Mrs Anne Whitney, who died from cancer on 31 December 2019, was the essential support for her husband, Charles, during his time as Second Master/Deputy Head of Dean Close Junior/Preparatory School between 1989 and 2003. She was a very positive but not entirely uncritical supporter of the School when she felt it was required.

Born a Yorkshire woman, she came South with her father, a senior industrial chemist, and the family during the 1950s. While living in Blackheath, London, she became a committed member of the local Congregational (United Reformed) Church. On her father’s appointment as General Manager of Burroughs Wellcome, now part of Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Anne’s family moved near Dartford, Kent. She remained in London reading invertebrate Zoology at Westfield College, now part of Queen Mary College, London University, where she was Secretary of the Presbyterian and Congregational Society.

On graduation, she joined Shell Chemicals, based at Waterloo, as an executive assistant. Here she met Charles, at Shell on a Summer vacation job while a mature undergraduate. They bonded over a mutual enjoyment of amateur dramatics, often acting opposite each other. They married at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, in September 1970.

Anne joined Charles at Goldsmiths’ College, London University, for the post-graduate year teacher’s course. Subsequently, she taught Science in a South London secondary school.

In 1973, Charles joined Dover College Junior School, then in Folkestone, Kent. Anne taught at several local schools, notably the Harvey Grammar School. She also joined the Red Cross, becoming an Instructor/Demonstrator.

In 1977, Charles became Housemaster of a boys’ boarding house of 42. Anne afterwards maintained that moving into their top floor House flat accelerated the birth of their elder daughter, Heather, within days of moving in. Three years later, Heather was joined by Louise.

Anne’s experience as a Housemaster’s wife with its unspecified but very real pastoral, social and educational roles proved invaluable when Charles became Second Master/Deputy Head of Dean Close Junior/ Preparatory School in 1989. She strongly supported her husband, not only helping host match teas, sometimes behind the scenes for productions, in Chapel, on formal school occasions and on Chapel Choir tours. She also went on Sunday Argonauts walks with boarders, her husband and her daughters – who were also part of the School – to the Cotswolds or the Malverns. She brought a succession of rescue dogs with her which the pupils loved looking after, of which. ‘Pandy,’ short for ‘Pandemonium’, was perhaps the favourite.

Anne very successfully moved from teaching to GCHQ in 1990. While she held several different posts at GCHQ there is photographic evidence of only one: the photo shows her demonstrating the Enigma machine to HM The Queen as part of her role curating the in-house museum. Anne thoroughly enjoyed GCHQ, especially as working hours could be adjusted, thereby permitting her to still make a significant contribution to Dean Close Preparatory School life.

In 2004, Anne and Charles moved to Bushley near Tewkesbury, an ideal village environment for Anne’s retirement project – keeping and hunting with a Harris hawk. As a zoologist and environmentalist, she found the interaction between her hawk, nature and herself deeply fulfilling. She found time not only to support Charles in his retirement ministry as a non-stipendiary clergyman but also be churchwarden of Bushley parish church as well as an adoring and adored grandmother to four grandchildren. She continued to support DCS and DCPS occasions.

Anne’s breast cancer of 2009 and 2013 recurred in 2019. She died in hospital while being treated for breast cancer which had metastasised in her liver and brain.

Anne always had time for people. Many confided in her, finding her concern, straightforward common-sense and Christian love endearing. Her love of science and her concern for the welfare of others was to be mirrored in the careers of her two daughters – one a leading researcher in plant science at Bristol University, the other a trades union official. Charles planted a tree in her memory in Bushley. One day, a neighbour asked if they could put an epitaph by the tree. It read: ‘Anne Whitney: a much loved person, a good friend to many.’ It seemed entirely appropriate.


Died 22 July 2020, aged 92.

Raymond “Ray” Richards was born in Swansea, the younger of two sons and attended Dean Close as a boarder in Tower House from 1941 – 1945. He was active in several aspects of the school community including Hockey, Rugby and Athletics and had involvement in debating and drama groups. He let it be known to younger members of his family that he had once played a female Shakespearian role at school “in a fulsome frock”.

Upon leaving Dean Close Ray studied for a degree in Economics at Swansea University, close to his family home. This was a choice made probably in part due to him feeling the need to support his parents following the death of his brother Donald (also an Old Decanian). Donald had been killed by sniper fire outside Belsen just as WW2 was coming to an end.

Whilst at University Ray met Evelyn who he later married and with whom he enjoyed 65 years of marriage, two children and four grandchildren.

Following graduation Ray joined the RAF and held postings in Gibraltar and various stations across the UK. He opted for the earlier retirement age of 38 (the alternative then was 55) having risen to the rank of Squadron Leader and in order to pursue a second career in Further Education.

The lifestyle of moving from one home location to another accelerated in Education as Ray’s career progressed with some speed to his final post as Principal of Great Yarmouth College of Further Education.

Retirement was spent in Poole where Ray and Evelyn’s two children and their spouses still live but for the first few years Ray kept very active with almost a third career. He had enjoyed his work on Courts Marshal whilst in the RAF and so pursued this interest with part time work as an Outdoor Clerk for local firms of solicitors. He became a familiar face sitting behind Counsel in court. Simultaneously he tapped in on his educational career by serving as a Governor for Poole Grammar School.

There were cruises, holidays in France and beyond and a fair amount of walking the South West Coast path. Ray was a lifelong supporter of Welsh Rugby – and especially enjoyed watching the international team with a pipe in his hand!


Died 24 September 2020, aged 70.

A lifelong resident of West Kirby, he was first elected Conservative councillor for Royden Ward in 1999.  Following boundary changes, he was elected in 2004 for the new ward of West Kirby and Thurstaston, and later re-elected in 2008, 2012, and 2016.  He was elected as Wirral’s 45th Mayor in 2018, and his wife Anne served as Mayoress.

Addressing his family, friends and colleagues in his debut mayoral speech, Geoffrey said he was “deeply honoured” to be elected as the Mayor of Wirral.  The father-of-two was educated at Kingsmead School, Hoylake and Dean Close School in Cheltenham.  The latter where Geoffrey’s father, John Ernest Frederick Watt, also attended in the early 1920’s.

After leaving school, he worked in banking and estate agency.  He was a past Commodore of Hoylake Sailing Club where he had been an active competitor from the age of nine, racing the local classic ‘Opera’ Class boats.  Whilst at Dean Close he was captain of the sailing club.

He was also a regular supporter from the touchline at Caldy Rugby Club and a season ticket holder at Sale Sharks in Rugby Union’s Premiership.  His chosen charities as mayor were Wirral RNLI and Wirral’s Forester’s Horn Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association, for which he had raised thousands of pounds over the years.

The RLNI lifeboat teams at West Kirby and Hoylake also paid tribute to Geoffrey.  Speaking on behalf on West Kirby, a tweet said: “Geoffrey Watt was a wonderful friend to @RNLIWestKirby and @HoylakeRNLI and will be sadly missed.” Hoylake also tweeted: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Mayor of Wirral Geoffrey Watt, who was keen sailor, stalwart member of @hoylakesc, and local councillor representing the West Kirby and Thurstaston Ward on @WirralCouncil for many years.”

The current Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Tony Smith, said: “Geoffrey was a dedicated councillor, keen sailor and an avid rugby supporter.  He will be missed by the many people who loved him and I would like to publicly thank him and his wife Anne for their service to the borough.  My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Conservative group leader Ian Lewis told the Globe: “Geoffrey was one of the finest examples of public service we have ever seen in Wirral.  He was totally dedicated to his role, rarely complained, and always gave his full attention to the issues before him.  He was assiduous in preparing for meetings and for gathering the evidence and the facts to inform his argument.  He was respected by people in his community, in his political Group and across the Council chamber.  Geoffrey, and Anne, were incredibly proud to be appointed Mayor and Mayoress and we were incredibly fortunate to have them.”

Councillor Jeff Green, who represented West Kirby and Thurstaston Ward with Geoffrey, said: “Geoffrey was an outstanding councillor, Mayor, sailor and man.  He was totally committed to his family, Anne and their children John and Caroline, the people of Wirral and the residents of West Kirby and Thurstaston.  Geoffrey faced his sudden illness with the strength and courage he showed throughout his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Geoffrey’s family at this very sad time.”

Content taken from the Wirral Globe and Liverpool Echo.


(COLIN) ALFRED LEA LEIGH (Walton Court 1939)

Died 12 August 2020, aged 96.

The son of a successful businessman who spent over 30 years working as an accountant in Kenya has died aged 96.

Colin Leigh was born on July 26, 1924, the only son of Marjorie and Samuel Leigh, who resided at ‘Croftdown’ in Witney’s Corn Street. His father co-owned and ran the family ironmongers and agricultural business Leigh & Sons, a Witney landmark for over 100 years, situated opposite the Buttercross. Mr Leigh’s early years were spent in the town, before attending Dean Close School in Cheltenham, and then Abingdon School.

He embarked on his accountancy career at Thornton’s in Oxford in 1941. He then joined the Royal Artillery as a radar operator in 1943, serving in port defence in England, before he was then assigned to both Egypt and Italy during the Second World War. He returned to his accountancy career at Thornton’s after the war ended, before accepting a position in Kenya, where he emigrated to in 1951. Mr Leigh met his wife, Lilian, in Nairobi, the country’s capital, and the couple married in 1952.

Mr Leigh was employed by a local accountancy firm, Alexander & Ingram, and worked in the coastal city, Mombasa, before moving back to Nairobi in 1958 when he became a partner in the company.

Mr Leigh remained in Kenya after the country gained independence in 1963, and became a senior partner at Alexander & Ingram in 1975 when the firm merged with Price Waterhouse.

Mr Leigh retired in 1984 and along with his wife, returned to West Oxfordshire, to live in Burford, where they spent many happy years.

After the death of his wife in 2009, Mr Leigh moved to Aberdeen to be closer to his daughter.

Mr Leigh always had a keen interest in sport, stemming from his childhood spent swimming in the River Windrush, through to playing cricket and hockey at school. He extended his love of cricket in Kenya, playing for the Wanderers at Mombasa Club. In 1958, he was selected to play in the test match against the Marylebone Cricket Club, the same year he broke the Kenyan record for the most wickets taken by a single player in a match. While in Nairobi, he played as a wicketkeeper for the prestigious Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club, one of the oldest teams in the country.

Paying tribute to him, Mr Leigh’s family said he was a hard worker and enjoyed his sport, but was also a gentle mentor, great listener, caring and generous gentleman and will be remembered with great affection. His love for his family was always very apparent and he will be much missed as father to Anthony and Vanessa, father-in-law to Martin and Eva, and grandfather of Claire and Fiona.


Died 6 August 2020, aged 86.

Nigel Robinson was born in West Kirby, Wirral in 1934, and spent most of his adult life in nearby Hoylake together with his sister Diana and brother Roger.

Nigel went to preparatory school at Hillstone in the Malvern Hills followed by Dean Close. National Service in the army followed during which time Nigel was based in Egypt in the canal zone, living in a tent.

On his return home Nigel joined Coastlines, following in the footsteps of his father Sir Arnet Robinson who was a Director of the company at the time. Nigel spent the majority of his time with Coastlines based in Liverpool but he also spent a few years up in Barrow where he joined the Round Table. On his return he joined the Hoylake and West Kirby Round Table and later on the 41 Club. He was made an Honorary Member of both in recognition of all his fundraising work.

Nigel was a life-long supporter of the RNLI. In 1959, at the suggestion of his father who was then Chairman of Hoylake and West Kirby Lifeboat, Nigel joined the station’s Management Committee – a position he held for over 50 years.

Throughout this time Nigel was a stalwart member of the Fundraising Committee which managed activities such as selling souvenirs, collecting donations and running open days. He was awarded the RNLI’s Silver Badge in 1987 and then a Gold Badge in 2005 in recognition of his dedicated service – the highest honour given to fundraising volunteers. He received a bar to his Gold Badge in 2010, by way of additional recognition.

The RNLI and Hoylake and West Kirby Lifeboat Station owe Nigel a tremendous debt of gratitude for all the work he did and the money he raised over so many years. Crew from the station flew the RNLI flag at half mast on the day of Nigel’s funeral and scattered his ashes at sea during a recent practice exercise.

Nigel’s last 10 years were spent in Westhaven Nursing Home, Hoylake where the dedicated staff looked after him.

Nigel is very fondly remembered by surviving family, his sister Diana, two nieces and nephew, and by his many friends in the local and lifeboat community.


Died 6 June 2020, aged 85.

Roger attended Dean Close between 1946 and 1951. Some memorable moments from his time at school include playing Titania in a junior school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed to a packed house at the Open Air Theatre, and receiving the President’s Prize for a model he built in the Hobbies Club in senior school in 1951. He was also an NCO in the CCF.

After school, Roger began an apprenticeship with steelworks manufacturer Stewart & Lloyds, but ultimately became unwell and left to attend Wolverhampton Tech. After taking his A-levels, he gained a place at Birmingham University, eventually graduating with a BSc with Honours in Metallurgy.  Upon graduating, he was called up for National Service and became a bombing officer in the RAF.

Roger’s brother, Brian Grigg (Brook 1956), writes:

“Father had bought him an Austin Healey, the original one with three gears and overdrive, and he became a competent high-speed driver. As far as I know, he never had an accident. Although I do remember spinning in a Porsche once with him!  I also remember that he came home one weekend at the time when there was a great fuss in the papers about the UK having an atom bomb! He told us that ‘there was one parked close to the Great North road last week'”.

Upon leaving the air force, Roger joined the flourishing steel stockholding business his father had started. The family later sold the business and Roger moved to Poole, where he enjoyed his favourite past time of sailing. He became a competent helm, and together with friend Leslie Smith, bought a Swann boat called Matchmaker to compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club races. Though not as fast as the team boats, they achieved some creditable results in the Admiral Cup Series.

Roger was married to Averil for over 65 years and leaves behind a son and daughter.


Died 29 May 2020, aged 84.

Michael was the son of the Rector of Dowdeswell and boarded at Dean Close from 1948 until 1953. At school, he enjoyed writing essays and debating and became an instrumental member of the debating society and editor of the school magazine. He also won the Gonner Prize for Literature at Speech Day. In 1953, the debating society were to discuss ‘whether the human race would survive on the earth for another 50 years’; Michael put a speech together saying that it would and turns out he was right! Another passion was music, with Michael becoming a member of the Light Music Club. Here is a passage from an article written by Mike in the 1953 edition of The Decanian:

“The Light Music Club by popular demand has increased its membership from twenty to forty, half of which has been formed into a junior section, who hold their meetings on Thursday evenings. After a term of Popular Record sessions, the Club gave a concert in the schoolroom. It was open to the whole school, and about a hundred and fifty attended. It comprised specially selected records, announced by Moore and Greening, some “Clarinet jam” played by the Rowley Trio (Rowley and Cook, clarinets; Chapman, piano) and a ten-minute film of ‘Count Basic and his Orchestra’ with the Deep River Boys. The Officers for the last term were M. R. Greening, C. D. Cecil, D. S. Peacock and C. H. Moore.”

Michael never considered going on to further education but decided to join the army, where he became an officer and was posted to Belgium. After five years he returned to the UK, married and had four children, Marie-Ann, Jane, Sara and Tim (Brook 1976).  Michael worked in various jobs, including teaching, but was most comfortable as an entrepreneur and was involved in many enterprises.

Michael lost his wife to cancer in 2000 and retired soon after. Turning to his passion for writing, he based himself in what was once a watermill in deepest mid-Wales.  He loved to travel and spend time with his family and friends.

It was great to see Michael back at Dean Close in 2017, when he attended a lecture hosted by an old peer of Professor Tim Bliss. This was a fascinating lecture on ‘The Mechanics of Memory: How The Brain Stores Memories.’

Michael died in Isle Court Nursing home in Shrewsbury after being diagnosed with pneumonia.


Died 11 May 2020, aged 85.

Clifford entered into Dean Close Senior School in 1947, and impressed on the sports field and in the class room, ultimately leading to him being awarded the senior prefect role in his final year. An all rounder, he gained his colours in rugby, cricket, hockey and athletics.

He was cricket captain and a fast bowler, claiming 23 wickets at an average of 9.22 in his final season. As Captain of Athletics, he won the Victor Ludorum for best senior athlete on sport day, and in his final year, the long jump, high jump, 120 yards hurdles and ¼-mile race.

His rugby report read:

C. L. Hodgetts, a centre three-quarter, was a strong, powerful, thrustful runner and much can be (and was!) forgiven him for these virtues. If only he would couple tactical appreciation with these physical attributes and the discipline of conforming to a line and playing to it as part of it and constantly practising, then – he could be a fine player.

After leaving Dean Close, Clifford read law at Bristol University. He qualified as a solicitor after completing articles in Cheltenham, then entered the Army to fulfil his deferred National Service obligation. Having played hockey at county level, much of his military service was spent improving the army’s reputation in hockey. Demobbed after the obligatory two years, he then joined solicitors Thomas Eggar & Son, arriving in Chichester in 1960 with his wife and eight-month-old daughter.

In 1971, he was appointed Clerk to the Dean and Chapter of Chichester Cathedral and Registrar of the Diocese of Chichester, going on to become one of England’s leading experts in ecclesiastical law.  A modern gargoyle representing Clifford is situated at Chichester Cathedral (see photo). In 1991, he was appointed Registrar to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey and in 2000, awarded an OBE for services to the Church of England.

Meanwhile, he had been elected Senior Partner of Thomas Eggar in 1987, a position he retained until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure, Thomas Eggar became firmly established amongst the top 100 firms of solicitors in England following mergers with Verrall Bowles & Stevens and Church Adams and Tatham.

Having been involved in the inception of Chichester Festival Theatre in the early 1960s, Clifford was subsequently appointed Trustee and Board Director of the Theatre in the early 1990s, and Vice Chairman for several years, retiring in 2012. He served as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex for 15 years following his appointment in 1994 and was a Trustee and Governor of Westbourne House School from 1991 to 2007.

While at Dean Close, Clifford met his future wife, Anthea Langhorne, and they married in October 1957, with Michael Dash (Gate 1953) serving as Clifford’s best man at the wedding. Clifford and Andrea went on to have three children, Julia, Sarah and Richard.

Clifford was an avid walker with a great love of the countryside and his dogs. He enjoyed many happy hours with his family and was noted for his cheating at all games played with his children and grandchildren. Due to Covid-19, a small funeral was held with plans for a memorial service at Chichester Cathedral at a later date.


Died 11th April 2020, aged 91.

Peter was born at Culcheth near Leigh in Lancashire on 2 July 1928, with his sister, Jill, born eight years later. He became a boarder at Dean Close when he was 14, having previously attended Winterdyne Prep School in Southport.

As a school prefect and Head of House, Peter was a very active member of the pupil body. He received house colours for rugby and hockey and was Secretary of the Literacy Society and a member of the Debating Society. He also served as Vice-President of the Acton Club and a Sergeant in the CCF.  He gained his School Certificate in 1944 and his Higher Certificate in 1946.  On Speech Day, he was awarded the Open History Prize. Peter maintained a close connection with the school and his school friends all his life.

An Old Decanian committee member from 1956 to 2016, Peter served as Hon. Secretary from 1957-73, President from 1976-78 and Deputy President from 1989-91.  From 1961 to 2014, Peter was also on the school council as Governor.

In 1947, Peter undertook National Service and volunteered for the Royal Army Educational Corps. His final posting was in Germany at Kiel. In October 1949, Peter began studying history at The Queen’s College, Oxford. He enjoyed his subject and the college’s friendly atmosphere and made lifelong friends.

After university Peter joined the civil service and spent his career at the Ministry of Defence. He met his wife, Pauline, at the Coffee Pot, a club for graduates in London. They married in July 1961 and had a daughter, Jane, born the next year, followed by Sarah two years later.  Peter and Pauline lived in the same house in Ashtead, Surrey, for 52 years and enjoyed a long and happy marriage for 58 years until Pauline passed away in October 2019.

Peter loved spending time with his grandchildren, Isobel, Imogen, Joshua and Josie. His youngest daughter, Sarah, had moved to Vancouver Island with her husband Karl, Joshua and Josie, and Peter and Pauline visited them every year in August for three weeks until travel became too much.

Peter was a kind, considerate and thoughtful person with a gentle and optimistic nature. He was very family-oriented, loved his home and particularly enjoyed gardening.


Died 8 April 2020, aged 79.

Alan was born in 1940 and spent his early life in Bristol where he attended Tockington Manor School. At school, he had his first dramatic experience when he took the part of Sir Toby in a version of Twelfth Night, an achievement he looked back on with some satisfaction.  On arriving at Dean Close in September 1954, he quickly took advantage of the musical opportunities available, joining the Chapel Choir, the Choral Society and learning to play the trumpet. The latter also introduced him to the bugle and he was a stalwart of the CCF band throughout his time at school. In addition, he was an enthusiastic member of the Hobbies Club, where he constructed numerous model aircraft. Interest in aircraft led to membership of the RAF section of the CCF and a memorable visit to the Gloster Aircraft prototype testing centre at Moreton Valence (arranged on one of Douglas Graham’s ‘free days’ through Cedric Kennedy, who had contacts there from his war work). Alan was also a member of the Gramophone Society, and later the Tovey Society, and took every opportunity to attend live concerts in term time, particularly those given at the Town Hall by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra during each year, and the Cheltenham Contemporary Music Festival during the summer term. He was also involved in CAP Tuckwell’s Open Air Theatre productions, appearing as the Duke of Gloucester in a 1959 production of King Lear. During his last two years at school, he was first House Prefect for Tower and then School Prefect.

University was not an automatic consideration in those days and Alan first joined a commercial company in Bristol. However, he left after a year to study Geography at Aberystwyth. After graduation, he spent some time in France, then moved to the United States and finally, to Canada. He became involved with computers and worked as a manager with a pension fund. He and his wife, Sharlene, lived with their two sons, Tristan and Matthew, just south of Vancouver.

In 1998, he made the trip to England with his younger son, visiting old friends and places associated with his past. These included a day at Dean Close visiting the new and old buildings with his housemaster, M.A. Girling.  He managed another visit in 2007, on his own, when he was able to enjoy another long-term interest, motor racing, at a Thruxton meeting.

On retirement, he and Sharlene sold up on the mainland and moved to Mayne Island, one of the larger islands in the Gulf Islands archipelago between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Here, they bought a house with some land where Alan worked to create a garden and carry out numerous improvements to the property, all to the highest standard of workmanship. Being on an island inevitably meant that most of the equipment and materials had to be brought across from the mainland using the ferry service. The same ferry service took Alan on frequent trips to Vancouver, where he was a full-time member of the Vivaldi Choir, which rehearsed and gave concerts regularly. On the island, he was also a member of the Mayne Island Conservancy, dedicated to protecting its ecology.

Around three years ago, Alan went into hospital for remedial treatment which was successful. Then in early in 2019, a cardiovascular problem appeared. This, unfortunately, progressed so that he had to be admitted to hospital in Victoria around Christmas time. He sadly deteriorated further while under medical care and died on 8 April 2020.

Thank you to John A.H. Hawes (Brook 1959) for this obituary.  John and Alan are pictured at Dean Close in 1998.

The Rt. Rev. PETER VAUGHAN (DCJS 1940 – 1944)

Died 4 April 2020, aged 89.

Born in 1930 in Shiraz, Iran, to CMS missionaries, Peter travelled as a baby in his mother’s arms back to the UK. During the war, he was evacuated to Dean Close, Cheltenham, and attended school here and later at Charterhouse.  A long-time governor at Dean Close, his input and advice was most welcomed.

After National Service, Peter studied at Selwyn College, and then at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. During holidays, he spent time in his uncle’s parish in Middlesbrough, where he worked in an iron foundry. Aware that he was not the most practical of people, he did this so that he might better understand everyday working life.

An encounter at a CSSM mission with Elisabeth Parker, a New Zealander, forged a relationship that would undergird future life and Christian ministry. Their contrasting personalities and yet common passionate faith and CMS family backgrounds set the scene for their married life of 58 years.

As his curacy began in 1957 at St Martin’s in-the-Bull-Ring, Birmingham, under the evangelist Canon Bryan Green, he met Canon John Holden, who says: “Searching for faith, and as a complete newcomer, Peter invited me to meet with him once a week for conversations; it was like a one-to-one Alpha course.” Green joked that, although he himself was regarded as too great a risk to ever be called to the episcopate, most of his curates had become bishops.

Peter lived with four other curates in the rectory and it was here that Peter learnt his trade, his love of mission and challenging environments, and the need for ministry to respond creatively to social trends. His commitment to deprived areas was something he shared with Elisabeth and was reflected in the school at which she chose to teach.

He set up a boys’ club, invited shoppers in the Bullring market to lunchtime services, and had a particular concern for the children in the St Martin’s Sunday school, which was located in what was still then a slum area of central Birmingham. The same commitment led Peter, in retirement, to participate in a project supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Swindon.

In 1963, Peter and Elisabeth moved to Oxford, where Peter served as Chaplain to the Oxford Pastorate and Assistant Chaplain of Brasnose College. Here, he thrived on lively student debate and high table discussion. Their two daughters, Sarah and Merle, were born in this period. The urge to engage in overseas mission work was irresistible, however, and, over the next eight years, they took on challenging ministry in Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

He was the last British vicar of Christ Church, Galle Face, in Colombo, and was delighted that one of his curates succeeded him. He thrived on the multi-faith environment and forged lifelong relationships, returning several times in retirement to lead missions. He enjoyed the culture, and, although he never mastered the language, did not fear the challenge of it.

When an insurrection broke out in 1970, the family remained in Sri Lanka long after the ex-pat community had left. Peter’s mother sent him The Church Times weekly and in its folds, all the medicines and necessities that were unavailable during rationing. Packages often arrived mysteriously empty, and so The Church Times proved the safest mode of transport.

After five years, Peter moved with the family, now with son Richard, too, to New Zealand, where he was Precentor of Auckland Cathedral, and experienced a flavour of his wife’s homeland.

Returning to the UK in 1975, Peter was appointed Principal of CMS’s Training College, Crowther Hall, in Birmingham. He then moved to Carlisle to become Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness. In 1989, Peter became Bishop of Ramsbury, the first bishop to be consecrated in Salisbury Cathedral in 900 years.

Instead of retiring in 1998, he felt that he had enough energy for one last post, and was sent to Bradford diocese as a house-for-duty assistant bishop.

Retirement, when it came, was in Lechdale, where he, now into his mid-eighties, regularly took the Sunday-evening services; he particularly enjoyed leading gatherings at the pub.

Taken from The Church Times and written by Canon Gordon Dey.


Died 30 March 2020, aged 69.

Richard arrived at Dean Close Senior School in the winter of 1964. During his time at school he was the Secretary of the VIII Cross Country Team, winning four out of six matches against other schools in the 1968 season. He subsequently gained his school running colours. Richard played tennis for the 1st VI and was also very at shooting, attending Bisley and gaining his school shooting colours. He obtained his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in the winter of 1968 and was a house prefect.

Richard was a GP in Aberystwyth, where he was also Honorary Club Doctor for Aberystwyth Town FC. He was an extremely popular and well-loved character at the club. His annual medical sessions with the players ensured Aberystwyth Town gained domestic and European licences, and his commitment as a club volunteer went beyond the call of duty, with Richard even carrying out a medical in the secretary’s house at 11pm on deadline night, to ensure the club submitted required paperwork in time!

Richard was a proud Welsh speaker and an active single member of the community. He was treasurer of the town’s St David’s Day Parade, “Pared Gwyl Dewi,” and an active member of the Welsh language social group Cylch Cinio. He was also a volunteer with local charity HAHAV, providing care and friendship for people with chronic illnesses.

In his spare time, he loved skiing, golfing and red wine, and was very proud to have recently become a grandfather to two grandchildren. He died after a brave battle with a brain tumour.

Richard was married to Dana and leaves behind two children, Dafydd and Fflur.


Died 24 February 2020, aged 81.

Ian was born in Ruislip in 1938, moving to Purley, Surrey, in 1946, where he spent his formative years. Ian attended the local prep school, Downside, before moving on to Dean Close in the Trinity term of 1952 until Trinity 1956. He was House Prefect alongside Ian Ireland in Brook House.

Ian was a very good bowler for the 1st XI, taking 17 wickets in the 1956 season. In the first match of the season, he took 3 for 18, and in the second match, (versus St Peter’s Hall) 5 for 20. He was also an excellent hockey player who once received a questionable review in The Decanian: “The left-wing in question was I. L. Farnes, a clever but somewhat heavy-footed forward. Great keenness for the game and much practice has given him excellent stick work, but a preference for reverse stick play (Oh! those Indian sticks!) led him to indulge in that too much”. That year the team was coached by Mr Hoare and Mr Carnill, who went on to fulfil their posts as Manager and Captain of the British Olympic Hockey XI that summer. Ian’s younger brother, Robert, also attended Dean Close, leaving in 1963.

After leaving school, Ian went worked with Mowlems (bought by Carillion in 2006) as a civil engineer.  Projects included the refurbishment of 10 Downing Street and he served as a Senior Engineer on the construction of the Victoria Line. At this time, he lived in Purley and was an active member of Purley Hockey and Cricket clubs.

In 1964, he married Fiona and had a daughter, Alison. After Fiona and Ian went their separate ways, Ian met Pam, who lived on the same road as his parents in Purley.  They married in 1973 and lived in Tunbridge Wells.

In 1975, they moved to Swanage, where Ian had been asked to join Tilbury Civil Engineering. No sooner had they arrived, their son, Richard, was born, and soon afterwards, daughter Sally. Ian spent many hours at Purbeck Golf Club, where in 2002 he was honoured to be Captain. He was later asked to be president of the club.

Ian stayed in contact with Dean Close and it was great to see him when he attended his reunion lunch in 2013.

Alongside his work and golf, Ian loved going on cruises with Pam, until Pam sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2016. They were married for over 40 years.

He became a great-grandad last year and leaves behind three children and five grandchildren. His funeral took place on 10 March 2020 at Bournemouth Crematorium and afterwards at the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club.


Died 17 January 2020, aged 84.

Neil joined Dean Close Junior School in 1943, followed by the senior school in 1948. A good sportsman, some of his highlights include winning the senior long jump in 1954 (with a jump of 19ft 2in; the school record at the time was 20ft 6in) and coming second in both the 100 yards and the ¼ mile race. He was also awarded XXII colours for his performances in the 2XI hockey team. Outside of sport, he was a house and school prefect, chairman of the Model Railway Club and a Sgt. in the CCF.

After leaving Dean Close, Neil did his National Service with the 6th Royal Tank Regiment at Münster. He was demobbed in 1956 at the end of the Suez crisis.

After his return, Neil took up a place at Downing College Cambridge, where he studied Agriculture. This was followed by a year at Lincoln College Oxford to complete a diploma in Agricultural Economics. While at Cambridge, Neil was on the committee of the Downing Hockey Club and a member of the Jabberwock’s Revue Society, where he led the stage lighting for numerous dramatic productions.

Going on to lecture in Agriculture in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Neil’s final appointment was Principal of Picketing Agricultural Centre, a branch of Askham Bryan College. He retired in 1997.

Although a keen hockey player at school and university, his main interest was golf. He was President of Yorkshire Golf in 2008 and in 2009, and was asked to nurture schools golf in Yorkshire. A number of players who worked with Neil are now on the professional circuit. Neil was also an active member of Ryedale Lions Club, rising to the position of Deputy District Governor.

Neil always stayed in contact with the Old Decanian Society, and made the long journey from North Yorkshire to attend reunions in 2012 and 2017.

Neil leaves a widow, Sue, son Nicholas, daughter Sara, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He died peacefully in St Catherine’s Hospice, Scarborough, surrounded by his family. Nearly 200 people attended the thanksgiving service, which raised just over £1200 for charity. The wake took place at the Kirkbymoorside Golf Club (of course!)


Died 1 January 2020, aged 94.

Sue was born on 18 December 1925 in Simla, India, while her father was serving as Brigadier in the British Indian Army. She went to school at St Swithun’s, Winchester, where she remained until she was 18. She joined the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS) in 1943 and was then posted to Bletchley Park where she worked as a bombe operator, the bombe being an electromagnetic device designed by Alan Turing and others, used to decipher the German Enigma encryption machine.

It was at Bletchley Park that she met her husband, Geoff, and they married on the 14 October 1948, moving to Cheltenham in 1953 when the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) opened.

Geoff was posted to Singapore in late 1953 until 1958. In 1965, Sue was appointed a Justice of the Peace, eventually becoming the Chairman of Gloucestershire Magistrates.

Other roles included Chairman of the Gloucestershire Probation Service, Girl Guide County Commissioner for Gloucestershire, Chairman of the Trefoil Guild and Chairman of the Cheltenham branch of Cancer Research.

Sue was a longstanding member of the council at Dean Close, having joined in 1971. In 2001, she was asked to become a trustee and remained in that role until 2013. In 2017, Sue became an Emeritus Member of Council.

She was awarded the OBE in 1992 for services to the community, and in her spare time (!) she bred Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

Sue died peacefully in hospital following a short illness. She is survived by their Jane and Richard (Field/Tower 1971), their five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.


Dr ARTHUR GRAHAM BLYTH (Walton Court 1944)

Died 30 December 2019, aged 93.

Arthur was born into a Scottish family in Kilmacolm near Glasgow, the youngest of four. He had a sister, Dorothy, and two brothers. When he was four, the family moved to Haslemere, Surrey, but remained immensely proud of their Scottish heritage. He attended St Ives School, Stroud Prep School and then as a boarder at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, between 1940 and 1944, where his two older brothers, Rev. John Reddie Blyth (Court 1943) and Corporal Robert Blyth (Walton Court 1941), were also educated.  Arthur was a house prefect and a Sgt in the J.T.C. A talented and passionate musician, he sang in the choir and played the clarinet, piano, organ and bugle.

Arthur was immensely proud to be connected to Dean Close and frequently visited to support the pupils in concerts and plays. The Old Decanian Society returned the favour in recent years by visiting him in his nursing home on numerous occasions to show him recordings of lunchtime concerts (pictured here with Connie Parker and Alex Hume in November 2019). We thank him for his commitment to the society, having served on the committee from 1995-2004 and as ODS President from 1993-95.

The year 1944, his final year at Dean Close, was a particularly difficult time for his family as, within the space of four months, his mother died and his brother, Robert, then 21, was killed in Normandy.

Arthur trained to be a doctor at Guy’s Hospital between 1945 and 1950, during which time he met his future wife, Jean, on 7 April 1946 when she was only 14. He was subsequently a junior doctor on the RAF camp in Hednesford, Staffs, marrying Jean on 21 July 1951.

He chose to do the remainder of his National Service overseas, and after a short period in Egypt, he was a doctor at the RAF Hospital in Luqa, Malta. Jean joined him and Nicola was born there in 1953. The following year, they returned to the UK for a house job at Winchester Hospital, after which Arthur joined a GP practice in Andover, where he worked very happily for 35 years from 1955. Fiona was born that year, Alison in 1958, Elspeth in 1962, and Bruce in 1971, by which time the family had moved from The Avenue, Andover, to Shepherds Cottage in nearby Little Ann.

He retired in 1990 and remained in the area for the rest of his life, moving with Jean to Anna Valley in 2010. Jean died in 2013 and Arthur remained in their home until August 2018, when he moved to Millway House Nursing Home, Weyhill. A celebration of his life was held at All Saints Church, Upper Clatford, on Thursday 23 January 2020.  A memorial service is planned for Saturday 17 October 2020 at Dean Close School. All are welcome.

Arthur will be very much missed by his Dean Close family.


Died 27 December 2019, aged 77.

Richard was born on Trafalgar Day, 21 October 1942, to Jim and Phyllis Kirby and brought home to farm life in Langford. He had an older brother, John (Gate 1957), and younger sister Mary.

Richard initially attended the village school but once old enough, followed his brother John to boarding school at Dean Close in Cheltenham. Here, he forged many lifelong friends, including Jeremy Hill from Wexford, Ireland, who recollects Richard’s prowess on the sports field and his earning of triple colours for rugby, hockey (Captain) and cricket (opening batsman and bowler).  He recalled his determination and ‘never give up’ attitude.

Being born to farming stock, Richard never considered any career other than farming. Upon leaving school, he studied agriculture at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. Upon leaving college, Richard had the good fortune of going back to Rectory Farm in Langford, John having decamped to farm pigs and arable crops in Dunmow, Essex. In their teenage years, John had tended to help with rabbit control etc. whilst Richard assisted the shepherd.  This probably fuelled his passion for his prize flock of pedigree Suffolks that he took great pride in showing, even as far as Abergavenny.

Following his father’s death from stomach cancer, Richard was at one time the youngest of the church commissioner’s tenants. He invested for the future modernising and updating of both the dairy unit and grain store with the help of generous government grant schemes in the late 1970s. He accepted change, with machinery replacing men on the farm and increased the size of the dairy herd at the expense of labour-intensive sheep and potatoes.

Richard’s past times revolved around cricket, shooting and horse racing – typical country pursuits. Cricket was initially for the VWH Team at Poulton, where he played under Stan Hinton’s leadership alongside many local farmers. This continued when he joined the Oxford Downs at Standlake – another farmer-strong team prior to league cricket. He was a longstanding member of Cheltenham Racecourse, where his most exciting moments must have been watching Jeremy Hill’s mother’s mare, Dawn Run, win not only the Champion Hurdle but the Gold Cup two years later. Richard enjoyed his game shooting, which took place on local farms with an occasional trip to the Yorkshire Moors. At home, he ran a friendly shoot where presenting testing birds was more important than the size of the bag. He dug a duck flight pond in 1987, which provided many evenings of sport for family and friends. He enjoyed counting the ducks in as much as shooting them and one evening, an owl landed on his cap whilst he leant quietly on the gate. Richard was a churchwarden at Langford for over 40 years as well as a long-standing member of the parish council, including a term as Chairman and trustee of the Langford Charity.

Richard and Sally were childhood sweethearts who enjoyed mixing with the local point-to-point and national hunt racing set and local young farmers. They married in 1966 at Sandhill Farm, Shrivenham, in a joint wedding with Sally’s sister, Titch, to Richard Frost. They settled down to farming life in Langford with Peter (Gate 1956) born in 1968 and Jane (Shelburne 1989) three years later in 1971. Peter and Jane followed the family tradition of boarding at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, with Richard being a big supporter of their sport and often the only parent present on the touchline. Sadly, Sally died in 1989.

Richard married Sandra in 1991 and over the following years they enjoyed travelling the world with holidays to Peru, Kentucky, Africa, Europe, Canada and Thailand to name a few. Richard also oversaw the renovation of The Shippen, a property he bought in Devon, where much of their time was spent.

In 2015, he was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s. Prior to his illness, Richard took great pleasure in following the progress of his grandchildren. He honoured his promise to Jeremy to buy him a new cricket bat when he scored his first 50 – a feat he accomplished just two hours later and was delighted to learn that Emily was off to study agriculture at Hartpury.  He enjoyed odd-jobbing with James, Rosie and Tommy when in Devon and would have been thrilled to learn that they are all playing representative cricket in Oxfordshire.

Extracts above are taken from the eulogy that Richard’s son Peter Kirby (Gate 1986) compiled.

A service of thanksgiving was held at St Matthews’s Church in Langford on Thursday 23 January 2020.

ODs in attendance included Richard’s brother John Kirby (Gate 1975), his son Peter Kirby (Gate 1986), his daughter Jane Hewlett (née Kirby) (Shelburne 1989), Richard Rose, David Rose, Ian Dimmer, Ian Handy, Tony Marshall, Emma Nash (née Handy) (Shelburne 1983) and Jeremy Winter (Walton Court 1961).


Died 8 November 2019, aged 69.

Chris Ellis was a prolific lighting designer from the 1970s through to the middle of this decade. For many years he held positions at the Leicester Haymarket as Head of Lighting, then Production Manager and ultimately, Chief Executive.

Born in Gloucester on 23 April 1950, Chris discovered the backstage world and the useful political skill of getting people to pay for new lighting equipment while at boarding school at Dean Close. He joined in 1958, stepping into the senior school in 1963 through to 1968.  Chris was unsurprisingly Secretary of the Film Unit, for which he chose the films watched by the school and ran the lighting for school productions (which, in 1968, was A Man for all Seasons).  Chris was also Secretary for the Tape Recording Unit, which undertook all school recording commitments; for example, sound effects for the productions, listening tapes for the language department and the recording of lectures for the English department.

After school, he accepted to join the BBC but ultimately persuaded them to keep the offer open for two years while he tried theatre. He never went back. Instead, he joined the Cheltenham Everyman, moving next to Bromley, then the newly opened Hull Arts Centre. In 1971, he began work at the Leicester Phoenix. The city’s architect turned to him for advice on the planned new Haymarket Theatre, and Chris moved there upon opening in 1973.

At the Haymarket, he worked first with director Michael Bogdanov. The pair continued to collaborate for the rest of their working lives, on shows at the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. But it was Leicester that gave Chris his biggest commercial success, Me and My Girl (which went on to enjoy successful runs in London and New York). Other collaborations, including with designer Maria Björnson, brought him other opportunities, mostly notably a series of acclaimed operas for David Pountney’s English National Opera.

In 1990, with the Haymarket in financial trouble, Ellis stepped in as Chief Executive. Ensuring backstage staff were retained and the theatre re-established the kind of programming enjoyed by local audiences, he turned a substantial deficit into a healthy surplus over the next year.

From then, he focused solely on lighting design with shows around the world, expanding into museum and architectural lighting with a speciality in lighting churches. As a bonus, this let him indulge his passion for playing church organs. Chris was fortunate that his school reunion in January 2015 (Chris is pictured here in the back row, third from the right) fell on the same day as the opening of the school’s new chapel organ. He attended, going on to the Community Evensong that same evening.

In 2015, he fulfilled his promise to his wife Gina to retire at 65, the couple moving from Leicester to Falmouth. Chris died from cancer and is survived by Gina and two sons.


Passed 14 November 2019, aged 49.

Phillip was at Dean Close between September 1983 and July 1986. He went on to eventually study at Portsmouth University, graduating in 2003 with a BA (Hons) in Illustration. At the time of his passing, he was the Creative Director for NBCUniversal International Studios in London, where he was responsible for bringing to life a portfolio of world-class entertainment brands for the television production companies owned by NBCUniversal. He was involved in many successful commissions by broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Sky, NetFlix and Amazon.

Throughout his career he also enjoyed working for some of London’s leading advertising and design agencies, drawing on 25 years’ hands-on experience creating crafted, distinctive and memorable brand communication work for renowned clients in a diverse range of sectors.

Phillip was always behind the camera spending hours taking beautiful photos on his many travels. Phillip had a keen interest in graffiti and over the last few years had recoded lots of pieces around London. He had also produced several pieces inspired by his interest in street art and more traditional calligraphy. Phillip was also a keen cyclist, spending many happy hours enjoying the world around him.

Phill passed away very suddenly and very unexpectedly at the age of just 49. He is loved and remembered by his sons, James, Sam and Lev, his lovely partner Olga, with whom he had found great happiness, his father, Peter, his step mother, Norma, his brother and sisters, nieces and nephews and innumerable friends and colleagues.


Died 6 October 2019, aged 98.

Malcolm attended Dean Close with his four brothers, starting in the Trinity term of 1932. He was House Prefect, and gained his XXII colours for cricket and school colours for hockey. He was also a crucial part of the winning team in the Senior House Gym Competition, beating Gate by 11 points. He then became a Platoon Sergeant in the OTC, where he learnt to fly.

Malcolm was a director of Smith Stone & Knight and Birmingham Paper Makers. He was also the founding member and managing director of paper converters Pendigo Papers, Birmingham. A keen Isle of Man Motorcycle TT Rider and a Member of Little Aston Golf Club, he will be sadly missed by his wife, Margaret, his family and friends.

Malcolm’s funeral service took place on Tuesday 29 October at Streetly Crematorium.


Died 4 October 2019, aged 97.

Robert was born in Feckenham near Redditch in Worcestershire to Edwin Ing (who attended Dean Close between 1903–09), a bank manager with Lloyds Bank, and Dorothy, his wife. Robert arrived at Dean Close in 1969, boarding in Brook House. He left in the summer of 1939 after gaining his ‘A’ Certificate. He became lifelong friends with schoolmate Richard Keary (Dick) Thomas (Brook 1941), who acted as the family solicitor for many years.

At school, Robert was a cadet in the OTC and this probably spurred him to apply to join the Royal Navy. However, when interviewed, he was told to get some life experience before enlisting.  So, Robert joined 2000 other apprentices at Austin Cars at Longbridge and during his time there won ‘Apprentice of the Year’.

He Joined the Royal Navy in 1942, enlisting as Electrical Artificer aboard HMS Oceanway, a dock landing ship. He took part in the D-Day landings, delivering landing craft at Omaha beach at 15:40 on 6 June 1944 and ferrying landing craft back to the UK as required. HMS Oceanway was also part of the build-up in preparation for the planned invasion of Japan. After the hostilities, HMS Oceanway was part of the force that was tasked with the repatriation of foreign nationals, eventually returning to the UK via Australia in 1947/8.

Upon leaving the Royal Navy, Robert had to choose between emigrating to India as an engineer on a tea plantation or joining Johnson Matthey in Stoke-0n-Trent (his preferred option). He married Enid Mary Bowen in 1951, becoming a father in 1956 when Jonathan (Tower 1972) was born. He became a grandfather to William in 1985. Robert and Enid were married for 63 years.

He became Area Works Manager for Johnson Matthey, retiring in the mid-1970s. Robert and Enid managed to stay fit and healthy until well into their nineties, thanks to a love of their large garden.

In his final couple of years, due to failing health, Robert moved into Wrenbury Nursing Home, where he passed away peacefully.


Died September 2019, aged 82.

Before going to print, we were informed by a friend of Christopher’s that he had passed away in September of last year.  We will endeavour to gain a full obituary to print in next year’s Flecker.

Chris was at Dean Close between 1951–54 and was a house prefect in Walton Court. He gained his house cricket colours in 1953 and was a Cadet in the RAF section of the CCF.

He sent his son, Mark Nicholl (Tower 1977), to Dean Close.

Chris was back at Dean Close in November 2017 when he attended the 1950s reunion, making his way over from Ross-On-Wye, where he lived.


Died 26 August 2019, aged 73.

Pat started his education at Dean Close Junior School before moving up to the senior school in 1959.  Here, his sporting talents were encouraged. He was good at all sports, including cricket, hockey and tennis.

On leaving school he came back to the family farm, Highlodge Farm, in Milton-under-Wychwood near Burford. Pat’s father’s business partner and brother Brian Edginton also sent his son Anthony Edginton (Brook 1959), affectionately known as AB to Dean Close. AB also sent his children, Thomas Edginton (Brook 1988) and Catherine Edginton (Shelburne 1984), to Dean Close.

Pat spent his first year on the farm before attending Moulton Agricultural College in Northamptonshire for a year. He then went to New Zealand for a year, learning the family farming ways in that country. He came home and started to run Highlodge Farm with his father.

The farm covered around 600 acres, with a dairy herd of about 120. The rest of the land was given over for arable productions. When Pat sold his cows (as many farmers did at that time), he tried his hand at organic farming with moderate success.

In his spare time, he played cricket for Shipton-under-Wychwood, where he competed against the Old Decanian Cricket Club on many happy occasions. In winter, he played hockey for Oxford City for many years. However, Pat was best known as an excellent tennis player, playing at Shipton Tennis Club, which he captained for a few years before becoming Chairman and then President. He was selected to play for Oxford Veterans on a few occasions. As his knees became a problem, he took up croquet playing at Eynsham, near Oxford, where he took control of the croquet lawn.

He married Mary in 1974 and they had two sons, Simon and Alex. Simon is now running the farm. In 2014, the family celebrated being at Highlodge for 100 years.

Thank you to Chris Badger (Brook 1966) for this obituary.


Died 27 July 2019, aged 89.

John arrived at Dean Close in 1944 and left in 1946 after gaining his School Certificate. He was in Tower House alongside his brother Peter (Tower 1946). It was fantastic to welcome John back to Dean Close in 2015 alongside his nephew, Blethyn, and Blethyn’s daughter, Chiara.

John ran Howfield’s bakery in Merthyr Tydfil town centre for many years.

LUCINDA PATT (Shelburne, Class of 1980, left fifth form)

Died 8 January 2019, aged 56.

Lucinda died aged 56, having lost a six-month battle with cancer; a battle she bore as cheerfully as she could in the circumstances.

Lucinda started at Dean Close in 1975 and was a pupil here for two years in Shelburne house before completing her sixth form studies at Blackheath High School.

She then spent two years on a kibbutz in the Negev Desert, and was at one point contemplating applying for Israeli citizenship until she learnt that this would include compulsory service in the Israeli Defence Force, not a prospect she relished! On her return to London, she worked in the family business, Kay Hockman & Patt Ltd, for several years before briefly taking up a career with the Foreign Office, and then with the Home Office, where she worked for the rest of her life. Sir Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary to the Home Office at the time of Lucinda’s death, wrote: “Lucinda was a long-serving, dedicated member of the Home Office and was well-liked and respected by all her colleagues. Lucinda worked most recently in the Prevent Directorate. In addition to providing important administrative support across the office…as well as supporting major international visits and covering essential security roles. Lucinda will be greatly missed within her immediate team and wider Home Office colleagues who knew her”.

She never married or had children of her own but she was a generous aunt to her two nieces and a benefactor to various animal welfare charities, reflecting her lifelong commitment to animal rights. She will be missed by her many friends, family and work colleagues.

Written by her brother Adam Patt (Court 1973).


Died 24th April 2018, aged 98.

We were informed just before going to print that Geoffrey had passed away April 2018. We hope to provide an obituary in the next edition of the Flecker.


Died 17th July 2018, aged 86.

Henry entered the Junior School in September 1939, promoted to the Senior School in January 1945, and left with a School Certificate in 1949. Whilst at Dean Close, he was Sub-Editor of the Decanian and a cadet in the CCF. Henry sent both of his sons to Dean Close, Ben (Field 1988) and Tom (Field 1983), and attended OD Gaudies regularly. He lived most of his life in Cheltenham, but moved to Painswick a few years ago, where his wife Rosemary still lives.


Died 31st August 2018, aged 97.

John was born in 1921 and entered Dean Close School in 1933. His elder brother Cyril Davies had just left as he arrived. Cyril was also in Gate and had left to study at the University of Wales, then became a medical practitioner and practiced in Paraguay. Whilst at School John was in the Swimming and athletics teams. On Sports Day in 1938, John came 2nd in the long jump, 3rd in the high jump, 3rd in the 220 yards, 3rd in the 100 yards hurdle, 3rd in the 100 yards and 3rd in throwing of the cricket ball. After School, John spent five years in the RAF, studied Mechanical Engineering at London University before entering into the Petroleum industry for 40 years. He lived in Shrewsbury with his wife Edna.


Died 17th September 2018, aged 72.

Robert (known to all as ‘Bob’) joined the School from the Junior School in 1960 and boarded in Brook House until he left in 1965 to read Law at Bristol University. Whilst at School he was a keen sportsman and was awarded School rugby colours in 1964 and he played tennis for the School. Bob was Honorary Secretary of the Geographical Society and in his last year at School was invited to become a School Prefect and subsequently Head of Brook House. As an active member of the CCF he was made a Sergeant prior to leaving School, after School he continued this passion and was in the Officer Training Corps in Bristol. He was later commissioned as a Reserve Officer into the Royal Tank Regiment. After 12 years as a reservist in the Territorial Army and reaching the rank of Major or ‘Squadron Commander’ Bob was awarded the Territorial Decoration.

At Bristol University studying law, Bob continued with his sporting and hectic social life where he made a large number of friends who were to remain close to him throughout the rest of his life in London. On passing his Law Society exams, he became an articled clerk with Clifford Turner and then moved on to Air Products as a respected in-house lawyer. In 1989 Bob was appointed the Company Secretary and General Counsel of Rentokil. After a very busy and demanding time in this role – supporting the company making profits and acquisitions both in the UK and overseas – he decided to retire in 2006. Thereafter he was able to enjoy life further with holidays abroad, annual skiing trips, tennis, theatre and more time devoted to golf after becoming a member of the Honourable Artillery Company golfing society. Bob was also Chairman of Priory Park (Kew) Tennis Club, a member of Roehampton Club and the Cavalry and Guards Club.

Bob will be greatly missed by all his friends for infectious company and generous hospitality; By Ann his devoted wife who he met in 1970 during a skiing holiday Mayerhofen and lastly, by his beloved daughter Katherine and grandchildren Theo and Conrad. Rob died peacefully on the 17th September 2018 from Cancer.


Died 19th September 2018, aged 71.

Business titan and Jamaica Observer board member William Anthony “Billy” McConnell lost a long battle with cancer in September 2018 plunging the Jamaican business community into mourning for a man whom Prime Minister Andrew Holness hailed as a “trailblazer, nation-builder and inspiration to a generation of industry professionals and innovators”.

He was honoured with both the Order of Distinction (Commander) in 1996, and the Order of Jamaica for distinguished leadership in business and the export industry in 2006. A Chartered Accountant, McConnell was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by The University of the West Indies (UWI). McConnell served as Managing Director of Lascelles De Mercado & Co Ltd and the Wray & Nephew Group of Companies.

The Jamaican prime minister expressed sincere condolence to McConnell’s family, friends and associates, and said that “Jamaica has lost one of its important sons who championed its development and modernisation, the Government and people of Jamaica owe a debt of gratitude to Mr McConnell for his vision and dedication to the development of Jamaica and its people,”.

McConnell joined J Wray & Nephew Limited as a Financial Accountant in 1973 and was eventually named Managing Director of the Wray & Nephew Group of Companies in 1977. He served as the Chairman of Globe Insurance Company of the West Indies, Scotia Investment Jamaica Limited and the Sugar Manufacturing Corporation of Jamaica Limited. He also served as Chairman of both the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and Petrojam Limited, as well as Chairman of Scotia Jamaica Investment Management Limited and Scotia Group Jamaica Limited until November 2007. Regarded as an excellent business leader, McConnell also served on the boards of Wray & Nephew Limited, Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited, University Hospital of the West Indies — Private Wing Limited, and Lascelles De Mercado & Co Ltd. He also served as a non-executive director of Dolphin Cove Limited from September 2010 to February 27, 2018; and director of Carreras Limited from 1997 to September 2015. Up to 2017, he was a director of Spirits Pool Association of Jamaica, as well as the Sugar Industry Authority. He also served Edwin Charley (Jamaica) Ltd, Rum Company (Jamaica) Ltd, Newton Cane Farms Ltd, Jamaica Estate Tours Ltd, New Yarmouth Ltd, New Yarmouth Holdings Ltd, Henriques Brothers Ltd, Daniel Finzi & Co Ltd, Caribbean Molasses Ltd, Jamaica Rum & Spirits Trade Association, Federated Pharmaceuticals Ltd, and Lascelles Laboratories Ltd.

William McConnell was born in Montego Bay on February 20, 1947, to David Charles McConnell and Elizabeth Charley-McConnell. He was educated at deCarteret School and Munro College in Jamaica, and then Dean Close School in the United Kingdom. He arrived at Dean Close in 1962. He was in the 1st VI for Tennis partnering Johnson in the 2nd pair. He attended McGill University (Canada) and began his working career at PriceWaterhouse (Montreal, Canada), then went to Touche Ross Thorburn (Kingston). An Anglican by religion, McConnell’s hobbies included tennis, golf and shooting. He was a member the Constant Spring Golf Club, Liguanea Club, Caymanas Golf Club, Trelawny Gun Club, and Kingston Cricket Club.

Billy is survived by his wife, Patricia Dawn, son, David and daughter, Susan.


Died 11th October 2018.

The memorial service was held at Michael and All Angels in Chiswick on Friday 30th November. A reception followed at one of Charley’s favourite pubs, The Duke of Sussex. Below is an extract taken from the eulogy led by Mark Philip-Sorenson (Field 1991) and Al Negus (Gate 1991).

Charles to his family, Charlie to his friends, Daddy to his boys, Mr Bond to the police and Darling to me. Charles Louis Le Bargy, was a very remarkable and unique individual. He was a father to his brave boys and a husband to his amazing wife. He was the son to a single mother, grandson of a pioneering granny and he was the glue to all of us friends.

Charlie was a man of many hats, which he wore with confidence, pride and dignity; he touched all our lives in many wonderful, entertaining, insightful and sometimes frustrating ways.

He was an educated man of ‘impact’, I first met Charlie in 1980 at Dean Close Junior School, Cheltenham, I remember him as a scruffy little boy with spaghetti legs who was naughty, cheeky and had that twinkle of something special in his eye. I do not think he ever changed, apart from the spaghetti legs that is, and even through all his demons that sparkle, that cheeky lust to have fun and that desire be a great friend, husband, and father never faded.

Although I have spent last four decades of going through the motions of growing up, being a teenager, being an adult, being a father and being middle-aged man together with Charlie, I still sometimes question myself on how well I knew him. How would I describe Charlie’s true personality to a person who I had never met. After much contemplation I realised that Charlie could not be compared to anybody I knew. However, I still challenged myself to see if I could compare him to somebody. After replaying countless conversations, reminiscing from several parties, nights outs and sporting events that I had with Charlie, I soon realised that his personality was a combination, a mash up, of half a dozen of his favourite people, and I thought that if I combined their characteristic I may get a more definitive profile of the man we all know. Something I could share with somebody who never knew Charlie. So, who are these people, I will share…

• Sir Roger George Moore KBE – Sir Roger was a ladies man with a charming debonair persona, deep smooth voice, refined English accent and was always endearingly boyish and naughty.

• Jack Nicholson – In many of his films, Jack played the “eternal outsider, the sardonic drifter”, someone who rebelled against the social structure. Jack is an intelligent and literate man, and these characteristics are almost impossible to act.

• Sir Michael Philip Jagger – Acknowledged as the greatest front man ever with his charismatic stage presence. Sir Mick was eternal teenager, but was lacking common self-awareness.

• Roger Federer – Federer’s all-court game and versatile style of play involved exceptional footwork and shot making. Effective both as a base-liner and a volleyer, his apparent effortlessness and efficient movement on the court made him highly popular among tennis fans.

• Shane Warne – A charismatic, spectacular performer who made as many headlines off the cricket pitch as on it.

• Ari Gold – A fictional character in the comedy-drama TV series ‘Entourage’. As a Hollywood power agent Ari Gold is ruthless, relentless, and always at the top of his game – even when he is not. His clients put up with his name-dropping put-downs and tough love approach because he got results – Boom!

What result did I get to when I tried to combine all these personalities in to a single profile? You cannot choose any one of those men and agree that was Charlie was like them. However, as we all know, if we did this we would not be doing him justice. Therefore, my attempt in defining Charlie character, personality and behaviour is as follows.

Charles Louis Le Bargy – An intelligent, literate and endearing gentleman, whose debonair persona created a charismatic presence in an effortless and efficient manner, in and away from the pub, the home, and the sports field. A hugely popular and versatile individual who always achieved what he wanted.

Just over eight years ago, both Al Negus and I stood as best men for Charlie’s wonderful wedding to Serena in Cheltenham. In my Best Man speech, I tried to give everybody a further insight of what we, his old Dean Close School friends, thought of their friend Charlie. This insight was complied from a question, which was put forward at the stag party a few weeks earlier. The question was ‘What do you most like about Charlie?’. If I remember correctly, we needed several rounds of drinks, significant prompting and soul searching to find the right meaningful answers. In all we were able to compile a list of 10 likes and would like to share these answers with you all.

1. I like the sound of Charlie’s commanding and bellowing voice. You always knew he was in the room at a party.
2. I like Charlie, as he is always brutally honest & never shy to share his well-read view on a situation.
3. I like Charlie because there was no one else in the pub at the time and he was willing to share some matches with me, but even more willing to share my fags!
4. I like Charlieʼs choice of fashion especially his choice of sunglasses and red trousers.
5. I like Charlieʼs constant sense of humour and bringing together of good folk.
6. I like Charlieʼs because of his impressive male grooming skills.
7. I like Charlie because he looks like my favourite actor John Hurt – or at least used to.
8. I like Charlie because he once genuinely, and without realising, fooled our friend Charles into thinking he was an MI5 operative on a mission in Cornwall.
9. I like Charlie because of his surname, it sounds foreign and very mysterious.
10. I like Charlie because he’s the poshest, most charming bloke I know with a love for James Bond and Twickenham.

At the wedding, I also reminded everybody of some of Charlie’s noteworthy abilities. For example;

1. His ability to beat a Tennis pro – Charlie had always told us that he once beat Tim Henman at tennis, a story that he regularly dined out on.
2. His ability to read and take on instructions – Once Charlie came over to my house unannounced for a chat. At the same time, he kindly offered to help me with the assembling of some IKEA shelving. Unfortunately, after a few minutes I realised that, with fag in mouth, he was putting together random pieces and ignoring all written and spoken instructions. He was doing it Charlieʼs way, which was according to him the right and only way.
3. His ability in buying drinks – Charlie had this unique ability to skip his turn to buy a round of drinks in the pub, even when there’s only one other person with him.
4. A few days ago, I was listening to an old desert island discs interview with comedian Jonny Vegas where he said one line that really struck me. He said; ‘my life is not best lived alone’ I felt this was so true about Charlie. He lived his life to the full, the max; and he had the ability make sure that we were all part of it.

Alistair Negus (Gate 1991), Dominic Makin (Court 1991), Andrew Troughton (Field 1991) and Mark Philip-Sorensen (Field 1991) are pictured here at the funeral with Harry Le Bargy, one of Charlie’s sons.


Died 24th October 2018, aged 87.

Georgina was born in Eastbourne in 1931 to George, partner in a local legal practice, and Barbara Burt. She spent her formative years there apart from wartime evacuations to Herefordshire with her school and to Somerset with her mother and brother Chris.

After School, she started nursing training at the Middlesex Hospital London. There she made several good friends with whom she maintained strong bonds for the rest of her life. She finished nursing training after less than a year at the time when her father became very ill and soon died.

Gina and Pat Bryan (DCJS Classics Teacher, Housemaster and Second Master, 1969 to 1989) were married in 1955. Immediately after this they left for Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) for what was his second tour in the Colonial Service. After six years, they returned to England, a family of four now, including recent additions Richard aged four and Peter one. The new job for Pat at the Royal Hospital School just outside Ipswich was only secured thanks to a crucial intervention from Gina. She did the interview with the headmaster on Pat’s behalf. He was still in Africa at the time.

Gina was very happy in Suffolk and made many longstanding friends amongst the families living on the immense and magnificent school campus. The staff were fully paid up contributors to the Baby Boom generation. In 1964, a baby was born there in every month of the year. Nicholas Bryan was Mr July.

A desire to own their own home and job progression for Pat led to the move to Cheltenham in 1969. Here Gina stoically shouldered multiple responsibilities: bringing up three growing boys, supporting Pat who quickly became a busy housemaster and later Second Master at Dean Close, and taking a number of part time jobs to supplement the family income. The most celebrated of these was her stint at GCHQ in Oakley, which involved her setting off on her bike at the crack of dawn and cycling across Cheltenham from the family home in Queen’s Road.

Gina had a very attuned sense of humour. There was often a gentle dig at people’s funny ways but this was never malicious. She was a good mimic and this would add to the entertainment value of the anecdotes she liked to tell, often about older relations, or occasionally members of the Common Room.

Gina loved walking. Her favourites included the Sussex Downs and coastline, the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills. Her experience would be all the happier if there was a good stiff breeze to do battle with and a decent view. As her children grew older she became a member of various rambling clubs, the Cheltenham and Cotswold Ramblers amongst them. She made many good friends in these.

Gina’s support of her community was largely centred around her parish church. First to benefit in Cheltenham was St Philip & St James and then from the mid-70s, Christ Church. She was a very accomplished maker of soups and she put these skills to good effect at the Christ Church Friendship Club.

Pat and Gina celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in November 2015 with a family get-together in Eastbourne. Her health began to decline rapidly during 2017 and by early 2018 she was becoming increasingly dependent on Pat. Pat died suddenly in April 2018 (see Flecker 2018 pg. 54) and at this time she moved into Faithfull House where her brother Chris was also living. Here she maintained a very positive attitude and sense of humour. Initially she was looking forward to returning home. She enjoyed the company of other residents and was determined to make full use of the activities offered.

Gina’s funeral service was held at Christ Church, Cheltenham on the 22nd November.


Died 25th October 2018, aged 85.

Following in his father’s footsteps (Christopher Francis Bailey was at Dean Close from 1920-1924 under the Headmastership of Flecker), John arrived in the Michaelmas term of 1946 and left in the Trinity Term of 1950, he was in Court. John was a House Prefect, gained his School Colours for Hockey and Shooting (pictured in the 1950s first team), gained House Colours for Hockey, Cricket and Swimming, was a Sergeant in the CCF and was a School Librarian. John’s brother David Bailey (Court 1953) and grand-children, Arabella Heald (Fawley 2003 – 2005), Harry Heald (Tower 2004 – 2009) and Henrietta Heald (Fawley 2004 – 2006) also attended Dean Close. John was forced to leave school early as he suffered a brain tumour. Fortunately, he made a full recovery and went on to qualify as a Dentist at Manchester University, where he also played for the University Hockey team. John practised in the Berkshire area for 35 years, specialising as an Orthodontist and was Honorary Secretary of the British Orthodontic Society for many years, before assuming the role of Chairman and was subsequently awarded Life Membership in recognition of his service to Orthodontics. John continued playing Hockey for many years and was a keen tennis player well into his 80s.


Died 28th October 2018, aged 93.

David joined Dean Close in 1938. He thrived at Dean Close and was both an academic and sporty. On the pitch, he gained his Colours for Rugby, Hockey and Cricket. At Sports Day he won the senior hurdles convincingly in a time of 20 2/3 seconds. He also captained the Fives team. Off the pitch, he was Senior Prefect, Secretary of the Gramophone Club, Member of the Acton Club, played Oswold in King Lear and was CQMS of the CCF.

After Dean Close David gained an MA from Queens’ College, Cambridge after receiving an open scholarship to read there. Professor Fieldhouse LittD FBA was a prominent historian of the British Empire. Between 1981 and 1992, he held the Vere Harmsworth Professorship of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge. He was best known for his book Economics and Empire 1830-1914, which argued that political and strategic factors, rather than economic impulses, drove European imperial expansion. During his career, he held academic posts at the University of Canterbury, the University of Oxford, and then the University of Cambridge. In 1990, he became President of the Old Decanian Society for one term. When he retired from Cambridge in 1992, his former students and colleagues published a collection called Managing the Business of Empire: Essays in Honour of David Fieldhouse. In retirement, Professor Fieldhouse remained an active Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College.

Jason Richard’s (OD) played the organ at his memorial service, as Jason was the Organ Scholar of Jesus College Cambridge at the time, which is where David’s service was held.

THE REVD. RICHARD (DICK) DROWN (Walton Court 1938)

Died 9th November 2018, aged 99.

Dick started at Dean Close in 1933 and he led a very busy School life. He was Head of School, gained School Colours for Hockey, Cricket, Athletics (Captain). He Won the Senior Victor Ludorum in 1937, which is awarded to the best athlete in the School and that year won the quarter mile run in a time of 55.5 secs. He gained House Colours: Cricket (Capt. ’38), Hockey, Athletics (Capt. ’37), Fives (Capt. ’37-’38), Cross Country, Gymnasium (Capt. ’37). He was Company Sergeant Major in the Officer Training Corps. Editor of the Decanian (the School magazine) in 1938. Secretary and Vice-President of the Acton Club (History Club). Member of the Music Club. Member of the Literary Society. Acted in the theatre production of ‘King John’. He left Dean Close in 1938 with School Certificate; Certificate “A”.

He proceeded to Brasenose College, Oxford, as Colquitt Exhibitioner, to study Classics and afterwards attended Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to study Theology. Wycliffe Hall in particular used to celebrate the fact that he had over 70 years’ experience as an ordained minister.

Whilst at Wycliffe the Principal seconded him to teach scripture and cricket several days a week at the Dragon School, hence his introduction to teaching. He was a curate in St Helens, Lancashire, before accepting a year’s appointment as School Chaplain at Kings College Budo in Uganda. Where he stayed for 19 years and whilst there coached the Uganda cricket team. From there he was appointed as Headmaster at St Andrews School Turi in Kenya and left there in 1973 to become Headmaster of Edinburgh House School now called Ballard. Dick retired in 1984 and joined the staff as an Assistant Priest in Brockenhurst. The last 18 months of his life was spent with his daughter in Kenya a country a loved.


Died 23rd December 2018, aged 92.

Nick was the youngest of three brothers who attended Dean Close. He arrived in the Junior School in 1935 moving into the Senior School in 1940. He was very sporty to say the least. He gained School Colours; Swimming in 1942 and 1943 (captain), Athletics in 1942 (captain), Hockey XXII in 1944. He was also Flight Sergeant in the ATC. In his final year, he was made a Senior Prefect.

Having dreamed of becoming a vet aged nine, he graduated from Glasgow Veterinary School in 1951 and was responsible for organising the trade exhibition at the first BSAVA Congress in 1958. Consisting then of 17 trestle tables, within an hour of its opening he reported to the organising committee it had broken even on its organisational costs. Nick also helped set up, and was founding Chairman of, the Pharmaceutical Marketing Club and in 1988 he founded the VMA, followed by the Association of Veterinarians in Industry. He was also president of the International Aspirin Foundation and Chairman of the UK’s first specialist health care PR agency, Henderson Group One, which he founded more than 50 years ago. Nick was on the board of the Veterinary Drug Company when he was tasked with launching a monthly news and features-led publication, Veterinary Drug, which became Veterinary Times in the 1980s. He was pivotal in helping develop veterinary associations and societies across 60 years, especially any that encouraged the profession to speak out and engage with the public.

During his career, he wrote books on dogs, cats and general pet husbandry and was a broadcaster, presenting the BBC’s coverage of the National Cat Show for a number of years. He also had a regular phone-in slot on the British Forces Broadcasting Service, hosted by Tommy Vance. Mr Henderson was awarded an RCVS honorary fellowship for services to the veterinary profession in July 2015, and an RCVS post on the award at the time referred to him as a “tireless campaigner for vets in a wide range of disciplines”.

VMA Chairman Jane Manning said: “As the founder member and president of our wonderful association, Nick was such an inspiration to all of those lucky enough to meet and work with him. Nick continued to support the VMA and attend our annual awards event throughout his presidency. We all have some wonderful memories, not least was his attendance and fabulous speech to the 300-plus guests at our annual awards ceremony in March 2018 at the age of 92.”

His funeral took place on Friday 25 January at St Peter and St Paul Church, West Clandon, near Guildford. Sadly, his wife Sheila predeceased him. He is survived by his son, Tarquin, and three grandchildren.


Died January 2019, aged 83.

Gerald was born in April 1935 and entered the Junior School in 1943, and then promoted to the Senior School in 1948; he left with a General Certificate of Education at Advanced Level in 1951 and whilst at School Gerald was Confirmed on the 26th 1950 by the Bishop of Gloucester.

He always stayed in contact with frequent letters to the Old Decanian Society. Gerald was a publisher and lived in Balham, London.


Died 14th January 2019, aged 85.

Whilst at Dean Close Michael was quite the athlete. He was in the first team and gained colours for Hockey, Rugby and Athletics. He won the 100-yard sprint on Sports Day in a time of 11 and 2/5 seconds. He left the senior School aged 18 having been at Dean Close from September 1947 to March 1950. He was in Brook House as a boarder. This is a picture of Michael in the Gym squad photo taken in 1950.

Michael was a Chartered Accountant and retired Finance Director. He leaves behind a wife, four children and nine grandchildren. He and his wife lived in Harrogate.

LEONARD ‘LEO’ EARNEST TREVETT (Common Room 1958 – 1980)

Died 19th January 2019, aged 100.

Leo was born on 20 December 1918, a month after The First World War Armistice. He came from Dorchester. His father had been in the Royal Navy during the War. Little is known about his education other than that he was a good athlete and was respected by his peers, who voted him in as head boy at his school. When he left, he began training as an accountant. The advent of World War II resulted in him being drafted into the Army and subsequently he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery. He was a scout for the troops in Bangalore, India, and was later moved to Ceylon, where he was injured.

In January 1942, home on leave, he married his sweetheart, Audrey, who he had first met at a local dance in January 1938 when he was nineteen and she fifteen. Having survived the war, Leo went to St John’s College, Oxford to study Mathematics intending to enter teaching. While Leo completed his degree, Audrey and their new son, Hugh, lived in a flat at Weymouth. Then their two daughters arrived, Jackie and Nikki.

The family moved to Cheltenham on Leo’s first appointment to the Mathematics department at the Grammar School in 1948. He moved to Dean Close School in 1958 as head of Department. He also master-minded the complex school time-table in a career at Dean Close School that was to last 22 years. When he wasn’t teaching, Leo was fully involved in the life of the School, acting as Adjutant to the Combined Cadet Force for nine years, running the Photographic Society for some time and helping the Running Club’s Road Relay Race on one occasion. Moreover, he was a singer, and what has been called his ‘…light but very accurate tenor line…’ could be heard to advantage in the Chapel Choir. Very occasionally, as in the Chapel Concert in the Michaelmas term 1960, he would sing solos.

Leo was much admired and respected as a teacher and head of department. Mike Girling, then Second Master wrote of him that ‘… Under his quiet but most astute guidance the Department flourished, and without any fuss or bother weathered the mathematical revolution of the ‘50s and ‘60s. I do not think I have ever, in 22 years, heard a single adverse criticism of Leo’s teaching, a thing that very few can boast…’ Leo was present when Dean Close School went co-educational in 1968. One girl later wrote to him: ’You taught me Additional Maths…you were a brilliant, encouraging and lovely teacher…We nick-named you Hank, because you resembled Hank Marvin (the pop guitarist)…You were so kind and so calm…You were an inspiration and a true gentleman…’

Leo retired in July 1980. Three years later he appeared at an OD Gaudy but that was his only ‘official’ return until 2018. Tragically, Audrey and his time together was marred when their son, Hugh, died in middle age in the 1990s. However, Audrey and Leo’s retirement now gave them greater opportunity to travel, especially by both caravan and by coach both in England and abroad. Leo also continued to indulge his other interests in music, cricket and bridge. Sadly, Audrey died in 2007, well into her eighties. Leo found life difficult without her but his considerable charm and social abilities helped him live a good life without her.

Having achieved his century – the only known former member of staff to do so thus far, which was celebrated with a tea party at Dean Close – He died on the 19th January 2019, respected, admired and ‘…an eminently successful schoolmaster…’ as Mike Girling said.


Died 20th January 2019, aged 55.

Jonathan Cowan died as a result of a brain tumour earlier this year. He owned Cowan and Rutter Independent Property Agents and Chartered Surveyors in the Kings Road, London. He leaves a wife and two children. School friend, David Mason (Court 1982), attended the funeral.


Died 3rd February 2019, aged 70.

He leaves behind a loved and loving wife and adored daughter. He was born in the Lake District on the 6th of September 1948 and moved to Cheltenham when he was 4 years old. With business, he visited all corners of the world, and always had happy memories of Dean Close. When he left School, he joined Marcus Hazlewood, but then decided he wanted to travel. So joined HSBC in London in 1968 and enjoyed a full and rewarding life in Asia. He had 11 moves to places like New York, Hong Kong (several times), Mumbai, Djibouti, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. He retired in 2001, with his wife and daughter and returned to his hometown Cheltenham. During his retirement, he took up golf and kept an active social life, but during his youth, he mostly played hockey, squash and tennis. A very respected and a true friend to those you knew him. John’s Father, his three uncles, his brother, David and David’s two children all attended DCS.


Died 6th February 2018, aged 75.

He joined the Senior School in 1955, was a House Prefect and represented the School at cross country running and tennis. He was confirmed in the School Chapel, by the Right Reverend E.B. Henderson, Lord Bishop of Tewkesbury on the 22nd March 1958.

In his early years, Mike worked for Buro Happold, the engineering consultancy, on many interesting and varied projects. In 1978, Ted Happold, recently appointed Professor of Building Engineering at Bath University, convinced Dr Mike Barnes to join the faculty in the joint department of Architecture and Engineering and to lead the Form finding and Analysis group with Chris Williams and others within the multi-disciplinary Wolfson Research Group on Air-Supported Structures. When Ted Happold retired in 1995, Mike was appointed the Professor of Civil Engineering. In this post he lead the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE) at Bath to ever greater recognition.

Mike was an Emeritus Professor of the University of Bath where he had worked since September 1995 as Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the Civil Engineering group in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, a post he retained until 2005.

Mike was a world leader in computational modelling (dynamic relaxation) for the analysis and design of fabric and cable net structures. His expertise led to the design of a number of important projects, including the Aviary at Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich and the Millennium Dome in London.

Mike was an outstanding and passionate teacher. Under Mike’s leadership the fortunes of the civil engineering programmes at the University of Bath flourished, laying foundations for the Department having continued success. He was also heavily involved in the Institution of Structural Engineers throughout his career. Following his formal retirement in 2008, Mike continued to be involved in the work of the department, especially in the final year (Basil Spence) design project.

Outside of work, Mike was a skilled and experienced sailor and liked nothing more than spending holidays in the Scilly Isles enjoying time there with his wife Jan, stepson Michael, family and friends.


Died 16th February 2019, aged 91.

Just before going to print, the OD Society were notified of the passing of David. We hope to obtain an obituary for the next copy of the Flecker. David was born on the 24th October 1927 and attended Dean Close between 1940 to 1943, boarding in Tower House. David lived in St Ives in Cornwall.


Died 24th March 2019, aged 88.

Alan arrived joined Gate House in the September of 1946 and left with a School Certificate in 1948. He very much enjoyed his hockey, playing in the 1st XI, in his final year Gate won the Senior Hockey Cup. He was also confirmed with 30 other boys in the School Chapel on Sunday 31st March by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese.

On leaving Dean Close, he trained as a Chartered Accountant in Clacton-on-Sea. He served his National Service at Aldershot in the Army and on leaving, he returned to finish his accountancy exams. Alan joined The London Hospital as Head of the Trustees Department where he worked for many years. He commuted from Clacton to London, which enabled him to carry on his love of sport acquired at Dean Close. The family still have Alan’s Dean Close cricket cap. Alan played hockey and cricket for Clacton until he retired, he was treasurer of both clubs from 1951 until 1986. Although never married, Alan was a very kind and generous brother to his sisters and his brother. He will be missed by his nephews, nieces and great nephews and great nieces, Alan loved to hear of their sporting achievements.


Died 7th March 2019, aged 92.

John Alfred Rycroft was born and brought up in Purley, Surrey. John joined Brook House in 1940 Brook House. He became a House Prefect and enjoyed his rugby and athletics, in the 1943 School sports day, John came 3rd in the 100 yards and in 1944 gained his colours for rugby. The Lord Bishop of Tewkesbury confirmed him on 20th March 1943 in the School Chapel. John left in 1944 with his School Certificate.

After medical school, he spent his two years of national service as a medical officer in the Royal Air
Force, including a year stationed in the Suez Canal Zone. Having been demobbed, he spent eight years in general practice, before working in radiotherapy at the respective royal infirmaries of Sheffield, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Stoke on Trent for a period of 10 years. He married Gill in 1964, and in 1972 he returned to general practice based in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. He and Gill lived for more than 40 years in the nearby village of Charlton, where they were active in the local community, church, and keen supporters of Friends of Cathedral Music.

John, husband of Gill, father of Christopher and Hugh, and father-in-law of Harriet, all of whom were at his side when he died peacefully at Hunters Care Centre. He will be very much missed by his grandsons Peter and Alexander, his sisters Ernestine and Helen, and his wider family and friends. A service of thanksgiving was held at St John the Baptist, Charlton, Nr Malmesbury on Saturday 22nd June 2019.


Died 29th March 2019, aged 87.

Whilst at School he lived near Elderbridge in Kent. He gained his School Certificate in 1947 and in his final year gained an “A” certificate. David was a Prefect of Brook House between 1948-1949. He was confirmed in Dean Close Chapel along 26 other pupils on March 27th 1947. In the CCF, he reached the rank of Corporal.

In 1953, John gained his Higher National Certificate in Electrical Engineering, and afterwards completed his National Service in the Royal Signals, stationed at Catterick. In 1958, he joined the Engineering Department of Sperry Gyroscope Company after meeting with an OD there (M.M. Brookes 1935). He retired to Eastbourne and will be sorely missed by his wife Pauline.


Died 5th April 2019, aged 89.

Tim was born and brought up in Southport before the family moved to Weybridge and he attended Dean Close School. Tim was Head Boy, Captain of Cricket, Rugby, Hockey and Athletics, Sergeant in the JTC, Editor of the Decanian, Senior Librarian, Chairman of the Debating Society, Vice-President of the Acton Club, Treasurer of the Gramophone Club, Hon. Secretary of the Light Music Club, Hon. Secretary of the Games Committee, Winner of the Open French Prize at Commemoration, played Malcolm in Macbeth in 1946 and even found time to organise a Variety Show instead of the usual end of term concert, in his last term at School.

He went on to do National Service in the East Sussex Regiment before joining St John’s, Oxford in 1949 to read English. He made the most of his time at Oxford, making many life-long friends and playing lots of sport including hockey for the occasional university team and tennis. He was also a regular choice for College undergraduate committees.

He remained in Oxford to study his Teaching Diploma before taking his first teaching role at Wellington School in Somerset in 1953, where he became Housemaster of a boarding house. In 1958 Tim joined Mill Hill School to teach English and particularly English Literature. He loved drama and followed the London theatre scene closely and relished producing many school plays at Mill Hill, particularly the Shakespeare ones. He put on seven major school drama productions and also acted in a number of mixed staff and pupil plays, where he was well known for his impeccable comic timing. During his time at Mill Hill, Tim was a House Tutor, Housemaster and ended up as Head of English. He still enjoyed being involved with sport and was a referee for hockey. Many pupils remember him for his prowess on the hockey pitch as well as his dapper dress sense and fine taste in sports cars. After retiring from Mill Hill in 1989, he joined North London Collegiate School where he taught English to the sixth form on a part-time basis until 1995. Tim was well suited to teaching. He had a good brain, an equable temperament with an excellent though quiet sense of humour. Always cheerful, he had a consistently kindly and modest way with people and was well liked and respected by his peers and pupils. Many former pupils spoke of how they had felt inspired by him and for many he instilled a life-long love of literature.

Tim enjoyed an active retirement and enjoyed all that London had to offer, with regular visits to galleries, theatre, cinema and ballet. He was something of a bon viveur and thoroughly enjoyed a good meal with friends and family. He remained an avid lover of literature, moving on to audio books when his eyesight began to fail and he would love discussing what he had read. He was also a devoted family man to his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren. Despite health problems in later life, he managed to deal with difficulties as best as he could with a minimum of complaining or fuss. He remained cheerful and positive and simply enjoyed life, his watchword being ‘fun’.

He touched the lives of so many people, those he taught and his many friends and family. The large numbers of past pupils stretching back decades who attended his memorial service is testament to his generosity and warmth, kindly manner and inspiring approach. Tim continued to keep in contact with the Old Decanian Society throughout his life and attended many events over the years. He will be sorely missed. Thank you to his daughter, Henrietta Hodgkiss, for this appreciation.


Died 13th April 2019, aged 83.

In May 2018 John returned to Dean Close to have a tour of his old boarding house (pictured here with Mrs Gould the Fortfield Housemistress), where he boarded as a boy from 1943-1949, before joining the Cheltenham College for Senior School. John was an excellent sportsman, at the College he represented his house from the age of 16 winning two hockey pots the last cup won as captain of the college eleven. Upon leaving the College, he was seconded to the Somaliland Scouts and in 1957 joined the Colonial Police in Tanganyika, where he commanded a Police Field unit in Tanga and Mwanza. He stayed there until 1962 when he joined the Intelligence Core of the Army, where he quickly rose through the ranks until retiring in 1991.

John enjoyed his retirement being with his family and extensively researching his family history whilst playing golf which he took up in the Army. John lived a very full and rewarding life all with plenty of memories and stories from his time both in Dean Close and in the College. John died at his daughter’s house in Somerset after a short illness.


Died 27th June 2019.

Alan was a distinguished Old Decanian who died in the midst of his family at home in Canterbury on 27 June. In his last year at DCS, he was the senior prefect and head of Tower house. He was the editor of the Decanian magazine, the CSM of the CCF, the secretary and founding member of the Mathematical Society, the secretary of the Tovey Society and the Stage Manager of the School play Seagulls over Sorrento.

He had irresistible charm, a scientific curiosity but above all a huge capacity for friendship and fun. It was a privilege to spend four years with him in Tower house and know him (like Tim Bliss) for a further 60 years as an enduring friend whose practical skills matched his effervescent personality. Years later, he had a spell in Winchester where we were both members of the same book group for nearly 7 years. Our wives were members of an all-female book group, quite improbably, as were two other spouses of distinguished ODs Dr Tony Letchworth Dr, and now, Lord Bernie Ribeiro (all of us from Tower House). The OD network extended to lunches at the Athaneum where Alan was also the livewire secretary of the film society. Like Tim Bliss, I went to see him at Canterbury ten days before he died. We talked of the past while eating Rachael’s salad and sipping his wine. He showed me a letter from a New York banker who he knew from the Athaneum days. His friend wrote to say that Alan had a magical gift for friendship and an openness to all sorts and conditions of men and women. All true, as was his hilarious gift for reminiscence; pubbing in Islington with the comedian Barry Cryer and the sobered but brilliant Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame drinking Coca Cola rather than a stronger juice.

He has left a shadow over all our lives but the joy of his company leaves a smile on your face. (John Harding, Tower 1958)

The following are excerpts from Tim Bliss’s eulogy (Gate 1958) for Alan at the service in Stephen’s Church in July in Canterbury.

‘I met Alan in the mid-nineteen fifties. We were both at Dean Close. We remained close friends for over 60 years. I can only talk about the Alan I knew and loved for all those decades but Alan had a gift for friendship and all friendships extract and project different qualities – my Alan may be less recognisably yours. Beyond his many friendships lay what mattered to him above all – his family, Rachel his admired and beloved partner of nearly 56 years and their children, Jules, Clare, Anna and Simon and in turn their children.

Unlike me, Alan matured early and as a teenager, he demonstrated all the qualities of charm, wit and self-confidence that remained with him for the rest of his life. He came to stay with me during the holidays when we were 15 or 16. My father was greatly impressed, and after Alan had returned home, announced that he supposed that there must be something in me after all if I had friends like Alan. My teenage self rather agreed with him.

Alan left Dean Close a year after me with a string of school prizes and offers of places to read maths at Cambridge or medicine at Barts – he chose the latter though never lost his interest in maths. Jimmy Walters, another old school friend, claims that Alan carried out a lifelong and one gathers ultimately fruitless attempt to teach him the elements of calculus. Our ways parted for a time when I left England for University in Canada. By the time I returned 1967, he had qualified and was married to Rachel who been a year his senior at Barts, Alan had a house job at the Royal Northern Hospital in Holloway and I had started work as a junior scientist at the National Institute for Medical research in Mill Hill.

I shared a house with the Baileys at Crouch End. He was always the most gregarious and clubbable of men. I remember a dinner party we gave for two Russian scientists who were visiting the Department at Mill Hill. Russians were exotic species in those days of the Cold War and Rachel had pulled out all the stops. A pair of roast ducks were brought hissing from oven to the dining table. Who wants to carve? Asked Rachel. Alan, untypically, demurred – surgery I think had never much appealed to him and I was given the job. I made a spectacular mess of it that Rachel fled in tears from the table, and the Cold War continued for a few more years.

There is no doubt that Alan would have reached the highest echelons of hospital medicine if it had continued in the NHS, his clinical acumen was outstanding and this was combined with genuine is sometimes muscular empathy. However, he chafed at the bureaucracy, and in 1971, he took up a job as staff doctor at the BBC. He already knew Graham Chapman who had been a contemporary of his at Barts and at the BBC got to know several other showbiz figures, many of whom remained friends for life. After 2 years at the BBC Alan joined BUPA where he became medical director of the hospitals in the West Midlands and the family moved to Gloucestershire. In 1993, after 21 years, he left BUPA to set up a private occupational health practice. Among his clients were two Canadian companies running goldmine operations in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in central Asia and he made several trips to monitor health provision at both these impossibly remote and primitive sites, experiences which greatly expanded the repertoire of stories he was able to tell from the comfort of his favourite chair in the members bar at the Athaneum. Although talking was what Alan most enjoyed and did so well, he always had some great writing project on the go, usually related to medical history and featuring as often as not Barts men and women.

It seems inconceivable that it was only five or six weeks ago that he sent an email to his friends to say that the cancer could no longer be controlled and he was not going to submit to further intervention. For the four years of his illness, he been on the wagon, the Athaneuem laying in for him a supply of zero alcohol beer. We sat together drinking a glass of wine on the sofa in companionable silence my hand on his. I felt he was a peace. So goodbye old man my brilliant, generous life enhancing friend, loving and loved and loved especially by everyone who has come here today in body or in spirit to remember you’.

DAVID GIBSON (Common Room 1968-1986)

Died 2nd July 2019, aged 88.

An extract from the 1987 Decanian, valete written by Brian Wilson.

David Gibson came to Dean Close School from Sutton Valence, already a mature schoolmaster, to take over the Chaplaincy: he brought to that post much needed zest, a dynamic authority, a meticulous attention to detail and a brand of Christianity immediately and excitingly acceptable to the School who responded eagerly to his prompting. There was also — more alarming for Headmasters — a delightful uncertainty about what might be said from or done in the pulpit and it was as well to attend regularly in case one missed a memorable moment. Outside the Chapel, he offered a vast amount of energy on various games’ fields — he was a good hockey player, a fine rugby referee and a powerful discus thrower. Most impressive of all his many talents however was his skill in painting and surely if he had wished, this might have been his career. He has left us many lovely portraits of the School and we owe him much for these. One other love was the motorbike — a quite lethal machine on which he would drive at alarming speed around School fields.

Various, doubtless apocryphal, stories emanated about the lively times in his Divinity and General Studies lessons — mention of “goats and monkeys”, of desk walking, sundry missiles and bellows, immense red herrings. No one ever accused him of boring an audience — he was a marvellous raconteur with a fund of splendid one-liners. Simultaneously he ran the CCF — the Church militant indeed — again displaying that excellent mixture of efficiency, enthusiasm and unpredictability that kept everyone on his toes. All too soon, he dropped both of these strings in order to take over the Housemastership of Court where he and Bridget made a wonderful home for 10 years of Courtiers. Maybe, in hindsight, he regretted dropping the Chaplaincy and could have managed both, but it seemed right at the time and certainly he and Bridget set the highest standards of courtesy and behaviour — no House was ever more proudly and carefully looked after. Of course, there were the same memorable moments of joyous unpredictability—I remember particularly the chase of a recalcitrant Arab round the bushes in front of the astonished inmates of the Nuffield.

We shall miss him and Bridget and wish them and their children, Tim, Jenny and Marianne, every happiness in retirement — though it will be no retirement if he can develop his artistic talents still further.

David’s thanksgiving service was held in Ashington in West Sussex on Monday 15th July and was attended by ODs, staff and former staff. David moved to Ashington after living in Charlton Kings for many years. He will be sadly missed by his children and grandchildren Amalie, Tom and Eloise.



July 2018

Ron was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 4th August, 1935. After a few years in DCJS, Ron joined his brother (WK MacArtney) in the Senior School in 1949, leaving early in the Michealmas term of 1950. He moved with his family to America at the age of seventeen to finish High School and College. He graduated from Yale University in 1958. His career enabled him to travel extensively with his family, working for Pharmaceutical companies in International Marketing, finally deciding to settle in Hinsdale, Illinois, where he worked for many years as a Realtor until his retirement. During retirement he was a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery program and
also found time to write his memoirs for his family. Ron was the loving husband of Sandra Lind, father of Douglas, Lisa, and David. Grandfather of seven, great-grandfather of seven, brother of Ken, uncle of many nieces and nephews, and great friend to many.

Visitation took place at Hinsdale United Methodist Church on August 3, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 3:00 p.m. All were invited to a celebration reception afterwards.


June 2018

A tribute to Tim by Bill Cheston. At the Royal Oak, we met Tim in his (as I learnt over the next 45 years) usual attire: Tattersall shirt, cravat, cord trousers, Pringle sweater and suede loafers – probably with snaffles and yellow socks. He was a very handsome, debonair and
classically dressed fellow. The Royal Oak was honoured to have such a smart, witty and engaging owner. On the way back, the ladies gushed and said all the right things to give the impression that Tim had had his usual effect.

Tim was born on 22nd July 1940 in Bishop’s Cleeve to Ted and Edith Eager. He was followed by his brother Christopher – sadly no longer with us.

School at Dean Close was marked by Tim’s skills as a field hockey goalkeeper, in those days dressed in a shogun style armour. Dean Close had a very high standing in the school hockey world during the ‘50s and ‘60s when they were coached by the then England Captain, Denys Carnill. Whilst at School, Tim was also promoted to House Prefect in Field House (run by Denys Carnill), was a Sergeant in the CCF and gained
his School colours not only in hockey but also in rugby and cricket.

A key match with Marlborough was preceded by a party organised by Tim that went so well he was still inebriated on the Saturday morning. His non-appearance on the team bus needed teammates to find him, dress him and prop him up in his seat. At the start of the game, he was so useless that he stood exactly where he had been put and headed all attempts at goal, as other efforts would have toppled him with little chance of recovery. Dean Close only lost 3-2.

After school, Tim played for the Lansdown Club where he was considered one of the best goalies that had played for the club. Kay reports that he was also ‘on the bench’ for the England hockey team.

A working life beckoned, or at least a means of earning enough to support the life he sought. Tim rather surprisingly applied for a job at Lloyds Bank, not to become a banker but to be near a source of funds to acquire his dream ticket: an Aston Martin. He soon had the car but we don’t know how long he graced the halls of banking.

In 1966, Tim married Vickie and welcomed their daughter Charlotte, born on 30th November

In 1969, Vickie and Charlotte moved to Hampshire and Tim took off for Cannes in the South of France where, by some means unknown, he opened an antique shop. Lacking fluency in French did not seem to frustrate this
initiative as he made his daily rounds of the Cannes hotels and restaurants meeting ex pat British to whom he no doubt sold his stuff. You can imagine Tim in this location as he was already dressing like he was at the Royal Oak: debonair, witty and no doubt having a flutter on the local tables. He must have been very popular.

After Cannes, on returning to the UK, he raised funds for his next venture by taking a job building a motorway in the south of England. He then made tracks for the Royal Oak which was a free house. He was landlord there, with Vickie’s support for the next 10 years, when, in 1984, he set up in the antiques trade in Cheltenham at 1, Hewlett Rd.

Cricket was another of Tim’s happy memories. He played in Tom Lal’s Stow charity games wearing his Gloucester Gipsies blazer and matching cap. With the Tattiebogles he toured the West Indies with his friend Tom Graveney, whose daughter Beckie reports that Tim (or Lovejoy as he was called) was the star of the party for his wit, relaxed manner and mixing rum punches, if not necessarily for his cricket skills.

In August 1987, he arrived in Stow to take over the Queen’s Head to start a 16-year tenure that proved very jolly to all his new clients and untold tourists. Tim loved the countryside and his shooting days with the Butlers at Farmcote Wood and other shoots in the hills. He had the most gorgeous Labrador, Polly, who lay on the door
step or on the protruding bench next to the fireplace. She was so loved by all that on her death a wooden bench was fixed outside the pub in her memory – still there, with her name plate.

Tim seemed to be very fond of the odd gamble, though it never seemed to be an obsession. He loved to “make a book” on any manner of incident, forecast or not.

In later years he developed a strange attitude to his eventual demise: nearly every year, to his locals, finding this take on life rather amusing, he would say: ‘I’ll be gone by Christmas’ and then open a book. Naturally, every Boxing Day he had to pay out.

This preparation for the inevitable was so strong that he commissioned a coffin to be made with wood from a yew tree that had been felled at the Royal Oak. He took delivery from the Winchcombe maker Will Hall and the ‘coffin’ became a pub table until a diner commented: ‘Is
this a coffin? Have they forgotten to remove the corpse? Let’s have another table’. Soon after, the coffin was stored at their Oddington home.

Tim’s days at the Queen’s Head were extremely reliable: he always opened at 11 am and 6pm and served at every session unless he was away in Lanzarote. He still, however, managed to sack the staff every day but forgot on the morrow.

In 1989, Kay joined the staff of the Queen’s Head and eventually became Mrs Eager. So started a long partnership that endured until he relinquished the tenancy in 2003 to retire to their new home Quags Cottage in Lower Oddington.

Charlotte was married to Shaun in 2000, with twins Tom and James who are now nearly 13. Quite recently, with great pride, Tim saw the twins open the batting for the Mardon village team in Kent.

Tim Eager was known far and wide as a super
landlord and loved as a true English gentleman.

Tim’s funeral was held in St. Edward’s Church,Stow-on-the-Wold on Monday 25th June 2018. ODs in attendance included Mike Bawden, Jeremy Winter, Roger Reece, Mike McMahon and Ian Dimmer.


June 2018

Peter joined Dean Close in 1937, following in the footsteps of his brother, Major William Calder (Gate 1937), he joined Gate house.

Peter was involved in so many aspects of life at Dean Close. He was a School Prefect, was an Under Officer in the JTC, an actor (played Jolland in Vice Versa), a Chapel Warden and excelled in most sports;
Including Athletics, Cross-Country, Hockey and Rugby. He gained his School colours in all of those sports.

The 1st XV report in 1940 mentions that Calder who played on the left wing was ‘a beautiful runner with a natural swerve and our chief scorer of tries: if he had any room to move, his pace and determination were usually too much for the defence’.

Cross Country running was what he did best. He received his colours in 1938, 1939 and 1940, in his final year being made captain. During WW2 Peter was deployed with the Royal Navy Reserves. He
volunteered for ‘Human Torpedoes’, and later, serving in HMS Cattistock. He was wounded during the war and lost the sight of an eye.

Directly after the war he worked on a stud farm near Ilminster and later on he worked for Horlicks Ltd (1946-51), then Marks & Spencer (51-65), and finally GB Brittan Ltd (65-81) from where he retired in 1982. He lived in Ashbourne in Derbyshire.


June 2018

John passed away peacefully at home in Rottingdean on 19th June 2018, aged 79 years.

John arrived into Tower House in 1952 where in his last year (1957) he was awarded the role of House Prefect. He was very much part of all aspects of Dean Close School life, including the CCF, where he was a Sergeant, and especially sport.

An all-round sportsman, he gained his School colours in all three major sports: rugby, hockey and cricket. John’s mother was a Nursing Sister at Dean Close after the war, arriving in 1948, and eventually moved to High Wycombe.

John left Dean Close to study Medicine at Guy’s Hospital, London University, eventually becoming Director of University Health Services at Brunel Hospital. In recognition of his outstanding service to the
University, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2003.

Beloved husband of Judy and dearly loved dad of Nicola, Helen and Philip. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. A celebration of his life was held at Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton on Thursday 28th June.


May 2018

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Roland Jens-Christian Höver on 16th May 2018 at the age of 55. Roland, born on 24th May 1962, was the beloved son of Nanny and Erich Höver.

Of German descent, Roland’s early schooling was in Germany, before he ventured across the North Sea to Dean Close for the 5th and 6th form. Carpe Diem describes Roland’s approach to life.

His humour and ebullient personality, skill in athletics and basketball, adventurousness and joy in a night at the pub, added immeasurably to life
at Dean Close. A particularly humorous evening in Brook House came about when Roland arrived back from Spring break with 40 different bottles of German beer and invited five or six mates over for a “tasting” event.

After graduation from Dean Close, Roland worked as a foreign trader from 1983-1996, living in Bombay/Mumbai for a short period and traveling
extensively in India and Pakistan. From 1997- 2005 Roland ran his own company, importing thatch for beautiful thatched roofs that hinted at the simplicity of medieval times. From 2007 until his passing, Roland ran his second company, specializing in exporting paper, a business continued today by his wife, Elke, and eldest son, Morris. (Roland loved MG’s!)

A true test of an individual and those surrounding him, comes not in good times, but in the challenging moments. Roland had lived with and fought cancer since 2005.
Our friendship began during the year we shared at Dean Close in 1979/80 and has strengthened each year despite Roland living in Germany and I in the US. His battle with cancer barely entered his conversation. I hear the same from his close friend Steve Reynolds of Cheltenham. What Roland loved to talk about was life and, to him, that meant his wife and children, his many close friends and the great adventure of being alive.
After returning from Roland’s funeral in Hamburg, I came away saddened that Roland is no longer among us, but heartened that he left behind three wonderful children, that all have his same broad and mischievous smile.
I also know that Roland was surrounded by loved ones until his last days and will be missed dearly. Among those are his wife Elke, sons Morris and Gordon, daughter Velia, brother Sven and his family, sister Anouk and her family, mother Nanny and all of his many friends and admirers from all walks of life.
Andrew Moore (Gate 1981)

May 2018

John died aged 68 in New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton on 14th May 2018 after a short illness, having been diagnosed with liver cancer the month before.

Richard Henry White (Field 1970), John’s brother, sends this report.

John’s career in the School was from the Junior School where he played the lead actor in some of the School productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He left the Senior School in 1966 after having sat his O Levels and went on to study Computer Programming but became disillusioned with such a career path in the belief that it was a ‘passing phase’ and that there was no future there. Later in life he continued to express that he would still be proven right. John’s social intelligence and ability to easily interact with all people he met, led him into a career in Marketing.

He had a short ten-year sojourn in South Africa in the 1980s where he set up a business selling electronic toilets, after which he returned to the UK and started the same business, this time also manufacturing. This business he eventually sold and moved on to manufacturing them and marketing craft-specialist clothing until his retirement some 8 years ago.

I spent many hours with him in his retirement talking about our shared experiences as sons of the colonies in the 1960s with our flights over Africa, including our school days, where he pondered about Hollington’s cryptic astrological punishment notations on the corner of the chalk board, which confused the other teachers, and his endeavours in a fledgling Athletics Club in the Senior School (achieving his School colours). He last visited the School some three years ago on a mild January day for the 1960s reunion lunch.

Later in life he also tried to educate me on his politics with many facts and figures gleaned from information courtesy of his Daily Mail Diploma, but with no success.
He is sorely missed by his son and twin daughters.


April 2018

William DRUMMOND (Tower 1951) 6th April 1934 – 1st April 2018, died after a fall aged 83.

Obituary taken from The Times …

William Drummond was an art dealer to whom discoveries happened, or, as he put it, things “manifested themselves”. One weekend in 1964 he found a print of a giant sitting on a hillside in the shilling box outside a junk shop on Kings Road in Chelsea. He had recently been to a Goya exhibition and this had Goya written on the mount. He took it home and pinned it to the wall to enjoy, until he happened to mention it to a friend, Richard Day of Sotheby’s prints and drawings department. It was recognised as an impression of Goya’s rare El Coloso and sold to the Boston Fine Arts Museum for £20,000 (about £400,000 today). With that Drummond bought his first house, once the Dulwich home of David Cox, the 19thcentury watercolourist.

Although their background was not particularly artistic his father occasionally bought pictures at the Royal Academy, and Bill and his elder brothers gravitated to the art trade. Nick and Bill became picture dealers. David, the eldest, opened Pleasures of Past Times, the second-hand bookshop specialising in theatre in Cecil Court, off Charing Cross Road in central London. Nick’s boyhood interests were drawing and numismatics, and he would cycle around the junk shops of Crystal Palace and Dulwich, sometimes with Bill and his prep school friend Jim Sellick. Sellick’s parents were avid collectors and when Bill found a horse portrait by John Nott Sartorius, he sold it to them for £4. At the same time Bill ran a black market in sweet coupons at Dulwich
College in southeast London, which he financed by selling Nick’s copies of Leonardo drawings. On one occasion he bought a suitcase full of old spectacles of various shapes and colours and irritated the teacher
by getting the entire class to wear a different pair every day. Elegantly colourful spectacles became a life-long trademark, as did bright red socks.

William Drummond was born in 1934, the youngest son of John Neill Drummond, a director of Pickfords the hauliers, and Jeanne Alice (née Pell), who was of partly French descent. Schooling was disrupted by the Blitz,
and his progress was erratic. He was hyperactive; art and sport had greater appeal than more academic subjects and he represented Surrey as a runner. After the Dulwich headmaster warned that “if your son doesn’t improve, I shall have to ask him to leave”, he was transferred to Dean Close in the Lent term of 1948. He became a house prefect in Tower House, gained his School colours for Rugby, was a Lance Corporal in the
CCF and appointed the School Librarian. Whilst in Cheltenham he explored the Cotswolds on his bicycle, gaining a love of church architecture. He also discovered a junk shop run by Teddy Raymond, who had once bought a walled-up cellar full of port. Bill would join him for a glass and a bag of chips during lunch breaks.

He left school for National Service in the East Surrey Regiment. He failed to gain a commission but was appointed to the post of Corporal and sent to the Suez Canal Zone. Afterwards, as a reservist, he joined the London Scottish Regiment, which he greatly enjoyed.

His father helped him to a place with a City insurance broker, which he enjoyed less, although it gave him the chance to see works of art. Lunch hours might be spent in mudlarking for clay pipes in the Thames at Queenhithe. Later, even when besuited in the West End, he was a keen skip-diver, securing such diverse prizes as a pair of 18th-century candlesticks, and much-needed electric fans during heatwaves.

In 1956 he found a job with Sidney Sabin, a picture dealer in Cork Street, Mayfair. There he honed his eye and acquired a bank of contacts and clients, charming academics and collectors with his curiosity, lightly worn knowledge and gently anarchic wit. Among those who bought from him were Drue Heinz, Paul Mellon and
Jackie Kennedy. “She was always interested and
knowledgeable,” Drummond said of Mrs Kennedy, “but the thing I most remember about her is her extremely long, thin feet.”

He had as keen an eye for an attractive woman as for a fine drawing, and when Sabin would not offer enough to secure Nina Preston, a would-be gallery assistant, Drummond made up her wage from his own. They married in 1960 and their daughters, Sadie and Dido, were encouraged to look at everything with curiosity. They would go on to take a rather bohemian approach to regular employment. On them, with their cousin Harriet, the Senior Director for British art on paper at
Christie’s, falls the task of sorting out his remaining accumulations. He and Nina divorced in 1990; she predeceased him.

Drummond opened the Covent Garden Gallery in
1976, offering pictures to collectors of all pocket lengths. At the Grosvenor House fairs his stand was crammed with interesting things, priced on labels written in brown ink. He also made his own mounts. In 1986 he cofounded the annual World of Drawings fair at the Park Lane Hotel.

Among the applicants to be his gallery assistant was a vivacious redhead. Before he had made his choice, he ran into a fellow dealer who said: “I hear that Fergie’s coming to work for you.” Drummond had not told her any such thing but thought it showed spirit and so he employed Sarah Ferguson, the future Duchess of York. He found her “unbelievably efficient, helpful, outgoing and thoughtful. She even managed to make me eat, which is quite a feat.”

A discovery at that time was a dirty little oil landscape that his brother Nick bought for £38 in a job lot at Bonhams and sold to him at a suitable mark-up. It had a faint inscription on the back pointing to Brightwell, a Suffolk hamlet near the home of his parents-in-law. He thought it might make a good present.

After cleaning, its quality became evident, but not its authorship. He and Nina found the spot where it had been painted and glanced into the church that appears in the distance. There they found a framed article from an 1829 copy of The Gentleman’s Magazine which mentions that the writer had a watercolour of Brightwell, copied from an oil painting by John Constable.

Drummond’s panel was quite unlike Constable’s loosely painted little oil sketches, being fully finished. However, at the London Library he found a Constable letter referring to a commission at Brightwell. Eventually in 1980 he took it to the Tate on his scooter with a dossier of supporting evidence. After an excruciatingly long examination, Leslie Parris, the authority at the time, told him: “We could do with a Constable like this in our collection.” It was bought for almost £110,000 (about £530,000 today). Research has revealed that the two tiny dots on the road are probably the smallest identifiable figures painted: the Rev Mr Barnwell, who
commissioned it, and the blacksmith’s son, who watched Constable at work.

The Covent Garden Gallery was demolished during the rebuilding of the Royal Opera House in the Nineties. Drummond began working by appointment from chambers in Ryder Street, St James’. He did his research in a much-loved Dorset cottage.

Convivial to a fault, he was a member of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Burnham-on- Crouch as well as the Garrick, and was often to be found at that 18th-century throwback, the Academy Club in Soho. He was also a proud Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. As he
succumbed to dementia, he continued to enjoy opera and sometimes expressed himself in French.


April 2018

John Michael Kemp of Summerland, British Columbia, Canada passed away on Monday 9th April 2018 at the age of 80 after a stay in Penticton Regional Hospital. He will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his
wife, Ann, of 56 years; son Michael (Blanche) Kemp; daughter Patricia (Dwayne) Johnson; grandchildren Erin, Brandon, Brianni, Brett, and Scott; and great grandchildren Jayden, Bentley, Victoria, and Mavrick. John was predeceased by his parents, James and Annie Kemp, and his brother David.

John started at Dean Close in 1950 and joined Gate House. He was active in all parts of School life; he was a School Prefect, a Sergeant in the CCF and was very sporty. He especially concentrated on and loved swimming, hockey and rugby, gaining School colours for all of those sports. After Dean Close he was educated at Balliol College, Oxford.

In 1969 John, along with his wife and children, emigrated to Canada. He spent his career as an insurance underwriter and had also been a school board trustee in North Vancouver, BC and an alderman in Golden, BC. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of Summerland and SOWTS. He had many hobbies including golf, curling, gardening, reading and world travels. Ann mentioned, ‘They were fortunate to celebrate his 80th Birthday on 27th November while
on a Western Mediterranean cruise’.

He had a lifelong passion for steam trains and model railway building. John was a very intelligent, quiet, kind and gentle man with a dry British sense of humour. His family was loved and very important to him. His Service
of Remembrance was held on 10th May 2018 at St Stephen Anglican Church, Summerland, BC.



April 2018

African teachers. His tour lasted three years, by the end of which he had begun teaching non science subjects at a secondary school. That led to teaching Latin in Lusaka for University applicants as well as History.

In 1955, at the end of his first tour, Pat returned home and married Gina. They returned to Livingstone, where Pat continued inspecting schools and Gina did secretarial work. They returned to England in 1961, now with a family of two sons, Peter and Richard, for Pat to teach Classics at the Royal Hospital School near Ipswich. A third son, Nick, arrived in 1964.

In 1969, Pat and Gina moved to Cheltenham on Pat’s appointment as Classics Master at what was then Dean Close Junior School. He was a staff member for the next twenty years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Initially a House Tutor of Yeaman, he was appointed Housemaster from 1973-80. He became Acting Second Master
(Deputy Head) in March 1981, being confirmed in the post in September the same year. He retired in July 1989.

Pat was a keen cricketer and ran the Junior School 3rd XI from 1978–82 and the 2nd XI from 1983–89. He also helped with Colts Rugby in the 1970s and the 3rd XV, and acted as Master i/c Squash.

However, Pat’s interests were not confined to sport. He was Young Decanian Editor 1978-83. Keen on classical music well into retirement, he continued singing bass in the Junior School Chapel Choir and in Dean Close Choral Society. His love of sailing, developed at Ipswich, was expressed in organizing annual cruises for DCJS children, first on the SS Nevada, later on the SS Uganda, mostly in the 1970s. His love of archaeology was put to good use in the Archaeology Club that flourished in the 1970s. For a brief time he ran a Gardening Club and in the early 1980s he ran a Cycling Proficiency course during the holidays. He was interested in School productions, reviewing several and even appearing as a ‘robber’ in the Staff Panto of 1980.

His last project before retirement was the Adventure Playground built in 1989, parts of which are still in use today between the Covered Playground and the School Field.

In retirement he continued his Dean Close connections. He was a volunteer with the Archives Department, finding press stories about Dean Close Schools every week. He continued singing with Dean Close Choral Society and came to watch cricket matches as well as attending concerts, dramatic performances and Speech
Days. Apart from his Dean Close commitments,
Pat was also a member of three other choirs, and a regular attender at the Three Choirs Festivals.
He was a life member of Gloucestershire Cricket Club and tried to attend Cheltenham Cricket Week. He was a committed member of Christ Church, Cheltenham and of Cheltenham Civic Society, and a strong advocate for and supporter of, the project to open a museum in honour of Gustav Holst in Cheltenham.

Apart from the joy of his seven grandchildren, Pat couldn’t resist a little teaching. For a while he taught reading to primary school children at Christ Church Primary.

Pat will long be remembered as an essentially quiet, loyal, hard-working, committed Christian and gentleman and a servant of the Dean Close Community of whom it can be justly proud.


April 2018

Jack entered Dean Close in 1952 and left in 1954 with a Scholarship into the Navy. He soon switched to Accountancy and moved to New Zealand, where he met and married Beth (a teacher). He had a very distinguished career as an accountant. He was a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand; only 58 such honours granted worldwide and only two to UK citizens. He was also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators and Fellow Governance New Zealand of which there are only 250 Fellows in New Zealand.

His family whilst at DCS lived on Brick House Farm in Up Hatherley. One of his brothers also came to Dean Close, Martin Jenner (Gate 1951), who now resides in
Australia. He will be very much missed by Beth, his wife for 53 years, his children Alan and Tania, and Marian, and grandchildren Ana, Andrei, Charlotte and Tessa. A service for Jack was held at Mount Albert Methodist Church in Auckland, New Zealand.


28th February 1939 – 27th November 2017,
died aged 78.

David, former Uppingham School Master and beloved husband of Katherine and brother of Michael (Brook 1963), died peacefully at home on 27th November after a protracted illness. The funeral service took place at Uppingham School Chapel on Saturday 16th December 2017.

David was Head of School whilst at Dean Close and Captain of Rugby, gaining his School colours in 1956 and 1957. He went on to study Classics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

He was a long serving and much loved School Master at Uppingham where he was a Classics Master, Housemaster, Director of Studies and Second Master.


A eulogy for Paul Tipper by friend John
Harding (Tower 1958).

I first met Paul in September 1951. It was the first day of boarding away from home at Dean Close Junior School, Cheltenham. We were in the same dormitory of seven beds. On either side of me were Tipper and Tucker. I was homesick. I think Paul was too. We both covered up our losses as best we could. The Junior Matron was long legged, young and beautiful. “Tipper”, said Tucker, “when matron comes in ask her to stand on the bed and open the window and then we can look up her legs”. Paul smiled precociously. “Matron, can you open the window?”

“Tipper”, she said, “I’m not falling for that game, it’s been tried before.” We roared with laughter and in a sense throughout our 66 years of friendship at one time or another we never stopped laughing.

Paul had nicknames – Ginger tabs or Mekon bonce after the character in the Dan Dare episodes of the Eagle. Always popular, sociable, he enjoyed the camaraderie of his new friends. Both of us missed home. You survive through a network of developing friendships. Paul was often on the fringe of trouble in the Junior School. He had a habit of placing his hand over his mouth, whispering obscenities to the person nearest to him, which made us laugh in front of a master. We were punished, he was not!

He was never a team player in the sense of enjoying rugby or cricket, but he did excel at hand sports like table tennis and tennis. Paul and I both had older brothers in the Senior School. We joined them in the same house, Tower, two years later (again, he was
in the cubicle next to mine).

In his teenage years, Paul had a girlfriend in Cheltenham called Hazel. She was the daughter of a chauffeur /gardener to one of Paul’s friends’ fathers, called Ross Cole. Hazel’s parents were a humble couple and she was the only child. Paul and Hazel wrote to each other for three years, four times a week at least. This romance with Hazel became like a running edition of the Archers. Almost every day in the dormitory at night he read the latest epistle from Hazel. He went to their home for tea on Sundays, often illicitly. I suspect, as did
others, that the family life of Hazel and her parents with their caring stability gave Paul something he did not possess in his own family. The relationship lasted for three years. He was endlessly teased about Hazel but
nothing really flustered him. I believe Hazel’s
family helped them survive some difficult years.

Paul, as he grew older and, particularly, in the last 10 years of his life when he was with Megan, became a focus for the Old Decanian Fellowship in London. He organised reunions in pubs and restaurants in Chelsea and Sloane Square. At the Sloane Square restaurant called Cotes, he was always reserved a table by a Polish head waitress who looked after Paul with devotion. He always tipped her generously and asked after her family. She will miss him. Paul was that kind of man.

After hearing of his death, I wrote to the OD secretary Alex telling him of Paul’s death. He was hugely saddened and I reminded him that Dean Close was part of Paul’s DNA, giving him an extra sense of belonging and recognition.

In the decade that followed our departure from Dean Close School, I was not much in touch with Paul and did not see his beautiful daughters by Jenny, Alison and Harriet, although we got know them later. He progressed in the City and became a partner in a city brokering firm. He also gave a leg up to his brother who joined the same company. We saw much more of Paul when he married Judy and they had Jonathan and David.

We saw Paul and Judy, either in Richmond, Nottingham or in Exeter. He was devoted to his children by Jenny and Judy. These were good years for him. He was generous, openhearted, successful in the city and full of fun.
He took me to Twickenham, on a wine tour of the Bordeaux, to expensive restaurants in the Exeter area and pubs in the City with his claret drinking broker friends.

In his fifties, Paul met Jo who gave birth to his
last son, Christian.

Latterly, Paul met Megan, the fifth Mrs Tipper, and as she said memorably at their wedding, the last Mrs Tipper. She was his rock, his support, confidante and friend. Without her he would have found it difficult to survive. She gave him the base to enjoy life, meeting old
friends, supporting his children, watching
Chelsea, enjoying Tenerife and India, and settling for a slightly quieter life. Most times I saw him in the latter years we talked of his children and grandchildren. They were the joy of his life. He rejoiced in their triumphs and successes and agonised when they had setbacks in their own lives. He reflected on his own life and the sense of dismay of his childhood after the breakup of his parents’ marriage. We missed our brothers too, now dead. We both attended the other brothers’ funerals.

I should mention here my wife Flick, who he has known for all of 55 years. She, too, has been a rock for Paul throughout our married life. We were both hugely grateful to him for all his generosity over the years and she, like many of his close personal friends, offered a
haven to Paul when he was on his uppers and a little low in spirit. She sustained him with meals and food and always a listening ear. She loved him, his roguish behaviour as well as his best-behaved appearances.
Finally, I shall miss the phone calls which always began something like this. “Tipper, where have you been, you scab. What the hell have you been up to now?” Roars of laughter and a mild retaliation from him, “Why haven’t
you returned my calls recently, John?” The awful silence will be filled by the memory; it’s the best we can do. Bless you Paul, you have left an unforgettable stamp on our lives.

Paul was buried at Mortlake at a private ceremony on 29th March and his Memorial Service was held at St Paul’s Church, Chiswick on 10th April (which was Paul’s
birthday), followed by a wake at The Bull’s Head, Strand-on-the-Green. Paul’s fervent wish was to support the Cats Welfare Charity in Tenerife, a charity he got to know over the years because of his love of cats…www.catswelfare-tenerife.com/donation/


February 2018

Jeremy Crawford came from a Royal Marine home. Both his parents and two brothers had been in the Service. He had an older sister, Marianne, and a younger brother, Andrew. He attended DCS from 1956-
1961, following in the footsteps of his father Anthony (Brook 1933) and uncle Charles (Brook 1937). In his final year at School, Jeremy was awarded the role of Prefect and gained his 1st XV Rugby colours. Jeremy
was always noted as a very passionate Brook House sports player.

A RN Scholarship led to the RM Officer Training (1961-63). A variety of postings followed, including Singapore, where Marianne was at the British High Commission. The high point of his career was undoubtedly his secondment to the Trucial Oman Scouts (1969), where he built up a considerable reputation. He was fluent
in local Arabic, at home in the Empty Quarter, and on his return often did not give much respect to any roundabouts that confronted his Land Rover! In the mess, his favourite tipple was ‘rusty nails’ (mixed Drambuie and Whiskey).

Leaving the Service in 1979, he read Estate Management at Reading and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor. After working with Knight, Frank and Rutley, he settled in Clapham and began a new career in picture framing, which he called FHF: Frame ’em, Hang ’em and Flog ’em. It was a trade he enjoyed, excelled in, and was well known for. Every wall in his house was covered with
his work … so it became his ‘showroom’.

His house enabled him to rent out the top room, but he was fairly choosy in his selection. In 1993 the room was taken by one, Simone Adams, and in time a relationship developed. In 1998, despite his age of 55 and Simone’s unquestionable youth (20 years younger) and attractiveness, they married. It was a stunning partnership which brought them both out of themselves
in very different ways. Within 3 years, Jeremy was diagnosed with emphysema, which ultimately led to his early death. Simone was there for him right up to the
end. In 2014, she felt obliged to surrender her successful post in Advertising in order to care for Jeremy full time. Her staggering devotion and love made all the difference to his final years.

Jeremy was a highly respected individual, a charming host, an exciting person to be with, full of wit, humour and dare devilishness. Not always popular with authority, he lived life to the full, but always with a genuine concern for others. Deeply respected by all who knew him well, he will be sorely missed.

A Memorial Service was held at Chelsea Old
Church on 26th April 2018.



December 2017

1st June 1940 – 17th December 2017, died aged 77 from complications following treatment for cancer. The funeral was held on 15th January 2018 at Toddington
Jonathan was born in Cheltenham in June 1940 to parents Mac and Nora Wilson, with three sisters, Christine the eldest and twins Caroline and Elizabeth. His mother died in 1951 when Jonathan was eleven years old. His mother had been a Sister at Cheltenham General Hospital.

Jonathan joined the School from the Junior School in 1954, joining Brook House when ‘Moke’ Hoare was
Housemaster. He clearly began to make his mark when
in 1955 he was recorded in the Decanian as having
produced a dignified music cupboard in a recess behind
the organ which he made and installed during the Christmas holidays. The editor remarked how we are
indebted to him for his enrichment of our furnishings.

Before this, in the summer of 1954 we first met him as playing the daughter of Jessica Shylock in the School
production of The Merchant of Venice. He was confirmed with 56 other boys in March 1955 by
the Rt. Rev’d. W M Asquith, Lord Bishop of Gloucester.
In the summer of this same year he is mentioned in the
CCF report of summer camp, which did not go too well,
as CQMS – Cpl I J Wilson. In 1957, the School put on a
production of The Beggars Opera in the open-air theatre – where else in those days?

Jonathan was especially mentioned for ‘sketching’ a
superbly vulgar portrait of the jailer. He is also listed as a House Prefect.

Jonathan left school in 1958, joining his father in the family business Amos Wilson, quality builders in
Cheltenham whose specialty was fitting out banks with
all that mahogany. In later years, in partnership with
Sean Walsh, they developed a contracting business to
spread their expertise into other fields.

For many years Jonathan was a keen sailor based at
Salcombe and then his interests evolved into vintage
motor cars when he attended many rallies, making new
friends in the process.

His first wife Sheila and he had two boys, Andrew and
Ian, but later divorced. For the last eight years Jonathan
was married to Margaret and they had settled in Toddington near Winchcombe. Nigel Fuller-Shapcott
(Brook 1958) acted as best man for both his marriages. Jonathan had been an active round-tabler and a freemason in Royal Union Lodge, Cheltenham for 50
years. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Written by John Dodwell (Field 1959), assisted by Ross
Cole (Tower 1958) and Nigel Fuller-Shapcott (Brook


November 2017

David, former Uppingham School Master and beloved husband of Katherine and brother of Michael (Brook 1963), died peacefully at home on 27th November after a protracted illness. The funeral service took place at Uppingham School Chapel on Saturday 16th December 2017.

David was Head of School whilst at Dean Close and Captain of Rugby, gaining his School colours in 1956 and 1957. He went on to study Classics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

He was a long serving and much loved School Master at Uppingham where he was a Classics Master, Housemaster, Director of Studies and Second Master.



November 2017

Passed away in Cheltenham on 11th November 2017, aged 87 years. Husband to the late Valerie. Peter was a Schoolmaster at Dean Close from September 1958 to July 1978. He arrived from Chatham House in Ramsgate where he taught previously. Peter was involved in many aspects of Dean Close life. He was a teacher of Modern Languages, later becoming Head of Department, and was succeeded by Mr C J Carmell. He was also Housemaster of Brook for 14 years, from 1964 to 1978, and he handed the role over to Mr T G Odell when he left.

The Headmaster in his speech at Commemoration spoke at some length about his service and the difference to Dean Close that Peter had made. He was a true Schoolmaster.

It was written in the Michaelmas edition of the 1978
Decanian… “When Peter Smith took over as Housemaster of Brook, the House had neither settled down to its new abode, nor had it accustomed itself after Stanley Hoare’s long and distinguished tenure to the idea of a different Housemaster. With both these problems Peter Smith coped in his own straightforward manner.

The standards he asked for were simple yet high, with hard work, sound discipline and an uncomplicated
approach to all matters being the virtues he demanded.
Hence the House under his leadership soon settled into a unit, as united as it had been in the past. Much credit
must go to him for this.

He also found time for many activities outside his House, and he has been one of those band of Housemasters, who, while usually being the busiest men in the School, have still managed to give more than most to out-of- School activities, particularly on the games field.

His funeral took place on Tuesday 28th November at the South Chapel, Cheltenham Crematorium.


October 2017

John was born in Bristol in 1938. The family relocated to Cheltenham to avoid the bombing at the beginning of the Second World War, and John went to school at Airthrie and Berkhampstead before boarding in Tower House at Dean Close, where today his granddaughters, Alice and Emma, are following in his footsteps.

Dean Close, under Headmaster Douglas Graham, had a significant and lasting impression on John. Throughout his life he was often attending Old Decanian events where, I guess, “old boys” would become “young boys” again.

John was not your academic type – more your hands-on technical type. He was a successful athlete at school, and well-liked by staff and fellow pupils alike. Cross-country running was John’s forte and the winning of the VICTOR LUDORUM in 1956 at Dean Close for his athletic achievements was a very proud moment in his life.

After leaving school in 1956, John was caught up in the tail end of National Service, spending two years in the Royal Engineers – REME or as John often joked, “Rough Engineering Made Easy”. When he was not running for his regiment, John was either fixing or changing tank or lorry engines, gaining skills he would use for the rest of his life. On leaving the army, John had the most significant piece of luck of his life in meeting a pretty, petite blonde girl at the Town Hall Dance – where else in the early 60s?!!! … and marrying Gill some two years later. Theirs was a strong relationship lasting for the next 57 years.

In the 1960s, John and Gill had their three children – Stephen, Jeremy and Lucy, who in turn have gone on to produce 10 lovely grandchildren – 4 boys and 6 girls … so far.

John’s father died suddenly in 1971 leaving John to run and grow Cheltenham Surfacing into the successful and well-respected business it is today. Whilst John was devoted to his work, he often said to me he was always happiest at home with Gill and his expanding family around him. He didn’t like to travel far, only flying once on a business trip to Italy. He was not comfortable in confined spaces and was an annoying passenger to have in your car, consistently giving you a driving lesson until
you gave in and let him move behind the wheel.

Bournemouth was to become John and Gill’s “Costa” and they bought an apartment there in the 1980s which became a family escape and home from home, all without having to get onto another aeroplane.There were happy family times with Stephen working through the business from the bottom up and Jeremy pursuing an academic route through college, eventually setting up his own successful quantity surveying business. At Bisham Abbey, Lucy developed her considerable tennis
skills as a player and eventually a coach, skills she had inherited from her mother who is still a very competitive tennis player and an ever-present supporter for Alice and Emma at Dean Close.

He formed a close relationship with two retired bank managers – Geoff Miller and Peter Mason – three ‘Ms’ who John liked to call the Three Musketeers. Probably a more appropriate title for the group would have been ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ – wine there was aplenty! They played a lot of social golf and were members of Cotswold Hills and even played golf exclusively in the
Queen’s back garden at Windsor. Their den was the New Club in Cheltenham.

They had many yachting trips together over the
years and Geoff tells of John`s first visit to France where they sent him out to get some croissants, bread and milk, only to have him arrive back with two boxes of wine instead, as they were on a special offer, and complaining it was dangerous out there with cars driving on the wrong side of the road!

On a later Channel crossing their engine broke down. Despite hating working in confined spaces, he located the problem and made a temporary repair by cutting up a section of an old baked bean tin!

John had a great ability to fix and mend anything for anyone, using his extensive practical skills and impressive range of tools. Occasionally he became
carried away and Geoff recalls him fixing a wobbling three-legged table. John’s solution to this was to add a fourth leg to stabilise it, much to Geoff’s and wife Jo’s surprise!

When I retired some 10 years ago we spent a lot of time together, playing golf and keeping my stables and paddocks up together where his granddaughter Steffi was keeping her horses. In this environment John was in his element using his army skills.

John was not an animal lover and I still smile to myself seeing ‘big John’ being chased across the field by a miniature 3’ high Shetland pony – he wasn’t so quick then as in his school days!

John will be sadly missed as a loving husband,
brother, father, father-in-law, grandfather and


William Clarke GRAHAM (Walton Court 1941). Passed away on 7th October 2017 at the fine age of 93.

Born on 2nd February 1923, William came to Dean Close in 1936, leaving in the summer of 1941.

William was a very good hockey player and received School colours for his efforts. He was also Lance Corporal in the Junior Training Corps, which put him in good stead for when he was a Captain in India with the Army. After the Army, William became a Chartered
Surveyor, firstly working for the Inland Revenue, then later became a Senior Partner in a specialist surveying company, from which he retired in 1986.


August 2017

Roger arrived at the Junior School in February 1944 coming up to the Senior School in September 1945 and leaving in 1949. He served his National Service in the Medical Corps and after he completed his service read Social Services at the London School of Economics. He became a Probation Officer, which he found he did not have the patience for, but became very interested in criminal law. He used correspondence courses to obtain a Law degree and practiced as a solicitor in many firms around the country focusing on criminal law. His wife Jane mentioned that ‘he then decided that he was tired of defending criminals’ and became a prosecutor, working as a special casework lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service in Brighton, where he worked until his retirement.


August 2017

David Christian James Stuart CLAYRE (Brook 1949) died peacefully in the early hours of August 2nd in Grindsted, Denmark, aged 85, after suffering with Alzheimer’s for the final years of his life. His memorial service took place on 9th August at the Chapel of Grindsted Kirke.

After studying at Dean Close for nine years, alongside his brothers Iain and Alastair, he went on to have a successful career as a Biology teacher, firstly at Alleyns School, Dulwich, then St. Paul’s Boys’ School, before moving permanently to teach Biology at Grindsted Gymnasium & HF in Denmark.


June 2017

Brian BATTY (DCJS Fortfield 1947) passed away on the 24th of June 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Brian was educated DCJS and boarded in Fortfield House. He lived with his wife Kathy in South Africa for the majority of his life but visited Dean Close in 2015 after being away from the School for 70 years! It was a joy to show him and his family around his old Junior School. He also joined us at an OD South Africa Social in Johannesburg in June that same year.

Brian was quite the sportsman in the Junior School winning the under eight 80 yard dash in 1944 and the under nine competition the following year.

He remembered his time at Dean Close very fondly, even though it was a very distressing time for the country. Brian remembers having to black out all the windows in Fortfield.

A black out was enforced across the country to try and scupper German plane navigation and deter night air bombing attacks.

When Brian left DCJS in 1947 all of his class mates and some teachers signed a piece of paper as a farewell, which he always kept.


June 2017

(Mike) Anthony Michael John TOWNSHEND (Tower 1945) passed away peacefully in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on the 12th June 2017, aged 87. Anthony attended Dean Close from 1941 – 1945 alongside his brother Peter (Tower 1943).

Peter sent his son to Dean Close, Richard (Dale 1977). Anthony lived in Cranham and Cheltenham all of his life and a Service of Thanksgiving was held at St James The Great in Cranham on 12th July 2017, which followed a family service of committal at Cheltenham Crematorium


April 2017

Kathryn Ann Claire ROWE-JONES (Shelburne 1983) passed away on the 16th April 2017 aged 51 after a battle with Cancer. Kate boarded in Shelburne House arriving in the Lent term of 1980 and stayed until the end of U6th in 1983. Whilst at School she captained the 2nd VII netball side and in the 1983 season only lost two matches, players in that side included Clare Matthew, Anna Forgaard, Claire Fletcher, Sarah Cowie, Alison Jones, Emma Cookson, Lucy Herring and Melinda Morris. Kate joined 19 other pupils on the School Ski trip in January 1982 which visited Bardonnechia in Northern Italy. On this trip Kate had to be ‘rescued’ after crashing and was brought down on a ‘blood wagon’, all was well though as Kate and teaching staff saw the funny side! Kate also joined in with the theatrical side of Dean Close and on one occasion starred in the Gate House play, ‘A Penny for a Song’, which got great reviews. She also sent her daughter, Olivia, to Dean Close, who followed in her footsteps and also boarded in Shelburne and left in 2015.

After leaving Dean Close, she studied Physiotherapy at King’s College, London. During her working life Kate predominately lived in Bournemouth and taught at Bournemouth University, where she had a special interest in qualitative research and the management of long-term disease. Kate was diagnosed with cancer in January 2015. Always a keen gardener, during her treatment one of the most important aspects of her life was her garden. Even on days when she felt really poorly, being able to potter in the garden or greenhouse made her feel physically and psychologically better.

Watching The Chelsea Flower Show Kate saw MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston being interviewed, discussing the therapeutic effects of gardening and the healing role it can play. Coupled with this and Kate’s personal experiences of gardening and its positive impact upon her, Kate set up Allium-Healing Spaces to work with those facing the challenges of cancer, turning areas of local wasteland into bountiful gardens. Kate passed away on the 16th April 2017 aged 51.


March 2017

Sarah Jennifer CAMPBELL (nee COLLINSON) (Fawley 2003) passed away in the early hours of Saturday 25th March, aged 32. A memorial service for Sarah was held on the 10th April at Christ Church Highbury in London. All donations went to the charity CoppaFeel, and you can still donate at www.sarah-campbell.muchloved.com. Sarah lived in North London with her husband Fraser and worked at John Lewis Head Office.

Sarah joined the School along with her brother Ian, both starting off in the Junior School in the 1990s. When moving up to the Senior School, Sarah boarded in Fawley from 1998 to 2003 and in her U6th year became Head of House for Mrs Burroughs. Whilst at School, Sarah got involved in many aspects of School life; she gained her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, was the MD of a student’s young enterprise scheme called CobWeb which sold Christmas cards and customised clothing, and also performed in many plays, one of them being Salad Days when she was in the Junior School. At Commemoration in 2003 Sarah was awarded the Woodward Prize for Economics.


March 2017

John Moreton GRIFFITHS (Gate 1954) passed away on the 14th of March 2017 aged 80. John was married to Maggie and they spent a considerable time of their married life in South Africa where John was a Mining Director of a construction equipment company. In retirement they moved to Monmouth. Maggie mentions, “He still possessed his Common Entrance Papers dated June 1950 and l see the fees for his first term were £65! John was a more than fair sportsman and l often had the thoughts of Mr Girling quoted to me during our married life!”

John entered the Senior School in 1950 into Gate House and in 1954 was made a House Prefect alongside JE Cecil, DJ Foster and JM Kemp. He was a good sportsman receiving XXX Colours in Rugby. John always stayed in contact with the School and attended many South Wales OD Area Dinners, usually held at the Royal Hotel in Cardiff, and he also came back when he could to Commemoration.


February 2017

David William Thomason VERITY (Walton 1948) passed away peacefully on 17th February 2017 aged 84. Beloved husband of Sheila, dear father of Susanne and Michael and a much loved grandfather. A Service of Thanksgiving for his Life was held at Salwarpe Church on Thursday, March 9th. David lived with his wife Sheila in Droitwich for many years and whilst at School, and for a while afterwards, lived at Long Itchingham near Rugby.

David entered the Senior School in 1945. Whilst at School he got his house colours for rugby in 1948, gained his certificate “A”, was a cadet in the CCF, became Chairman of the Young Farmers’ Club and was confirmed by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, The Rt. Rev’d CS Woodward, MC, DD.


February 2017

Roger Lee STALEY (Walton Court 1949) passed away peacefully at Beech House Care Home in Thornbury, Bristol on Saturday 4th February 2017 aged 83. Roger, a retired farmer and local preacher, lived all his life at Kington Mead Farm, Thornbury. He was a well-respected member of both the Thornbury farming and church community and will be sadly missed by his wife Hazel, children David, Helen and Jonathan, his 6 grandchildren, his 3 great grandchildren and all who knew him. He will be remembered as a true gentleman and a man whose life reflected his faith and his love for God. He entered Dean Close in 1946 and whilst here became very good at gymnastics, gaining his house colours in ’48 and ’49. He also received his house colours for hockey and rugby in ‘49. Staley gained his Certificate “A”, was a cadet in the CCF and became Secretary of the Young Farmers Club. Whilst in office he sold four of the Young Farmers’ reared pigs to the kitchens for a considerable sum, which helped pay to repair the sty!


January 2017

The Rev’d John Reddie BLYTH (MA) (Court 1942) died peacefully, aged 91, in a care home at Newick East Sussex on 19th January 2017 following several slight strokes. Born in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, he later moved with the family to Haslemere, Surrey in 1930. After 9 years at the Stroud Prep School in Grayswood, he entered Dean Close in 1938 into Walton Court House where he became Head of House and Head of School.

He left in 1943 for National Service in the Navy – Sub Lieutenant RNVR and honoured to serve on HMS Norfolk when she repatriated King Haakon of Norway in June 1945 after his 5 years exile in the UK during the war. He studied Classics at Wadham College, Oxford (MA) and while in the Navy felt called to the Anglican ministry and studied Theology at Ridley Hall, Cambridge where his Principle was The Rev’d S Faulkner Allison (OD 1919) later Bishop of Winchester. John was ordained in Liverpool Cathedral 1950.

John had Curacies in Southport and Hadleywood, Cockfosters. Following that, he became a vicar in Plymouth (in the adjacent parish was the Rev’d (later Rt Rev’d) Denis Waveling (OD 1937) who later became Bishop of Southwell). He later moved to Cambridge to be the organising secretary of The Church Pastoral Aid Society for the Cambridge area 1963 – 1970. Finally, he moved to be the Vicar of St Luke’s Parkstone, Dorset and retired in 1990 to Newick, East Sussex.

He had played in house teams at school and was an accomplished violinist, and in retirement he enjoyed helping the local Vicar and playing in the Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years. Younger brother of Robert Blyth OD (1941) who died of wounds in France soon after D-Day in 1944, and elder brother of Dr Arthur Graham Blyth OD (1944).



December 2016

Anthony Austen MAY (Court 1959) died in December 2016 aged 73. He started at Dean Close in the Junior School and came up into Court House in 1957, leaving in 1959. Anthony came back to School in 2012 for a 1950s Reunion. He lived in Coventry in the Midlands.


September 2016

Colin PARRY-WILLIAMS (Tower 1959) died after a long fight with liver cancer on 26th September 2016.

He was one of life’s characters, a one-off, very much his own man and lived life his way. You were always aware of his presence, his laugh, his strong political views and a man who did not suffer fools gladly. He was not an academic but someone who got things done.

For many years his life was the transport business, starting with a second hand car transporter, sleeping in the cab, and from this he ended up as Director of a publicity quoted company on the London Stock Exchange. Latterly he was involved in the movement of fruit and vegetables from around the world supplying the major supermarkets, and as an angel investor supporting various businesses. His two great interests were Rugby and Motor Racing. Colin was a member of the 1st Rugby XV which went through the 1959 season unbeaten, quite a record considering the quality of opposition. For such an extrovert he was, on the field, a quiet determined prop forward which reflected his determination in life. He raced his own Lola T70, a famous car from the ‘70s with the Historic Sports Car Club and his claim to fame was a TV mention by no less than Murray Walker as a driver to watch. Motor Racing matched his individualistic character. He was known by his contemporaries for insisting on wearing his pyjamas on the Parade Ground underneath his CCF uniform which itched him to distraction, much to the dismay of RSM Benions. This was typical Colin.

For all his forthright views, he was a kind and fair man, proud of his country. He leaves wife Jane, of 49 years, 2 sons Simon and Guy, and 4 grandchildren. Thanks to RW (Stan) Close (Tower 1959) for this entry.


avid Rudgley LAVERTON (Walton Court 1952) died on the 2nd September 2016, aged 82. David lived with his family in Badgeworth, locating there as his father was an Engineer at Brockworth Aerodrome. Dean Close was chosen for his education and he started at the beginning of the Second World War at around the age of six. Whilst at Dean Close, David became a very keen cricketer. He was predominately a bowler for the 1st XI but could also score some runs with the bat and was awarded his Colours for cricket in 1952. David was a hockey goalkeeper and was awarded his XXII Colours in his final year. The Decanian mentions that DR Laverton was valiant in defending his goal. Outside of sport David was a L/Cpl in the CCF and was a House Prefect.

After his School years, came National Service and he was enrolled in heavy vehicle recovery. Once this came to an end he got a job working at Pirelli on the electrical side of the business. His role involved selling commercial electrical supplies for large industry. He worked at Pirelli for many years. During his working life, he moved from Gloucester to Gordano, then onto Tavistock, where his wife gave birth to their son, Andrew in 1964. In 1976, the family moved to Cornwall and David retired there in 1997, aged 63.

After many years living in Cornwall he and his wife Valerie moved to Pembroke, West Wales to start a small caravan park. Valerie survives David and they were married for nearly 60 years.


Frank HOWSE who was a long-serving School Electrician and very popular with the pupils, died in September, aged 81. His funeral took place on the 27th September in Cheltenham with friends and family going to the Rising Sun on Cleeve Hill afterwards. Frank worked for many years at Dean Close alongside Dennis Artus and knew the place inside out.


August 2016

Born in 1932, Marjorie was originally from Liverpool and a radiographer, Marjorie married Hugh Cocksedge in 1953 when Hugh was teaching at King’s School, Taunton. They moved to Dean Close School in 1958, initially living at Shelburne Hall and then at Gate House where Hugh became Housemaster. Marjorie changed careers once their three children were at school, training as a Domestic Science teacher in Gloucester. They entertained a good deal at Gate House, both boys and staff, and Marjorie tried out exotic new dishes such as pizza and curry.

Every year the family took their caravan to the Dean Close Dartmoor summer camp which Hugh led. The pale blue Land Rover Hugh bought to transport boys around for Duke of Edinburgh award scheme expeditions doubled as the family car. After Dean Close, Marjorie and Hugh moved to Cambridgeshire to set up a rural studies centre for a London comprehensive school. Marjorie used her culinary and domestic skills there to manage the centre. Later they moved to Alton in Hampshire, where Hugh was Deputy Head of Lord Major Treloar College – a school for physically disabled children. Marjorie’s final teaching appointment was at Tante Marie School of Cordon Bleu Cookery.

During this period she achieved a lifelong ambition, gaining an Open University degree in Science. She had been denied this opportunity after leaving school, as priority for university places at the time was given to men returning from the war. Hugh and Marjorie became gourmets, enjoying good food and fine wine throughout their long and active retirement. This period included six cosmopolitan years in Ankara, where Hugh was priest for the Anglican Church in the grounds of the Embassy. Again cooking was much in evidence, Marjorie adding an appreciation of Turkish food to her list of accomplishments.

They settled back in Hampshire where they continued to entertain regularly and were keen members of the International Wine and Food Society. Marjorie and Hugh are survived by three children, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.


1st July

Dr Thomas Backhouse, died peacefully at Leamington Spa, aged 94. Beloved husband of Margaret and father of Tony, Philip, David and John. He was a former Vice-President of the Royal College of Radiology.


Dr Victor Percy WHITTAKER (Walton Court 1937) died aged 97 on the 5th July 2016 in Cambridge after a short illness. Doctor Whittaker was born on the 11th June 1919 in Ainsdale, England. He was educated at Dean Close School between 1932–1937, boarding in Court House and in his final year becoming a House Prefect. At Speech Day he won both the Charles & Elizabeth and the Flecker Price for Science, leaving Dean Close with a Higher Certificate and an ‘A’ Certificate. He was also prominent in the OTC in his time at School, where he achieved the rank of Corporal. After leaving Dean Close he went on to study at Brasenose College, Oxford as a Hulme Exhibitioner and read Biochemistry (MA DPhil). He was a Fellow of Wolfson College; Chief Research Scientist & Director of Neurochemistry Department, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Mental Retardation; Assistant Professor in Physiology, Cincinnati University, USA 1967–72; Deputy Head of the Max Plank Institute; Director of Scientific Research Max Plank Institute, Gottingen, Germany; awarded American Philosophical Society’s Carl Spencer Lashley Award for his contribution to Neurobiology 1978. Victor was best known as the British Biochemist who pioneered studies on the subcellular fractionation of the brain. He did this by isolating synaptosomes and synaptic vesicles from the mammalian brain and demonstrating that synaptic vesicles store the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.


Laura RICHARDSON, who was PA to the Senior Management Team at Dean Close, passed away on the 25th July 2016, aged 52. Laura was diagnosed with bowel cancer in July of 2015. A Thanksgiving Service was held in Dean Close Chapel on the 16th August. At this service a poem was read by former Dean Close English Teacher Chris Haslam, Bradley Salisbury (DCS Headmaster) gave a bible reading, and the service was led by the DCS Chaplain of the time The Rev’d Libby Talbot.

Laura was born on the 29th March 1964 and lived in Solihull and other locations throughout the West Midlands until joining the RAF. She married Andy and lived locally in Upleadon.

Laura joined the RAF as a typist in 1981 and was initially based at RAF Hereford. Whilst there, she trained to be a Personnel Administrator and worked for the RAF HR specialists. She completed tours in Scotland, two tours of The Falklands, and other locations in the UK including the Joint Service Command and Staff College. As Flight Sergeant, Laura left the RAF in 2006 after training to become a Specialist Leadership and Management Facilitator at the RAF Leadership and Management School. During this time Laura represented the RAF in horse riding, swimming, diving and netball.

After leaving the RAF, Laura became the PA to the Rural Advocate to the government, working at the Commission for Rural Communities in Cheltenham before finally coming to Dean Close as PA to the Senior Management Team in 2010. Joel (Pickford) her son attended Dean Close from the age of 7 until after his GCSEs before attending Pates for 6th form. Her hobbies were centred around her love of horse riding, especially dressage, at which she excelled, and both she and her horse, Riley entered and won, many competitions in and around the Gloucestershire area.


28th June

Paul was born, 28th August 1922, in Cardiff and was sent as a boarder to Dean Close School in 1932. His brother Eric and his father Leonard were also educated at Dean Close, as were his sons Richard and Andrew. Paul enjoyed Dean Close and excelled in athletics, gymnastics, diving and swimming. Between 1933 and 1940 when he left, the school archives record him 27 times winning or coming second in the 100 yards, 220 yards, long jump, quarter mile and diving. His performances in the long jump were described as being ‘worthy of special mention’. In 1939 Speech Day archives describe Paul Marquand’s diving display as ‘the best ever, deserving special congratulations for his splendid show’. He was awarded School Colours, House Colours, was captain of Swimming and the Gymnasium in 1939 and 1940. As a fit young pupil he and others were selected to assist with the building of the Open Air Theatre. Following School he joined the RAF Bomber Command and was in No 9 Squadron, based in Bardney near Lincoln.

After the war Paul started a business RKV in Cardiff with his best friend Alun Emlyn-Jones selling Ready Kleen Vegetables to hotels, guest houses and restaurants, unfortunately not a highly successful venture! He then moved to London to take up a sales position with a company selling carbon paper Copigraph, where he proved to be a phenomenal salesman. His natural skills allowed him join in 1955 the Cheltenham based firm Premiere Products, as a salesman in the South Wales area. In 1959 Dad was appointed UK Sales Manager requiring the family to move to Cheltenham. He travelled the UK training the growing sales-force.

In 1977 he was appointed Sales Director. Over the years Dad was instrumental in co. managing and directing the Company to achieve a turnover growth from approximately £1m to over £10 million with around 180 employees by the time he retired in 1985.

He was above all a caring and loving Husband to, Betty, a caring and loving Father to Richard and Andrew, a Father in Law to Shelley and Rose and an adoring and loving Grandfather to Amber and Tom. He in return was loved enormously by all his close family and will be missed hugely.


20th May

In the history of Dean Close School there are very few who have served the community for as long or as faithfully as Margaret Bowen. She originally came in 1972 as a temporary member of the catering staff. Over 44 years later she was still a member of the catering team as Evening Supervisor, even though she was well past retirement age.

When she first began work at the School, Dean Close had its own catering department, Christopher Turner was Headmaster and the Dining Halls – all three of them – were located where Fawley Day Room, the Resources Room and ICT are today. The kitchens were where the Design Technology Department is now.

In an interview she gave to The Decanian in 1999, Margaret remembered that when she first arrived there were fields where there are houses now, opposite the Estates entrance to the School. There was no astroturfs, then, no Bacon Theatre and no Music School. ‘…The food has improved dramatically since I’ve been here, ‘she said,’… in those days there were no salads or special foods or anything like that…’ She was at the School for its centenary in 1986, and right up to her last day at the School she always wore her School Centenary Brooch on her immaculate white blouse. A colleague said of her ‘…Her life was Dean Close School – she was a joy to work with…’

It didn’t matter whether you were a junior Decanian, an Old Decanian, a brand-new junior member of staff or a Headmaster, Margaret would treat you exactly the same, whether it was in the Dining Hall or at some function in Dean Close House or elsewhere. She had an enviable mix of warmth and interest in you as a person, and a prodigious memory for names, faces and families. She was always courteous and gave excellent service – nothing was ever too much trouble – but at the same time she insisted that she addressed you as she thought was appropriate. She felt that all staff should be addressedformally, however well she knew them and however much some tried to persuade her to be otherwise.

She was immensely proud of the School and its achievements, and also of her family. Her grandson, Jonjo Mitzzi, came to the School during the 1990s. She once remarked, referring to the School, that ‘…There is a wonderful feeling of a family community here…’, a feeling that she undoubtedly helped create .The memorial service, held in the School Chapel on Sunday 19th June was full to capacity with family, Old Decanians, former and present members of the catering staff and innumerable friends and colleagues from the wider School Community and beyond.

Messages of condolence had been received from all over the country and internationally. They came from all walks of life including the House of Lords. The Service was taken by former Headmaster the Revd. Tim Hastie-Smith and there were a number of heart felt eulogies, in what was a very moving service and a fitting tribute to a remarkable, much admired and loved personality.

We will all miss her and her welcoming smile hugely. May she Rest in Peace.


21st June

Graeme Edward Forster Bsc., BArch., FFB., FRIBA. Passed away after a short illness. Before his retirement, Graeme was a founding partner in Campodonic, Forster and Worsfold, a successful firm of architects in Cardiff. Graeme was also a member of the family ‘dynasty’ of Forsters and Metcalfs at Dean Close as brother to John, Robert and Andrew Forster and cousin to John, Geoffrey, Barry, Mark and Geoff Metcalf all of whom were in Tower House. Finally also uncle to Evie Metcalf who until recently was head of Shelburne House.


June 2016

Robert Louis BARCILON (Brook 1952) was born in Alexandria, Egypt on 17th March 1934. He attended Dean Close School where he developed a keen interest in aviation. In 1952 he joined the Royal Air Force and after successful completion of training, he was posted to his first Squadron, 111, flying the iconic Hawker Hunter. In his first year he was involved in the Suez Campaign and on their return to the UK 111 Sqn became the RAF Display Team flying beautifully painted black Hunters and calling themselves “The Black Arrows” – a name that would become synonymous with display flying and who would subsequently pave the way for the world famous Red Arrows. After 2 years of flying displays, Robert was lucky enough to find himself in the front row of the largest formation ever to perform a loop, 22 aircraft in close formation, looping every day at the Farnborough air show in 1958 – a record that still stands today.

A subsequent tour on 2 Sqn in Germany flying Supermarine Swifts was followed by 3 years as an instructor at the Officer Cadet Training School on the Isle of Man and 2 years as the Borneo Campaign Brigade Support Officer. After completing RAF Staff College in 1966, Robert was promoted to Squadron Leader and posted to RAF Gutersloh in Germany and to the aircraft with which he will always be associated – the English Electric Lightning. He completed a tour as a Flight Commander on 19 Squadron patrolling the skies of West Germany before returning 3 years later as the Squadron “Boss” – a period of his life of which he was enormously proud. He was a brilliant leader and an excellent man – manager. He was intensely loyal to those who worked for him seeming to care more for them than for his own career.

He was deservedly awarded the Air Force Cross at the end of his time in Germany. In 1979 at the height of the Cold War, he was posted to Stockholm in Sweden as the Defence and Air Attaché. Promoted to Group Captain, he returned to the UK in 1982 to take command of the only remaining Lightning Station, RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire.


Denys Carnill was born on 11th March 1926 and educated at Hitchin Grammar School.  His National Service was between 1944 and 1948 in the RAF. Subsequently, he went up to Worcester College, Oxford, where he read History.

He showed considerable sporting talent from an early age. He gained an Oxford Blue for Hockey in the 1950-51 season and went on to play for Gloucestershire, the West of England, England (captain, 45 caps) and finally Great Britain (captain, 27 caps). He captained the national side in the Olympics at Helsinki (1952, where the team won a Bronze Medal), Melbourne (1956) and Rome (1960), when E. S. Hoare, another Dean Close teacher, was manager, and also during which Denys spent a year at Geelong Grammar School, Victoria, on exchange. He was also a very good cricketer and played for Hertfordshire for a number of years.

He went to Dean Close School in 1951, appointed by A. N. ’Tony’ Gilkes, the then Headmaster, on the personal recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, to teach Hockey and History, in that order. The Headmaster sought to rebuild the School’s previously good Hockey reputation after the problems resulting from World War II. Supported by two very able colleagues, E. S. Hoare, himself a former international, and C. A. P. Tuckwell, formerly West of England, the quality of hockey rose and by 1957 Dean Close School was producing such players as R. I. Ireland, who later captained Cambridge University, Wiltshire and England and who also played for Great Britain, together with W. J. Benton-Evans and F. C. Welles, who were to play for Wales and Scotland respectively.  Talented hockey players seemed to flow frequently from the School. It gave Denys much pleasure to discover that, apart from one year, there was continuous Dean Close representation in the Cambridge v. Oxford Universities annual Hockey Match 1957-74.  The Hockey XI in 1955, 1957 and 1961 were unbeaten by any other school side.

Denys realised that the future of Hockey lay in the use of artificial pitches, and it was he who was behind the fund-raising efforts that eventually resulted in the first artificial pitch in any school in England at Dean Close School. It consisted of ‘Redgra’ and was opened on 4th March 1961 by a match between a Hockey Association XI and the School XI. The latter won 3-2. Today the pitch, since completely remodelled, is called ‘Carnill’s’ in his honour.

When he first arrived, Denys was appointed House Tutor of Walton Court House, and so began the first of 33 years of service to Dean Close School. He was an innovator, founding the Economics and Politics Department and arranging numerous visits and visiting speakers. One former colleague comments: ‘Denys was in charge of the Department when I joined Dean Close for my first teaching post as a young man. It was immediately obvious to me what an inspirational figure Denys was. He was highly intelligent, fascinated by Politics and totally involved in the life of Dean Close. Friday evenings were lecture time when Denys would invite guests from political life to talk to our students. It was a time where controversial issues would often be discussed and Denys was marvellously open minded, prepared to listen to viewpoints with which he disagreed. He was a strong advocate of free speech. I could tell when he disagreed with someone because a very serious look would pass across Denys’s face. He would then say what he felt. Importantly Denys was a man who saw the shades of grey in difficult issues.’

He took over the Social Service Group in the 1960s and developed both it and ties with various homes and institutions such as the Cheshire and Eildon Homes, Nazareth House, Dr Barnado’s, Ullenwood,  and Betteridge School. He became aware of the need for a wheelchair in 1973 for the Social Service Group, and arranged a special Chapel collection. This led to Denys organizing, with two colleagues, the first School Midsummer Fair. Over the next ten years, the Fair grew into a large annual event, raising thousands of pounds for local charities as well as the Social Service Group.

A former colleague wrote: ‘Denys had an optimistic cast of mind and it was a joy to hear him walking along a corridor or across a quadrangle singing or humming to himself. He was a man who was happy with himself with a secure loving family life. He had a ready smile and was able to laugh at himself. To give one instance of a story Denys used to tell against himself: in 1979 a new Headmaster was appointed whom Denys, being a senior member of staff, had met. During the summer vacation Denys was walking across Big Field (the playing fields which he loved) and happened to see a large man walking towards him. “Hello Denys and how are you?” said the new Headmaster. Denys smiled, said hello and then asked if they had met before.’

Denys retired in 1984. He was now able to be with his family more often. He had met and married Pam Clarke in 1961 when she had been the Dean Close Headmaster’s Secretary. They were married in the School Chapel by the Headmaster of the day, the Revd Douglas Graham. Denys and Pam had two daughters – Sally, born in 1963 and Elizabeth ‘Libby’, born in 1965.

His new freedom gave Denys time to develop his considerable painting talent. His pictures of landscapes and interesting buildings in Cheltenham and the surrounding area were – and continue to be – much admired, and his work was to be seen on display from time to time in Cheltenham. The same former colleague, himself no mean artist, writes: ‘He was inspired by a famous watercolourist called James Fletcher Watson and when I look at Denys’s mature work I think Fletcher Watson would have been proud especially of a wonderful series of paintings of local grounds where Gloucestershire played. Denys in turn inspired me, for which I am eternally grateful.’

The Old Decanians Society celebrated Denys’ 90th Birthday on 11th March 2016 by sending him a 40 page booklet in which Old Decanians and former members of staff had included their greetings and memories of him. He read and understood them all but within three weeks of his Birthday he had died. Three comments in those greetings sum up the man who was Denys Carnill. The first comment was “…[Denys] has always been the most humble of men despite being one of Britain’s most prominent Olympians and undoubtedly one of its Hockey Superstars…”  The second observed: ”…A warm and kind person, incredibly sincere and down to earth…” The last said ‘I loved working with Denys and I found him an inspiration as a person. He was like a second father to me. He had a zest for life which few people have. He often said what a joy it was to work at Dean Close and I’m so grateful that some of that joy came my way.’



November 2015

Christopher James RIGBY (Court 1961) passed away on the 7th November 2015 aged 71. A service to celebrate his life was held on the 26th November 2015 at the Norcliffe Chapel, Styal near Manchester. Chris was in Court House between 1957 – 1961 and was appointed a House Prefect in his final year. In his time at School he achieved a great deal, especially on the sports field. He gained his house rugby colours in 1959, his school running colours in 1961 as well as his Cricket Colours in the same year.

Chris was especially good at long distance running coming 4th in the School cross-country race and 11th overall in a run versus Cheltenham College, in his final year he was made Captain of Cross Country. On the cricket side he was known for his bowling. After School he worked his way up eventually becoming a Partner of a Property Management firm and was a Member of the Chartered Auctioneers Estate Agents Institute. Chris lived in Cheadle in Manchester with his wife Mrs E. Rigby.



Though not an Old Decanian himself, Tom was a friend of the school and had the honour of opening the new cricket pavilion. The former England Cricketer played 79 Tests for England, scoring 11 centuries and averaging 44.38. After retiring, he became a BBC commentator and served as the 200th president of the MCC in 2005.



Barry was a member of the ‘Class of 74’ whose reunion took place in Cheltenham a couple of years ago – forty years on. He was able to renew old friendships on that day and many were struck by his zest for life and the pride he took in his family. Several of those old friends were reunited once again last December to say our goodbyes to Barry in the beautiful Northumberland countryside on the outskirts of Hexham.

Barry was a member of Field House which in those days was under the stewardship of Dennis Carnill and then Trevor Snow. At school Barry’s artistic talents were able to flourish. He contributed to house drama and wrote a number of school reviews – in fact after leaving school he briefly attended Drama College. But it was music that shaped much of his life. He was a multi-instrumentalist, loved music, and loved sharing that enthusiasm with others. In his twenties he was in a number of bands which were part of that great explosion of energy in the seventies and early eighties. Barry also worked as a recording engineer in London before putting aside hopes of a professional career and turning his attention to teaching and then, in partnership with his wife Debbie, running a decorative painting business.

As well as having that great zest for life Barry also thought very deeply about it and had a great sense of social justice. He became interested in humanism, which has particularly deep roots in the north of England, and became a humanist celebrant conducting ceremonies on behalf of those wanting an alternative to a religious funeral. He was thus able to help friends and families through difficult times. Naturally it was at such a ceremony that Barry’s wife Debbie, his children Amy and Patrick, his mother Winifred, his brother Tony, and his many friends remembered his life and bid him a fond farewell.


28th September

John was 67 years of age, and was in Field House, when in the senior school. He was the former Chief Executive of Isotron PLC, a FTSE 100 company.



Tower 42-48 – House Prefect, Rugby – front row useful in the right scrum and lineout, fast in the open. 1st Colours awarded. House Colours for rugby. L/C in Joint Training Core. 100 yards came 2nd and 220 yards came second behind I Herbert. Para Olympics – Wheel Chair Diggers.


19th July

William left Dean Close in 1938 to study law at Queen’s College Cambridge. Joined the RAF in July 1940. Served as Coastal Command pilot flying Beaufort and later Beaufighter aircraft. Awarded DFC and a Mention in Despatches .Qualified as a solicitor in 1948. Partner in Chester firm, Mason & Moore Dutton until 1975 when appointed to Judiciary at District Judge level. Retired in 1990.Played hockey for England, captained Cheshire at cricket. Keen golfer into his 90’s.Great interest in photography and amateur dramatics. At school acquired facility for writing comic verse and at one time wrote Odd Odes for the late comedian Cyril Fletcher .Married to Joan for 62 happy years. 2 children, 6 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren. Bill passed away peacefully at home after a short illness. He will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.


14th June

Nigel passed away in June, 2015 after a short illness. He leaves a widow, Sarah, and two children, Joshua and Isabel.

He was a very popular member of the school, recalled with fondness by his contemporaries. Keen to participate in debate and in lively discussion (picking a contrary view for the fun of it on occasion), he also enjoyed playing and spectating all sport, especially hockey and rugby. After leaving school, he worked in the Cheltenham area in a number of different jobs, before moving to London and then to Sussex. He worked in telecommunications for over twenty years. Throughout his life, he remained the life and soul of any party – and there were quite a few of those. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of sport and thoroughly enjoyed spectating cricket and rugby. Over 200 people attended his funeral service in Etchingham, such was his popularity


14th May 2015

John passed away at his daughter’s home, on 14 May 2015, in his 79th year. Dearly beloved husband of Angela, dearly loved father of Louise and William, and much loved Gramps of six grandchildren. The Funeral service was held at LeFoulon Crematorium Chapel in Guernsey.


27th March 1938 – 22nd April 2015

Please join us for a Service of Celebration for the life of Chris Kenyon and give thanks for his work, commitment and all the lives that he touched whilst at Dean Close School. The service is to be held in the Memorial Chapel of All Saints, Dean Close School on Saturday 19th September at 12 noon, followed by lunch in The Orangery of the Bacon Theatre.

On Wednesday 22nd April 2015 Chris Kenyon passed away at home, surrounded by his family.
A Service of Thanksgiving was held at St Nicholas Church, Ashchurch, on Friday 8th May.

Chris came to DCS in September 1962 having read Geography and Theology at Jesus College, Cambridge and retired 36 years later in 1998.

He was a House Tutor in Tower, Housemaster of Gate (1971-1983), Housemaster of Field (1984-1992), Geography Teacher & Head of the Divinity Department for many years until his retirement. He was also head of Cricket 1964-1997 (taking over from Mike Girling)

To mark his retirement, the Pavilion on Big Field was renamed the Kenyon Pavilion in his honour. Chris also became a Diocesan Reader (Church of England lay minister) in 1976, preaching in Chapel to both the senior and Junior Schools. In retirement, Chris exercised his ministry as a Reader at Ashchurch Parish Church, just outside Tewkesbury, as well as continuing his much appreciated activity as a painter.


12th January

Nicholas Goddard passed away after a long illness.


22nd March 2015

DCS Common Room (Sept 1969 – July 1983); House Tutor in Court House.

Head of History from 1969-1983. Watty also ran the school madrigal group and produced and directed several musicals (such as ‘A Penny for A Song, ‘Forty Years On’, and ‘Hamlet’). He left with his 3 sons and wife Gwyneth to join St Edmund’s School, Canterbury (Head of History and Head of Choristers). Then Headmaster of Clayesmore Prep School in Dorset and finally Head of History at the Dragon School in Oxford.

On retirement he and Gwyneth moved to Norfolk. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 12 years ago but remained active until the last couple of years. He moved into a nursing home in December and died in his sleep early on March 22nd. His funeral was held on Saturday April 4th at the parish church in Brooke, Norfolk.


8th February 2015

Barry Barker 1934 – 2015

“It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death from cancer on February 8th of Barry Barker. You may already have received this information from other sources better informed than I, as my knowledge of this event is sketchy. Despite my having been resident in Canada since 1969, Barry and I kept in touch throughout this time. Quite recently he also was the subject of heart surgery so his health was unfortunately not good for the last few years of his life”.

John Kemp


5th January

Nigel Drury (Court, 1974) died aged 58 from Lung Cancer. Funeral on 29th January.



23rd December

James Trickey (Field, 2010) died in a collision with a car, whilst cycling to Peterborough, where he lived. James had been a professional chorister in the city’s cathedral for just over a year. He studied geography at Oxford University, having been awarded a choral scholarship. James’ main passions were singing, cycling, forecasting the weather and photography. He travelled across the globe with his singing, and cycled nearly 2,000 miles to Southern Italy, raising over £1,000 for the Stroke Association. The funeral was held on 7th January in Gloucester Cathedral and mourners were asked to wear a touch of white or a white flower.


17th November

Yves Doudet (Court, 1965) died aged 66 after courageously fighting cancer for several years. Yves came to school in 1963 as DCS’ first continental European student. During the war his father Marcel, who was a member of the French Resistance, provided a hiding place to ‘Jag’ Graham (later to become our headmaster at DCS) at his home in the village of Savigny les Beaune in Burgundy. The friendship which subsequently followed was the reason for Yves attending DCS. Yves was a house prefect and head of house gym. DCS left a lasting impression with Yves leaving him an anglophile; he would always say that his school days in Cheltenham were the happiest of his early life and he had made strong friendships.

On leaving DCS Yves was conscripted into the very same regiment of the French Army as his forefather and served at Reutlingen in Southern Germany. During his time there he received special training for military intervention in dealing with civil unrest and his unit was on high alert to be sent to Paris at the time de Gaulle’s Fifth Republic almost capitulated to street riots and anarchy in 1968. Yves was particularly interested in military history and would have liked to have made the French Army his career. He reckoned that he first got an appetite for the military from DCS CCF instruction. However after national service his father ‘ordered’ him home to join the family Domaine Doudet Naudin wine business, a producer of Burgundy reds of the highest quality based in Savigny. Yves worked alongside his father until the latter’s death in 1988 after which he became the sole owner/manager of the prestigious business until 2008.In late 2007 he underwent an operation for early cancer of the oesophagus but in spite of recovering well he lacked the stamina to continue to run the business and transferred executive duties for the wine trade and vineyards in 2008 to his daughter. Whilst continuing to maintain a deep interest in the family business, Yves was able to find more time at this stage for local charitable work. He would always say that life had given him so much now it was time to give something to others. He became president of ‘Association beaunoise pour l’hebergement des errants’, an organisation providing sheltered accommodation to the travelling homeless. Almost every evening in the winter months he would diligently visit the ‘Refuge’ to make sure that his volunteer staff had turned up and no one would be left on the street outside. He was also Vice President of the Beaune section of the Red Cross and would personally organise the handing out of food once a week to the needy. In the weeks prior to his death he was sadly afflicted by a return and progession of cancer and died peacefully at his home. He is survived by his wife Evy, his daughter Isabelle and son Jerome.


10th November

Robert (Bob) John Imrie (Field, 1967) died peacefully at his home in Collingwood, Notts on 10th November 2014, aged 64. Bob trained as a Trading Standards Officer in Cheltenham, subsequently taking roles in Yorkshire and Devon, where Bob was promoted to Assistant County Trading Standards Officer. He specialised in Consumer Credit and Fair Trading matters and became an examiner for the Trading Standards Institute professional exams. This was the start of relationships with specialists in this area who are now scattered around the world. Bob was an expert consultant for Consumer Credit for legal cases and also for the Guardian newspaper from time to time.

Bob and his family moved to Collingham, Notts, in 1999 when Bob was working for the Finance Industry Standards Association. Later, he became a self-employed consultant and trainer on Consumer Credit matters before retiring from this work in 2011.

In his spare time, Bob was deeply involved in village life, chairing committees and working to improve transport, particularly train services, in the area. He was also heavily committed to environmental and green issues throughout his adult life.

Bob is survived by his wife, Jane, children Dominic, Tammy and David and 5 grandchildren.



Richard Hills (Court, 1967) left Dean Close in 1966. Retired to Minehead.


22nd September

John Lawrence Howard Page (Gate, 1958) died of Pituitary Cancer, aged 74. He was head boy at Dean Close in his last term. He spent a few years in London and Paris with the Hong Kong & Shanghai bank, then left to train as a priest at the London School of Divinity. Met his wife, Gwyneth, during his first curacy at Christ Church, Spitalfields, London after his ordination in 1965. He moved on to Christ Church, Winchester then Ringwood and to Lockerley East Dean with West & East Tytherley where he stayed for nearly 13 years. He moved to Lordshill Ecumenical Church, Southampton for eight years and finally, his working ministry took him to Derby Green; all but the first were in the Winchester diocese. John and Gwyneth retired to the Ely Diocese to be near family. John continued to minister in his retirement as long as his health allowed. He had 3 children, Elizabeth, Joanna and Christopher and 5 grandchildren.


16th July

Susan Barrington-Earp (nee Billington) (Mead, 1971) died of cancer after a short illness. The funeral was held at Bretby Crematorium, Burton-Upon-Trent on 16th July.

Susan was at Dean Close in the years 1969-71, having previously been at the Cheltenham Ladies’ College. She was in the first intake of girls at the school and was the first Head of Mead and a school prefect. After leaving school, she studied for a year at Reading University at the College of Estate Management but left and went to Christie College, Cheltenham, completing a secretarial course.

After 4 years of secretarial work in Cheltenham and London, Susan spent the last 38 years in Burton-Upon-Trent where for the major part of her working life she was self-employed, running The Plough Inn and later working for Webb Ivory and World Wildlife Fund.

Susan was married twice but unfortunately neither was lasting and both ended in divorce. Susan’s first marriage was to Old Decanian Stephen Weighill with the service being at the School Chapel. Her second marriage was to John Barrington-Earp. With her second husband, Susan had two children – Scott and Emma. She is survived by her children and grandchildren, Harry, Skye and Santiago.


Before 25th June

Dominic Comens (Gate, 1983)


13th May

Ian Stuart Wilson Maclean (Court, 1954), former head boy, died aged 78 with systemic organ failure after a short period of illness. He was cremated on 3rd June 2014.


8th May

Clive Coe (Walton Court, 1945) died at the age of 86. He spent most of his life in the Cheltenham area, much of it working as an aerospace engineer at Dowty’s; he also enjoyed working, post-retirement, for Bugatti at the Prestcott hill-climb. He had a huge sense of humour, which he kept (along with an athletic physique) until the end. He leaves behind a wife, June, and son, Chris (also and OD).


17th April

Helena Anne Robinson (Shelburne, 1997) died from cancer. Helena enjoyed her two years in the sixth form where she successfully passed her A Levels before going to the University of the West of England to study physiotherapy. After qualifying, she worked at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and then, for most of her working life, at St George’s, Tooting as part of the neuro-physiotherapy service.

Her funeral was held at Putney Vale Crematorium on 1st May where the chapel seats 70 people. More than double that number turned up filling not only the seats and standing room but the porch and area outside. Many of her work colleagues and personal friends, and at least three ODs, were present.


9th March

Derek Edward Neale (Brook, 1945) died after a brief illness.


2nd March

Peter Frederick Browning Preston (Tower, 1945) underwent a cancer operation on his jaw and became very ill.

Peter Alexander Bower (Tower, 1944) left to go to Australia.


6th February

Richard Read (Walton, 1947) died peacefully at home after a long illness bravely bourne. He greatly enjoyed seeing his family and grandchildren as he had been bedridden since September.


2nd February

Robert Baylis (Brook, 1941)


20th January

Major Wilfrid St Clair Tisdall (Brook, 1939) died aged 92. Was awarded an Immediate MC in Holland in 1944, when he was commanding a troop of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars (8 KRIH), which paid tribute to his courage.

Wilfrid, who became known as St Clair, was head boy and captain of rugby at Dean Close. He went to Wadham College, Oxford, to read Modern Languages and earned pocket money fire-watching at night on the roofs of prominent buildings.

He served in the Army in Cairo, the Libyan Dessert, Normandy, Korea, Germany and Bahrain, until retiring in 1965 to become a preparatory schoolmaster, teaching Latin and rifle shooting at Packwood Haugh School, near Shrewsbury.

St Clair married Prue Dixon in 1947 who predeceased him and they had 2 daughters.


10th January

John Oddy (Gate, 1948) died leaving a widow, 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren. Received an MBE for services to Oxfam.


5th January

Peter Orloff (Field, 1959)


STEVE JUMP, 1957 – 2013 (FIELD, 1975)

14th September 2013

Obituary below by Charles R. Cross (Backstreets Magazine Founder and Editor, US)

To many in the community of Bruce Springsteen fans, Steven Jump was the larger-than-life figure who ran Badlands in the U.K. with his brother Phil. Badlands has long been kind of the U.K. sister organization to Backstreets; like us, they are an “unofficial” fan club and point of connection. Badlands also published For True Rockers Only and later The Ties That Bind fanzines. Over the years, we shared many readers, and, sometimes, content. In the ’90s, I talked to Steve Jump at least once a week about the record business, and Bruce news. His phone calls were a welcome reprieve from what felt like the isolation of publishing a very odd magazine that few in the print world could understand. Steve could understand.

So the news that Steve died suddenly on September 14, 2013 saddened me, and surprised many in the larger fan community. To E Street fans, Steve most certainly was one “of our own,” and his death at 56 was sudden. To many fans, Steve was one of them, jostling his way towards the front at shows, and organizing tours of fans to travel throughout Europe to catch every second of every tour.

To me, Steve was more than just the gregarious patriarch of Badlands: he was the first Englishman I ever came to know well. It feels a bit like they broke the mold of Englishmen after they made Steve. He was educated, but opinionated, and quick to say that something “took the piss” out of him. He was funny and sarcastic, but also passionate about music. Though he loved some of Springsteen’s music, his heart, truth be told, was always more with Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Before you sharpen the knives on that fact, let me remind you that the same could be said of Springsteen himself. Also, I got to know Steve during the era of Human Touch, which he pronounced as “utter rubbish.” The Ghost of Tom Joad helped shift that, as it should have.

Badlands began as a record shop in Cheltenham, and it quickly was recognized as one of the best independent music stores in England. Bruce was a small part of Badlands stock, which for years was kept on a special floor of their High Street storefront.

Steve brought Erik Flannigan and myself over to Leicester in 1990 for the Badlands convention. This was a start for many of connections in the Springsteen fan world that exist still to this day, as fans from all over Europe came together to talk Bruce. There’s a little bit of video and photographic evidence of that convention floating around, but the picture I cherish most was one Steve took but wasn’t in: it was a shot of Erik, myself, and a guy named Sid who worked for Badlands, at Brian Jones’ grave in Cheltenham. Steve was proud that his hometown had spawned Jones, and it was a sacred spot to him.

Steve and Phil organized a few other fan conventions, and they eventually morphed Badlands’ Bruce division into a travel organization that would book tickets, accommodations, and airfare for hundreds. It was perfect for Steve because it required negotiating, and it fit his personality well. He was an ideal host, always quick with his wit. He worked the ticket system well, but was also generous, and many fans have stories to tell of him getting them into sold-out shows. There are pictures of Steve on Facebook just from the last part of the recent European tour, smiling, walking through the crowd with two pints in his hand, perfect in his element.

Steve was the first person to take me to an English pub. This was on my first trip to England in 1990, and mind you, this was at eleven in the morning. The fact that I didn’t drink, or eat red meat, or smoke, and that I got up early in the morning to go running, was almost as unimaginable to Steve as English pub culture was to me: “Seattle meet Cheltenham.” But Steve wasn’t the type to judge anyone else, and with a pint before him, and a fag in his mouth, he was as wonderful a storyteller as you could ever find. He knew much about British history, and more about Dylan than almost anyone.

It was shocking to hear of Steve’s death, but more so because the very day he passed, I was telling my young teen son a story about sitting in a Beverly Hills restaurant with Steve the day after the Christic Institute concerts. Steve had something like 18 beers during lunch but still was telling stories, and he was able to get up and walk out. He, of course, loved the Christic shows, which were to all of us in that era a lifeline. Between Steve’s stories, and the warmth and passions brought by the Italians present, it was one of the wildest weeks of my entire Bruce history. Steve’s oversized personality seemed fish-out-of-water in Beverly Hills. There could be a sitcom in there.

Steve’s own penultimate Bruce moment came in November 2004, during a trip he’d organized to Asbury Park. He was in Harry’s Roadhouse there, pint in hand, when Bruce walked in. He looked at Steve, and saw something out of kilter with this vision of England sitting there on the Shore, and said, “Don’t I know you?” Everyone knew Steve, even Bruce.

Though Steve was a bit older than Phil Jump, in my mind, and that of most, they were forever a plural: “the Jumps.” Two great blokes, and its hard to imagine Phil now without his brother by his side. Badlands still is one of the last, great record shops, and deserves “Blue Plaque” status in my mind; it should be part of the National Trust.

Steve himself was a bit like that, too. He always seemed like he was from an earlier century of English history, back maybe when Charles Dickens was writing novels, and Admiral Nelson ruled the waves. If there is a pub in the rock ‘n’ roll afterlife, Steve is there already, and in a heated debate about when Bob when electric. Everybody there already knows Steve Jump. They would have to.



Anthony (Tony) Sidney Allen (Gate, 1945) died aged 86 from heart failure which was sudden so he did not suffer a great deal.


16th November

Richard Bentley Reeve (Brook, 1943)


13th October


11th October

Hubert Arnold Phillips Firth (Walton Court, 1962) was a Quantity Surveyor and married Val in 1968.


23rd September

Archibald J.M. Paxton (Brook, 1946) died in his sleep aged 85. He was a prefect, gained his colours for rugby and played the bass drum in the CCF band. On leaving, he joined the Coldstream Guards serving in London and Malaya. In 1953, he left the army to work in Insurance in the city. He played rugby for Sutton and Epsom club, becoming Vice President. He founded the Club’s junior section. After retiring, he wrote and published a well-researched comprehensive family history in India and America. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.


23rd August

Richard (Dick) Keay Thomas (Brook, 1941) died in hospital in Perth, Western Australia after a short illness, having celebrated his 90th birthday in January.

Senior Prefect and First Team Colours in cricket, hockey and rugby. Played for the Old Decanians. Served the school as Governor for several years.

Joined the RAF in 1941, and qualified as a pilot in the Southern states of America, receiving his “wings” and commission. He was required to remain in the USA to instruct American personnel. In January 1945, he was posted to 171 Squadron, based at North Creake, Norfolk, as part of 100 Group, flying the Handley Page Halifax, disrupting German defence systems. He and 171 Squadron took part in the final raid on Germany, in an attempt to prevent the Nazi escape to Sweden from the port of Keil.

After his war service, he qualified as a solicitor, and practised in Redditch for many years.

He emigrated to Western Australia in September 1986, and joined a firm of solicitors practising in Esperance, Western Australia. After a short while, he purchased his area of law, and practised very successfully under his own name until he retired in 2003 aged 80.

Married to Nanette; father of six, grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 8.


22nd August

Sir Geoffrey David Inkin (Gate, 1952) died peacefully after a sudden illness. Soldier turned businessman, he was the driving force behind the Cardiff Bay redevelopment. He was knighted in 1993. Married twice; his first marriage to Susan Sheldon in 1961 dissolved. He then married Susan Inglefield in 1988. Survived by his second wife and 3 sons from his first marriage.


11th May

Miles Amherst died in his early eighties. He was the Founder and First Headmaster of the Abbey School, Tewkesbury. When the school closed in 2006, the choir transferred to DCPS, becoming Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum. The funeral took place on 24th May in Tewkesbury


17th February

Michael John Lainchbury (Walton, 1945)



14 April 2012

Born on 8th February 1942, Richard’s early life was on a Wiltshire farm. He probably joined Dean Close Junior School’s junior boarding House, Rickerby, in September 1950 but was certainly there a term later under Housemaster Gordon Harper. He progressed through Fortfield House (C. S. Harwood) to the senior boarding House, Caldecote, in September 1953. Eadward Langhorne became both Housemaster and Headmaster. Richard was in Ramblers, his activity/sports ‘house’, becoming a prefect 1954-55.

In September 1955, Richard entered Tower House, becoming Senior Prefect (head of School) under the Revd Douglas Graham’s Headship, head of Tower under Mike Girling, Captain of Hockey, Captain of Cricket and winning Rugby Colours. His 1.62 metres 1960 high-jump record lasted over 18 years.

Richard left in July 1961. He went up to St Edmund Hall, Oxford, that Autumn to read English. There he met Sue, his future wife. He graduated and also completed his diploma in Education. While at Oxford, he gained his Hockey Blue and was secretary of the University side.

Richard played hockey for the England U23 side, the West and also Wiltshire, then captained by another OD, Ian Ireland.

Between 1965 and 1969, Richard taught at Dauntsey’s .

In 1969 Richard was appointed to this School’s English Department, also coaching hockey and cricket. He was Housemaster of Field House (1975 – 1980) then Housemaster of Tower House (1980 to 1988). Richard contributed to the English Department through the Literary Society, as Oral Moderator, debates chairman, organizer of theatre trips, stage and theatre manager and later by becoming a qualified specialist in dyslexia problems. He frequently preached both to the School and the Junior School. He and Sue tried to encourage Scouting in the School in the early 1980s. He retired from teaching in July 1995 after 26 years in the English Department.

Meantime Sue, having been Housemistress of Shelburne 1975-80 and having run Tower with Richard, became Senior Mistress 1989-2002.

Richard made a huge contribution to the Old Decanian Society over many years: School Secretary and Registrar 1987 – 2009, Hon Secretary 1989-1992, President 2005-2009 and finally Chairman from 2009 until his death in April 2012.

Richard’s sons, David and James, followed their father into the Junior School before becoming dayboys in Field in the senior school.

C. E. Whitney



Rev’d Richard Collins (Gate, 1933) was a Free Church Minister. He studied History and Theology at Fitzwilliam and Cheshunt Colleges, Cambridge. He was ordained in Wyken Congregational (now United Reformed) Church, Coventry in 1942 and served there for 30 years. He supported the Guides and Scouts and attended Scout camps. Married Edna and moved to Broadway in 1972, taking a keen interest in his wife’s family Butchery business which supplied both Fortnum and Mason, and supposedly, the Game Pies served on Concorde.



6th March

Armand David Masters (Field, 1963) died aged 65. Lived in South Africa. He was a talented graphic designer and photographer. He was also unfortunately a chronic sufferer of severe depressions, which ultimately, brought about his demise. He will be much missed though by his family and many friends.



3rd December

Douglas Alexander Young (Tower, 1941) aged 86



24th April

Heber Peter Weaving (Walton, 1940) died 3 days after his 85th birthday. Had a heart by-pass operation in 2002 which nearly came too late. Never fully regained former energy.



April 2005

Brigadier Douglas Alexander PRINGLE OBE (1930).

The eldest son of Major Alexander Pringle, formerly of the Indian Army and the Egyptian Police, Douglas was born in 1912. He was educated at Dean Close School, where he excelled at crosscountry running. He entered RMA Woolwich in 1930, and was commissioned to Royal Signals in 1932, having gained his colours for athletics, swimming, and modern pentathlon. After training in Catterick, he was posted to 4th Division Signals Regiment, serving initially in Colchester, and subsequently in Canterbury.

An exceptionally fit young officer, he ran successfully for the Three Services Milocarian Athletic Club, competing in the British Games at White City in 1936. That year he was selected as a member of the British Olympic Team for Modern Pentathlon at Hitler’s Berlin Olympic Games. His early life revolved round the horse drawn cable wagon, horses in general, hunting and athletics.

In 1936, Douglas was posted to India, where he joined 2nd Cavalry Signals Brigade Signal Troop in Sialkot, completing the demanding Indian Cavalry School course at Saugor, qualifying in the top grade. He became proficient in polo, pig sticking, and show jumping. At the outbreak of WWII, he was Adjt, 5 Indian Division Signals Regiment, and went with them to the Middle East, seeing service in Eritrea and North Africa.

He returned to India in 1941 (by which time he was a Temporary Major and 2nd in Command of the Regiment) to study at Staff College, Quetta. The journey was in an RAAF Sunderland flying boat, taking off from the Nile at Cairo and refuelling in the Dead Sea, Lake Habbaniya (West of Baghdad) and Basrah, en route to Karachi. Returning to 5 Indian Division in a similar manner, he was summoned by Major General Penney, SO-in-C Middle East, to be informed that he was to be Lt Col, at the age of 29, jumping the rank of Maj entirely. He was to be the first Royal Signals instructor at the ME Staff College in Haifa, spending just over a year there. He spent a short period as GSO1 Ops at HQ Palestine and Trans Jordan in 1943, where his focus was primarily on the defensive requirements against a possible German invasion from the north via the Caucasus. One of the tasks was the layout of a defensive line along the Carmel Range, from Haifa to Jenin, and back to Jericho. This was to be the second line of defence, the first being in the mountains of Syria and the Lebanon. At the end of 1943, he was recalled to India for parachute training, and to raise the new 44th Indian Division Signals Regiment. The war ended shortly before the Division was due to drop, either on Bangkok or on the Causeway at Singapore. He commanded the Regt until 1946, when he returned to the Airborne Training Establishment in Salisbury and Aldershot. By the end of 1946, he was back in Palestine, this time commanding 6th Airborne Div Sig Regt, where he was twice mentioned in Dispatches for gallantry. He returned from Palestine with his Regt in 1948 to Perham down Camp, Tidworth, for the subsequent disbandment of 6th AB Div. This led to the reduction of the AB Sig Regt to form an Independent Para Bde Sig Sqn, later numbered 16 Indep Para Bde Sig Sqn, the ‘1’ and the ‘6’ coming from the two famous (wartime) Divs. He remained a keen supporter of Airborne Signals, regularly attending the Annual Dinner. He regarded the AB Signals as the elite of the Corps, with a spirit and style that made them worthy successors to the horsed Cavalry Bde Sig Units of early years.

From 1949 to 1953, he was Comd Victory College, RMA Sandhurst, as a brevet Lt Col. He went on to become AQMG, GHQ East Africa Comd, 1953-1956, in Nairobi, where he was awarded the OBE for service during the Mau Mau Uprising. After a year in UK Land Forces, working on the formative stage of Civil Defence planning in the nuclear age, he was promoted Colonel, and became GSO1 Signals 5, at the War Office. In this appointment, his work was of considerable importance in planning the structure of the Corps in the newly emerging all Regular Army. He was promoted Brig in 1958, and became GSO GHQ Middle East in Cyprus, from 1958 to 1961, during the EOKA campaign. After further brief service in 1962 as CSO Northern Comd in York, his final appointment was Comd British Bde and Garrison, Hong Kong. He retired in 1965, his all-round experience having been of great assistance to his Corps.

From 1966 to 1974, he was Bursar of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Dover. In addition to the traditional responsibilities of Bursar, he took enormous interest in the boys’ military affairs, advising and assisting those who wished to join the Army. He also stage-managed the schools’ annual Trooping the Colour Parade in a manner that would have done credit to Horse Guards. He was an enthusiastic military historian and member of military societies till the end of his life.

Douglas, together with his brother, Maj RC (Colin) Pringle, a R Signals officer who served with the Chindits in Burma and 6 AB Div Sig Regt in Palestine, was the third generation of Army officers in his family.

Douglas Pringle was a man of strong personality, strong views, and sincere convictions. Modest, private and self-deprecating, he had no time for self-seekers or for those that did not pull their full weight. He always fought, without fear, for what he believed to be the rights of those who worked for him, even when it was plainly contrary to his own interests. He never feared to speak up. He had no time for eyewash, and with impeccable personal standards of turnout, he always insisted that, “no technician was any better for wearing long hair or a grubby hat”.

Douglas died on 18th April 2005, aged 93. In 1940, he married Wendy Gordon, daughter of Col RE Gordon MC, RE. It was an exceptionally happy marriage. Wendy predeceased him by six months, and his younger son by two years. He is survived by his daughter, and his elder son, who followed him into the Army and was commissioned into the Royal Green Jackets in 1966.

(Extracts from The Wire, & The Journal (RSI), 2006, author(s) unknown. Edited by Richard Hamilton, 2012).



27th may John Leece Mullineaux (Tower) received his house colours for swimming. Married in December 1942 but spent most of the next 4 years away on active service. At some point, he divorced his wife’s unfaithfulness and divorced her. He then married Eileen and lived in Broughton, near Preston, commuting to Manchester while working in a family clothing business. He was captain of the Preston grasshopper’s hockey team. John moved to Crosby, Liverpool, in 1958, where he had secured a position as salesman for a Belfast firm of jute importers and bag manufacturers (Barron & co). In 1977, they moved to Cromford in Derbyshire. John died suddenly of a stroke after doing some heavy work in the garden. He had 3 children.