Please also see Distinguished Old Decanians by Charles Whitney.

If you would like to submit anyone to this list, please email



George Adamson (1917) is best known through the movie and best-selling book Born Free, based on the true story of Elsa the Lioness (pictured here with George), an orphaned lioness cub they had raised and later released into the wild.




Francis Bacon (Brook 1926) is an internationally acclaimed artist. On 13 November 2013, Three Studies of Lucian Freud (Shown here) painted by Bacon sold at Christie’s in New York for $142.4 million, at the time claiming the record for highest auction price of a work of art, this has now been surpassed by Picasso’s Women of Algiers.





Issy Bailey (Fawley 2012) is in  the Great Britain Paralympic Shooting Team making her debut in Rio in 2016. On her Paralympic debut Issy ranked 14th in qualification for the women’s P2 10m air pistol SH1 event.




Richard St Barbe Baker (1902), was an Environmentalist, Forester and Author. He founded the Men of the Trees movement and in his lifetime he was responsible for the planting of over 27 billion trees worldwide (helping to provide all the paper for todays books!). He himself wrote over 30 books, predominately on reforestation and the environment.




Professor Timothy Bliss FRS is a British neuroscientist. This year Tim won ‘The Brain Prize’. This is one of the world’s most coveted science prizes which is awarded for outstanding contribution to European neuroscience…..and comes with a € 1 million prize is a personal prize!





Peter Browne (Field 2006)  was a professional rugby union player, having most recently played for Ulster Rugby, having left London Welsh at the end of the 2014–15 season.  He was previously at Harlequins and Newcastle Falcons.





Ernest Cossart (1892) actor (and brother of composer Gustav Holst). Had a remarkable career in Hollywood between 1916 and 1949, appearing in over 40 films.




Major General William Dimoline CB, CMG, CBE, DSO, MC, Mentioned in Despatches x 2; is arguably the most distinguished military officer from Dean Close.  Leaving the School in 1913 he served in both WW1 & WW2. ‘Dimmo’ was a Life Governor of Dean Close School




Lloyd Evans (2014) currently plays for Gloucester Rugby Club. He made his first senior debut for the club in 2013. He has also represented England at U18 and U20 age groups.





James Elroy Flecker (1983) was a British novelist, poet and playwright. The excerpt from Flecker’s verse drama Hassan … The Golden Journey to Samarkand inscribed on the clock tower of the barracks of the British Army’s 22 Special Air Service regiment in Hereford provides an enduring testimony to Flecker’s work:  We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go. Always a little further; it may be. Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow. Across that angry or that glimmering sea.



Jon Foster (Dale 2000) English comedy writer. Won both the 2011 and 2012 “Writer” British Academy Children’s Award for ‘The Amazing World of Gumball’, and wrote on the series ‘Armstrong and Miller’, which won the Best Comedy BAFTA in 2010. He co-created Bryony Makes a Zombie Movie for BBC Three which was BAFTA and Rose d’Or nominated in 2009. He worked as a producer on 10 O’Clock Live for Zeppotron and Channel 4.




Chris Gregory (Tower 2009) made his Team England debut on the Gold Coast, where the sport of beach volleyball was included in the Commonwealth Games for the first time.





Ashok Gupta  (2006), won the extremely prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Competition. From an outstandingly strong field of pianists, Ashok won the Help Musicians UK Accompanist’s Prize. One to watch for the future!





Simon Harris (Gate 1979) is an award-winning Political Correspondent for ITV News. He covers major events and breaking stories, bringing insight and analysis to events across London.




Neil Jenkins (1963), is an internationally known tenor. After attending King’s College Cambridge as a Choral Scholar,  Neil carved out a unique career, being equally at home as an Operatic, Oratorio and Recital singer; and combines this with his role as a Musicologist. For more info…





Tom Johnson (Tower 2000) professional rugby union player for Exeter Chiefs (181 apps) and England (8c caps)





Brian Jones (DCJS) musician, guitarist and founding member of The Rolling Stones.





Ben Langmaid (Tower 1983) won a Grammy – is the ‘off stage’ half of synth pop duo La Roux.




Mpumelelo “Pommie” Mbangwa (Brook 1995)  played international cricket for Zimbabwe where he opened the bowling for them between 1996 – 2002.  He was one of international cricket’s genuine No. 11s!  Currently, Pommie works as a cricket commentator and has just covered the ICC world Twenty20 competition in India for Sky Sports and Super Sport (SA Sports Channel).



Will Merrick (Tower 2011) now in the RSC in their recent production of the Lost Boys. Landed a role in the latest film from Richard Curtis, About Time, alongside such luminaries as Bill Nighy and from the writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings and A Funeral and Love Actually. Has also starred in an episode of Doctor Who and Channel 4 series Coming Up. Will has starred in two seasons of Skins and during his time at School played memorable roles in The History Boys, Hamlet, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and Death of a Salesman.



The Revd. Marcus Morris OBE, attended Oxford University in the 1930s and served in World War II as a RAF Chaplain. In 1950, he launched a hugely successful weekly comic called the Eagle, whose main character was Dan Dare. He went on to have a very distinguished career in the magazine world (where he gained his OBE) and was responsible for the launch of Cosmopolitan Magazine in the UK.




Wing Commander Geoffrey Page, DSO, OBE, DFC and Bar (Left DCS 1937) was a British flying ace who was eventually shot shown in WWII and suffered severe burns to his face and head. Page became one of the founding Members of the Guinea Pig Club and its first Chairman.

At Page’s funeral in August 2000, Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxlee-Norris declared: ‘Even by the Battle of Britain standards he was the bravest of the brave’.



Hugh Anthony Quarshie (Brook 1971) is a Ghanaian-born British actor. Some of his best-known roles include his appearances in the films Highlander (1986), The Church (1989), Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), and the Doctor Who episodes “Daleks in Manhattan” and “Evolution of the Daleks” (2007) as well as his long-running role as Ric Griffin in the BBC medical drama Holby City (2001–present). Quarshie has played the role of Ric for 17 years and is the longest serving cast member in Holby City.

Bernard Ribeiro (Tower 1962) Elected to the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1998.  In 2004 he was awarded the CBE for his ‘immeasurable’ services to medicine, and in December 2008 he was appointed Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for his services to medicine.  During his time as President of the Royal College of Surgeons from 2005 to 2008 he made significant contributions to surgical training, culminating in the introduction of the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme.  He was raised to the peerage in 2010, as Baron Ribeiro, of Achimota in the Republic of Ghana and of Ovington in the County of Hampshire.


Tom Seabrook (Gate 2017) who plays for Gloucester Rugby broke the Aviva Premiership Rugby record for the fastest try on debut. The England Under-20 winger took just 58 seconds to find the try line.





John Andrew Simpson (Tower 1971)  was Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary between 1993 – 2013 and under his editorship, over 60,000 new words and meanings were added, including the word Selfie!  He published a book last year called The Word Detective.




Emma Sky, OBE, (Shelburne 1986) is most well-known for her time when she served as Political Advisor to US General Raymond Odierno, when he was the Commanding General of U.S. Forces (2007-2010) during the invasion of  Iraq. Emma wrote a book about her time in Iraq called The Unravelling: High hopes and missed opportunities in Iraq, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015.





Jeremey Wade (Tower 1974) trained to teach then has gone on to an illustrious career on the television presenting Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters, a fishing programme with a global audience and huge success in USA.