Omnia Spring/Summer 2019

Page 58



Issue 05 Spring/Summer 2019


Born on July 1st 1919 at Aber Farm near Talybont-on Usk in Wales Alun was the middle child to parents Evan and Muriel, with an older brother Roland (who also went to Caterham) and younger sister Dilys. Their father was a Congregational Chaplin, and Alun’s early years were spent in Germany where his father served as a Chaplin with the British Occupation Forces after the First World War. He returned with his family and settled for a time in Salisbury before being posted to Catterick and living in Richmond North Yorkshire. Alun’s was a happy childhood together with his siblings. At Caterham he excelled at sport and played regularly for the school’s first rugby team as well as in hockey and in 1936 was also a Prefect. Alun also did well at academic work because after leaving school he went to Jesus College, Oxford to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics but the outbreak of World War II meant that he did not take his finals. Although asked to go back after the war to take them he declined because by that time he had moved into agriculture. Alun began working for Harry Hawes on his farm where he also met Harry’s daughter Dorothy who was to become his wife of 64 years. They were married by Alun’s father in 1943 in a small ceremony in Moreton-in-Marsh. Alun always maintained that his time at Caterham School was better than University. Rugby Union was

his true sport and after leaving school continued to play the game until his late thirties and became a renowned player and captain at the local Stow Rugby Club. Upon retiring from the game he continued to avidly watch matches, until nearly the end, on both television and in person. Farming was his life and he became well respected by his contemporaries as both a practitioner and ambassador. He was always greeted with warmth at market and local shows and was often invited to judge the horses and cattle as well as successfully competing himself. In his late forties he was the Warwickshire County NFU Chairman, a reflection of his success and respect in the industry at a time of great change. A stalwart in the community Alun was also a popular local councillor in Shipston during the 1960’s before resigning after refusing to join a political party as required when Shipston merged with Stratford Council. Alun moved to a smaller farm at Northleigh, near Oxford, before finally retiring to a bungalow in Stonesfield, where he cared for his wife in her declining years. Following her death he moved to Awre and lived with his youngest daughter in an annex to their house. Alun died peacefully on May 13th 2018 (which incidentally is the birthday of his late father in law). At his brother’s funeral he turned and said “I did not realise that I was related to someone who was so successful”. Although he was in a different profession he was probably as successful as his brother. He will be cross to have been bowled out just over a month from his 99th birthday and for not making his century. ■


We are sad to announce that Dr John Shakeshaft died on Monday 6 July 2015. Following his years at Caterham, John completed his undergraduate degree, PhD, and Research Fellowship in Electrical Engineering at St John’s College, Cambridge, before being elected to the St Catharine’s Fellowship in 1961 as one of around sixteen Fellows. He specialised in radio astronomy and was one of the key researchers working in this field, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s. As well as his professional career as a radio astronomer, John was an avid collector of pottery, especially 20th century Studio pottery, of which he bequeathed his sizeable collection to the Fitzwilliam Museum. His philanthropic spirit led him to support a number of charities with which he was associated. Caterham School is grateful to Dr John Shakeshaft for his generous bequest to the school. ■

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