Births, Deaths and Marriages

Kirkpatrick, Denys Randall (1932 - 2016) Class of 1950


Passed away peacefully at Tewkesbury Hospital on Wednesday 7 December 2016 aged 84 years. 

Dearly loved husband of Barbara, loving dad of Jonathan, Richard and Julia, much loved grandpa of Elliot, father in law of Dennis. 

 

Curtis, Eric John (Oct 1934 - March 2017) Aged 82 Class of 1951

Eric was born on 1st October 1934 in Greenwich to father John Henry and mother Gladys. Younger Sister Phillys was born in October 1936.
As a boy he played on the banks of the Thames and in Greenwich Park, memories which he shared with his son Chris when returning to south east London to visit Chris at University.

Having moved to Bellingham Eric attended Colfe’s Hill Grammar School from 1946 to 1951. Whilst at school he enjoyed swimming;earning a medal for life saving, cricket, gymnastics and was a member of the school choir. A corporal in the Air Training Corps, he was introduced to Rugby, a passion that would see him devoting a life time to the game. After completing O levels Eric joined Elliot Brothers as an apprentice Instrument Maker.
Whilst living in Bellingham Eric met Doris, childhood sweet hearts, their gardens adjoining. They were married on 26th December, 1954. Father to four children Alan, Barry, Deborah and Christopher; becoming a caring grandfather to seven grandchildren, enjoying their company, proud of their achievements and interested in their lives.

Eric served his National Service with the Fleet Air Arm, stationed in Yeovil before relocating, to Bletchley in 1959, pursuing his career. It was at this time he joined Bletchley Rugby Club. Aside from rugby Eric displayed a love for the outdoors, particularly birds, which would eventually take him to explore numerous nature reserves. Whilst his children where young as Alan and Barry recall, Eric kept foreign finches and bred budgerigars with which he won awards across the county.

Moving to Buckingham in 1966, Eric joined his beloved Buckingham Rugby Club. A central member of the club, Eric captained all teams through 1st’s to Veterans. He went on to hold positions as Club Secretary, Chairman, President, Life Member, Team Manager and in later years Grounds man.
In Eric's professional life he went on to establish an engineering businesses with Cosgrove Pressings in the early eighties followed by Curtis Products. This was a time in his life when he was at his happiest developing and producing products. Despite the potential of his entrepreneurial endeavour, Eric saw the merits of saving on labour costs. Alan, Barry, Debbie and Chris all worked the odd shift, although I'm assured were fairly remunerated. Eric's thrifty instinct extended to his purchase of cars, presumably years ahead in the concept of recycling, that insight not extended to the embarrassment of his children.

Some years on, Eric's outlook broadened when he married Jennifer. Becoming a keen sailor, sailing throughout the Greek Islands over a number of summers and traveled to Australia to soak up the atmosphere of the 2003 rugby World Cup. 

All of this, and despite winding up his business Eric couldn't stop, taking on the role of Green Keeper at the Kingfisher Golf club, again finding an attachment to the outdoors; although in fairness, and ironically, a little bird tells us, Eric was better mowing the fairway than playing it. If Eric wasn't attending the rugby pitches or golf greens he could be found on his allotment.A battle of love, beating back brambles, nettles and all manner of pests for which his family reaped the produce.

An incredibly sociable man with a good sense of humour and a wide circle of friends. Much loved and much missed.

Seal, Reginald Joseph (Dec 1944 - Aug 2016) Aged 71 Class of 63

Reg sadly passed away on the 31st August 2016 after having 3 strokes. He will be sadly missed by his wife daughter and grandchildren. 

Lee, Thomas Andrew (Aug 1947 – Nov 2016) Aged 69 Class of 1965

Andrew, as he was known, emigrated to Australia in the 80s and made a good life for himself and his wife Beverley in the computer industry. Sadly, Beverley died about three years ago and shortly after that Andrew visited the UK for the first time since his emigration. With Paul Sparks, Dave White and me as a group of friends it was good to get together again after something like 35 years. 

He died after a very short illness and was mourned by the people of the town in New South Wales where he lived. 

He gave generously as a volunteer to his community doing Community Transport Driving, working at the Information Centre every Sunday or Saturday, was on the Jazz festival committee, drove the bus for Camp Creative participants and was very involved in his train activities. All valued his constant reliable commitment to each organisation. Andrew’s ashes will be placed in the train museum at Dorrigo, NSW with a memorial plaque. The piece A life Well Lived was read at Andrew's life celebration. He was a very private man who was held in high esteem by everyone he came into contact with. 

Roger Long (OC 65)

 

Todd, David Edward (18/5/1938 - 12/11/2016) Aged 78 Class of 1955

David was born in Lewisham just before the start the Second World War. Brother to Ann, Jennifer, Sally & Michael. His father was stationed in the Shetland Islands as an Engineer in the RAF, so they were separated for long periods of time, but the young David kept in touch by letter.  At the age of 4, at the on-set of the Blitz, he was also separated from his mother when he was evacuated to South Wales, and later to Leicester, with his eldest sister Ann.

When he returned to London he continued with his primary education and, at the age of 10, was presented with an award from the Lord Mayor of London for his Academic prowess.  He went on to attend Colfe’s Grammar School in Greenwich, where his reports testify to his vast knowledge in all subjects, leading to him sitting his A-Levels a year early.  He went on to study Electronic Engineering.  

In 1958 he ventured up North to Woodford to start his employment with Avro – British Aerospace, riding all that way on his Vespa scooter dressed in his on-trend Duffle coat. – A true ‘Mod’. David first saw Lesley when she worked at a Coffee House in Stockport. He then pursued her relentlessly at parties & jazz clubs, until eventually his perseverance paid off, and she agreed to date him, leading to an engagement and marriage at St. Georges Church – just across the road from here, in Oct 1960. During the next 10 years, four children were born, Janine, Stephanie, Nicky & Michael.

As a qualified engineer he was involved with creating and building the auto pilot Navigation system for the Blue Steel Nuclear Missile. This involved him travelling to Australia, in the early 1960’s a five-day trip, which included stops in Ceylon, Singapore and Benghazi, on a propeller driven Dakota.  Apparently, when tested, the Missile, at 35 foot in length and with a 575 mile range, landed bang on target in the sea. 

Having become bored with nuclear missiles he became convinced that the technological future for Britain lay elsewhere, in computers.  David’s natural technical prowess led him to develop a passion for IT and a very successful career at IBM followed.  Still in their infancy in the mid 1960s, computers were not the size of mobile phones – but the size of your front room!  David took them apart, repaired, upgraded and rebuilt them. He was so successful in his career that there was great demand for his engineering skills, which gave him the opportunity to travel all over the world.   Back in the UK his four children would all be eagerly waiting at home to see what exciting presents he would bring back for them. When working nearer home of particular importance to them was if he was due to visit the New Mills Swizzles factory or Mcvities on the A6 where he was guaranteed to return with boxes of misshaped chocolate biscuits and sweets! 

His children also made use of his great knowledge and he was on hand to assist with homework, occasionally being available to help over a long distant phone call when he was working abroad. He would sometimes become exasperated with his eldest daughter, Janine, who struggled to grasp the basic concepts of Maths. However he was proud of her when she answered all of her French homework correctly………….only to be disappointed again when the teacher pointed out that the answers should have been in French – not English!  At the annual family Christmas Day quiz David was always the popular choice as everyone wanted him to be on their team. 

Following many years working for IBM a couple of former work colleagues set up Mainstay Computer Cover and asked David to join them as a maintenance engineer. A hugely successful company was built, so successful that it was eventually acquired by the Granada Group.  David then went to work, with other former colleagues, at Blue Chip Customer Engineering until his retirement at the age of 63.  David was known by all his work colleagues and friends for his very dry sense of humour and instantaneous wit. So sharp at times it could cut paper! We have already mentioned David’s intelligence but he also shone at DIY and woodwork, which occupied him during his retirement, between reading, cricket test matches and Formula One. 

With Mary and Mike, their great friends for over 50 years, David and Lesley travelled to many countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and all over Europe.   Their other great pals, including Rhett, Chris and Rose, who are here today, spent many nights sharing a story and a pint or two at the Bulls Head, and later at the White Hart, where they were regulars for many years. During his later years, when his illness took over, he could make us all laugh with stories.  Whilst a guest at the Manchester Royal infirmary (under the influence of medication) he proudly announced that he had found Osama Bin Laden, in the bed opposite.  

More recently he asked his granddaughters if they thought he looked like Barack Obama!  David was very proud of his family and loved them all deeply.  He spent many hours entertaining his seven grandchildren, sharing many interests with them and bringing joy and laughter into the household.David, a loss, indeed, to all of his family and friends.  A kind and gentle man who will never be forgotten.

Buckley Sharp, Nick ‘Toffee’ (October 1947 – April 2016)

Nick Buckley SharpNick joined the OCRFC for the 1976-77 season. He had previously played for Old Citizens and joined with another Prop, Peter Wooten. Nick started in the famous “5th Cavalry” and progressed to play for the 1st XV after a few years and, despite a serious injury following a car crash, he continued to play for over 20 years and subsequently referee. When he joined the club he travelled from North London but moved to Burnt Ash Hill as his involvement with the club became greater. As well as the playing side, Nick served on the committee and was Treasurer of the Rugby Club for many years and took a lively interest in all aspects. The Easter Tour was always a highlight and no tours were missed for many years. 

 

Nick was not educated at Colfe's, but at Sherborne School in Dorset. However, he volunteered to help with School Rugby at Colfe’s and, in his capacity as a London Society Referee, he oversaw many matches. He also gave up his time to drive minibuses and assist with coaching on the school training weeks in the Lake District; rugby tours abroad (Paris & Amsterdam come to mind). He was always aware that a number of boys could not afford the cost of these tours, but his regular very generous donations ensured that no-one missed the tour for financial reasons! He joined in a number of the trips which were run for parents and friends - in particular he enjoyed the canoe trips down the rapids of the Ardeche Gorge in France, where he took great delight in ensuring that everyone capsized - apart from himself!

As a Rugby fan, Nick followed England Rugby throughout the 5 and then 6 Nations across Europe and the World Cup victory in Australia. Close friend, Dave Gardner recalls: “If I was asked to give Nick’s favourite moment in sport, I think it would be sitting with me, behind the goal posts in 2003, when Johnny Wilkinson dropped the winning goal in the World Cup. I remember him politely shaking hands with two adjacent, lonely, Aussies, sitting in a sea of white England shirts - after the final whistle had blown - I could not hear what he said to them - but I could have a good guess!”

Nick was a partner in a small accountancy practice Fox and Hoare before it merged to form a larger entity Cooper Lancaster Brewers. He was a formidable and respected partner to his many clients, one of which, a computer services company called MMT Computing, he helped gain market listing.  He was held in such esteem by MTT Computing that he was invited to join them as Finance Director. It was this link which brought him to Cornwall where he lived his later life in retirement.

Edwards, Keith Hayward BSc FCOptom DCLP FAAO (1952 - 2015) Aged 63, Class of 1970

The family regrets to announce the death of Keith Edwards in Florida on 25th January, aged 61.

Keith graduated from City University in 1973 and spent his Pre Reg year at Leslie Warren in Sevenoaks.  He became Director of the London Refraction Hospital between June 1979 and August 1986. In September 1986 he became Clinical Consultant to Madden and Layman in St Leonards-on-Sea. When Madden and Layman became part of Bausch and Lomb UK in 1992 he took the post of Director of Professional Services at  B&L UK. Transferring to B&L Inc in Rochester, New York State he was appointed Director, Professional and Clinical Affairs from 1996 to 2003, when he became Director Global Clinical Development. From March 2009 until his death he was Vice President for Clinical and Regulatory Affairs with LensAR in Orlando, Florida, working on the Femtosecond laser in cataract surgery.

He was Coordinator of Examinations for British College of Optometrists in 1984. He was  Director of Optometric Educators and Visiting Professor at the Department of Optometry and Neuroscience at UMIST. He edited two editions of the text book Optometry, along with Richard Llewellyn. He was President of the BCLA in 1985-86. He contributed numerous papers at conferences all over the world. In 1997 he was an inaugural board member of Optometric Educators Ltd, where he put together the first course and developed the basis of an ongoing model for continuing education. He was also a Liveryman of the Spectacle Makers Company

Keith lived in Lake Mary, Florida with his wife Catherine at the time of his death. He had suffered an ongoing ill health issue which he bore with fortitude and a degree of his usual good humour to the end. He is survived by his wife Catherine and daughters Kate and Jessica.

Cope, Geoffrey Hulme (1926-2015) Aged 89, Class of 1943

Geoffrey was born in Lewisham, the eldest of three siblings. He studied at Colfe’s School for sixyears, where he proved to be a hard working and gifted pupil, regularly winning school prizes.Along with his younger brother John he was evacuated with the school to Tunbridge Wells. Hestudied civil engineering, at Imperial College and then spent his national service working for theaircraft industry where he was involved in the design of the wings for the Canberra bomber.In 1947 he began what was to be a long and distinguished career with the railway, when he movedto Oswestry and joined the Great Western Railway. It was here that he met Irene and they marriedin 1950. They were a devoted couple until her death in 2013.

After a period working at the Bristol Office, he was seconded to Nigerian Railway for three years,where his first challenge was to supervise the construction of a new Terminus station in Lagos. Hislast 18 months were spent “up country” in charge of hundreds of miles of track and associatedstructures (bridges, embankments, culverts etc.), which gave him as a young engineer anunprecedented range of “hands on” engineering experience and contact with the local fauna!Geoffrey was accompanied on this challenging trip by Irene and his young son Malcolm; hisdaughter Elizabeth was born in Nigeria.

Geoffrey returned to British Railways in Bristol in 1956, and the next fifteen years saw him moveround the country as regular promotions took him to new districts. In 1977 he became ChiefPermanent Way Engineer at British Railways Headquarters, a post he held until he took earlyretirement in 1986.

Geoffrey then began a second distinguished career as a consultant. He was involved in a numberof major projects; the Channel Tunnel and Hong Kong’s new airport bridge the Tsing Masuspension bridge among them. He was a fellow of the Permanent Way Institution, and not onlycontributed significant chapters to, but also undertook the editing of the 6th edition of the PWIpublication “British Railway Track-Design, Construction and Maintenance”, a volume highlyregarded within the profession. He made major contributions to Permanent Way research anddevelopment; wrote and presented numerous technical papers to a wide variety of audiences; andwas involved with many technical committees, including the International Union of Railways.

He gave his time and expertise to the Bluebell railway, his local preserved line, and was made anhonorary vice president. His passion for engineering and trains was infectious and inspiredMalcolm to become an civil engineer. His eldest grandson now works for network Rail intimetabling planning and is a keen devotee of steam trains, his other grandson studied engineeringat Oxford and his granddaughter is currently planning to study engineering.

Geoffrey’s interests outside his career were many and varied: travel, every year they made anumber of varied trips and Geoffrey often made up wonderful scrap books recording theiradventures; music, he played the piano and was a keen choral singer until frailty kept him fromrehearsals for the last year of his life; architecture; geology; botany; mountain walking; and crosscountry skiing among them. His appetite for learning new things and undertaking new challengesremained undimmed to the end. His kindness, integrity and pertinent sense of humour made himnew friends where ever he went.

He is sorely missed by his family and friends.

Simpson, William (Bill) George (1946-2014) Class of 1964

Bill emigrated to Perth, Western Australia with his 1st wife, son and daughter in 1978. He started working at Royal Perth Hospital in 1979 as an Accountant and went on to become Manager of the Accounting Department. He continued to the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women as their joint Director of Finance and Corporate Services. He then went on to MercyCare, a not for profit community based organisation as the Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services. After about 7 years there he decided to "retire" to slow down and undertake contract work. He ended his working career at Amana Living, another NFP community organisation as a Project Officer in 2012.

Bill met Mary-Ann at Royal Perth Hospital in 1992 and they married in 2000. He loved playing soccer and played until he was 55 years old, along with Golf. He loved to travel and they went on many wonderful holidays including Canada, Alaska, South America, Antarctica, the USA and of course, many trips back to UK where he still has an older brother and many friends. When he stopped working he took up playing lawn bowls which he enjoyed very much. 

In October 2012 he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and after an eighteen month battle, throughout which he always remained positive, he passed away in May 2014, aged 67. He continued to play bowls during his treatment and holidayed to the UK and Canada in October 2013 where he met up with Peter Morley, his friend from Colfe’s. 

Bray, Keith Anthony (1940 - 2015) Aged 75, Class of 1956

He was the devoted husband of Rosemary, dearly loved Father of Jen and Tim and their Partners Dan and Dusty and treasured Grandad to Alice and Henrietta.A lovely man, a genuine person who treated all people with warmth and respect. Began his working life at Cunard Shipping Line in London then a second career in Local Govbernment, with Lewisham Council. Met Rosemary, a Stockport Girl and moved north to settle in Leek where he worked for Staffs Moorlands District Council. Loved and respected by everyone he met, turly one of life's gentlemen.  The funeral service took place on November 6th 2015 at St Matthew's Church, Meerbrook, near Leek, Staffordshire.  He was much loved and will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by all Family and Friends.

Chilton, Keith James (March 1927 - May 2016) Age 89, Class of 1945

Masters, Wilfred Aubrey (Mickey) 1919 - 2015 (Class of 1937)

Mick was born in Mottingham (then Kent), the youngest of nine siblings.  His father, George Finch Masters OBE CM, followed on the family tradition of working for the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich from the late 19th Century up until after the conclusion of World War 2, becoming the Director of Royal Ordnance at the Ministry of Supply.  Mick and his siblings spent much of their formative years immersed in that historical site: indeed, he once said that it was a miracle that they survived their escapades in Uncle Percy’s Magazines!

Mick’s sporting talents entertained and inspired many over the years.  Many considered that he was probably the finest sportsman the Old Colfeians Club has seen.  The old wooden score hut at Horn Park took many a glancing blow off his cricket bat, no doubt surprising Grace Shand sitting pencil-in-hand therein!  He also had promising football trials for Charlton Athletic and, who knows, perhaps the chance to become an ‘Addick’ might have arisen.

Tragically, World War 2 put a stop to Mick’s professional sporting career.  He joined the 4th/5th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, a Territorial Army unit.  Both battalions were assigned to the 18th Infantry Division.  The Division spent the early years of the war in the defence of England and guarding against a possible German invasion after the bulk of the British Army was evacuated at Dunkirk.  In late 1941 the 18th Division, the 4th and 5th Suffolks included, were originally to be sent to Egypt but instead were sent to Singapore to help strengthen the garrison there after Japan entered the war in December 1941. In early 1942, both the 4th and 5th Battalions fought in the defence of Singapore against the Japanese, with the 18th Division, before British Commonwealth forces on that island surrendered in February 1942.  Men from the two battalions suffered great hardship as Japanese POWs and were forced to participate in the construction of the infamous Thailand/Burma Railway and later in Japanese coal mines.
The sacrifices and hardships that Mick and his comrades endured will never be forgotten by future generations.  It was quite remarkable that all the Masters ‘boys’ returned safely to Blighty from their various ‘theatres of war’.

After the “inconvenience”, as Mick modestly described the said conflict, his sporting interests continued and his working life was spent at the famous Lillywhite’s sports emporium in London, dispensing advice to folk from all walks of society.  Many a tedious stock-take was enlivened by the antics of him and his colleagues; the incident of the tennis racquet cover, a crossbow and a pair of skis became the stuff of legend! Mick was an active member of the 'Old Boys' for many years and, as has already been mentioned, was an exceptionally talented sportsman playing for the Club at football, cricket and tennis.

Possessed of a very powerful left foot he struck the ball like a professional, this in the days of the old leather lace-up balls.  Not surprisingly he occupied the left wing berth in the 1st XI for a long time.  As he got older he played in various other positions and was no mean goalkeeper.

At cricket he was one of the Club's most stylish batsmen, as well as being a first class fielder. 

In the 1950s he was champion of the 'Old Boys' Tennis Club for several years at a time when that section was particularly strong, boasting several players who represented Kent.

Never one to remain inactive he was often to be seen playing ball games with his children when not actively engaged in the latter two sports.
Always good company, and particularly helpful in sourcing sporting equipment from Lillywhite's, he was a very popular and well-liked member of the 'Old Boys'.
Eventually retirement beckoned and the Garden of England became Mick’s playground.  Not content to merely potter on the allotment, he looked around for another challenge.  Although he became a lawn bowler somewhat later in life, he quickly became a cherished member of the Clare Park Bowls Club in Maidstone.  One way or another, many a nail-biting end was settled by one of his woods.  

Even after his move to Sweden with his daughter and son-in-law, Mick’s sporting prowess continued when he won a mini-golf competition at 93 years of age!
Throughout his very happy 56-year marriage to the wonderful Mary (née Roberts) they were rarely apart.  Together they created many happy memories which enriched the lives of not only their respective families, but those of their many friends and colleagues.

Mick is remembered by all as a ‘true English gentleman’.

Wells, Andrew David (April 1956 – Sep 15) Class of 1974

Andrew David Wells  

Andy (‘Wellsy’) Wells joined Colfes in 1967 and in his first year was awarded the form prize and ended up in the remove stream the following year.  He won a school prize for his academic achievements in all but one of his 7 school years.   

A very bright pupil but also one who was representing the school sports teams from the first year right up until he left at the end of the second year sixth.  Andy played most sports including rugby, football and tennis for the 1st teams during his school life.

Andy’s great friends during his school days were Colin Huett, Mark Letheren, Mark Yates, Rob Coe, Colin Berry, Martin Brown, Vernon Leese and he kept in touch with most of these ‘Old boys’ as well as many others mainly as a result of his early years after school playing rugby down at the Old Colfeians where he represented the 1st XV for several seasons. 

Andy had a few varied jobs after he left school before he joined the Inland Revenue.  He had a sharp, analytical mind and went on to become a partner in accountants Moores Rowland later BDO Stoy Hayward and where he enjoyed a very successful career as a tax specialist and including lecturing and writing on the subject.

Andy moved to a small village in Nottingham called Carlton in Lindrick in about 2003 where he settled down with the lovely Carol whom he married on the banks of Lake Como in 2005.  He was always a keen Charlton Athletic supporter and continued to travel to the various northern grounds following the team he followed as a young boy from Blackheath.

As well as the abovementioned friends from school Andy formed lifelong friendships through rugby and golf with Kev Bresnahan (‘Brezzo’), Mick Brooker, ‘Lenny’ Toogood, John Bott, Colin Reed, Andy Grant and Michael Forster among others.

Andy struggled with ill health in recent years although you wouldn’t know it was as long ago in 1998 that he had the first symptoms of cancer which was to plague the latter few years of his life.  It was in September 2015 that he lost his final battle with the disease but not before a hugely brave participation in a clinical trial of a cocktail of drugs that might someday lead to a cure for others.

A very stoic, brave, intelligent, funny, laid back friend taken too early at the age of 59.  He is sorely missed and survived by his wife and also his three children from his former marriage.

Keith Murray

Warran, Arthur (b. 1933) Class of 1948

Waterhouse, Norman Howard (1923-2015) Class of 1939 

After leaving Colfe’s in 1939, Norman, his OC brother Bob and their parents moved to Cardiff at the outbreak of War; there Bob and Norman particularly enjoyed the freedom of cycling all over Wales away from the London traffic.

After University and 2 years’ service in the Royal Navy, Norman worked for BICC, now part of Balfour Beattie, where he met his wife Celia. Norman was an engineer respected by those who worked with him. One of Norman’s colleagues said that his legacy is this country’s Power Cable Link with France and the rest of Europe. (The first attempt at a Power Cable link failed when a ship’s anchor hooked the Cable on the seabed.) Norman devised a method for laying cables in a trench across to France and they are still in use 30 years later!

An earlier project was when he was part of a team that laid Submarine Power Cables under Cook Strait, New Zealand.  These Cables carried Power generated by a large Hydroelectric Power Station on the South Island to the population on the North Island. 

He leaves a widow and three sons, who are all engineers.

Dolding, John Alan (1938 - March 2016) Class of 1955

John Dolding was born in Greenwich on 20 March 1938.  He grew up in Brockley (other than during his evacuation to Kettering in the war) and went to Wallbutton School.

In 1949 he went to Colfe’s School.  In 1955 he left Colfe’s to take up Articles in Avery & Wolverson, New Cross whilst at the same time attending Law School in London.  He qualified as a solicitor in 1960 and became a partner at Avery & Wolverson in 1964.

He married Wendy in 1962 and had four children (Elizabeth, Caroline, Neil & Gavin) between 1963 and 1969.  He was always a great family man.

John spent almost all of his working life in Deptford and New Cross and gave a lot back to the community he grew up in.  He had been a scout in his youth and retained friends from his scouting years throughout his life.  He later became a scout leader and then a trustee of the Scout Group in Deptford.  He was a member of Deptford Round Table, Deptford Rotary Club and Deptford 41 Club (attending meetings of the latter each month right up to his death).  He was also very involved with local charities, in particular The Albany, of which he was a trustee for a number of years and was instrumental in the new Albany building in the 1970s.  He was also heavily involved with Deptford Pension Society and also drove an ambulance to take people to Deptford Methodist Church.

He played football for Old Colfeians until his health stopped him playing but he continued to support the Old Colfeians Sports Club as a director of the company and with his legal advice to them.

John had ill health in later life and in the last few years was confined to a wheelchair but he never complained or showed self-pity.  He had a great thirst for knowledge and loved to share that with his children and grandchildren.  He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Hodge, Gordon Thomas (1923 - 2016) Class of 42

Dunton, John (15th June 1933 - 1st August 2015) Class of 44

John joined Colfe's in 1944 and was promptly evacuated, with the school, to Frome in Somerset. After he left school he found work with a firm of Insurance Brokers in the City of London. Following national service in the RAF, he obtained a professional qualification in Insurance in 1956. After a period of working in industry John returned to insurance broking in the City around 1971 and later he became involved with the electricity supply industry and nuclear power insurance.

John married Beryl in 1959 and they were married for 56 years. They had three sons, Mark, Neil and Paul, one daughter, Sarah and two grandchildren, Jack and Mia. The family settled in Kent, near Tunbridge Wells.

Being community-minded, John was involved in many activities outside work, giving up his time for several causes when the family was based in Penshurst. He loved playing cricket and tennis, but for him there was only one 'beautiful game' – Golf. John thoroughly enjoyed his time as Club Captain and Chairman at the Nevill Golf Club in Tunbridge Wells, where a whole string of achievements is associated with his name.

 

 

Gomme, Robert Anthony (1930 - 2015) Class of 1949

Robert was evacuated early in World War Two with his mother and sister firstly to Somerset and then to a village near Tunbridge Wells.  He joined Colfe's shortly after the beginning of term in September 1941.  We were in different forms, but I spoke to him in the playground on his first day, when he was looking rather lonely, and from then on we knew one another. The forms we were in were very small and had some lessons in common, so we gradually became more friendly.  In the following year we were both in the junior cricket team.

Robert's mother and sister returned to their home, but he remained at the school and had to go to a "billet" in Tunbridge Wells where he found himself with two sixth-formers who treated him with a most mature care.  He used to say years afterward that they - and particularly Derek Maclintock, who later became Professor of Criminology at Edinburgh - had had a great influence on him, guiding him in reading, ideas and aspirations.
When the school was re-evacuated to Frome in 1944, Robert no longer had the benefit of the older boys' friendship, but was billeted with a kindly and thoughtful family.  However, the impetus to read that he had received was almost unstoppable and he began to develop what became a life-time's interest in, and love for literature, together with politics and ideas.

We continued to play cricket in the junior team, winning against the local schools.  In one match Robert hit an enormous six into the adjoining farm - quite a feat for fourteen year-old.  He and I were rewarded by being selected for a senior match to be played at the Frome cricket ground, where the great Somerset and England batsman, Harold Gimblett, had made a hundred on his debut for the county.  We were thrilled to have scored boundaries there.
After the end of the war, in temporary accommodation at Beacon Road, the school had no real laboratories, no gymnasium, no library.  Robert was not inspired to work and at the School Certificate exams at the end of the year failed to obtain an overall pass, so found himself in "Transitus", the re-take group, rather than the sixth form.  He reduced his private reading a bit and spent more time on what was expected at school, passed at something like his true standard and so entered the Sixth Modern a year late.  There he was stimulated by the teaching of Mr Davies in Geography and always enjoyed History, and so went on to gain entrance to the L.S.E. 

In those years we both played in what were very successful school teams at rugby and cricket.  In holidays we liked walking and once, with two other friends  from the school we tramped through the night from Croydon to Brighton.  We stopped for a rest and to listen to the nightingales near a small place called Gatwick!

Before taking up his university place, Robert had to reckon, as most of us did then, with National Service.  He was called up into the infantry and, after initial training with two other regiments, joined the Royal Norfolk Regiment which was being prepared for service in the Korean War.  Robert and I happened to be on embarcation leave at the same time and went to the theatre, another mutual interest, on the penultimate evening.  The Norfolks arrived in Korea after the earlier pitched battles were over, but there was always the danger of shelling and both sides attempted to dominate no man's land.  The battalion had a number of casualties. Living conditions in winter were terrible.  Robert took part in patrols and one night was a member of a group that ambushed a noisy Chinese patrol.  They opened fire and the Chinese fled leaving behind one man dead whom Robert carried on his back for examination at the British lines.   His geography skills were recognised, so he was employed in map-making and promoted to corporal.  

After his service, Robert enjoyed his university course and the opportunities for following interests in music, theatre and art that studying in London gave him.  He played rugby for the Old Colfeians for several seasons.

Subsequently he worked for Pirelli, where he met Helen, whom he married in 1960, famously arriving at the ceremony without the ring! Their children, Katharine and Richard, were born in the next few years.

Toward the end of the 1960s  Robert was looking for a change of job.  After a temporary post in government work, he made the transition as a late entrant to the Civil Service in the Department of the Environment.  Later, he found a spell in the Cabinet Office, working on Scottish Devolution, specially interesting, as he did when he had a period of responsibility for war graves.  He was moved into a senior position in charge of military buildings and installations world-wide.  It was probably not so much to his own taste, but he took mischievous  delight in the fact that his Civil Service rank caused mere colonels to defer to a former corporal!   Shortly before his retirement he was awarded the decoration of CB in the Honours' List.

About a dozen years ago he and I went together for nearly a month to India.  There was a connection with Colfe's in the choice of destination.  Our Headmaster, Mr Morris would quite often say "If you know your Kim, you know your India", but having read the book several times I felt it  made me anxious to see India for myself.  Robert had the same feeling and said he would like to go on the journey with me.  The trip gave us time to learn even more about each other.  He was a great companion - learned, controversial, always interesting, funny (quite often intentionally!) and ever ready for enjoyment of things, happenings and, above all, of people.

From his family's accounts of him in his last illness, it is clear that he was exceptionally forebearing and brave when faced with the sad diagnosis. 
Colin Willis

Bennett, John Frederick Charles (1931 - 2015) Class of 1949

John Bennett was born in the early 1930s and lived in Greenwich/Blackheath for most of his life (apart from his evacuations to Tunbridge Wells and Somerset, and latterly as part of the Forces in Germany). He joined Colfe’s Grammar School in Jan 1942 in Tunbridge Wells – having passed the strict entrance exams and needing to purchase the ‘correct school uniform’ despite the war - which was considered to be an inconvenience that interfered with a first class education! As an oversight - his 3 months elocution lessons were not cancelled for 18 months and so he always thanked Colfe’s for allowing him longer to learn and abide by the Queen’s English. 

He lived with a local family with other pupils of Colfe’s School when they shared the Skinners School premises in Tunbridge Wells. Eventually re-evacuated in 1944 to Frome in Somerset after part of Skinners School was bombed – Colfe’s School shared the Girls County School with Coopers School. Returned to London in July 1945 and at Colfes passed matriculation in 1949, going on to work in the Civil Service in London. In 1950 he joined the Royal Artillary in Shropshire but moved voluntarily to the Intelligence Corps in Sussex. Two years later he moved to 1 Wireless Regiment, Royal Signals in Munster and returned to the Customs and Excise in 1952 where he remained until he retired – having been one of the original team that introduced VAT in 1970 and then going onto work in Personnel for the remainder of his career. 

He was involved in many activities outside work including being a governor of Kidbooke School for many years and a member of the Conservative Party from 1948 onwards and Chairman of the Blackheath and Westcombe Park Conservative Club from the early 80s until it closed in 2002. He frequently gave talks to Colfe’s school (with Tony Lord) around life during the war years as one of Colfe’s own students. He so enjoyed his life during his Colfe’s school years and returning back in his later years to ‘help the younger generations’ have a glimpse of the past was something he was very passionate about. Widowed with two daughters/four granchildren he continued to enjoy life to the full until his death  in Feb 2015 after a long illness - he will be sadly missed by everyone that knew him. 

 

Travis, Gilbert (Colfe's Bursar from 1997-1990) d. 2015
Former Headmaster, Dr Vivian Anthony, pays tribute to Gilbert Travis who served as the school’s first bursar from 1977 to 1990 and who died suddenly in January.

Vivian writes:Gilbert played a significant part in the establishment of Colfe’s in the independent sector of education. He joined us from Coopers and Lybrand and, having spent two terms running the school without a bursar, I was profoundly grateful for his arrival. It was a big job he took on – nowadays there are several people covering similar ground. We had to work very closely together to ensure that we retained the confidence of the governors and the Leathersellers. The company was afraid that the school might go bust and leave them holding substantial debts. As a result of our close teamwork and a lot of hard work there was never a year when the school did not make a trading surplus. If Gilbert thought I was a hard taskmaster, and I think he did, he kept it to himself and was always pleasant and polite and enjoyed the school’s success.

Of course, we had music in common and he made his considerable talents as a tenor available to the school as well as being a leading light in Bromley Music. Gilbert will have sung on the two famous occasions when the school put on concerts – Judas Maccabeus and St Matthew Passion – in the Royal Albert Hall. When I last spoke to him, a few years ago, he was still singing.

It was never easy for him to keep the money-men at “The Hall” happy with all that was being done at Colfe’s but during his time an enormous amount was achieved; not only did the number of pupils grow from 630 in 1977 to over a thousand when he left but several significant building projects were completed – the Beardwood Hall and the Prep School for instance - and many improvements were made to existing buildings and grounds – including the purchase of the Leathersellers’ Ground. I spent a lot of time walking down my corridor to Gilbert’s room to discuss these and many other projects with him. I always found the papers he presented to the Governors at the time of accounts and budgets were first rate. 

Gilbert was Colfe’s first bursar, though others had had some responsibility for finance under the ILEA before him, there have been bursars since but so far none of them can match his record of long-service. I was sorry to hear that his death had come so suddenly our thoughts and prayers are with Gilbert’s wife, Dinah, and his family. RIP

Dodson, Edwin 'Ted' William (1928 - 2015) 
Ted became a pupil at Colfes, by accident. Like many London children, he was evacuated during the War. Had he stayed in London, he would probably have gone to Brockley County.He was evacuated to the Tunbridge Wells area, to a farm at Warehorn. He passed his 11 plus, and luckily for him, Colfes was also  in Tunbridge Wells for the duration of the War. It was at Colfes he learnt to play Rugby, he played for the school and later went on to play for the Old Boys. Unfortunately a bad cartilage injury finished his Rugby playing days, which sadden him very much.He made life long friends playing Rugby, and still kept in touch with them until he died. He married Pat in 1958 and they were married for 56 years. They had 2 sons and 4 grandchildren, and he was delighted when 2 of them took up Rugby. Ted & Pat moved to France in 2002, the climate suited his heart condition. The family spent their last Christmas  together in France. He always said he had a happy life, a good family and no regrets. 

McIntosh, Colin (1938 - 2013) Class of 1956

Horrocks, Wilfrid James Luke (1923 - 2009) Class of 1942
After leaving school in the summer of 1941 he volunteered for the army and fought in the North Africa campaign. He was badly wounded in April 1943 and spent the nexr nine months recovering. One bullet remained in the lumbar region for the rest of his life causing some disablement. He worked in london as a local government officer and took early retirement at age 60. He married in 1964 and leaves a widow (Frances), three sons and four grandchildredn. His main hobby was music and he played the piano and the piano accordion with several groups. 

Rogers, David Edward (1942 - 2013) Class of 1961

Oakley, John Gilbert (1931 - 2011) Aged 80, Class of 1949
He always had very happy memories of the school, having been there when it was bombed and then going to the temporary school at Hither Green and he was also evacuated to Tunbridge Wells, which was quite an experience!

Tyers, Stephen (1945 - 2013) Class of '63, Aged 68

Lanfear, Victor (1957 - 2014), Class of 1975, Aged 57

Apps, Roger (1946 - 2014) Class of 1963

Click here to read Roger's obituary from the Autumn 2014 FRMS Bulletin

Whybrow, Jonathan James (Jan 1974 - Nov 2013) Class of 1992

Dr Whybrow leaves behind a wife and three children.

Davis, Paul R (1955 - 2014) Class of 1972
Paul had been resident in Adelaide for 24 years and took Australian citizenship. But he maintained strong links with his UK friends and after his wife and son decided that Paul should be buried in England, his funeral was attended by more than 70 people including six or seven from his classes at Colfe's. A former Colfe's teacher who once taught Paul latin also attended (Mr Stan Woolfson). Paul visited Stan on his last trip to UK and they had stayed in touch. Other attendees included the current MP for Lewisham West (Jim Dowd) who knew Paul from his job at the House of Commons prior to emigrating. Paul was born in June 1955 if that help you place him in the school's timeline.

View the Australian Tax Office's tribute to Paul here.

Owers, Michael John (20 September 1928 - 8 August 2014), Aged 85. Class of 1946
Michael passed away peacefully at the Haslington Residential Home aged 85 years.  He had been suffering from Alzheimers and Vascular Dementia.  His is greatly missed, by his wife Muriel who he married in August 18th 1962, also his children Suzette and Roger and Grandchildren, Rowan, Tadhg, Mairaed and Roise. He was at Colfe's School during Wordl War II and played rugby for The Old Colfeians team as hooker when he left School.His son Roger also went to Colfe's School from 1978 to 1985.

Lassan, Raymond (1928 - 2013) Aged 85, Class of 1944

Passed away in August at the age of 85. He was a former Colfe's pupil (c.1939-44) & would often reminisce about both the good  & often very difficult times at the school during the war years. 

Hext, Samuel (1930 - 2012) Aged 81, Class of 1950
Sam Hext who died in South Africa on 11 April 2012 (aged 81)  was a formidable figure at Colfe’s in the 1940s.  A very able student and an outstanding sportsman (despite being blind in one eye), he combined academic diligence with an irrepressible and outspoken style, and stood out among his contemporaries. 

 At 17, having suffered a serious spinal injury playing rugby, he spent a year convalescing.  Returning to school barely able to walk and unable to do any sport, he nonetheless became an enthusiastic and very competent team organiser and adviser.  Within a term he sat the Higher School Certificate, passed in all subjects, and after a year in the sixth form he gained higher grades and a place at the London School of Economics, where he obtained a very good degree in economic history. 

 Sam impressed everyone with his sheer determination to overcome all obstacles, and staff regarded him as a great credit to the school.   Contemporaries will remember him as a remarkable character - hardworking, opinionative, informed - and will much regret his passing.

 

Hope, Peter (1922 - 2013) Aged 90, Class of '39

Peter died on 18th March 2013.   He had become more frail in the months since he attended the last luncheon and was admitted to hospital on 10th March for what he expected to be a short stay to treat a urinary infection.  Unfortunately he failed to respond to the antibiotic treatment and was discovered to have an acute gallbladder infection, which proved too much for him. 

Peter took much pleasure from his renewed contact with Colfe's and in meeting other former pupils and Richard Russell, Russell Joyce and Andy Brooker at the lunches in Poole and The Abraham Colfe Society events. He was so pleased that he had been able to attend last year's lunch and see the new school for the first time. His only regret was that so many of his contemporaries had not survived the Second World War or had died more recently.

Owen-Smith, Michael Stephen (1934-2013)
MRCS 1961; FRCS 1966; MB BS Lond. 1962; MS Lond. 1971; MA (Cantab) 1987; MD Sweden 1993

Born 11th August 1934 in London.   Died 18th April 2013 Huntingdon.  

General Surgeon and Professor of Military Surgery

Michael Owen-Smith was born in Dulwich, South London to Francis and Winifred Owen-Smith (nee Bailey) on 11th August 1934, and lived much of his early life there, apart from a period when he was evacuated to Wales during the war age 5. He often spoke about this memorable period to groups of school children. Michael was educated at St Dunstan’s College, then at Colfe’s Grammar School, founded in 1652.  His father was a civil servant and his mother a teacher of dance and swimming. Both loved sport in all its forms (Francis was a talented runner and keen cricketer) and passed this on to Michael who excelled at cricket and rugby, gaining first team colours for both these sports at Colfe’s School. Michael’s older brother Terry (Terence) has also been a keen sportsman and survives him.

From a very early age, Michael’s chief ambition was to become a surgeon. Upon leaving school, National Service loomed and he opted for a short service commission with the Royal Artillery (1954-1957). He was posted immediately to Hong Kong where he represented the army in cricket and rugby. Michael left the army to study medicine at University College and UCH London He qualified LRCP MRCS and MB BS in 1961, and married Angela Mary (nee Norman), a fellow UCH student on 10th June 1961. Angela later became a consultant community paediatrician.

Michael and Angela had three children, all of whom studied medicine. Victoria was born in 1962 and is a consultant in public health medicine in Manchester. Her daughter Lucy starts studying medicine in 2014. Oliver was born in 1965 and became a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham but sadly died in 2009. His oldest son Sam is also studying medicine. Henrietta (Hetty) born in 1972, qualified but is not currently practising medicine.

After undertaking two house jobs at UCH, Michael passed the primary FRCS at the first attempt in 1963 then re-enlisted in the army. From 1967-69, Michael was posted to Terendak military hospital in Malaysia and the family accompanied him there. During this time, he was posted to the Ghurkha recruiting centre in Dharan, eastern Nepal, for a demanding and memorable six weeks.

Further surgical training was at the Hammersmith Hospital, Kingston Hospital and finally the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital (QAMH), all in London.

He was appointed consultant surgeon to QAMH in 1971, then spent 1972-75 at Anzuk Military Hospital in Singapore before returning to QAMH and Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital as Professor of Military Surgery, a post he held between 1975 and 1981. He then left the army and obtained a consultant general surgical post in Huntingdon, initially at the little Hunts County Hospital, before transferring in 1982/3 to the new Hinchingbrooke Hospital, its replacement. He later specialised in breast surgery and also played a large part in establishing the Woodlands Cancer Centre at Hinchingbrooke.

Throughout Michael’s military career, he devoted time to researching mechanisms of blast and missile injuries. Much of this research was performed at Porton Down near Salisbury, Wiltshire, now the UK government military science park. He published widely in this field, including his London MS Thesis on the successful prophylaxis of gas gangrene in high velocity wounds by early administration of penicillin, a practical and important finding. Nationally and internationally, Michael lectured and demonstrated on the principles of war surgery both widely and frequently, and was an annual fixture on the Swedish War Surgery Course for over 20 years. He won the prestigious Alexander Gold Medal an unprecedented four times, in 1969, 1972, 1975 and 1981 for research papers that benefited wounded soldiers.

He is the author of a significant book ‘High Velocity Missile Wounds’ (Edward Arnold 1981), and co-author of several others including ‘Surgery of Victims of War’ (International Committee of the Red Cross 1988) and ‘The Field Surgery Pocketbook’ 1981. He contributed a chapter on Wounds and War Injuries to Hamilton Bailey’s 2000 edition of Emergency Surgery. His enquiring mind also gave rise to numerous other papers.

Michael became Hunterian Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1980 with his lecture: “A computerised data retrieval system for the wounds of war – the Northern Ireland Casualties”. This was based on the British Army’s Hostile Action Casualty System (HACS), which he single-handedly conceived and implemented. It is an original and effective means of forensically auditing the casualties of war and is still in use today. Michael was admitted to the Order of St John of Jerusalem in 1979. He was a member of the Territorial Army between 1981 and 1999 and won the Territorial Decoration and Bar.After a distinguished career in military surgery and allied research, he became an ‘old-fashioned’ general surgeon in the NHS, with a broad enough training to be able to deal with a wide range of emergency and elective surgery. He had a career-long enthusiasm for teaching and training in military surgery and in general surgery, and was independent-minded enough to see that a consultant delivered service at Hinchingbrooke was the future. Trainees were sometimes in awe of him but appreciated his straightforward no-nonsense approach and worked hard for him. He always fully supported them and came in from home without hesitation for emergencies whenever he was needed.

Michael was a keen and expert sportsman and enjoyed golf until his last days. He was very attached to an old flat hat he wore when Enterprise dinghy sailing at St Ives and even when gardening and shopping but Angela eventually banned it. He lived his life in the spirit of cricket – play by the rules with a straight bat and play the game. He was an expert and enthusiastic gardener and became a true family man, particularly with his seven grandchildren.

He bore his final illness with enormous fortitude and without complaint. He is much missed in Huntingdonshire.

With grateful thanks to colleague Clive Quick MS FRCS FDS MA Consultant Surgeon Hinchingbrooke and Addenbrookes Hospital and to all the family.

 

Carrington, Alan, FRS, CBE (1934 - 2013)
By David Phillips

 Many of us who started our academic teaching and research career around 1967 in Southampton were fortunate indeed that Alan Carrington joined the staff in that year as one of the youngest Professors certainly in Southampton, and possibly in the UK. I think all of we new academics were  feeling our way with our unfamiliar responsibilities of building up and leading new research groups, and Alan was a true inspiration to us. His unbounded enthusiasm for his own subject was infectious, and as a role model in science he was without peer.  He offered the very best kind of leadership, that of example, and was a major contributor to the wonderfully productive atmosphere of the Department at that time. We were inspired by his success, and his competitive spirit.

But far more than providing us with guidance as to how to be successful academics , Alan also was a good friend to many of us, mixing socially, and inviting all to his and Hilary’s home on many occasions. At one of these, somewhat disastrously, I managed to knock the bottom out of a glass beaker full of wine punch on the stove by dropping a knife in it. After an initial excited response from my host, Alan and I just drove to the nearest wine store to replace the wine, and no more was ever said, until on the same occasion a year later, when a metal punch bowl was being used, and I heard Alan’s amused voice from across the room saying ‘if you try  hard David, you might be able to give it metal fatigue !’ 

Alan was a sportsman, never losing his love of cricket, and of course was an enthusiastic sailor. However, music was clearly his second passion, and we used occasionally to meet him and Hilary at the Royal Festival Hall right up until last year, where they were able to listen to their offspring playing in their respective orchestras. He was immensely proud of his children’s achievements, inspired no doubt by his own prowess as a pianist.

Alan took his science very seriously, and was passionate about all of his pursuits, but was also able to laugh at himself.  He several times told the story of passing through immigration in New York, where the official identified him as a writer. Alan had just published a book on magnetic resonance, and was thus a little taken aback that this official should have known this or even read the book ! All was revealed when it turned out the official had confused the name ‘Carrington’ with ‘Le Carre’

Science has lost an inspirational  leader in the field, and we have lost a true friend and colleague. He will be missed.
Prof. Alan Carrington, FRS, CBE Telegraph Obituary

Prince, John (1926 - 2013)
Mr John Prince, pupil at Colfe’s School between 1937 and 1942, died suddenly in December 2013, aged 87 years . Education at Colfe’s School included two years evacuation in Tunbridge Wells. He worked in the Intelligence Corps at the end of the war, spending time in Singapore. Mr Prince later qualified as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, working for the London Electricity Board for some time. He also spent 26 years working for the Central Electricity Generating Board in Guildford. His hobbies included walking and gardening. As a father and grandfather he will be sadly missed.

Outhouse, John Frederick (1919-2013) 
Died on 14 November 2013.

Clarke, Cdr Kenneth Burton (1920 - 2013) Class of 1938
Funeral will be held at 11.00am at St James' Church, Church Lane, Birdham PO20 7HG on Friday 20 December 2013.

Speller, Peter William (Class of 1944)
Peter was a pupil at Colfes and a member of Glyn House between 1936 and 1944 when George Morris was Headmaster.  A keen sportsman, Peter won school colours for rugby, swimming and boxing.  In 1939 the school relocated to Tunbridge Wells during which time Peter was a messenger for the ARP and he also joined the Home Guard.  He spent his modest wages from those jobs on Arty Shaw and Glen Miller records; his love of music and in particular jazz, was a lifelong pleasure.  The school was subsequently evacuated to Frome in 1944 and Peter was there for just a month before he enlisted for an Indian Army cadetship.

After being commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment in Sialkot, Peter did his parachute training near Rawalpindi; he subsequently transferred to East Surrey Regiment after Indian partition and was assigned to the Parachute Regiment; he served in Palestine.  Peter was decommissioned in 1949 and began a two year diploma in horticulture at Writtle Agricultural College, Essex where he met Rosemary Child whom he later married.

In 1951 Peter sailed to south India to take up the post of assistant manager on a tea estate owned by the Scottish company, James Finlayson.  He often joked that he was hired for his abilities on the rugby pitch rather than his knowledge of tea!  By the time Peter and Rosemary had started a family, they decided to emigrate to Canada and eventually settled in Hamilton, Ontario.  Peter changed career paths and became a stockbroker, although he maintained a keen interest in gardening.  Some 25 years after leaving the UK, a job opportunity led the family to live in London.  Peter would occasionally revisit his old stomping ground in south east London with a trip on the Woolwich Free Ferry and back just for fun!  And much later in life he gained his private pilot’s licence from Biggin Hill where he had spent many hours as a schoolboy watching aircraft.

When Peter retired he and Rosemary settled in Wiltshire; he died in 2009.

Parsons, Allan Howard (1943 - 2013)
Attended Colfes at Lewisham from 1954 to 1960. Allan has run his own analytical chemistry laboratory, GLC Labs ltd, for around 40 years and retired only 3 years ago when his illness was diagnosed. He leaves behind his wife and two daughters. His funeral will be at Bedford Crematorium  at 3.15pm on 21st February.

Chappell, Robert George (Bob)
Died Tuesday 29 January at Lewisham Hospital. His funeral takes place on Monday 11 February 2013, 14.30 at Hither Green crematorium if anyone wishes to attend.

Heaps, Richard (class of 1996)
Coming to terms with having a little daughter. Emma Joy born yesterday (Wednesday 30 Jan 2013) at 16:42, weighing in at 5lb 13oz. Mother and baby doing well.

Latteman, Patrick (1931 - 2013)

Wilton, Ken R J (1927 - 2012)
He was a modest, kind, gentle self- effacing man who liked to live out of the limelight and he will be remembered and loved by all who knew him.

Brown, Philip F (1924 - 2012)
Philip was the only child of a regular soldier. His parents were clearly very proud that he had won a place at Colfe’s. He gained much from his time at the school, especially when the school was evacuated to Tonbridge Wells during.
On leaving school he served about six years of National Service with the Royal Engineers. Some of this time was in Egypt, where he had lived as a small child when his father had been posted there in the 1920s to protect the Suez canal.

On demobilisation he went to University College, London, where he gained a degree in Economics. He met his wife, Loraine there, who was studying the same subject. They married in 1950 and had three children – Kay, Philip and Peter. By the time of his death there were nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of whom were a great delight to him.

Things were not always easy for them. Soon after marriage he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, spending almost a year in a sanatorium, this being before antibiotics or any other effective medication. However, his health gradually improved  and everything became easier. He trained as a Youth Employment Officer, working in Essex and Liverpool. Then he changed direction and was employed by the Atomic Energy Authority, working primarily at Risley in Lancashire and for a time at Winfrith in Dorset. At Winfrith he worked on an interesting international project nicknamed ‘Dragon’, which was designing a new type of atomic reactor and which employed scientists from many European countries. He and Loraine were sad to leave Dorset when the project came to an end and he was transferred back to Lancashire.

On retirement he and his wife became voluntary wardens of a Quaker Meeting House at Eccles, in Manchester. He had become an active Quaker, both locally and nationally, his main interests being in the fields of work and business. Then, to their delight, they moved back to their beloved Dorset as wardens of Dorchester Meeting House.

Finally they retired properly to a flat in Weymouth, with wonderful sea views from every room. Philip had become interested in adult literacy and, as a volunteer who specialised in maths, was in demand as a tutor. He only gave this up when, at the age of 84, increasing deafness made teaching impractical.

After his death it was interesting that many of the tributes to him used the words “a real gentleman” or “a gentle man”; he was quiet and bookish, always patient and kind and always finding the good in others.

Barry Watson (1935 - 2012) Colfeian 1946 - 1950
Barry was a retired self employed accountant. The Colfeian 1949 records he equalled the 220 yard sprint record of 25.8 seconds and jointly held this for many years.

Roy Edey (1925 - 2012 Aged 86). Attended Colfes 1934 - 1941.

Roy William Handcock, 1922 – 2012. Attended Colfe’s School 1933 – 39.
Roy was an enthusiastic Boy Scout and later, a Scout Leader. He gained a 2:1 Hons. London  University degree in Electrical Engineering in 1941 and enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Sub-Lieutenant 1942 where he served for 32 years, rising to Captain in Engineering Specialisation.  He was awarded an OBE in 1961, superseded by a CBE  in 1974.

Upon leaving the Navy, he worked in the oil industry for five years, retiring in 1979 to Somerset where he spent the rest of his life happily keeping bees, gardening, making furniture and being involved in village life.

He had a happy life, achieved a great deal, and looked back on his schooldays with pleasure, although he was never a particularly good scholar! Roy and his wife read the school magazine with amazement at the facilities and outings the schools now have. 

He is survived by his wife Barbara, whom he married in 1948, two children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Kevin Lynes (Sep 1959 - March 2012) aged 52
Kevin was a Cabinet member for Kent County in charge of regeneration and economic development. He died suddenly on 30 March after collapsing at the gym. The father of two was widely respected throughout Kent as a tireless worker, supporting businesses throughout Kent whose economy is in a better shape because of him. A book of condolence is at Tunbridge Wells Library, Mount Pleasant Road.

Further tributes to Kevin can be read here.

Eric Charles Bedwell (1929 - 22 Jan 2012)

Rev. Derek John Elliott (1926 - 2011) aged 85
Although he was 85 he was in surprisingly good health and it was a shock for all the family. He always spoke warmly of his days at Colfe's and particularly the years of evacuation. He was a great supporter of the education Colfe's offers.

Captain Gordon P Blyth (class of 1939) June 1923 - April 2011, aged 87
He was always interested in all things related to Colfe's, and he and his wife enjoyed reading the magazine.  They visited the school on one occasion but having lived overseas most of Gordon's working life could not found the opportunity to do so more frequently.  He left in 1939 when he went to The Thames Nautical Training College, HMS WORCESTER for sea training and subsequently joined the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company where he remained for 12 years.  After obtaining his Master's Certificate he followed a career in piloting, harbour administration and other aspects of shipping in South Arabia, East Africa and finally returned to sea for the last ten years as Master in a Hong Kong based shipping company. Thereafter he enjoyed a long and active retirement.

John Christopher Beman (class of 1970) May 1952 - 20.12.11
John was a great school buddy of mine for those 7 years, battling away to achieve ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels and annoying his parents by riding my motorbike (a trusty BSA Bantam) round the back garden of the house they lived in at the time!

On leaving Colfes in 1970 with 8 ’O’ Levels and 1 ’A’ Level, John went to work at Debenhams in Oxford Street and studied to become a Cost and Management Accountant, which he achieved. Working at Debenhams, however, always resulted in an eye catching contribution to the guest list at the frequent parties he held in the in a flat he rented in St Johns with two fellow Old Colfeians!

He married first in 1976, moving to a flat in Sundridge Park. That marriage did not last long and he relocated to Essex and a job with Rothmans Tobacco. While there, he was offered the opportunity to go to one of their overseas factories to sort out the accounting side and opted for Jamaica, where he moved in 1978. As his departure coincided with my first investment in bricks and mortar, the occasion was marked by a combined flat warming/farewell John party - after the nights in St Johns it would have been rude not to! The party spirit was resumed when the “away fixture” took place the following summer over there!

John left Rothmans in 1979, holding down a couple of jobs before going into management consultancy with KPMG in 1983, subsequently forming his own independent management consulting practice in 1999 which he maintained until his death.

He well and truly settled into life in Jamaica, going native by marrying a local girl, Donna and going on to have three children, two girls and one boy and in the last few years his eldest daughter presented him with a grandchild. In the house he lived in on Jamaica he was the proud owner of two rottweilers - he always maintained they were essential equipment with two good looking daughters in the house!   

John had some health issues since his move to Jamaica, having to go to Miami in 1999 for treatment for leukaemia. Whilst that was successful, sadly cancer returned and what seemed at first like an innocuous back pain was diagnosed last autumn as bone cancer. Sadly, this time John was not to win the battle and he died at a tragically young age on 20 December 2011. His funeral took place on 23 December, events which must have cast a long shadow over Christmas for his wife and family.

Although contact with John since he left for Jamaica was a little sporadic, Christmases and birthdays never came and went without a card. In the meantime, modern technology certainly helped to cover the miles. He will be sadly missed.

Written by Ralph Bailey

Hetal and Rakesh Patel (class of 96) are very happy to announce the birth of their beautiful baby girl. Born 09 March at 10.59, weight 7lb 10oz. Mum, baby (and Dad) are fine. rakesh patel baby

Thomas Hewstone was born 7 weeks early on 12th December 2011, son of Paul Hewstone (class of 1994).  Who knows where Thomas will end up?  It has been said many times that the friendships made at Colfe’s last forever, and that has certainly been true for Paul.  It’s an amazing thought that If Thomas goes to Colfe’s, the school would have been in our family for nearly a century! (And yes it has been known for my Dad, Granddad and I to sing the school song after a boozy family lunch). To read more about this amazing story click here...

Hewstone family - four generations of Colfeians?

Samuel George Walden

Born: 14th Feb 2012 (Happy Valentines!) at 7:48pm

Weighed: 7lbs 6oz

Luke (class of '96) and Ceri Walden very proud parents, and look forward to him donning the Old Colfeians jersey in the future!! Here's a pic of his first outing at the Old Colfeians already!

Luke and sammy walden

Joanna (Jo) Braithwaite (1976 – 2011)  Class of 1995

Jo was born in the early hours of 18 November 1976 in Gillingham, Kent and moved to south east London in 1979. She went to a local primary school and her secondary school years were spent at James Allen Girls and Colfe’s in Lee, where she became school Vice-Captain.

She had a couple of gap years at a church in Andover, Hampshire and subsequently went to Birmingham University to read Theology.

After another year in Andover she arrived in Oxford. She grew to love the city and its people. She lived in 7 or 8 flats with many lovely friends over the last 8 to 10 years. Her entry in the family address book changed most often!

She had a number of jobs in the city but eventually settled down to work as part of the ‘Holiday Lettings’ team.  She found working with the 2 founder directors stimulating and allowed her interpersonal skills to flourish. She joined a local Capoeira group. She made many friends here, helped set up a charity and visited Brazil twice in its support.

It was during this time she started worshipping at St Aldates church, Oxford. She was quickly welcomed into their community and started to pour her life and soul into a number of aspects of church life. In 2008 she joined the staff team at St. Aldates church and it is fair to say she found a job where she could use her gifts/talents to the full in serving the Kingdom of God about which she was so passionate.

Joanna was always loyal, fun loving and creative with a passion to see the influence of the Kingdom of God spread in what is often a sad and confused world.