The Cheltonian Association
FLOREAT 12 O B I T U A RY S U P P L E M E N T
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 1
Wing Commander Hugh John Sherard Beazley DFC (BH ’35)
Hugh Beazley, son of Sir Hugh Beazley (BH 1894) a Yorkshire Judge, died on the 13th June, aged 93. He was Head of House and an U/O in the OTC. On leaving College, Hugh went to Pembroke College, Oxford, to read History. After joining the University Air Squadron in 1936, and learning to fly with the RAF Volunteer Reserve, he was commissioned in the RAF in 1939. Hugh was one of 14 OC pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain and was the last surviving one. After training at Cranwell, he was posted to 249 Squadron, which had been re-formed as a fighter squadron in 1940, less than a week after the German Blitzkrieg opened on the Western Front, and subsequently became the top scoring fighter unit of the war. 249’s Hurricanes were often flying four sorties a day. On September 2nd his plane was hit by cannon fire and he parachuted to safety. He was back in action in 48 hours but on September 27th was badly wounded when his aircraft was hit while he was attacking a Messerschmitt 110. He nursed his Hurricane back to the North Weald base in Essex but was in hospital for five months and the injury gave him problems for the rest of his life. He rejoined the squadron in March 1941 and set off with it on the Ark Royal to Malta. In May, all the squadron’s Hurricanes flew off the carrier and touched down safely at the Ta Qali airfield in Malta but the airfield was attacked soon after by the Luftwaffe and the squadron lost several aircraft on the ground. In June it received some new Mark II Hurricanes and regained some advantage, but towards the end of the year 249’s losses began to rise sharply and Hugh saw many of his comrades and friends killed or wounded. He was promoted to acting Squadron Leader and given command of 249 in December. He was rested in 1942 after 215 operational sorties but after a period on Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder’s staff he was anxious to get back to flying and converted to the twin-engined Beaufighter. He was posted to 89 Squadron in the Middle East and later in Ceylon. In March 1944, Hugh was promoted to Wing Commander and appointed station commander of RAF Minneriya. By this time he had been awarded the DFC. Although further staff jobs were available to him, he opted to keep flying and flew Dakotas in Transport Command in Europe, the Middle and Far East. After demobilisation in 1946, Hugh worked for the family shipping Company and then joined the Colonial Office and served ten years in Nigeria where he became Senior Resident. Later he qualified as a Charted Accountant and worked as Finance Director for the British Electric Traction Company until retirement in 1981. He served as a Conservative councillor in Hertfordshire, was Chairman of the Hoddesdon District Council and of the Broxbourne Conservative Association. He was also a Trustee and Treasurer of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. Hugh is survived by his wife Mary and their sons Richard (BH ’67) and Charles, and daughter Anne.
Lt. Col. The Reverend Richard James Glynn Begbie OBE (JS ’34 & EDB ’38) Richard (Dick) Begbie, brother of Brig. D.L.G. Begbie MC OBE (JS ’35 & EDB ’39) and son of the late Maj. R.P.G. Begbie DSO MC (PBH 1902, Council Member 1939-44 and Life Member until 1959) died on the 12th May 2011, aged 91. On leaving College, he entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers in July 1939. Dick served in England during the early years of the war, as a demolition, mines and bridging instructor, assisting with the preparations for the invasion of North West Europe. He crossed to Normandy with the Royal Engineers, 15th Scottish Division, and saw action in the battles round Caen, in Holland, and in the Rhineland, and took part in the crossings of the Seine, Rhine and Elbe. He was Mentioned in Despatches for gallantry in Normandy, and made an MBE in 1945 for his part in breaching the Siegfried Line. Dick undertook further postings as Deputy Chief Engineer British Somaliland, and thereafter in
Northern Kenya. He was promoted to Lt Colonel at the young age of 35, as Chief Engineer Pakistan School of Military Engineering in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Dick retired early from the army in 1957 and emigrated with his wife Alice, whom he married in 1942, and their family to South Africa, where his eldest sister already lived. He was awarded his OBE in the 1959 New Years Honours. (He was aghast in 1965 at the awarding of the MBE to the Beatles, to the extent of packaging up his medals for return to Buckingham Palace – fortunately Alice had the foresight to retrieve the package before posting, which allowed many proud wearings thereafter). In South Africa, positions in the oil and fertiliser business saw stays in Durban and Johannesburg before again taking early retirement in 1967 for full time church ministry. The call of the Church had always been a primary theme throughout his adult life, starting with the Officers’ Christian Union. He was ordained in 1968 (some 43 years ago) and made a Presbyter a year later. His calling was strong and varied, leading the founding of churches in Fort Victoria, Salisbury, and Umtali, all in what was then Rhodesia. Dick played the primary role in founding Christ Church Blairgowrie in Johannesburg. Further churches emerged through his work in Scottburgh, Maclear, and George. He also found time and energy to have postings as minister-in-charge of the church on the Hogsback, and in Mother Church in Cape Town. Remarkably, in the early 70s he also found time to literally build his own house on a magical spot on the edge of the Hogsback cliffs, looking across the Ciskei valley in the Eastern Cape. (Using the RE Pocket Books as a guide). Throughout this period he also served as a part-time Chaplain to the South African Army, including four tours of active duty on the Angolan South West African border. (In one incident, the Padre and his escort, came under fire while travelling between camps. To the relief of the escort it was the Padre who manhandled his way into the drivers seat and drove the escort to safety). A regular broadcaster on the South African Radio Service, he also wrote several books, and produced and edited ‘The Christian Digest’ since 1993. He wrote and published his autobiography ‘Back Again, Mr Begbie’. In 1996, he returned to Britain and Kilmacolm to be nearer some of his family. Dick was a man of immense drive and determination, highly intelligent with an encyclopaedic memory, singular in direction, and steadfast in beliefs and principles. He rowed well, played rugby and bowls well, was a competent horseman; he played golf indifferently, was an astute bridge player, a keen water colourist, and was much travelled - he served his country rising to Lt Col, he served his God building some 4 churches, founding 5 more, and serving in at least 4 others, and generated countless written digests and books. He is survived by Alice, his wife of some 68 years, and their sons Christopher, John and David, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Lt. Cdr. Arthur Noel Stuart Burnett (Ch ’40) Arthur Burnett, brother of Ian (Ch ’42), died on the 1st November 2011, aged 88. He was a man who lived life to the full and who always had a positive outlook on life. Born in Ceylon in 1922, where his parents owned a tea plantation, the family returned to England in 1924. In 1940 he was opening batsman for College and played in the XV. The Cheltonian report said of him, ‘A converted forward, who adapted himself quickly to the full back position. He fielded the ball cleanly but his kicking lacked length.’ He went on to play in the Devon County Cricket XI in 1948 and had RN cricket and hockey trials in the same year. On leaving College, aged 17, Arthur went to the Royal Naval Engineering College, where he gained a G.I.Mech.Eng and a G.I.Mar.Eng. He was commissioned and served in various theatres of war including the South Pacific, the North Atlantic Russian Convoys and on HMS Belfast with his cousin Robin, who was Admiral at that time. He left the Navy in 1964 after serving in the
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 2
OBITUARIES ISSUE THREE J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 Admiralty in Bath, took up work for the Swedish Trade Commission and then other organisations before setting up ‘Offshore and Marine International Services’ and acting as a consultant for the rest of his working life. He is survived by his ex wife, Elizabeth, sons Andy (Ch ’71) and Robin (Ch ’74), daughters Penny and Joey, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Lt. Col. Donald Duncan Burns (JS ’40 & Ch ’44) Donald Burns died on the 23rd January 2011, aged 85.
Roger Butlin (Art Master, JS 1960-66) Roger Butlin, who died on the 23rd July 2011 aged 76, was a gifted theatre designer who produced memorable and beautiful stage sets for countless productions around the world. His productions included the ‘Barber of Seville’ for the opening season of the Sydney Opera House and the first production of Britten’s ‘Billy Budd’. He worked with everyone from Barbara Windsor to Janet Baker. The signature of his designs was their restrained subtle beauty, which often referenced the classical world. Roger’s attention to detail in his designs was enormous and he would patiently attend not just dress rehearsals but as many earlier rehearsals and actual performances as possible. He had a mischievous sense of humour, which he would use to get exactly what he wanted from the many artists and craftsmen who produced his designs. It is a credit to him that he could deliver a line like “I don’t entirely hate it” to a prop-maker and for the person in question to still remember it, and Roger, with nothing but affection. Roger was educated at Kingswood School, Bath. He became very interested in the theatre and stage design while in his last year at school and approached the Bristol Old Vic, who, as he puts it, “tactfully suggested Art School.” He studied interior design and textiles at the West of England College of Art, as there was no stage design course. He then went to Bournemouth for a final year of teacher training and then was appointed Art Master for the Junior School and enjoyed it enormously, holding the post for six years. Guy Fawkes’s night was always a great occasion. In this era, the guy was normally a stuffed effigy of WPC Davies and was placed on top of the bonfire. On one occasion, the guy was swapped with an identically dressed volunteer, Roger, who waited until the fire was kindled before, at the last possible moment, leaping from the flames with a blood-curdling yell and exiting quickly down a ladder placed unseen at the back of the fire. There were gasps of shock and horror from the spectators, until they fully understood what had happened! Roger met his wife Joanna Gome, the French Master’s daughter, whilst teaching at the Junior and together they had three children, all of whom shared his creative gift. He was inspired to take up stage design as a profession when he saw ‘The Flying Dutchman’ at Covent Garden in 1966 and was impressed by the strong abstract shapes of Sean Kenny’s set. A letter to John Bury, of the Royal Shakespeare Company, asking for advice was answered with the suggestion that Roger apply for an Arts Council Design Scholarship. He did and, to his surprise, he was awarded the scholarship and started with Sadler’s Wells at the start of 1967. Leaving there in 1968 he went on to work at Bromley New Theatre as Assistant Designer before designing his first shows himself at Greenwich Theatre. During this time he designed the set for ‘Three Sisters’ whose cast included Mia Farrow, Joan Plowright and Joy Parker, whose respective husbands André Previn, Laurence Olivier and Paul Schofield, Roger remembered, would wait patiently at the stage door. His design for the 1969 production of ‘Martin Luther King’ is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Roger went on to design mainly for Opera and he designed sets for amongst other places, The Royal Opera House, ENO, WNO, Wexford, Glyndebourne, Sydney, Rome and Dallas. His design for Gluck’s ‘Aleceste’ in Kentucky was so successful that he was bizarrely made an Honorary Colonel in the Confederate Army. A less successful moment, but remembered by him with relish, was his design for ‘La Vestale’ at Wexford in 1979. Listening to the live broadcast of the last night on his radio, Roger could not
understand the inappropriate laughter coming from the audience. It transpired that the steeply raked stage that he had designed needed to be washed with lemonade each night, an old theatrical trick to stop the singers slipping on its Formica surface. However, some well-intentioned soul had mopped the stage that evening with water to remove the stickiness, thus sending many of the company uncontrollably towards the orchestra pit. It delighted Roger that the anecdote was preserved for posterity in the book ‘Great Operatic Disasters’. Roger suffered a serious stroke in 1970 that curtailed his career but he always accepted any opportunity to continue to design when he could. It allowed him to bring his considerable experience to working with mainly smaller companies and young directors and performers. He did this particularly through his work as Artistic Director of Kent Opera, a very special company that brought worldclass operatic productions to Margate and which fostered the talents of many aspiring artists. His later years were not free from hardship but he accepted this with remarkable equanimity and good humour. Like many artists, money was an issue and he was extremely grateful to the Artists General Benevolent Institution for their help. His marriage to Joanna formally came to an end but they remained dear friends to the very end of his life. Roger’s youngest son, Tom, died of a brain tumour at the young age of 24 in 2000. Although heartbreaking, it did give Roger strength to face his diagnosis with the same condition with grace and dignity; in his own words, “if Tom can face this then so can I.” The last weeks of Roger’s life were a constant stream of cards, letters and visitors. He never stopped rejoicing in others and expressing his own love and appreciation. “I have lived a good life”, he would say. He died peacefully with his son and daughter at his bedside surrounded by flowers, cards, his beloved strawberries and most of all a great deal of love. Roger had just completed the designs for English Touring Opera’s production of Purcell’s ‘Fairy Queen’, which will be a fitting tribute to him and will tour the country from October 2011. Roger is survived by his daughter Mandarava (Fran) and son Conrad.
Graham Gordon Campbell (L ’43) Graham Campbell died on the 24th July 2011, aged 86. Ian Ley Duncan Campbell (BH ’42) Ian Campbell died on the 11th April 2011, aged 87. On leaving College, Ian served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers during the war. After the army, he later qualified as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, before moving to Kenya to join East African Railways. He lived there for fifty years and enjoyed a very successful career. Ian was very proud during his career to have designed what was the largest veterinary laboratory, at that time, south of the Sahara, at Muguga. He was acknowledged as a very creative craftsman and in his free time he designed and built most of the family furniture. He was also a very talented artist and photographer and will be remembered for his botanical illustrations - some of which are on the cover and inside of ‘Upland Kenya Wildflowers’ by Andrew and Shirley Agnew - and for his photographs in ‘The Wild Flowers of Kenya’ by Michael Blundell. Ian and his Danish wife Lise, to whom he was married just six months short of 60 years, were strong supporters of Nature Kenya, formerly known as the East African Natural History Society, and were life members. On retiring in 1974, he and Lise travelled extensively. On one epic expedition they sailed with their car from Mombasa to Bombay, and then drove through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey (where they were stoned!), Greece and through Europe, via Denmark, to England. They moved back to live in England in 2000. Ian is survived by Lise and their son Kenneth. Christopher Cobay Carr (NH ’52) Chris Carr died on the 20th April 2011, aged 76. On leaving College in 1952, he joined the Royal Artillery for his two years of National Service and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant 2.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 3
in 1953. He then held various positions in industry from 1954-66 and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1971, whilst a partner in Hewitt’s Estates Agency, Lymington. In 1980, he set up Carr & Neave with Simon Neave in Ringwood. He had 21 very enjoyable and successful years there before retiring in 2001, although his legacy lives on and Carr & Neave signs can still be seen across many commercial properties in the area. Chris and his wife Pam celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2010. They spent the last 25 years living in the village of Sway in the New Forest. As part of village life, Chris became actively involved in helping to organise volunteers to provide the taxi service to the local hospitals for the Sway Welfare Aid Group. In addition to his family, his other two passions were singing and sailing. His love of music was first kindled at College. Chris continued this interest in London, taking singing lessons, and was a founder member of the New Forest Singers, a group that started singing back in the 1960s. It was after one evening meeting, over a pint in one of the local pubs, that Chris and a fellow group member, came up with the idea of inviting a small number of like minded voices, just eight in total, to join them at each others houses and enjoy singing madrigals and early church music; thus the Ytenerant Singers were born. The Group is as strong today as it was in those early years. He would have been proud that another legacy that he helped to create lives on to entertain people today. Chris’s love of the sea dated back to his earlier days sailing with friends in Poole harbour. A labour of love that he completed with a friend, was the construction from kit form of his beloved 26ft Contessa, aptly named Candida. In the early 1990s he moved up to a bigger boat, in the form of Hungry Tiger, a Contessa 32, which he enjoyed racing and cruising around the Solent and adjacent waters with both friends and family. He is survived by his wife Pam and their sons Graham, Andrew and daughter Sarah.
Major Colin Dening Carr MC
(JS ’40 & NH ’44) Colin Carr died on the 27th March 2011, aged 84. He was born in Cheltenham on the 28th March 1926 and was educated at the Junior School and College. He played in the XV and for the hockey XI, of which he was Hon. Secretary. Playing for the 2nd X1, he once took eight wickets in nine balls, but never managed to get into the XI. After attending the Officer Cadet Training Unit, he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers and posted to India. His unit was disbanded after Independence, and on his return to England he served in a training regiment instructing National Servicemen in field engineering, bridging and mine warfare. In 1952 Colin, then a Lieutenant serving with 28 Field Engineer Regiment RE in Korea, was engaged in the hazardous task of clearing old minefields in front of the forward positions of 1st Battalion the Welch Regiment. The minefields were dangerous to enter for two reasons: first, they were in full view of the Chinese Communists; second, they had been churned up by shellfire, which made the explosives difficult to locate. On the night of May 9th, Colin and his troop started laying a new minefield to deny the enemy a likely line of approach. After lifting part of an existing field, four of his troop were wounded by incoming shells. The following day Colin located, lifted and neutralised all the remaining mines and, that night, supervised the laying of 300 new mines. He had been working for almost 36 hours and, on May 11th, his CO forbade him to do any more clearing himself before dark. It was then that a deeply buried mine resulted in one sapper being killed and another wounded. He organised the evacuation of the casualties. On the morning of May 13th, while taking bearings to calculate where mines might be if they had not been exploded by shelling, he stepped on a mine that had been displaced and buried by shellfire. He lost one foot and had his other leg broken. Despite the great pain, Colin shouted instructions to his wireless operator and, while being carried to the regimental
aid post, gave an accurate account of how the accident had happened and provided the information necessary to complete the mine-clearing task. He was immediately awarded the MC. After his accident, he was in hospital in Japan for several weeks before being flown home to Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot. In those days no attempt was made to provide an artificial limb until a wound had had six months to heal. He modified his old bicycle so that he could ride it with one leg and when he went swimming in the sea he removed his artificial leg, planted it upright in the sand and ordered his dog to stand guard to dissuade other canines from mistaking it for a tree stump! In 1954, Colin took an RE Long Transportation Course to study railway rules and management. On one occasion, while under instruction, he was travelling on the bumping, swaying footplate of the Bristolian Express when the driver jokingly invited him to put a few lumps of coal into the firebox. He seized the shovel from the fireman and, to the astonishment of both men, maintained pressure in the boiler by heaving coal at a rate of more than a ton an hour from the tender into the back of the firebox, a distance of 14ft. Colin later commanded 79 Railway Squadron RE, but by 1965 transportation was no longer a Sapper responsibility and he and his comrades were transferred into the newly formed Royal Corps of Transport. Some years later a locomotive was named after him. After a number of staff appointments and a period instructing at the WRAC College, he found employment as a Retired Officer with the Army Cadet Training Establishment. Settled in Camberley, he enjoyed golf and gardening, tennis, chess and bridge. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Eve, their son Peter (NH ’72) and their daughters Jane and Mary.
Geoffrey Philip Davis (JS ’40 & NH ’44) Geoffrey Davis died on the 1st April 2011, aged 84. Born on the 3rd September 1926 in Cheltenham, Geoff was educated as a boarder at the Junior School & College from 1933-1944 where he represented College at rugby, cricket and several racket sports. On leaving College he served in the Royal Army Service Corps in Cairo where he continued to share his passion for sport amongst the Service community playing for their first teams in rugby, cricket and squash. On returning to England, Geoff’s University career reading Engineering at Bristol University (where he also played for the University rugby team) was cut short by the early death of his father – Percival Davis – at which point Geoff stepped in to lead the family business back in Cheltenham, where he became a well known figure in the town. Fortunately he managed to fit in time to play for Cheltenham Town’s first rugby and cricket teams with many notable mentions in the Gloucestershire Echo over the years. Geoff’s real sporting passion was always squash and it is for this he will most likely be remembered as Proprietor of the Cheltenham Squash Rackets Club which he founded in 1967 in the garden of his family home, after a lengthy battle with local residents and town planning authorities. Following early resistance, the club soon gained much local support and had 1,100 playing and social members. In 1973 the CSRC was awarded the UK’s Sports Club of the Year award and was the centre of much social, community and also charitable activity as well as holding regular regional and national tournaments. Geoff led CSRC’s own touring team – the “Western Escorts” – on numerous tours to destinations including Gibraltar, the USA/Canada and Caribbean as he and his cohorts sought to popularize the game to as broad an audience as possible. On retirement in 1987 Geoff threw himself full-time into another sporting passion – golf – and was a regular competitive player in the Seniors’ section of Cotswold Hills Golf Club where annually he enjoyed competing for the “Davis Cup” – a trophy originally awarded to CHGC by his own father. Sport was Geoff’s life and his life was sport. Both brought great pleasure and lasting memories to many.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 4
OBITUARIES ISSUE THREE J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 He is survived by his wife Margaret, their daughter Helen and son Philip (JS ’84 & NH ’89) as well as 4 grandchildren and 2 greatgrandchildren who will miss him deeply.
Basil Philip Harriman Dickinson (DB ’35) Basil Philip Harriman Dickinson was born on 10th September 1916 in Seaford, East Sussex, and was at College from 1930 to 1935. His father had been educated, but bullied, at Harrow and so his parents decided to return to the family school (his uncle, Sir John Dickinson, was then secretary of the OC Golf Club) for Basil (Bill) and his older brother Tony (H ’33). The family rented a house in Charlton King’s (‘Trenance’), with substantial grounds where his father could indulge his passion for fishing, and Basil attended College as a day boy. He was a naturally gifted scholar, with a talent for the classical languages. While Basil was at College, his parents’ marriage was breaking up, and he retreated further into his books to escape the rows. The end result was a string of Sixth Form prizes and a scholarship to Oriel College, Oxford. His mother was a frequent transatlantic traveller, sometimes with the teenage boys. On one such voyage, while the ship was waiting outside Biarritz, Basil witnessed a German bombing strike against Spanish republicans (before a family crisis forced a hurried departure from the ship - as hurried as it could be with a travelling trunk stuffed with textbooks). Whilst at Oxford he was awarded a prox. acc. for the Chancellors’ Latin Prose Prize, and the Charles Oldham Prose (Essay) Prize. Tucking in a Double First in Lit. Hum. and coming fourth in the Civil Service examinations, he entered the shipping division of the Board of Trade (soon to be merged with the Ministry of Transport) as an Assistant Principal in 1939. At the beginning of the war it was an unusual section of Whitehall, largely staffed by individuals drafted in from the enclosed world of Liverpool shipping. Hill Dickinson were then the world’s main shipping solicitors (representing, for instance, the owners of the Titanic), and a number of the people he came to deal with remembered him as a boy – and treated him as one of theirs. It was there that he met his future wife, Beryl, marrying her on Christmas Day 1941 - claiming that it was the only day he could take off work. He also claimed mischievously (as the hospital A&E informed him) to have been the first civilian casualty in the phoney war – when he was unrolling barbed wire to protect the Foreign Office, a strand hit him in the face. He grew a moustache from then on to cover the scar.
against his advice – a decision that, according to Gerald Kaufman, won Labour the ensuing General Election). Another politician who ignored his advice (well, the advice of the PM committee that he was on) was Sir Anthony Eden – who consequently made a secret visit to Paris without any civil servant and launched the disastrous Suez war. Basil never forgave the Conservatives for that or for Thatcher. He had a strong sense of duty, both in public service and to his family, and retired early in order to return to his student love of ethical philosophy. His later life was marred by failing eyesight through glaucoma and eventually total blindness. He died at home, having been nursed by Beryl for many years, at the age of 89 in January 2006. He had one daughter and three sons – the boys (Hugh ’56, Andy ’59 & Chris ’66) all went to Christowe - and would now have seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Chris Dickinson (Xt ’66)
Peter J Duddridge (DB ’41) Peter Duddridge died on January 2009, aged 85. Richard Hugh Dusgate (NH ’51) Richard Dusgate died on the 24th November 2009, aged 74. He was born on the Dusgate family property in Norfolk and moved with his parents to a farm on the Colesbourne Estate in Gloucestershire in 1946. From an early age he became very knowledgeable about wildlife and was particularly keen on the study of birds. On leaving College in 1951, he completed a year’s practical farming experience before joining the farming course at the Royal Agricultural College. Gaining his qualification, he moved to Southern Rhodesia where he served four months obligatory National Service and gained a commission. He then took up a post as Farm Manager on the farm of a Government Minister, P.K. van der Byl. When the civil war ended in Nigeria, he moved to a post as manager of a State Governor’s farm in that country. He immediately took an interest in the country’s history and wrote ‘The Conquest of Northern Nigeria’, a reference book for University study. He somehow became involved in warfare in the French Saharan colonies, rising to the rank of Colonel in the Chad army and paid by the French government. He was badly wounded in a parachute jump and returned to the UK, firstly living in Shropshire, then in the Isle of Man, and finally returning to Colesbourne where he took a job managing factory security services.
He was appointed Private Secretary to Sir Cyril Hurcomb, the Director of War Transport, a role which provided a valuable inside view of government (he once had to suppress news coverage of an early blitz incident with a number of civilian deaths). He later saved Hurcomb’s life, who was seriously ill with pneumonia at his country home, by calling down his own Harley Street doctor.
Geoffrey Kim Elliott (Xt ’47) Geoffrey died on the 21st August 2011, aged 81.
Basil was on the Civil Service fast track. In the 1950s he was privileged to be chosen for a course at the Imperial Defence College, the time of his career that he remembered most fondly. This involved an intimate high-ranking tour of colonial Africa just before the Mau Mau rebellion, of which no one seemed to have the slightest premonition. In 1959 he was appointed Under-Secretary for shipping. In the 1960s he was responsible for motorways (including the planning and construction of the Severn Bridge), and in the 1970s for international transport (including a role at NATO).
Jonathan Fletcher (PDH ’35)
He had, of course, quite a few stories. He travelled on the postwar maiden voyage of the Queen Elizabeth in 1946 for the opening of the United Nations. Molotov was on board, and everyone tried to entice him out of his cabin; but he only emerged once – for a showing of ‘Brief Encounter’. He got on well with his first Labour minister, Alfred Barnes, with a mutual dislike for black tie at functions (he was very pleased to organise the first dinner at Lancaster House that didn’t require it), but badly with Barbara Castle (who forced the Humber Bridge through for political reasons
Sqd. Ldr. David Alexander Ferguson (Ch ’53) David Ferguson died on the 8th October 2011, aged 76. Jonathan Fletcher, brother of the late Thomas Fletcher (Xt ’42), died on the 31st October 2011, aged 94. He excelled at shooting whilst at College and he shot in the 1st VIII matches and at Bisley. He served in the Pioneer Corps during the Second World War, serving in Sicily, ending the war as a Captain. The Fletcher family owned a cotton printing works, but Jonathan did not see eye to eye with his brothers on how it should be managed, so he ended up running a tobacconists in Manchester. He moved to Guernsey in 1968. Jonathan was a very practical man and owned his own woodworking machinery and a metal turning lathe. He personally renovated an old, stone-walled house in Guernsey where he met Enid, his second wife, who was his wife for 20 happy years. Modern electronic technology was embraced, with emails pinged around and kindles read. The family tree went down on the latest software and the TV was as big or bigger than the room allowed. 4.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 5
His life certainly had its ups and downs, but many people have paid tribute to his sense of humour. He was fun to be with, he was a character, he was curious, he was resourceful and the world had him for 94 years.
Sir John Archibald Browne Gray MA, MB, BChir, FRS, FRCP (BH ’36) John Gray, son of the eminent dermatologist Sir Archibald Gray KCVO (DB 1882), died on the 4th January 2011, aged 92. On leaving College, he was awarded a place to study medicine at Clare College, Cambridge, and then went on to University College Hospital Medical School. On qualifying, he joined the Medical Research Council’s physiological research laboratory at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Training School in 1943. After a spell at the National Institute for Medical Research, he became a Surgeon-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, doing research under the scientific direction of the MRC on board the aircraft carrier Pioneer with the British Pacific Fleet. His researches were concerned with problems such as the physiological effects of toxic gases inside tanks and naval gun turrets, the energy demands of gun turret crews, and heat hazards to personnel in warships serving in tropical waters. Among other things he found that certain tasks required of the men in handling-rooms and magazines demanded an energy output equal to, or even greater than, that of a trained athlete. Therefore, he concluded, restriction of the rate of fire depended more on human than on mechanical limitations. A redesigning of equipment and a reallocation of tasks did much to counteract this difficulty. From 1946 to 1952, John returned to the National Institute for Medical Research, where he concentrated on neurophysiology. Over the next 14 years, as Reader, then Professor of Physiology at University College, London, where he served for a time as Dean of the Faculty of Science, he pursued research on sensory nervous systems and receptors and on information coding. When Sir Harold Himsworth retired as secretary of the MRC in 1968, John succeeded him having served for the previous two years as second secretary. His time at the MRC coincided with a period of intense debate about the organisation of research when the benefit of scientific and technological advance was being called into question. Soon after becoming secretary, he found himself caught up in discussions about the future of the research councils. While he did not dissent from the view that MRC-funded research should address issues of immediate social relevance, he defended the principle that fundamental medical research, on which long-term progress depends, was not amenable to direction according to customer requirements. Diminishing resources for research gave rise to other problems and, particularly during the second half of his term of office, John had to guide the Council through difficult decisions regarding the balance of funds used to support its own establishments and the resources going to universities. New career structures were evolved for scientists, and also for technicians, to take account of the new climate of employment. John took the initiative in consolidating and developing links with other research councils, with the universities and with agencies and organisations abroad. Following Britain’s accession to the EEC, a new committee on medical research (CRM) was established in Brussels to promote collaboration at a European level, and John became its first Chairman. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1972 and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians two years later. He was knighted in 1973. After his retirement from the MRC in 1977, John returned to neurophysiology. As a member of the MRC external scientific staff at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) Laboratories in Plymouth, he examined, among other things, the stimuli that excite the ear and the lateral-line receptors in fish such as the herring, in order to discover how inputs from the two organs interact in the brain. Sir John had unique skills in being able to marry detailed anatomical studies with elegant but simple biophysical experimentation, coupled with state of the art recording techniques and mathematical modelling.
He was a friendly face in the often formidable group of physiologists, mainly Fellows of the Royal Society, who worked at the Plymouth laboratory in the 1980s. He always had time to listen and give advice to young scientists many of whom owe a lot to the frequent coffee time discussions about their work. John was also an active member of the Council of the MBA, first as Royal Society Governor and then as Vice President. As such, he could always be relied upon for sound advice and as a steadying hand if the discussions drifted too far from the central issues. He played an important part in negotiating the MBA–NERC Agreement in 1987. At the time he was also President of the Freshwater Biological Association and his experience was vital for securing a robust agreement for the MBA, without which the MBA may not exist in its present form as an independent research organization. John was predeceased by his wife, Vera, of 64 years in 2010 and he is survived by their son Peter and daughter Clare.
Dr Peter Rex Greenfield (H ’50) Peter died on the 30th December 2010, aged 79. At College, he was strong academically, was a member of the CCF and developed his love for music. On leaving College, he did his National Service, gaining a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Signals in 1951, and served as a Lieutenant in the T.A. from 1951-56. In 1951 he went up to Cambridge to study Natural Sciences. Peter also became a proficient rower, and represented his College, Pembroke. Peter completed his medical qualifications at St George’s Hospital, London, despite contracting bulbar polio six months before his finals. Sadly, the resultant damage to his vocal chords put an end to his singing days and he was also advised to stop rowing. He completed two appointments as House Doctor at St George’s and a further one at the Mayday Maternity Hospital in Croydon. In 1959, he moved with his family to Robertsbridge, East Sussex, where he lived for the rest of his life. He worked there as a GP for nearly eleven years, initially in partnership, but later taking on the practice single-handed for five years. In 1965, whilst still a GP, Peter was appointed Medical Officer to Battle Hospital. His rapidly expanding family did not deter him from taking on new challenges and in 1969 he left General Practice to become a Regional Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Social Security. He later progressed to Chief Medical Advisor (Social Security) and subsequently to Senior Principal Medical Officer. During his time in the Department, he became a member of the British Geriatric Society. Peter was appointed Honorary Physician to the Queen in 1987 and he became an honorary member of the British Paediatric Association (now the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health) in 1991. Peter was a member of the committee which drafted the modern format of the British National Formulary in 1981, used all over the medical world today. In 1983, he chaired the Greenfield Report on effective prescribing in the NHS. One of the recommendations was that generic drugs should be used in place of their more expensive branded equivalents where possible, an idea which has just been adopted 27 years later. He was a respected representative for the UK wherever he travelled. In 1989 he was a member of the government delegation that went to Armenia to advise on education and health issues after the devastating earthquake. In the same year, he gave expert opinion at the ninth Commonwealth Health Ministers meeting in Australia and participated in a conference in the USA on the dangers of smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco and oral snuff). Peter retired from the Health Service in 1991, but continued to work part time as a medical expert on Incapacity Benefit panels and for the Appeals Service. His people-focussed approach ensured that patients’ needs were kept central and the personal touch was maintained at all times. In 1983 he became a Trustee for The Chaseley Trust in Eastbourne, a charity that provides care and services for the severely physically disabled. He went on to become Chairman of the Trustees for eight years until 2003. Through his chairmanship, the Trust was
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 6
OBITUARIES ISSUE THREE J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 able to overcome severe financial challenges, and he continued to work tirelessly to raise money for this worthy cause for the rest of his life.
institutions well qualified him, inter alia, as a course lecturer in business management, Business Mentor to the Prince’s Trust and President of the Essex Playing Fields’ Association.
Peter was a popular and respected figure in the local community and was heavily involved in all aspects of village life. He played an active part in the St John Ambulance, local schools, youth groups and the Church. He is fondly remembered by all who knew him as a devoted family man, who had a long and distinguished professional career. He could engage in conversation with anyone, enjoyed visits from his family and always showed concern for others. His hobbies included golf, oil painting, prawning, crosswords, photography, sailing and gardening. Peter could play the piano, organ, piano accordion or any piece of pipe he came across, by ear, and was always happy to perform on request. He was always at the centre of social and family functions, particularly the annual holidays in Devon attended by up to 100 of his relatives. He is survived by his wife, Faith, eight sons, two daughters, 27 grandchildren and his sister Heather.
David maintained close links with his Regiment throughout his life. He was a regular attendee at both KSLI and LI Regimental reunions of all kinds. From 2003, until his death on Armistice Day 2011, he diligently administered and laid out the KSLI Regimental Plot at the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance.
Captain David John Gwynne-James (NH ’55) David Gwynne-James, son of Brigadier J G James DSO (NH ’17), died on the 11th November 2011, aged 74. He was an outstanding sportsman at College, playing in the cricket XI for 4 years, captaining the team for his final two years, and played in the XV for three years and the hockey XI for two years. On leaving College, he entered RMA Sandhurst and was commissioned in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) in August 1957. He saw active service as a Rifle Platoon Commander in the 1st Battalion during the Mau Mau campaign in Kenya and then on a brief operational tour of duty in Aden. From 1959 to 1967 he was Cadre Office and Mortar Platoon Commander with the Battalion in Colchester and Munster (BAOR) before being appointed Adjutant of the KSLI Depot in Shrewsbury, followed by Adjutant of 4KSLI (TA). In 1962, he was seconded to the Sultan’s Armed Forces, serving as a Company Commander and also Training Officer in Muscat and Oman. His varied experiences in that region led him later to publish two extremely well researched and informative books, ‘Letters from Oman’ and ‘Arabian Peninsula’. In another excellently written book, ‘For King and Country’, he recalls the war exploits of three brothers who included his uncle who served with 1st Battalion KSLI in the Great War and was awarded the DSO before he died of wounds at the battle of the Somme and his father, who was also awarded the DSO as Commanding Officer of 1KSLI in North Africa in 1943 and who was later killed in action in Northern Italy whilst commanding the 36th Infantry Brigade. By 1965, David was back with 1KSLI, serving as Adjutant in Plymouth and then in Singapore. When the Battalion joined the 28th Commonwealth Brigade in Terendak (Malaysia) he became Training Company Commander and then OC ‘C’ Company. On his return to the UK in 1968 he was posted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) as an Instructor and as the Light Infantry representative at the Academy. His last appointment before retiring from the Army was Company Commander of Dettingen Company at the RMAS. The Army gave David ample opportunity to prove himself an accomplished sportsman. He played cricket, rugby, hockey and squash for 1KSLI and also represented the Battalion in skiing and athletics. Between 1959 and 1968 he played cricket for the Army for five seasons, captaining the Army XI in 1961 and 1962. In 1961 he also played cricket for the Combined Services. He played rugby for the Harlequins in 1959 and 1960, was an experienced Alpinist who led at least one Regimental mountaineering expedition and in 1963 he achieved the distinction of climbing the Matterhorn. After coming out of the Army, David joined Ernst & Young and worked for some twenty years with them as Director of National Estate Management, Director of Administration and finally Director of Personnel. For thirteen years thereafter (1991-2004), he was Managing Director of Gwynne-James Associates (Management Consultants). His membership of a number of eminent business
He will long be remembered for his generosity of spirit, kindness and good humour, his professionalism as a soldier and sportsman and for his enduring loyalty to his Regiment. He is survived by his wife Charmian and their two daughters, Grania and Fiona.
Matthew Hall (College Staff 1978-98) Matt Hall died on the 11th June 2011, aged 77. He worked in the Lodge as Fee Accountant for twenty years and was much respected by all the College community. Matt had an excellent rapport with all he came in contact with, always had the good of College at heart and was a very loyal servant of College. He was a very genuine man and was assiduous in all he did. His integrity was impeccable, and his attention to detail legendary, as many a Housemaster found to his cost - he would not pass the House Accounts even if they were only a penny out!! This was not an easy feat to achieve from a hand written ledger with no auto sum facility – but Matt was a match for this! He was certainly not a dour accountant, having a good sense of humour and always found time to give advice, no matter how trivial a matter. He became a very good friend to many within the College community. On retirement, he was made an Hon OC by the Cheltonian Society in recognition for what he had done for College – a much deserved accolade. Matt greatly enjoyed coming back to College after retirement, especially to the annual Christmas Carol Service, and was a regular attendee at the Gloucestershire County Cricket Festival each August, which he watched from the Gym balcony nearly every day, armed with his binoculars and his packed lunch! Although he lived the majority of his life in the South, Matt’s accent retained traces of his origins in the North East, and his favourite topic of conversation, the past glories of Sunderland AFC, confirmed that he was indeed a Geordie. His early years were spent in Washington, just outside Sunderland, and he attended the local grammar school, the only one of seven siblings to do so. Further Education being out of the question at the time, he left school at 16 to work in the offices of a shipping company in Newcastle. Looking at the ships going down the Tyne, he dreamed about joining the Merchant Navy, but in 1952 his National Service found him down south in Herefordshire with the RAF. Matt enjoyed service life so much that two years later he enlisted, in the accounts and payroll section. By 1957, he found himself in Cambridgeshire, where he met and married Angela, and by the time he was posted to Rheindalen in Germany in 1958, they were a threesome, with Alison in tow. Life in the RAF was not conducive to putting down roots, and by 1960 he was once again in this country, this time in Buckinghamshire, and a second daughter, Gillian, arrived in 1962. Five years later, he was transferred from his base in Halton, Buckinghamshire, to Bahrain. The downside of this posting was that he felt obliged to leave behind his family. The up-side was that the experience provided him with sufficient anecdotes to last a life-time. Times may not have been wild, but they were certainly interesting! Oxfordshire was Matt’s next destination, but in 1971 he was offered the opportunity to move to RAF Innsworth, Gloucester, with a view to setting up a computerised payroll system, so he developed into a systems analyst, probably one of the first of this kind. It was in Gloucester, or more precisely, in Brockworth, that he eventually settled in 1975, when he first became a home-owner. After 25 years in the RAF, it was a real wrench to leave the services, but he joined College and had no regrets. Matt is survived by his wife, Angela, their daughters Alison and Gillian, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 7
Felix H. S. Heidenstam (H ’36) Felix Heidenstam, son of the late Brigadier Philip Heidenstam CBE and brother of the late Brigadier Philip Heidenstam CBE (H ’32), died on 22nd March 2011, aged 92. Born in St George, Grenada, in the British West Indies, where his father was Chief of Police, he was a pupil at Cheam, and then at College. After his education was cut short by his father’s early death, he joined the Norwich firm of Laurence, Scott & Electromotors as an apprentice, and eventually rose to be a main board director. During World War II he served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and was able to use expertise gained at work to train REME detachments in the early mechanical ‘computers’ used for anti-aircraft tracking. Posted to Palestine towards the end of the war, he was demobilised with the rank of Major before rejoining LSE. In 1942 he had married Marjorie, who was a morse code expert with the WRAF, and they went on to celebrate their golden wedding before her death in 1996. After leaving LSE in the early 1970s, he served on industrial tribunals, and later helped establish the Norwich firm of Redpack. He took up travelling in his 80s, and accompanied by one of his two sons, spent winters in India and North Africa and summers in Eastern Europe. In autumn 2010, with his health failing, he returned to Britain and later died peacefully at Ipswich Hospital. He is survived by his sons, David and Mark. Christopher David Jarrett (H ’60) Chris Jarrett, son of the late Michael Jarrett (S ’38) died suddenly, when on holiday in Spain, on the 24th January 2011, aged 67. David Alistair Gilroy Lamb (DB ’47) David Lamb died in South Africa in March 2011, aged 82. Philip John Duppa Langrishe (Xt ’35) John Langrishe, son of Lt Col JduP Langrishe DSO RAMC, died on the 28th December 2010, aged 93. John came to College on an RAMC exhibition as a boarder to Christowe, where his uncle RB Langrishe (1901) and cousin RCG Langrishe (’30) had preceded him, and where his younger brother Hugh (’40) and second cousins RD Langrishe (’59) NduP Langrishe (’60) followed him. He excelled both in and out of the classroom. He was a College Prefect, a stalwart of the Boat Club (which he captained in his final year), an accomplished athlete who broke the College record for the 120 yard hurdles, beating R A Powell (L ’35) into second place, was awarded the Bingen & JexBlake Geography prizes and won a place at Pembroke College, Cambridge, to read Law. He was a trial oarsman for the University boat in 1936 and Captain of the Pembroke College Boat Club in 1938. After graduating, John joined the family firm of solicitors and started his articles. However, a year later came the start of the Second World War and he enlisted in the Royal Artillery in September 1939. He did his training at Catterick Camp, was commissioned 2/Lt. and joined the 7th Medium Regiment R.A. in Egypt at the end of March 1940. The regiment participated in the first advance against the Italians in Libya in December, but in March 1941 John’s battery was withdrawn to join the British expeditionary force sent to Greece to stem the German advance there. Within three weeks they had been driven back to the coast and, after destroying their guns, were evacuated to Crete where they re-mustered as an infantry unit, this time to repel German paratroopers. After four weeks, this mis-directed effort failed and they were ordered to escape through the mountains to the south coast for rescue by the Royal Navy. Incessant dive-bombing sank a number of ships but John survived and returned to Egypt safely. The battery was re-formed and was in action again in the Western Desert a few months later. But the following year, during the retreat in front of Rommel’s Afrika Korps, it was engaged in a fierce action near Gazala during which ammunition was exhausted. Surrounded, they destroyed their guns again and on 1st June 1942 they were captured; John became a POW in northern Italy. The second camp he was in, Fontanellato, was rather different from those run by the Germans. He later wrote: “It was a handsome building in its way
– a former orphanage – and as far removed from the traditional idea of a POW camp as can be imagined. The prisoners enjoyed a tolerable standard of living due mainly to the expert catering of a Belgian serving with the British Army. The prisoners were allowed out for weekly walks and even ran their own bar”. John was in the camp at the time of the Italian armistice in September 1943. The Germans were advancing down into Italy and many POWs were transferred to German camps. He was one of the 50,000 escapees who set out, in groups of three or four, to reach freedom, either north to Switzerland or south towards the advancing allied forces. For around ten weeks in the autumn and early winter of 1943, his small group walked south from the plains of Lombardy and over the Apennines. Initially, their only source of guidance was a map torn from a school atlas. They sought shelter, sustenance and clothing from Italian contadini (country folk), all of whom risked their lives, and indeed a considerable number died, for harbouring and assisting enemy soldiers. John wrote: “We progressed at a steady 20-25 miles per day, sometimes wet, sometimes dry, always hungry”. He crossed over into allied lines on the 19th November 1943, his group’s Italian guide having been shot dead by the Germans in the last stage of the journey. As a result of his successful escape walk through Italy, he was Mentioned in Dispatches. John arrived home on Christmas Eve, five weeks after crossing allied lines – an early Christmas surprise for his family – and after his leave, he went back to his regiment which was taken ashore in Normandy on 9th June 1944. They were fully engaged for the rest of the war in Europe and were in Germany on VE day. He was later invited onto the historical committee who wrote the official war history of the regiment. John was a keen supporter of The Monte San Martino Trust, which was founded in 1990 with the object of providing bursaries for the descendants of the families who helped British prisoners of war in Italy in 1943 and 1944 with food and accommodation. The bursaries enable the recipients to come to Britain for a period of study. After the war, which he finished as a Captain, he returned to the family firm, Peake & Co., Bedford Row, qualified as a solicitor and eventually became Senior Partner. He also carried on the family tradition of becoming a Freeman of the City of London and of joining a City Livery Company, the Tylers & Bricklayers. He served on the Court for many years, served as Master, always taking an active interest in its work in supporting tradesmen and charitable causes. John was also on the Board of Directors and served as Chairman and MD of Wynnstay Properties – founded in 1896 by several families of builders and investors to purchase the newly built blocks of flats (70 in all) at Wynnstay Gardens Kensington. He researched and wrote the history of the company’s first 100 years. John was a motor enthusiast since boyhood, bought a vintage Aston-Martin in 1951 and became a committee member of the Aston-Martin Owners’ Club. He bought a Healey Tickford saloon in 1955 and within a few weeks he had met Peter Cavanagh, the radio impressionist; the two of them suggested to the Healey family that a Healey Drivers’ Club should be formed. It was, and exists today. John retired in 1978 and enjoyed a high quality of life and health until his last few years, and this was no doubt due to the love and care he received from his wife Isabel. He pursued his longstanding interest in clocks, enjoyed reading and studying history, including family history. In later life, his grandchildren and great grandchildren were a source of great pleasure to him. John and his first wife, who he divorced, had two sons; Charles who sadly predeceased him in 2006, and Patrick. He is survived by his wife Isabel and Patrick.
Colonel Serbert David Berwyn Lewis (JS ’43 & DB/L ’48) Serbert Lewis died on the 14th March 2011, aged 89.
Roger Montgomery Lidstone (H ’49) Roger, brother of Jay (H ’52), died on the 4th September 2011, aged 79. He initially worked in the family business, H M Lidstone’s & Sons, in Swansea. In their spare time, the Lidstone
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 8
OBITUARIES ISSUE THREE J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 family was heavily involved in local theatre, and had a real love for Gilbert & Sullivan. Roger was Stage Manager for Swansea Amateur Operatic Society for over 20 productions. There were plenty of hilarious stories about back stage mishaps! On one occasion, the sound effects of small explosives timed to go off at intervals during a certain production, all went off on opening night at the same time, just about deafening the audience! Then, there was the prop that short circuited the entire theatre’s lighting system - it was caused by the very much alive goat which had urinated all over the electrics! He met Lan, a South African, in 1959 and they married in 1961Roger died a month before they were due to celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary. The family moved to South Africa in 1968, Roger and Lan, worked with his father-in-law at the Lake Pleasant Holiday Resort, Sedgefield. He subsequently purchased the business and turned it into the well-known resort that it is today. He was a well known and respected character in the village, where he was often seen driving his bakkie (nearly always with a boxer dog in the passenger seat) which served him well for 30 years, or sitting enjoying a nice cold beer at a local pub! He was recognised as a man of unwavering and unshakeable integrity in both business and personal relationships, with an irrepressible sense of humour and an indomitable will to live. Roger loved playing squash and he, and some friends, founded the first squash club in the Eastern Cape in 1968. He built a squash court at Lake Pleasant in 1974 and continued to play until his early sixties. He is survived by his wife Lan, daughters Briony and Anthea, son Stuart and six grandchildren.
Edward David Mortimer Lloyd (NH ’58)
David Lloyd, son of Captain Edward Lloyd (NH ’31), died in Lusaka on December 19th 2010, aged 70. He was a Colonial Officer and big-game hunter-turned-conservationist; having dissipated his inherited wealth in an uncompromising pursuit of pleasure, he eventually set about saving Kasanka, a neglected game reserve which he re-established as Zambia’s first privately-funded national park.
David joined the Colonial Service in 1960 and was posted to Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. There he worked his way up to District Officer and was involved in policing the violent clashes between members of Alice Lenshina’s Lumpa Church and Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party which reached a climax in 1964, just before independence. He also developed a taste for game hunting and safari life, as well as a thirst for liquor and ladies, the more exotic the better. David resigned from the Colonial Service shortly after Zambian independence and embarked on an estate management course at London University. The following year, 1966, his father died. Captain Lloyd, a long time member of Cardiganshire county council and Master of the Tivyside Foxhounds, had struggled to make profitable the Coedmore estate, which had been created by Edward III and held by the Lloyd family for several centuries. Known as a generous landlord with a fondness for whisky, he was reputed to have sold properties to tenants in return for the odd case of spirits. As a result, David Lloyd’s inheritance was somewhat depleted, but nonetheless comprised more than 3,000 acres. With his new-found independence, David swiftly abandoned his studies and departed once again for Africa. He spent a season as a professional hunter with Norman Carr in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley and then joined the Kenya Wildlife Department as a ranger. Posted to the Northern Frontier District, where the Shifta War had descended into disorganised banditry and a high level of violence, he was involved in more than one shoot-out and decided it was not suitable employment for a man with a fortune still to enjoy. During the 1970s, he was involved in various hunting ventures, more often as gentleman adventurer than professional hunter, and also travelled extensively in South America and the Far East. He could prove an unpredictable guest. On one visit to Lima, Peru, to stay with a diplomat friend then on his first overseas posting,
David attended an informal reception dressed in a pair of baggy shorts and a cowboy shirt, and one morning was discovered lying face down in one of the embassy’s flower beds. His hunting activities could be equally erratic. On one occasion, he was hired to take some French dignitaries on safari in Zaire. Having arrived in Kinshasa and reported to the Belgian proprietors of the safari company, he promptly disappeared. When another member of the team arrived some days later, his first task was to track David down. Armed with a passport photo and $500 dollars, he wrote: “I began my first hunt in Zaire through the red light district of Kinshasa; often getting close to my quarry as he remained just one drink ahead of me.” When David was finally run to ground enjoying a well-earned breakfast at the Holiday Inn, he was relieved of command but, typically, proceeded with the trip anyway, as a client. By this time, David had collected a band of followers, many of whom were sustained by his extraordinary generosity and severe lack of commercial discipline. Towards the end of the decade, he was said to have charged more than £200,000 – around one million in today’s money – to American Express alone. The income from his estates could not support such expenditure, and sales (he was said to be running through a farm a year) were inevitable. When his mother moved out of Coedmore House, David finally attempted to do something with the estate. Teaming up with the wildlife biologist Peter Moss, he set aside a parcel of land on the banks of the river Teifi to create a nature reserve. The Cardigan Wildlife Park, which featured bison, deer, wild boar and wolves alongside rare breeds of sheep, cattle and horse, proved to be a success when it opened in 1978, picking up awards and attracting 50,000 visitors a year. Four years later it achieved national notoriety when eight wolves escaped. For 10 days the beasts created fear and havoc in the surrounding area, killing some 30 animals, including sheep, goats and deer, until all were hunted down and shot by police and local marksmen. But the park could not save Coedmore and, in 1983, the estate was carved up and sold off, bringing 600 years of single ownership to an abrupt conclusion. The park, now known as the Welsh Wildlife Centre, continues – without wolves – and Coedmore House has been divided into flats. Nor were David’s African ventures faring any better. A scheme to purchase light planes cheaply in Africa, then fly them over to sell in Europe, came to a calamitous end when his partner, Peter Leuthy, a German pilot also with a colourful reputation, was killed in a plane crash in the Congo. It was an event that affected David deeply. He had also joined with the Swiss millionaire inventor Sauro Albertini to set up a safari operation in Zaire, where hunting had just reopened as President Mobutu sought to woo back foreign investors. A camp was established and vehicles and equipment purchased, but a party of hunters crossing the border from Kenya attracted the attention of Zaire’s military and in 1984 Mobutu closed them down. Everything was lost. Then, while flying back to Lusaka from Zambia’s Northern Province, David passed over Kasanka, a small national park bordering the Congo Pedicle that was in danger of closure due to rampant poaching. Out of curiosity, he decided to visit; there were no roads or bridges, and no tourists had penetrated the park for many years, but David managed to explore a little on foot. On hearing the crack of gunshots, he concluded that if there was still poaching, there must be animals. Impressed by the wide variety of habitats, he decided to try to save the park from total depletion and the threat of losing its national park status. David and Gary Williams, a local farmer who had also explored the park a little, used their own resources to employ scouts and build roads, bridges and temporary camps. The Zambian government, which had been unable to manage the park itself, encouraged their efforts. Crucially, they secured the backing of local communities and of Chief Chitambo IV, whose great-grandfather, the first chief Chitambo, had received David Livingstone in 1873, when the explorer was on his deathbed. Livingstone’s heart was buried under a tree at a spot a few miles outside the park, a place now marked by a simple stone monument. The Kasanka Trust was set up to formalise their position and help raise funds, and soon attracted attention from conservationists. Tourism then started to bring in a little money and, by 1990, the Zambian authorities were 8.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 9
sufficiently impressed by progress to sign an agreement allowing the Trust officially to manage the park. David’s understanding of, and affection for, local Zambians – he had a firm grasp of four tribal languages and apparent immunity to threats of witchcraft – was crucial to this success .The following year the television presenter Michael Palin passed through Kasanka on his journey from Pole to Pole. Palin wrote in his diary: “I learn more about hippos here than in all my time beside the Mara River in Kenya. So thoroughly had this area been poached, says David, that when he took over the park in 1986 there were only three hippos. ‘They didn’t call at all for the first two years – dead scared’. Turning in. Sounds of low voices round the remains of the fire and bullfrogs on the lake. Above, a clear, intense, starlit sky. No reflections from anywhere. Pure sky. Pure night sky.” Today the populations of hippo, elephant, sable antelope and hartebeest are recovering. The Puku antelope, once reduced to a few hundred, now exceed 5,000 and there are sizeable herds of the swamp-dwelling Sitatunga, Reedbuck and Waterbuck, as well as groups of the rare Blue Monkey. Kasanka also plays host to one of the great migrations in the natural world – the arrival of some 10 million bats from the nearby Congo to feed on the park’s abundant supply of musuku fruits. David showed great vision and determination in starting and sustaining a project on this scale and, acting against type, put in a lot of hard work himself to get it off the ground. Ironically, given his record, he was also to prove so adept at eliciting financial support from others that Kasanka’s drain on his own dwindling funds was relatively modest. In 2002, he was appointed OBE, and the following year the Kasanka Trust was granted exclusive rights to manage and develop Kasanka National Park for a further 10 years. His flowing blond locks and the flamboyant behaviour of his earlier years made him an instantly memorable figure. Proud of his Welsh lineage, he was well read and traditional in his views, but also deeply irreverent and alarmingly candid. A fine raconteur, especially around a camp fire deep in the bush with a drink in hand, he could be entertaining and courageous. Equally he could be rude and unappreciative. Kasanka was David’s home for the last two decades; the bank had forced the sale of his last bolthole in Britain, a flat in Chelsea’s Flood Street, after David, who was unmarried, stood as guarantor for yet another failing safari business. His friends were now getting old, or had died, and he no longer had the money to “play”. He was happiest at his rondavel in the park surrounded by the community he had helped support.
Professor John Victor Luce Litt D MRIA
(BH ’38) John Luce, brother of Arthur (BH ’39), died on the 11th February 2011, aged 90. John was born in Dublin in 1920, one of three children of Arthur Aston Luce and his wife Lilian. His father taught him the Greek alphabet when he was five! John was a scholar and a sportsman. He came to College as the James of Hereford Scholar, won numerous Form Prizes as well as the Saville Classical, Iredell History Open, Homer, Roosevelt and the Greek Testament prizes. He captained the hockey XI in 1938, played in the XV, 2nd XI cricket and fives team, and was Head of House in his final year. On leaving College, he returned to Ireland to read Classics at Trinity College Dublin where he went on to have a very distinguished career. He was former Vice-Provost of Trinity College Dublin and a celebrated classicist. A senior Fellow Emeritus, he was the 62nd Vice-Provost of the University from 1987-1989, a position that his father held from 1946-1952. ‘The End of Atlantis: New Light on an Old Legend’ (1969) is the best known of his many books. The Atlantean mystery has prompted the publication of 25,000 books putting forward a variety of hypotheses, as well as numerous pamphlets, articles and websites. John devoted years of study to the subject and argued in favour of the Minoan hypothesis – the theory advanced by Greek academic Spyridon Marinatos linking the disappearance of Atlantis with the destruction of the Minoan empire by volcanic action in about 1450 BC. A Daily Telegraph review described him as a “careful scholar who writes well and
argues his case persuasively”. Even critics who did not support his argument acknowledged his scholarship. The book sold very well and was translated into five languages in addition to the original English. John was elected a foundation scholar in his first year at Trinity, a remarkable achievement. He took a double moderatorship in Classics and Philosophy, and was awarded a double first. He followed his Bachelor’s degree in 1942 with a Masters in 1945. After three years as a Junior Lecturer at Trinity, John became a research student at Oxford, and from 1946 to 1948 he lectured in Greek at Glasgow University. Elected a Fellow of Trinity in 1948, in 1963 he was appointed Reader in Classics. Having served as Tutor and then Senior Tutor, in 1971 he became Assistant Professor of Classics and in 1984 was appointed Erasmus Smith Professor of Oratory, in effect a personal chair in the School of Classics. John was Senior Dean from 1977 to 1985 and Vice-Provost from 1987 to 1989. He also acted as the public orator at the College from 1972 to 2005. In this capacity, he addressed 350 accolades in Latin to recipients of honorary doctorates. These included the Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich, broadcaster Gay Byrne and King Juan Carlos of Spain. John was a visiting professor at universities in the United States and South Africa, and a guest lecturer on Swan Hellenic cruises. Active in Trinity life from his student days, he was auditor of the College Classical Society from 1942 to 1943. A former chairman of Trinity Week committee, he was for many years Honorary Secretary of the Trinity Trusts (formerly the endowment funds). John was an outstanding sportsman at Trinity, captaining the cricket, hockey and squash clubs. He also, as his father before him had done, played for the Phoenix cricket club first XI. He won six caps playing hockey for Ireland, and won a blue for Oxford. Later, as Chairman of the Dublin University Central Athletic Club, a position his father had held in the previous decade, he did much to improve the College sports’ facilities. Improvements included the acquisition of sports grounds at Santry, the construction of a new gym at the College and the provision of indoor sports facilities at Trinity Hall student residence. The University’s impressive Sports Hall, which was opened in 1982, was named the Luce Hall in honour of the joint contribution of father and son to sport in College Park and beyond. He contributed to a wide range of academic journals. Books include ‘The Quest for Ulysses’ (1974), ‘Homer and the Heroic Age’ (1975) and ‘An Introduction to Greek Philosophy’ (1992), which Brian Fallon described in the Irish Times as a “model of exposition and clear, non-specialist language”. He was also the author of the very readable ‘Trinity College Dublin: The First 400 Years’ (1991). In it he recounts an incident during the student revolt of the early 1980s led by Joe Duffy, when he in his capacity as Senior Dean with another College officer, went to the Junior Common Room to enforce a court injunction against the students. He wrote, using the third person: “Duffy greeted them by saying, ‘‘you’re not welcome here’’. When the Senior Dean retorted, “I could say the same about you’’, a faint smile appeared on Duffy’s face.” In 2000, he received the Runciman award for ‘Celebrating Homer’s Landscapes’ (1998) and was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 1973 and to honorary membership of the Royal Dublin Society in 1992. He was a governor of the High School, Dublin, and in 1995 he was also elected President of the Classical Association of Ireland. Three years later, he was co-opted as Patron of the Irish Institute for Classical Studies. A keen fisherman, he spent free time in Westport, Co Mayo. He also enjoyed playing chess. He is survived by his wife Lyndall, daughters Kristina, Jane and Alice, brother Frank (BH ’39), sons-inlaw Philip, Geoffrey and Greg and six grandchildren.
Richard Middleton-Smith (Former Bursar, 1962-74) Richard (Dick) Middleton-Smith died on Christmas Day 2011, aged 97.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 10
OBITUARIES ISSUE THREE J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 David Fenton Miller (Ch ’53) David Miller, brother of Ashley (John) (Ch ’58), died on the 16th July 2011, aged 75. David played in the XV for two years and played for the Military side in the Military v Classical Centenary match in 1952, which Military won 19-9. Playing in the centre, he was renowned for his tackling and place kicking. The 1952 Cheltonian reports that: ‘Clifton were held to a three point lead, thanks to some magnificent covering by the forwards and the deadly tackling by Miller and Lawrence; Against Rugby, D F Miller generally stopped their wingers in their tracks with crashing tackles’. He also played in the hockey XI in 1953. On leaving College, David qualified as a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1959 and then emigrated to Canada to work for Price-Waterhouse. In 1962, he and a friend went by kayak down the Coppermine River, in the Northern Territories, from the Great Bear Lake to Coppermine, an expedition that took three months to cover 350 miles and to traverse many rapids. This was the first time it had been done since Sir John Franklin completed the feat in 1822. In 1964, he moved to Rio with Price-Waterhouse and later became an independent Business Consultant. David always had a keen interest in nature and recognised how precarious the Atlantic Coastal Rain Forest of Brazil is. It is estimated that about 96% of this 3000 mile long coastal forest has been destroyed by man. The 4% remaining is in small fragments, often in mountainous areas that can’t be used by farmers or reached by starving grazing animals. But these fragments are vital; firstly, because they contain the diversity of living animals and plants that reflects what the original forest was like. And secondly, because within these fragments lies the hope for future forest spread. The Riotrust, or RAFT for short, was set up as a charity in 1994 by David, his Portuguese wife Izabel and a friend, Dr Richard Warren, to support the conservation of two of these threatened original forest fragments in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Richard is now Chairman of the RAFT Trustees and has worked together with the Millers since the 1970s in their passionate resolve to keep this forest intact. These forest fragments, 100 miles north of Rio in the Organ Mountain Forest Range, have been privately owned by the Millers since 1974 and it is certain that if they had not been maintained and guarded by them, these valuable tracts of forest would now be worthless pasture or a golf course! In the 1970s, preserving this forest was funded by the Millers’ own business. During the 1980s, with Richard, they built up an ecotourism business aimed at orchid lovers and bird watchers. Many groups from every continent have now visited the reserve and all have left satisfied and with glowing reports both of the richness of the area and of the kindness and hospitality they experienced during their visits. Many professional botanists and bird watchers have also spent time there. David Attenborough spent several days with the Millers looking at hummingbirds. Staff from Kew Gardens, Wisley, Australian, South African, American and European botanical gardens have visited and marvelled at the richness of the flora. A major comprehensive study was carried out by the Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden in the Rio dos Flores valley, which looked in detail at a hectare of forest and identified over 300 species of tree, three of which were new to science. David received the freedom of Nova Friburgo in recognition of his conservation work. His legacy is the permanent legal protection of Sitio Bacchus, awarded in 2009, and also the four books he published, with Richard as co-author. Three on conservation and orchids, on which he and Richard were regarded as experts, and one of personal stories, ‘Um Intruso no Paraiso’, (Problems in Paradise). The most recent ‘The Organ Mountain Range, its History and its Orchids’ is recognised as the most important of its topic for over 50 years. Izabel, who was actively involved with David in his work, took the superb photographs illustrated in the books. David is survived by Izabel and his daughter, Janine, from his first marriage.
Simon Neil Moore-Brown (Th ’59) Simon Moore-Brown died in May 2011, aged 68, after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for twelve years.
Roger Northwood (Former Member of Staff,
1977-2001) Roger died on the 13th August 2011, aged 70. He joined the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, aged 16, and his army career took him around the country to Germany and Northern Ireland, rising through the ranks to sergeant. He left the army in 1977 and took up the post of SSI at College.
Roger was always to be relied on for a completely optimistic outlook and a cheerful welcome to anyone who called into the CCF HQ. His greatest gift was to generate warmth in the end office of the building and he was usually to be found with an audience of boys, and latterly girls, hanging on his every word about life in the Royal Tank Regiment. Part of his engaging outlook was the very particular style which his military service had lent to his expression. On referring to a colleague who had experienced “career development”, he would instinctively select the military equivalent “he got posted.” He came from an age before computers – and probably before the typewriter - and one of his strengths was an encourager of the young. His watchword was “No problem at all, Sir”, before retreating to his telephone to see what any of his colleagues at other schools would do in the face of a similar challenge. Shooting was his particular interest and his energy and enthusiasm rubbed off on the Shooting Team, where he really established a strong ‘esprit de corps’. This laid the foundation for the many shooting successes of the 80s and 90s. However, he was really at his best with a vat of sausages and beans stewing over a gas ring in some corner of a muddy field on a CCF Field day; in that role he was a very welcome sight. It fell to Roger to be the man on the spot at that moment when the CCF changed radically and became a voluntary activity. That transition was challenging and the fact that it was eventually effected so successfully at College owes something to the good cheer and warmth of personality that Roger exuded. He took on the post of Hall Porter in 1984 and became an important cog in the smooth running of the front office. Always cheerful and helpful, he was a well respected figure in College. He had a good sense of humour and was a real character. On one occasion on a Saturday morning, he took a phone call from Madonna enquiring about a place for her daughter. Madonna thought she was through to Cheltenham Ladies’ College but Roger was not at all flustered and spent some time trying to convince her of the merits of a co-ed school! On another occasion, he was dressed in his ceremonial regalia and was on duty on the door for a Prep School Headmaster’s Dinner. As the Second Master escorted three of the guests through, he was called back by Roger, who pointed at a medal on his chest and said “Junior School Prefects’ badge, Sir!” Roger is survived by his wife Vicky, their son Sven, daughter Teresita and two grandchildren.
Robin James Osborn (L ’55) Robin Osborn died on the 14th August 2011, aged 74. He had an exemplary career at College, both in and out of the classroom: Head of College, Head of House, played in the XV, captained the 1st XI hockey, rowed in the 1st IV & VIII, Senior U/O CCF, won academic prizes and gained a place at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. On leaving College, he undertook his National Service with the Royal Green Jackets, spending a large part of this service in Cyprus from 1955-7. Robin went up to Cambridge in 1957, read mechanical sciences, then qualified as a civil engineer (later becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers, FICE) before moving to Hong Kong. He spent 34 happy years there, progressing from a site engineer with the Scott Wilson company to their global chairman. He left his mark on Hong Kong from the New 10.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 11
Territories to Kowloon, being responsible for some of the biggest engineering projects ever contemplated and then built. He was always prepared to think outside the box, although it is not sure how serious his “interesting” idea to fill in the harbour and build a racecourse was! On retirement, he and his wife Gillian enjoyed life in their homes in Oxford and Portugal. He also became a trustee of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire. They also travelled extensively on various archaeological trips as Robin pursued his interest in the 2nd millennium BC. These trips took them to Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Syria and Uzbekistan. His one regret was that he was unable to visit ancient Mesopotamia. Whether it was Portugal or Oxford he was always happy to see people and he loved entertaining family and friends. He was great with the wine but left Gillian to the rest. She claims in 48 years of marriage he never once cooked a meal! Robin is survived by his wife Gillian, and their sons James, Rupert and Adam.
Major Peter John Anderson Parrish (H ’35) Peter Anderson died on the 30th June 2011, aged 94.
Nigel Pattison (Ch ’66) Nigel Pattison died on the 6th March 2011, aged 61.
Arthur Hercy Pipe-Wolferstan (NH ’47) Arthur Pipe-Wolferstan, son of Lt Col HF Pipe-Wolferstan (BH ’13), died on the 30th April 2011, aged 80.
Brian Price-Thomas (NH ’45) Brian Price-Thomas, son of Clement Price-Thomas (later to become Sir Clement when he operated on George VI), died on the 23rd July 2010, aged 82. In one of his memorable College reports, his master, struggling to say something positive of his school work, wrote: “Brian has spent many profitable afternoons in the neighbouring hills (pursuing butterflies).” His father, on reading this, was about to launch into one of his usual post report lectures, when Brian seized the chance rather daringly to say, “couldn’t we take the sermon as read this time.” His father could not help but smile. When he was at College, the Ladies’ College was strictly out of bounds apart from during fencing matches, an incentive for Brian to take up fencing which he did and thoroughly enjoyed! He was part of the Fencing team that won the Graham-Bartlett Cup in 1945, awarded to the winning team in the Public Schools Fencing Championships. Brian was to make up for this lack of female company later in life, with three marriages and a number of girlfriends! At an early age, he began his lifelong passion for butterflies and moths when he found his first Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar. In those early days he would physically catch and mount butterflies, but later on in life he would capture them only on film with his own commentary. He presented these to his local branch of butterfly enthusiasts in Norfolk. There are lots of these films and they are as good as anything seen on the BBC. He was rejected from doing national service after the end of the war because of his poor health; he was dogged by ear infections, which resulted in major ear surgery, and he was sent to Sweden, a land of comparative plenty, clean air and beautiful women. There he worked in the Royal Opera House, in the scenery department. This was followed by a year in the film industry, the highlight of which was the shaking of hands with director Ingmar Bergman. He moved from there to an advertising agency in Stockholm where he worked as a gofer. This inspired him to return to England and attend art school. On qualifying, he became a visualizer in advertising agencies. It was during one of these jobs, when he had access to a dark room, he was able to develop and use one of his other hobbies, photography. In the early 1960s he started his own photography business, which he ran for 10 years. He got a reputation for darkroom effects, before the era of digital manipulation. Whilst doing photography, he lectured one day a week at Hornsey Art College. There he
met the Department Principal, who later became Art Director for Ladybird books. Brian illustrated many of their children’s books over a number of years. Through his agent, Linden Artists, he also illustrated other genres of books. After he married Haidee, his second wife, a Zoology Laboratory Technician, through her he ended up doing one of his biggest projects, illustrating ‘Animal Diversity’ which took 2 years to produce, with accurate pictures and diagrams of the animal kingdom. His attention to detail was second to none. He moved to Norfolk in 1982 to live with his third wife Veronica. Here he decided to write and illustrate his own children’s books, namely ‘The Magic Ark’, ‘The Rainbow Curtain’ and ‘Stardust & Moonbeams’, which were published by Hodder and Stoughton. At 60, he decided to retire from commercial art and began painting for his own pleasure. Brian is survived by his family from his first marriage, Karin, Michael, Richard and Sara. They in turn bore him 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who gave him endless love and pleasure.
Adrian Peter Caswell Rolt (Xt ’69) Adrian Rolt died on the 6th April 2011, aged 60. David John Skailes (Xt ’49) David Skailes died on the 21st May 2011, aged 79. Colin David St Pier (JS ’47 & NH ’51) Colin St Pier died on the 3rd of January 2011, aged 76. Bob Harrison (NH 52) recalls: “I had the exceptional good fortune to be in the same new boys’ dormitory, in Sept 1947, as Colin, together with five others who have remained friends throughout our lives. He was not only a good friend to all of us; but he was able to advise us on what we could get away with, and with whom, and who and what to avoid. His advice was both respected and invaluable! On Sundays, after Chapel, we (when in the VIth form) were allowed to cycle ride into the Gloucestershire countryside. On one of these outings we headed to safe pub way off the beaten track to have a drink with our sandwich. Getting to this pub, we had to cross a trout stream by a lake. Being a fisherman, I stopped at the bridge to look at the stream flowing out of the lake, only to find our housemaster fishing there! He certainly looked guilty (we had guessed why!) He told us if we went ahead to the pub, he would stand us a drink. It was a lucky escape!” Colin had a successful career as a Surveyor and Valuer, after reading Estate Management at London University. He ran his own business, always played to his strengths and most of the time he made business associates play on his pitch. Judging him by his appearance was generally the first mistake people made. Thinking he wasn’t a ‘detail’ man was the second. If you got closer, the twinkle in the eye told people that they were about to deal with a live wire, whose tenacity and attention to detail were second to none. He had the determination to see matters through to the final conclusion, and always looked to the long-term advantage. Colin loved buying property; the hunt, the detail, all the possibilities and the whole buying process were the chase for him! The eventual sale was oddly never that important to him! His favoured method of purchase was Auction. A cheque book in pocket and catalogue annotated in code, he would find a seat at front of the auction room. Competing at auction requires you to operate at the top of your game in terms of valuation, quick thinking and to do all that under pressure of the room. Added to that, invariably the Jag (or that ghastly orange volvo with big bumpers), would be illegally parked somewhere! He enjoyed sport, particularly cricket - in one Junior School cricket match, he managed to take 7 wickets against Beaudesert, for only 11 runs – squash and golf. He was a member of the British Veterans Squash Club. In latter years he took up bridge and golf; there were no half measures at Bridge, either Grand Slam or Bust! Colin is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dawn, their sons Philip (JS ’73 & NH ’77) and Hugh, daughters Cheryl and Annabel.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 12
OBITUARIES ISSUE THREE J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 Gerald Charles Stonehill (JS ’39 & BH ’40) Gerald Stonehill died on the 14th of January 2011, aged 85. His parents were American and on the outbreak of war the family moved to the United States, where Gerald attended Phillips Exeter Academy, New England, and then Harvard, where he took an accelerated degree in Classics. His facility in languages led to his being posted in 1944 to the Far East as a lieutenant in US Naval Intelligence. Returning to England after the war, Gerald took a further degree, in Russian, at Pembroke College, Oxford, then went into business, setting up a trading company, Varidex Ltd, specialising in imports of pig iron from Scandinavia. Gerald became the world’s leading authority on the Duo-Art piano, an electrically-operated pneumatic instrument which uses a roll of perforated paper to reproduce every aspect of the recording pianist’s performance; he amassed the world’s largest collection of Duo-Art rolls and staged public performances of the pieces at concert halls in London. The Duo-Art machine, developed by the Aeolian company of New York, took the musical world by storm when it was launched in 1913. Compared with its clockwork forerunners, the Duo-Art reproducing piano offered a highly sophisticated means of reproduction over which the recording artist had close control, enabling great fidelity of performance without any fuzzy interference. What made Duo-Art rolls remarkable were the two sets of extra holes punched on the edges of the paper. These controlled pedalling and dynamics, the crucial means of expression that distinguishes one pianist from another. Theme and accompaniment were assigned either to left or right hand, each having 16 volume levels. A single note could be picked out within a chord by bringing it forward and assigning a higher volume. Not to be confused with the pianola or player piano, which had to be pedalled to achieve variable speed and dynamics, all the ‘performer’ had to do with the Duo-Art instrument was to insert the roll, set the tempo as indicated, and turn on the switch. Frustrated by the limitations and poor sound quality of the early gramophone, pianists and composers of the early 20th century turned enthusiastically to the reproducing piano. Ferruccio Busoni called Duo-Art “the cinematograph of the piano”; Frederick Delius praised Duo-Art recordings of performances by Percy Grainger, Ignaz Friedman and Ignacy Paderewski as preserving “the personal characteristics of each of these artists” with wonderful accuracy; Stravinsky immediately set about transcribing his orchestral music for piano roll, “in order to prevent the distortion of my compositions by future interpreters”. Gerald’s interest was sparked in the summer of 1959 when he bought a house in the Boltons, south-west London, and with it a derelict Weber reproducing piano which stood in a corner of the drawing-room. A dealer offered him £15 for it, but it was going to cost more than that to move it. While considering what to do, Gerald happened to hear Rachmaninov’s performance of his C sharp minor Prelude on a similar instrument, and was amazed by its quality. From that moment he decided to make his instrument work. First he persuaded a survivor of Aeolian to reconnect the electrics, then, over many months, replaced the tubes and bellows. Finding that Harrods still had a lending library of Duo-Art rolls, he joined its six surviving subscribers. When the library was put up for sale in 1962, he bought 2,500 more rolls, then set about filling gaps in his collection by buying and exchanging duplicates with other collectors. Before long he had amassed a collection of more than 6,000 rolls. From the estate of Tabor Brock, of Brock’s fireworks, he also bought a Steinway reproducing piano, which he restored and placed back-to-back with the Weber — both of them Grands — in his London drawing-room. At the auction of Brock’s effects, the matching piano stool and roll cabinet for the Steinway both fetched more than the piano itself, though Gerald did not bid for them. To refine the quality of the reproduction, he enlisted the help of Gordon Iles, inventor and chief theoretician of the Aeolian company in England, to create an 88-digit ‘robot’, which could be pushed up against the keyboard of any unconverted piano and used to play from rolls. In 1974 the robot gave its first concert in the Purcell
Room and was a resounding success. It went on to play a major ‘Grand Piano’ series of historic piano-roll recordings, performed on a Steinway Grand and released on the Nimbus label, including performances by nearly all the great pianists of the first decades of the 20th century. Gerald was a regular contributor to the letters columns of national newspapers on matters of etymological derivation. English to all appearances, despite his American origins, for many years he chose to drive an enormous Cadillac. Latterly, he and his wife left their house in the Boltons for one in Buckinghamshire, where the piano rolls were stored in a space of restricted height. With too little room to stand upright, Gerald would don a hard hat and knee-pads and use a wheelchair to move up and down the stacks. Ill health eventually prompted him to sell the whole of his collection of Duo-Art rolls at auction between 2006 and 2008. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Eileen, and their daughter Caroline and sons Charles and Christopher.
Norman Leigh Thomas (JS ’34 & L ’38) Norman Thomas died on the 25th November 2011, aged 91. Born on the Isle of Wight, where the family ran a very successful corn merchants’ business, he followed his brothers, the late Neville (L ’28,) Vivian (Lec ’32) and Cecil (L ’36) to College. On leaving College, he started engineering training at the Hatfield based DeHaviland aircraft factory and joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in 1939 to learn to fly, piloting Tiger Moths. He was accepted as a Sergeant Pilot at the outbreak of the 2nd World War, leaving DeHavilands prematurely for the RAF. However, he became increasingly frustrated at not achieving operational deployment and transferred to the Army Corp of Signals in 1941. This led to several postings around India, involving hazardous troopship voyages dodging U boats in the North Atlantic and a German battleship in the Indian Ocean. Norman moved on to North Africa in 1943 and up through Italy in 1944 until peace was declared. De-mobbed in 1946, he undertook agricultural training at Seale Hayne and then joined the family business in the late 1940s. He left the business in 1966 to start his own venture in the embryonic double-glazing industry. He was a keen sailor, having developed a love of sailing from early childhood with his elder brothers on the waters all around the Isle of Wight. Each summer, from about 1975, he sailed all around the north western French coast with his old school friend from College, the late Guy Moore (L ’38), on Guy’s yacht. Norman was probably one of the first people in Emsworth to buy a windsurfer in about 1980. He never quite mastered it, but he had a lot of fun trying. He was rescued once in the harbour when he got into difficulty, by a shocked motor-boater surprised at this old geezer on his windsurfer! He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ruth, and their sons James, Richard and Adrian, and daughter Phillippa.
Capt. G M Ticehurst (DB ’37) George Ticehurst died on the 5th May 2011, aged 91. On leaving College, he joined the Royal Marines in October 1937 and, after training at Lympstone and Deal, he served initially ‘in ships’ and spent the early years of the war on North Atlantic convoy protection patrols. George was commissioned in 1943, spent some time in North Africa before being sent to Singapore. As his company moved east through the Malayan Peninsular, Singapore fell from Japanese occupation and he was diverted to Hong Kong where he saw out what was left of the war, and immediately thereafter. He then returned to Lympstone and had spells in Malta 1951-3, and more actively in Cyprus in 1954-6, based in the Troodos mountains, searching for the General Grivas led separatists. 12.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 13
He was a keen and skilled rugger player, selected at No 8 not only for the Corps XV but also Devonport Services, and took pride in having played against the late Bleddyn Williams. He was also a very good squash player, a game he played competitively well into his sixties. He left the Royal Marines in 1958, having served his last posting on HMS Vanguard whilst she was moored in Portsmouth Harbour. She was the last of the great Dreadnought class Battleships and de-commissioned and scrapped in late 1959. He then had various jobs before joining the Ford Motor Company in 1963 at their Head Office as one of their senior Graduate Training Managers. He ran courses for bright graduates who had joined Ford via their graduate entry scheme. He taught them how to apply their textbook business skills acquired at university to the greater glory of the motor trade. He retired to Bath in 1979. His 21 year career in the Royal Marines shaped his passion to see fairness and justice in the world. George was an active committed member of his community and church, and was even known to write a letter or two to The Times setting the country straight. He was an honest, upright and forthright person, sometimes painfully so, and in an era of increasingly questionable ethics and convenient morality, that he unflinchingly maintained his standards and values set him well apart. He was an idealist championing causes of peace and justice for all, the eradication of poverty in the world, fair taxation practices, the future health of his church and environmental responsibility. He was well known and respected for his reliability, faith and faithfulness, loyalty, commitment, support and integrity. In the words of his granddaughter Anna, from a school project about his life, “he lived an action filled life’’. George was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Valerie, in 2000 and is survived by his sons Jonathan and Jeremy, daughters Gillian, Jane, Julie and Josephine, 13 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Alan Lionel Whitten (D ’59) Alan died on the 10th January 2011, aged 70. On leaving College, he was awarded a scholarship from Shell to read Mechanical Engineering at Sussex University, from where he graduated in 1963, and promptly left for India on a two-year assignment with Shell. In 1970, by which time he had married Shirley, he took up a post with Foster Wheeler and they moved to New Brunswick in the cold Canadian Maritimes. As if that were not sufficiently challenging, Alan’s next assignment was to a refinery on a remote island off the coast of Norway. It was something of a respite when he joined the Iranian State Oil Company in 1978 and moved to Tehran. But it was temporary. The Shah was deposed and all changed. Alan joined Mobil and he and Shirley enjoyed their first American adventure, spending 2 years in Princeton before returning to Oslo and Stavanger for a three-year term. It was followed by periods of 3 years in Australia and the Netherlands, before a 4-year secondment to RM Parsons in West London. Before Alan’s retirement from Mobil in 2005, they greatly enjoyed 11 years in Texas. Alan and Shirley moved house more than 40 times before his retirement! Alan joined the Rotary Club of Cheltenham North soon after returning to the UK and quickly took on the Presidency. He brought a breath of fresh air to a club in some difficulty. He was always ready to get on with it; his enthusiasm pervaded the club and helped set it on its way to growth and well being. Alan also joined Cotswold Golf Club, although he would be the first to admit that sporting prowess was not his strong point. Characteristically, the camaraderie of a charity golf event was much more attractive than practising on the driving range!
minutiae to other enthusiasts while fending sticky fingers off the gleaming stainless steel bodywork. He was a man without pretension, who by and large favoured the informal over the structured event. He enjoyed discussion and had something interesting and useful to say, whatever the subject. When discussion stalled, Alan reached for his ever-present laptop to Google for the missing facts. Alan is survived by his wife Shirley, daughter Lisa, and their son Anthony (H ’88).
David Powell Wild (H ’33) David died on the 29th October 2010, shortly after his 96th birthday. He always spoke fondly of his time at Cheltenham. He followed his twin brothers, William (Bill H ’30) and James (Jimmy H ’28). David became Head of House, and a College Prefect. He won a scholarship from Cheltenham (given by Lord Lee of Fareham in memory of Theodore Roosevelt) to Worcester College, Oxford, where he read PPE. On leaving Oxford, he became a schoolmaster at Neville Holt Prep School, in Leicestershire, before joining the R.N.V.R. in 1940. He served all over the World, and left the Navy in 1946 with the rank of Lt. Commander, returned to Neville Holt almost immediately, but in 1950, he moved to the Republic of Ireland to take over a Public School, Headfort, that had been founded the previous year. However, he quickly realised that the school was failing, and turned Headfort into a Prep School. David remained there as a much loved and very successful Headmaster until his retirement in 1977. Over the years, he sent a number of boys to Cheltenham, and used to visit the College himself whenever he could. He also attended the OC dinners in Dublin, which he greatly enjoyed. On retirement, he returned to England to his family home on Dartmoor, spent much of his time in his beloved garden and raised many rhododendrons from seed. He was also a Church Warden for many years, and occasionally took services in the village church. He married in 1974, just as everybody had decided that he was a confirmed bachelor! Happily, Headfort School continues under the Headmastership of an old boy of the school. David is survived by his wife Barbara. Mrs Barbara Wild
Major, The Rev’d. William Stanley Wild
(H ‘30) Bill died on the 27th September 2001, one month short of his 89th Birthday. He also went to Worcester College, Oxford, and read Theology and then became a Curate in North Devon, until the outbreak of the Second World War. With the Bishop’s permission, he joined the army as a fighting soldier in 1939. He was rescued at Dunkirk (in a bathtub, which he found in a hut on the beach!), and then served in West Africa and Burma. He left the army at the end of the war, with the rank of Major. Bill returned to Ghana in 1946, and taught at a College there, Achimota, as a Housemaster and Chaplain, and ran the Scouts and the Corps. In 1963, he was given 24 hours notice to leave Ghana by President Nkrumah and returned to England, subsequently joining David in Ireland to resume teaching. He also retired to the family home in Devon in 1977. Bill never married. Sadly, Bill’s twin brother, Jimmy died of meningitis on the 14th September 1928, aged 15, during the College holidays.
Mrs Barbara Wild
Alan and Shirley travelled extensively during retirement: Australia/New Zealand, India and Egypt. But he had one abiding passion, outside his family, his delightful De Lorean. Perhaps, the idiosyncrasy of the engineering, never emulated by another manufacturer, appealed to his technical side. He revelled in the hours spent at Classic Car rallies explaining the construction 13.
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 14
OBITUARIES ISSUE THREE J A N U A RY 2 0 1 2 Major Desmond Francis Williamson MBE (D ’50) Desmond Williamson died on 27th July, aged 79. A very gifted athlete, he was Captain of College Athletics in 1950. He broke the half and one mile College records in the College Championships in 1950, having been very close to beating P.R. Mockler’s time for the half mile in the previous two years, a record established in 1878. He ran the mile in the Schools’ Challenge Cup Meeting on April 22nd 1950. Harold Abrahams’ report in the Sunday Times was one of many compliments appearing in the national press: “In the mile, D.F. Williamson, of Cheltenham, who had finished in the first six in 1948 and again in 1949, failed to emulate Sidney Wooderson by winning the event at his third attempt and creating a new record. But he did win, running to perfection to finish five seconds ahead of A.E. Hine, and only two fifths of a second outside the record. I do not doubt that had he been pushed at the finish he would have been nearer 4.20 than 2.25 – a phenomenal performance for a schoolboy. It was interesting to see him congratulated by Roger Bannister, and one could not help in indulging in fantasy that they might meet in competition at the Olympic Games in Helsinki”. His time was 4mins 25.6 secs, and this performance was selected at the best by any boy in the months of March and April 1950, thus gaining the special award offered by the Olympic Association’s periodical ‘World Sports’.
in setting up the European Space Agency Component Reliability database. Patrick was a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers for more than 70 years and was the proud owner of one of the first ham radio licences (call sign G4CA). To make a suitable transmitter, he ran a wire from a fishing rod (tied to the chimney on the roof) to a nearby tree. Ever the ingenious engineer, he completed this set-up by making a bow and arrow, attaching the wire, and firing it into the tree. After the death of his first wife, Patrick began attending art classes in Rome, where he met and married his art teacher, Nancy Kominsky, who had just finished making a series of popular television programmes in Britain called ‘Paint Along With Nancy’. They returned to England on Patrick’s retirement in 1994 and lived in Wimbledon. Patrick and Nancy happily accepted any excuse for a party and enjoyed a gregarious life together in Wimbledon with many friends. She survives him, along with his son, Nigel, by his first wife.
On leaving College he went to Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1952 and served until his retirement in 1986. He ran for the Army Athletics Association and held their halfmile record for eight years. Desmond was also a member of the Milocarians Athletic’s Club. He once raced against Chris Chataway and Brian Hewson, but alas came third. On retirement he worked in the Infantry Record Office for eleven years and was treasurer for Bow Parish Church and Little Valley Animal Shelter, Exeter. He also organised the poppy appeal for Bow and District for 22 years. In later life he lost one leg, and eventually the other, and was confined to a wheel chair. However, he never complained and got on with life. Desmond is survived by his wife Camilla and their three daughters Claire, Jane and Sarah.
Patrick Armine Wodehouse (JS ’34 & BH ’38) Patrick Wodehouse died on the 29th January 2011, aged 90. He was the only child of PG Wodehouse’s beloved elder brother Armine and his wife Nella. As Patrick’s parents lived in India he saw them only twice in 13 years of childhood, instead spending school holidays in London with “Uncle Plum”, as he called PG Wodehouse, and his Aunt Ethel. He cheerfully accepted the almost total absence of his parents from his life as something that happened to boys when their fathers worked abroad in the Empire. Although he inherited his uncle’s sense of humour, his talents lay not in literature but in mathematics and electronics. He entered Imperial College in London to study Electronic Engineering and was on a bicycling holiday in France when war was declared. On his return he volunteered for the RAF but was quickly put to work on a secret new technology – radar. During the war he helped maintain radar stations in the Cocos Islands, Ceylon, India and West Africa, and finally on the Isle of Wight, where he met his future wife, Joy Champion, who was in charge of requisition stores. After the war the RAF funded his return to Imperial College. He served for 14 years with the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, working for the Ministry of Defence at Castlewood House (his young son thought it was Castle Wodehouse). Then he founded his own business, Electronic Measuring and Test Instruments Ltd in Reading and worked as a consultant in Cambridge on a project to develop a magnetically levitated train. The next 20 years were spent successfully and happily in Rome, working on advanced radar systems for the Tornado and later Patrick was instrumental
O B I T UA R I E S All the following obituaries have been compiled from ones published in national and local papers, addresses and tributes given at funerals, and in some cases by family members, or those who knew the deceased very well. I am extremely grateful to Paul Chamberlain (HM 1998-2004) for proof reading and to Jill Barlow (Archives) for the research she has carried out and for providing some of the photographs. For those I have missed, if you would like an obituary for them published in Floreat 13, please get in touch.
Malcolm Sloan OC Administrator
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 15
Rev Richard Begbie
Colin St Pier
Captain G Ticehurst
Cheltonian Association Cheltenham College Bath Road Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL53 7LD Contact Details: Tel: 01242 265694 Fax: 01242 265630 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cheltenhamcollege.org
21153 Chelt College Floreat Obit 2012.indd 16