Obituaries: 1940-1949 Leavers

Ian Douglas Collin (1939-43), 1924 – 2016

Ian was born in New Malden, Surrey. His family later moved to Hampton Hill, Middlesex  and from 1930 -1939 Ian attended the Mall School, Twickenham, where he was head boy for two years. He won a scholarship to St Paul’s public school, London, and was appointed School Captain there in 1943. The school was evacuated to Crowthorne, Berkshire during the war. In 1941 Ian joined the Air Training Corps, also serving in the school Home Guard platoon. He volunteered for RAF service in 1943, but his call-up was suspended while he completed his final year at school. A history student, he won an ‘Exhibition’ to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. In August 1943 he began RAF service, commencing pilot training in Florida in 1944. On gaining his wings he returned to England, and was seconded to the Army Glider Pilot Regiment serving as Flight Sergeant until hostilities ended. He was granted an accelerated demobilisation in August 1946 to take up his place at Cambridge.

Ian enjoyed cricket, boxing, squash and tennis, twice representing Cambridge University at boxing. In 1947, he joined the University Air Squadron, an RAF Volunteer Reserve Commission he maintained until the end of 1950. He graduated in the summer of 1949. It was while he was at Cambridge that he met Elsie who was later to become his wife.

In September 1949 Ian joined Henry Hope & Sons, window makers of Smethwick, as a management graduate trainee. After a year’s induction he was sent to Pakistan as their representative. Based in Karachi, he travelled widely, even as far as the ‘rope across the road’ marking the Afghanistan frontier beyond the Khyber Pass. In October 1951 his fiancée who he met in Cambridge joined him in Karachi, and they married on Friday 13th October. They had a daughter in 1953.

Early in 1954 Ian’s contract expired and on returning to England he worked in Hope’s London office. However, in March 1954 Ian was sent to India on contract to agents Balmer Lawrie & Co, based in Calcutta but covering the whole country. The family lived in Calcutta but the climate was unhealthy and Ian developed pneumonia necessitating recuperation leave in Ceylon with his family. In 1957 they enjoyed three months’ home leave, visiting Switzerland on their way back to India.  

In 1958 Ian was recalled to England and this time the family sailed home from Bombay to London, where Ian worked as an export representative. They initially lived in Walton on Thames but in August 1959 moved to a new home in Weybridge, next to Brooklands.

In October 1960, Ian was promoted to departmental manager at Hope’s Head office in Smethwick, so they moved to Sutton Coldfield. In 1968 following a merger with Crittall Manufacturing Co. Ltd of Braintree, Essex to form Crittall Hope Ltd and a further takeover by Slater, Walker & Co. Ian was transferred to the Braintree side of the company, which became Crittall Windows Ltd, and the family moved to Colchester in September 1969.

Ian spent the rest of his working life in Braintree, becoming marketing services manager but travelled widely in Britain, Europe and the United States. In his final year of employment he was President of the Steel Window Association, and a chairman of committees of the sister body, the Aluminium Window Association. In 1977 he co-wrote a book entitled ‘Window Selection’ with colleague E.J. Collins, a useful handbook for architects and those in the trade.

On his sixty-fifth birthday, Ian retired to enjoy his hobbies of gardening, golf, swimming and researching his family tree. Their daughter, son-in-law and two children lived nearby.                         
In 2011 Ian unfortunately developed shingles, which affected him for the rest of his life. In February 2015 he suffered the first of many falls, the last one being in September 2016 and he subsequently died of pneumonia.

Written by: Gill Kerry, daughter


Jon Edmund Dixon CMG (1941-47), 1928-2016 

Born in 1928 to Edmund Joseph Claude and Gwendoline Alice (nee Huswick), he was educated at a dozen schools around the country while his father worked on radar installations in the build-up to war. He won scholarship s to St Paul’s School and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read Physiology, graduating in 1952 with a double first. His military service imbued him with a love of Welsh mountains, particularly Cadair Idris. 

He had a distinguished career in the Ministry of Agriculture, rising to Under-Secretary in 1971, followed by three years in Brussels (1972-1975) as Minister, Agriculture in the UK’s Delegation to the EEC. He took early retirement in 1986 and launched a second career as editor of JOED Music, editing and publishing a wide range of Renaissance polyphonic choral music. 

An accomplished carpenter, artist and builder of harpsichords, Jon, who had no formal musical training early in life, composed a wide variety of music: initially in the style of Bach, and later some occasional pieces for four voices, including a Birthday Ode for his mother’s 60th birthday. By the early 70s, he was attracted to the flourishing Early Music movement, but he also studied composition at evening classes, under Anthony Milner at the City Lit. The Excruciation was one of his homework exercises, and the encouragement to be less derivative resulted in the fresh and entertaining settings of Edward Lear’s Nonsense Songs. 

Deeply felt, personally dedicated music was still written in the polyphonic style, notably the Requiem for his daughter Charlotte, who died in 1978. 

The 80s and 90s were very productive. On a visit to Leuven, he encountered the Cappella Cociniti. His admiration for their singing led to his original Leuven Carols and the Flemish Magnificat. 

He established a local group of singers, Cantores Fagini, for whom he wrote a variety of occasional pieces. Latin texts were his chief inspiration, including the memorable Tota Pulchra Es, dedicated to his wife Elizabeth, whom he married in 1953. 

Jon died peacefully on 3 June 2016. He is survived by his wife, two sons and one daughter, three granddaughters and two grandsons. 

Written by: Edmund Dixon


 John (Tony) Fernandez (1937-41), 1923 – 2017

Tony Fernandez was born in London in October 1923 to his parents Dr. Thomas Fernandez and Eleanor Christian Lilian Fernandez (nee Mayo).  

He grew up at the family home in Chiswick, London and went to St. Paul’s school in 1937.  He was evacuated to Crowthorne in 1939 when the war started, where the school was allocated some of Wellington College’s schoolrooms and grounds. He finished his school there in 1941. He stayed at one of the teachers' houses during his time at Crowthorne, called Mr. R.E.D. Brown. He remembered going by bicycle at the beginning and end of the term from Chiswick to Crowthorne, a distance of 35 miles. On one occasion he remembered being “chased” by a V1 flying bomb on his bicycle.  

He attended Trinity College, Cambridge from 1941 – 1942, studying engineering and economics, but left Cambridge university before completing his degree, as so many others did during the Second World War. He joined the Admiralty where he used his engineering background to work on the gunnery control systems of large capital ships like HMS Rodney. His father died in 1945 and Tony decided to stay in London with his Mother rather than go back to Cambridge, so he went to University College of London to finish his engineering degree. He went on to complete a masters degree in structural concrete engineering in 1949.

Tony and June met in 1946 at Honeybourne, a harvest camp for students set up after the war when labour was in short supply to harvest the crops. The camps were mainly in former army camps and the students were housed and fed in exchange for their work. Fortunately, they were both students at London University and both lived in West London, so they were able to see each other regularly after leaving Honeybourne. They married in 1949 – a marriage which lasted 68 years. They had three children – Patricia, Paul and Theresa. 

From 1949 until 1952 Tony worked for Richard Costain. One of his projects was helping to build the landing stage at Battersea for the Festival of Britain in 1951. 

Then he got a job with the Colonial Office as chief engineer in Port of Spain, Trinidad in charge of works and hydraulics. At that time Trinidad was a British colony. He returned to the UK in 1954 when he joined Alcan. He worked in their UK office until 1959 when he moved to Portugal as manager of their Lisbon office. Then he was transferred to Oporto where he opened an office in 1961. Alcan wanted to send Tony to Mozambique after his assignment in Portugal, but he decided to return to England.  

He joined Monsanto in 1963, the chemical engineering company, and worked for a subsidiary called Jablo, makers of laminated plastics including polystyrene, an excellent insulating material.  He left Jablo to set up his own company called Lowkay Engineering and took out a patent for his invention of using polystyrene shuttering for single span bridges.  

Tony loved playing tennis all his life. As a young man he joined the local tennis club in Chiswick and Queen's Club and then became a member of Hurlingham in 1956. His love of tennis continued in Portugal both in Estoril and Oporto. In 1963 Tony and June made a clean sweep of the tennis trophies in the Oporto British Cricket &  Lawn Tennis Club. When Tony retired  he and June moved to the south of France to a small village called Hyeres near Toulon. He discovered the International Veterans' Circuit and played in tournaments in England, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. In April 2000 Tony won the men's 75+ singles title at Alassio. In 2003 he was invited to play for the Great Britain Veteran's Team at the tournament in Turkey. Then on 15th August 2004 at the British Veterans Tournament in Aorangi Park, Wimbledon, he won the Men's 80 plus Doubles title with Bob Caruana. This was the year when he achieved his highest world ranking of 24 for his age group.

When Tony and June returned to England in 2004, they bought a flat in Kingston where they have lived since then. Hurlingham was a major part of his life during these years. He played tennis and latterly took up bowls. He enjoyed watching the cricket and also went to the French conversation group.   

Tony is survived by his wife June, and by his three children Patricia, Paul and Theresa. He has five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He remained active right up until the end, continuing to drive his car. He was at home up until the last evening when he had a heart attack and was admitted to Kingston hospital where he sadly passed away. He will be missed enormously by all who knew him but especially by his loving family.   

Written by: Paul Fernandez, son (OP: 1965-70)

Edward Ellice Henderson (1945-49), 1932 - 2016

Ellice was born at 5.30am on the 12th of May and his parents were married in the afternoon – there was, I hasted to add, interval of a year. 

He enjoyed a happy, free and unusual childhood in Baghdad where his Father was Professor of Anatomy at the Royal School of Medicine. 

An only child, he mingled mainly with adults but also with the servants and local Iraqi children, soon learning Arabic. He carried a long knife for protection as was customary. He soon learned that life was cheap and brutal, often witnessing appalling yet commonplace tragedies. This was in contrast to the marvellous extended stays enjoyed with his parents to parts including the Cedars of Lebanon, the ruins of Ctesiphon, Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace, shooting parties in the surrounding deserts and visits to Damascus and Beirut. Such happy memories abruptly changes with a return to the UK at the very outbreak of war in September of 1939, a time of anxiety and tension. 

At seven and a half years of age formal schooling came as a surprise. The War meant he had frequent school changes before settling into Glasgow Academy and later St Paul’s in Kensington. The London Blitz was a new experience. By day picking up expended bullets from the daily aerial dog-fights plus the larger and more prized chunks of shell shrapnel falling from the skies after our ack-ack guns had fired at enemy planes. These trophies were eagerly exchanged at school. By night, he slept under the stairs in a cupboard while the nightly routine of raids disturbed only those who were light sleepers. Happily, the family escaped unharmed though the house opposite was not so fortunate. 

Ellice had wanted to become an RAF pilot, but that was frowned upon. However, with short sight it was not to be and so he settled on training for medicine like his father. He thoroughly enjoyed amateur radio and passed the complicated exams 3 months ahead of his medical finals. Radio and electronics had always been a fascination which continued throughout his life. Following the death of his grandfather, a post office engineer, he recalled building a radio kit of parts aged eight. Hus uncle james provided the necessary battery and it worked!

Apparently his father did no approve of his radio interests so these were practised in secret. Ellice recalled his Father being really upset when correspondence cards arrived from Radio Moscow at a time when all things Russian were a no-no. The damn cards kept coming at regular intervals and he was in continuing hot water. 

A quote from Ellice. 
“As a newly qualified doctor hours were long and the pay £150 per six months leaving 50 after deductions for accommodation and food. At my teaching hospital where I did my obstetrics you were supposed to have 2 weeks off per job but only if you sacrificed your necessary testimonials. I was soon to learn that in medicine you were kept in order by a variety of unwritten sanctions. As your career progressed such sanctions were applied differently and more firmly – I suppose it was really blackmail and now I can say it without fear of retribution!”

Once fully registered, he embarked on a career in Public Health studying by day and working at night in an Emergency Call Service covering Greater London. He had a little A35 fitted with a radio-telephone and covered some 135 miles per night of duty seeing patients whose GPS’s paid to delegate all night work. He worked hard and in the 15 months with that company saw all the emergencies that a practitioner would expect to see in 20 years. 

Once armed with a DPH (Diploma in Public Health), one of only a few registrable diplomas, he worked successively in Local Government principally in Hertfordshire and in Bedfordshire where he became Deputy County MoH latterly acting County MoH due to the long-term illness and subsequent retirement of his Chief. This was time of total upheaval in health and local government services with the coming of the creation of Areas and Regions in England and Wales and prior to the great or infamous NHS reorganisation of 1974. 

He moved to Birmingham to work with the Regional Hospital Board system before appointments to the Isle of Wight as the first and only Area Medical Officer. The Island had just severed its past connection with Hampshire achieving Area status in its own right. The Island proved a challenge since it was rooted in the past preferring to continue in its old and sometimes highly irregular ways. Nevertheless, he had a good team and worked hard to serve the island population despite severely reduced funds which somehow were liberated in the direction of the new County Council and never regained. 

On the third yet reorganisation at the age of 54, he chose to retire but immediately found himself in demand by Dr Cooper, Principal Medical Officer of the Prison Services. Interviewed in London at the Home Office Ellice was appointed MO to Camphill Prison. This job proved to be the most interesting of his career and at last, he was able to practise real medicine again. Enjoying good past contacts with general practitioners and familiar with hospital services the job was fulfilling and paid well. 

The job had its sad and funny moments. Ellice quotes one: “It was customary for me to question/examine each new intake of prisoners on arrival. Invariably I would ask if the new inmate had any homosexual leanings (HIV infections were all the rage at that time and still are) and the reply from a middle aged kindly oriental UK passport holder was illuminating: NO BUT I DON’T MIND OBLIGING A FRIEND”

Ellice also covered as locum consultant in occupational Health at St Mary’s. This too he really enjoyed along with other fringe tasks of assisting the Island Fire Services. Finally retiring he realised that he had found the best job of all. 

Having many and varied interests and great curiosity he added to these by taking up bowls with good friends who called themselves “The las of the Summer Wine”. After some 15 years he gave that up to pursue his many hobbies amongst which were taking apart and updating many computers, electronic radio ham equipment, model making, perusing the news etc and commenting widely on it being ahead of the newspapers as he loved the internet. A wonderful tool for anyone with an open mind and really to delve. Bridge was later added to the list, which he found most enjoyable, and being the only man, he was much in demand and spoiled. 

A direct quote from Ellice: “Having married more than once, the last 35 plus years have been the happiest of my entire life with my wife Sue whom I loved dearly. She has been a tremendous support as friend, lover, financier and legal attorney, putting up with my eccentricities and occasional ill humour while guiding me back to good humour with an accomplished ease. Our 5 children and grandchildren have given us joy, the occasional heartache but overall much happiness and continued interest in seeing all grow in maturity and hopefully wisdom.”

Ellice did not believe God but did consider himself a Christian. He was once asked at an airport security gate to state his religious belief and answered “I am a Presbyterian Atheist”. His questioner hesitated but a second colleague at the gate said: “write it down!”

Ellice considered logic tempered by common sense to be the future while faith belonged to the past. He considered blind faith or belief was responsible for much misery exemplified by past holy inquisitions replaced now by modern political correctness and jihads which he railed against in private but not too publicly. 

Ellice thoroughly enjoyed penning his obituary, which has been shortened to meet the occasion. 

His final words were: “I have enjoyed life, made many mistakes but hopefully learned from them. May you ponder your own lives?I love you all and might, time and paradox permitting, revisit you.”

Written by: Ellice Henderson (born 12 May 1932, died many years from now!)


Robin (Mac) Macdonald (1943-48), 1929-2018

Mac died in April 2018 aged 88. He was born in Dulwich, the brother of three older sisters, and went first to Dulwich College Prep School and then on to St Paul’s in the early 1940s, evacuated away from the war to boarding accommodation in Crowthorne in Berkshire.

In that part of Berkshire every highway and byway was lined at 25 yards with small, open corrugated iron roofed huts, stuffed with ammunition and boxed armaments, all initially ready for the defence against the German invasion and subsequently for the invasion of Europe by the Canadian army, which was heavily located around Crowthorne for the Newhaven/Dieppe raid.

The huts existed for the investigative delight of Mac and some others among the several hundred student Paulines, who cycled the daily three or four miles, in all weathers, for schooling, to the Victorian mansion Easthampstead, then back, and then onward again to games grounds borrowed from adjacent Wellington College for rugby and cricket.

Boxing made the boys incredibly fit and well tutored by boxing coach and champion Irishman Begley, and the chemistry master, Bow Langham – the war office military Army, Navy and Air Force declined boxing matches with the school, saying that it was not good for military morale to always be beaten by schoolboys – we compromised by offering some of our second string boxers, alas with no losing effect. Mac boxed on.

One of the trophies among Mac’s wartime acquisitions was a Luger pistol. It had a fault in that it did not automatically recock when fired, and in that state seemingly was just a symbolic deactivated pistol. This saved the day for Mac when he was hauled in front of the High Man having been reported by a groundsman for allegedly shooting not at, but through the wooden Cricket Pavilion. The High Man, Oakshott, the quintessential academic, knew a bit about firearms it turned out, and on examination said it was “inert” and handed it back to Mac ….unpunished, but saying “don’t go showing it abound”.

So began Mac’s involvement, aged 14, and lifelong interest and support for pistol shooting, and in 1947 the establishment of shooting as a sports activity at St Paul’s.

Added to that there followed many Bisley National and International competitions, with a raft of trophies, and establishing the activity as a sport for paraplegics. And finally for the future, ultra safe, with no bullets: Laser Shooting.

Additionally he was a busy supporter of G Club in the school, often volunteering for the sports he was not particularly good at …. for the sheer fun of being involved.

Leaving school, National Service saw Sergeant Mac in the Military Police, serving in N. Ireland and London among other places. On one occasion visiting an “out of bounds” establishment in occupied Germany, he met up with three uniformed national service Old Pauline soldiers sitting in a back room. Without missing a beat on recognising them, he closed the door on the police detail he was leading, pointed to a back door and bellowed “OUT! You lot. On the double!” With their whit spats, truncheons and helmets, a sight not to be messed with!

The miscreants scrambled out while he opened the door behind him he had closed, and explained, as the sergeant in charge, that he did not want his fellow Military Policemen clearing up some imagined mess in their “paddy waggons” or black Marias. Indicating the out of bounds law breakers he had thrown out were not worth corralling.

One of the three “out of bounds” soldiers was a school friend, Patrick Bashford, who ruefully laughed off the incident 30 years or so later at a school lunch, where Patrick was then working as a teacher …. of the guitar.

As a wartime evacuee to Crowthorne, Mac lived with 25 or so others at Assistant High Man A B Cook’s Barracane House, and as with most of the very different students, Cook seemed to collect into his house, they stayed in contact long after leaving St Paul’s, using Mac’s invented wartime prefix “Boss” Cook in an affectionate manner, when referring to him. Get-togethers were at Miss and A B Cook’s house in Barnet, decades later. Some, having become conventional captains of industry, academia or medicine, were often startled by Mac’s use of the title instead of the more ordinary deferential “sir”, or even his name, Alan, who, in turn, was not perturbed by the perceived lack of convention.

In an unusual way, Mac’s “Boss” Cook, at Barracane, was a distant, informal surrogate father and a big influence for Mac and many others of us who lived there. Particularly those who seemed to attract trouble, if only by being different and subsequently in need of advice.

At school, and in his later life, Mac was a non-conformist and individualist. Both well recorded Pauline attributes, and markers for the life he enjoyed.

Written by: Seamus Flannery (1942-47), friend and Madeline Macdonald, widow


John Francis Northridge (1946-49), 1932 - 2015

John, who died on 19 May 2015, the day before his 83rd birthday, was a stalwart member of the Club in the 1950s, and took up rowing again as a Veteran with LRC with some success.  He was a co-founder in the 1970s of Bewl Bridge Rowing Club, which rows on a lake near Tunbridge Wells.

John joined the Club as a teenager, whilst still at St Paul’s School, in 1947.  After completing his national service he returned to Putney in earnest, took out Life membership, and represented the Club at Henley in each of the five years 1953 to 1957, weighing in at around 12 stone.  He rowed in the Grand every year (with Graham Hill in 1953), and doubled up in the Stewards in 1954, 1956 and 1957. He was as much at home on stroke side as well as on bow, such was his versatility.  The best Henley for him was probably 1957 when he reached the final of the Stewards, losing to Club Krylia Sovetov in a good race after hitting the booms (he was bow/steers!).  Contemporaries we have spoken to speak of a determined oar who set high standards of himself and others, and excelled as a stroke. 

He was in the ARA group who were under consideration for the 1956 Olympic eight, and narrowly missed selection.  That was an VIII that never really reached international standard, and although John never said as much one can't help feeling it would have benefited from his fiercely competitive nature and his insistence on the highest standards.  He was one of the dwindling number of members who attended the Centenary Dinner at the Grocers’ Hall in 1956 (on the ‘young’ Table B).  Our intelligence sources also confide that he was taken to task whilst trying to remove a union jack from a British Consulate-General building on the Continent.In 1963, John moved away from Putney, to Hadlow and later Tunbridge Wells in Kent, but despite the travel demands he returned successfully to Veteran rowing with LRC in later years.  He won a Veteran pennant in HORR 1979 with Doug Melvin and others but a highlight was his success in a pair with Maurice Rayner (Hon Sec 1979-82 and Hon Treasurer 1995-2001) at international level. They won their age group in the coxless pair event at the FISA Masters regatta no less than four times, a superb result and clear confirmation that his style and attitude to racing had real value.

Soon after Bewl Bridge was founded, London sold or loaned them for their fleet a wooden coxless IV (the ‘Berlin’) used by the LRC crew, which was selected for the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936 and won a silver medal. The Berlin was later re-acquired and now hangs in the Long Room.  We do not know for certain, but it would be nice to think that John had something to do with this connection between the two Clubs.  He was an enthusiast for everything he got involved in.

We send our condolences to John’s widow, Sylvia, his son Simon, and family. 


John H Pain (1943-46), 1928 - 2015

Thank you Dad. You have given us your entire life since our mother died. In February 1964 you had to change, from being a career dad whose parenting role was to sing to us at bedtime, abruptly and devastatingly, to a full-time 24 hour dual parent of three small children and later a grandparent and now a great grandparent.

Dad has had his life challenges but it all started comfortably enough in London in December of 1928. Comfortably settled 10 years after one Great War and 10 years before another; and also comfortably settled between one big sister, Pam, and one little one, Angela. One of three children to a doting mother from the large cohesive Rea family who idolized her husband, and to a father who as a doctor held a significant role in every community they lived in. 

Dad was parented in England by a true-blue Aussie Anzac, who had survived the Great War and who influenced the household with a naturally egalitarian approach to people.  And so the influences on his life were family love, music, dancing, elocution, and straight talking.

He had a tendency to speak directly. I think it’s true to say that he had a preference for intellectually honest people, irrespective of their rank. These are the values that have seeped inexorably through to our growing and interconnected family. 

I am grateful for our discussions. Dad had the rare ability of seeing through the nonsense that often overwhelms important issues. He was able to focus on the principle of the issue at hand, and see things that were not yet part of public discussion. Some of the best examples of this ability are presented in his book ‘Sin and Status’, in particular his attitude towards white-collar crime, and crimes involving self-harm.

War broke out when Dad was 10. The family was on holiday at a farm belonging to a Jewish family, that they had been to every year. War-time Britain was an exciting time for Dad. You knew you were alive. Many nights were spent sleeping under the billiard table in the Blitz. Family events always included a ‘turn’ by each person, which could include a rendition of a poem or playing a piece of music. For Dad this often meant playing his ukulele and singing. He loved to sing.

Dad was proud to have spent his school years at St Paul’s in England, and his most formal dress into his final days remained his St Paul’s old boys’ blazer, which I am wearing today. Even at St Paul’s, being chauffeur-driven in a Rolls Royce to school, was unusual. In fact few families in Britain even had a car, but his enormously wealthy uncle Cecil acted as an additional father to the family, possibly because their real father, Harold, was always so dedicated to his work. 

During the war, like all other families with a small patch of ground, Dad learned to grow vegetables. 

At the end of the war, rationing became even more severe and his father Harold decided to move the entire extended Rea family to Southern Africa, including Mama, his grandmother and a pet dog and cat smuggled aboard. That sea voyage was one of the more significant adventures of his life. He had to sleep mostly on the deck of the small ship, which was refused entry to a number of ports along the way due to disease.  Except for the ship’s cargo of watermelons there was no other food and I think he refused to taste a watermelon again for the rest of his life.  That ship sank on its very next voyage.

Their first home in South Africa was in Colenso, where a boundary of the garden was shared with the Dixon family. The first Dixon he met was an eleven-year old Patricia who was walking along the pavement while dad was tending his vegetable garden. Tricia then became the go-between for her older sister Shelley who would have been 13. Dad was 17.

Dad used to sing. He said years later that if, like most people, you can sing in tune, then with a will you will be able to learn to fill a large auditorium with your voice. And dad had that will.  With constant practice he achieved this in just one year. He always believed that one has no right to sing before an audience unless you have prepared for excellence.

He spoke with admiration and fondness for his singing teacher Grogan Caney. Dad turned out to be Grogan’s best ever student, winning the provincial Eisteddfod. He also sang by request at weddings. 
I asked him years later why he had never sung in public when we were children and he said, “I suppose it must have been after your mother died”.

Life in Colenso for Dad was full of the great friendship that emerged between the Dixon and Pain families. Pam and Angela were both wonderful dancers and, together with Dad’s singing, they made quite a splash on the social scene.

One of his huge characteristics already emerging at this time, possibly from growing vegetables, was persistent and diligent practice when preparing for something. These attributes were of course needed for his singing, but at the end of his life at 87 it is a miracle that he kept his left leg, which was badly damaged in a car accident over 40 years ago, and every tooth in his head was his own. This was a result of meticulous and patient care. 

Dad avoided a career in medicine because he couldn’t bear spending his life confronted with sick people and instead turned to Law.

A study of Law increased his capacity for assessing the world with integrity and he took great care to pack and order his brain with such clarity that he became a valuable source of wisdom and insight.
What I have learned from my father is that with the right integrity, intention, and preparation … and with a bit of luck, most things will turn out. But without these, no amount of luck will help.

Dad married Shelley and soon the young couple was on a large tobacco farm in Rhodesia. A year or two were spent with tractors, large drying barns full of tobacco leaves and an extensive workforce of Shona-speaking people from villages that were on his cousin Ralph Rea’s farm, away from books and universities. Shelley worked in the farm shop.

Early on, Dad broke his glasses and was surprised a couple of years later when he was finally tested for new glasses, that his eyesight had improved markedly.

Back in South Africa, 5 long years of ‘articles’ bored him silly.  Although admitted to the bar in South Africa he preferred a career in academia specialising in criminal law. On an early sabbatical from the University of Natal in 1963, he and Shelley and their by then three little boys went on holiday to Wales. Shelley became ill and rapidly succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dad took great care to prepare us for her death. 

In later years he often gave this advice: that one should be open and prepare people when you know there are difficult times coming.

Shelley was 29. He often said she was the perfect mother and wished she had lived longer as a role model for the next generation.

Dad was now faced with the options of relying on the welfare state in Britain, or returning to South Africa where he could either hand us over to Shelley’s parents or struggle to look after us himself. He chose the struggle, to keep us with him, a remarkable decision to make for a man with a career in those days.

We moved back to South Africa in some haste where he was able to continue his work while we all stayed with the Rose family for three months, and then in a house owned by Professor Sands where we were looked after by the Zulu gardener and housekeeper, Joseph.

By this time African students were being excluded from universities designated for ‘Europeans’. This did not fit within Dad’s egalitarian philosophy, so despite his training in the Roman Dutch system, which is not practised in England, he moved the family back in 1965.

By now he had married Colleen Henderson who lovingly took on the challenge of three little boys. For Jonathan she was the first mother he would remember.

We lived in England for three years while Colleen taught at Dair House School, which we three and our cousin John attended, and while Dad struggled to teach high school children at a State School – a task he detested.

Wherever we were and regardless of how little money he had, Dad always succeeded in sending us to excellent schools.

In 1968, Dad found a solution to his need to teach in the Roman Dutch System whilst avoiding an apartheid university, and we arrived in Lesotho.  Here we settled for 8 years. Despite some significant difficulties, these years in Lesotho and the following two in Swaziland were perhaps one of his happiest periods.

One difficulty he experienced at this time was his separation from Colleen. Another was when he was struck by meningitis. As his condition worsened, a number of families around the campus decided which of the boys they would adopt after Dad’s death. At one point, our grandmother called the hospital to see how he was, and they aimed to placate her by informing her that he was “not dead yet”. However, Dad was more resilient than expected, and recovered without any long-term complications. So once again, he managed to keep his three boys. He credited his survival to a precautionary shot of penicillin administered by a German doctor, Dr. Biele, at the onset of symptoms.

In Lesotho and Swaziland, Dad was the Professor of Law and ran the Law Department. He struck some of the greatest friendships of his life in these two posts. 

He took on the job as chairman of the university staff club, turning it from a quiet place for academics to drink tea at ten in the morning to an outrageous night club with dancing and drinking late into the night. It was always gate-crashed by students.

In Lesotho he had to balance his desire of sending us to good schools with his determination not to take part in the apartheid system. He resolved these with a third principle of not inflicting his personal beliefs on his children, and so we were sent to white schools for the benefit of our education. We therefore had years of moving every term between the black Africa that was our home to the white Africa where we went to school; always an eye-opening experience.

Throughout this period he would frequently make the five-hour drive around the Drakensburg mountains to our schools and appear at sports days and rugby matches.  

1978 marked the point at which Dad wanted us to go to English universities, and we all gradually moved across to the UK. He never forced us into any particular degree although in my case I know he wanted me to read law.

Dad managed to get a job lecturing at the City of London Polytechnic in England. The big drawback was that he now had to lecture in the (English) Common Law; a system he had not been trained in. This required research and preparation before every lecture. So began a patch of years of extreme workload when he was only one lecture ahead of his students.
He had the ability to write his lectures word for word and then to present the lecture faultlessly without notes.

As his three boys became more independent, but before there were any grandchildren, he took up a professorship in Bophutatswana for three years. 

One of the things Dad always did was exercise moderately. He had a favourite hotel in ‘Bop’ where he used to swim most days. 

He came back to England in 1986 before his mother, who was nursed for nearly decade by his sister Angela, died peacefully at home. He and Angela were both with her when she passed away.
He transformed from an extraordinarily attentive father to an extraordinarily attentive grandfather as his eight grandchildren appeared between 1986 and 1995.

The next great family migration was to Sydney Australia, the birth country of his father, where his sister Pam and her family had made their home. He and his three boys and their families arrived in Sydney between 1996 and 1999 to join Pam and Hal, their children and grandchildren.

Thus his grandchildren have grown up largely in Australia. During their school years scarcely a day went by without Dad seeing every single one of his grandchildren, and often some of Pam’s grandchildren too.  He attended sports events, concerts and prize givings; took them to school and picked them up; he took them to dancing lessons and music exams; he taught them to drive. This required dedication and a proactive approach – he diligently scheduled every grandchild’s life in his diary, but was able to respond to daily changes even when this meant foregoing his afternoon sleep.
On Christmas Day his self-appointed task was to hand out the presents to each of the three families. 

For as long as he was physically able he watered plants, weeded gardens, painted walls and caravans at his boy’s houses. He always loved to be able to help with DIY projects and often provided an insight into a better way of doing things.  

We never had the opportunity to attend one his lectures, but on his eightieth birthday he impressed us all with a powerful speech, full of interesting detail, presented without notes.

Throughout his life he ate sparsely, following his father’s advice to “always leave the table wanting a little bit more”. Nevertheless, he did not waste food, and always finished all the food on his plate. He smoked from the age of 17 and one of the joys of his life was to roll Golden Virginia and later Horizon blue tobacco into his cigarettes. He had the ability to choose a new habit and stick with it to the end. 

His final ten years were plagued by psoriatic arthritis that gave him great pain in his arms and hands.  For this he received immune-suppressing medications, which ultimately breached his defence against cancer.

In his final weeks the two names he most often mentioned were Pam and Angela. He lived without his wife Shelley for 51 years. I told him that Shelley, Pam and Angela were waiting for him, on the morning that he died.

Written by: Ralph, son 


John W Runacres (1941-46), 1928 - 2017

A distinguished sportsman and businessman, John Runacres, who has died aged 88, was also an outstanding supporter of the Old Pauline Club in his role as Vice President.  One of the Crowthorne generation, he joined the school as a Foundation Scholar in 1941 and rapidly made his mark as a sportsman and scholar.  Captain of C Club at 15 (leading them to cricket and rugby shield success), he was later appointed Captain of Cricket for the school as well as excelling at rugby and swimming, joining the Air Cadets and serving as School Prefect and Christian Union Secretary.

John’s business career flourished after his national service.  Following a chance meeting with the Surmaster, who pointed him towards sales and marketing with the Gillette company, John stayed with Gillette for 32 years, first in London and Belgium and then running operations in Sweden, Italy, France (achieving fluency in all three languages) and Canada. He was eventually appointed to the UK Board, based in London while travelling and managing sales in a variety of European markets including Scandinavia, Benelux and Alpine.  Retiring from Gillette in 1971, John worked for a manufacturing start-up in Hong Kong, giving him a long-wished-for chance to travel and do business in the East: Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. In 1987 he unpacked his bags and became Director at the Sheppard Trust, a charity providing sheltered accommodation in Notting Hill for elderly ladies.  He finally retired in 1991. 

John remained an active and competitive sportsman almost all his life. Most notable was his cricket career, in which as well as playing for the OPs and Ealing, he batted and kept wicket for Middlesex CCC 2nd XI and became a played-in member of the MCC. Shortly before his death he joined the elite club of played-in MCC members of 60 years standing, receiving a commemorative tie which his son and grandson, both MCC members, will treasure. OP rugby stopped once he was posted abroad, but he played ferocious squash until the age of 60, in one notable year winning the Swedish amateur championship.  In his latter years John turned to golf, with a typical former cricketer’s handicap of around 20!  He served on the Committee of the Roehampton Club, in addition to his lifetime Vice-Presidency of the OP Club.  In this last capacity he played a significant role in the development and management of Colets and in fostering the Earliest Vintage lunches.

John and Coral married in 1953 and shared the early years of living in Europe and Canada.  On their return to England they lived happily in East Sheen for 50 years. Their sons Charles and Mark both attended Colet Court and St Paul’s before going on to Cambridge. John’s retirement was enlivened by travel, golf and six grandchildren.  He is warmly remembered as a man of great courtesy, outstanding organisational and sporting skills, and of devotion to his family and the school.  

Written by: Mark Runacres, son

John Dudley Sanders (1938-43), 1925 - 2016

Only son of Edith Cole and Dudley Sanders, Dad was born in May 1925 at 53 Temple Sheen Rd, East Sheen, South west London.

In 1943 John joined the Royal Navy straight from leaving school and on board HMS Palorius Midshipman John Sanders, on the 5-6th of June 1944 was on the Normandy approaches clearing mines ready for the D-day landings at Sword beach.

For his involvement during the D-day landings John was earlier this year awarded  the Chevalier Legion de Honneur, the highest decoration in France, The award ceremony was led by the French Consul in Chester last February. 

In 1945, following the German surrender, Johns ship now HMS Pickle, was directed to the war in the Far East, to Burma and Singapore he celebrated his 21st Birthday while transiting the Suez Canal from where the ship steamed Eastward and with war still raging in the far east, not knowing what fate awaited him. The ship stopped in Ceylon for supplies and while there, they heard of the Japanese surrender. Relief all around, and the ship went on to Singapore. Where I imagine much beer was consumed!

On Dads return to the UK in 1946, on demob leave he went to Blackpool to stay with his Uncle, where he met Margaret Ainsworth and was married in August 1948 
After the war, he went to college and qualified as a Quantity surveyer, and moved north to the Wirral where he had a job with Mouchel.

In 1962 John joined Hibberts Builders, Liverpool, and became a Director and shortly after became the North West President of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
In the last couple years Dads illness’s, his cancer and diabetes took control of his life and he died on Monday 10th October at the grand age of 91.

John was a local yachtsman and a keen rugby fan. His life support over the last few years was his beloved Daily Telegraph.

He is sadly missed by his wife Margaret, having been married for 68 years not to mention Jen, Roger, Howard, and his grandchildren Abbie and Thomas who have long admired his stalwart sense of duty and dedication to his family.

Written by: Roger Sanders, son

John H Seager (1936-41), 1923 - 2015

John was a splendid energetic man, full of interests, friendly and helpful with a good sense of humour, practical, and great to be with.

He went to school at Colet Court, then to St Paul's. There he rowed. When the war started, the school was evacuated to Crowthorne. He was in the fire watchers and boys' army corps there. He recalled cycling in the blackout to Stonehenge to watch the summer solstice.

Engineering called him to university at Southampton, but of course degrees then were limited to only two years. While at Southampton he still rowed, and was Captain of Boats.Then he was called up into the Navy; he spent some time in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, and Portsmouth, where he saw the huge number of ships assembled for D-Day. He had a short while in Glasgow before going out to Cochin in Southern India, where he was working on the electrics of landing craft getting ready to attack the Japanese. While there he had a few days leave and was able to go to Ceylon/Sri Lanka. The war finished and he came home, and as the ship docked in Plymouth he was able to meet his parents on holiday in Devon.

Because wartime degrees for men were crammed into two years, John felt he had missed out quite a lot, so he went up to Manchester to do an apprenticeship with MetroVic. There he went round the works, ending up working on gas-turbine locomotives. This gave him the opportunity to spend six months in 1950 in the U.S.A, working in Erie, Pennsylvania. He also was able to travel all across the States, getting on any train in the cab. Wow! Back in UK he stayed with MetroVic until 1954. He had already said he was looking for work back in London, when he was smitten with double bronchopneumonia, twice, within six months. That was 1954.

He returned to Ealing to his parents, who I knew because my school-friend Delia had married John's elder brother Andrew. That was how I, Mary Griffin, met him. We got engaged that Christmas, and married in May 1955 at St Matthew's church on Ealing Common. John now was working with Smith's Industries on automatic transmission, not for cars but industrial use, as with those huge rolls of paper used in newspaper-printing.

We were lucky to move into the middle-floor flat where Andrew and Delia had been; but in January 1956 the landlady returned from Australia with two daughters and a baby son, leaving her husband behind in Australia. And now she needed the extra space – please, would we move.Well as luck would have it while looking from Wembley to Wimbledon we found Parkleys, which was building the three-storey flats after the initial two-storey, and ... Luck again, there were four left, and that is how we settled on 10 Byron Court, where we stayed until 1965.

After two years with Smith's industries, John got a job in the London Head Office of Sierra Leone Development Company, known as Delco. Being an electrical and mechanical engineer meant that John was useful in going out each year to look at all the machinery and equipment in the West African country. It was an iron ore mine, mining or rather scraping powder ore, which then had to be separated from the sand and grit. So there were heavy tractors and scrapers, trucks, powder-washing and sorting equipment, a railway carrying the ore down to Pepel near Freetown to be laden onto ships. Most of the ore went to Japan. The mine was producing one to two million tons of this powder ore every year. 

John went out every year to inspect and discuss the future of the equipment and in 1962 when my mother Elsie Griffin died, I was able to accompany him for two weeks, and typical Africa, the talks weren't finished, so we missed the weekly plane and had to wait another week.

In 1965 there came a call, help! The Chief Mechanical Engineer has fallen sick, and the Deputy had just resigned, "Head Office we need you". So, only three months after moving into 7 Spenser Court with an extra room so we could more easily sleep Mary's father when visiting, we rushed out to West Africa. I, Mary, was working as a Geological Information Assistant in Exploration Department of BP, but in Sierra Leone I worked as secretary to the Assistant Mines Director while John was busy with the all the engineering equipment etc. The place and jobs were interesting; we spent eight months then a month's leave on the way home at Grand Canary and Lanzarote and Madeira.

Back home John was still with the mining company Delco. Gradually though, political troubles were making Sierra Leone difficult, and Australia was producing more than our 1 or 2 million tons.This was when John, now 50, made the great change by joining the Civil Service. He was so lucky to be part of the team working on the Channel Tunnel; each week they would meet in London or Paris to discuss the scheme. Then the Government changed and the scheme was dropped.

John stayed in the Civil Service and based on his experiences he was made a Railway Inspector; up till now they had always come from the Army Railway, so John was the first non-army man.This was an interesting and quite busy job, dealing with accidents, and inspecting work going on railway lines above ground and below. He did go down to see the damage after the King's Cross fire although he wasn't the Inspector for it. And he commented on the fallen plaster-lining of the tunnel, which of course like so many plaster-linings contained fire-proof asbestos.

John finally retired at the age of 65. But life was still busy. He had been on the Residents Society of Parkleys, for 40-plus years, being responsible for the electrics of the staircases and landings, and the garages. He only retired from that in April 2014.

We were lucky in having similar interests – like boating, later caravanning and of course travelling.Our first boat in 1955 was a 21-foot gaff-rigged centreboard sloop "Hasina" which we bought at Pinmill near Ipswich. We could get away nearly every weekend after John stopped working on Saturdays; we sailed north to Aldborough, and finally South to the Medway where we sold the boat after two happy years.

The next boat was a 21-foot Kingfisher called "Tumbler". With only 1ft 6ins draught and twin-keeled, we could keep her on a trailer, and tow her anywhere. We took her to Holland on the ferry from Harwich, and sailed around in the shallow inshore waters, took her down to Poole, but generally sailed from our mooring in the river Hamble all round Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, and to Yarmouth. 
We had already bought a larger boat, a 27ft Phillip Rhodes Ranger before we went to Sierra Leone, and on our return we sailed Tumbler up the Thames from Shepperton to Oxford.With Ranger 103 we took part in some local sailing races, belonged to the Civil Service Sailing Club, Warsash Sailing Club, and set up our own small group, the Small Boat Owners Association, and held meetings and rallies. We also sailed to Cherbourg and Mont St Michelle in France, and to Belgium and Holland.

Boats got bigger, so finding an anchorage was more difficult, so the attraction of twin-keels and sitting on the mud and laughing at the arguments over spaces led us to buy another Kingfisher, a 30-footer, called "Nightrider". She was a dream, 30-foot long, twin-keels, with six berths. We could take several of our friends sailing. We also went on a Flotilla sailing holiday in the western Greek Islands. And on a boat round the south-western part of Turkey on an archaeological exploration. We have also been to Egypt and Jordan with my father, because our fathers were both out there in the 1914-1918 war. We also went on an Egyptology trip too. We also did a pilgrimage in Greece in the steps of St Paul.

When John retired, his brother Andrew and Delia now had a small motor-caravan. So sailing ended, and we started with a tent, then a trailer-tent, and finally a small 11-foot caravan which we towed. Our first one was called "Sylvia" but she was stolen, so we got another 11-footer called "Chris", and we only sold her in August 2014. This was when John was beginning to lose a little of his energy.John was also engaged with our local Ham Art Group, of which he was Chairman for some while, the Thames Valley Arts Club, the Institute of Electrical Engineers, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He was also a Keyholder and Guardian at church, so the church could be open at weekends and welcome visitors. We also helped serving coffee after church. 

Travelling, we have been to Australia and New Zealand nine times. Our first time was to see our niece Nicky in New Zealand, thinking she was only there temporarily, and to see Mary's cousin Pauline and family in Australia. We also got friendly with three couples who took us sailing from the Bay of Islands to Auckland, and the northern waters of South Island. At one time there were nineteen people we could stay with. Wow! We have also been to India twice, Ceylon, cruised the West Indies, the Black Sea, the Douro in Portugal and the Baltic. Another hobby until the group closed in the end of last summer was bowling at the YMCA in Kingston.

But in November 2013 John was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, asbestos-related. Life was much as usual, until in summer 2014 he had five doses of radiotherapy, and a double dose of blood-transfusion. We were so lucky, there were many days of sunshine so we could go out into Richmond Park and enjoy being out in the sun, even if we were lazy and stayed in the car, and John enjoyed walking around. In 2014 we went to Lanzarote in the Canaries, stayed at two Warner Hotels at Littlecote Manor and Bembridge, and in October went on a river cruise up part of the Rhine and Moselle. We spent Christmas with Delia and Chris at Egham; but gradually after that John's energy began to wane despite still going into Kingston and walking to the shops. The last four weeks the energy really began to run out and he was beginning to sit in the chair with his feet up, and kept going "zombie"', not quite asleep, but not really very wide awake.

Princess Alice Hospice was recommended by the doctor, and John was taken there on 16 March. He had days of being bright and awake, and then others when he was comatose. He slipped into the love of God at 11.43 on Tuesday, 24th March 2015.  God Bless him.

Mary, with love and thanks for nearly 60 years of companionship and interest.

Edward Albert Vincent (1935-40), 1921 - 2013

Edward Vincent was born in on November 11th 1921 and was 91 when he died on September 15th 2013 after a brave battle with bowel cancer. He was the husband of Marguerite till her death in 2011 when I became his wife after marrying in Vienna on his 90th birthday. We had been friends and business associates for many years.

After living with his parents in High Street Kensington till the age of 8, Edward then went to Colet Court as a weekly boarder before attending St Paul’s. Whilst at St Paul’s, he was evacuated to Crowthorne where he joined the Army Cadets and had to cycle home at weekends. Edward was also a member of the school Boxing Team. At Trinity College, Cambridge he achieved a double first in Classics and won the prestigious Richard Porson Prize. 

The war interrupted his time at Trinity, as after a year he was called up and joined the Army where he was chosen to join Intelligence in India for the course of the war. For this Edward attended a crash course in Japanese at SOAS. 

Edward went on to have a successful career first in Advertising where he became a senior copywriter at a number of agencies including J. Walter Thompson before running an Advertising Agency in Madrid. The next stage of his career was at Southern Television where he was a member of the Programme Planning Committee and responsible to buying foreign films. In 1986 as a freelance writer he worked for Reader’s Digest and completed several major pieces of research for Channel Four. Retirement was never an option.

Whilst at Southern Television Edward was elected to BAFTA and till the end of his life was a voting member for the Film and Television Awards. 

Written by: Susan Vincent, widow


Richard (Dick) Wilson (1939-43), 1926-2018

WILSON, Richard "Dick", Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics Emeritus at Harvard University, died on May 19, 2018, in Needham, Massachusetts . Dick will be remembered for his scientific work, student mentorship, principled humanitarian and environmental stands, and interdisciplinary connections across the globe. Dick was also a railway enthusiast, Morris dancer, concertina player, world traveler and hiker.

Dick was born in Putney, London, the youngest of four boys to Percy, a civil servant, and Dorothy (née Kingston), a teacher. All four went to Colet Court and became Foundation Scholars at St Paul’s. They all joined Scout Troop I (13th Hammersmith). He, his brother Geoffrey, and two other boys from Troop I, Bill and Dick Stock, bicycled to Crowthorne on August 31, 1939, the day before the official school evacuation. They were billeted at Alderbrook, where the billiard room became the dormitory for eight boys. Dick had been described as "you silly Mugwump" by Chris Heath, Scoutmaster, at the troop’s summer camp in August 1939 at Launceston, and to avoid confusion among three Richards Dick became known by the nickname Wump.

In 1943 Dick was awarded an Open Entrance Scholarship to Christ Church College, Oxford. In his first year he read Mathematics with Theodore Chaundy as his tutor. He then switched to Physics and earned his BA in 1945 and his DPhil and MA in 1949. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for post-doctoral work in the U.S. at Rochester University and then at Stanford University with Wolfgang "Pief" Panofsky. While at Stanford, Dick met Andrée Désirée DuMond, marrying her in January 1952 after a brief courtship. In 1952, they moved to Oxford University for Dick's research lecturer position, and in 1955 to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for Dick's faculty position at Harvard.

Dick specialized in experimental particle physics, studying the nature of the smallest particles that constitute matter, as they collide at very high velocities. Dick led the upgrade of Harvard's proton cyclotron to 160 MeV in order to study nucleon-nucleon interactions. With Harvard and MIT colleagues, Dick designed, constructed, and used the Cambridge Electron Accelerator (CEA) 6 GeV synchrotron, which, from 1962 on, further probed nucleonic structure. Dick was involved in constructing and using the new Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, frequently "commuting" there from Harvard, to maintain close contact with students and research. At Fermilab, Dick continued the study of nucleonic structure with high-energy muon beams. When Harvard's cyclotron became obsolete for particle research, Dick helped adapt it for the treatment of cancerous tumors. He also studied electron-positron interactions with the CLEO collaboration at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR). Finally, Dick joined a research group using the intense polarized beam of the new Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) in Virginia.

Dick went often to the USSR and Russia, believing that direct cultural and scientific contact was essential to prevent war. After the exile of dissident Soviet physicists, Dick boycotted USSR conferences, and was an early and visible supporter of Andrei Sakharov. Dick studied nuclear power safety and environmental carcinogens, such as asbestos. He visited Chernobyl after the nuclear accident, taking a PBS film crew with him. He studied arsenic in drinking water, and was especially proud of starting a program to provide safe arsenic-free water from a village-well in Bangladesh. See more in the obituary in The Guardian of 3 June 2018.

Dick authoured 935 scholarly papers and eight books, including, finally, a memoir Physics Is Fun: Memoirs of a Life in Physics (2011).

Dick remained devoted to Andrée. They lived in Newton, MA for over 50 years, where Andrée created an extraordinary garden retreat. They loved hiking and climbing mountains, often with their children. Dick loved to sing, recalling countless traditional British folk and music hall songs, and often accompanying himself on the concertina. His Harvard Physics Laboratory photo showed him dancing the Fools Jig with the Headington Quarry Morris Men in Oxford. Dick is survived by his brother Geoffrey, his sisters-in-law Alison Wilson and Adèle Panofsky, and by his six children and their partners, A. Christopher (Rita McMahon), Michael (Lisa Greenleaf), Nicholas (Carol Anne Freeman), Elaine (Brad Farnsworth), André A. (Mary Frances Bond), Peter (Julie Whitmore); and three grandchildren, Benjamin Farnsworth, Irene Farnsworth (Matt Solimano) and Tyrone Whitmore-Wilson. He was predeceased by his wife Andrée Désirée, and his brothers Arthur and Laurence. He is fondly remembered by devoted caregiver Mrs. Bethune Labeach, extended family, and his many students, colleagues, and friends.

Written by: Geoffrey Wilson, Brother, and Elaine Farnsworth, Daughter.


Stephen King (1937-41), 1923-2018

Stephen King was born on 11 September 1923, the younger son of Ernest William King, a solicitor, and his Scottish wife, Janet Patterson Struthers. The family lived in Bedford Park, West London, and both Stephen and his elder brother Alan (born in 1922) started their education first at a PNEU school in Richmond and then at Gunnersbury Prep School in Chiswick. Here Stephen formed a liking for maths, greatly encouraged by one of the masters, Mr. E.A.W. Rogers, who also taught him to play chess; in 1933, he won not only the Junior Chess prize but also the Junior Gym Cup.

The family fell upon hard times during the 1930’s so when in 1937 Stephen won a Junior Foundation Scholarship to St. Paul’s School, it was a relief for his parents: the school fees of £45 per annum were cancelled. Gunnersbury School too had reason to give thanks: they were awarded a half day holiday to celebrate the award. It was just about that time too that, for financial reasons, Stephen was sent to live with his grandmother at 53 Talgarth Road, West Kensington, from where he could walk to St Paul’s School at the end of the road.

Stephen started life at St. Paul’s in the Autumn Term 1937 in the Remove, where all the boys were foundation scholars and where they were taught Latin, Greek, French, Maths, a modicum of science, art and general studies. Stephen wrote:

“Maths was still my great love as much as a schoolboy can love schoolwork and this was encouraged by a splendid maths teacher, Mr. F.G. Bird, though I was quite happy with all my teachers; I suppose encouragement, not threats, was the way they dealt with us and expected and got interest if not always understanding in what they were trying to teach us”.

By 1938, and certainly by the Munich crisis, he and his brother Alan were living at home again but not for long. In the autumn of 1939 the School evacuated to the Mansion at Easthampstead Park in Berkshire, a few miles from Bracknell and this meant that in term time all the boys had to be billeted in private homes nearby.

Both King boys were billeted on Mr. & Mrs. F. G Keys at 1, New Houses, Easthampstead; Mr. Keyes was chauffeur to Lord Downshire, (“Lordy” to Mr. Keys), the owner of Easthampstead Park. “Mrs. Keys came from Forfar and was most adept at making the wartime rations eke out and treated me and my brother like her own two sons Freddy, a year or so older than me and Richard, younger; there was also the cocker spaniel Betty; her two daughters were away, Jean a nurse and the eldest, Elizabeth, I think possibly in the forces.”

By this time Stephen was in the Lower Eighth Form studying classics, despite his preference for maths. Later he admitted that what he would really have liked to have done was physics; he was undoubtedly a polymath. He had done nearly as well at the end of his time in the Remove in Classics as in Maths and his parents thought a classical education was the better; Mr. Bird would have preferred him to have ‘gone mathematical’. Boys who had gone into the Lower Eighth to study Classics did not bother to sit the School Certificate Exam as the aim was to take the Higher School Certificate while in the Upper Eighth. This he did successfully in July 1941 in Classics with a subsidiary subject of English Literature.

During the school holidays both boys cycled home to London, a journey of about 25 miles, returning the same way to Easthampstead at the beginning of term. Stephen wrote that “I well remember watching the vapour trails of the aircraft during the Battle of Britain though of course we had no idea of the importance of what we were watching.”

As soon as he reached the age of 17, Stephen joined the Local Defence Volunteers (later renamed the Home Guard). This gave him a cash subsistence allowance, as he was paid for night duty, so he had some regular income, the first since his pocket money allowance of 1d per school-day at Gunnersbury! He had existed until then by using Christmas and birthday presents from uncles and his grandmother.

In December 1941, he went to Cambridge to take the scholarship exam at Magdalene College; everyone in his form, then the Upper Eighth, went to take the exams at a College either in Oxford or Cambridge. Those who preferred a particular College opted for that one but otherwise they took the advice of their schoolmasters, at that time (for Stephen) they were George Ewart Bean, who taught Greek, and Leslie Matthews, teacher of Latin. The object was for no one to compete against a form mate. Stephen was fortunate to be awarded an open Exhibition in Classics at Magdalene College.

He then had to decide as to whether he should go up straight away, with the possibility that he would be called up for military service before he had taken any exam as part of a degree (Classics was not a subject which gave automatic exemption), or whether he should postpone the whole thing until the war was over. As usual, finance, or the lack of it, made the decision. Some of his form mates decided to go up and got exemption but Stephen, ever a forward-planner, worked out that his age group would be called up before the end of the summer term, thus ensuring that he would avoid the end of term ordinary school exams. He wrote:

“I just made it as I was called up on the 2nd July 1942. This was just as well as I had scamped a proper reading of the set books and had I been entered for a second go at the Higher School Certificate in the hope of gaining a distinction, I should almost certainly not even got a pass.”

He went straight from school into the Army in 1941 as a private, despite his real wish to join the Air Force, a desire quashed by his mother who, ironically, had been one of the first uniformed women in the Womens’ Air Force at the end of WWl. After Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment but was not sent immediately on active service. Instead he became one of a special squadron, testing Percy Hobart’s “funnies” – tanks specially adapted to deal with specific problems. In Stephen’s case these were searchlight tanks. General Montgomery refused to use them in battle, saying that since he had never seen them they could not work; something for which Stephen never forgave him. Stephen went to Normandy shortly after D-Day and fought through France, Belgium and Holland before leading one of the first tank units to swim across the Rhine into Germany. His account of what went on during those months is a vivid one and makes extraordinary reading. He was wounded shortly after the Rhine crossing whilst attempting to rescue the crew of another tank and eventually evacuated back to England to be patched up, but to his fury was not able to go back to active service.

In 1946 the Army finally released him and he took up his place at Cambridge but, having forgotten his Classics, changed to reading Law.

His Cambridge years were very happy ones, despite post-war austerity, and he made many friends there. A good athlete, but not able to afford the cost of joining the inter-College shooting team “a skill at which I had had some practice”, he was persuaded to join the Boat Club. In his own words, “never having rowed before I was put in the Third Boat. I found I liked the sport…“ He ended his final year at Magdalene by stroking the College Boat in the Ladies Plate at Henley Royal Regatta where they were only beaten in the final by Trinity College. Academically he had graduated and, after leaving Cambridge, he became first an articled clerk and then an Assistant Solicitor in a firm in Lincoln’s Inn for five years.

He and his wife Margaret (an Old Paulina) married in 1955 and moved to the Midlands where he became a partner and eventually senior partner in Fowler Langley & Wright, Solicitors, in Wolverhampton and Borough Coroner there for ten years. His claim to fame in that capacity was that he was the last ‘Borough Coroner’ before Wolverhampton became a City. He took the responsibility of the post seriously, with a clear vision that the Coroner’s only job was to find the cause of death, not to attribute blame, whilst ensuring that the relatives understood what had happened. He had great empathy with people and is still remembered, both by his officers and many people who attended inquests as a patient, kindly and compassionate judge in ‘his’ court, answerable only to the Lord Chancellor. Those barristers who occasionally stepped out of line and tried to assert themselves, as in other Courts, were reminded firmly but courteously of the fact.

He was a clever, unostentatious, gentle, gentleman full of much warmth; he had a great sense of humour and fun (his “penguin silly walk” will never be forgotten by his many grandchildren) which could surprise all of us, as could his unpredictability as a skier (a talent not acquired until well into his 40’s). Visiting the islands of Greece became another of his later passions but he lived all his Midland life in Wombourne, Staffordshire, where he died, full of years, quietly and peacefully at home on 22nd September 2018.

He was, in the wonderful words of an ex-client ”a very decent sort of man”, a description which would have much pleased him.

Written by: Margaret King, widow

Address: Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JT • Tel: 020 8746 5390 • Email: