Issue 06 Autumn/Winter 2019
OBITUARIES MICHAEL BEAUMONT SHEPHEARD (BORN 25 APRIL 1929 – DIED 8 MAY 2019) (OC 1938 – 1941)
Caterham really ‘rescued’ my brothers from the situation in Hamburg in the 1930s, my parents were so relieved to get them safely away. Michael and Kenneth Shepheard attended Caterham School for a few happy years from 1938 to 1941. They had attended schools in Hamburg where our father was working as a naval architect at Blohm und Voss Shipyard, then our father was sent over to California to help with shipbuilding for the war effort, which was a happy time for them both. Nazi influence became so strong our parents decided it was best to fly the boys to school in England, arranged with our grandfather who was responsible for collecting them from ports and airports during that time. They were glad to get away from the bullying and regimentation that was taking place under the Nazi regime in their school. At Caterham they found kindness and understanding and the start of what it was like to be treated as an individual in a school with clear and caring principles which they never forgot. A great foundation in their young lives. The boys thrived at Caterham and they remembered the trenches across the school grounds dug for the boys’ protection in case of attacks by air early in the war! As a family, we travelled widely during our early lives, living in the USA for three years in the 1940s. When we returned from the USA, we sailed in a
KENNETH MAXWELL SHEPHEARD (BORN 7 MARCH 1931 – DIED 12 MARCH 1985) (OC 1938 – 1941)
convoy from New York to Avonmouth in January 1944 with young troops heading for Normandy. An amazing experience for our little family. Our father was sent ahead each time and so Michael was the man of the family from an early age. The boys then went to Rendcomb College in Gloucestershire where the headmaster was an old school friend of our father. They were happy there but it was hard to adjust from American schooling, particularly for Michael. Michael did his national service in the Navy, became a writer and then joined Shaw Savill, the shipping line, working in London and assisting passengers who were emigrating. Eventually, he emigrated to Vancouver, where he worked for Canadian Pacific Airlines until he retired. He met and married Joanna who was a Nightingale nurse, trained at St Thomas’ Hospital, in 1961 and they had two children: Keith and Linda, and three grandsons. Michael was a great family man and enjoyed everything they did together. He was a wonderful brother to Kenneth and me. He was not overly ambitious in his work, just enjoying life and later in life, cruising with Joanna and seeing different parts of the world and meeting lots of people who shared his love of travel. He loved sport – mostly tennis and Chelsea was his lifetime favourite football team. We will all miss him and his big smile and his kind nature.
Michael died peacefully at his care home in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his daughter, Linda, beside him. He had lived there for 16 months where he had been looked after so well suffering from dementia. His beloved wife of nearly 60 years, Joanna died just six months earlier. Kenneth was a little younger than Michael and his education was not so badly affected by the War years. Kenneth did well at school and got into Trinity College, Oxford, reading History and Languages. He got involved with university drama productions and became a fine photographer. He did his National Service in the RAF in radar control and was an officer for his two years. Both boys loved travelling and Kenneth became a good linguist in French, German and Italian which enhanced his career as a BBC2 television historical documentary producer. He joined the BBC in the 1950s and finished up producing excellent historical documentaries, such as the ‘Chronicle’ series with John Julius Norwich as writer and narrator when Sir David Attenborough was in charge of programmes on BBC2. He was very well thought of and some of his programmes are still available, I believe. Kenneth’s love of history, understanding of languages and wide knowledge from travelling made him a wonderful and very popular member of our family. He was enthusiastic about the arts, drama and music passing on his enthusiasm to all of us which has filtered down to our grandchildren and his godchildren. Where Michael was the quiet one who enjoyed company, Kenneth was the one who could make us all laugh with his stories and jokes – the best ones were out of disasters! Both of them were loyal, kind and caring and will always be remembered with love. ■ Written by their sister, Carolyn Jory