycling and open-government policies. Research on co-operative arrangements translated into practical veggie, arts and crafts, and farming ventures. Chairing the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust (1990-2000), he inaugurated the internationally acclaimed product assessment Environmental Choice label. Unstinting in retirement, he advocated for coastal reserves and military heritage protection. A visionary polymath, talented in harmonising discordant voices towards constructive transformation, Michael’s New Zealand legacy is substantial. St Paul’s provided the foundation: a reverence for knowledge and the obligation to pass it on.
Nicholas attended St Paul’s School from 1954 to 1958 and was at Colet Court, St Paul’s Preparatory School prior to that.
Nicholas was above all a family man . In the latter part of his life he was able to have his family around him in their own accommodation in the grounds of Pound Farm, near Exeter . The family included Nicholas and Alison, his wife , his son, who needs special care for his disabilities, and his daughter and son-in-law with their 3 fun loving and gifted sons. His and Alison’s home has always been busy and full of life. The family look forward to that continuing following the pandemic of Covid19 and the need to self-isolate.
Nicholas, being dyslexic, didn’t find the academic life of St Paul’s easy but he always said how much he appreciated being part of such a disciplined and illustrious school and felt the school had set him up for life. He went on to agricultural college at Cirencester, now a university, and then became a land agent. He met and married Alison at a young age. They lived first of all in York where Nicholas pursued his career as a land agent and Alison worked as a nurse. Nicholas had wanted to be a farmer initially but he became a land agent managing multiple farms which he really enjoyed
Nicholas worked with Smiths Gore in York and then, in 1972 he worked with Bernard Thorp and Partners in Hereford. Nicholas had always wanted to live in his beloved Devon. The first few years of his life had been spent in Dartmouth but after the war the family had moved to London. Town life was not for Nick and so came the desire to look for a farm in Devon. He first of all worked with Kivells in Holsworthy and then set up his own business at Pound Farm. Alison was able to continue her nursing career working in schools in the nearby city. Nicholas also had a connection with Scotland right up on the North coast where they visited for holidays.
Nicholas became a successful land agent and was respected by many and throughout his life called on by many for assistance with various land issues even to within a few weeks of his death. Although his business deals and family life were all-consuming plus the book he was writing he, and Alison, nevertheless found time to reach out and care for people who were vulnerable and struggling. This quality continues in the whole family and many have benefitted both from personal interest and an experience of being valued and encouraged.
Nicholas had an endearing and sometimes unusual sense of humour. Visitors as they came to the door could be surprised by a fish that would sing , or a beefy voice singing a Christmas carol or flowers that would dance a welcome. Whoever came would be drawn into the sittingroom through the entrance hall full of paintings, photographs, cartoon sketches. Outside on the lawn were old cannons and sculptures of animals.
Nicholas believed in land conservation and was developing a wood close to the Pound and was glad to receive little oak tree plants and other species given to him from time to time.
Nicholas had, and Alison and the family still express it, a great generosity of heart. This undoubtedly had something to do not only with his own ups and downs of his life but with his faith. Nicholas wrote of himself as, like C.S. Lewis, a reluctant Christian but one, who like C.S.Lewis had been surprised by joy. Reluctant because his own selfconfidence and independence were shaken by a greater Love and greater Truth (and he had only gone to the meetings to support his wife! ). He was baptised in 1981 and his love for and his faith in Jesus characterised his life ever since in his family, his work and his reaching out to others who needed encouragement in different ways. Nicholas was also able to acknowledge in retrospect how spiritually important St Paul’s had been.
Nicholas might be declared a character by some but his ability to think outside the box also enabled him , with a merry twinkle in his eye, to reinterpret in a positive way someone’s problem such it often became a life enhancing opportunity. The large numbers who attended his Thanksgiving service in the local village church is testament to the warmth, love, and respect in which he was held.
Written by: Catherine Whitehead, friend of Alison Randall
My husband always spoke fondly of his childhood and teenage years at his family home at Broom Water, Teddington. The youngest of 3 children, he went to school at the Mall and then at St. Paul’s School. His father died when Clive was sixteen and Clive left school to begin an apprenticeship in electrical engineering. Old cars and car repair became his teenage passion. His first car was a 3wheeler Morgan, which he restored in front of his family home. Broom Water soon became a gathering place for likeminded youngsters from which life-long friendships sprung. Quoting a friend: “…so many early memories of parties, pubs, motor racing and crazy driving…” Many of his early friends remember especially the parties. At the age of 15 he and a 14year old friend hitch-hiked to Spain together. His friend quotes “times were different then. We had a small tent and a primus stove and not much money. I remember sleeping one night in a farmer’s barn. For sustenance we had helped ourselves to what we thought was corn on the cob in a field but it was cattle feed, too hard even after long boiling.”
His apprenticeship broken off, he worked in a pub for a while and then took a job in a city firm for some years until his brother, who worked in Milan at the time, encouraged him to look for opportunities abroad and learn another language. Milan is where I entered his life. We met in 1968 at a social club where young people of different nationalities gathered. Clive had by then studied Italian at Perugia and taught English, but recently taken on an agency for an American firm who worked with Italian companies specialising in colour separation for quality fine art reproductions. After 3 years he was sent to Japan, to explore further business opportunities. I joined him soon after and we travelled in Japan, then around the globe together. We got married in Reno, Nevada, on the way to New York. Back in Italy, we had our first baby, a son, but he was born with a heart defect and died aged 3 month. Within the year we had another baby, a son again, who helped to lighten our grief.
In 1975 changing work circumstances led us to look for a new direction in life. Having both read “Self Sufficiency” by John Seymour we decided to leave Italy and practise a sustainable, largely organic way of life in West Wales, where Clive had spent summer holidays in his childhood. The smallholding we bought and settled on, Ffosyffin, became our home for the rest of our lives. Within 3 years we had another son and daughter and built up a small Jersey herd to sell milk and make cheese and butter for us. We joined the Organic Movement and went to meetings and farm walks with likeminded people. Clive approached his new tasks methodically, buying a tractor and all necessary farm implements at auctions, fertilising and rotating crops. He sowed oats, barley and wheat. He reaped the oats with a binder and I baked bread for us from the wheat. One summer was so wet that our hay rotted in the field and the oats sprouted in the stooks. Despite the struggle and setbacks, we later looked back on those times with nostalgia. We had many good neighbours and friends helped with the haymaking. The children had a wonderful, memorable childhood.
After 8 years of farming we had an opportunity to go on a long-needed holiday. A group of people offered to take on the running of the farm while we went travelling. Leaving on a cold wet day in March the whole family headed for Portugal in an old camper van. We camped by the sea wherever life was cheap and let the sun restore our health after a particularly bad winter in Wales. The children had lessons from us in the mornings and we explored our surroundings in the afternoons. Motoring back in the summer via Spain and Italy – visiting friends on the way – we remained with my parents in Bavaria for a while. When we came back to our little farm at the end of August, Clive declared “I never want to milk a cow again for the rest of my life”.
Instead he started a small business. Metal work was his forte and he began to make small goods and livestock trailers. He also fitted towbars. We named it DIY Trailers. The shed where we had reared calves and kept a breeding sow was turned into a storeroom and workshop for trailer parts and accessories, sheet aluminium and stainless steel, and soon reverberated with the sound of hammering, cutting, drilling and welding. He traded at local farmers markets and agricultural shows and became known as “Clive trailers” and I was “Mrs. DIY”. In order to be competitive, Clive had to keep prices low. We never made much money but we got by and I took on jobs, too. Clive ran the business for 25 years and became known for his fair dealings with customers. He had a winning way with some of the old members of the local farming community, “the old boys” as he called them, to draw them into a chat, and he took on a local lad as an apprentice. Farmers bought his trailer kits for their son’s school projects.
During his business years Clive took up dinghy sailing in Cardigan Bay and participated in weekly competitions in the summer. He would always smile when he was in a boat, a long cherished dream come true. In the late nineties and with the help of the internet, family history research became his next pastime. He joined the local Family History branch and took an active part in its running. While researching his own family tree, he found long-lost relatives in America, Canada and New Zealand and organised a big family reunion in England, after which he remained in touch with them until the end of his life. He took a keen interest in politics and joined the local branch of the Liberal Party in his later life. In the 12 years of his retirement he was never in want of something to do. He could mend almost anything that broke and never threw anything away which he deemed useful. In his later years he made simple and beautiful items of wood as gifts for the children.
The children and I will always cherish the memory of Clive for the gentle man he was, his sense of humour and especially his smile. He was a loving husband and father and proud of his family. He was also a truly self-made man who lived firmly by his principles, which he also passed on to his children. His death on February 5 last year aged 75 was unexpected. His final resting place is close by in a beautiful spot in the woodland we planted together.
John Riddy has gone. It is difficult to believe because he was a true eccentric of Falstaffian
proportion who seemed indestructible. He made his mark as a bibliophile, a book collector, and built a private library on eighteenth and nineteenth century history of India. At one time his British India collection based on a large section of the old Bombay Yacht Club’s library was the largest of its kind in private hands. He scoured second-hand bookshops wherever he happened to be in order to enhance his collection.
By profession he became a university administrator. He was educated at St Paul’s School where among his brilliant classmates were Jonathan Miller, Kenneth Baker, Oliver Sacks and Eric Korn. He won a history scholarship to Hertford College, Oxford, but before going up to university he joined that select band of extremely gifted linguists who were taught Russian on National Service. He was taken into the RAF and once qualified spent most of his service in 1953 and1954 on flying patrols over the North Sea monitoring and translating transmissions from Russian spy trawlers.
He was taught at Hertford College by the historians Felix Markham and John Armstrong. They reckoned him to be the cleverest and most quixotic of their students. Immediately after graduating, he went to India and worked for three years as a factor in Bombay.
In 1961 he returned to Oxford University and became an assistant registrar. From there in 1965 with his wife, Felicity Maidment, he went to the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria as a Deputy Registrar. As one of the few remaining Europeans on the campus at the time of the 1966 Ibo massacres, he was forced to watch the atrocity, and was largely responsible for cleaning up the university grounds. After that traumatic experience they came back to the UK to take up positions at the new University of Stirling.
While acting as Vacation Lettings Controller he also taught some courses on Commonwealth literature. He retired early and his wife concentrated on her career which took them to the University of York. There John flourished. They lived in the village of Wilberfoss and he gave much of his time to book-collecting. From time to time he decided that his library was growing too large and would give a substantial part to the Borthwick Institute at York, but each time the collection quickly grew again.
He was a humorous, expansive, ebullient, generous, kind man. He could be outrageously Rabbelasian but an endearing, entertaining host, even though at times he would leave the dinner table, lie down on the floor and snooze for twenty minutes. He had a taste for Havana cigars and kept a filing cabinet of rare malt whiskies in his garage. He had no time for the glass half full or half empty philosophy; for him the glass was always full. He made sure that his guests followed his beliefs; a sip or two and the glass was immediately replenished to the brim. In his later years he took to collecting eighteenth century prints of country houses and cartoons by the great satirists. Occasionally he would tire of a picture or two and take them to his ‘lady in Pocklington’ who would buy them for resale in her jumble and curiosity shop. Some seven or eight weeks later he was known to return to her shop and try to buy them back again not remembering that he had previously sold them to her.
Regrettably he never published a book on British India but gave lectures and wrote articles which illuminated various aspects of Indian history mostly to do with the Mutiny and its aftermath. He was one of the last in the long tradition of gentleman scholars, learned, eloquent in style and diction, and captivating in the telling of historical anecdotes.
John Charles Philip Riddy was born on 21st June, 1934 and died at home on 29th April, 2017.
Peter was a boarder at High House from 1953 to 1957 and a pupil of Sid Pask. He went on to study forestry at Bangor University and afterwards he took up the role of Assistant Conservator of Forests in Sierra Leone.
In 1966 he returned to the UK and worked in the Northern Ireland Forest Service. He managed to combine a busy working life with academic study. In 1971 he completed an MSc in Forestry at Bangor, and in 1977 a PhD at Queen’s University, Belfast.
His unrivalled combination of professional experience and research expertise made him the perfect candidate for the post of University Lecturer in Silviculture at the Commonwealth Forestry Institute in Oxford in 1980. Here, he lectured on forestry to undergraduates taking the BA in Agriculture and Forest Sciences.
He taught for the M.Sc. course in Forestry and became course director in 1996. More than 570 students graduated under Peter’s watch and it was as a teacher that he has left his most important impact. His students describe a kind, gentle and above all humane man who took a genuine interest in their development and who inspired their studies. He was a fellow of Linacre College, where he served first as Senior Tutor and then as Vice Principal.
Peter was author of four important books. His “Silviculture of Trees Used in British Forestry” is described perfectly on Amazon as “the Bible”. His 90 peer reviewed research papers, supervision of 26 DPhil students and more than 50 MSc dissertations are an eloquent tribute to his long-lasting contribution to our understanding of British forests and forestry in particular. His contribution was recognised by the Royal Forestry Society in 2007, by the presentation of its Gold Medal – a rarely awarded honour. It is poignant that, just as the world is waking up to the fundamental importance of trees and forests to human well-being, we have lost the very man who might have been our wisest guide.
Peter is survived by his wife Michelle whom he married in 2004.
Written by: Martin Savill OP (1955-61), brother, and Dr Nick Brown, Principal of Linacre College, Oxford University
David Sherwin was trained in marine engineering by the Royal Navy in which he served for 19 years. He then took an MSc in Quality & Reliability (Q&R) Engineering at the University of Birmingham and a PhD in Reliability Applied to Maintenance at Loughborough University of Technology.
After two years with Y-ARD Ltd., a marine and off-shore consultancy, as Senior Consultant in Reliability, he returned to Birmingham University in 1980 where he taught and researched in Q&R and Maintenance Optimisation for 10 years. He was then appointed Professor of Maintenance Engineering at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, and as Professor of Terotechnology at Lund and Växjö Universities in Sweden in 1993.
Dr Sherwin was a Chartered Engineer (UK), a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, formerly a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and the Institution of Plant Engineers and a Fellow of the I.E.Aust.
He was also an inaugural member of the International Foundation for Research in Maintenance from its conception in 1986 famous for its workshops held across the world.
He retired in 2002 to Perth, Western Australia, where he took part in the discussions and conferences of the Asset Management Society. Lately he had moved to Esperance, Western Australia, to be nearer family.
He was a proud father of two and a delighted grandfather to four and is survived by his wife, Diana (nee Merwood), his two daughters Caroline and Erica, and three grandchildren, Alex, Carina and Yasmin.
Lance, youngest son of Ivy and Victor Slater, was a Londoner born and bred; he grew up around Shepherds Bush. During the Blitz, he was evacuated with his older brothers, Geoffrey and David, to Pucklechurch near Bristol. Luckily for him, it was quite a pleasant experience.
On his return to London, Lance started school. He was very grateful for the education he received and was forever telling people that he went to St Paul’s.
In 1956, he was called up for National Service, during which he learnt Mandarin and spent a year in Hong Kong on military service. Afterwards, he came home and gained a BSc in Estate Management at London University.
Lance then worked in London for 20 years before specialising in commercial property in the Thames Valley area and eventually setting up his own business: Slater Associates, in Marlow.
Following two heart attacks in his 40s, he had a successful 4-way bypass operation in 2003, which was the start of official retirement but not inactivity.
A great sportsman and life-long supporter of Fulham FC, football and rugby were his first loves. He played football and squash until his heart attacks, after which he transferred to golf. He enjoyed playing a good round at Flackwell Heath Golf Club until September 2022.
Lance was an active member of the Marlow community and loved being involved in local matters. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Marlow, of which he was President in 1998, and a founding member and Vice President of Marlow Town Regatta and Festival. He was also a member of Marlow Chamber of Trade, and took his turn at being President.
Lance was a very involved and happy family man. He had three daughters: Hilary, Gillian and Sarah, two step-sons: Chris and Martin, two great grandchildren: Holly and Tom, and wife Pauline.
Lance was loved by all who knew him: a one off, very special gentleman.
In 1943 Peter attended Colet Court and then St Paul’s between 1945 – 1952. Peter rowed with the First Eight and had the incredible experience of rowing at the Henley Royal regatta in 1951 and 1952.
Peter’s National Service began in September 1953 and after 6 weeks training, he applied for a commission. Peter passed the War Office Selection Board Examination and in 1954, attended Eton Hall Officer cadet school. After 18 months, he was granted a regular commission as Lieutenant and was given the choice of a post to Germany or East Africa. He chose the more exciting post at Nyeri, Kenya as second in command before filling a Captain’s vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya in 1956. It was here that he met his wife, Shona.
He decided to stay in East Africa and resigned his commission in 1958 and joined Sterling-Winthrop International, a US Pharmaceutical company. Serving his apprenticeship between 1958 and 1960 in Kampala, Uganda, his training in commerce was tough but paid off having been appointed Manager for that region.
He was married to Shona in St Andrew’s Church, Nairobi in October 1959.
Peter followed a successful business career in Africa where in 1961 he was transferred to Eastern Nigeria as Area Manager. Then promoted as Winthrop Division Nigeria Manager to Lagos (1964 – 1968). Here the expat social life centred around the yacht club, taking up sailing and made lifelong friends.
Peter was then transferred to Accra, Ghana (1969 – 1970) appointed as Country Manager.
Sterling transferred the family to South Africa (SA) in 1971 where Peter was Area Manager in Johannesburg and then moved to Head Office in Durban where he was promoted to Manager of the Winthrop Division for SA in 1978 and then Manager of the Sterling Division SA in 1984. He was then appointed Marketing Director in 1988 and then Export General Manager in 1992 for the Adcock Ingram Group, which succeeded Sterling-Winthrop SA in 1988. During this period, his achievements were the opening of markets in Eastern Europe and the Far East.
Taking early retirement in 1996 Peter and Shona returned to the UK. Retirement meant travel and meeting up with those African Expat friends.
A successful businessman and much-loved family man Peter passed away in July 2022 aged 88. He was married to Shona for 62 years and they had two children, Graham and Louise.
Born in Twickenham in February 1934, the only child of Ernest and Elizabeth Toms, Geoffrey was educated at the Mall prep school before winning a scholarship to St Paul’s School, which he joined in the Remove.
During his five years at the school, Geoffrey became a prefect and captain of his house, and participated in cricket and boxing, winning his second colours.
Geoffrey made many life-long friends at St Paul’s, 10 of whom still meet up for an annual reunion in November every year, an event that Geoffrey very much looked forward to. He was very pleased to have managed to attend the gathering in 2017 and enjoyed every moment.
In 1953, Geoffrey went up to Downing College, Cambridge, with an exhibition to read classics with classical archaeology. He spent three happy years there, gaining both a degree and a fiancée – in the form of Barbara, who was studying at the nearby Homerton Teachers’ Training College.
Two years of National Service as a lieutenant in the Royal Signals followed, after which, now married to Barbara, Geoffrey undertook a year-long diploma in education at Oxford University, also receiving his MA from Cambridge in the same year.
In 1959, Geoffrey and Barbara moved to the Wirral, where Geoffrey had secured a position as assistant master in the classics department at Birkenhead Grammar School, and it was here that his sons Christopher and Paul were born.
In 1963, the family moved to Tiverton, where Geoffrey had been appointed head of the classics department at Blundell’s School. It was during this time that Geoffrey began running excavations of Romano-British sites in Dorset, with boys from Birkenhead and Blundell’s helping with the digging. One of their most important finds was the skeleton of a late Iron Age warrior with all his weapons, which was displayed for many years in the Dorchester Museum.
In 1968, in a courageous change of course, Geoffrey moved from school-teaching into adult education, taking on the role of deputy warden, and later warden, at Attingham Hall, an adult education college in Shropshire, and simultaneously holding the post of staff lecturer in the Department of Extramural Studies at Birmingham University.
Geoffrey proved to be a popular warden, and managed to attract some very well known people to lecture on the weekend courses and summer schools at Attingham. There was enormous demand at that time for courses on all aspects of the civilisation of Greece and Rome, and Geoffrey was among those pioneering the teaching of classics in adult education.
However, Attingham closed in 1976, and after a period working as an adult education tutor in archaeology for Shropshire County Council, during which Geoffrey and Barbara separated and subsequently divorced, Geoffrey moved back to London in 1977 to take up the role of Education Officer at the revamped Museum of London in its new, purpose-built setting overlooking the remains of London’s Roman wall. By the early 1980s, Geoffrey had risen to become director of the education department, a post he remained in until his retirement in 1994.
While at the museum he published numerous articles in various archaeological publications, and thoroughly immersed himself in the stimulating academic life the role offered him. He also relished the opportunity to be involved in shaping the museum’s presentation of the history of London to future generations, and to continue his hands-on lecturing, both to adults, in the lunchtime lectures he instituted, and to parties of visiting schoolchildren.
He used his holidays from the museum to deepen and broaden his historical knowledge, exploring ancient sites all around the Mediterranean during this period, as well as fitting in trips to the Far East and America.
Retirement for Geoffrey proved to be very busy. He launched himself as a freelance consultant lecturer on the history and archaeology of London and the eastern Mediterranean, offering one-off lectures and longer courses. He worked extensively for several American universities with London residencies, as well as for various historical and archaeological groups, joining the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) directory of lecturers in 1997. He fast became one of their most popular speakers, and addressed hundreds of NADFAS societies across the UK, plus sister societies in Spain and Australia.
Over the years, he expanded the topics he could lecture on into a diverse portfolio – from Roman town planning to advertising on London Transport, from the knights of St John of Jerusalem to the development of English country houses and the effect of the arrival of the railways, to name but a few. He continued to research and develop new lectures to the very end of his life.
For a number of years, Geoffrey was a guest lecturer on Mediterranean cruises for both Cunard and Swan Hellenic, and he also started his own travel business, leading study tours all over the Mediterranean.
Geoffrey was a popular speaker at many adult education establishments, including Maryland College and Knuston Hall. He especially loved giving weekend courses at the latter, and it is thus fitting that, in January 2018, it was at Knuston that Geoffrey delivered his very last weekend course – on the Minoans and Mycenaeans – ending, as he had begun, with his first love, the ancient history of the eastern Mediterranean.
As well as his passion for history and archaeology, Geoffrey also loved opera, classical music, art and gardening. He was an active supporter of the RNLI, presenting an annual award for the most meritorious service, a huge fan of the cryptic crossword in The Times, and an excellent cook.
Vanni Treves was born in Florence in 1940. Three years later his father was killed whilst helping the Allies fighting in Italy and in 1946 Vanni’s mother married an Englishman and they moved to London.
After attending The Hall prep school in Belsize Park he won a scholarship to St Paul’s in 1953. His abiding memory of his days at St. Paul’s was of the bus journey, involving at least one change of bus, from Swiss Cottage where they lived, to Hammersmith twice a day, and tackling all his homework after such a long day. He used to tell the story proudly of how he was the oldest boy in the school to be beaten when, aged 17, he was caught helping a fellow pupil in an exam by handing him a Glacier mint with a maths equation scratched on it! He was caught and was duly given six of the best by the then High Master.
After St Paul’s he went straight up to University College, Oxford, to read Law, at the far too young age of 17. He always said what a mistake that was, he found himself with the last of the young men who had done National Service. It was a shock to be in the company of people who had had that experience and the resulting maturity. However he settled down and even enjoyed life on the water, becoming a cox for one of the rowing eights.
Vanni was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Illinois for a year, and then joined the City firm Macfarlanes as an articled clerk. He became Senior Partner in 1987 until 1999.
He enjoyed a varied career outside the Law with several directorships including Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising, and Chairmanships of London Business School and Channel 4 TV. The most high profile (and biggest challenge of his career) was chairing Equitable Life from 2001 during the complicated restructuring after its collapse. He was awarded a CBE for his services to education when he chaired the National College for School Leadership. He served as a trustee for several charities including the John Paul Getty Charitable Trust and ran a fund raising campaign for the Monte San Martino Trust – a charity which thanks the Italian people who sheltered escaped Allied prisoners of war by bringing Italian schoolchildren over to the UK for several weeks to learn about British life, a cause particularly dear to his heart. His last appointments were as a governor of the Homerton Hospital in Hackney, and Chairman of the Felix Project, a charity which distributes unwanted (and otherwise wasted) food to needy people and organisations.
He was generous with his time and liked nothing more than to advise people and share his considerable and varied experience with them. He had a sharp intellect and a wicked sense of humour and enjoyed de-bunking any pomposity. He was married to Angela and they had three children. They lived in London and spent their leisure time in a small house in Suffolk. His hobbies were collecting clocks and English watercolours and driving his two “toy” cars in Suffolk, a 1959 Austin A35 and a Fiat 500 (which brought back memories of summers spent in Italy with his grandparents). But he had plenty of energy and a strong work ethic and was always happy to return to his work in London.
Vanni died on November 10 2019.
After an adventurous life lived to the full, Peter died quietly in hospital on 7th December 2015. Born in Roehampton in 1938, Peter was evacuated with his sister Anne to a farm in Lancashire for the duration of the war, before returning to his parents’ home. While on the farm Peter learned to drive at the age of seven. His father Brian was a director of a family business importing cane and rattan products.
At St. Paul’s Peter coxed the Colts V111 before concentrating on achieving individual success as a sculler. He was also a keen member of Troop 1 in the Scouts and continued with scouting as an ASM after leaving school. At a summer camp in Cornwall, he calmly killed a rabbit with his bare hands, then skinned and cooked it for supper-a true backwoodsman. He became a good friend of RLS Bennett and his wife Frances, accompanying them on organised trips abroad, and the friendship endured for many years.
Peter read Mechanical Engineering at the Northampton Institute in the University of London. Although he did not complete his degree course, due to his father’s death and the need to become involved in the family business, Peter was always proud to call himself an engineer. Having bought a large house in the Surrey Hills, he married his first wife Sue and had two daughters, Nicola and Louise. Both Peter and Sue enjoyed recreational flying and both obtained their private pilots licences, but Peter’s main passion in the 1960s was motor sport.
In 1963 Peter made his name by winning the British Hill Climb Championship in a car which he had designed and built at home. The next year he was loaned the unique Ferguson-Climax P99 and won the Championship again. He went on to further racing success in Formula 3 and then Formula 2. He even finished 9th in his only F1 race, the 1969 German Grand Prix. Further details of his racing career can be read on the BRDC website. What it does not mention is that Peter proudly wore the hat band from his old school boater stuck round his crash helmet. He might have had even more racing success were it not for the time spent developing his Felday Engineering business, initially building 4-wheel drive cars in conjunction with Rob Walker and Tony Rolt, then rebuilding and preparing engines for a list of famous drivers and finally designing a competitive F2 engine from scratch. At Peter’s funeral Derek Bell, who went on to multiple wins in Le Mans and Daytona 24 hours races, acknowledged his great debt to Peter for giving him his first big break and preparing his car immaculately.
In 1973 Peter retired from racing, closed his business and concentrated on boats and planes. By then his marriage has broken down. In his early 40s Peter embarked on a new career by qualifying as a commercial pilot. He flew for an air taxi company as well as doing two six-month stints in Australia for a survey company. He also flew a private jet for a wealthy individual.
In the early 1980s he met Jenny and she moved into his Holmbury house with her daughter Claire, and they eventually married 1998.
Peter, who learned to sail in Salcombe as a child, bought his first yacht jointly with Sir George Martin. Another yacht was bought later for chartering out in Turkey. In 1989 Peter and Jenny sailed their 50’ catamaran Star Trek to Turkey and then in 1995 across the Atlantic and spent the next ten years sailing around the Caribbean between December and April.
In 2006 they bought a new family home in Tobago, selling their house in Holmbury and purchasing a smaller house in Dorking for use on their visits back to the UK, often timed to coincide with Silverstone and Goodwood. In Tobago Peter started another business, buying several rental villas.
Peter enjoyed major projects in which he could use his engineering skills, such as constructing a tennis court in his steeply sloping Surrey garden and building an infinity pool at his house in Tobago and was never happier than when he was in his comprehensive workshop. He also had a mischievous streak. When on holiday in Scotland at the age of 15 and still quite small, he was spotted bowling along a country road in his father’s 2.5 litre Riley RM. By the time the shocked policeman had turned round, Peter had stopped and changed seats with his mother. When coxing at school he tried depth charging other crews with Tizer bottles filled with water and calcium carbide. Years later when in Houston, Texas on a flying course, he and a friend tested the shock load capability of a glass fronted hotel elevator by jumping up and down in unison. Not surprisingly, it came to a grinding halt midway between floors in full view of the restaurant.
Peter loved to socialise in pubs and characteristically provided in his will for a big party in his old ‘local’ for all his former drinking companions. Peter held strong opinions and did not suffer fools gladly, but he was charismatic and exciting, interesting and interested to the end and his friends and family miss him greatly.
Written by: John Holder (1955-60) with contributions from Nick Campling (1950-54), Paul Boon (1951-56) and Jenny Westbury.
Tony’s time at school was one of all-round excellence, especially out of classes when he developed skills in boxing and rugby – ensuring he never combined the two on the pitch! These skills he later extended to become one of the finest scrum-halves for the OP in many years. He then began a successful engineering career at Vickers Armstrong, where he joined others in offering themselves as “luggage” for proving flights in newly developed aircraft, completely devoid of any seats. The Test Pilots would put the plane through its paces in the air, flinging its passengers around the empty fuselage – highly dangerous but wonderfully exciting when you’re in your early 20s. He worked on the design of various aircraft most notably the, eventually cancelled, TSR2 and then Concorde in its early stages.
He moved on to EMI’s Central Research Laboratories in Hayes, being the Lead Mechanical Engineer in Sir Godfrey Hounsfield’s invention of the CT Scanner: he is named on its Patent. He was also the very first person in the world to be “scanned”.
Married to Sara and with two sons, he then moved to Iver and became very involved with St. Leonard’s church – becoming Ordained in 2003. On his retirement, they moved to the Cotswolds where he continued his involvement with the local churches.
Tony had a happy and fulfilling life by many measures. He Passed Away on 22nd August ‘19, to be followed six days later by his beloved Sara.
Ian Wilson died on 24th June, aged 81, after a fall.
He entered St Paul’s via Colet Court and at both schools made lifelong friendships.
At St Paul’s he became a Prefect and Captain of Boats. His superb 1956 VIII, which included future Cambridge Blue Douglas Calder and other Colet Court contemporaries just lost to Eton in the final of the Princess Elizabeth Cup. Less than a month after this Ian was summoned by the School Coach, Freddie Page, who had been appointed coach to the Olympic Rowing Team. He wanted Ian to stroke the GB Olympic VIII in practice prior to the Games. Although Ian did not go to Montreal with the crew, it was remarkable that an 18 year old schoolboy should have received such an invitation.
National Service in the RAF denied Ian the virtual certainty of joining fellow OPs John Stephenson, Dick Workman and Ray Penney in the Thames Rowing Club Eight chosen to represent England in the 1958 Commonwealth Games. He rowed for Leander in the Grand Challenge Cup also in 1958.
He was a great oarsman and a fine Rugby player too, returning to play for the Old Paulines 1st XV in the early 60’s. After National Service Ian joined Shell-Mex and BP and there laid the foundations of a successful business career, working for Burmah Oil and then finally becoming the Head of the UK tyre division of the large Dutch company Vredestein.
In retirement he concentrated on voluntary work. He was a member of the IMB at Bullingdon Prison for 10 years and lately became an Independent Custody Visitor at Banbury Police Station. He had a particular empathy with young people, mentoring many and helping them achieve their goals in life.
Ian lead a full and happy life, centred around a marriage of 59 years to Shelagh, with sons Jonathan and Charlie and his four grandchildren. He was a kind and generous man, humorous and witty who cherished his old friends and made new ones easily. He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.
Robin was born in Dovercourt, Essex in 1937. His father was a naval officer and so was away most of the war. Robin was evacuated to St Brevills Castle when their home was bombed. After the war, Robin went to prep school and then onto St Paul’s. He was very hardworking and energetic and noted on a school report to have ebullient gargantuanism, which means his day was always bubbling with joy. He developed a love of art and rowing and fencing, too, at school. Robin maintained the friendships he made at school for the rest of his life.
After St Paul’s, Robin went on to the Royal Dental Hospital, where he graduated in dentistry. He was passionate about dentistry and was described as ‘a butterfly in the mouth’. Robin went on to do three resident house jobs, firstly with children and later at the Middlesex hospital, where he met his wife Judith; they went on to have two daughters. Robin then joined the Royal Airforce Dental Branch. He was a perfectionist and valued being in a salaried system.
His love of rowing led him to be competition secretary for the Royal Air Force Rowing club.
Robin’s other passion was cars and he managed to fully restore a 1957 silver Cloud over 29 years. His RAF life led him to many stations: RAF Wattisham, Wildenrath, Abingdon, High Wycombe, Brize Norton, Afcent, Cranwell and Harley Street. One of the highlights of his career was a posting to the School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio, Texas. Here, he designed fillings for astronauts to use in space. His other interesting posting was to Moscow twice a year to treat the British and also the Embassy staff. After a career in the RAF, Robin retired to his home in Oxfordshire and continued his dentistry two days a week in Hook Norton.
Robin and his wife then moved to Shropshire where he indulged his passion for cars, maps, photography, and walking with his precious dogs and family. Robin was also a devoted Christian, reading the lesson in church and being on the PCC. He died peacefully on July 13th, his adoring wife and family and dogs were with him. He leaves a widow, two daughters and four grandchildren.
Michael was born to Joseph Lawrence & Phyllis Wood in Streatham 9.4.36. After a period at boarding school in Somerset, Michael spent three years at St Pauls and was happiest indulging in his passion for sport and in particular cricket. After completing his National Service, Michael began his working career with the National Bank of India where joined the Eastern Staff for which a posting to then Rhodesia awaited him. The posting was never fulfilled and Michael decided his future lay with the National Provincial Bank, which later became the National Westminster Bank.
He spent several years in branch banking in and around the City. On one occasion, when working at the Oxford St branch, he confronted and pursued a man trying to extort money from the cashier with what turned out later to be a fake bomb. The judge commended Michael for his bravery.
Michael also spent a number of happy years as a schools’ liaison officer for the bank targeting the next generation of bankers. During this time he was instrumental in starting up the schools under-19 rugby tournament at Twickenham. This was a perfect match for Michael, combining his passion for sport with his professional career.
Married to Liz in 1962, they settled in Chelmsford in Essex to raise a family. Three children followed, Nicola, Amanda and Matthew and in time five grandchildren. In retirement Michael and Liz settled in Danbury to share their passion for gardening and golf.
Michael was always one to share his time and knowledge. As a coach at Chelmsford Rugby Club, as part of the NatWest caravan club both as a caravaner and Chairman of the Club. Latterly as Vice Chairman of Danbury Parish Council and an active member of the Danbury U3A. Always active, always supportive and always with a smile. He is very much missed.