The Cheltonian Association & Society
FLOREAT 17 O B I T U A RY S U P P L E M E N T
Robert Thomas Allen (L & BH, 1938)
Robert (Bob) Allen, son of Maj. Gerald Allen (Xt, 1908), died on the 2nd May 2016, aged 92. Patrick Guy Allen FCA (JS & Xt, 1938)
Patrick (Pat) Allen died in April 2015, aged 94. On leaving College, Pat saw active service during WW2 and afterwards followed a career in finance within the commercial sector, working for Automotive Products Ltd for thirty years. Pat had much of the explorer about him; an insatiable love of nature and wildlife took him to Africa on a number of occasions. He kept a sizeable collection of cine film and still photographs of his exploits which meant a great deal to him. For very many years he remained a loyal and passionate Freemason, hardly ever missing a meeting of his Lodge and rising to a senior position within the organisation. Pat’s other great love was golf. He held the record as having the longest continuous membership at Lilley Brook Golf Club. Truly a gentleman of the old school: stoic, reserved, always courteous, hardly ever seen without a tie. Pat was blessed with an iron self-discipline and sense of always doing ‘the right thing’. He was never without a dry, witty remark, accompanied by a whimsical smile that emanated from a sharp mind proffering a sagacious perspective, particularly upon matters political. Pat was one of those people of whom it may be truly said: it was an honour to have known him. Murray Crickton Bell Anderson (Ch, 1937)
Murray Anderson, brother of the late Lindsay Anderson (Ch, 1941), died on the 22nd March 2016, aged 96. He was a member of the Shooting VIII in 1936 and 1937 and the 1937 XV. The 1936 Cheltonian reported that he averaged 58 in all College matches and got the top College score of 63 in the Ashburton at Bisley. The 1937 Cheltonian reported that: “The great feature of the afternoon was a ‘possible’ at 500 yards by Anderson. This is the first possible scored by a member of College for at least 4 years either in practice or during a match.” The 1937 Cheltonian 1st XV reported that he was: “a good scrummager who fitted well into the front row, a really hard worker in an inconspicuous way and a competent tackler.” On leaving College, Murray gained entrance to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in 1939. However, he was frustrated with being on a UK-based operation, and got seconded to the RAF to train as a pilot. Murray then volunteered for the lonely and dangerous world of flying unarmed Spitfires on long-range, photographic, reconnaissance sorties. He flew his first operation over Europe on the 28th May 1941, photographing four enemy airfields. He then moved to Cornwall where he flew numerous sorties monitoring the movements of Germany’s capital ships based in Brest. In November 1941, he made one of his longest sorties when he flew to Chemnitz in Saxony. Navigating with his magnetic compass, a stopwatch, annotated map and, as he described it, “your nous”, he photographed key targets. He was told: “Don’t pee in the cockpit …. It causes condensation on the canopy, freezes, and you will not be able to see out!” After five hours in the cramped and intensely cold cockpit, he landed. Following a brief detachment to Gibraltar to photograph the Spanish and Algerian coasts, Murray was returning to Britain when he ran out of fuel 90 miles from the South Coast. He managed to stretch the aircraft’s glide and land in a field. On another occasion, the engine of his Spitfire failed and he ditched in the sea. 1.
Over Hamburg, he was hit by anti-aircraft fire at 28,000 feet but he continued to photograph his target before managing to bring his damaged Spitfire back to an airfield in England. On another occasion, he was chased by enemy fighters but evaded them and brought back his photographs. In September 1942, he was awarded the DFC for: “his excellent work, courage and devotion to duty.” In November 1942, as a Special Operations Executive, he joined a new unit to support Operation Torch. Flying from Maison Blanche in Algeria, he took photographs of Tunis, Bizerta and other targets in Tunisia. During this period with No 4 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, he was sometimes given tasks by the USAAF. After three months of intense flying he was awarded a second DFC and the US Air Medal. After returning from North Africa, he was an instructor for a short time before going on to another photographic reconnaissance squadron. He took photographs of fields in France to be used by the Special Duties Squadrons dropping Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents. He met an old College friend, Hugh Verity (H, 1936), flying on one of these “moonlight” squadrons who persuaded him to volunteer. On October 27th 1943, he flew his 131st reconnaissance sortie and then joined No 161 Squadron to fly Lysanders into torch lit fields, dropping agents and returning with others. His long-range navigation skills were a great help to him, but now he had to perfect them at night and at low level. He flew his first special duties sortie in February 1944, and in the build up to the D-Day landings he was one of the busiest pilots in the squadron. Once he picked up a pilot who had force landed near Caen. Later he landed near Angers to bring back four agents: one had a 55ft map showing the details of all the enemy defences on the Cotentin Peninsula and also a great deal of information on the secret weapon sites. Murray had an irrepressible nature, great energy and courage and enjoyed life but he had a disdain for desk-bound higher authorities who rarely flew on operations. He was once told to fly a very long-range sortie to the region of Lyon, which would have resulted in his being over enemy territory in daylight. He had a onesided “discussion” with his station commander, who decided they should part company and Murray was posted to a fighter-bomber squadron. Within weeks he was flying Mustangs of No 65 Squadron from a basic airstrip in Normandy, and dive-bombing bridges. Over the next three months his squadron followed the advancing Allied armies and then flew 70 close support operations. He was finally rested and returned to a ground appointment. Inevitably, this did not suit him, and within weeks he was flying RAF Dakotas in India. Murray left the RAF after the war as a Flight Lieutenant, and returned to India, where he had been born, to begin a long civilian flying career, which took in the period of Indian Partition, taking supplies into remote areas of Assam and Burma. In 1952, he began a five-year period carrying pilgrims to and from Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. He later operated out of Aden before flying a United Nations’ Dakota from Rawalpindi. This was followed by three years in the Persian Gulf, but his great passion was India and he returned to fly for Air Nepal. He left India in 1967 and for the next 12 years flew the Hawker Siddeley HS 748 from Lympne airport near Hythe in Kent, where he bought the house in which he lived until his death. He flew with Dan Air until 1979 when he reached the obligatory retirement age of 60, at which point he joined Skyways Air Freight, operating from Lydd airport. The company went into liquidation within a year and Murray’s 40-year career was over after 22,000 flying hours. In retirement, he made beautiful life-size replica church brasses using linoleum, intricately decorated. Many are displayed on the walls of stately homes and castles in Kent, including Lympne Castle. He wrote a fascinating and amusing autobiography, Saint Praftu (2009).
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He married Mary Tappo in 1959. In 2004, he married Jean MacEwan who survives him with a son and daughter from his first marriage. John Michael Bevan (BH, 1949)
John Bevan, grandfather of Emma Bevan (A, 2011), Laura Bevan (A, 2012) and Hattie Bevan (A, 2015), died on the 5th July 2016, aged 86. William Martin Dominic Bishop (L, 1956)
William Bishop, son of Lt. W.D. Bishop RNVR (L,1920), died on the 27th January 2016, aged 87. Lt. Com. Brian Graham Brockman (BH, 1941)
Brian Brockman died on the 17th July 2016, aged 92. The son of an Admiral, it was always his intention to join the Navy when he left College. However, he failed to get into Dartmouth Naval College and he joined the Navy as an able seaman. He earned promotion to Sub Lieutenant in 1944 and joined the reserves in 1956. He then joined UDT (Undersea Defence Technology) in Portsmouth where he worked until he retired. Brian is survived by his wife Jane.
Hugh Roland Crooke (JS & NH, 1942)
Hugh Crooke, son of Roland Crooke (BH, 1907), died on the 22nd November 2015, aged 91. When he was 6, Hugh underwent a major change in his life. His father died unexpectedly in January 1931, leaving his widow with three sons and a daughter under ten years old.
Hugh’s father was one of three boys who all attended College. After his death, College very generously offered his widow a free place for one of her boys as a boarder for his entire schooling, from age 7 to 18. Hugh’s mother, faced in those days with the cost of schooling for all her sons and, after struggling with the decision, agreed to this offer for Hugh, who by the summer of 1931 turned 7. In later life Hugh often said how grateful he felt to College for this opportunity. But in fact he was plucked out of everyday family life, leaving his three brothers at home to be schooled locally: a fairly traumatic situation for any small child. At College, he won the General Knowledge Quiz in 1942, was a member of the Morley Society and played full-back for the House XV that got to the final of the 1942 House Pots competition. On leaving College he won a place at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, which he took up in 1946, after having served in the RAF during World War II. He joined the British Council in 1949 and during his career he was posted to Brazil, Ghana (twice), Peru, Sarawak, Zambia, London, Italy, and the United States where he was Cultural Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington from 1979-84, just before his retirement in 1984. In 1983 he attended a symposium to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Definitive Treaty of Peace between America and Great Britain and the formal beginning of diplomatic relations between them. A report on the symposium in the New York Times said: “In all, five British scholars and an Australian joined American colleagues to present papers at the symposium. Largely paid for by the British Government, the meeting of scholars was designed, said Hugh R. Crooke, cultural attaché at the British Embassy in Washington,
to provide ‘’an academic input’’ into the festival ‘’Britain Salutes New York 1983.’’ Towards the end of his career, his work was recognised by the award of an OBE. He retired in 1984 in London where he was posted for a short while after his time in Washington. Hugh led a very active life in retirement. He was always busy doing something, or trying out something new: he had a low boredom threshold, and was never one to hide it! Politically, he went on a journey from being quite left wing (CND/Aldermaston marches etc.), to being Margaret Thatcher’s greatest fan. He ended up canvassing for the Party! He delivered meals on wheels with his wife Elizabeth and took up pottery and sculpture. He studied and was awarded an Open University degree, followed by a starred first class degree in Philosophy from the University of East Anglia at the age of 75! He was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth, to whom he had a long and very happy marriage, and is survived by his sons Oliver, Patrick and Matthew and his brother Pat.
Richard Andrew Dibben (Xt, 1952)
Richard Dibben, brother of William Dibben (Xt 1955) and uncle of David Dibben (Xt, 1978), died on the 2nd of April 2016, aged 80. Before coming to College, Richard attended Oakmount Preparatory School in the New Forest, where he was Head Boy in his final year. At College, his academic strengths led him along the engineering and architectural route. His enthusiasm for shooting, which he had been introduced to at Oakmount, flourished and he earned a place in the Shooting VIII team competing at Bisley in the Ashburton Shield competition of 1951 and again in 1952. On this second occasion, Richard was awarded the Donegal Badge for the highest score. That same year, back at College, he was in the winning pair that won the inter-house competition for Christowe for the fourth year in a row. In his final year he was in the Rowing VIII and Commodore of the newly formed Sailing Club. On leaving College, Richard studied Architecture at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and in 1959 joined his father’s business, Chilworth Estates Co Ltd, whose Head Office was in Southampton. So began what became a forty year career in the house building industry. Immediately after the war, Chilworth Estates had been designing and building single large properties on individual plots. In the 1960s, demand for housing moved the business focus towards larger estates of houses. Richard, and his brother William, were now working together as design lead and build lead respectively. Richard focused on enhancing his distinctive designs so that they could be readily replicated and thus more commercial when building the new residential housing estates being sought. The business flourished. When their father retired in 1969, the two brothers became joint managing directors of the re-named Chilworth Construction Ltd until 1977 when they went in different directions. Richard continued through to 1999 as sole Managing Director of Dibben Construction Ltd that also traded as Dibben Homes. Richard’s extensive architectural legacy is visible for all to see at numerous residential housing estates across Hampshire, including around Southampton, Romsey and Winchester. On top of his design and build work, Richard was a founding partner of Morris Dibben, the Estate Agency business. He had a 25 year association with the House Builders’ Federation Council, including becoming National President for 1982. In 1976, he also started an eighteen year association with the National House Building Council, becoming trustee of the New Homes Marketing Board in the mid 1980s. By the late 1980s, Richard took on three high profile industry roles, serving for six years as Chairman of the 2.
National House Building Council’s Standards Committee as well as serving simultaneously on the Construction Executive of the British Standards Institute. He was also Chairman of the Technical committee of the EU Independent Home Builders for four years. By demonstrating strong, effective leadership, public engagement and delivery of results, it was little wonder then, that in 1991, Richard was invited to take a seat on the Government’s Department of Environment Building Regulations Advisory Committee. He served until 1997. Richard’s love of sailing started just after the war with dinghy racing at what was then an uncluttered Hamble river. In the 1950s, sailing in the Solent meant the siblings racing as crew on their father’s yacht, Jackamar. One Cowes week, with Richard up on deck, the mainsail and boom suddenly pitched to port, throwing him into the water, without his life jacket on. His father and crew turned round against both tide and wind, lowered the sails and started the engine to go back and pick him up as quickly as possible. But he was nowhere to be seen. After a considerable time of searching back and forth, and with much sorrow his father turned the boat miserably towards Cowes, concluding that Richard had not survived. A sombre and glum Jackamar crew traipsed into the entrance of the Medina River, only to see Richard waving at them from another yacht, which had pulled him out of the water shortly after he had first fallen in! Richard owned a series of yachts rising up from a 20’ X-boat and culminating in the Moody 33’ Specification. In the early 1990s, sailing was replaced with a new and additional business venture, Aberdeen Angus cattle breeding. To accommodate this, the family home was moved so as to access the additional acreage they were going to need. The herd was to grow to a substantial 150 head of cattle, including the grandly named 1992 Royal Highland Show champion, Cambusbarron Precious Pilot. Once again, Richard‘s evident organisational and leadership skills were noticed and sought after by another group of people. This time, the members of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society. He was invited to become the Society’s National President in 1997. He was the first and so far the only non–Scottish National President. In this role, Richard certainly made his mark in the highest circles, attending a grand dinner hosted by the Society’s patron, Her Majesty the Queen Mother, at the Castle of Mey in Caithness. To promote the interest in, demand for and thus the survival of the breed, Richard helped secure significant supply contracts with at least one major national retail supermarket chain. Locally, he sponsored an annual award for the New Forest Show’s Champion Aberdeen Angus. Being a perpetual award, Richard’s good work continues, even in his absence. By the end of the 1990s, retirement from business life loomed. Richard and his wife Mickey returned to live once more in the New Forest and the cattle herd was dispersed. He was introduced to the sport of golf and to the friendships of the Bramshaw Golf Club. One fellow member has declared that: “Who would have thought that Richard would now, not just take up golf, but take to it like a duck takes to water.” The local Member of Parliament, Dr Julian Lewis, reports that: “Richard will be hugely missed, as a stalwart of the New Forest East Conservative Association, where his outstanding work as treasurer and his keen business sense put our finances on a firm foundation, from which we still derive great benefit today. Richard always struck me as a man of high principle and personal integrity: the best sort of person on whom one could rely through thick and thin.” Richard is survived by his wife Mickey and his daughter Karen.
James Gifford Donaldson MA (Xt, 1951)
James (Jim) Donaldson died on the 1st February 2016, aged 82. Jim’s father was in the army and shortly after he was born in 1933, his father’s career took the whole family to India. Jim told great tales of travelling across India to go to school and of going up the mountain railway through the jungle. His arrival back to England, towards the end of World War II, was a bit of a culture shock. After a long journey by troop ship, the family landed in Liverpool and travelled on a blacked out train to stay with his grandmother near Bristol, where he went to a local Prep School, Walton Lodge. He won an exhibition to College in 1947 and was Head of Christowe in his final year. On leaving College, he won a place at Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he read Mathematics. He then served his National Service with the Royal Artillery in North Malaya from 1955-57. He then joined the British Tabulating Machine Company which later became International Computers and Tabulators. Thus, he was part of the early developments of computers and information technology. Next, he then joined Inbucon, a firm of management consultants, who were later taken over by P-E International, a company providing cutting edge management consulting services. Jim spent most of the rest of his career with P-E, including becoming MD and taking the company successfully through its flotation on the UK stock market before retiring in 1989. Employees during Jim’s time at P-E have written in to say: “Jim was the best boss I had in my 27 years in P-E. He was a very thoughtful, thorough and friendly person to work with. It was a privilege to have known him.”, “When he joined P-E in 1970, we were all in awe of him since he was the only person in the company who knew anything about computers!” and “My late Dad was a colleague of Jim’s for some time at P-E Consulting. I remember how Dad used to speak often of Jim and how he clearly held him in the highest regard.” Jim was President of the Computing Services Association 197980 and Chairman of the Management Consultants Association in 1988. He was a founder member of the Worshipful Company of Information Technology and as a result was made a Freeman of the City of London which enabled him to drive sheep across London Bridge whenever he wanted! He was also Chair of the Trustees of the P-E pension fund. He and his wife received Christmas cards from pension fund members thanking him for getting them such a good deal. A card received recently quoted: “Members have enjoyed secure and enhanced pension benefits a fitting legacy to Jim’s leadership and efforts.” His retirement enabled him to get involved in a number of community and voluntary roles. He was a member of Grayshott Parish Council, a governor of the local school, St Edmunds, and Chair of the Management Committee of the Citizens Advice Bureau. He had lots of hobbies, from gardening and bird watching, to culture and arts and did The Times crossword each day. Jim met his wife Joanna at P-E and they married in Cornwall in 1963. Their house was a perfect venue for parties and they were great hosts. One of their guests at a weekend house party has written in to say: “We played games in the sitting room. Jim taught us ‘are you there Moriarty.’ It was hilarious! Adults blindfolded, lying on the floor. Trying to hit each other with rolled up newspaper. We laughed so much!” Jim was a great father to Emma and James, and when they were growing up took a great interest in what they were doing and attended events when he could. He was always very fond of children and adored his grandchildren, Tom and Daisy. Jim is survived by his wife Joanna, daughter Emma, son James and his grandchildren.
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Mike John Daniel Featherstone (Past JS staff, 1968-84)
Mike Featherstone died on the 10th February 2016, aged 69. He was educated at Dorking Grammar School and from there went to St Luke’s, Exeter, which at the time was one of the two or three top teacher training colleges in the country. His quiet, undemonstrative leadership qualities were soon recognised and he became Head Proctor. In 1968, the year he married his wife Mary, he was recruited to Cheltenham College Junior by the Headmaster, Phil Davies. Phil had a hotline to the Principal of St Luke’s and accepted his recommendation of Mike as “an outstanding applicant and student”. Mike was one of several appointments made by Phil at this time of men from a number of the country’s leading teacher training establishments. It was not then uncommon for it to be the case that the staff of preparatory schools were university graduates, so, not for the first time, Phil was setting a precedent. In Mike, his intuition was to be more than amply rewarded. Geography was Mike’s principal academic interest, and he was the school’s first specialist in that subject. Again looking to the future, Phil Davies had, in 1965, pushed ahead with the construction of a new six classroom teaching block, providing accommodation for Maths, French, History and Geography. Mike rejuvenated the Geography course and made the Geography room his own, with vibrant displays relating to current topics and with ever changing examples of the high quality work produced by the boys. Phil Davies told of entering Mike’s classroom to find the kids rolling dice. “What are you doing”- “We are trying to find the probability of failure in a North Sea Oil well.” He always wondered how they calculated the risks! Mike made Geography a great subject for boys to enjoy with direct involvement in streams, coal-mines, farm yards and quarries. ‘Flap’, as Mike was known affectionately to the boys, was a hard, but always fair, task-master. High standards were expected, success was praised, the unconfident encouraged and the occasionally indolent quietly reminded of what was required of them. And, like the very best of schoolmasters that he was, Mike had a sense of humour that was never far from the surface. And, again like the very best of schoolmasters, he was an all rounder. He was a keen sportsman, and a keen watcher of sports. Each term he played his part in coaching school teams: not uncommonly during the winter term, 1st and 3rd XVs were scheduled together, and John Hunt enjoyed many away trips, with Mike in charge of the Junior’s venerable, but not always reliable, school bus – the climb from Bath’s city centre up to Monkton Combe was always something of a challenge! Scouting was one of Flap’s passions, and for many years, alongside Michael Jackson (Tam), he ran the school troop, giving endlessly of his time and enthusiasm to weekly meetings and weekend camps. Linked to his teaching of Geography, Mike developed an ongoing link with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ‘Tarbatness’. The ship’s captain and crew kept the school posted of their movements, as far as security would allow, and the boys would correspond with those same crew members and, from time to time, and as their movements would allow, they visited the school. As if all of this were not enough, Phil Davies asked Mike to take on the role of Day-Boy Housemaster, a role that he discharged over several years with efficiency, great patience and, inevitably, good humour. ‘Flap’ was unflappable! Sadly, from the Junior’s perspective, Mike was always going to move to greater things, and so it was that in 1984 he was appointed Junior School Housemaster at Lord Wandsworth College. John Hunt (Past JS Staff,1971-91) has said: “The Junior’s loss was manifestly Lord Wandsworth’s gain. Mike Featherstone
was, first and foremost, a family man, a man of the utmost integrity and constancy. I never recall an ill-word spoken of him or by him. He exemplified commitment and loyalty, and, unusually in my experience, was liked and respected in equal measure. The Junior lost a fine school master, and I a dear friend.” Guy Dodd (H,1959 & Past member of staff, 1966-82), Former Headmaster of Lord Wandsworth said that: “If I had to sum up Mike in a single word it would be ‘integrity’. Beneath the pipe and behind the beard there was a depth, a sureness, a confidence that his actions and reactions were based on a clear, perhaps unstated, set of principles. Just occasionally there was a human vulnerability too. It was these things that drew so many of us to him.” In retirement he tended his allotment, loved walking the dog in the countryside, enjoyed his railway expeditions, shared Mary’s love for the turf by watching the gallops at Newbury and having the odd flutter. He was interested in ships and sailing and became a watch leader on the Malcolm Miller, a tall ship run for the disabled by the Jubilee Sailing Trust. He regularly attended Royal Geography Society lectures in London, was a keen follower of rugby and a season ticket holder at London Irish. He was a loyal supporter of England but, in due deference to Mary, always showed a very soft spot for Ireland. He and Mary have travelled far and wide together, furthest and probably most memorably to New Zealand a year or two ago. Mike is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew (OJ & W, 1984), daughter Annie and his grandchildren. Bryan Benjamin Harrison MRICS (H, 1957) Bryan Harrison died on the 27th December 2016, aged 79. He collapsed and died at the Tennis Court Club, Leamington Spa, on the 27th December 2016 while playing in the “Fathers and Sons” Real Tennis Competition with his grandson, having won the previous two rounds and heading for the semi-final. At College he was a Sergeant in the CCF, sang in the Choir and was a keen member of the Choral & Music Societies. He carried on his interest in choral singing after College and enjoyed playing bridge as indeed he did real tennis. Bryan qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1961 and worked for most of his life in the Inland Revenue Valuation Office as a Senior Valuer. He was a great supporter of College and, with Ian McFarlane (NH/L 1946), organised very successful OC reunions for Warwickshire over many years. He revisited Hazelwell just before Christmas for the 150 year celebrations. Bryan is survived by his wife Trisha, their daughter Victoria, son Timothy and his five grandchildren. Herbert John Harrison (OJ & BH, 1945)
Herbert (John) Harrison, son of John Christopher Harrison (S, 1904), died on the 21st January 2016, aged 87. When John left College he joined the army, serving in Palestine with the Royal Welch Fusiliers & South Wales Borderers from 1945-48. He then joined the Royal Insurance Company representing them in Venezuela. On leaving Royal Insurance, he joined a pharmaceutical company, Sanitas Co. Ltd, as Export Manager selling patient medicines both in Africa, Central & South America, and the far East. Having had enough of travelling, he ran a wine company, Bahamas Supply Co., in Nassau in the Bahamas from 1962-1976. On his retirement he returned to Cheltenham where he wrote a book on his travels in 4.
Africa called “Safari Salesman”. Herbert is survived by his wife Lorraine and daughters Larissa, Natalie and son John. Peter Kenneth Headington (NH, 1941)
Peter Headington, father of James Headington (NH, 1982) and William Headington (NH, 1984), died on the 8th April 2016, aged 92. At College, his antics as a harmless prankster were legendary. The dead grass snake attached to the underside of a prefect’s desk lid; scurrying beneath the floorboards of a classroom so that each time the teacher looked up he had switched to the other side of the room! Peter was a good shot and was in the VIII for three years, captaining the team in 1941 (William followed suit as Captain in 1984!). He was awarded his Colours in 1940, and re-awarded them in 1941. He was also a House Prefect and rowed for the House. On the outbreak of war, he was part of the Cheltenham College evacuation to Shrewsbury and on leaving College he enlisted in the RNVR. He reached the rank of Sub Lieutenant on the sloops HMS Egret and HMS Fowey. Both ships had the role of protecting merchant shipping in convoys from air and U-Boat attack. HMS Egret was sunk in the Bay of Biscay by the world’s first recorded guided missile attack, dropped from a Dornier Bomber, but fortunately for him he had disembarked some days earlier. While on Mediterranean convoy escort duty, HMS Fowey put in to Valetta and witnessed the arrival of the badly damaged USS Ohio – the British crewed tanker that provided legendary relief to Malta as part of the ‘Operational Pedestal’ convoy. Peter’s stories of active wartime duty all seemed to have a positive slant – no doubt avoiding the grimmer events. A favourite was his role at the surrender of the German U-Boat Fleet set at an allotted time of 12 noon off Londonderry. There were nervous glances amongst the British crews when with one minute to go there was not a sign of a U-boat anywhere. However, exactly at noon, in Peter’s words: “Up they came like champagne corks”. Peter was allocated a U-boat to board and accept a formal surrender. Uppermost in his mind was to retrieve a Lilly Marlene record from below decks – he boarded with one Able Seaman armed with a rifle. The immaculately turned out German crew were all about a foot taller than Peter and clicked to attention as he boarded. He never found a Lilly Marlene record but retrieved a few others! His war wasn’t quite over after the U-boat surrender as he was involved in returning leased American destroyers across the Atlantic. On the crossing the waves were so huge that the armour plating around the 4” guns was bent. In words typical of Peter, he said that on reaching New York they had a “pretty good whoop up.” After the war, Peter returned to work on the family farm. However, there was not enough to keep him occupied with his father Ken still in charge, so he took on a small farm at Morning Down, Sussex, and at the same time provided regular back up for an uncle. Like his father before him, Peter was a notable point-to-point rider with many wins including one major amateur race at Folkestone. He came unstuck at Tweseldown, smashing up his ankle so that it had to be pinned. One of his closest friends was Peter Bromley (Ch, 1946) and they fuelled one another’s love for racing. He drove an Austin Healey sports car, later replaced by an MG, and normally had his black Labrador on the passenger seat. The Labrador was later relegated to the back bench and replaced with a very attractive Middlesex Hospital nurse called Sue whom he married! At the beginning of the sixties Peter took the decision to sell the dairy and beef herds and switch to arable. These are momentous 5.
decisions for any farmer. He was a bit miffed when a heifer he had bred, Paley Street Azalea II, went on to win supreme Champion in the National Dairy Event at Olympia. Peter bought a second hand Simplex drier system that is still operational today. Then followed a stressful period with the construction of the M4 through the farm! However, he managed to get the route moved half a mile north – this M4 loop is known in the family as ‘Pete’s bend!’ Peter kept a tidy desk and his record keeping was meticulous. He routinely won best sack of corn at the Royal East Berks Show using his attention to detail to present the perfect sample of grain. These were evenings for an employee to avoid if possible! His preparation involved not only running the corn through the mechanical cleaners at least four times but also then heading to the kitchen table to sort it by hand, grain by grain. He operated a successful business supplying crushed oats and racehorse grade hay to the equine sector. This took him all around the neighbourhood including quite elevated circles. On one occasion when caught in a bit of a rush on a delivery he yelled at a customer that someone had parked a car right across the delivery doors – the car driver was Princess Anne! Peter is survived by his wife Sue, sons James, William and Tom and his seven grandchildren.
Christopher Gledhill Hoole (OJ & H, 1959)
Christopher (Chris) Hoole, son of N.P.G Hoole (H, 1934), brother of the late J.A.C. Hoole (OJ & H, 1963), S.R.G. Hoole (OJ & H, 1961), and uncle of S.J.R Hoole (OJ & H, 1995), and S.P.C. Hoole (OJ & H, 1991) died on the 16th February 2016, aged 74. Chris was born in Burma in 1941 and when the Japanese invaded Burma in 1942 the family escaped to India. Bravery in the widest sense of the word featured in his life from an early stage right the way through to the end. In India, encouraged by seeing the snake charmers in the market place, he decided there couldn’t be much to it so decided to have a go. With no instrument to hand he decided that bashing a stick would be just as good and so promptly set off and started to ‘charm’ a King Cobra that lived in the log pile at the house. Fortunately for him, but much to his dismay, he was pulled away by a gun bearing servant before he came to harm. Again in India, annoyed by the presence of a large gibbon on the tennis court he decided to scare it off by throwing an apricot stone at it. Things didn’t quite go to plan when, instead of running off, the gibbon turned and gave chase to him, around and around the tennis court intent on revenge. Again, he was rescued by a timely intervention by a servant who fired his gun into the air to scare off the gibbon. He was also keen to encourage bravery amongst others, particularly his younger brother Sean. On one occasion he persuaded him that he was just as good as William Tell and that nothing could possibly go wrong with him shooting an apple off his head. Lined up with utter confidence in his brother, Sean awaited the shot from the equivalent of a ‘crossbow’. It was duly delivered but had failed to account for gravity, the arrow striking Sean in the eyebrow, where a scar remains to this day, and more importantly belief was shattered that not everything your older brother tells you is 100% true! However, this bravery did genuinely come through in its true light, when in September 1957, aged just 16, he received the Royal Humane Society award for gallantry for saving the lives of a woman and her three children in danger of drowning in the River Avon at Sorenstam, Worcestershire, and more recently with his battles with illness.
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Chris made many friends along the way who have repeatedly spoken of his warm, friendly and generous nature, his humor and being fun to be with – whether through school, university, work, play or his rugby. He was always able to make a special connection with children, who instantly took a liking to him. Chris was a great all round sportsman. He was a keen cricketer with an ‘intelligent’ approach to bowling but more of an ‘all or nothing’ approach to batting! He made history at College for being the first person ever to take 10 wickets in a House match and is mentioned in Wisden’s Almanac for the 1958 season for his contribution in the game at Lord’s between College and Hailebury, when he took 5 wickets for 19 runs in the first innings and 3 for 30 in the second. He enjoyed athletics at school, excelling in everything but the hurdles for which he seemed to adopt a more ‘direct’ rather than the more normal ‘up and over’ approach. He still holds the Junior School shot putt record to this day. Jeremy Taylor (OJ & Xt, 1958) captain of the unbeaten College 1957 XV in which Chris played, recalls: “Chris was a physical phenomenon at the Junior School where he was 6 inches taller than the other boys and 50% heavier. The rest of the world did not catch up with him until the end of the Senior. My great aggravation was setting the 100 yards’ record in my final year at the Junior only to have it beaten by Hoole the following year. The shame of being outsprinted by a prop has scarred me ever since!” He played in the Hockey and Cricket XIs for three years and the XV for two years. He captained the XV in 1958 (his father captained the unbeaten 1933 XV) which recovered after a slow start when the pack was changed and improved with every game, ending the season well by beating Radley and Stowe and drawing with Marlborough. The Cheltonian Rugby report said: “Hoole at tight head prop, was the cornerstone of a sound front row. Judged by the play of the team in matches at the end of the season, Hoole is to be congratulated on pulling them through a testing time of team building as he did. There will be very few old colours returning next year and the 1959 captain will have a bigger job than Hoole, but, with the same unshakeable approach, the prospects are far from dim.” Chris played for Rosslyn Park (1st XV 1965-70) – a formidable prop with many battle stories and scars to prove it! He then went on to coach and later became chairman of Manchester Rugby Club. During his holidays and breaks he enjoyed being active or travelling. He spent school summer holidays working on George’s Farm in Bredon Hill, near Tewkesbury, where he frequently demonstrated his brawn, including taking up the dare he couldn’t ride a large boar they were herding down the lane for 50 yards. Unknown to him, but to all others present, the first thing a boar does when stressed is head for cover. So when he sat astride the inevitable happened, it headed for the ditch alongside the road full of stinging nettles, and promptly deposited him in short-sleeves and his shorts! As he got older and went to University, he went further afield to France, the States and also his first and last skiing trip! With his university friends and accompanied by his brother Sean, who was the only other one not to have skied before, they keenly hit the slopes. The first time they put their skis on, gravity took over and due to the slight oversight of facing the skis down the hill they were off. Sean remembers asking “how do we stop?”, “No idea?” was the response. Fortunately for them, but not for her, a German lady came to the rescue. Chris hit her in the legs and Sean hit her in the midriff. All three ended up in a snow drift. Chris enjoyed holidays with his family in the UK and then for many years in the South of France at their caravan which became a real base for the family to come and go throughout the summer months, a beer and playing boules became a favourite although the odd battle with the windsurfer provided much entertainment! On leaving College, he took a year out to work in London for Ault & Wiborg (Printing Ink Company) at their Southfields/
Wimbledon factory. Then, in 1960, he went up to St John’s College, Cambridge, initially reading Languages before switching to Economics. On graduating, he was employed by Ault & Wiborg. In 1970 he was promoted to become Production Manager at their Watford factory. In 1976 he joined Eastlight (Office equipment) in Denton as Production Manager. In the late 1980s he was appointed Managing Director of Egidius Janssen in Belgium. In 1997 he returned to England when he was appointed Managing Director of Railex Systems Ltd in Southport and was there until he retired. For some time latterly he suffered poor health and was hospitalised several times. However, his bravery, as alluded to earlier, was very evident and he never lost his good humour and enthusiasm. He is survived by his wife Shirley, sons Seamus, Robin and Timothy, and step-children Melanie, Jo and Ian, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. James Michael Coldwell Horsfall (BH, 1938)
James Horsfall, brother of the late Colin Horsfall (BH, 1944), died on the 21st October 2016, aged 96. David Hotton (Past Staff, 1965-70)
David Hotton died on the 6th March 2014, aged 80. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth College, Guernsey, and Jesus College, Oxford, where he read Modern Languages. His first teaching post was at Downside School (1958-61) where he taught French and German. He was appointed Head of French at Malvern College (1961-65) and also taught Russian to non specialists (acquired during his last year of National Service). In 1965, he was appointed Head of Modern Languages at College. David was an interesting character who didn’t always attract approval! He was a very dynamic young man who put a lot of enthusiasm into both the organisation and the teaching of the faculty and was something of a perfectionist. He revolutionised the Modern Languages Laboratory, participated in pilot O Level oral examinations on tape, kept a close account of pupils’ progress and in sum, ran a very dynamic and tight department. Outside the Classroom, he got involved on the sports field, ran the French and Film Societies, was a tutor in Newick House and was heavily involved in drama. He was an outstandingly good producer and actor in the theatre. He took the juvenile lead in the Belles of St.Trinians and the part of the lead clergyman in See How They Run. He produced a fantastically good revue arranged around Queen Victoria, with boys presenting music hall scenes, both sentimental and tragic. He produced an excellent Oliver that was very imaginative, with characters shifting scenery while they sang. David also produced amateur opera in the town. David kept in touch with the outside world by playing dominoes every evening in the Bell which was opposite his house in Bath Road and gave parties at home where he insisted that guests perform for their supper and did rather a good cabaret. David left College in 1970 on his appointment to the Deputy Headship of Worthing High School, eventually becoming Headmaster. On retirement he moved to Church Stretton where he was organist in the local Parish Church. He is survived by his wife Helen and sons Tom, Paul and daughter Anna.
Timothy Paul Jewell (JS & DB, 1942)
Timothy (Tim) Jewell, father of Tony Jewell (W, 1977) and Peter Jewell (W, 1982), died on the 15th February 2016, aged 81. On leaving College, he undertook his National Service with the Honourable Artillery Company, followed by a spell working in London, after which he returned to Cheltenham to become the fourth generation of the family to run the family business of Thomas Plant & Co., who were College outfitters. Tim managed the business until his retirement in 1994, fitting generations of College pupils with their uniforms. He maintained his close links with College and the lifelong friends he made during his time there, regularly meeting up with them as a long standing member of the Old Cheltonian Lodge. Retirement gave Tim the chance to spend more time on his many interests; woodwork, gardening, painting and drawing. He was a skilful cabinet maker and the homes of his family all contain pieces that he made and by which he will be fondly remembered. Tim is survived by his wife Barbara, his children Tony, Joanna and Peter and his nine grandchildren. Arthur Frank Luce BA BAI MICE, FIEI (BH, 1939)
Frank Luce, brother of the late Professor John Luce (BH, 1938), died on the 30th November 2015, aged 92. Edward Robert Hampden Lucy (OJ &DB, 1954)
Robert (Bob) Lucy, brother of Richard Lucy (OJ & DB/Ch, 1951) died in New Zealand on the 6th November 2014, aged 76. George Harry McLaughlin (H, 1946)
Harry McLaughlin died in California on the 11th January 2016, aged 86. After National Service, Harry worked for several provincial newspapers before joining the Mirror Group as a sub-editor. Subsequently, he changed careers and after being awarded a BA from Sheffield University he joined City University, London, as a Lecturer in Experimental Psychology and had papers published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology. Later, following various academic posts in Canada, Harry moved to California where he went into private practice as a neuropsychologist and psychotherapist. Harry was predeceased by his wife Liliane in 2010 and is survived by his daughter Alison. Anthony Moger MA ACIB (BH, 1958) Anthony Moger, son of Cdr. George Tanqueray Moger OBE (BH, 1929), died on the 12th November 2016, aged 77. Hugh Roger Mortimer (Xt, 1967)
Hugh Mortimer, son of Lt. Col. P.R. Mortimer (Xt, 1929), died on the 23rd January 2016, aged 66. He took part in a Commedia Dell Arte House production, playing the part of Pantalone, one of the most important principal characters. The 1967 Cheltonian reported that: “H R Mortimer and G A Middlemas as the pompous elders were particularly successful.” He studied German and International Relations at the University of Surrey (1969-72) and then studied for an MA in War Studies at King’s College, University of London (1972-3). Thereafter, he had a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service. His 7.
first appointment was as Third Secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London (1973-5), then Third Secretary in the British Embassy, Rome, (1975-78), and Third Secretary in the British Embassy in Singapore (1978-81). He returned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as Second Secretary (1981-83) and joined the UK Mission to the United Nations (198387), before returning again to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as First Secretary (1987-90). Hugh then went on attachment to the Auswärtiges Amt in Bonn (1990-91), after which he was appointed First Secretary (Chancery) to the British Embassy in Berlin (1991-94). He returned again to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as Counsellor (1994-96). He then took a sabbatical which he spent at the Royal College of Defence (1996-97). From 1997-2001 he was the Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Ankara, before becoming the Ambassador in the British Embassy in Llubijana from 2001-04. He then moved to the British Embassy in Berlin as Deputy Head of Mission (200410). On retirement, he was the Board Chairman at the Berlin British School from 2010-15. He was also a founding member of the Rotary Club Berlin Global in 2011 and served as a member of the board in various functions such as First Secretary (2011-12), VicePresident (2012-13) and President (2013-14). He is survived by his second wife, Martina, and by his daughter Roberta and was predeceased by his daughter Michaela in 1993. David Danby Mussell (Xt, 1954)
David Mussell died on the 12th July 2016, aged 80. He met his wife in Cheltenham when College and Pate’s Grammar School put on a French play together. David kept a pet kestrel at College, which he had discovered as a chick in his Devon garden. He raised it himself and ‘Beaky’ travelled with him on the train every term and was kept in the Falconry. He released the kestrel when it was old enough, during one school holiday, and was disappointed it never returned to the house. Nearly two years later, whilst fishing on the Culm, a pair of painful talons settled on his shoulder for a few minutes and then flew off, never to be seen again! On leaving College he served his National Service in the RAF and then read Law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. As most of the men in his family were lawyers, he had no choice in the matter but never practised. He then took a Master’s Degree in Marketing and in 1960 he was appointed Sales Manager for Pains Wessex, a pyrotechnics and marine distress company in Salisbury, a post he held for 16 years. In 1976, he set up his own company, Nationwide Fireworks, which carried out professional displays throughout the British Isles. He retired in 1994, acted as a consultant in pyrotechnics and concentrated on his gardening and fishing. He played his part in the local community and was a member of the Rural District Council for the Woodfords and subsequently a District Councillor, for the Woodford Valley, on Salisbury District Council from 197477. David loved his sports, both playing and watching, and was Captain of High Post Golf Club, having given up on a handicap of 9 due to a mixture of work commitments and increasing arthritis. He represented England at fly fishing between 1978-81, winning the International Championships in 1981. He also wrote sundry articles on fishing. He was predeceased by his wife Yvonne and is survived by his daughters Fiona and Monique and his grandchildren Louis and Anna.
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Major John Douglas Orange-Bromehead (Xt, 1942)
John Orange-Bromehead, son of Col. F.E. Orange-Bromehead OBE (Xt, 1905) and brother of Richard Orange-Bromehead (Xt, 1946) died on the 7th November 2014, aged 90. After leaving College, John did a University short course at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Following training as a Sapper officer he served in India. After the end of the war he studied at the Military College of Science. From there he went to serve with the Gurkha Sappers in Malaya. He left the army in 1967 and took a teacher training course, teaching until he retired. John was predeceased by his wife and is survived by his daughters Anne and Susan, son Edward and his four grandchildren. Anthony Bernard Perry (Xt, 1954)
Anthony (Tony) Perry, died on the 22nd October, aged 81. Tony was born on the 18th September 1935 in Hall Green, Birmingham. His father, Bernard, owned a business trading in non-ferrous metals, selling to metal bashers across the industrial West Midlands and particularly the Austin Motor Company at Longbridge. Storm clouds were gathering over Europe and war against Germany was declared just two weeks prior to Tony’s 4th birthday. Bernard decided that Birmingham was not a safe place for his son to be so Tony was evacuated to rural Herefordshire to live with his cousins in Ledbury. It was in those early formative years that he developed his abiding love of the countryside and the river, in this case the Wye. He joined College from The Wells House School, Malvern Wells, (he later became Chair of their Board of Governors). Tony was an excellent sportsman. He played in the back row for the XV in 1952 and 1953, captaining the 1953 side. He also opened the bowling for the cricket XI in 1953 and 1954 and each year played in the two day games against Haileybury at Lords’. Unsurprisingly, he was an excellent athlete and captained the 1954 Athletics team (he ran the 880 yards) and Cross Country teams (he came 2nd in the House Cross country race in 1954). He was a keen boxer and was awarded his Colours in 1954. Tony was involved in the Combined Cadet Force and had the rank of Senior Under Officer. He was much respected throughout College and was Senior College Prefect in his last term. Tony’s academic achievements won him a place at Trinity College, Dublin, to read History but he decided to do his two years National Service before continuing with academic studies. In his usual way he decided to get on with it and, as he had enjoyed his time in the Combined Cadet Force at school, he opted for the Army and was called up to serve with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He did his basic training at Budbrooke Barracks near Warwick where his eyes were opened for the first time to mixing with people from other walks of life, including men from working class backgrounds, particularly the coal mining communities in the area. He learnt a lot about life very quickly and, because he was modest and good with people, he got on well with the other raw recruits. He was posted to Cyprus to help deal with the EOKA terrorists and after that to Northern Ireland, achieving the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. In the Officers Mess he discovered the pleasures of a pint of Guinness or three and a taste for a drop of vodka and the occasional glass of champagne! He then went to Trinity College, Dublin, where in his first year he met and fell in love with Jenny, a tall, softly spoken, raven haired young lady who could easily have been a model for Vogue. At the end of their first year they obviously decided that getting married and starting a family was more desirable than graduation. So they
returned to the UK and Tony joined his father in the business. In 1958, they married and set up home in Widney Lane, Solihull. He took over as Managing Director in 1973 and sold the business of B.J. Perry and Son in 1994. He will be remembered by his employees as being a good, kind and caring boss who had run the company successfully. Tony was an unforgettable and colourful character who lived life to the full. His natural charm, his kindness, his generosity, his love of people and animals, particularly horses, his love of life generally and his wonderful sense of humour will never be forgotten. He was confident but modest, caring but not patronising and had great style, always beautifully dressed for the occasion whether it was work or play. He never suffered fools gladly and it has to be said that he could be stubborn and bloody minded if he wanted to be, although he would probably have said that he was just being determined! Soon after getting married, Tony joined Moseley Rugby Club where he became popular very quickly, partly because he was a good guy and a good player, but mainly because he had a car. In the late 1950s very few owned a car so, if you were fortunate enough to have your own set of wheels, you were much more likely to be selected to play if you could provide transport, particularly to away games. Tony loved his cars. He had a Triumph Stag, various Jags including an e-Type, an Aston Martin and who could ever forget the number plate ABP 1 on a golden Roller. He was a trusted and reliable clubman who was always good fun to have around in the bar after a game. He was one of a very select group who could boast of having played for every team in the club, mainly the junior sides but occasionally the United (the 2nd XV) and even once or twice for the 1st XV, not a bad achievement when you think that Moseley was one of the elite top 10 clubs in the UK at that time with many international players in the side. After hanging up his boots he became a regular supporter at home games at The Reddings and then Billesley Common for the next 50 years. He was a founder member of the Players’ Association and a regular attender at their Annual Reunion Lunch. Sadly, the idyllic family life he had hoped for was not to be; his relationship with Jenny broke down and they went their separate ways. Tony moved to live in Edgbaston in a flat conveniently just 118 paces from The Dirty Duck on the Harborne Road. It took him a while to get over things and to adjust to his new found single status. His one big regret in life was that he was unable to be part of his children’s lives and to be with them as they grew up and became mature men and women. Once he had found his feet again and had decided it was best to get on with life, he certainly discovered how to live it to the full. He managed to turn having fun into a form of art! There were horses: riding to hounds with the North Warwickshire Hunt, he loved the tradition and all the gear and, although he was unseated and hurt quite badly on occasions, he was undaunted and never afraid to get back in the saddle. There was racing: Cheltenham, Stratford, Ascot, local Point-to Points. You name it he was there and he even owned his own steeplechaser for a while. There was 3-day Eventing: competitions at Badminton, Burleigh and elsewhere with his horse Metalsome More. There was boating with his cruiser on the Avon anywhere between Tewkesbury and Stratford and of course in Salcombe, another of the great loves of his life. There were parties and parties and gorgeous girlfriends who, quite understandably, fell for his natural charm and boyish good looks, not to mention his ever generous hospitality. Quite how long he could have sustained this way of life will never be known as fortunately, in early 1977, he was introduced to a lovely young lady called Kay Wood in the bar at The Reddings after a game. He had come straight from hunting, looking amazing in his mud spattered jodhpurs, riding boots, white shirt and cravat, 8.
having merely changed his jacket for a white Arran sweater. Who but he would have dared to walk into a rugby club looking like somebody from Central Casting! For the next few months their whirlwind romance blossomed, they married later that year and moved to The Mill House in Welford, convenient for the business which he had moved years earlier to Alcester and, even better still, with a mooring for the boat at the bottom of the garden. Tamed (to a large extent) by Kay, family life recommenced for him with the arrival of Charles and then Oliver. He loved being with Kay and the boys in Welford and he was happiest when having fun with them and the boat on the river. He could be compared to the dapper Ratty in The Wind in the Willows who said to Mole, “If you believe me my young friend there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as simply messing about in boats”. In 2004, Tony and Kay moved to Avon Reach in Pershore and they were happy, once again, to have the boat back on a mooring alongside the garden. Very sadly, shortly after settling into their new home, Tony suffered a serious brain haemorrhage which, fortunately, he survived. He said that whilst being cared for and recuperating in hospital he remembered a saying of Confucius: “old man in care who want kiss and cuddle from pretty nurse must be patient!” His rehabilitation took some time but was helped greatly by his sense of discipline learned from his army days, his long established will to win, the loving care provided by Kay and the support of friends. It is to his great credit and those near and dear to him that he made it back to near normality and to being able to continue to enjoy life. He loved his classical music, his Daily Telegraph, his comfy chair, sitting in the garden on sunny days, the view of the river, the boat, watching racing, rugby and cricket on the box, trips to home games at Moseley and New Road, Worcester, supper parties and always the good company of old friends. Tony will be missed by all who knew him and is survived by his wife Kay, eight children and six grandchildren.
Mary Ralphs, widow of the late Jack Ralphs (Past Member of Staff, 1961-87), mother of Simon (OJ & S, 1982), Peter (OJ & S, 1984) and Oliver (OJ & S, 1986) died on the 1st July 2016, aged 81. Mary will be remembered fondly by the OCs who were in Thirlestaine House, Wilson House and Cheltondale under Jack’s Housemastership. Educated at Monmouth Girls’ School, she followed in the footsteps of her mother who was taught music by Gustav Holst. Whilst Mary was an accomplished Violinist she also enjoyed sport – Lacrosse and Cricket, possibly more than lessons. Despite those staff that doubted her, she progressed to Sheffield University to read Geography, where she was introduced to the concept of a geography field trip, and the newly emerging theories about tectonic plates. Her trip to South Africa in 1960 changed her life; she met Jack and persuaded him to find a job in England. He wrote to David Ashcroft and was appointed by letter to Cheltenham College. Whilst in Grahamstown, where Jack and Mary met, she introduced girls at the Diocesan School for Girls to tectonic plates and in one particular lesson taught them about ‘loof lirpa’ a notable South African escarpment created by plate movements: after copious notes the girls realised the date of the lesson, 1st April. Probably a sackable offence in this day but acceptable in the 1960s! Mary was not just a Housemaster’s wife but also a teacher at Cheltenham Ladies’ College where she taught on a part time basis from the 1970s to the ‘90s. As a Geography teacher she was 9.
involved in many fun field trips. When she started to teach Current Affairs, ‘Mars Bar Mary’ brought some fun to Friday afternoons as she awarded fun sized mars bars to those who completed her multiple choice quizzes, upholding the motto ‘Work, Rest and Play’. Mary’s sweet tooth wasn’t just for the girls; the boys in Cheltondale enjoyed her tuck shop which was open for business in Jack’s study every evening. The kind and enterprising side of Mary came to the fore on discovering that the boys from Hong Kong and China were missing Chinese New Year, so she purchased a wok and got the boys to cook themselves a meal for Chinese New Year (she confessed later that it was so she could have a real Chinese meal). Mary was extremely loyal to the many societies that she was enthusiastically involved with over the years, including Wives’ Fellowship, a local branch of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), Music Society, Church/Garden Recording, History of Art, Cotswold Canals, RNIB, Winston’s Wish, Emthonjeni as well as her many walking parties & groups. When Mary and Jack moved to the Courthouse in Charlton Kings, they moved to a house with real local history. It was Mary who got deeply involved in restorations and renovations (revealing wattle and daub and hidden fireplaces). She invested time and money in the property and told the builder: “I will need to work for an extra year to pay for this!”. After Jack died she gained a degree from the Open University in Art History. An enthusiastic traveller, she enjoyed numerous holidays from which she collected thousands of photographs. She was really excited to find a particularly rare plant in flower in South Africa which she took lots of pictures of. The ironic thing was when the holiday party revisited the place the next year it was like a weed! She was a vigorous walker and in her later years enjoyed being able to walk straight out of her house, in Hartley Close, up onto Leckhampton Hill. She built up a close circle of walking friends and they set up an annual walking holiday that she went on every year. She enjoyed choosing the destination whether it be Scotland, Austria, or Switzerland. Her last holiday was to the Lake District in June 2016 where she visited a number of her favourite locations, but in her own words: “the holiday was too short.” A keen gardener, her knowledge was impressive (a lot of the knowledge was passed down from her mother and time setting out the botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town). Not only did she spot rare plants on holiday but she also grew rare plants in her ‘wild garden’ or in pots from seed. When she downsized fifteen years ago to Hartley Close she upsized her garden! This was a special place where she could host her famous strawberry and tea parties and her grandchildren enjoyed playing there. Once, whilst lining up his trucks a grandson said to her: “I too busy.” Well, Mary was too busy keeping in touch with old and new friends and enjoying life to the full and is now resting in peace with Jack and sharing many happy memories of life in Cheltenham. Mary had her fingers on the pulse of all that happened at Cheltenham College during the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s and the attendance of nearly 200 people at her funeral at St Mary’s Church, Charlton Kings, is testament to the warmth and affection she was held in by the many people she knew, loved and respected. Mary was predeceased by her husband Jack in 1987 and she is survived by their sons Simon, Peter and Oliver and her grandchildren. David Michael Richards MA (BH, 1950)
David Richards died on the 6th January 2017, aged 85.
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George Peter Ryland (DB, 1945)
Peter was a gentle, kind and considerate man. That character shone through even after Alzheimers took away his ability to share his knowledge and friendship. He was a model of what it is to be civilised.
On leaving College, Peter qualified as an architect at the Architectural Association (London School of Architecture). It was post-war Britain and there was a strong sense of social purpose in the architectural community. Peter focused from the start on public buildings: schools, hospitals, community housing.
Peter is survived by his wife Mary, sons Jeremy and Michael, daughter Sarah and their families.
Peter Ryland, father of Jeremy Ryland (OJ & Th, 1969), died on the 6th January 2016, aged 88.
In 1956, he and his wife Mary moved to Cheltenham so that he could join his father’s practice. This was a period of protecting Regency architecture and creating modernist civic facilities. Peter was Chairman of the Cheltenham Regency Society, a founder delegate to The Civic Trust, and a consultant to local town councils on architectural restorations. At the same time, he was building The Cross Hands Inn, a large comprehensive school at Newent, and the Gloucestershire Marketing Society’s fruit growers’ market. It was also a time of travelling. During the 1950s, the Ryland family holidays were confined to Cornwall, Devon and Scotland. But in the 1960s, Peter and Mary packed up their tent, scraped together the £25 allowed for holiday travel, and drove through the South and South-West of France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Austria, Denmark and Sweden. Peter took a lot of photos, but his children realised only later that they were included for the benefit of scale: illustrations of the size of the bronze doors of the Duomo in Florence, the scale of the Roman Temple in Nimes, and the towering heights of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. In 1970, the family packed up and emigrated to Australia. He became a senior architect at the New South Wales (NSW) Public Works Department in its golden 1970s and 1980s heyday, building schools in Broken Hill, Westmead Hospital in Western Sydney and became, in the 1980s, the Inspecting Architect for Contracts and Construction, overseeing the letting of contracts, dispute management and all work in construction throughout NSW. He was a friendly, engaging companion, at his most comfortable at a dinner party with friends, fine food and wine. He was by day a builder of schools, hospitals, markets and pubs, and by night a man who would happily guide his adult classes through architecture and art, with a particular focus on Italy. On retirement, he was heavily involved in adult education in architectural and cultural subjects. Peter had been lecturing part-time in architecture, building and construction throughout his career. In the late 1980s, he took an MA in Renaissance Architecture at the University of Sydney, which led to 20 years of cultural scholarship and community education. For example, his WEA courses for just one year, 1992, included a two-day course on “The Italian Connection” with Italian architectural precedents in the morning and a tour through Italianate Paddington in the afternoon. The courses also included “Shoguns, Tea and the Floating World”, an architectural and cultural review of Japan from the first Kamakura Shogunate to the Meiji Restoration, and a full day on the Architecture of Bath and Cheltenham, as well as four other courses on Heian Japan, Florence, Ferrara and Venice. Peter inspired a generation of travellers to experience the beautiful, the fascinating and the timeless in the built civilisation from Renaissance Europe to Heian Japan through his lifelong commitment to adult education. He led many small group tours to Italy and Japan, ably supported by Mary, and combining friendship and fine food with three-week studies of topics such as Palaces & Villas in Italy (1996), Hilltowns of Italy (1997), Castles, Temples & Tea Houses of Japan (1998), Venice, The Veneto, Lombardy & Beyond (2000), and Florence, Tuscany and the Medici (2001).
Captain Allard Ashley Rolls (H, 1945)
Allard Rolls died on the 8th September 2016, aged 88. Christopher Hugh Simpson BA (OJ & W 1981)
Christopher (Chris) Simpson died suddenly at his lodgings in Dakar, Senegal, on the 19th October 2016, at the age of only 53. Chis was born in Perth, Scotland, on August 30th 1963 and brought up in Cheltenham, where both his parents, Bill (Past staff, 1965-93)) and Margaret (nee Briscoe), were teachers. Whilst in the Sixth Form, he cut his journalistic teeth by editing ‘Good News’ (the title being taken from one of the then Headmaster’s favourite phrases) which adopted a satirical stance towards many aspects of school life. He was undoubtedly the most gifted member of our ‘History Boys’ Oxbridge group of 1981, but was more than happy to take a degree in Politics at the University of Manchester where he felt more in tune with the more radical political and vibrant music scene in that northern city. After his first degree, he went on to study International Reporting at City University, London, before working for the magazine ‘West Africa’. He then spent four years with the BBC World Service radio based at Bush House. Thus prepared, he began more than two decades of journalism reporting from the continent of Africa which he loved with a passion. He worked in some incredibly challenging environments: in Angola during the civil war in the 1990s, in Rwanda in the aftermath of that country’s tribal genocide in 1994, and he was also posted to Senegal and the Central African Republic in the 2000s. From 2005 he spent six years training local broadcasters for the United Nations’ Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). One of the students’ many grieving Facebook posts has a line which would undoubtedly have delighted Chris: ‘More African than you, I have not known’. This sentiment was echoed by an African colleague of Chris’, whom I met at his memorial service in Kelso last November, who said that: “Chris was one of the very few Westerners who truly understood Africa.” Freelance radio, print and online work took him to a dozen other African countries where talking to ordinary people gave his writing its striking context and warmth. Kate Adie, in a tribute to Chris, said that his hallmarks were: “insight, sympathy, much humour and knowledge lightly worn. He gave a voice to those too seldom heard and his reporting was imbued with humanity. Through his dispatches we heard from teachers and taxi drivers, market women and miners. His was the outlook of a radio-man needing to get his microphone in front of real people at the heart of a story. This was how he got nuance and depth when faced with challenges like understanding the ethnic complexities of the Congo or the assorted acronyms of the opaque armed groups on Chad’s southern border.” Chris was the most loyal and generous of friends. He was far better than most of us at keeping in touch, his Christmas letters were tours de force and it is a great shame that he did not get the opportunity to distil all of his African experiences into a Memoir – that certainly would have been worth reading! Schoolboy foibles remained with him for the rest of his life. His chaotic approach to
science practical experiments resurfaced in the technical problems he experienced in the field with laptops and recording equipment. His inability to meet deadlines for Gordon Wallace-Hadrill’s A level History essays was replicated in his professional career, but if his copy rarely arrived on time it was never ever poor. Chris clearly had a loyalty to the unappreciated and unfashionable, whether it be West African politics, rock/punk mod revival, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club or Crystal Palace F.C. (this last one is my fault since my step-father first took us to Selhurst Park to watch the Eagles in February 1976). On all these and many other topics he had an encyclopaedic knowledge – who else but Chris could name the Derbyshire County Cricket team of 1978? I have recently discovered that at the tender age of nine Chris wanted to be a missionary: he was certainly ‘sent’ to Africa and he did so much to promote a true understanding the continent’s many post-colonial struggles. The Greek proverb ‘those whom the gods love die young’ applies appositely to Chris. Chris is much mourned by his father Bill, his devoted sisters, Bridget and Gillian and all his many friends and colleagues.
Jim Brettell (BH, 1981)
Hazel Smith (Past Member of Staff, 1977-2008)
Hazel Smith died on the 31st January 2016, aged 69. She was a very much respected and well liked Senior Technician in the Biology Department. Chris Rouan, Head of Biology during Hazel’s tenure has written in to say: “What does one write when a very special person in your life dies prematurely? How does one convey a life dedicated to the highest professional standards, but more specifically how does one adequately reflect the unique and valued support and friendship so freely given to her colleagues and me in particular over 30 years at College. Such is my grief as I sadly compose this memoriam to Hazel Smith - my beloved, loyal technician for 30 years. We worked together seamlessly, she was my rock, my inspiration and my therapist. I was truly blessed. She had a wonderful Liverpudlian sense of humour and sharing each day with Hazel was a privilege I shall always treasure. As a Head of Department her steady wise council gave me confidence and guidance. She virtually ran the department, always there to help and encourage me. She took enormous pride in what she did and the dreams, the aspirations, the structures and the day to day running of the department was only ever possible because of her. The place ran like clockwork, complex practicals, resources and exams were always safe in Hazel’s hands. Although in many ways she was a very private person, she was a brilliant listener and over the years counselled me through various issues and life crises. Her advice was forthright, but also tempered with intelligence and sensitivity. My children too were so very fond of her and loved being with her in the department. She set the very highest of standards and was a fantastic role model for members of the department, young and old, both teaching and technical. She was a great font of knowledge and experience and had endless patience. No matter how busy she was, she was always there for you. A few years before she was due to retire she was tragically and cruelly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. True to her character she faced the uncertain future with courage and dignity. With her husband Bob she retired to Southport to be closer to her family. What is left is the special and undying memory of a wonderful lady who touched the lives of all she met. She was loved, respected and is so missed by all who knew her, especially Bob.”
Air Commodore Michael John Eldon Swiney OBE (NH, 1944)
Michael (Mick) Swiney died on the 30th September 2016, aged 90. He was the brother of Col. David Swiney (NH, 1942), Christopher Swiney (NH, 1948), uncle of Michael Swiney (NH, 1969), son of Major General Sir Neville Swiney K.B.E., C.B., M.C., A.D.C., (NH, 1915), grandson of Major Alexander John Henry Swiney (NH, 1883), and great-grandson of General George Swiney who presided over the College Founder’s committee which held its first meeting on the 9th November, 1840. Mick was an excellent sportsman. He played in the Cricket XI for three years, captaining the side in his last year, batting at number 3 and opening the bowling. He played in all the matches against Haileybury, one of which was played at Haileybury, rather than Lords’, when the MCC cancelled their school week. He later went on to play for the RAF 1st XI. He played in the 1943 XV which was only beaten once by a very competent Rugby XV and captained the 1944 XV. The Cheltonian report on the Felsted game said: “College now pulled themselves together and, after a period of pressure, Swiney found a gap in the defence to score in a good position. A few minutes later Swiney made another dash for the line but just failed to ground the ball.” College won 20-5. The overall report for the year said: “Swiney had an eye for an opening and had a good kick.” He was also a very competent swimmer and represented College as a diver. He won the College Open diving competition in 1942. In his final year he was a College Prefect. In April 1945, Mick joined the Royal Air Force and it was whilst he was at the Central Flying School at Little Rissington that he met and married Janet Dalrymple in 1948. There then followed a series of postings which took them to Ruislip, West Raynham, Bielefeld and Laarbruch in Germany, Coltishall, Amersham, Saigon in South Vietnam, Leuchars in Scotland (where he was Station Commander), Maidenhead and lastly Bircham Newton, where he was responsible for RAF cadets in the UK, and from where he retired as an Air Commodore in 1980 after 35 years of service. In October 1952, he was piloting a Meteor with a Naval Lieutenant on board in the skies above Little Rissington when, at around 15,000 feet, they saw, he said: “three nearly-white circular objects” which resembled saucers. He reported their observation to ground control and returned to base. Two interceptor aircraft were scrambled but reported that they had spotted nothing unusual. Having landed, the two men were separated and interviewed by intelligence officers. They were told their visual sighting had been corroborated by ground radar and aircraft had been scrambled to intercept the UFOs, without success. Afterwards, the incident was officially closed. His close encounter occurred shortly after a wave of unexplained sightings during the NATO operation Mainbrace. According to Captain Ed Ruppelt, former head of the USAF’s Project Blue Book, it was these sightings that prompted the RAF to set up its first UFO investigation bureau. Many years later, National Geographic did a documentary on UFOs and Mick was interviewed once again, unswervingly reiterating the same story. In 2001, Mick broke fifty years of silence to reveal the full story. His account was published in a book by Andy Roberts, ‘Out of the Shadows’. Mick remembered exclaiming ‘what on Earth is going on!’ Initially he thought they could be three descending parachutes and, fearful of tearing through their canvasses, Mick took control of the aircraft from his co-pilot. As both men watched in amazement, the three objects appeared to change position and lost their circular shape and took on more of a flat plate appearance, much like the classic flying saucer of pop culture. Andy Roberts said
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Mick was one of the most impressive witnesses he interviewed. He found that Mick refused to embellish his account of his experience, or distort it by immersion in the literature of the UFO industry. Mick told him: “I don’t think there are little green men who are going to suddenly land and get out of peculiar looking craft but what I do know is that both David Crofts and I saw something, the like of which we had never seen before, and I have never seen since. I can’t explain it. I was frightened. I make no bones about it. It was something supernatural, perhaps, and when I landed someone told me I looked as if I had seen a ghost.” In 1967, RAF Coltishall was awarded the Freedom of the City of Norwich and, as Wing Commander Flying and Chief Instructor, Mick led a flight of twenty-four Lightnings flying in a diamond formation over the city, together with three aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight, then based at Coltishall. In Saigon, he used to fly his Devon aircraft (his “company-car!”) down to Singapore where his brother David was stationed at the same time for some R&R, under the excuse that the aircraft needed servicing. At the same time, he would visit the NAAFI shop and stock up on necessary UK food and rations Mick was dedicated to the RAF, adored flying with a passion, whether in Mosquitoes, Meteors or Lightnings or any other aircraft, and he and Janet made a formidable team wherever they were based, and the perfect host and hostess. Mick was awarded an OBE in 1972 for his work as Air Attache in Saigon, one of the postings that they most enjoyed. On his return from Saigon in 1971, he successfully smuggled a 6ft Russian rocket back to Britain in his hold luggage. It had pride of place in their home for some years until Janet could stand it no longer and it was donated to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, where it can still be seen. During Mick’s final years in the RAF, having decided that they wanted to retire to North Norfolk, they purchased one of the first new houses to be built at Branodunum on the edge of Brancaster in 1978. A few years later, they were given the opportunity of buying a plot of land right next door known locally as Skipper’s Piece, where they designed and had built their own house. They lived here together very happily for many years until Janet died in January 2011. Mick was very keen on cars. He kept a little black book in which he calculated and recorded the m.p.g he achieved with each and every vehicle he owned, going back over many years (this must have been the RAF training for completion of flight log-books). Heaven help the manufacturer who over-stated their mileage claims! A series of Fiats was followed by Peugeots and Citroens, all pristine silver or white and beautifully kept. Mick and Janet did not have children themselves but much enjoyed the company of an extended family of cousins, and a wide circle of friends, including nephews and nieces on both the Swiney and Dalrymple sides of the family, who always enjoyed their happy visits to Brancaster, sometimes with their own children. Mick was always interested in what everyone was up to, and was very family-minded. He and Janet both enjoyed their holiday travels (in particular Scotland, where they could fish, and in France) but were never happier than when they were at home in their beloved Norfolk. Before problems with his mobility prevented it, he loved fishing and shooting, particularly wild-fowling. He was a true countryman and a signedup member of a number of rural societies and charities. Mick was much loved and respected by all his family on both sides and will be very much missed.
Lt. Col. George Dennis Somerville Truell (OJ, 1936)
George Truell, son of Lt. Col. Edmund Grey Stuart Truell (Xt, 1896), brother of Michael Pomeroy Somerville Truell (OJ, 1933 & Xt, 1938), Charles William Somerville Truell (JS, 1936), uncle of Robert Hall (Current Prep Staff) and grandson of the Rev William Henry Augustus Truell (Turnbull, 1862), died on the 6th May 2016, aged 89. George’s uncle, George Vesey Truell came to College when it was founded and left in 1845. William Goss (Ch, 1972), Angus Gilmour (Xt, 1974), Patrick Goss (Xt, 1975), Donovan Walker (Ch, 51), Peter Walker (Ch, 1977) and Richard Walker (Ch, 1980) were all connected to the Truell family. Thus the Truell family have had a long connection with College since it was founded in 1841. George was born in Cheltenham and attended the Junior School. When the family moved to Dorset in December 1936, George transferred to Charlton Marshall Preparatory School. He was due to go to College in September 1940 but as the school had been evacuated to Shrewsbury, he was sent to Canford. College’s loss was Canford’s gain. He was a member of the XX Club and won 1st XV rugby colours and 2nd XI cricket and hockey colours. On leaving Canford, he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and thus began a 43 year career with the Gunners. George was affectionately known as the ‘Father of 45 Regiment’ and was one of very few officers who served in a regiment in all commissioned ranks from Subaltern to Commanding Officer, seeing active service in many post-war theatres of conflict. The invasion of South Korea by the communist North, in June 1950, caught the nations of the West unprepared. By September, the incursion had driven the South Korean army and American occupation forces down to the southern port of Pusan. Given a UN Security Council mandate and reinforcements, including two British infantry brigades, US General Douglas MacArthur launched a counteroffensive that sent the invaders reeling back to their frontier with China, outraging the leadership in Beijing. Their general, P’eng Te-huai, was given untold numbers of “volunteer” soldiers to retaliate. By April 1951, the UN force was back half way down the peninsula, with the British brigades holding the high ground overlooking the Imjin River, 30 miles north of Seoul. George was a gun-position officer with 70 Battery 45 Field Regiment, supporting 29th Brigade, with his eight 25-pounder guns. The first attempt by the Chinese to ford the Imjin on the night of April 22nd was repulsed. The next day, St George’s Day, was the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers’ annual celebration of their cap badge, St George slaying the dragon. All ranks, and those of George’s battery, were wearing red roses in respect. It was also the day when the Chinese Liberation Army was ordered to overwhelm 29th Brigade’s positions. During the night they had infiltrated between two forward companies of the 1st Glosters. As the light improved, George saw Chinese troops advancing. One group was setting up a machine gun. 200 yards away, George was busy firing 25lb shells in support of the Glosters away to his left when the Chinese came charging down the hill to his right. He had no option but to resort to Battle of Waterloo tactics. He lowered one of his huge guns to the horizontal, aimed it at the Chinese on the hillside, no more than 150 yards away, and let rip. The machine gun team disappeared with a flash and cloud of smoke, while the enemy infantry took cover. The Glosters were eventually forced off 29th Brigade’s remaining hill but the Chinese offensive was checked. The scene is immortalised in a famous Royal Artillery painting, Over Open Sights, by Terence Cuneo, a noted painter of military action, and hangs in the R.A. Mess. George was asked to give technical help to the artist and was then asked by Cuneo to pose as himself for 12.
the central figure, some 25 years after the action. George is shown on the front right hand side complete with the red rose he had stuck in his cap. (See back cover). George served with 45 Regiment in Borneo during Indonesia’s “confrontation” with Malaysia in the 1960s and devised a means of lifting 1045mm light guns by helicopter. Handing over his regiment in 1970 and returning to the UK, his promised five months gardening leave lasted two hours before he was sent to Cambodia as Interim Defence Attaché, just as the Vietnam war was spilling into that country. Returning to the UK, he was sent to Northern Ireland in 1972 for a year to look after TA and cadet units, moving round the country in an unmarked car before returning to work at the RCB Westbury for three years. His final task there was to review historical records to assess the accuracy of the Board’s predictions; it was with trepidation he examined the IQ scores (questions unchanged in 40 years) and relief when it turned out that Generals had out-scored Brigadiers who had beaten the average score. His military life culminated at Staff College, Camberley, establishing the Tactical Doctrine Retrieval Cell, an enviable archive (pre-internet!) for tri-services support. Throughout his career he played hockey for both the Gunners and the Army, and latterly for Staff College, calling it a day aged 62! On retirement in 1987, as the longest serving soldier in the British Army he was awarded the OBE. He liked to tell how when receiving his OBE from the Queen, he replied to her: “Ma’am I am the oldest and the smelliest soldier in your army!”, to which she laughed out loud! In retirement in Lympstone, he was a pillar of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and active in various local clubs. George and Mary were regular attendees at the Devon Luncheon, hosted by I.C.H. Moody (Ch, 1946) in Lympstone. He always brought along a lot of memorabilia which was of great interest to all. An excellent raconteur, he entertained all around him. He was incredibly proud to drink out of his grandfather’s tankard and of his silver spoon, engraved with his name, from his Junior School days. He umpired club hockey, campaigned for CPRE, developed a world renowned stamp collection and was still selling poppies for RBL and tending a beautiful garden, aged 89. George is survived by his wife Mary, sons Edmund, Daniel, daughter Sophie and his grandchildren. Andrew Michael Usher (BH, 1957)
Michael Usher died on the 18th July 2016, aged 77. William James Wesson (Past Staff, 1985-1992)
James Wesson died on the 19th March 2016, aged 55. James spent seven happy years at Cheltenham College teaching History and as Master i/c cricket. He took up a similar post at Radley in 1992, leaving in 2003 to train for the priesthood. After ordination, he worked in a parish in Brighton before running his own parish in Selsey. Wherever he was, James loved to meet people from all walks of life and different backgrounds. He had that special gift of being able to engage effortlessly with people, young and old. He told endless stories about himself and other people and he inspired those around him, colleagues and pupils alike. He was very much a team man and he thrived in the company of others. But at the same time he enjoyed his own company and he loved solitude whether it be walking the cliffs of the South West Way or, much later, travelling around Spain, France and Italy on foot and on public transport. Usually, his destinations were 13.
arrived at rather than planned and his journeys included endless episodes and stories of friendship and of people inviting him into their households: he was that sort of a man. He loved travelling and there was one occasion when he left the Badham-Thornhill household to travel back to Sussex by train and he found himself travelling to Birmingham, completely in the wrong direction. Undeterred, he found somewhere to stay in the city and arriving home two days later, he was able to recount his experience with humour and insight. James arrived at College from Claremont Prep School in 1985 and immediately threw himself into the boarding life of the school. It has been said that James disliked the classroom in later life, not least because of the administration associated with teaching. But at College, in his early days, he thrived in the History and Politics departments, teaching in his own way and well-remembered by those he taught. He showed immediately that he was very much a team man and as Richard Morgan said at James’ Service of Thanksgiving at Radley, he loved to belong. Indeed, he enjoyed Common Room life and he loved running his own team in the Summer term on the cricket field. At College, his great passion was cricket and, working with Martin Stovold, he gradually professionalised the College set up. He insisted that cricket should be played in the right way, whether it be playing to win rather than to draw, understanding the etiquette of the game and insisting on high standards of dress and conduct. College teams always looked the part. Many College 1st XI players drew inspiration from him, not least the likes of Michael Cawdron (W, 1993) and Dominic Hewson (S, 1993) who went on to play for Gloucestershire. Having spent hours on the cricket field, home or away, he relished the time spent in Boyne House where he was a respected Tutor. In those days, Boyne was the only house with a live in Tutor and how the boys benefited from his presence! His end of term ‘shaggy dog’ summaries, usually at the end of the year, were witty and clever and they included a mention of every boy in the house. Perhaps less known about James, was the short time he spent as Registrar, in his final year, creating stronger links with feeder prep schools, a life that he knew so well himself. At Radley, he brought with him the qualities displayed at College and he forged a close relationship with Andy Wagner and Burt Robinson and the boys in his cricket teams. Immaculately dressed himself, James master minded some of the most successful sides seen since the Ted Dexter days, including players like Andrew Strauss. His First XI was unbeaten for seven consecutive seasons. He was a good coach and a great motivator. One incident affected him badly and disrupted his own cricket when he received a cricket ball in the eye whilst using the bowling machine in the nets. He never fully let on the impact on him; being the ultimate team man, he loved to play cricket himself whether it be for the Repton Pilgrims’ Cricketer Cup side, the Bluemantles or the Free Foresters. He may not have loved the classroom but he adored his cricket and the pastoral life of the school. He gave so much of his own time, especially when he became Housemaster in A Social. He was ever present in the house and he inspired great loyalty from the boys and he ran a very successful house, although he hated the endless emails and the administration associated with them. James gave so much time to others that perhaps he did not spend enough time thinking about himself; after considerable reflection he decided that he wanted to be ordained a Church of England priest. He left Radley in 2003 and trained at Mirfield before helping as a Deacon in his first parish in Brighton. He thrived there and he loved working in a team ministry but there were times when he ran the parish due to the Vicar’s illness or absence. He went on to run his own parish of Selsey in the Diocese of Chichester. I suspect that he never fully realised the extent of his influence there. He was highly respected and loved. I can remember vividly James recounting the story of his arrival in the
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Selsey parish. Anxious to meet as many of his flock as quickly as possible, in typical style, he visited a number of pubs to introduce himself and at closing time he went back to his house to spend his first night there when he discovered that he had lost his keys. He returned to the pub closest to him and explained his dilemma. The publican immediately put him up for the night, helped him to find his keys and helped him to get into his house the next morning. He loved parish life and his role as a priest but he overworked and he decided to take time out after he found the demands on his time too onerous. As Canon Keith Pound said at the Service of Thanksgiving at Winchelsea, “who cares for the carer? Who looked after James?”
as he was tough, strong, fit and not afraid to throw himself out of an aircraft. He was a popular, intelligent and inspiring leader.
James died suddenly at home just as he was about to start in the parish of Winchelsea. He had so much more to give. We are left with the memories, the joy, the laughter and the knowledge that he made a huge difference to so many diverse people. We shared his life for too short a time. What a man. What a loss to all those that knew him.
John David Repton Willday, husband of Prue (OC, 1971), died on the 21st December 2016, aged 79. He is survived by Prue and their son Rupert. A full obituary will appear in Floreat 18.
He served with various Regiments throughout his career, was an instructor at Sandhurst and at the National Defence College and his final posting was to the Ministry of Defence from which he retired in 1988. Andrew is survived by his wife Elizabeth, their daughters Caroline and Jane. John D R Willday (Past Member of staff 1967-75)
Robin Badham-Thornhill (H, 1973 & Past Staff Member) Colonel Andrew Whitehorn (OJ and H, 1951)
Andrew Whitehorn, son of Colonel E.W.L. Whitehorn (H, 1915), died on the 13th October 2016, aged 83. As Senior Prefect he escorted Princess Elizabeth on her tour of College in 1951 when College celebrated its100th anniversary. He played in the centre for the 1950 and 1951 XVs, captaining the latter. The 1951 Cheltonian report on the Marlborough game said: “Whitehorn summed up the situation in a flash and went clean through the defence, without a hand being laid on him, for a spectacular try and twice placed diagonal kicks so effectively that the forwards nearly scored.” College won the match. The 1951 Cheltonian report on the 1st XI hockey said in the Clifton game that the XI won 7-1: “Three goals were scored in the second half. The first, Whitehorn scored after about five minutes with the hardest shot of the season (5-1). He also scored the second from close range (6-1). In the first half he had scored from well out to make it 4-1.” In 1951 he captained the Hazelwell team which won House pots by beating Newick House, 1-0, after extra time. The Cheltonian reported that: “fittingly the winning goal was scored by Whitehorn.” He played in the cricket XI for two years, batting at number three. In the 1951 drawn game against Haileybury at Lords’ he scored 38 in the first innings, and 25 in the second. The Cheltonian report on the match said: “Whitehorn was as steady as ever. He completed his 500 runs for the season in the first innings.” Earlier in the season he had scored 56 in the OC game, 81 in the Clifton game and 51 in the Free Forresters game. Andrew was an Under Officer in the CCF so it was not surprising that on leaving College he went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1953 as a Second Lieutenant. He then spent nine months at the Royal School of Engineering for a Young Officer’s course learning how to be a sapper officer. At the end of the course awards were given! Andrew’s was: “to Andy Whiteborn for using his finger to check whether the top chords of a floating Bailey Bridge, over the river, were sufficiently inline to insert a panel pin into join them.” They weren’t, which is why he lost the end of his little finger! Andrew then gained a very prestigious posting as a troop commander in the sapper squadron that supported the Parachute Brigade which, during his tour, took him through the Middle East and South East Asia. He was absolutely the right man for the job
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 Danielle Joyce (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 18, please get in touch.
Malcolm Sloan OC Administrator
George Truell is shown on the front rightÂ hand side of the painting complete with the red rose he had stuck in his cap.
Cheltonian Association & Society Cheltenham College Bath Road Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL53 7LD â€Ż Contact Details: Tel: 01242 265694 www.cheltenhamcollege.org