Old boys notes 2014

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2012-2013 2014

old boys notes


Foreword by Colin Blessley, OHA President


he period since the last edition of OH Notes has seen much activity on a wide variety of fronts. Particularly relevant to the current edition of our magazine is the restoration of the World War 1 memorial in Aldenham House, which was moved from the School in Westbere Road. This was unveiled at the Remembrance Day ceremony last November. Those of us who were able to attend to remember and give thanks to those OH who lost their lives in defence of our freedom and values were most impressed by the quality of the restoration work. Any of you who visit the School should ensure that you take the opportunity to view this impressive tribute. The Headmaster and I laid wreaths at the memorial in the gardens next to Aldenham House. This memorial to commemorate the OH fallen in subsequent conflicts was, many of you will recall, funded by an OH subscription campaign. We have been working hard to further consolidate our relationship with the School and the appointment of Roger Llewellyn (OH) as the new Director of External Relations has seen a number of positive developments, which will lead to more joint activities going forward. Our Relocation Sub-Committee under Harold Couch’s guidance and leadership continues to move the project towards important milestones, in what has proved to be an arduous journey. The professionalism and quality of the members of the team are bearing fruit and I trust that, by the time the next edition of these Notes comes off the press, we will have more concrete news to share with the OH community. Our sports teams have demonstrated that hard work, perseverance and dedication bring positive results. Our 1st and 2nd XVs, after a somewhat lacklustre start to the last season, have come back with a vengeance and finished winning, respectively, 4th place in London NW1 (Level 7) – the highest-placed Old Boys side – and 3rd in League 1 of the Hertfordshire/ Middlesex Merit Table. The leadership shown off the pitch by Ian McCarthy and Martin Baker has been a major contributor to the enthusiastic teams’ success. With support from the OHCC Committee, Khurram Mansour has revitalised OH cricket and we are now fielding two XIs quite frequently. Our soccer, golfing and shooting clubs continue to perform well, sometimes in the face of adversity. We continue to organise a wide variety of social events and this last year has seen the addition of an increasing number of these organised under the banner “Habs in the City” in central London locations. These have been very well attended, including OH who have never participated in one of our gatherings before. To conclude, once again I would like to thank all those who work unstinting and unselfishly behind the scenes to make our Association the success that it is.


old boys notes

old boys notes




Alan Newman

Events OHA Dinner 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Father and Sons Dinner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1970s Reunion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OHRFC 1964 1st XV Reunion. . . . . . . . . . . . Pre 1966s Leavers Reunion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Past Presidents Lunch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quiz Night and Supper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Removal Men Lunch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dough Yeabsley: 50 Years of service to the school. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Habs in the City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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am pleased to welcome readers to the 203rd Edition of the Old Boys’ Notes, covering 2013 and 2014. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the Features begin with a “Remembrance” section, which describes the OH connection with the hugely successful “Poppies in the Tower” display and includes tributes to OH who have served in the Armed Forces as well as a history of the CCF. The “Old Habs through the Ages” section highlights the careers and achievements of a number of notable Old Haberdashers over recent years. These Notes provide a record of the activities and events organised in 2013/14 by the OHA and by its sports clubs and societies - Cricket, Football, Golf and Rugby and the OH Lodge. Sadly, we also record in the Obituaries section tributes to a number of Old Haberdashers and former School staff who died over the last year. This edition has truly been a team effort and I want to express my grateful thanks to all those involved. Dr John Wigley has once again identified and recorded fascinating stories about Old Haberdashers, former teachers and the School itself. Simon Alterman has this year brought us his journalistic talents and experience both as a feature writer and editor of the features section. Martin Baker (OHA Secretary) has contributed material collected for the OH Newsletters as well as other background information and Jonny Burch has designed and prepared the Notes for printing. Many other individuals have contributed articles and information relating to the OH clubs and/or activities that they have organised. I hope that you enjoy the fruit of their labours.

Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15 Remembrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Poppies at the Tower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Habs Cadets: A False Start.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Cadets and Memorials, 1914-2014. . . . . . . . 22 The First World War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Second World War. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Nicholas Taylor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 David Limb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Old Habs: Through the Ages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 From Robert Aske to Amy Winehouse . . . . . . . 32 Sir Martin Sorrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 A.D. Miller. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Lord Feldman of Elstree. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Adam Thirlwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Paul Joannides. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Arthur Kerswill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Basil Flashman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Wray. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Denis Marks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lord Brittan of Spennithorne. . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael R Hunt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Kustow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Philip Thomas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reverend Canon John Knowles-Brown AKC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Robin Matthew. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

OH Club Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Football. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rugby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rifles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cricket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OH Lodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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old boys notes


OHA DINNER 2014 by John Wigley


old boys notes


he 116th Annual Dinner of the Old Haberdashers’ Association was held on Thursday 15th May in the Haberdashers’ Hall, West Smithfield. The area is one of stark contrasts. A scruffy area is thronged by City drinkers. The sombre interior of the Bishop’s Finger is followed by the elegance of the Hall. The OHA themselves provide continuity. One group met in the Bishop’s Finger, another in the Hall’s grassed court, and quickly merged into a convivial crowd as the pub’s G+T was joined by the Hall’s champagne, loosening tongues as close friends talked shop, and jogging memories as some OH who had not met for 40 or more years recognised one another and reminisced about the school. Legendary Masters such as “TEC” Carrington, “Pop” Oliver, “Auntie” Willatt, and “Taffy” Barling seemed to come to life. Was it a guillotine or truncheon that “TEC” had kept on his desk, or was it both? No-one was quite sure. Was it correct that he had retired from Hertfordshire to Cornwall and succumbed to cancer? Yes, it was. Keith Cheney had attended his funeral on the OHA’s behalf. David Heasman said Grace and the meal began. The three courses (asparagus, duck, panna cotta), were garnished and presented in the style of nouvelle cuisine which complemented their excellent quality. The wine, too, was good ¬– and plentiful – as was the port. The essential requirements of a good dinner had been met so well that conversation and of laughter were stilled only by the toasts.

As is traditional, the first was the Loyal Toast, to Her Majesty the Queen. The second was our equally traditional “Silent Toast” during which we remembered friends and OH who have departed from this world, a particularly poignant duty in 2014, the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in which several hundred OH fought and almost ninety died. Our official guests included the Headmaster, Daniel Hochberg OH (Former School Captain, now Chair of the Boys’ School Governors) and Sir Robert Fulton (Former Governor of Gibraltar, now Chair of the Elstree Governors). They were not invited to sing for their supper. Others were. Aman Coonar left Habs in 1984. He is now one of this country’s leading cardio-thoracic surgeons, based at the world-renowned Papworth Hospital. He proposed a toast to “The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, the School Governors and the School.” His description of giving emergency treatment to victims of the London bus and tube bombings won a heart-felt round of applause. Roger Putnam CBE left Habs in 1963 and subsequently led Lotus, Ford and Jaguar through some of the most difficult times experienced by the British motor-vehicle manufacturing industry. He toasted “The Association” and reminded us of the chaotic days of forty years ago when strike-calling militants seemed hell-bent on bringing the country to its knees. The School Captain, Rufus McAlister, replied to Aman in the polished tones of a young man who hopes to study

English at Cambridge. Our President, Colin Blessley, played a straight bat and outlined the Association’s progress during the past year, thanking the many members who organise our social events and club teams, amongst whom Martin Baker, our Secretary, has pride of place. Andrew Tarpey had organised another very successful Dinner and deserved the thanks we gave him afterwards in the Bishop’s Finger. Many of us did not leave till closing time. The President walked out into the night to find a cab and I made my way home, arriving at 2.15 a.m. tired but happy.


Fathers & Sons Dinner 7 February 2014 by Andrew Tarpey


n recent years, the annual Fathers & Sons Dinner seems to have been beset by freak weather (last year was so cold no-one dared stray far from the fireplace) yet the irony this year was that as the rest of the country struggled with floods, Borehamwood was a relative oasis of calm. And so the clans gathered! We were delighted to see a number of new faces round the table: in some cases, additions to regular attendees such as Will Stagg and Max Jenkins; in another case a whole new family, in Everett and Nick Lakeland. Twenty-nine of us sat and enjoyed what was universally acclaimed as an excellent meal thanks to Pauline and Natalie’s hard work in the kitchen, including homemade fishcakes. Four courses with wine, plus coffee and port made for a handsome dinner. The most remarkable discovery of the evening? That one of our number – who shall remain nameless to protect his standing in society – played conkers nine years ago for the Deloitte B team, and won an all-expenses paid trip to Oporto, Portugal on the back of it! Clearly I am in the wrong job… It brings me no end of pleasure, scanning the guest list, to note that the range of leaving years was 1949 to 2011 showing how this dinner bridges the generation gap so well. Long may it continue!

Attendees Tony Alexander (’61) Tim Alexander (G) Paul Trussell (G) Simon Trussell (G) Philip Alterman (’49) David Alterman (’79) Simon Alterman (’75) Andy Mackenzie (G) Peter Clarke (G) Robert Clarke (’90) Rodney Jakeman (’61) Richard Jakeman (G) Richard Jenkins (’74) Duncan Jenkins (’08) Max Jenkins (’11) Everett Lakeland (’58) Nicholas Lakeland (G) Alan Morris (’55) Christopher Morris (G) Alan Mushin (’55) James Mushin (’94) Michael Possener (’49) Adrian Possener (’83) Bob Stagg (’72) Tom Stagg (’01) Will Stagg (’04) Jim Tarpey (S) Andrew Tarpey (’97) John Wigley (S)

1970s Reunion 27 March 2014


artin Baker (OHA Secretary and 1978 leaver) organised a reunion for leavers from the 1970’s on Thursday 27 March 2014 in the Private Bar at the Bishop’s Finger pub in West Smithfield, next to Haberdashers’ Hall. Over 40 people from across the decade enjoyed a great evening. Some people had not met since leaving School while others keep in touch with each other more regularly. But all agreed it was fantastic to get together and that more frequent such reunions would be welcomed; the OHA will be happy to oblige. Over half of the group went on to a nearby restaurant to continue the evening and it was approaching midnight when the last of the group were persuaded to conclude proceedings.

OHRFC 1964 1st XV Reunion 1st March 2014


hilip Alterman arranged a reunion of the 1964 OHRFC 1st XV at the Past Players Lunch on 1st March. Fifteen of the thirty-two players from that season were able to attend, with some making long journeys in order to be there. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, although the current 1st XV lost their match against Colchester.

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old boys notes

old boys notes


Pre-1966 Leavers Reunion 9th April 2014


he day started at noon, the bar area filling rapidly with faces from years gone by, their identity helped by name badges collected on arrival. The traditional Club fire burned brightly welcoming early arrivals as they gradually renewed old friendships and revived memories of years ago. It had been hoped that the President, Colin Blessley would preside over events but sadly business unexpectedly intervened and in his much regretted absence, Peter Vacher kindly stood in to give a suitable air of authority to proceedings. Sixty four people, representing four decades, sat down at 1pm to a splendid four course meal and wines prepared and served by Pauline & Natalie. Following the Loyal Toast, several light hearted toasts took place such as those who had received the cane! A special welcome was also extended to Martin Baker, our incredibly hard working OHA Secretary, and John Wigley, OHA Hon Treasurer who was reminded people that their subs were due for renewal and that he was now the source for OH Association ties, and just happened to have some with him! The tradition of ‘Decade Reunions’ was started by Basil Blowfield in his Presidential year of 1964/5 and was accompanied by the “Longest Traveller” award in the form of a foaming pint of best bitter served in a tankard bearing the name of past winners, which then had to be duly drunk on the spot! His name was then engraved on the said pot

for posterity. Whilst our President was unable to attend it is Colin who has encouraged the revival of The Decade Dinner in whatever form as it is indeed a popular formula for OH to ‘associate’. The first winner was A R Burton (‘32) who travelled from Stocksfield. Two of today’s potential claimants had been very honest, John Williams from Sarasota, Florida, and John Foden from near Le Mans in saying that they had taken the chance to attend as they were visiting the UK anyway. The winner by a narrow margin was therefore John Brett (‘53) from Norwich, just pipping John Bustard (‘59) from Brighton, by 17 miles. It was thought perhaps more appropriate to award John a decent bottle of red wine rather than the beer but his name will still be inscribed on the Tankard that remains at the Clubhouse, ready for the next occasion. John Brett had also brought along a magnificent set of historical Skylark/OH Notes beautifully bound and crested which were much admired as were many other items of memorabilia that members had troubled to bring along for others to enjoy. Convivial chatter followed the formalities allowing many old memories to be recycled and no doubt embroidered with the passing years. It was felt a good time was had by all and that the event should be repeated in the future. The Westbere Road Survivors look forward to it!!


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old boys notes

Quiz night and Supper 21st November 2014, OH Clubhouse Croxdale Road


he roaring log fire and convivial surroundings ensured a very enjoyable Quiz Night once again. Sixty one people gathered for another test of brains set by the Tarpey family. Although it was heard to be said that people just enjoy the company for the entertainment of seeing others going through all manner of anguish!! Teams represented a good cross-section of the OH social and non sporting community as well as OHCC and the older OHRFC fraternity. Food at ‘half time’ was a splendid curry provided by Pauline and Natalie and thoroughly enjoyed by all, and followed by the raffle generously donated by members. A particular vote of thanks was given to Jim, Lynda and Andrew Tarpey for ‘Quizmastering’ & hosting the evening after which prizes were distributed to the winning table and consolation gifts to every other table so no one went home empty handed!

Past Presidents’ Lunch 9th March 2014 Graham Macfarlane organised another very enjoyable lunch for the OHA Past Presidents and the current Presidents of the sporting clubs.

E We vow you will love your day, we will honour your every request and cherish your heart’s desire at Haberdashers’ Hall

ight old boys of the group that helped move the school in the holidays of the summer of ’61 gathered for their annual reunion at The Norfolk Arms in Leigh Street, St Pancras, to enjoy a festive meal and to catch up on times past and respective plans for the future. Frank Judge was welcomed on his maiden appearance but unfortunately Jonny Bell was unable to travel as he had injured himself the evening before whilst rushing to the aid of a fellow human being, necessitating time in A&E. However with the aid of modern technology, mastered by a few around the table we were able to communicate our best wishes both by written word and imagery. This is an occasion which all are welcome to join and it is hoped will. Please contact Tony Alexander.

Removal men lunch 5th December 2013

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old boys notes

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old boys notes


Doug Yeabsley: 50 years of service to the school by Martin Baker


ome 200 current and former Habs pupils and staff came together at the School on Saturday 28th June 2014 to recognise the contribution that Doug Yeabsley made to generations of schoolboys – on the cricket and rugby fields, on tours to Devon and the Far East, in the classroom and in life in general. It is doubtful that any other master in the history of the School made such an impact on so many people. The sentiments expressed by all those attending and the messages sent by those unable to attend confirm the high regard and genuine affection that Doug engendered. Doug joined the School from St Luke’s in 1964. He taught Chemistry and Games for 38 years and was Housemaster of Russell’s from 1971 (aged 29) to 1986. He made a huge contribution to School sport, primarily cricket and rugby. Doug has been closely involved with School cricket for 50 years. He ran tours to Devon where the accommodation was based at his “villa” on the cliffs at Branscombe and then introduced the Far East tours. He went on to run Development Appeals and the Parents’ Social Committee, before officially retiring in 2002. In Doug’s early days at the School he lived in the masters’ accommodation in Aldenham House, along with David Thomas and Keith Dawson. Not surprisingly a large number of boarders became well-coached members of the School 1st XI, including Peter Mackie, Robin Barlow, Andy Scott, Billy Hughes and Nick French who were all at the dinner to thank Doug. Doug was an inspiration to a large number of boys who may otherwise not have achieved so much at School or in later life and this is where Doug possibly made his biggest contribution. He looked out for boys who needed some selfbelief and helped them to develop either through cricket, rugby or in other skill areas. Many of these boys attended the dinner to express their appreciation to Doug.


old boys notes

Doug’s career as a cricket player for Devon and Minor Counties lasted over 30 years from 1959 (aged 17 whilst still a schoolboy) to 1990 (aged 48). He had a fine record for Minor Counties against touring sides from 1974 to 1981 (Pakistan 1974, West Indies 1976, India 1979 and Sri Lanka 1981), with his best results being 3-45 against Pakistan in 1974. He was described by Ian Botham as “undoubtedly England’s best amateur bowler of the 1970’s” and bowled left arm, fast medium. Doug was also a first-class rugby player, appearing regularly in the back row for Harlequins and Saracens. He also captained the OHRFC in the 1977-1978 season. Doug coached School rugby alongside David Davies and Ralph Warmington for many years, iincluding the unbeaten School 1st XVs in the 1970’s In the words of Keith Dawson “Doug is an outstanding example of that old fashioned thing, a true and great schoolmaster, boys are at the heart of everything he does, he was a fine teacher of 6th form chemistry, a brilliant coach and a tireless supporter of the good things done by the School”

old boys notes




very year Alan Newman, OHA Past President and CFO of YouGov plc, organises a ‘Habs in the City’ event designed for the many OH working in the City and business generally to keep in touch, compare notes and, of course, to network. Simon Collins (’78), UK Chairman and Senior Partner of KPMG, one of the UK’s largest professional services firms, kindly hosted the 2014 event at KPMG’s Salisbury Square office, just off Fleet Street. Well over fifty OH attended. They represented many generations of OH, from recent graduates to veterans in their ‘60’s, and came from many leading firms in business, finance and the law, including Rothschilds, Clifford Chance, Deloitte, Vedanta Hedging, Anchorage Capital and Davenport Lyons. The meeting began and ended as they mingled whilst


old boys notes

enjoying KPMG’s generous buffet, including a continuous flow of wine, which helped to produce a relaxed atmosphere as they reminisced with Jon Corrall, Frank Hanbidge and John Wigley, former Habs teachers. The highlight was Simon’s address in which (amongst other points) he paid tribute to the School, described how he had been elected by KPMG’s 600 partners to its top job (in a process that included a competitive “hustings” in the Mermaid Theatre) and stressed his strong belief in the need for business to behave ethically and contribute to the community (as an example he noted that KPMG’s recruitment policy aimed to find the most talented people from the UK’s increasingly diverse society and now extended to school leavers as well as graduates). If you would like to attend “Habs in the City” events, please contact Alan Newman or the OHA Secretary, Martin Baker.


Habs in the City

TOWER OF POPPIES Habs “rebel” at helm of remembrance tribute By Simon Alterman


ick Harrold always knew he was going to join the Army. But never in his most fevered dreams did he imagine that he would end up as Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, overseeing what became the iconic centrepiece of the 2014 remembrance events. Nicknamed “Bren gun Harry” when he was in the boy scouts, Harrold admits to having been “army barmy” as a child. So naturally he joined the army section of the CCF at Habs, under the command of John Welbourne and “TEC” Carrington - “somebody I genuinely feared in my schooldays,” he recalls. Then adolescent rebellion struck in the lower 6th. “I grew my hair long, which looked really stupid with battledress and a beret (see photo). I decided I wasn’t going to take orders from anyone, and I wasn’t going to join the army.” But an interview with the school careers adviser, who suggested becoming an accountant instead, sent him running back to the Army liaison officer. He was also surprised by the sensitive way the school handled his rebellious phase. One particular crime was serious enough for “Taffy”’ Barling and TEC to deal jointly with the young offender. “They were a fearsome pair, yet they handled the matter with great compassion, understanding and forgiveness. So much so, that I was sufficiently rehabilitated in the sixth form to be promoted to the giddy heights of sub-prefect, opening up marvellous opportunities to run a protection racket on smokers in the woods.” From school it was straight to Sandhurst in 1974, a deviation from the normal path to university taken by most leavers in those days. “Sandhurst was the making of me. I was quite an immature and only partly-formed young man when I left Habs,” Harrold says. “I regret not going to university, but if you asked me to find three years of my time as a young officer in the infantry that I would give up to go there, I couldn’t find them.” After Sandhurst, the newlycommissioned officer joined his battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment and landed in West Belfast. That was the first of several tours in the province during a 30-year army career, spanning the “traditional troubles” of bombings and shootings in the 1970s, the IRA hunger strikes and riots of 1981, the breakdown of the first ceasefire in the early 1990s, and, finally the run-up to the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. By then he was in command of the regiment’s 1st Battalion, responsible for 500 soldiers. Taking retirement after a couple of years doing PR for the army from a desk at the Ministry of Defence, Harrold found at job with Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity responsible for conserving six palaces and for telling


old boys notes

their stories. In 2011, he was put in charge of the Tower of London and Banqueting House in Whitehall, a post that includes a home within the Tower walls. More recently, he added responsibility for Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, despite having sworn when he finished his final tour of army duty in Northern Ireland that he would never, ever go back. HRP receives no public funding at all – perhaps a blessing during a period of austerity which has hit many subsidised activities hard – and earns all of its money from visitors, events, retail activities, and from Colonel Dick Harrold OBE, Resident corporate sponsorship and Governor, Tower of London donations for major capital projects. The Tower of London itself had more than three million paying visitors in 2014, making it the top wholly paid visitor attraction in the UK. Yet Harrold admits that even with all that experience and a great deal of planning, they were taken aback by the sheer scale of the public response to “Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red”. The installation in the Tower moat by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper contained 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each of the British and colonial service personnel killed in World War One. “Our attitude was that it’s going to be big. We knew that,” Harrold says. “We felt that it had the potential to be the iconic image of 2014 and the whole business of remembrance. But I don’t think we visualised the scale of the logistic challenges we were taking on. And we also thought it had the potential to be a reputational disaster. Things could go wrong. What if we hadn’t been ready on time?” In the end they were ready, thanks to volunteers who worked 30,000 four-hour shifts, often in driving rain and cold, carrying out the hard labour of planting each flower individually. HRP also avoided financial disaster by managing to sell every one of the poppies and raising enough surplus funds to donate £1.3 million to each of six service-related charities. The level of public interest itself built into something of a crisis. It’s estimated that some four million visitors came to look at the poppies, and the press of people became so great in the last three of four weeks that Harrold was chairing daily crisis meetings during the October half-term break. It was taking half an hour to walk a few hundred yards from Tower Hill station. Harrold and others were effectively besieged in the Tower, unable to get out to appointments elsewhere. And there was huge concern about health and safety in the confined spaces around the moat. There was also enormous VIP interest. Visits by the

old boys notes


Queen and Prince Philip were planned long in advance, as was the inauguration featuring Prince William, Princess Catherine and Prince Harry. Pictures of the royals wandering in the sea of red became some of the most memorable images of the commemoration. In the final couple of months, there were 44 VIP visitors, some at short notice. “I got back from a lunch at the Banqueting House, after a glass or two of wine, to be told that the Princess Royal would be arriving in 45 minutes,” Harrold says, chuckling. “Mind you, I didn’t mind in the slightest. The Princess Royal is absolutely super.” There were also large crowds for the acts of remembrance each evening, featuring the reading of 180 names of the fallen chosen at random or submitted by members of the public. Even after it was officially over, the installation still caused problems. “There was a level of emotional involvement we had never experienced before,” Harrold says. The public started to take ownership of the project and many disgruntled people complained about “their” poppies being dismantled and taken away. But there was no choice: it was never built to last permanently and the flowers had in any case already been sold. Indeed Harrold’s whole experience at the Tower has been something of a delightful surprise. “The army wasn’t just a job. It was an emotional commitment. When I left, I hadn’t expected to get another job which would also be an emotional commitment. And that was what I got here.”

This page, clockwise from top: Dick Harrold as a young schoolboy, a long-haired cadet, relaxing after A-levels at the Waggon and Horses (in sunglasses standing next to Alan Newman), and at the “final poppy” ceremony (third from left)


old boys notes

old boys notes


Service & I Sacrifice

n the following pages, Dr John Wigley chronicles the story of the Haberdashers’ cadet force and the contribution of the school community over the course of two world wars and numerous other conflicts. The 2014 centenary year was an opportunity to remember all those who did not just Serve and Obey but made the ultimate sacrifice, recorded and celebrated in memorials and stories.

HABS Cadets: A False Start. by Dr John Wigley


014 is the centenary year of the Habs. cadet contingent, founded in October 1914, and recognised by the London Territorial Force in December, as noted in the War Office’s Army Orders in April 1915. However, its origins lay in an unofficial cadet force, set up in 1907 and disbanded in 1909. The origin of this unofficial force was the South African War (1899-1902) during which Britain fought the Boers for control of the country’s diamond and gold mines. At least six O.H. fought there. The War heightened Britain’s patriotic fervour, revealed its army’s inadequacies, and showed the devastating effect of Boer rifle fire. It marked the country and the school. Empire Day was established on 22 June 1902, the late Queen Victoria’s birthday. Habs introduced drill and in 1903 the War Office reported it was ‘very elementary but promising’. During 1904, the Master of the Haberdashers’ Company recommended ‘that boys should qualify at school to defend the Empire in time of need’. The Headmaster, Mr. Hinton, reported to parents that “Shooting and drill are encouraged by the War Office, the National Rifle Association and our own Governors” and that the school hoped to provide rifles and a miniature range. At the end of 1904, Habs had the range and a Rifle Club was established in 1905, with 22 members coached by Mr. Strouts. Shooting matches against other schools and local rifle clubs began in 1906. By 1907 the Club had 58 members. Over the summer holidays, 20 boys camped and shot at Bisley, led by three masters and Sgt. Hartnett (former Col Sgt. 2nd. Essex Infantry and School Instructor in P.E.). During 1906, Habs Empire Day celebrations had included ‘a March Past’ and a ‘military salute to the flag’ and shortly after Empire Day 1907, in fact on 27 May, the Sixth Form Debating Society asked the school to set up its own cadet corps. By the start of the next term Habs had its own unofficial cadet corps, commanded by the Revd. Braine and equipped with blue tunic and shorts. At first it flourished as its 80 members practised drill, marched through nearby roads and streets, held manoeuvres on Hampstead Heath, and – of course – enjoyed rifle shooting. However, drill lost its attraction, academic pressure and an over-crowded timetable began to reduce enthusiasm, and it became clear that the Habs corps would remain an unofficial venture. The Territorial Force would not accept it as a cadet unit and the War Office would not recognise it as an Officer Training Corps. Less well-known schools had cadet units but Habs did not have enough social status to qualify for an OTC. In the summer holiday of 1909, Mr. Hinton spent his last full day as Headmaster with the cadets at Bisley but his successor, Mr. Spilsbury, decided that the school’s own unofficial corps had no future and so disbanded it in the autumn term, by an eerie coincidence on 11th. November.


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(Above) Habs Patriotic Society at Bisley,1907 (top and right) CCF cadets at the Tower of London in 2014 to dedicate a new banner

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Cadets and Memorials 1914-2014


n 4th August 1914, just over five years after the first Habs cadet force had disbanded, the First World War began. The school responded immediately at the start of the Autumn Term with weekly drill practice. J.N. Green, the School Captain, recorded that “the impetus given by the War, combined with the patriotic sentiments of the many of the boys” led to calls to form a Corps. Set up in October, it had one company of four platoons, each of 50 cadets. By the end of term, it had a drum and bugle band and an ambulance class, its members had been measured for khaki uniforms and it hoped to obtain rifles. The school still has two of the bugles bought in 1914. Hopes that the Corps would become an Officers’ Training Corps were dashed because the War Office refused to sanction new ones during hostilities. However, it was recognised by the London Territorial Force Association on 9th December 1914 and became an approved and official part of the Cadet Force. By July, it had six officers led by Major Wagstaff, the Headmaster, and Capt. Jobling, Housemaster, and 240 cadets. The deaths of 106 old boys and one master shocked the school. Its memorial, paid for by old boys and with the names of the dead surmounted by the Haberdashers’ Company’s coat of arms, was placed in the Assembly Hall at Westbere Road, and dedicated during an inter-faith service on 11 November 1922. The Chairman of the Governors made a moving speech and Mr. A.M. Mann, whose son was killed in France on 12th March 1915, represented the parents. A Corps bugler sounded Reveille and the Last Post. The Corps had a chequered history between the wars. It grew rapidly during the 1920s but in 1930 the Labour government abolished all non-OTC school Cadet Corps in an attempt to reduce spending and balance the budget. However, events in Germany changed priorities. In 1936, the Corps was reconstituted and in 1937, it was given OTC status. The post-war Labour government rationalised the rapid expansion of the cadet system that had taken place during the War and, in 1948, the Habs Corps became a Combined Cadet Force, with Navy and RAF sections added to the Army. The school’s memorial to the 86 old boys and one master killed in World War II came in stages. On 20th October 1948, Dr. Taylor dedicated a Book of Remembrance, with a page for each of the fallen, placed in a specially-made display cabinet at the foot of the WWI Memorial. In 1951, two hard tennis courts were opened at the school’s sports ground at Chase Lodge as an additional memorial. But not until 12th July 1958 was an obelisk displaying the names of the dead unveiled by Dr. Taylor in a Garden of Remembrance there. On 20th September 1952, the OHRFC had dedicated its own memorial, like the others paid for by old boys, in the Clubhouse at Croxdale Road. When the school moved to Elstree in 1961, the World War I Memorial, the Book of Remembrance, and the obelisk were taken there. The Memorial and the Book were placed in the then Chapel (now the Waiting Room) and the obelisk sited in a new Garden of Remembrance outside Aldenham House. After Nick Taylor’s death in the Falklands War, his name was added to the obelisk and a plaque placed in the present Chapel.

The centenary of the start of the First World War and of the formation of the Corps called for something special. The school decided to refurbish the Great War memorial and to replace the CCF’s banner, which had been given in 1984 in honour of Nick Taylor. On 10th October 2014, acting-Contingent Commander Mark Lloyd Williams, officers Hamish Haldane and John Wigley, and SSI James Sandercock, took 100 cadets to the Tower of London. In brilliant sunshine, the cadets drew up in a hollow square at the steps of the HQ of the Fusiliers’, to which the CCF is affiliated. The Commander paid tribute to all old boys who had fallen in war, and the School Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Jan Goodyear laid up the 1984 banner and dedicated a new one. As the CCF band closed the ceremony, a moment’s silence was broken as hundreds of spectators, including junior boys who were present for the occasion, broke into applause. A few weeks later on 7th November, the CCF held its annual Remembrance Parade at which Colin Blessley, the OHA President, laid a wreath at the foot of the obelisk and Peter Hamilton, the Headmaster, unveiled the refurbished memorial in the presence of old boys, parents and cadets. It was a worthy reminder of those earlier ceremonies, in 1922 and 1948, and a fitting tribute to all of the fallen.

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World War I T

he First World War influenced the whole school community. By its end, 11 masters had served and Mr. Patterson, Senior Science Master had been seconded to a munitions factory at Gretna, one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Capt. Jobling, second in command of the school Corps, quickly volunteered and, with the active service rank of lieutenant, was mentioned in despatches. Mr. Blunt was wounded on the Somme and captured. Mr. Reynolds (see below) was promoted to Capt. and killed in action. Their absence led the school to recruit temporary masters and mistresses, not all of whom could keep order. The Governors offered places to the sons of Belgian refugees and asked the Headmaster to investigate if the school had any pupils whose parents were “legal subjects of the enemy”. Boys of all ages responded enthusiastically to the War Office’s request to collect horse chestnuts, used to make explosives. The school had a taste of danger when, on 19th October 1917, a Zeppelin dropped a bomb nearby and broke 135 window panes. By early 1918, conscription had made taken so many men into the armed forces that the boys were organised into “labour gangs” to clean the school. At least 15 old boys were with the British Expeditionary Force and two were captured. By the end of 1914, some 230 old boys had joined up and 497 by the end of 1916, so fatalities were inevitable and the Roll of Honour quickly lengthened. The first old boy victim was Private F.J. Milne, serving with the Honourable Artillery Company. He was a former captain of the school’s Rifle Club and Habs’ best shot at Bisley in 1907. On 14 November 1914, he was killed instantly near Le Touret when a shell burst over him whilst he was digging in next to his brother, who was fortunately unharmed. A later fatality was E.A.G. Coules (see facing page), killed on 28 October 1917 and buried at Roisel near Peronne. He was a brilliant pupil who in 1914 had won the school’s matriculation prize with the best results to that date. Neither he nor the school had been carried away by the jingoistic attitudes of the time. In October 1914, he and several fellow members of the Sixth Form Debating Society had denied that “war enobles a nation” and in April 1915 had “attempted to defend Germany’s position” as a “growing nation that needed room for expansion.” Within months he had passed third into Woolwich, second into the Royal Engineers, and been Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. Aged 19 and in France for just over five weeks, he was hit by a sniper whilst exposed on the top of the front line, barely 40 yards from the German trenches. He is commemorated by the Coules Cup for Marksmanship, given by his grieving parents, and by a beautifully engraved memorial plaque, maintained in pristine condition in the present CCF headquarters. It records his stoical final words: “I’m all right; get on with the work.”


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H.A. Patey had a remarkable record. Aged only 15, he joined the Naval Volunteer Reserve in September 1914, fought at Gallipoli from March to September 1916, was granted a Commission in the Royal Naval Air Service in 1917, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in June 1919 for what he described as a “stunt”. He led his flight on a dawn raid behind the German lines, bombed an air field, shot up the officers’ quarters, attacked vehicles going up to the front, and then strafed trenches as he returned to base. Within a few weeks, he was shot down in his Sopwith Camel and taken prisoner. He survived the War but on 14 February 1919 caught Spanish flu and died four days later. Although he had not died on active service, his name was included amongst those of the 107 dead - 106 old boys and one master - inscribed on the First World War Memorial. The school held a Peace Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday 16th July 1919, almost three weeks after the Treaty of Versailles was signed and three days before the official victory parade past the temporary Cenotaph in Whitehall. Mr. Wagstaff, the Headmaster, remembered the dead by eschewing talk of glory and victory and spoke instead of the virtues of peace.

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World War II T

he “Phoney War” from September 1939 to May 1940 meant that death came to Habs. more slowly than in World War One. But the rise of air power meant that the school itself was directly exposed to danger. In October 1940, a delayedaction bomb badly damaged the Westbere Road building, a master, W.T. Whewell, and his wife were killed when a bomb destroyed their house, and a pupil, W.G. Gluss, was killed in an air raid. In February 1944, a recent leaver, J. Hepburn, lost his life in a V1 attack. Eleven masters joined up, as did nine former members of staff. Over 800 old boys served, about half as officers. Some old boys on active service made light of the danger by adopting a highly nonchalant style and tone in letters that they wrote to Mr. D.W. Small at the school. Sgt. H.G. Newstead described the Nazi attack on Greece and apologised for “what my pals would call an awful ‘line shoot’”. Cpl. W.R. “Nobbly” Tanner, a stalwart of the OHA, dismissed his time as a prisoner of war in North Africa as “an interesting and vaguely exciting yarn”. Several old boys had a “good war”. Derek Bond, in 1984 president of Equity, won the MC with the Grenadier Guards and wrote up his experiences in “Steady, Old Man! Don’t You Know There’s a War On?” (1990). Alan Whicker, the well-known broadcaster, recalled in Whicker’s War (2005) (see facing page) that he accepted the surrender of the SS headquarters in Milan. Ashe Lincoln, a distinguished lawyer, recounted in his Secret Naval Investigator (1961) being one of the first British officers to cross the Remagen bridge over the Rhine. For many years, the demands of national security made it impossible for I.J. Good to reveal that he had worked alongside Alan Turing at Bletchley Park, and only recently has his name found its way into specialist literature on the secret war. Major R.W. Diggens demolished bridges to hinder the Nazi advance on Dunkirk. Norman Rubinstein was captured at Calais and survived Theresienstadt to lead a band of Czech partisans. Capt. C.R.O. Burge was on HMS Rodney when it helped sink the Bismarck. Flt. Lt. I.A. Kayes was shot down over Germany and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, later famous for daring escapes. Sgt. D.R. Steele was captured in the commando raid on the dry dock at St.


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Nazaire. Major D. Leverton, whose family firm provided the corpse for misinformation plot depicted in The Man Who Never Was, went ashore in Sicily, as did Major K.H. Blessley. Major D.F. Burge crossed the Channel before dawn on D-Day, and Lt. G.C.G. Philo was one of the first parachutists to land in Normandy, where he captured 6 Nazi vehicles and 63 soldiers, and was awarded the Military Cross by Montgomery. The most decorated old boy was Alfred Dreyfus , who served with the French Army from 1939-40, made his way to England and joined the Free French, receiving the Légion d’ Honneur (Chevalier), the Médaille Militaire and the Croix de Guerre. After Dunkirk, his brother Manuel fought with the Free French Forces of the Interior as an underground resistance leader, known around Limoges by his nom de guerre of Commandant Marcel. They were both awarded the USA’s Army Citation. Even so, there were fatalities. At least four were tragic accidents, such as Major A.T. Winney, killed by the accidental explosion of a mortar bomb. Almost 30 were killed serving with the RAF Pilot Officer Anthony Williams (see facing page) survived when the ship bringing him back from training in the USA was torpedoed in the Atlantic, but his Spitfire was reported missing after combat over Sicily and he was presumed killed. Flight Officer G.B. Blunn, who described his American training in Skylark, met the same fate. Major M.R.G. Watkins, an old boy of Haberdashers’ Hatcham and a master at Hampstead, was a member of the Intelligence Corps and fell in Austria in May 1945, a few days before the war ended. A particular loss was Denis Mann, an all-round sportsman, school captain 1938-39, scholar of Jesus College, Cambridge, who had registered as a conscientious objector and was killed whilst serving with an ambulance unit of the Society of Friends. By the end of the war 86 old boys and one master had lost their lives serving with the armed forces. L.J. Gooch, President, wrote in the Old Haberdashers’ War Register: “We honour, with humble gratitude, the sacrifice of our friends and school-fellows who have given their lives, that we may continue to live in the way in which our conscience directs us.”

Headmaster F.J. Kemp and School Prefects 1937-8. Denis Mann is seated on far right.

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Nicholas Taylor

David Limb



n 1983, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited the Falkland Islands, which Britain had wrested back from Argentina the previous year. She saw the grave of Nicholas Taylor, OH, killed in action on 4 May 1982, the first British fatality of the war. He had been flying a Sea Harrier from HMS Hermes in an attack on the Goose Green airstrip, which was being used by the Argentinian air force. Nicholas was a pupil at Habs from 1963 to 1967. After leaving school, he spent 18 months training at RAF Cranwell then switched to the Fleet Air Arm. His flying duties took him to Northern Ireland, where he flew helicopters at 200 feet over Belfast. Until the end of the 1970’s Nick had flown Sea Kings, then he crossed into the fast-jet training cohort. In the Spring of 1982 he had just completed the Sea Harrier conversion course and joined 800 Squadron, when he was posted to the Royal Naval Task Force that was sent to the Falklands. On Tuesday 4th May 1982, the U.K. forces mounted a three-ship attack on the Goose Green airstrip during which Nick’s plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire as he went in to the target. His plane exploded and hit the ground very close by. His body, still in its ejector seat, was recovered by the residents of Goose Green and, with Argentine supervision, buried nearby with full military honours. The grave is now fenced off and marked with a proper headstone. Its inscription reads: “In proud memory of a dearly beloved husband, son and brother, shot down while flying for the country he loved.” It is tended by the islanders, who hold an annual service on the anniversary of his death. Nik had played rugby for OHRFC from 1967 to 1976. The OHA held a commemorative rugby match on 6 March 1983, when a crowd of several hundred, including Nick’s parents, honoured the memory of their son. The President of the OHRFC hosted a lunch for them before the match. Afterwards, a memorial plaque and a framed photograph of the two teams (OHRFC and Combined London Old Boys) were placed over the fireplace in the Clubhouse. A group of the school’s RAF cadets attended the event and the OHA and the school bought a banner for the CCF to perpetuate his memory. The school placed a memorial plaque in the Chapel in Aldenham House. A contemporary wrote: “Nick was a natural athlete and a tough competitor at a wide range of sports, including fives, rugby and swimming. He displayed a rare talent at almost everything he cared to turn his hand to, the sports already mentioned and in addition sailing, skiing, gliding and, of course, his greatest love, flying. As a pilot he achieved the highest accolade of being selected as a Test Pilot at the Empire Test Flying School, a position he sadly never filled. Nick was a man’s man and the kindest person you could ever wish to meet. He has left so many happy memories he will not be forgotten by the numerous friends he made in so many facets of his life. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Nick at school will be grateful for having met such a fine young man who, as the press described, died a national hero. No parents could be more proud of their son and no wife more proud of a husband.”


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t.-Col. David Michael Limb, MBE, MA, died unexpectedly on 11th August 2000 whilst on leave at his home in France. He was just 39 years old and had been in command of 3 PARA for a

week. David made an immediate impact on all who met him. He played rugby and hockey, was a School Prefect, House Captain of Hendersons, and CSM of the CCF’s Army Section. He won an Army Scholarship and in 1981went to study history at Christ Church, Oxford, where he entertained school and university friends to five course dinners cooked in his rooms. Brigadier John Lorimer wrote an obituary. “I first met David at Sandhurst in 1982. He had already been accepted by the Parachute Regiment. It was clear that David was something special. He was articulate, gregarious and athletic, despite only being just over five and a half feet tall. He was also well-read and intelligent. More importantly, he was clearly going to be an outstanding soldier and officer, and it was not surprising that he won the Queen’s Medal when he passed out of Sandhurst as the outstanding graduate of his course.” David was quickly promoted. Initially Platoon Commander with 3 PARA, he then served in Uganda with the British Military Training Team, and in 1984 was awarded the MBE at the age of 24 for helping in the evacuation of British nationals after a coup. There then followed 18 months as ADC to General Geoffrey Howlett, C. in C. Allied Force, Northern Europe, in Norway. From 1988-89, he was with 1 PARA as Adjutant and really made his mark. He involved himself in all aspects of battalion life, knew virtually everyone in the battalion by name, and showed the fiercely competitive spirit for which he was well-known. He then served with the First Royal Green Jackets as Company Commander in Germany, attended Staff College, and returned to 1 PARA as Company Commander, gaining experience as Major at Aldershot and on the Operations/ Policy staff at Army HQ Northern Ireland. He worked hard, was promoted to Lt.-Col. and appointed a member of the Directing Staff at the Staff College. He had been unable to persuade the Army to release him from Sandhurst to fight in the Falklands, but found deployment during

the first Gulf War as Liaison Officer between British and U.S. Headquarters. He impressed both HQ staffs and was awarded the Bronze Star by the Americans. He was chosen personally by General Wesley Clarke, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, as his British Military Assistant, a prestigious appointment for which he was fully suited. It was high profile, very important, dealt with big issues and allowed him to play a significant role in the Kosovo operations in 1999. He revelled in the networking and in debating tactics and policy, and his experience, intellect, original thought and energy made him a formidable presence. Brigadier Lorimer concluded: “For all the enjoyment of staff appointments, it was as a leader that he excelled. He loved his soldiers and he relished commanding them. He could not wait to take over 3 PARA and it is much to the loss of the battalion that he was not allowed to make his mark on them. David was a great friend. He was utterly loyal and great fun to be with. He had so many talents and was hugely gifted. David was one of the most gifted officers of his generation.” David’s funeral in the Chapel at Sandhurst was attended by his grieving wife and daughter, his parents, brothers and sister, a host of military colleagues and friends, and by a group representing Habs of which he was an altogether exceptional alumnus.

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Old Habs: Through the Decades 32

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Amy Winehouse and Robert Aske Editing the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography By Lawrence Goldman


hat do Sir Ralph Freeman (1880-1950), civil engineer, Frederick Augustus Voigt (1892-1957), journalist and author, Eric Treacy (1907-1978), bishop of Wakefield and railway photographer and Richard (Rick) Wright (1943-2008), keyboard player (for Pink Floyd no less) have in common? They were all educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School when it was in Hampstead, and they all have entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The Oxford DNB, published in 2004, is the record of the most notable figures in British History, stretching back over two millennia. It contains approximately 55,000 biographical essays on 60,000 lives; it runs to about 70 million words, making it the longest work in the history of the English language; and it has been written by more than 11,000 scholars and authors, making it the largest ever collaboration in the humanities. It is online in (and remotely via) every public library in the United Kingdom. You can also take out your own subscription, or, if you have more than fourteen feet of shelf space, you can purchase all 64 of its volumes. I served as its Editor for its first decade after publication and I’m pleased to report that it contains 16 entries on men educated at the Boys’ School when at Hampstead, which compares with a single entry for an alumna of the Girls’ School, a homeopath called Margery Blackie, and 11 entries for men educated at Haberdashers’ Hatcham. But if Hampstead produced a group of worthy professionals – academics, engineers, authors, a judge (Alan KingHamilton) and an actor, Derek Bond – we cannot compete with the most famous of the alumni from Hatcham, Sir Barnes Wallis, he of the bouncing bombs. And of course, the Oxford DNB includes a long entry on the actor Michael Redgrave, who famously played Barnes Wallis in The Dambusters: cue the music. Before the Oxford DNB there was the Dictionary of National Biography, published by the great Victorian publisher, George Smith (who lost a small fortune on the project) and originally edited by Leslie Stephen, the Cambridge don and man-of-letters, now better known as the father of Virginia Woolf. Approximately half the size of its successor, the first DNB was published in 63 smaller volumes between 1885 and 1901: felicitously, the last life it included in chronological terms was that of Queen Victoria herself. Ownership of the Dictionary passed to Oxford University Press during the First World War, who added another volume to the corpus every decade, sweeping up within it some of the worthies who died in the ‘twenties, ‘thirties, ‘forties and so on. But in 1992 it was decided to

re-write the whole thing to include the fruits of a century of further historical research, to bring it up to date, and to present our generation’s view of the nation’s history. In the course of composing and compiling the Dictionary the internet was invented and the Oxford DNB became one of the first major works of reference to be specifically designed for the internet. It has been said to mark an epoch in the history of publishing; without doubt it has become an indispensable tool for anyone interested in, or researching the British past. And “British” is interpreted very broadly to include people who lived only part of their lives in these islands, like Erasmus, Marx, Freud, Hendrix and my own favourite in this category, Forest Mars, the American confectioner who invented the Mars Bar in the 1930s during a brief sojourn in Slough. It also includes many Britons who lived abroad for much of their lives, such as the servants of empire. And there are those figures included who helped make British History, such as George Washington, Mahatma Ghandi and Michael Collins, but whose dearest wish was to escape the British embrace. They too are now immortalised in the pantheon of British worthies: this is how the empire really strikes back. As people die – and you have to be dead to get an entry in the Dictionary – so they are added to the collection. Every January we add more than two hundred biographical essays to the ODNB on people who died in the recent past. We are always three to four years behind the grim reaper, giving time to form a more considered opinion of a life than is possible in an instantaneous obituary in the press. In January 2014 we added the lives of people who died in 2010, therefore. This January 2015, we added 226 people to the Dictionary who died in 2011, including Lucien Freud, Liz Taylor, Basil D’Oliveira, Henry Cooper, Amy Winehouse and Jimmy Savile. Savile’s entry, written by yours truly, indicates that ‘all life is here’, the benefactors of society rubbing shoulders with the malefactors. The Victorian DNB was full of ‘soldiers, scholars and statesmen’, men – and it was usually men – of the establishment. The Oxford DNB has tripled the number of women included and greatly expanded the coverage of popular culture at all stages in British history. To help us make the choice of who goes in and who stays out, we have more than 450 advisors organised in 43 panels from archaeologists to zoologists

Every January we add more than two hundred biographical essays to the ODNB on people who died in the recent past.We are always three to four years behind the grim reaper, giving time to form a more considered opinion of a life than is possible in an instantaneous obituary in the press.


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– with classicists, mathematicians, musicians, journalists, artists, writers, and sportsmen and women in between. Usually the decisions are clear-cut; physicists tend to agree on those among them who deserve this ultimate recognition. But in some areas, notably the arts, there is profound disagreement and the editor makes the final call. I still wake up in the night wondering if I should have commissioned an entry for Reg Varney of On the Buses’ fame. We continue to fill in gaps in the past, one of the great advantages of an extensible internet resource over the printed word. As readers send us suggestions for “missing persons” – figures from the distant past who may have been overlooked but who deserve an entry – we commission new essays. It was my great pleasure as editor to ask our former history teacher David Griffiths, at Habs from 1968 to 1996, to write the biography of the school’s founder, Robert Aske (1619-1689), silk merchant and benefactor, who had been omitted. Compared with schools like Eton (1905 entries in the Dictionary were educated there), Westminster (1040) and Winchester (810), the 16 from Haberdashers’ isn’t really much to boast about. But in a few years’ time the school’s remarkable success since its relocation to Elstree will begin to register in the ODNB as the generation from the sixties and seventies begins to find its place in its pages. We shouldn’t want to rush that process, however: the Oxford DNB wishes all its readers a long and merry life. For some, however, it offers immortality of a sort. Professor Lawrence Goldman (1975 Dec) was Fellow and Tutor in History at St. Peter’s College, Oxford between 1990 and 2014 and, concurrently the Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004-14. In this academic year, he became Director of the Institute of Historical Research in London. He is a governor of both the boys’ and the girls’ schools at Elstree.

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Sir Martin Sorrell by Dr John Wigley


ir Martin Sorrell is probably the best-known member of the OHA. In December 2014 he was the Distinguished Speaker at an alumni event held by Christ’s College, Cambridge. Harry Hyman, also a Christ’s graduate, and past-President of the OHA, attended with his brother Clive, another Christ’s man, and past-Treasurer of the OHA, as did Vivek Shah, a third Habs pupil who went to up Christ’s. Harry reports that Sir Martin stressed the importance of his cultural heritage as a second generation immigrant, of his education at Habs and Christ’s, and recalled his friendship with Simon Schama, another alumnus of Habs and Christ’s. He reminisced that in November 1963 they were in their first term in Cambridge and heard of President Kennedy’s assassination whilst walking across Magdalen Bridge. He told how he took WPP from a shell company with a capitalisation of £1 million into the FTSE 100 as a £17 billion company. Sir Martin was born one day after Simon, now a leading historian. In 1964 Nicholas Serota, now Director of the Tate Gallery, and also a knight of the realm, followed them from Habs to Christ’s. The college of John Milton, Charles Darwin and Dr. Taylor (Headmaster 1946-73), it was noted in the 1960’s for the history tuition given by J.H. Plumb. His interest in art and cultural history influenced Nicholas and Simon, who wrote his obituary for The Independent. Sir Martin was a school prefect and played 1st. XI Cricket, but Skylark under-estimated him. “M.S. Sorrell (Vice-Captain) – He has had a disappointing season. After his moderate start his form fell right away, and the pressure of examinations did not help. His advice throughout the season was of great value and his enthusiasm deserved better reward.” After Cambridge, Sir Martin studied at Harvard Business School. The verdict of Joel Smilow of Gendinning Associates, for whom he worked during his first Harvard vacation, was more discerning. “From the beginning he was very involved, very determined and a really fast student. He understood what was going on and made good contributions to the project he was working on.” Graduating from Harvard in 1968, Sir Martin joined


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Saatchi and Saatchi in 1975, was finance director 197784, master-minded many of the firm’s acquisitions, and was nick-named “the third brother”. In 1985 he invested privately in Wire and Plastic Products (WPP) and used it for a series of strategic take-overs including J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy and Mather, and Young & Rubicam. He rapidly made WPP the world’s largest advertising and market services-company by some distance and by all measures, with 179,000 employees and 3,000 offices in 111 countries. Joel Smilow now describes him as “demanding, a strong leader, goal-orientated, a visionary with a global outlook who gets good results.” Some experts believe that it is only because of Sir Martin that Britain has a world-class advertising and public-relations commercial sector. He is no stranger to controversy. To reduce WPP’s tax liability he was prepared to move its HQ off-shore. He faced down share-holder objections to his remuneration package. In 2008, there were complaints that Young and Rubicam was supporting Robert Mugabe’s election campaign. He has a good eye for publicity. In 2012, he shared in carrying the Olympic Torch through London. In January 2014, whilst attending the World Economic Conference in Davos, he persuaded Larry Summers (former U.S. Treasury Secretary) to kick a ball about with Ronaldo (Brazil’s star player). He takes part in public life. He is a Corporate Advisor to the Tate Gallery and an Ambassador for British Industry. He does good work by stealth, being the patron of several charities, including the NSPCC, and supports the Cambridge, Harvard and London business schools. His willingness to give interviews and share his analysis of the national and international economy has given him his high public profile. During 2014 he felt that uncertainty over Scottish independence and Britain’s membership of the European Union could weaken this country’s economic recovery. Linking his analysis to his background, and taking up a theme he stressed at Christ’s, Sir Martin has revealed to the media that as a second-generation immigrant, he personally would be reluctant to handle advertising and publicity for UKIP’s general election campaign.

A.D. Miller H

idden away near the back of the 1993 edition of Skylark is a list of School Officials for 1992-93. It contains several interesting names. After studying at Oxford and Cambridge, Ashley C. Blaker wrote some of Matt Lucas’s early scripts, while Jeremy Lamb joined the Army after reading civil engineering at the University of Birmingham and was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery and leadership in Iraq. Here we concentrate on another of from the list: Andrew D.A. Miller. In 1986, Andrew left the Prep and joined the Main School as a member of Form 1.11R. He wrote better than most Sixth Formers, a sign of things to come. In 1994, he went up to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to read English and three years later achieved one of the two best First Class Degrees of his year, following it up with a scholarship to Princeton. Whilst at Princeton he wrote travel pieces about the United States, returned to Britain for a spell in television, and quickly joined The Economist, becoming its Moscow correspondent in 2004. While he was there, his first book The Earl of Petticoat Lane (2006) was published in Britain, a memoir of his grandfather’s life as an immigrant in the East End. It received rave reviews. Linda Grant in the New Statesman believed it “the best-documented account of the class trajectory of British Jewry in the 20th century”. Julie Myers in the Daily Mail called it an “irresistible read… moved me to tears”. Susie Boyt in The Sunday Times considered it “family history of the best sort”. Edwina Currie in The Times described it as “A wry, poignant

history”. Lucy Powell in Time Out dubbed it “Superb…a magnificent read”. And Jonathan Freedland in The Jewish Chronicle felt it to be “exquisite”. In 2007 Andrew returned from Moscow to become U.K. editor of The Economist and wrote the Bagehot column, but his experience there had stimulated him to write a novel. Snowdrops was one of the six works of fiction shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize of 2011. It, too, became something of a publishing sensation and brought Andrew international publicity: interviews with GQ France, Radio Free Europe, and Izvestia, for example. Snowdrop is Russian slang for a body that lies buried in the snow, emerging in the thaw. The book’s central character and narrator is a lonely, drifting 30-something expat lawyer who is drawn into the darker and seamier side of Moscow life. It has been called “a sophisticated many-layered debut novel” and “a riveting psychological drama” and classed as a thriller. Andrew says the book is not autobiographical and describes it as a moral not a conventional thriller. He explains that it shows how a normal person finds himself behaving in ways he could not have anticipated and loses his moral bearings in a tumultuous society, in which power is more important than law. It is a bleak portrait of a country in which life is perilous for people who become victims of the state and do not have connections and influence. However, Andrew recalls that Russian alcohol, food and dachas can create a quality of fun that is somehow more intense than elsewhere. Russia is an addictive country, he says, and it has left a mark on this OH author.

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Lord O Feldman of Elstree

“Swivel-eyed loons hit back at PM.” That was the story that dominated the front page of The Sunday Telegraph on 19 May 2013. It was claimed that one of David Cameron’s inner circle had insulted grassroots Conservatives and that the PM had to repair the damage. Lord Feldman was reported to have said that he respected party activists and that the report was “completely untrue”.


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ld Haberdashers reading the newspaper might have felt their eyes drawn inexorably towards a particular sentence: “Lord Feldman attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Hertfordshire and became a close friend of Mr. Cameron when the pair were at Brasenose College, Oxford, in the Eighties.” Until 2013, Lord Feldman was one of our leastknown but most influential old boys. Andrew Feldman was born on 25 February 1966 and was a pupil at Habs from 1973 to 1984, when he won an Exhibition to read Jurisprudence at Brasenose. He and David Cameron were in the College Tennis Club and organised a May Ball. Both were awarded first class degrees, Andrew in Law, David in PPE. After leaving, Oxford Andrew spent some time in management consultancy and at the Bar but in 1995 took charge of his family’s textile firm Jayroma, quickly increasing its sales and profits. He remained in close touch with David and in 2005 supported his bid for the Conservative leadership. He made a £10,000 donation and ran the funding and operations of the campaign. Under the new leader, he became the party’s deputy treasurer and in 2006 he joined its Economic Competitiveness Group. In 2008, he became chief executive of the party to prepare for the general election. On 11 May 2010, the new prime minister rewarded him with appointment co-chairman of the party and soon nominated him for a peerage. On 20 December 2010, he took his seat in the Lords as Baron Feldman of Elstree. His appointment as co-chairman was said to have raised some Tory eyebrows. He had never been a Councillor or an MP and was thought to have no political stance of his own or weight in the party at large. Despite that, he was said to have been given the unprecedented privilege of an office in 10 Downing Street. He was accused of being another of David’s chums, in effect an honorary Old Etonian. His role was to raise money for the party. In 2007, he had chaired the Leaders’ Group, a dining club for donors who gave at least £50,000 a year to the party. He wanted to widen and diversify sources of party funding, but perhaps played a part in bringing in two multi-millionaires as Party Treasurer, David Rowland (who stood down amidst accusations of being a tax exile) and David Cruddas (who resigned after being accused of implying that cash could buy access to the PM). Commentators implied that Andrew’s judgement had let David down on those two occasions, and that the “swivel-gate” affair was a third episode, but he survived, respected by many senior Tories for his personal qualities and for his fund-raising. Having transformed the party’s finances, he played a central role in the Conservatives’ 2015 general election campaign. After their victory, he became the sole party chairman and now attends the political cabinet.

Sublunary Lovers’ Antics O

n the evening of Saturday 31st January 2015, Old Haberdashers scored a double whammy. A large part of Radio 4’s Saturday Review was devoted to the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall, directed by Peter Kosminsky, and to the novels of Adam Thirlwell. Then on Monday 9th February, Adam co-presented Radio 4’s Start the Week, discussing his markedly personal literary style and his new novel Lurid and Cute. Adam took A-Levels at Habs in 1996, was awarded a Northcott Travelling Scholarship, and won the Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board’s prizes in English and in French Literature. A year later, he went up to study English at New College, Oxford, where in 2000 he achieved a top First and was elected a Prize Fellow of All Souls, only the second Old Haberdasher to achieve that distinction. Adam has written three novels: Politics (2003), The Escape (2009) and Lurid and Cute (2015, plus two works of non-fiction: Miss Herbert (2007) and Kapow (2012). Miss Herbert (said to be named not after the Habs Prep teacher, but the niece of Flaubert’s governess) and Kapow were, amongst other things, reflections on the nature of fiction, replete with idiosyncratic layout and typology, which led to Kapow being nominated for the 2013 Design of the Year Award. In 2003, Granta named him one of the most promising young British novelists of the year before Politics was published, an opinion supported when it received the Betty Trask Award, in 2008 Miss Herbert attracted the Somerset Maugham Award, and in 2013 Granta listed him again. But literary critics are divided about him and the genre his fiction and nonfiction has created. In 2003, The Times critic wrote: “There is nothing quite like Adam Thirwell’s first novel, Politics, in contemporary English writing. For a start,

there is hardly any story. What is one to make of the book? Well, to begin with, that it is one of the funniest, most stylish and utterly original debuts to hit the stands in recent years.” But in 2009, a critic on The Guardian reviewing The Escape noted that not everyone had agreed on the merits of his first novel. “The narrative voice struck some readers as archly infantile. With The Escape, Thirlwell’s voice has grown up and he has produced an accomplished book that begins to reveal his real potential…. The Escape is one of the best British novels I’ve read this year for one reason: Thirlwell’s prose. At once effervescent and elegant, his narrative voice lifts the novel’s lecherous comedy beyond the sublunary lovers’ antics into a more rarified sphere.” In 2015, The Daily Telegraph reacted to Lurid and Acute. “Adam Thirlwell is showered with acclaim or contempt. Critics have derided his novels as ‘smug’, ‘monumentally annoying’, exercises in ‘whimsy and pomposity’, with the delivery of ‘a moronic post-graduate’. Yet he gets just jacket props from Milan Kundera and Tom Stoppard. This book is a kind of pastiche noir, narrated by a hysterically self-indulgent waster and appears to be populated entirely by wan*ers.” The Financial Times was more positive. “In his freewheeling, digressive, third novel, the author has produced a dazzlingly imaginative comic noir that baffles, delights and distresses, largely plotless, but full of the most imaginative leaps, stunning set pieces and beautifully stylish prose.” Adam’s critics are unable to agree. Is he primarily a poseur or a serious writer, a recorder of louche lives or an observer of human motivation, a clever tease or an intellectual explorer of creativity and perception inspired by Laurence Sterne’s pioneering Tristram Shandy (1759)? Readers will have to try his books and form their opinion.

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Nude Bacchants Riding Panthers


arly in 2015, Cambridge University’s weekly on-line Research Bulletin announced a remarkable discovery. It had been thought that no bronzes by Michaelangelo had survived, but experts now believed that they had found not one, but two. The two bacchants are described as naked, beautiful, and muscular - one older and lithe, one younger and athletic - riding triumphantly on two ferocious panthers. And now the secret of who created the magnificent metre-high bronze male nudes could well be solved. A team of international experts led by the University of Cambridge and the Fitzwilliam Museum has gathered compelling evidence that argues that these masterpieces, which spent centuries in relative obscurity, are early works by Michaelangelo. The team believes they were made around 15061508, just after he completed the marble statue David and was about to embark on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Over the last 100 years the bronzes had been attributed to several other talented sculptors. That attribution changed in the autumn of 2014 when Paul Joannides, Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Cambridge, author of Drawings by Michaelangelo (2007), connected them to a drawing by one of his apprentices now in the Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France. If that attribution is correct, the bronzes are the only surviving bronzes by Michaelangelo in the world. Born in 1945, Paul was a pupil at Habs from September 1957 to December 1963, and thus a member of a Sixth Form that included Martin Sorrell, Simon Schama and Nicolas Serota


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- a very distinguished generation. He took A-Levels in English, History and General Studies (a subject promoted by Dr. Taylor) and was awarded an Exhibition in English by Trinity College, Cambridge. The 1960’s are seen as a decade of change as the Beatles and Rolling Stones gave teenagers the confidence to develop a youth culture that challenged their elders’ attitudes. The school was not immune. Paul was one of six editors of the summer 1963 edition of Skylark and one wonders if he had a hand in writing the anonymous editorial that groped for the correct relationship between the individual and society. “Let us, then, even in this school, find ways of acting both as enlightened individuals and as members of a healthy community.” Paul experienced the problem as Chairman of the Film Society. The first film show in the Spring Term of 1963 was Strick’s Savage Eye. “Some discussion was caused in the School over the decision not to show a striptease sequence, for it was thought that parent and audience reaction might be unfavourable,” Paul’s report in Skylark records. “Whether any parents would have complained I don’t know, but the audience treated the film with the seriousness it deserved.” After graduating and completing a Ph.D. thesis, Paul became a Cambridge academic, a prolific author of authoritative books on art history, and an expert on the Italian Renaissance. His discovery is the result of that expertise and is the crowning glory to his distinguished career. The bacchants are on display in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 9 August 2015. Admission is free.


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OHCC: 1958 AK in front row, 2nd left;

Arthur Kerswill

Basil Flashman

Died 6th June 2014

Died 4th March 2014

Arthur’s son, Paul, kindly provided a copy of the eulogy used by the vicar at the funeral.


rthur was a Londoner from Golders Green, born on 12th September 1924. He was the youngest of four, and to judge from the earliest family photos he was heavily into cricket and generally running around. He had a close relationship with his brother Fred, and in 1943 the pair started university in Edinburgh. After a few months they both left to join the Navy. Fred became a submariner, while Arthur served on motor torpedo boats. Arthur had what is euphemistically called a ‘good’ war, and he saw action on D-Day when his MTB was part of the decoy fleet. The two young men wrote to each other, and we can read that they planned to return to Edinburgh after the war. That was not to be, because in November 1944, Fred’s submarine struck a mine off the coast of Narvik and the vessel was lost without trace. After that, Arthur did not feel motivated to return to university. Fred’s death stuck in Arthur’s mind for the rest of his life. After WW2, in the 1950s, Rugby and cricket were Arthur’s consuming passions, both as a player for the Old Haberdashers and as a spectator. The Navy continued to run as a theme through his life. On one occasion as a young officer in the Royal Naval Reserve on an official visit to Oslo, he decided to while away an afternoon on one of the tourist boats that still ply Oslo harbour. After a few minutes, blue skies turned to rain and thunder, and the gallant young man decided to help the tourist guide put up the awning to protect the passengers. That tourist guide was a young lady named Inger, and Arthur steeled himself to ask her out for a drink. Inger became Arthur’s bride a couple of years later in 1955, and their son Paul was born the following year. Eleven years later, Inger and Arthur adopted two more children,


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Richard and Tanith. Arthur’s working life was a varied one, and it included running a printworks and a graphic design studio. In 1968 the family moved to Hemel Hempstead, and Arthur moved his office to Berkhamsted. He tried various ventures, including importing Norwegian tableware and marketing a very expensive silver chess set marking the American bicentenary. Nothing much came of these, but around the same time he bought Vacher’s Parliamentary Companion. This was a good move, and meant that he and Inger could enjoy a comfortable retirement. They both enjoyed good health for several years, and set off on some wonderful trips, mainly to places where the wine is renowned: Zimbabwe, Madeira, Hungary, Germany, France and Italy. Inger and Arthur had always been the ideal hosts, and their dinner parties were famous. Inger’s death in 2007 left Arthur rather rudderless. When he began to find day-to-day living difficult and sometimes confusing, he enlisted a number of people to provide care and help around the house. His three children kept in close contact with him until he died on the D-Day anniversary in 2014. Everybody who has ever known Arthur comments on how good a friend he was, how honest and honourable, and he expected and received similar behaviour in others. His was a good, long life, well lived, and he will be sorely missed by many. Arthur was a stalwart of the Old Haberdashers’, particularly the rugby club. He was a member of the elite club who played over 200 games for the 1st XV. He was a feisty back row forward and captained the club for four years from 1948 – 1952, at a time when the club regularly ran seven sides and captaincy was a major administrative undertaking.

Born in Northern India, Basil came to England at the age of 6 on his own by boat to join his widowed mother in England. He attended Bembridge School on the Isle of Wight as a boarder. After a school life which included wartime evacuation to the Lake District, his working life began as a journalist for the Gravesend and Dartford Reporter but in 1944 he was called up to the Army where he served with the Intelligence section in Cairo and India. While in India he learnt to play Hockey, which he later developed at Habs, and will be remembered by many for the starring role he played in staff v boys matches over many decades. After the war Basil returned to college (where he became college boxing champion) and trained to teach at Westminster school achieving a distinction and a pure “A” for teaching practice. He began teaching in 1951 at the Grange School Ealing (with a class of 55 pupils in his first year) and then moved to Habs Prep School in 1957. The Prep School moved to Elstree along with the main school in 1961 and was housed in what was known as the BBC block. It had been constructed for BBC wartime use and was reputed to have a concrete roof so thick that it would withstand a direct hit from a one ton bomb so it was perhaps an ideal site for 150 energetic Habs prep boys. Basil liked it because it brought the Prep school onto the same site as the main school, allowing the prep staff to integrate more fully with the Staff Common Room. Basil was appointed Headmaster of the Prep School in 1966. After 22 years in the BBC block Basil was rewarded with a magnificent new Preparatory school which was formally opened by HRH Princess Margaret in June 1983. This new school building, complete with its own classrooms, assembly hall, changing rooms and playground allowed Basil to have the school he had dreamed of and to encourage new ventures in music and sport including its own orchestra, choir and concerts.

After 32 years at Habs Basil retired in 1989. Not only had he overseen the new building but he had led the Prep School camp for 25 years in succession and the Prep ski trip for 22 years in succession. He had become a legend in his time for his terrible jokes nestled within a great sense of humour, his huge powerful motorbike, the elaborate models he inspired the boys to make from cornflake packets and the like, and for the care he took over every child in his school. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London and became a Freeman of the Haberdashers’ Company. Following his retirement from Habs Basil founded Manor Lodge School. He remained at the school until it had reached 300 pupils and by which time he was 70. Despite taking a little time off for holidays across the world he then joined the advisory committee of the Brewers’ Livery Company, the committee of the Herts County Educational Foundation, The Watford Probus committee and the governing board of several schools. He was on the Governing board of Harperbury Hospital education centre, Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme for South West Herts, Chairman of the Citizens Advice Bureau for Borehamwood and the Hertfordshire Educational Trust. He returned to Habs on numerous occasions for School plays and Carol Concerts. The family have established a UK Charity, ‘The Basil Flashman Education Trust’. It will have as its primary focus, life-changing educational opportunities for children in the developing world. The trustees will be chaired by Basil’s son-in-law Nic Journeaux (a senior partner of the law firm Carey Olsen). Full details of the Basil Flashman Education Trust and how to donate are available by e mailing Nic at nj.jsl@mac.com.

old boys notes


Denis Marks

David Wray OBE

Died April 2nd 2015

Died 21st November 2014


avid Wray has taken up the new post of Head of Unarmed Guarding, which strengthens the senior management of the MGS, and doubles its representation on the MDPGA Management Board. David was sponsored at university by British Rail, and started his working life with them as a civil engineer, designing, building and maintaining bridges, tunnels, stations and track. As every rail traveller has found, much of the work is carried out at evenings and weekends, so David had his share of irregular hours, including six months on rotating shifts while the tunnel under the centre of Southampton was rebuilt. David became a Chartered Engineer in 1985. David’s transition to the MOD in 1986 was eased because he had been a TA officer from 1978-84. He worked in London successively on the size and shape of the Army and its budget, defence relations in the Middle East, procurement policy and Army pay and allowances, before forming a new to-Service Reserve Secretariat, which quickly took over the team preparing the Bill that became the Reserve Forces Act 1996. When the work was concluded with the passage of the necessary supporting regulations, David’s contribution was recognised with the award of the OBE. David spent 1997/98 at Imperial College on the Public Sector MBA course, and in December 1998 was promoted to the Senior Civil Service to lead consumer protection teams in the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Highlights included being told by Stelios, the founder of EasyJet, that the OFT’s application of the


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law would destroy his business model (it seems that he was wrong), and appearing on the Radio 4 Today programme. David returned to MOD London in January 2002, to an internal consultancy role in which he studied the processes used in the various Service personnel organisations, and the aircraft noise made by the MOD. In January 2004, David became Director of Information Exploitation, leading workstreams covering: the MOD’s library, and its Internet and Intranet sites; getting business value from the MOD’s records, including management of the contract to run the main archives, and deploying historians to Afghanistan to create the record as events happened; introducing Freedom of Information to MOD; and running whizzy projects to make better use of the investment in the Defence Information Infrastructure. Most recently, David spent a year from November 2007 on a course run by Warwick Business School, as a result of which he has a Diploma in Public Finance and Leadership, and has qualified as an accountant (as a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy). David is looking forward to working productively with everyone in the MGS, and with all its stakeholders. By the time you read this, he will have visited all the MGS Regions, giving him a chance to learn about the range of tasks undertaken by the MGS, and to meet a cross-section of staff. Article taken from the MOD Guard Service in house magazine, published when David took up a new post in 2009.


ennis Marks was a producer and director who became Head of Music at BBC Television, working on programmes such as Omnibus and Arena. He was regarded as one of the great television documentary makers of his time. He later became general director of English National Opera, attempting to steer the company through the financial and artistic minefield of the mid-1990s. Marks was one of the best-known faces in the arts, turning up at performances and press conferences full of knowledge but wearing his learning lightly. Passionate and irrepressibly enthusiastic, he had a remarkable ability to see the potential in people and his gentle – and sometimes not so gentle – words of encouragement enabled many to realise their ambitions. At the BBC he brought the cameras into Glyndebourne and commissioned new operas for the small screen, such as Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek. Yet his broad tastes and curious intellect led to programmes on all aspects of the arts, ranging from African rock to the roots of jazz. Even after leaving the BBC, Marks was the go-to man when Radio 3 dedicated entire days of programming to composers such as Berlioz, Walton and Janácek, curating an ideal blend of informed commentary and carefully chosen repertoire. Later he reinvented himself as an urbane, informed and entertaining writer and broadcaster with programmes such as Little Moscow in Israel for Radio 4 in June 2013, exploring the effect of immigration from the former Soviet Union on the culture of the Jewish state. Dennis Michael Marks was born on July 2 1948, the son of Samuel and Kitty. After Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Elstree, he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a first in English. He joined the BBC in 1969 and was soon making a name for his lively and informative programmes on the arts – particularly on music.

By the age of 24 he had commissioned Michael Frayn for a series called Writers’ Houses, in which living writers talked about dead ones in the environment of their homes. It was just one of many friendships that Marks cultivated and nurtured. Other programmes included The Witnesses (1976), a documentary on writers and the Spanish civil war, and The Promised Land (1980) that looked at how Whitechapel had been a cultural melting pot for immigrant communities arriving in Britain. Arriving at ENO in 1993, Marks inherited a deficit of £2.2 million, with funding remaining uncertain. In 1997, Marks resigned frustrated by his board’s lack of direction and embroiled in a debate over whether to move the company out of the London Coliseum. Marks had a strong sense of loyalty to those around him, becoming known at the BBC for his support of both his colleagues and the trade unions. It was a trait that he brought to ENO, resisting the board’s calls for redundancies and opposing greater use of freelance workers, arguing that “the team spirit of the company would fracture”. After leaving the Coliseum, Marks threw his immense energies into wide variety of artistic projects, often with a travel-related theme. Meanwhile, his books on music included Janácek’s Gypsy Love, and a biography of Michael Tippett, a composer whom he felt had been unjustly neglected. Marks sported a beard that varied in length over the years – Frayn once described him as looking like an Old Testament prophet. When not travelling he described himself as an “eclectic” cook, a description to which his many friends could attest. He married Deborah Cranston in 1972. That marriage was dissolved and in 1992 he married Sally Groves, a music publisher. She survives him, with a son and a daughter from his first marriage.

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Lord Brittan of Spennithorne Died January 21st 2015 The following obituary was published in the Daily Telegraph on 23rd January 2015. ord Brittan of Spennithorne, who has died aged 75, overcame a humiliating end to his ministerial career during the Westland crisis to become the longest-serving and most effective of Britain’s European commissioners. Leon was born on September 25 1939, the younger son of Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the country as refugees in 1927 and settled in Cricklewood, where his father was a doctor. Leon’s elder brother, Sam, would become a respected columnist on the Financial Times. From Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Leon won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge. His ambition to succeed in both law and politics was clear: he gained double Firsts in English and Law and became both president of the Union and chairman of the university Conservative association. After a scholarship year at Yale, he was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1962 and became a leading libel lawyer, taking silk in 1978. Widely respected for his intellect and capacity for hard work, Leon Brittan made his reputation in the early 1980s as a formidable administrator with an unrivalled grasp of the details of his brief, a talent that had previously made him a successful QC. After being rejected for 14 safe Conservative seats, Brittan was elected MP for Cleveland and Whitby in February 1974. The seat disappeared in boundary changes and in 1979 he won the far-flung Yorkshire farming constituency of Richmond, representing it until he resigned to join the Commission in 1989; the future Conservative leader William Hague took his place. Brittan’s initial reluctance to go to Brussels owed much to his affection for his constituency. He may have been an improbable countryman but he became an enthusiastic one, with a passion for cricket. Whatever his defects as a national politician, he was a popular local MP. Within two years of entering the Commons, Brittan became Opposition spokesman on devolution, then on industrial relations, and played an important part in framing Conservative trade union reforms. In Mrs Thatcher’s first government of 1979, he became minister of state at the Home Office under Willie Whitelaw who, with Sir Geoffrey Howe, became his main political supporter and mentor.



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It was Whitelaw who recommended him to Mrs Thatcher as a suitable replacement for Biffen in 1981 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. His promotion as the youngest member of her Cabinet was announced at a party given by Sir Geoffrey in No 11 Downing Street to mark Brittan’s marriage to Diana Peterson, a divorcee with two teenage daughters. Lady Brittan would go on to chair the National Lottery Charities Board and be appointed DBE. Promoted over the head of Nigel Lawson, Brittan proved highly effective in imposing detailed control on public spending, an intellectually demanding task that his predecessor, John Biffen, had found too unpleasant (or too difficult). As Home Secretary after the 1983 election, Brittan imported a raft of ideas for updating criminal justice, including stiffer sentences, and easing restrictions on using tape-recorded witness statements and on independent prosecutions. He produced many reforming Bills and tried to streamline Home Office bureaucracy; senior officials reckoned him the only post-war Home Secretary to realise what was wrong with the department and try to remedy it. Brittan was one of the few Cabinet members who could privately persuade Mrs Thatcher that her initial reaction on a particular issue was wrong, and his willingness to argue with No 10 contradicted the popular caricature of him as a placeman. Yet though he was one of the most gifted of her ministers, he was short on political judgment and sensitivity. Myopic-looking and unashamedly intellectual, Brittan’s manner was widely interpreted, especially by press commentators, as patronising, even contemptuous. In her memoirs Mrs Thatcher recorded: “Everybody complained about his manner on television, which was aloof and uncomfortable.” Where the public saw arrogance and coldness, Brittan’s friends noted precisely the opposite: a shy, humorous and exceptionally kind man and, improbable as it might have seemed to outsiders, the object of real affection. Even in a wider circle he was notable for being completely free of malice or spite. Yet the criticism that he was too clever for his own good and short on common sense dogged his career. These failings came to the fore in 1985 when, in response to rising Tory anger at “Left-wing bias” in the BBC, Brittan tried to pressure the corporation’s governors to prevent the screening of a Real Lives documentary

on Northern Ireland, an effort which, since he did not succeed, left him looking simultaneously authoritarian and ineffective. This episode prompted Mrs Thatcher to move him, against his wishes, to the Department of Trade and Industry in September 1985. She was also influenced by backbench Tory complaints that Home Office questions, in which Brittan was pitted against Labour’s Gerald Kaufman, who shared his Baltic Jewish origins, was “like being in a foreign country”. The DTI should have been an easier billet, well suited to Brittan’s backroom talents, and his speech at the party conference soon after brought him an unexpected standing ovation. But then came Westland. The company, based in Yeovil, Britain’s only helicopter manufacturer was in financial trouble and sought to be bailed out by Sikorsky, its American counterpart. The Sikorsky bid ran into immediate opposition from the defence secretary, Michael Heseltine, who claimed that the Americans would turn Westland into a “metal-bashing operation” and suggested the company look for a European buyer. When Heseltine convened a meeting of the national armaments directors of France, Italy and Germany, as well as Britain, to agree a policy whereby they would only buy helicopters designed and built in Europe, he put himself at loggerheads not only with the Westland board but with the prime minister and her trade and industry secretary, who felt it was wrong for the government to prevent any particular solution to Westland’s problems. This disagreement erupted into a political crisis, with the arguments played out in Parliament and the press, mostly to the advantage of Heseltine, lobbying frantically behind the scenes. Then extracts were leaked from a confidential letter in which the solicitor-general, Sir Patrick Mayhew, accused the defence secretary of “material inaccuracies” in the presentation of his case. Following Heseltine’s dramatic resignation in mid-Cabinet on January 9 1986, it emerged that Brittan had authorised the leak, albeit with what he thought was No 10’s consent. On January 24 he offered his own resignation. Brittan’s departure at the height of the worst internal crisis of Mrs Thatcher’s premiership was the direct result of his loyalty to a prime minister he regarded as a friend. Inevitably, he was seen as the fall guy, a necessary sacrifice to save Mrs Thatcher herself. “He meekly accepted the role of

scapegoat,” Lawson recalled. “Had he made public all he knew, she could not possibly have survived.” Perhaps in acknowledgment of this, Mrs Thatcher broke with tradition in expressing a clear desire in her reply to Brittan’s letter of resignation to have him back in Cabinet as soon as possible. But he was never rehabilitated, and in 1989 left for Brussels. Although Brittan’s appointment as a commissioner was reckoned by some of his friends a poor and belated consolation for his loyalty to Mrs Thatcher, Brussels gave full rein to his talents. Serving first as competition commissioner, he demonstrated not only a lawyer’s mastery of detail but also a steely determination to force through the principles of fair competition against entrenched national interests. His ability to plough through and absorb mind-numbing detail won him the admiration of staff at the Commission, and his willingness to learn languages (he became fluent in French and German) earned admiration from colleagues and European politicians; the president of the Commission, Jacques Delors, rated him “one of the most brilliant men I have ever met”. In 1993 he was appointed vice-president of the Commission and given the crucial trade portfolio, a job that pitched him into the centre of the tortuous Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt). Brittan’s mastery of detail proved crucial in reaching agreement with the Americans later that year, a personal triumph which saw his reputation as a high-powered if aloof intellectual transformed into that of a deal-maker on a grand scale. Yet Brittan’s successes won him few friends; his unshakeable faith in the power of reason left him little sympathy for emotionally tinged arguments in favour of French farming. The Gatt negotiations were notable for an explosive encounter with the French foreign minister Alain Juppé in which Brittan saw off French attempts to scupper the EC-US Blair House Accord limiting farm export subsidies. Although this triumph kept the Uruguay round alive, the French never forgave him. “He was good,” a German official at the showdown was quoted as saying, “but maybe he was too good.” French opposition effectively sank Brittan’s hopes of succeeding Delors, and put paid to his hopes of the crucial eastern Europe portfolio after the installation of Jacques Santer. Brittan also paid the price for growing Conservative Euroscepticism under Mrs Thatcher and her successor John Major. He sought to counter this in speeches and articles despite personal attacks in the British press, some of which bordered on the anti-Semitic, and a relationship with Major which was no better than cool. But his support for Britain’s entry into the EMS and the Euro put him increasingly at odds with his own party and with sentiment in the country. Brittan was among the commissioners who resigned en masse in 1999 following allegations of nepotism against their French colleague Edith Cresson. Within days of clearing his desk at the Berlaymont he was appointed vice-chairman of the merchant bank Warburg. The last year of his life was overshadowed by rumours, including the allegation that as home secretary he had failed to act on a “dossier” prepared by the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens detailing alleged child abusers within the British establishment. Brittan published two books on Britain’s role in Europe, The Europe We Need (1994) and A Diet of Brussels (2000), arguing for the nation to become more fully engaged. Leon Brittan was sworn of the Privy Council in 1981, knighted in 1989 and created a life peer in 1999. He is survived by his wife and his stepdaughters.

old boys notes


Michael Kustow at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1968

Michael R Hunt

Michael David Kustow

Died 14th July 2014

Died 28th August 2014

The following obituary was compiled by John Jeffers and Robert (Bob) Adams and with grateful thanks to Michael’s wife Catherine for her many contributions.


ichael was born in Harrow on 8th January 1939, brought up in Kingsbury, but interrupted by wartime evacuation to Halifax. He joined Habs in 1950, but we (JJ & RA) were privileged to have shared earlier school years with him. One of us (JJ) attended the same primary school, Fryent in Kingsbury, where Michael was captained of the school football team and later became school captain. At Haberdashers, Michael soon made his mark in a variety of sports, ultimately becoming a member of the Rugby 1st XV, the Cricket 1st X1, and the athletics team. He was also a competent boxer – RA well remembers his demolition of an opponent in an inter-house match resulting in the referee, Mr Hewson, stopping the fight after about 30 seconds of the first round. As a cricketer ‘The Skylark’ of Autumn 1956 described him as ‘a bowler very difficult to hit and who often removed settled batsmen’ and ‘His action is well worthy of imitation. His batting has been disappointing, but he has taken several good catches.’ In 1957 he was reported as being ‘one of the best fielders in the side’. Michael ’s was also an integral part of the initially somewhat controversial Edgware Rovers XI composed of Haberdashers pupils, (including JJ) that won the Wembley Youth football League in 1954 and also won the Wembley Rotary Cup at Edgware Town’s ground in front of over 1000 spectators. A very proud moment for all involved because they had beaten many teams of boys from soccer playing schools – which Habs at that time, was not. Michael’s years at Westbere Road enabled him to blossom as a very high achiever and a State Scholarship to Bristol University was his due reward. This was highly significant in Michael’s life as he met his wife-tobe, Catherine, there just before their graduation. The pair met as part of a group of eight students including just two girls, on a camping holiday, armed with small tents, two primus stoves and a VW van. Catherine and Michael married while Michael was studying for his PhD, and after completing this, Michael joined the Central Electricity Generating Board


old boys notes

as a research chemist, where he stayed for five years. With two young sons Stephen and Graham, Michael began looking for greater opportunities. A chance encounter on a train between Catherine’s father, who was proudly telling a fellow passenger about Michael’s job search and the PA to the MD of Akzo Chemicals UK, led to Michael finding a role with Akzo, whose HQ was in the Netherlands. He rose steadily through the company in a variety of roles, ending his career as Chief Executive of Akzo’s UK operation. Michael was a devoted family man; there was nothing he would not do for his boys. Whenever he returned from a business trip, there was always excitement to see what present he had brought back, whether the first Walkman from Japan, a baseball glove from America or a cool 1977 T-shirt from Hawaii. Later in life this devotion was carried on to his daughters-inlaw and grand children. He was so proud of his family. As a sportsman Michael was always super-fit so it was a shock to be told, aged 50, that he had a brain tumour, which needed major surgery. Characteristically he never gave up and was back at work in three months. He lost the hearing in one ear, and as an accomplished pianist who loved music was sad that he could hear nothing in stereo. Not surprisingly, after this episode his attitude to life changed with a tendency to live for today, a wise course. Unfortunately the tumour recurred ten years later but luckily could be treated with radiotherapy, although he was told that ‘time was not of the essence’ so he and Catherine set off on a three month round the world trip. As he could not rush around so much, they invested in a motor home called HUMPHREY, and had twelve years of fabulous trips all over Europe. Michael continued to indulge in many activities at his home in Sidmouth, including among many others bridge and golf and being a member with Catherine of the East Devon Luncheon Club. Chance meetings between JJ and Michael on the golf course, and RA at the luncheon club, we re-met after a gap of 40 years. Michael died at home in Sidmouth on the 14th July 2014, aged 75 years. His funeral was attended by a large gathering of his friends and relations from many parts of his life, including JJ and RA, two of his OH friends. We and many others recognise Michael as a fine man in every respect.

This obituary was published in The Guardian on 1st September 2014


ew people in the arts over the past half-century in Britain had as big an influence behind the scenes – writing, producing, proselytising – as Michael Kustow, who has died aged 74 following a heart attack. For someone who never really felt he belonged, Kustow was involved in many of the greatest artistic enterprises of our day. This activity was always pursued under the aegis of someone he admired as a creative father figure: Arnold Wesker at the Roundhouse, Peter Hall at the Royal Shakespeare Company (and later the National Theatre), Jeremy Isaacs at Channel 4 and Peter Brook at the RSC and in Paris. Kustow was always a cardinal, never a pope – except for the period from 1967 to 1970 when he successfully ran the Institute of Contemporary Arts, which moved into its magnificent new home on the Mall. Even then he was uneasy with his status, worried that he might not catch the new surge of the alternative culture in so palatial a setting. But he did, masterminding, for instance, a fantastic series of plays, events and exhibitions dedicated to the surrealist poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Kustow’s complicated view of himself – part vanity, part insecurity – was best expressed in his autobiographical memoir, Tank (1975), in which he adopted a third person, K. It’s one of the best books of the decade. A brilliant writer and critic, Kustow positioned himself at the heart of cultural politics at home and abroad, a true internationalist with an incredible contacts book. He was equally at home with underground poets, high-ranking television executives, troubadours, actors and alternative comedians. His cultural appetite was voracious. He was the only person I ever encountered jogging on Hampstead Heath who owned up to listening to Harrison Birtwistle on his earphones. Born in 1939 and brought up in Golders Green, Michael was the son of Mark and Sarah. Mark came from a Russian immigrant family, and sold children’s clothes in a shop in Bermondsey. Sarah came from a Polish immigrant family and worked as a secretary. Michael was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, then in Hampstead, and Wadham College,

Oxford, where he read English and was a contemporary of Melvyn Bragg, whom he regarded as a smoother version of himself. Michael’s leftism was natural, heartfelt and fashionable. After Oxford, where he was enthralled by the New Left and worked in undergraduate theatre, he joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and went to Israel to work on a kibbutz. He took a boat from Haifa to Marseilles and joined Roger Planchon’s Théâtre de la Cité in Lyon, which performed classics in the suburbs. Back in Britain, he became a postgraduate student in the Bristol University drama department. But in 1962 he was drawn to London by Wesker’s Centre 42 project at the Roundhouse, and then the following year by Hall’s RSC. Kustow’s first book, The Book of US (1968), was an account of Brook’s anti-Vietnam war protest play US. After four turbulent years, Michael he was ready for the even more volatile world of the visual arts at the ICA, leading his troops into the Mall in April 1968, shortly before Parisian students occupied the Odéon theatre during the May riots. When Kustow rejoined Hall as an associate director at the National Theatre in 1973, he took charge of visiting foreign companies, in-house exhibitions and what became known as platform performances, highlighting the work of Brecht, Philip Larkin, Groucho Marx and Robert Lowell. In 1980 he directed Simon Callow in a performance of all Shakespeare’s sonnets. In 1981, Michael joined the new Channel 4 as commissioning editor for arts programmes, calling in contacts and favours with a dizzying frenzy. Kustow left Channel 4 in 1990 and formed his own production company, working with his former RSC associate John Barton, programmes about Shakespeare workshops and Barton’s theatrical epic about the Trojan war, filmed as Tantalus: Behind the Mask (2001). He wrote two further books, theatre@risk (2000) and Peter Brook (2005). Kustow’s first marriage, to his Oxford contemporary Liz Leigh, ended in divorce. In 1973 he married Orna Spector, and they divorced in 1998. He later lived with Jane Shallice for more than 10 years, and is survived by his sister, Alexandra, and brother, Lionel.

old boys notes


Reverend Canon John Knowles-Brown AKC Philip Thomas Died 14th January 2014 Philip’s obituary taken from the Daily Telegraph, 18 Feb 2014


hilip Thomas, was a leading fire scientist, publishing much of the key research which underpins scientific understanding of the behaviour of fire and has led to improvements in standards of fire safety. Philip Humphrey Thomas was born in north London on 16 June 1926. He won a scholarship to Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, followed by another scholarship aged 16 to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he took a double First in Engineering and went on to do a PhD in the Physical Chemistry Department. After a year as a special research trainee at Metropolitan Vickers in Manchester, Philip joined the Fire Research Station (FRS) in 1951, where he worked until his retirement in 1986. FRS was established in 1949 at Borehamwood and soon established itself as a world centre of research into fire prevention and control, and as a leader in the development of fire safety engineering. Philip started at the FRS in a section concerned with the extinction of fires, and went on to publish more than 100 scientific papers which provided mathematical models for many different aspects of fire dynamics. His most important contributions related to the behaviour of fire in buildings.


old boys notes

He was the first to introduce serious scientific discussion of the term “flashover” (the near-simultaneous ignition of combustible material in an enclosed area, as happened in the King’s Cross underground fire of 1987) and developed models for the behaviour of flames and “fire plumes”. These provided the scientific basis for the development of new roof venting systems designed to remove smoke and hot gases from single-storey buildings — and which are now widely used in such structures as shopping malls and airport terminals. Philip served as coordinator of the Fire Commission of the Conseil International du Bâtiment from 1974 to 1994, and as chairman of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Fire Safety Committee from 1976 to 1995, where he oversaw the development of international performance-based fire safety standards. In 1985 he was instrumental in founding the International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS), serving as its first chairman from 1985 to 1991. Philipreceived many awards and prizes, including the Arthur B Guise Medal of the US Society for Fire Protection Engineering in 1991. After the death of his wife in 1996 he married Joanna Haben — a family friend who had been widowed. She survives him with a son and daughter of his first marriage.

Died 3rd March 2014


We are grateful to Keith Dawson for providing this obituary. ohn Knowles-Brown died on 3 March 2014 at the age of 84, following a short illness. His death came as a shock to all who knew him because, until the last days of his life, John had been full of zest and youthful spirit. Our sympathy goes to his wife, Pamela, and daughter, Hilary, in their loss and we remember a friend who was a big man in every way. John Henry Knowles-Brown was born in Whetstone on 10 February 1930. He was a pupil at Hampstead (1941-48) and a member of Russells. His family had many connections with Haberdashers and Russell’s. His father, Frank Henry Knowles-Brown, attended the school from 1909, just after the move from Hoxton. Frank’s brother Arthur, and John’s uncle on his mother’s side were also HABS boys at that time. John’s son, Matthew (1970-77), who was Vice-Captain of the School in 1976-77, died tragically young in 1983. At school, John was a keen member of the CCF, enjoyed rugby and was an enthusiastic cross- country runner who represented the School and ran with the Highgate Harriers. With typical diffidence, he always claimed not to be in any serious way academic but he had a keen mind and a highly-tuned intuitive sense. He retained strong feelings of loyalty and affection for the School. When I came to know him in Sidmouth he often talked to me about HABS in his time, and in Matthew’s. We went together to a number of OH West Country Dinners in the past 15 years and I had planned to take Pamela and him to the October 2014 dinner. From a very young age, John had felt a call to the ordained ministry. It is said that the family called him its black sheep because nobody else had ever before imagined doing anything so outlandish as becoming a clergyman. He first acted on his sense of calling when he was 16 or 17 by going to a national conference under a schoolboy selection scheme. Young John was told to come back after he’d done his National Service. Thus, John gained invaluable experience as a national serviceman in the RAF Police from 1948-50. John read Theology at King’s College, London. In 1954, he was ordained a Deacon of the Church of England, in the diocese of St. Albans. His first curacy was at St. Andrew’s, Hertford, and while there he married Pamela whom he had known since they were teenagers in the church youth club. In 1958, Pamela and John moved to the parish of St. James in Bushey where John was appointed to a second curacy. John went back to the RAF, from 1961 to 1965, as a Chaplain, including a happy two-year posting with his family to Famagusta in Cyprus. Returning to civilian life in 1965, John began his first incumbency at the church at Farley Hill, in Luton. The parish was on a large council estate and

services were initially held in a multi-purpose hall-church. In his seven years in Luton, John achieved two big changes. He pushed through and supervised the building of a new church. He then discovered that the land where it was built had belonged to a French Abbey dedicated to St. John the Baptist in the time of Henry II, and so the church of St Michael and St George became the Parish Church of St John the Baptist. In 1972, the family moved to Totteridge where John became Vicar of St Andrew’s, the church where he had gone to Sunday School and his father had been a member of the Church Council. John served St. Andrew’s for 23 years until his retirement in 1995. During that long ministry, he gained the respect, liking and love of his parishioners because he was good to his core, open, direct, straight and fair-minded, utterly unpretentious and there for them. He was an acute listener, a man who understood human suffering at first hand and who could truly empathise with those who needed him. John made his mark in the wider life of the diocese of St. Albans. He served as Rural Dean of Barnet from 1979-89 and was made an Honorary Canon of St. Albans Abbey in 1985. When he retired he was made a Canon Emeritus. Throughout his life, John was a doer and a fixer. Had he not become a priest he could certainly have had a successful career as an architect, a project manager – or even as a craftsman. His mother’s father had been an architect and his father was a clockmaker and repairer. John was a very practical man; it was embedded in his genes. As a boy of 12 he took apart one of his father’s medieval clocks just to see how it ticked and, impressively, put it back together again. He could never resist a creative challenge and the Knowles-Brown home in Sidmouth contains many examples of John’s craftsmanship, including an 18th century sofa and chairs beautifully re-upholstered and re-covered. Late in life he taught himself to play the classical guitar rather well, but strictly for his own pleasure. He put his practical skills to good use also in his work for the Church. He conceived and oversaw the building of the new church in Luton and recently in Sidmouth, became site manager during the large-scale re-ordering of the parish church. John was in his element, keeping a close eye on the work in progress, getting to know the team of craftsmen and effectively becoming their chaplain. The results were stunningly good. Above all, John was a good, sweet man who lived out his deeply held beliefs each day. He was unfailingly positive and cheerful and he made life better for those around him simply by being himself. He was also shrewd and acute; within his twinkling smile there was an appraising gleam. He will be missed by his many friends but long and happily remembered.

old boys notes


OHRFC 1st XV 1949-50 Robin is in back row, first from left Robin, Alan Newton and Geoff Wheal, at an Old Lags lunch in 2002

Robin Matthew


obin had a long and distinguished OHRFC career. He made 225 appearances for the 1st XV, starting on 11th March 1950 against Sutton (8-8 draw) and ending on 16th March 1963 against Hull & East Riding (3-25 loss). He made his 200th appearance against Old Paulines on 18th November 1961 (3-6 Loss). Robin was involved with a large number of significant projects to improve the ground and the clubhouse – notably the building of the stand, the clubhouse extension and the false ceiling in the main clubhouse. Robin was also a stalwart of the OH Golf Society and managed the annual fixture at his club, Chorleywood, for a number of years. He married Jackie in 1968 in Northwood Hills and their son, Angus, was born in December 1969. Peter Shiells writes: Robin’s career was in architecture working for a private practice involved in renovation of churches. His many appearances for the OH 1st XV are logged in Tanner’s records. A twinkling No8 with a habit of clearing a lineout by spearing the ball (American football like) into the hands of our centres - at least it moved the point of attack! Robin, Dick Cook and I had a close friendship and we spent a lot of time after the games analysing tactics and smoking the odd cigarette. Robin remained a bachelor into his thirties and therefore was a stalwart of Easter tours and in due course the OH Golf Society. I can remember some legendary visits to Hunstanton GC where Robin was involved for some time. Robin played his golf at Chorleywood and after the death of Michael Cloote organised the team of OH to play there until 2013. I remember his infectious chuckle.” Robin’s funeral was attended by a very large number of OHA members. The eulogies were given by Robin’s son Angus and by Mark Robinson (Robin’s stepson and son of the late Chris Robinson). These are summarised below: “I want to thank everyone here for coming to give Robin a fair send off. I know he would be more than a little embarrassed by all the fuss but delighted nonetheless. Robin was to me a private man, polite, dignified, understated and respectful. Qualities that in today’s world are in scarce supply, or somehow considered unfashionable. Robin, here are my reflections on you. Robin, the father - quite simply….you gave me space to be my own person, I now realise how lucky I was in this regard. You let me find my own way. I thank you for this. Robin, the sportsman - Robin loved his sports and his sports clubs loved him. When our local tennis club needed an extension, it was Robin who built it, with his own fair hands. When the Old Haberdashers, Robin’s beloved school and rugby club, needed a grandstand, it was Robin who stepped up to the mark. I recall with great pride and as an impressionable 5 year old, the improbably massive structure that was his creation. The Old Habs clubhouse seems to feed my imagination as a boy, the long ago faded team pictures of a handsome Dad with hair, the smell of liniment and stale beer, the warm cosy fire. Wonderful memories and I know he cherished greatly both the club and the game itself.


old boys notes

I think it was with great sadness that I eventually took up playing hockey! Robin, the architect - As a young boy and in my capacity as surveyor’s assistant, my time spent on Robin’s architectural ramblings kick started my interest in buildings and especially my love of churches. I enjoyed being around him because he was unfailing patient and kind to me. Sometimes we would have a pub lunch together after a hard day’s work, what a treat it was to be able to spend time with my Dad in such surrounds. Robin, the laughter - Finally I would like to pay homage to Robin’s sense of humour, perhaps his greatest gift. I’m sure most of us have been fortunate enough to experience his contagious laugh and the sheer joy expressed through his contorted face. Family occasions with Robin and my late uncle Stan, were a blessing. These men were seriously funny and I will never forget, even as a young boy, the laughter and merriment that accompanied my parents entertaining, often late into the night. A private person perhaps but also a person so generous of spirit, that he could fill any room with his laughter and humour. Robin, I thank you.” Additional memories by Angus Matthew: “OH was in Robin’s blood. I was always rather fascinated by what it was that generated such affection for the OHA. He obviously loved his rugby and played for a great many years at OH. But he was always recalling with great fondness the personalities, Easter tours etc. It was almost as if I knew these people without ever having done so. He did in fact meet my mother there, Jackie Matthew who was social secretary for a while. She came on tours and met Robin that way. On the subject of tours, Robin would always come alive when the subject of the West Country came up. As a child every holiday we had seemed to have a tour memory for him. To say he enjoyed them was an understatement. Robin didn’t talk about the past much but he clearly delighted in talking about Old Haberdashers and his countless tours. I believe there is even footage on YouTube of a distant tour that he went on in the 60’s. So Robin was responsible for planning and helping to construct the old stand that has now gone. He also helped build the changing room extension that included that massive bath. As a child I have memories of the club house as being this fantastic place, the smell of liniment, the noise of studs on wooden floors as the first team jogged out onto the pitch and the steam from that bath. I will always carry those memories. The bar of course was also a place of fascination for me and again, I put my love of beer and its smell down to formative years at the OH club house. It was always rather odd to see your Dad with hair in pictures of long ago 1st teams. He seemed to me quite dashing, Brylcreem and all. Not like the middle aged Dad he would have been at the time. As you can see, the OH club house left rather an indelible mark on my 6 year old brain! At his funeral I was totally blown away by the number of people who attended. It was fitting that the chapel was crammed with golf friends, tennis friends but above all OH friends. Robin would have been delighted but also embarrassed at the fuss. He was a genuinely humble man, unassuming but also possessing of a hilarious personality.”

OH Club Reports

Died 27th September 2014

Club reports title page

OH Football by Euan Broderick

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he Old Haberdashers’ Football Club’s twentieth season has not always run smoothly but once again the club has retained its 2nd Division status and continues to compete with clubs with far greater resources and bigger squads. The team, as is traditional, got off to a slow start with single goal defeats to Old Chigwellians and Old Wellingtonians being particularly disappointing. However, early draws with Old Marlburians and Old Cholmelians hinted at the potential in the side and showed the tenacity that has been a feature of the team over the last few seasons. The standout performance in the opening half of the season was a resounding 5-3 victory over Lancing at home. A committed and well organised team performance provided the platform for Tom Nichols to shine up front, scoring four excellent goals and securing OHFC’s first three points of the season. The frustration this year has been that, with players missing due to injury, engagements, weddings, house moves, decorating duties, Mount Everest expeditions, athletic ambitions and more, it has proved impossible to field our strongest side more than a handful of times all season. Over 30

different players have represented the team this year, with many of those making a single appearance. The performances have naturally suffered as a result as the team has struggled for cohesion and consistency. Poor results over the winter months saw OHFC languishing near the foot of the table as the relegation battle looked to be a four horse race between Old Salopians, local rivals Old Aldenhamians, OHFC and Old Chigwellians. A much patched up OHFC went to local rivals Aldenham in early February in what was already a crucial relegation decider. In dreadful conditions, the team pulled together well and outfought a typically pugnacious Aldenham team, withholding a late wind-aided barrage and returning home with another 5-3 victory and three points. This was followed up by a very professional (read scrappy) 2-1 victory in the return match. This double proved decisive, with further victories over Chigwellians and Salopians following soon after to secure OHFC’s safety with four games to play. For a team who has avoided relegation on the last day of the season three times in the last four seasons, this goes down as significant progress. There have been some excellent performances this season and some great victories. However, it is another season ending with the familiar question of ‘what if?’ as these performances have been too few and far between. Once again the club survives and continues in its quest for glory. The team relies heavily upon an increasingly mature core of 6 or 7 players but is desperate to add some younger faces to the squad. If you are interested in joining OHFC please contact Tom Nichols at tom.nichols85@googlemail. com.

OH Rugby by Hayden Cameron


he 2013/2014 season will not be remembered for results on the field. The 1st XV finished bottom of London 1 North and has been relegated to London 2 Northwest for next season, whilst the 2nd XV finished second bottom in Herts / Middlesex Merit Table 1. Nevertheless, a fresh generation of players was exposed to 1st XV rugby whilst many new members were introduced to the club via the 2nd XV. And perhaps most importantly, the club’s focus was sharpened in terms of both its values and goals for the future. The misery of the 2013/2014 season was in stark contrast to the last, when the 1st XV finished in the top half of London 1 North (at their first attempt) and the 2nd XV challenged for both their Merit League and Cup titles (only narrowly being beaten in the final of the latter). Not surprisingly, lofty goals were set for Habs’ second assault on London 1, and many considered a top 4 finish a realistic possibility. But the club was to face setbacks before the season even began. In what was to become an all too common theme, Habs lost their talismanic 1st XV captain, Seb Taylor, and front 5 enforcer / line-out general, Francis Booth, plus a host of others in the annual Grasshoppers preseason tournament. Seb’s and Francis’ injuries would ultimately prove to be season-ending, and when added to the loss of numerous other old heads through retirement / semi-retirement, Habs’ had lost much of the on-field experience involved in the 4 consecutive promotions before a whistle had even been blown. However, the club’s depth of young talent promised massive potential and hopes remained high that there would be a seamless ‘changing of the guard’. Cue the common trend. Following a stuttering first-up performance against Tabard (which sadly, in hindsight, set the tone for the entire season), a consistent 1st XV squad never materialised as a series of injuries gutted the ranks. All told, Habs were forced to absorb a host of serious injuries – 2 knees, 3 shoulders, a broken sternum, a neck injury, and an Achilles tendon – in addition to a heavy stream of the more common rugby ailments. And the consequence was not just of concern to the 1st XV, as it meant the 2nd XV was consistently stripped of its best players and often struggling for numbers. Thus, although often competitive, the 1st XV crashed to its worst season in years, winning just three games – two


old boys notes

against Diss, and one against Tabard (the two other teams who have been relegated along with Habs) – whilst drawing at home to Romford. The 2nd XV also found League wins hard to come by – winning six and drawing two out of their 21 fixtures – but fared better in the Cup, where they made it as far as the semi-final. The club’s injury crisis did however have one positive outcome – it greatly broadened the depth of 1st XV experience, whilst new stars, such as the exceptional George Clayton, were given the opportunity to excel. Moving forward, this is sure to be of great benefit to the club, as it is now absolutely clear that a squad of 40+ players with 1st XV ability must be developed and nurtured if the club is to be successful at London 1 level. The challenge now, is for the club to absorb the lessons of last season and emerge better for the experience. In that respect, important strategies have already been implemented to ensure club members are encouraged to complete a thorough pre-season training program (specifically tailored to the demands of rugby by our associate personal trainer, Conrad O’Hagan) in the hopes that it will greatly improve players’ chances of avoiding injury next season. Also, in the appointment of our new 1st XV captain and 2013/2014 Player of the Season, Simon Miller, there is a real sense of excitement and promise as the club looks to foment the transition to a new group of players and leaders. Thus, from the depths of adversity, new shoots of optimism and confidence have already emerged.

Above: OHRFC 1st XV ; Right: OHRFC Veterans

old boys notes


OH Rifles by Alan E Morris


HRC is an open club shooting mostly full-bore target rifles. We are affiliated to the National Rifle Association (NRA) which runs Bisley, to the London and Middlesex Rifle Association (LMRA) and to the Hertfordshire Rifle Association (HRA) and are approved by the Home Office. During the year we enter a number of team competitions and also hold practice and Guest Days. OHRC members provide coaching including wind coaching in competitions that allow this. Trends Costs of shooting have been increasing and membership numbers declining. In the past four years three of our regular members stopped shooting and this year two more ceased temporarily for health reasons. Hertfordshire Rifle Association (HRA) The first competitive event of the year was the Herts Clubs Challenge match on the afternoon of 6th April. Welwyn Phoenix managed not only to win again but to have the second placed team also. A characteristic of this match is that members shot for their local clubs and often lend a shooter in return. Bruce Winney led the Old Berkamstedians into 3rd place ahead of OHRC 4th and Andy Daw shooting for Watford achieved joint second highest score. By an irony of fate the highest scorer in the OHRC team was David Sampson whose primary club is Old Berkhamstedians. As always it was a friendly match. LMRA League As in the previous year OHRC started off the 2014 LMRA League with only one team but added a second team for the 3rd Round long range match. Manydown won the league with 11 points with OHRC second on 10. In the final long range match at 900 & 1000 yards OHRC A was the only team to exceed 450 points. The B team was last of the four Div 2 teams on the day but only 3 V bulls behind East Barnet. Two teams for the Schools Ashburton Veterans Day

Ashburton Schools Veterans Match Held on the Thursday of the Imperial Meeting this year the 10th July. OHRC entered 2 teams of 5 (down on the 3 teams we used to be able to gather). Nevertheless we were able to round up many of the usual suspects to shoot and afterwards some of us dined in the LMRA, two of whom were able to join in when the Channel Islands school sharing the venue called for “hands up Athelings” Practice and Guest Days The season opened with practice at 300 and 600 yards on 23rd March but with winter still gripping the weather it was cold, wet and windy – complete with a hailstorm. The planned LR practice on Stickledown range, on the same day as LMRA Round 2, could not proceed as no targets were available.

OH Golf by Alan E Morris


summary of the 2014 season begins with the Spring Meeting at Porters Park, Radlett. There was a good win by our member David Allen who had the top individual stableford, but O.H. lost the Hollybush trophy for the team aggregate this time. The first of the triangular matches produced a third place for us and that was repeated in the second triangular match at Moor Park G.C. The Summer Meeting was won with the best stableford score by David Allen again and the top team of three were Allen, Peter.Mackie, and John Abbott. At the Highgate Cholmeleians Festival our team rose to a magnificent third our of a dozen entries. Our best pair of the total entry on the day were Peter Annett and Peter Mackie . . The society won the August match against Old Albanians..The Elstree trophy day run by Mr. Andy Ward for boys, old boys, parents and masters was followed by wonderful hospitality .Finally, at our Autumn Meeting at Gerrards Cross John Ratcliffe won the Presidents Trophy. Congratulations to him.

Opposite, bottom: The Captain and his Grafton Morrish Trophy team at Denham G.C 17th May 2015

old boys notes


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OH Cricket


n retrospect the 2014 season can only be regarded as one of missed opportunity as it is not possible to give the top teams a one hundred point start and be in contention for promotion at the end of the campaign. After an encouraging pre-season the first match was against near neighbours Shenley Village at a surprisingly dry Borehamwood. New recruit Abid Mumtaz announced himself with a tremendous spell of bowling taking 6-48, and restricted the visitors to 179-9. However, OHCC’s lack of batting skills was all too apparent and they were rolled over for a paltry 116. These batting frailties were again at the fore at Clifton when after an impressive bowling performance the home side were bundled out for 123, (Mumtaz 4-32 with good support from Abid Khan 4-31). Despite an opening partnership of 64 between Athman Sivakumar and Abuzer Usman seemingly setting the platform for an easy victory, OH then spectacularly lost 10 wickets for 42 runs in 16 overs and fell to defeat by 21 runs. Botany Bay a week on was all too familiar – O.H.C.C. scored 153 on a decent track but despite some tidy bowling Botany Bay cruised home by 7 wickets. O.H. finally came to the party, a week later, on a very wet day at Totteridge. While their batting was not much better as they struggled to 117 on a green wicket with several interruptions from the weather, the O.H. opening attack took charge and Mumtaz once again (5-38) and Assad Hussain 5-39 were too good for the home team who surrendered for 95 to give the OH our first 30 point Saturday of the season. However, OH reverted to type in the next match at Croxdale Road against a strong Reed line-up. The attack again performed well and bowled the visitors out for 170. Mumtaz picked up another 4 wickets for only 33, supported by Asad Husain, Simon Gelber and Arif Rehman with two wickets each. But Reed’s Peter Tidey proved too much of a handful and his 8-30 destroyed the O.H. batting whose paltry total of 97 resulted in a poor defeat. At Ickleford it was even worse. Despite the home team being 110-6 at one stage loose bowling let them off the hook and they reached 223-9 by the end of their overs (Husain 4-77). The O.H. batting was a bit of a shambles only managing 75 all out. Finally, the OH batting erupted in to life against Rickmansworth in a rain restricted match. Arjun Sofat with 49 and Abid Mumtaz with a blistering 51 not out at including three sixes and seven fours enabled the OH to declare on 216-6 after 35 overs. With 41 overs to bowl O.H.C.C. nearly managed the victory, Asad Husain 4-38, Abid Khan 2-21 and Simon Gelber 2-28 almost got through the Rickmansworth batting and they were left holding on for the draw at 161-9. Not a win but 19 useful bonus points. This was followed at Northwood, by another poor batting performance on a terrible wicket as the Old Boys only scraped together 136 in 43 overs. Despite 3-26 from Asad, Northwood battled their way to the win 4 down in 50 overs. Redbourn arrived at Borehamwood a week later and the game had little chance of completion as morning rain and a shocking forecast finished proceedings after 21 overs. Things began to look up at this point of the season as the team was strengthened by the return of the university based players. First at Abbots Langley when anchored by Athman, 94* and a stylish 57 from Sami Ali a total of 219-5 looked more than competitive. This time it was Khalil Osman who did the damage with 4-38, Simon Gelber nipped in with 2-18 but an absolutely crucial dropped catch in the closing overs meant that the hosts escaped with a poor draw at 140-8. Eighteen points for the Old Boys but if only….. A win was achieved seven days later against a poor Codicote side who were quickly depatched at Croxdale for 121 (Gelber 3-21, Osman 2-34 and Rohan Davda 2-9.) In reply the Old Boys cruised to a seven-wicket win with captain Khurram top scoring with 32*. More points followed at Boxmoor when O.H. were inserted on a greenish strip but still got the maximum

batting points as they reached 202-9 in the 53 overs. Athman Sivakumar 38 and Hugh Brannan 52 put on 70 for the first wicket and Stuart Haring organised the lower order around his 31*. Sadly, Boxmoor then blocked their way through the OH bowling, finishing on 120-6 : an odd way to play cricket. This brings us to one of the stranger games of cricket ever seen at Croxdale headquarters - against Luton Town and Indians. After winning the toss on an even paced track which seemed to hold no terrors, OH reached a strong position at 100-2, when Luton captain Parkar brought himself on to bowl. A rjun chipped one up to cover and only six and a half overs later O.H. were all out for 114 (Parkar 3.3 – 0 – 7 – 7). Incredible! O.H. then tore in to the Luton top order batting with Husain and Mumtaz taking the first five wickets for only 25, then their no 7 made a quick thrash for 36 before he was bowled by Gelber., leaving Luton at 75-9. However, Luton’s no 11 then helped himself to 35 runs without trouble and got them home by the skin of their collective teeth. In to August , with a very high scoring draw against Kings Langley at Borehamwood. Kings Langley amassed an impressive 260-4 in 50 overs (Mumtaz 3-50). In reply Rhys Jenkins 50* and Haroon Ahmad (on a lightening visit back from Dubai) 37 saw the O.H. to 229-7 and maximum batting points. OH followed this with a win against Letchworth Garden City when Khalil Osman, bowled beautifully, taking 7-39 and dismissed the visitors for 164. With Rhys again providing the backbone (72*) the O.H. cruised to victory by 5 wickets. Against Old Finchleians the following Saturday the O.H. were inserted and reached a solid 191 in 48 overs. Old Finchleians never threatened and they fell away to 125-10 with Khalil again (4-32) and Asad 3-24 doing the damage. Back in Borehamwood after the Devon Tour, the Old Boys were simply too powerful for near neighbours Old Cholmelelians who were shot out for only 96, Sami Ali 4-27, Abid Khan 3-25. In reply a slightly shaky start at 29-4 was soon overcome as Vivek Patni and Alex Watts put on 52 for the fourth wicket and despite further scares, O.H.C.C. were home for thirty points with six wickets down. Some highly contentious umpiring provoked controversy in the match at St. Margaretsbury. The hosts batted first and Sami Ali had his best day of the year with the ball taking 5-23. 114 was not a target that should have stretched the OH batting but unfortunately there was a return to early season form and despite Manzoor’s hard working 58, it ended in tears thanks to some daft shots and spectacularly poor decision making by the home team umpire. Cricket was definitely not the winner on that afternoon in sunny Hertfordshire! The final fixture of the year at Hexton was a new venue for Haberdashers and after having being inserted on an average looking wicket, their total of 195 was not a bad effort. Athman top scored with 74 and with the home team 2-2 in no time a season closing win seemed on the cards especially once the dangerous Hexton middle order had been dismissed. Sami Ali continued his success of the previous week (4-68) and Abid Khan bowled particularly well (4-27) creating the backbone of the victory push but an unbelievably simple dropped catch at cover point derailed the effort and the Old Boys had to settle for a frustrating nine down draw.

old boys notes




he 2014 tour started with the long-standing fixture at Kilmington. Winning the toss the early O.H. batting collapsed to 85-6 but a seventh wicket partnership of 138 between Hugh Brannan and Sami Ali saw the visitors to a competitive declaration total of 2237. In response Kilmington were in with a chance from ball one but a crash of middle order wickets suddenly meant the Old Boys were in with a chance. Khalil Osman 4-61 and Sami Ali also 4-61 nearly got the visitors home but Kilmington veteran John Lavender steered the home team to a win with an over and two wickets to spare. To beautiful Heathcote on Tuesday with the home team batting first and amassing an impressive 202 in the allotted 40 overs, Khalil again picking up wickets (3-33). South African state cricketer Adams made a mess of some bowling figures as he hit a rollicking 54 in no time at all including five huge sixes. O.H’s response was by no means bad but the total was just too far out of reach and despite 53 from Khurram the innings faded away to 175-8 at the end. The mid-week fixture against Exeter was equally frustrating as a good start 79-0 (Sami Ali 66, Ian Prior 31 on a rare appearance from his home in Singapore) was frittered away as wickets fell steadily and 172-9 at the end of 40 overs did not seem to be enough. It was proven to be thus and despite Simon Gelber’s 3-21 the hosts cruised home with six wickets in hand and five overs left. A very strong Abbotskerswell took the tourist bowlers to task and ran up a huge 268 in 40 overs-their noisy (that’s a surprise) Australian captain

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taking it all far too seriously! However the touring Old Boys made a spirited response and some splendid late order hitting by Stuart Haring (40) comprising eight boundaries saw them to a final effort of 205-9. The best game of the week was at glorious Sidmouth where a host of old friends joined us at the picturesque seaside venue including: Doug Yeabsley, former headmaster, Keith Dawson, John Ridgley, ex-Club captain and now a Sidmouth resident and former player, Peter Lidington. They were treated to a great game of tour cricket as the Old Boys ran up a solid 212-7 off their 40 overs, Hugh Brannan top scored with 82. But on a really good batting track Sidmouth made steady progress and got to the target with five wickets down and a handful of overs left. Despite the results not reading well it was another successful week in the West Country,. SCHOOL MATCH 2014


n a bright sunny day at the end of June the annual match against the Haberdashers’ School 1st XI took place and this time the School quite against custom (outrageous! Ed.) decided to bat in the 45 over-a-side match. Some fine slow bowling from Sami Ali (2-34) and Simon Gelber (2-28) made the School batting struggle and their 175-6 seemed no better than par at the halfway stage. But the Old Boys were too negative in the early overs and a steady fall of wickets just left the senior team with too much to do. No-one scored more than 35 and it all faded away despite a little flourish at the end as the Old Boys closed at 167-9 and a frustrating eight runs short.

OH Lodge by Reuben Ayres


he Haberdashers’ Aske’s Lodge is now in its 106th year and well settled into its ‘new’ accommodation at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street which many will recognise as Spooks Headquarters from the television series and many other television dramas and

films. Last year, under the mastership of David Deverson, was very successful with a string of enjoyable evenings, new membership and charitable donations of £1250 to Lifelites and £750 to the Metropolitan Masonic Charity which last year supported the London Hospital’s purchase of a mobile CT scanner and this year is providing support to a range of London charities. This year’s Master, Richard Lanyi (OH) has done superbly well with charitable collections amounting to over £700 so far. Haberdashers’ Aske’s is an active, vibrant and happy Lodge whose members span a range of ages from the early twenties to early eighties. Some have been members of the Lodge for decades; others for a few months. Many of our members live in London and the Home Counties whilst others travel to our meetings from as far away as Norfolk, Devon, France and Switzerland.

We have a healthy tradition of reciprocal visits between our Lodge and many other Freemasons’ Lodges, which enriches the experience of our Lodge meetings and provides the opportunity to forge new friendships. The Lodge has a very special, friendly, Haberdashers’ feel with the significant majority of the Brethren of the Lodge being Old Boys. We meet four times a year on a Saturday at the prestigious Freemasons’ Hall in London and enjoy friendship and goodwill in a delightfully relaxed ‘Habs’ style. If you think you might be interested in joining us or would just like to find out more, we would welcome your enquiry. The Lodge secretary is Paul Youngman who can be contacted on 07768 255283 or via email on paul.youngman@harleyd.co.uk. The Lodge website is at www.haberdashersaskeslodge.com where further details of our activities including background, dates and further contact information can be found.

old boys notes


C.P. Blessley Esq.


old boys notes

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