The deaths and obituaries are listed below by year of leaving School.


Mark Lindgren (died in 1999)

On 1st March 1999, during what was to be a wonderful holiday in Africa before starting work, Mark was killed in Uganda by armed Hutu rebels from Rwanda. He was twenty-three years old.

In a service of Thanksgiving that filled St. Albans Abbey, we were reminded of all that had made Mark a very special person. Mark’s school friends, university friends, girlfriend and sister all remembered the love of life, love of people, love of Wolverhampton Wanderers and happy smile that we had seen in such abundance when he was a pupil here at Haberdashers’.

Mark joined us in 1989 at the age of thirteen from Beechwood Park Preparatory School. From the start he set himself very high standards, both academically and in extra-curricular studies. He was a student with a host of talents; he represented the School in cricket and cross-country as well as playing rugby, tennis, squash, badminton, hockey and chess for Calverts.

Mark was especially proud of being one of the cricket team which won the U16 County Cup in 1992. Mark also played the clarinet in orchestral works. One of the first pieces he mastered was "The Entertainer", so it was nostalgic to hear Peter Edwards play the piece so wonderfully at the Thanksgiving Service.

Following splendid G.C.S.E. results, including seven grade As, he went on to achieve A grades in his ’A’ level subjects - Latin, French and History. He especially enjoyed the quizzes, dinner and balloon debates of the Classics Society, but decided to concentrate on modern languages for his degree and secured a place at Nottingham University from which he obtained an upper second in French and Business Studies.

Despite all his achievements and his many skills Mark remained an unassuming and modest young man with a delightfully dry sense of humour. Gentleness was of his very essence and he was always generous in his praise of others whilst seeking no glory for himself. Mark remembered the little insignificant things about people that made them realise that they were important to him, and thus he raised their own self-esteem. Everyone who knew him enjoyed his company.


Giles (Jolly) VAN COLLE (died in 2000)

It is sad to report that Giles was murdered on 22nd November 2000, outside his optometry practice in Mill Hill, London. The funeral was well attended by old friends from Haberdashers’, with some even cutting short foreign trips to pay their respects and offer their condolences.

Giles was well liked at school; his willingness to volunteer and dedication to the cause made him an asset to anyone organising a house or school event. Similarly, his infectious laughter and permanent, if slightly inane grin quickly earned him the nickname “Jolly”. This was only varied during the course of the Gulf War when, as opposed to the rest of the year who continued with the business of playing football, “multiple buying” in the tuck shop queue and such like, Jolly spent six weeks with a radio glued to his ear, constantly broadcasting updates from Kuwait to those around him, and in the process briefly becoming known as “Kate Adie”.

One of the most important events in Jolly’s school career was the compulsory week’s work experience after G.C.S.Es. At the age of 15, he had already decided to make optometry his vocation, but it was the week he spent at a spectacle and lens manufacturer that truly reinforced this conviction. It was an inspired decision. Optometry was a career to which he was ideally suited as both a scientist and as the strongly community spirited person he is remembered as a loving son and brother, and a great, solid friend, Jolly’s absence is a loss to all who knew him. Jolly was unable to take a gap year before university, so whilst many of his close friends were abroad he became involved in the lay leadership of his local synagogue community, serving as the youngest member (by far) of the Synagogue Board of Management and as the Representative on the Council of United Synagogues. This development might have been, in fact, probably had been, predicted, as whilst serving as Chair of the Jewish Assemblies committee at School, Jolly had considerably raised the levels of dedication and organisation for what had previously been a somewhat ad hoc body.

Just two years after qualifying as an optometrist Jolly decided to invest in his own practice. This enterprise required a great deal of time and effort and it is fair to say that in the short term his social life was less active than it might otherwise have been. He still found the time to supervise pre-registration optometry students at an evening clinic at the Institute of Optometry, helping patients both young and old. He was a member of the Edgware Chapter of “Business Network International”.

It was outside and apparently in connection with his shop that Jolly was killed - a 32 year-old former employee has been charged with conspiracy to murder Giles, and will appear at the Old Bailey in due course.

It is so difficult to express in words the great tragedy that such a marvellous, mature and dedicated young man was taken from this world, so early in what was sure to be a successful life as a local businessman and a community leader.

As a response to this tragedy, and as a way of continuing the work that Giles had only just begun, Giles parents and friends have established The Giles Van Colle Memorial Foundation. The principal objects of the Foundation are twofold:

1. To support communal projects aimed at and initiated by 22 - 35 year-olds; and
2. To make an annual award for original research into paediatric optometry. If you would like make a contribution to this extremely worthwhile cause, and help build on the rich legacy that Giles has left behind, please send a cheque or charity voucher made payable to:

The Giles Van Colle Memorial Foundation
1 Greenhill Way,Wembley Park,
Middlesex HA9 9HL


Philip W Davis (died in 1995)


Stephen Zatman (1971-2002)

The members of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences mourn the loss of our friend and colleague, Prof. Stephen Zatman, who was killed in a automobile crash on July 9.  He was 30.

"Stephen Zatman was one of the premier young geodynamicists in the country, who had tremendous potential to be an outstanding teacher and mentor," said Raymond E. Arvidson, Ph.D., James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  "In spite of his brief time with us, he was very highly regarded and made an outstanding impact in our department. He will be greatly missed by his family, his colleagues, and the University at large."

Zatman joined the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences July, 2001. He earned a bachelor’s with honors from Cambridge University in 1993 and a master’s in 1995 and PhD in 1997, both from Harvard University. Zatman conducted research on the Earth’s magnetic field, using measured variations in the field from observatories and satellites to infer the workings of the dynamo at the center of the planet, and understand the deformation of the Earth’s crust, in particular the slow crumpling or rifting of relatively stable regions in the middle of continents.

A funeral was held July 12, in Detroit, Mich. Zatman is survived by his wife Dana and his daughter Molly, both of University City, his father, Merton, and mother, Carol, of Great Britain, and one brother, Michael, who lives in the Boston area.


Ian Laurie (died in 1989)


Matthew Hall (years at School 1975 - 1986)

It is with great sadness, but also with great pride, that I write this tribute to my brother and fellow Old Haberdasher Matthew Hall, who died peacefully after a stroke brought on by cancer, on 23 December 2011.

Matthew had many fond memories of his time at HABS, having joined the Prep school at the age of 7 in 1975. Whilst he left as House Captain of Hendersons and he was a keen sportsman it was his prowess on the stage that I and many others remember his school days most for with lead roles in Captain Stirrick, Albert's Bridge and The Pirates of Penzance to name a few.

After Nottingham University, Matthew started a very successful career in the city, which culminated in him heading up Deutsche Bank's International Sales Group from London.

Whilst he had an unbridled enthusiasm and love of work, Matthew managed to strike a superb balance. His family and friends never played second fiddle. Indeed when the severity of his cancer became clear his concern was more for how it impacted those closest to him than him himself.

For Matthew, his wife Lizzy, son Jack and daughter Josie were always his greatest achievement.

For me the greatest tribute to Matthew was the 100s, including many school friends, who came to his funeral and later on a thanksgiving for his life. He achieved more in 43 years than most achieve in a lifetime. He is sorely missed, but leaves memories of a man of great love, caring, enthusiasm and happiness.

Written by Matthew’s brother Michael Hall.

Jamie W.S. RUMBLE (1979-86)

Jamie Rumble died in the early hours of 14th February 1995 after a long and brave battle against cancer. He was only 26. However, in those short years Jamie achieved more than most do in seventy - gaining success in everything he tried. He also lived every moment to the full - touching all those who knew him with his friendliness, warmth and joy for life.

Jamie joined Haberdashers' Aske's School in 1979 and his talents soon became obvious both in the classroom and on the sports field. Jamie captained year obvious both in the classroom and on the sports field. Jamie captained year teams at cricket and hockey and was to represent the School at first team level in hockey, cricket and rugby (with an impressive debut against Singapore Police on the School's 1986 tour to the Far East). However, Jamie's sporting love was golf, and having been junior captain at Moor Park, Jamie soon progressed to being Hertfordshire Junior Captain. He also led the School through to the finals of the Schools Golf Foundation Tournament for the first time in 1985. He also took an active role in many other aspects of school life. In addition to being a talented artist Jamie was House Captain of Meadows, a School Prefect, C.S.M. of the Army C.C.F. Section and co-editor of the school magazine, Skylark.

Somehow in the middle of all this Jamie found the time to gain straight 'A's in the sciences and to gain a scholarship to Cambridge University. Most important of all to Jamie however, were the great friendships he forged in seven happy years at Haberdashers' - a point emphasised by the large number of contemporaries present at Jamie's funeral.

Jamie went up to St Catharine's College, Cambridge in 1986 and immediately took the new challenges of student life into his stride - making friends with everyone he met and having sufficient energy and enthusiasm to combine a hectic social life with successful academic and sporting careers. Again golf was the focus of Jamie's efforts. He won his first blue as a freshman in 1987, and went on to win a total of three blues - the second and third as Secretary and Captain of the Society. Cambridge beat Oxford in each of those three years, and Jamie himself won all six of his individual games. His crowning glory was undoubtedly to lead Cambridge to a surprise 11 1/2 - 3 1/2 win in the 100th Varsity Match at Rye in 1989 - with the whole team dressed in Jamie's favourite tartan Plus-Twos!

Despite the pressures of playing golf three days a week, Jamie was a keen student and graduated with a First in Natural Sciences in 1989. On top of all this Jamie was also President, and an extremely active member of the Kittens, the prestigious College Sporting Club.

After a brief period as a graduate trainee with Proctor and Gamble, Jamie decided to broaden his horizons and spent a happy summer in France working in Cognac, before being selected for an Operation Raleigh expedition to participate in conservation and community projects in Zimbabwe. The trip was to change Jamie's life - he not only discovered a way of life that was to provide the perfect outlet for his talents, but he was also to meet his future wife, Mary on the expedition!

On his return to England, Jamie however first spent 18 successful months in management consultancy before he realised that he wanted to work for something he believed in, and in which his tireless energy would do some good. Consequently, Jamie approached Operation Raleigh and, despite having been diagnosed with cancer, was appointed commercial manager in 1992. He was soon promoted to Commercial Director with responsibility for securing funds and expedition recruits from large commercial companies such as British Rail and Guinness.

Another match was completed when Jamie married Mary in April 1993. The wedding was at St James', Friern Barnet where both were active members, sitting on the social committee and taking part in amateur dramatics productions. Despite his worsening condition, Jamie continued to give his all to his job and to live life to the full. He faced up to his dreadful disease with courage, humility and humour: typically Jamie never complained and spent more time thinking of others and looking forward. The only visible sign of illness was the reduction in Jamie's golfing commitments - he was to play his last game before Christmas against the Curtis Cup Captain. Otherwise, Jamie's passion for life shone through as clearly as ever, and he was obviously determined to make the most of his limited time - working until the day before his death.

Sadly, no miracle came. Jamie's battle finally ended in the London Bridge Hospital. No words can describe the hole he has left in many people's lives - a point borne out by the amazing turn out at Jamie's funeral. Jamie was one of a kind, a man who no-one ever had a bad word for and whose sheer wholehearted passion for fun and life will never be forgotten. A great friend has been lost, but so many happy memories. I pray they may be of some comfort to Mary and Jamie's parents.

The Rumble Fund has been established in Jamie's memory through Raleigh International to support the education of young people in Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe. Over £15,000 has been raised so far. Any donations can be sent to Raleigh International, Raleigh House, 27 Parsons Green Lane, London SW6 4HZ. 

Keith Dawson

D William Preest (1968 - 2005)
died 19th October 2005

Doug Yeabsley reported that "It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of William (Bill) Preest. Many of you will remember him as an outstanding musician, 1st XI Hockey and 1st XI Cricket player. He was also very able and after studying languages at Durham was a high powered lawyer in the city. He leaves a widow and two young children - a girl and a boy." 

His widow Helen has subsequently informed us that Bill died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. She added that Habs have just agreed in 2008 to accept a defibrillator to be placed into the school from money raised by her through SADS UK (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) so that if any boy at the school should need urgent medical attention it will be there for use.


A.C.K. HSIEH (-1985)
aged 31 in 1998. 

Alex went from Haberdashers to Queen’s College, Cambridge to read Mathematics. He was an excellent scholar and was ranked in the top five of the Part II Mathematical Tripos list. He was also a keen and natural bridge player, competing at national level for both school and university. He went on to take a masters degrees in theoretical physics and computer science at Stanford University, where he also became a committed Christian. While working for Oracle as a software engineer, he was diagnosed as having Hodgkin's Lymphoma which, sadly, led to his untimely death.

(Text edited from the Queen's College web site)


Andrew Hewitt (died 2003)


Robert C MARTIN (1980-82) was tragically killed, in July 1986, whilst climbing in the Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye. As with all who have ventured in to the mountains, Robert had not only a great love and appreciation of their grandeur, but also a deep regard for their dangers. It seems bitterly ironic that such a tragic accident should have happened to a gifted and safety conscious mountaineer as Robert undoubtedly was.

Robert attended the School for the two years of his sixth form education. In his short time, he achieved both academic and sporting success, becoming a prefect and representing the School at cross-country and athletics. At home, he was a member of the Harpenden Venture Scouts group, being its Chairman for a time. After leaving, Robert gained a degree from Goldsmith's College of London University, where he was president of the mountaineering club during his second year. Joining BP in Aberdeen, as a geologist, Robert was following in his father's footsteps, since the latter had been with the company over 30 years.


James R. F. KENT (1976-1981)
died on 7 September 1985, nine weeks before his 21st birthday.

James was the son of John (1947-55) and Muriel Kent.

In his five years in the Boarding House, James made a useful contribution to the life of the School. His sports were in particular swimming and javelin-throwing, but he was also a cricket-scorer and his special talent was revealed in his meticulous work for the stage-lighting team.

He showed a real interest and much skill from a very early age with anything mechanical and, having decided against pursuing A-level courses after leaving school he found congenial work as a storeman at a garage close to his home in Petersfield, Hampshire and was able to devote much of his leisure time to working on cars and on his own and other people's motorbikes. He became known as something of a trouble-shooter who took extremely good care of his own machine and would take great pains to put to rights those of others, often working far into the night. He tuned and serviced the machines of two friends who raced at Brands Hatch and Snetterton and who were thus prepared to put their lives in his hands, a responsibility which he was well aware of and which he fully accepted. He was quite a well-known figure in Petersfield and had also recently become involved again with stage-lighting for amateur operatic and dramatic groups in the town.

His careful car-driving and riding were a by-word among his friends, but on the evening of 6 September 1985 he was returning home on his motorbike along a country road when, having already negotiated a right-hand bend, he rode onto the grass verge, where he began to lose control of the machine. He almost regained control but was unable to avoid hitting a wooden fence, which he demolished. He was flung off and tragically, his crash-helmet came off - it was found still correctly done up, 40 yards along the road - and he sustained such severe head injuries that he died in hospital three hours later. No other vehicle was involved and it appears most probable that he took action to avoid an animal or animals on the road, of which drivers are warned in that area.

James' popularity can be gauged from the fact that nearly 200 people, many of them of his own age, attended the Service of Thanksgiving for his life. Among those present were Nobbly Tanner and Mr David Davies representing the School, who gave the address. The Association extends sympathy to his parents, John and Muriel and his sister Catherine on their tragic loss.


Oscar M MOORE (-1978)
died in September 1996 at age 36. 

Journalist for, among others, Time Out, Punch, I-D, The Times, The Mail on Sunday, The Evening Standard and Screen International (where he was appointed editor-in-chief). 

He also published a novel entitled 'A Matter of Life and Sex'.

He wrote a weekly column in the Guardian between 1994 and 1996, which was a moving account of Moore’s life with HIV and AIDS. It was later published as a book called "PWA" - Person With AIDS. PWA was adapted into a stage play and was performed in London's Drill Hall theatre in October 2001.

Lt. Col. DAVID M LIMB MBE PARA (1971-1978)
died unexpectedly on 11 Aug 2000 whilst on leave at his home in France. 


He was just 39 years old. He had been in command of 3 PARA for a week, and he was looking forward to joining the Battalion at Colchester when it formed up after its Anns Plot move from Dover.

I first met David at Sandhurst in 1982. He was an Army Scholar and had been at Oxford University. We were on different courses and he had already been accepted by the Parachute Regiment. But even then, it was clear that David was something special. He was articulate, gregarious and athletic, despite only being just over five and a half feet tall. He was also well-read and intelligent. More importantly, he was clearly going to be an outstanding soldier and officer, and it was not surprising that he won the Queen's Medal when he passed out of Sandhurst, as the outstanding graduate of his course.

Prior to joining 3 PARA, he took part in a successful expedition to the Himalayas led by Jon Fleming. Six years later, we served together in 1 PARA in 1988-9 when he was the Adjutant and I was the Signals Officer. In the intervening period. David had continued his very successful military career. Initially with 3 PARA as a PI Comd, he then had served in Uganda with the British Military Training Team, after which he was awarded an MBE at the age of 24 for assisting in the evacuation of British nationals during a coup. There then followed 18 months as ADC to Gen Geoffrey Hewlett in Norway.

David was an outstanding Adjutant and it was then that he really made his mark. His enthusiasm, drive and positive attitude were hallmarks of his 2 years under John Keith and Dick Trigger. He involved himself in all aspects of Battalion life, not just limiting himself to Gl matters. He knew virtually all of the Battalion by name. I particularly recall his fiercely competitive spirit which always came to the fore during inter-company sports, or even whilst playing a quick game of squash. In everything that he did, David gave his all.

After he left 1 PARA and before going to Staff College, David served with I RGJ as a Coy Comd in Germany. I was not at all surprised when I heard that he had managed to be deployed on Operation GRANBY in 1990/1, serving as a Liaison Officer between British and US Headquarters. He did extremely well in the Gulf and he was awarded the Bronze Star by the Americans. This was another significant achievement.

After completing Staff College, David returned to 1 PARA as a Coy Comd, serving in both Northern Ireland and Aldershot. He did his major's staff appointment also in Northern Ireland, serving at HQNI on the Operations/Policy staff. He worked extremely hard during this period, and it was of no surprise that he picked up his promotion to Lt Col at the earliest opportunity. Quite rightly, he was then posted to the Staff College as a member of the Directing Staff. His students thought the world of him there. 

David was then chosen personally by SACEUR, Gen Wesley Clark, to be his British Military Assistant. This prestigious appointment suited David down to the ground. It was high profile, very important, dealt with big issues and was great fun. He enjoyed getting involved, and his role during the Kosovo operations in 1999 was significant.

I remember speaking with him in the middle of the bombing campaign, when things were a little tense between SHAPE and the MOD, where I was working. Despite the incredible pressure and high pace of life, David relished the excitement of the moment. He enjoyed the military networking and he excelled at the verbal jousts in which he actively engaged. David was always worth a good argument and, often much to my annoyance, he was very rarely wrong. His experience, intellect, original thought and boundless energy made for a powerful combination.

But for all the enjoyment of his staff appointments, it was as a leader that he excelled. He loved his soldiers and he relished commanding them. He could not wait to take over 3 PARA and it is much to the loss of the Battalion that he was not allowed to make his mark on them.

David Limb was a great friend. He was utterly loyal and great fun to be with. He had so many talents and was hugely gifted. He kept himself frantically busy with his various hobbies such as flying and freefall parachuting. Nobody else could have coped with his hectic lifestyle. 

David leaves behind his widow, Amanda, whom he married in 1994. and their young daughter, Alice. He was a devoted husband and father, and our thoughts and prayers must go to them, and his parents, Roy and Olive, and his brothers Robert and Andrew, and his sister Helen.

David was one of the most able and gifted officers of his generation. His flair, sense of fun and bouncy approach to life will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. We have all lost a great friend. The Army and the Regiment have lost an outstanding officer. JGL

Above article appeared in The Yearbook of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces 2000 

Simon Weston writes:

One detail I remember is that Dave won an Army Scholarship to Sandhurst whilst in the fifth form. These were very well sought after and valuable awards gained in fierce competition with candidates from across the country.

When one thinks of David, the mind conjures a full on guy, a 100 percenter. He never did anything without giving it his best shot and this was sometimes quite tiring for those trying to stay up with him. He was ambitious, but he never let this affect the way he behaved towards others. I will always remember his kindness and consideration; nothing was ever too much trouble. I stayed with him at weekends whilst a boarder at school, shared a plastic sheet to sleep under whilst on C.C.F. exercise and later collapsed in his rooms at Oxford, when the Pimms at the boathouses was too strong and the distance back to my own place too great. Dave was always willing to help and share and it was this that made him a true friend. A week or so before his death he called me at home. This was probably the first time I’d heard from him in five years. He was travelling up the M6 to a meeting prior to taking over his command and wondered, subject to his timetable, whether he could pop across to Shropshire to see Angela and me. 

Having ascertained that he was due in Yorkshire that evening and Kent early the following morning and that the detour would add at least 100 miles to his trip, I suggested we should meet another time, but it didn’t seem to matter to him. 

Whilst at Oxford, he led a similarly full life. I vividly recall dinner parties held in his rooms, for which he did the catering. How he managed to cook three and five course menus on not much more then a camping stove I shall never know, but the thought still brings a smile to my face!

Martin Baker writes:


A real life action man who led a very active life - immersing himself in everything he decided was worth doing. A real enthusiast and an inspiration to those around him. He was fully involved in the full range of school activities and hard working and able enough to gain a place at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was keen enough to play any sport that was available, playing rugby in the year teams early in his time at the School and playing 1st. Xl hockey in 1977 and 1978 (winning full colours). He was more keen on active and challenging sports such as mountaineering and the activities of the Army section of the C.C.F. He was willing and personally motivated to take on responsibility which saw him in the full range of positions including School Sub-Prefect, Prefect, C.S.M. of the Army section and House Captain of Hendersons.

I met David on our first day at Haberdashers’ in 1971 and will never forget his infectious grin, boundless enthusiasm, drive and ambition. He was an asset to everything he was involved in and his death is a huge loss to all who knew him. I attended his funeral at R.M.A. Sandhurst and the occasion was a fitting tribute to David and reflected his huge achievements and the impact of his personality on everyone who met him.


Jeremy Jeeves (1970 - 1977) Passed Away 15th May 2015

Jeremy was diagnosed with a stage 4 glioblastoma in November 2014 and sadly passed away on 15th May 2015. Jeremy worked as a Librarian in Harrow for many years and was fund raising for research into the effective treatment of brain cancer until just a few days before he died.



Colin Crouch, 1956-2015. Passed away 18th April 2015


Obituary provided by Colin's cousin, David Crouch

Chess lovers have lost a witty, passionate and prolific writer about the game, who nurtured some of its young talent.

Colin Crouch, who has died aged 58, won the British under-16 championship in 1972 with 10 wins and draw, soon after he started playing club chess in north London. He became an International Master two decades later and scored memorable wins against Grandmasters.

He wrote 15 books on chess and continued to blog daily until the end of his life. The title of his website summed up the modesty and humour that were central to his appeal: “Mainly on the evolution of top level chess, or at least to the limited extent that I am able to understand what is going on.”

“It is always a treat to read a book by Colin Crouch,” wrote Washington Post chess columnist Lubomir Kavalek, and his books attracted players at all levels. His final work on Norwegian chess wunderkind Magnus Carlsen was well received.

“Readers could relate to him because he was a very honest writer, critical of his own mistakes and willing to admit to them, he never lectured readers,” said John Emms, editor of Crouch’s last five books for Everyman Chess.

Aware of the temptation to embellish a dull game, Crouch poked fun at chess writing in the British Chess Monthly: “White threatens to thrust the flagship of his armada forward with the galloping move e5, leaving his discomforted steed on f6 feeling like Yasser Arafat at a barmitzvah.”

Born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, Colin was the son of John, a civil servant, and Audrey (nee Jackson). As a small boy he learned to play chess from his father at their family home in Harrow Weald, which remained his home until his death. He began to play competitively at Haberdashers’ Aske’s school in Elstree and then at Christ’s college, Cambridge, where he took geography, completing a doctorate at Durham University on unemployment in mining communities. Crouch was an active Fabian and Labour party member.

In 2004 a stroke severely damaged his health, leaving him in a condition where he could barely walk, had damaged arms and “only half of one eye working”. While others might have given up the game, his instincts were to play chess seriously “to recover my thought processes”, he wrote.

In 2008 and 2012 he won silver medals at international chess Olympiads for the blind and visually impaired in Greece and India. “It meant a great deal to him that he’d actually been able to prove that he could still achieve at the top,” said Chris Ross of the Braille Chess Association.

Crouch’s burly, bearded form and distinctive chuckle were well known in chess circles. He had a passionate dedication to coaching younger players every week in Harrow Chess Club, among them future International Master Lorin D’Costa.

“Nothing would give him more pleasure than seeing one of his juniors doing well,” said Nevil Chan, the club’s president.

“He was a chess giant, but at the club there was no ego, it was all for the love of the game and helping other players.”

He is survived by a brother, Richard, and a sister, Elizabeth.

David Wray (Died 21st November 2014)

David Keith Wray (1975 leaver), passed away on 21st November 2014 aged 57. 

David A Cahal (died 2003)

Steven M KITSON (-1975)
died on 12th November 1997 aged 41.

After the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa in


Francis Edward CAREY "Fred" (1967-74 Dec) died September 1990

Fred came to the School as a Boarder in 1967 with his brother David. Fred was an immensely popular member of the Boarding House and an integral part of the School community. He was a staunch member of Hendersons. He participated keenly in his year's rugby and hockey teams. Fred was a prefect, an Aldenham House Senior, a member of the Royal Navy cadets and captain of the School Rugby Second XV in which he was a fierce and determined competitor in the position of Prop and a formidable member of the School Hockey 2nd XI in which he brought to bear his full range of Prop forward skills. He concentrated on sciences at A-level and won an exhibition to Christ's College, Cambridge where he went up in October 1975.

Finding his progress barred by a plethora of good props (including two future Oxbridge Blues), Fred's 1972/73 season was in the 3rd XV, with a fixture list of only seven games. Accordingly, he was able to find an outlet for his competitiveness with games for the OHRFC, the first, of which was on 29th September 1972, when he assisted the 'C' to beat the School 3rd XV by 34-8 - evidently gaining him a place in that side, for the remainder of the autumn term. Fourteen other appearances for the OHRFC (mainly in the spring term) included two for the 'A'.

With a successful School 2nds, in 1973/74, Fred confined himself to School football, so that his final term saw him leading the side. Nevertheless, with a blank date, on 2nd November 1974, he played the first of another dozen games for the OHRFC 'A', with four other appearances including a Skylarks game on the 39th Easter tour, when he played in the back row against Paignton 2nd. Regretfully, from the OHRFC viewpoint, he was only to play three more times for the club, ending with another junior tour game, at Estoe, on 17th April 1976. 

At college Fred continued his rugby activities and rose to be captain of the College First XV and a member of the Marguerites Sports Club. Fred concentrated on his engineering studies and after successfully graduating from Cambridge he spent by all accounts a very enjoyable and productive year at Heriott Watt University in Edinburgh.

Fred settled down in Scotland to build his successful career in the oil and petroleum industry. After Heriott Watt he worked for a number of employers (including BNOC, Enterprise Oil and Amerada Hess) and finally moved South to Reading which he used as a base whilst working in London and on secondment abroad. He was seconded to Norsk Hydro in Oslo during the year before he died.

Unbeknown to many of his close friends, Fred had skin cancer diagnosed in 1988 and underwent treatment, which he was told had been successful. Despite this, a malignant tumour re-appeared in 1990 and despite Fred's brave and noble struggle, he died in September 1990. His courage and fortitude during the period of his illness exemplified the enormous strength of his character and the firmness of his resolve. 

Fred will be remembered for his dogged determination, his utter integrity, his reserves of strength, calm, good humour, patience, tolerance and logic which he could bring to bear to smooth the way in any situation and solve any number of problems and crises.

Fred remained a committed rugby supporter and player and, as a born optimist, was always enthusiastic about the prospects for the recovery of the Welsh team.

His funeral in Reading was attended by Clive Aston (1963-74 Dec), Peter Cull (1965-74 Dec), Harry Hyman (1963-74 Dec), David Mushin (1967-74 Dec), David Woodruff (1965-74 Dec) and Otto Chan (1968-75 Dec). We extend our sympathy to his wife Jackie, his mother and brother, David.


Philip P. LEHAIN (1968-73)
Died on 30th September 1998 at the age of 43 after a brave fight against cancer, which had been discovered about 12 months earlier.

The funeral was attended by a very large number of friends from the Haberdashers' community, with many making long journeys to pay their respects. The wide age range, from those who had been senior officers of the O.H.R.F.C. when Phil started playing to those who had been starting to play when he retired, showed the appeal and the impact of the man.

Philip enjoyed his schooldays, particularly excelling as a singer and on the choral trips to Europe. This was reflected in his enthusiasm to take part in Alan Taylor's final school concert in the company of many old friends and particularly Richard Jenkins. He was a member of Joblings and a sub-prefect. He was always part of the lighting and effects team for school plays and was enthusiastic about canoeing and pottery. He was a member of the Navy section of the C.C.F. which he saw as one long Outward Bound course.

Philip went to University in London where he studied law and realised a great ambition when he was called by Inner Temple in 1978. He found a place in chambers in London and began his very successful career as a barrister. By the time he died Philip was a senior member of his chambers and among the leading people in his specialist field of medical negligence and personal injury. His head of chambers gave an extremely eloquent and moving eulogy at Philip's funeral, which made it clear that Philip was a popular and highly respected member of his profession.

Philip made his debut for the O.H.R.F.C. 1st XV on 29th November 1975 as a hooker and soon became the first choice for that position. He was greatly respected in Old Boys' rugby as a first class technical hooker, always winning his own ball, a fair share on the opposition's put in and was an accurate line out thrower. He played his 200th 1st XV game on 18th January 1986 to become a member of the O.H.R.F.C. 200 club, a fact of which he was conspicuously proud. He continued to play for the 1st XV until 1989 by which time his number of 1st XV appearance had reached a very creditable 285. He played in the very successful teams in 1984-85 and 1987-88, which established new records for the number of 1st XV matches won in a season.

He was an extremely loyal and committed member of the Club ensuring consistent availability despite his demanding legal career. There were a number of times when he had to appear in court on a Monday morning sporting black eyes or other battle scars, a fact invariably remarked upon by the presiding magistrate or judge! Philip enjoyed the post-match entertainment, and "held court" with his front row and legal colleague, John Beagley and fellow academic and intellectual, Mark Archer in the bar. Their brow beating of fellow players, officers and their partners was hugely enjoyable and all done in the best possible taste.

Philip did not always come on the annual rugby tours but when he did he ensured that an impact was made. A trip to Guernsey is particularly memorable as Philip managed to fall asleep hidden in a luggage rack, defeating all the efforts of a ship wide search at St. Peter Port and only waking up on the onward leg to Jersey. A very unimpressed crew safely returned him on the way back a few hours later.

Philip subsequently became a very promising rugby referee until he found the demands of career and family life too great to allow him to continue. Philip also played cricket for the O.H.C.C. and was an enthusiastic if slightly unorthodox spin bowler.

Outside of school, work and the O.H., Philip was at great pains to ensure that he enjoyed a wide range of activities and interests. He went fly-fishing with his family from an early age and continued to do so whenever able. He enjoyed walking and the countryside in general. He was enthusiastic and competent at D.I.Y., although he often had to be talked through each stage of a project by a rather anxious father on the other end of a phone line!

Philip enjoyed life to the full, he had his Porsche, was taking flying lessons, he skied most years and was generally enjoying the fruits of his labours. Philip was devoted to his family and they to him, he was an extremely proud father (sending James to Haberdashers' and ensuring that Harriet would join the Girls' School this September) and enjoyed a loving relationship and real friendship with his wife, Claire, whom he met at University.

It is, quite simply, a tragedy that he died at such an early age at the peak of his powers. A great friend, father, husband, son and brother has been lost and the sadness is beyond words. But there are a great deal of happy memories which are the consolation and I hope some comfort to Claire, James and Harriet and to Philip's mother Joan and to his sister and brother, Clare and Julian who have all been great supporters of Philip and of the O.H.R.FC.

Martin Baker (with the assistance of Joan Lehain)


Nigel Purcell (died 4th July 2013)

Nigel died suddenly on 4th July 2013. 

Nigel's obituary will be published here in due course.


John L CAMPBELL  (1964 - 71)

John Laurie Campbell died unexpectedly of pneumonia on December 19th 1987 in Oban, Scotland aged 34.

Since leaving college John had worked as an accountant in the oil service industry which necessitated lengthy periods living overseas in Saudi Arabia, Libya (including a stay at the pleasure of Col. Gadaffi), Texas and Nigeria.

Whilst his pastimes tended to be of a cerebral nature, he did turn out for the ‘C’ XV and the 2nd XI on occasions and supported, in a non-playing capacity OHRFC tours to the West Country and Paris. He was an excellent bridge player; who played competitive bridge against players of international standard and, only shortly before he died, had won a tournament in Scotland. His wit and generosity will be missed by those who knew him. JAH


Miss Joan Pridmore (died 1995)

Clive H AMSTEIN (1963-68)
died in hospital in Leicester on 4th June 1991 aged 41.

The son of Charlie Amstein (President OHA 1971-72), Clive became seriously ill after a business trip to America in April 1991. Clive underwent a series of heart operations whilst also suffering from serious infections. His fighting spirit amazed both medical and nursing staff, although those who have seen Clive in action in any of the many sports in which he took part would realise that this typified the person he was.

Whilst at school Clive played rugby, water polo and captained the swimming team.

In 1968 Clive went to Bristol University to read zoology where he gained a 2.1. After 2 years research at Liverpool University he went on to undertake a further 2 years for an MBA. During the last 2 years there he became a hall tutor.

Clive joined Beecham Pharmaceuticals as a rep in Liverpool but quickly moved up the management tree becoming a brand manager and having the responsibility for launching important new products into the British and European markets. His success helped him to be promoted to the European Headquarters of Beechams in Brussels where he was involved in international marketing. After 3 years in Belgium he went to work for Fisons in the international marketing of pharmaceuticals; based in Loughborough and living near Oakham much of his time was spent travelling the world.

It was considered that the school never realised Clive's full potential at rugby. Clive started playing for the Old Boys as a schoolboy in 1966 playing 14 games, mainly for the 'C'; that year he actually played in 2 games with his father. The following year he played for the school 1st team as well as 10 games for the Old Boys (4 for the 'A'). It was not until he went to Bristol University in 1969 that he made his first appearance for the OH 1st team (against UCS on 4th January 1969). Clive played 151 games for the Old Boys including 50 for the first team.

Clive will probably be best remembered for his great achievements in the international shooting world. Whilst at school in 1968 he went to Canada as a member of the UK CCF team. He shot in the Queens final 5 times and achieved 17th position on one occasion, a remarkable achievement. He went to the West Indies with the British team and also won the Scottish and Welsh Open competitions in one year. As well as being selected into the British team at Bisley, Clive was also Vice Captain of the Hertfordshire team. 

Clive met Lyn whilst at Beechams and they were married on 19th May 1979. They have 2 girls Chloe and Laura aged 9 and 7.

The funeral was held at Exton Parish Church near Oakham on 12th June 1991. Amongst over 150 people at the funeral were Robert Crabb, Jeremy Herbert, Malcolm Tappin, David Vanstone, Michael Caldwell, Richard Winney, John Hassan, Tony Cairns and W R Tanner.

Clive was a popular person with a tremendous sense of humour. He has left many happy memories with the numerous friends he made in all his different pursuits.

To Lyn, the children, his parents, Charlie and Rosemary, we offer condolence for their tragic loss.


Keith JM Sichel (died 2001)

Lt. NICHOLAS TAYLOR, 1950-1982. (written by Dr J Wigley 2012)

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the tragic death of Nicholas Taylor, OH, killed in action on 4th May 1982 whilst flying a Sea Harrier from HMS Hermes in an attack on the Goose Green airstrip in the Falklands Islands.

Whist at Haberdashers’ Nick played fives, swam in the school team, and was a member of the 2nd XV. After leaving school, he played for the Old Haberdashers’ Rugby Football Club from 1967 to March 1976, and turned out for a Services soccer team until he was concussed during the following season.

He spent eighteen months training at RAF Cranwell, then switched to the Fleet Air Arm. His flying duties took him toNorthern Ireland, where he flew helicopters at 200 feet overBelfast, then to a course on Sea Harriers, before he was posted to the Royal Naval Task Force that was sent to theFalklands. A contemporary wrote

“Nick was a natural athlete and a tough competitor at a wide range of sports. He displayed a rare talent at almost everything he cared to turn his hand to, the sports already mentioned and in addition sailing, skiing, gliding and, of course, his greatest love, flying. As a pilot he achieved the highest accolade of being selected as a Test Pilot at theEmpireTestFlyingSchool, a position he sadly never filled.”

“Nick was a man’s man and the kindest person you could ever wish to meet. He has left so many happy memories he will not be forgotten by the numerous friends he made in so many facets of his life. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Nick at school will be grateful for having met such a fine young man who, as the press described, died a national hero. No parents could be more proud of their son and no wife more proud of a husband.”

Until the end of the 1970’s Nick had flown Sea Kings, then he crossed into the fast-jet training cohort. In the Spring of 1982 he had just completed the Sea Harrier conversion course and joined 800 Squadron, with which he went to theFalklands. On Tuesday 4 May 1982 theU.K.forces mounted a three-ship attack on the Goose Green airstrip during which Nick’s plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire as he went in to the target. His plane exploded and hit the ground very close to the airstrip.

Nick was the first U.K. casualty of the Falklands War. His body, still in its ejector seat, was recovered by the residents of Goose Green and, with Argentine supervision, buried nearby with full military honours. The grave is now fenced off and marked with a proper headstone. Its inscription reads “In proud memory of a dearly beloved husband, son and brother, shot down while flying for the country he loved.” It is tended by the islanders, who hold an annual service on the anniversary of his death.

The Old Haberdashers’ Association held a commemorative rugby match 6 March 1983, when a crowd of several hundred OH and friends, including Nick’s parents, was present to honour the memory of their son. The OHRFC President hosted a lunch for them before the match. Afterwards a memorial plaque in Nick’s honour and a framed colour photograph of the two rugby teams (OHRFC and CLOB) were placed on the wall over the fireplace in the Clubhouse. The school placed a plaque in the Chapel in Aldenham House, appropriately not far from the First and Second War memorials.       


John PEARSON (1956-67)
died 15th April 1997

Address in St Alban's Abbey on April 24th 1997 by Sir Richard O'Brien 

"I first met John Pearson in 1983. He was then in the full flight of his career as a civil servant in the Department of the Environment. On this occasion he was on the short list of people being interviewed for the temporary post of Secretary to the Commission on Urban Priority Areas then being set up by Archbishop Robert Runcie. For the next two and a half years or so I worked closely, very closely indeed, with John on the preparation of a report which was to be entitled 'FAITH IN THE CITY'. I came to know him well and shared the growing admiration which he inspired in the commissioners. I can see him now, at one of our residential weekends at ease with himself and others, good humourdly chatting but always underneath serious and purposeful. The job may have been a temporary one but the impact he made on all of us both personally and through the report was permanent and lasting. 

"During recent days I have been asking myself what it was about John which made such an impact on myself and others? What qualities did he possess? How was it that people who had not known him for long felt comfortable with him? Such questions cannot be answered in a single all-embracing sentence. John was too varied and too wide ranging - he looked through too many windows for that simple approach to be adequate.

"Let me say first that he was a superb professional, with all that that implies to so many of you who have come here today to honour him and to mourn him. He understood the work which had to be done and the tasks which had to be undertaken; he tackled these in such a way that confidence was generated in him and in our ability to rise to the demands imposed by our remit. He saw the boundaries, as it were, and was determined to reach them. I am saying something about clarity of mind and a lot about discipline and I am suggesting that in his relaxed informal way he was setting standards of achievement for us all.

"Yet there was more. He had a remarkable capacity for grasping issues quickly and then elucidating them for the benefit of all of us. He possessed the skill to marshal the relevant statistics and information needed to provide a basis for the report's recommendations. He was a meticulous drafter, a word-spinner of real quality: we were often astonished, as one of us has said, at how quickly he could turn our incoherent speech into fluent prose.

"This is a sad, sad day. But it is not my last word. I feel overwhelmingly a sense of gratitude to John for who he was and what he did, for me and for many others. I shall not forget him." 

Richard Michael Goldman (1947 - 2012)

Richard Goldman

Richard Michael Goldman was born in Londonon the 4th December, 1947. He grew up in Cricklewood with his parents and older brother, Gordon (also a Haberdasher’s pupil).  He attended Haberdashers school and gained A levels in science subjects.  However, he was not quite sure of his future path, so on Gordon’s recommendation, their parents took Richard to a careers advisor. The advice given, after all sorts of tests and interviews was intriguing. The conclusion was that Richard would either make a very good accountant – or a religious leader!  As it happened, Richard managed to shine in both of these areas.

From the start it was a very disciplined training as regards accountancy.  The exams are not easy and Richard often rose early to study before his working day at Malvern & Co. inGreat Portland Street, where he eventually rose up the ranks to become a junior partner. In 1975 he met Jill, a secretary/PA, who also sang and wrote songs. They met on a blind date and were married a year or so later, setting up home in Wembley. Around six years later, Richard and another accountant started their own company and worked from an office in Queen’s Park. Jill and Richard’s son, David was born in 1983. Not long afterwards, Jill became a part time arts journalist and Richard was most supportive – a real hands-on father. David is now 28 and works in sales and marketing.

As regards Richard’s abilities, he was (perhaps because of the scientific study he undertook at Haberdashers) excellent at predicting the weather!  He also was looked upon by his many clients, as not just their accountant, but also, as their friend to whom they could speak freely – and not be judged. The amount of glowing letters Jill has received after his passing, are testimony to this fact.  He was very quick to take new technology on board – even though this happened relatively late in life. He also remembered and used his French and Spanish from school. This ability was most helpful on European holidays!

In 1987, Richard followed Jill into the Buddhist faith; practising Nichiren Buddhism – based on the chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to bring out Buddhahood, or the most positive state of life – and was much loved by his friends in the lay organisation, Soka Gakkai (a non-Governmental organisation of the UN). He was also active in the local community and played a leading role in working for the welfare of residents in Wembley.

Richard died suddenly of heart failure on the 30th of May 2012.  Jill and David have lost their best friend and supporter, whose sense of humour, common sense, and kind, cheerful personality kept them afloat through life’s ups and downs.  He is sadly missed. 

Provided by Jill Goldman


John Forrester (1966 leaver), historian, philosopher and writer, born 25 August 1949; died 24 November 2015 (Guardian 5th December 2015)


The historian and philosopher John Forrester, who has died aged 66 after suffering from cancer, advanced the study of psychoanalysis, its history, key figures, clinical practice and social significance, both in Britain and farther afield. Based in the department of history and philosophy of science (HPS) at Cambridge University, this brilliant, deft and warm-hearted man brought boundless curiosity, unsurpassed stores of information and tough questioning to bear on Sigmund Freud’s talking cure and its place in the modern world.

From his PhD thesis, published as Language and the Origins of Psychoanalysis (1980) and immediately translated into French, to his magnum opus, Freud in Cambridge, completed but yet to be published, John was passionately engaged with his subject, though, being at heart a follower of the French Enlightenment, never a zealot. He continually enjoyed the conundrum that psychoanalysis – which he recognised had aspects of a faith or even a cult – presented to a sceptic of his rationalist temper. His life’s ambition, he explained to his daughter, Katrina, was to reconcile Freud, the doctor of the soul, with Michel Foucault, the critic of medical regimes of all kinds.

He brought a historian’s empirical mind to the task while practising the analytic method of watching out for inconsistencies and contradictions, through which the deepest meanings would emerge. His 1996 paper If p, Then What? Thinking in Cases examined, against a background of logic and classification that had developed since Aristotle, how “psychoanalytic discourse combines two unlikely features: it promises a new way of telling a life in the 20th century, a new form for the specific and unique facts that make that person’s life their life; and at the same time, it attempts to render that way of telling a life public, of making it scientific”. A collection of 20 years’ worth of further explorations along these lines, Thinking in Cases, is also due to appear.

John was also a highly effective catalyst: over the decades, he organised crucial interactions, seminars and reading groups, including a notable series in the 1970s when French practitioners came to England to meet and talk to luminaries in the humanities, such as the literary scholar Frank Kermode and the scholar of French literature and studies Malcolm Bowie.

Attracted to sensitive, difficult subjects: in 1986 he wrote a provocative essay on Rape, Seduction, and Psychoanalysis, and followed that with Truth Games: Lies, Money and Psychoanalysis (1997), a fascinating, slippery book about different ways of lying – to oneself and others. At the time of his death he was involved in research funded by the Wellcome Trust into a range of subjects including reproduction, IVF, surrogacy, genetic modification and gender assignment.

From 2007 to 2013, at a time of strain on academic values, he ran HPS adroitly and resiliently. In lectures as well as books, he was filled with a playful appetite for experience and knowledge, and was a gifted storyteller: an essay on the wary, prickly interactions of Freud and Einstein shows his acute insight into human character, while Freud’s Women (1992), written with his partner, the writer Lisa Appignanesi, displayed the couple’s exciting archival archaeology and flair for dramatic portraits, as they showed how a great man is sustained by family and friends, and unfolded the crucial role that female analysands, patrons, and Freud’s daughter and successor, Anna, played in his life and thought.

An imposing figure, even when he was young, John could appear scary, as it was clear he knew so much and thought so clearly. He had a domed head that made him, especially after chemotherapy, somewhat resemble a venerable oriental sage. He could be tenacious in argument, but his voice was unexpectedly gentle and confiding. Some political issues, among them the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, used to spark tense disagreements between him and some friends.

In a quiet, rather feline way, John could also be mischievous. At his inaugural lecture as professor at Cambridge, his 2002 account of Freud in Cambridge, he told us that Michael Ramsey (the future archbishop of Canterbury), aged six or so, announced “I am going to marry Mummy”. To which Ramsey’s elder brother, Frank, the future mathematician and logician, replied: “How can you be so silly, Michael? Don’t you know that you can’t marry your mother until she is a widow?”

Born and brought up in north London, John was the son of Reginald and his wife, Minnie (nee Chaytow), who had marched together to protest against Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists. A graduate of the LSE, after the Second World War Reginald worked on the Marshall plan and became a senior international civil servant in the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (now the OECD). Later, he set up as an independent consultant. He died when John was 21. After taking a degree as a mature student at the Open University, Minnie became a social worker.

John went to Haberdashers’ Aske’s school in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and then on to King’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated in natural sciences (1970). A Fulbright scholarship took him to Princeton University and work with Thomas Kuhn, whose ideas spurred his approach to case studies.

He returned to King’s as a research fellow (1976-84), and then joined HPS as a lecturer. He was made a professor in 2000, since when his research students have spread around the world: they include Alison Winter, who wrote a seminal study of Mesmerism as her PhD thesis, and the psychoanalyst Darian Leader. Abroad, John held visiting posts in the US, Brazil, France, Italy and Germany, and spent a particularly productive and happy year in Paris in 1993-94. But his home was in north London with Lisa, whom he met in 1984 when, as deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, she invited him, presciently, to take part in a series about Desire. They married in 2013.

Later in life, he became marvellously affable and unequivocally life-loving: “John could draw the finest thread of silver from the most leaden of clouds,” said one friend. He was always full of shrewd observations and zest for a whole range of pleasures, from growing splendid dahlias and roses to competing at chess to a high level on his computer.

John bridged the distinction between the hedgehog and the fox explored by Isaiah Berlin, since there was nothing he did not know about his subject, but he was also curious about – and good at – almost everything else. His work changed the contours of a discipline and fertilised the thought of a scholarly and clinical community worldwide.

He is survived by Lisa, Katrina and his stepson, Josh.


Dennis Marks, born July 2 1948, died April 2 2015

Obituary taken from the Daily Telegraph 4th April 2015


Dennis Marks, who has died aged 66, was a producer and director who became head of music at BBC Television, working on programmes such as Omnibus and Arena and acquiring a formidable reputation as one of the great television documentary makers of our time; later he was general director of English National Opera, attempting to steer the company through the financial and artistic minefield of the mid-1990s, often with one hand tied behind his back.

Marks was one of the best-known faces in the arts , turning up at performances, openings and press conferences full of knowledge but wearing his learning lightly. Passionate and irrepressibly enthusiastic, he had a remarkable ability to see the potential in people, whether musicians, actors or administrators, and his gentle – and sometimes not so gentle – words of encouragement enabled many to realise their ambitions.

At the BBC he brought the cameras into Glyndebourne and commissioned new operas for the small screen, such as Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek. Yet his broad tastes and curious intellect led to programmes on all aspects of the arts, ranging from African rock to the roots of jazz. Even after leaving the corporation Marks was the go-to man when Radio 3 dedicated entire days of programming to composers such as Berlioz, Walton and Janácek, curating an ideal blend of informed commentary and carefully chosen repertoire.

Later he reinvented himself as an urbane, informed and entertaining writer, broadcaster and traveller, with programmes such as Little Moscow in Israel for Radio 4 in June 2013, exploring the effect of immigration from the former Soviet Union on the culture of the Jewish state.


Dennis Marks travelling down the Danube through Budapest in 2000 (BBC)

Dennis Michael Marks was born on July 2 1948, the son of Samuel and Kitty. After Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Elstree, he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a first in English. He joined the BBC in 1969 and was soon making a name for his lively and informative programmes on the arts – particularly on music.

By the age of 24 he had commissioned Michael Frayn for a series called Writers’ Houses, in which living writers talked about dead ones in the environment of their homes – in this case in Laurence Sterne’s house. It was just one of many friendships that Marks cultivated and nurtured over his career. The Witnesses, made with Melvyn Bragg in 1976 for the 2nd House series, was a 75-minute documentary on writers and the Spanish civil war, while The Promised Land (1980) was a richly impressionistic film that looked at how Whitechapel had long been a cultural melting pot for immigrant communities arriving in Britain .


Arriving at ENO in 1993 Marks inherited a deficit of £2.2 million and rising; even with the anticipated dawn of New Labour, funding remained uncertain. In 1997, frustrated by his board’s lack of direction and embroiled in a debate over whether to move the company out of the London Coliseum to what Rodney Milnes described as “deepest, darkest Southwark”, Marks resigned.

Marks had a strong sense of loyalty to those around him, becoming known at the BBC for his support of both his colleagues and the trade unions. It was a trait that he brought to ENO, resisting the board’s calls for redundancies and opposing greater use of freelance workers, arguing that “the team spirit of the company would fracture”.

After leaving the Coliseum Marks threw his immense energies into an even wider variety of artistic projects, often with a travel-related theme. He had contributed to the popular Great Railway Journeys of the World in 1981; 30 years later came Wandering Jew: the Search for Joseph Roth, about the writer who vividly depicted the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Meanwhile, his books on music included Janácek’s Gypsy Love, the story of how the Czech composer’s work was reinvigorated after he fell in love with a woman some 38 years his junior. Latterly he was working on a biography of Michael Tippett, a composer whom he felt had been unjustly neglected .

Marks sported a beard that varied in length over the years – Frayn once described him as looking “like an Old Testament prophet”. When not travelling he described himself as an “eclectic cook”, a description to which his many friends could attest.

He married Deborah Cranston in 1972. That marriage was dissolved and in 1992 he married Sally Groves, a music publisher. She survives him, with a son and a daughter from his first marriage.

Michael Palmer (died 1998)


Chris Squire (1964 leaver) born March 4 1948, died June 28 2015

(obituary from Daily Telegraph 30th June 2015)

Yes, circa 1968 (l-r) Peter Banks, Tony Kaye, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Bill Bruford (Rex)

Chris Squire, who has died aged 67, was the bass player and co-founder of the British prog rock group Yes and the only constant name on its complicated family tree.

Founded by Squire with lead singer Jon Anderson in 1968, Yes rose to fame in the 1970s as part of a movement (with bands such as King Crimson, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull) to produce a more sophisticated rock sound, characterised by songs with complex structures that often drew on classical or jazz influences, using suite forms, multiple tempo changes, unusual time signatures and poetic lyrics.

After opening for Janis Joplin and being signed to Atlantic Records, the band gained a large and devoted following with albums such as The Yes Album and Fragile (both 1971), Close to the Edge (1972), Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973), Relayer (1974) and Going for the One (1977).

Critics tended to dismiss prog rock as pretentious and overwrought, yet Yes inspired almost cultlike devotion among teenagers with intellectual leanings who found an atmospheric, almost mystical, depth to their music lacking in other rock bands. Yes in its various incarnations continued to fill stadiums for more than 40 years.


Chris Squire with triple-necked guitar at Wembley in 1977 (REX FEATURES)

Squire, described by one critic as “perhaps the most nimble bassist this side of the late John Entwistle” (whom Squire much admired), was the only band member to feature in all of Yes’s studio albums and also wrote many of its songs. He remained its one constant through some 20-odd changes in the line-up, only retiring earlier this year when he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The son of a taxi driver, Christopher Russell Edward Squire was born in north-west London on March 4 1948. He was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, where he sang in the choir, but which he left aged 16 after being suspended for wearing his hair too long. He got a job selling guitars at Boosey & Hawkes in Regent Street, buying his first Rickenbacker 4001 bass using a staff discount.

Squire recalled that as a teenager he had been “into Paul McCartney and Jack Bruce”, but that most of his inspiration came from John Entwistle of The Who. “I got a Rickenbacker and Rotosound strings and I played with a pick, because that’s what John was doing at the time,” he recalled. “Musically, I learnt a lot of his and The Who’s licks and tried to emulate their energy and attitude.”

By his account he developed his own contoured tone and spidery playing style (integral to such sprawling tracks as Long Distance Runaround (1971) and Roundabout (1972)) while recovering in 1967 from a bad acid trip which landed him in hospital for a couple of days: “I’d had lots of good acid trips prior to that. But I made the mistake of trying some acid some friends of mine had homemade. That knocked me back, and I did sort of hibernate in an apartment in Kensington and spent quite a few months — maybe as much as a year — just playing bass.”

Yes weathered the late 1970s when the advent of punk made prog rock seem absurdly over-the-top. During the 1980s, the group was nearly torn apart when the mass of solo projects and personnel splits led to a legal battle over the rights to the name, between a breakaway group led by high-voiced lead singer Jon Anderson and another featuring Squires.

The row ended in reunion, however, and Anderson continued to front the group until he was forced to bow out in 2005 after developing a serious respiratory condition.

In addition to his work in Yes, Squire, known to his band-mates as “Fish”, also released a solo album Fish Out of Water in 1975 and was a member of the supergroup XYZ, alongside Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Yes drummer Alan White.

He is survived by his third wife, Scotty, by their daughter and by four children from his previous marriages.

Robert Gerald (Rob) Matthewman - passed away May 2015


John Matthewman (1965 leaver) has written to advise that his brother, Rob Matthewman (1964 Leaver), died at the end of May 2015. He died very quickly. He had 6 daughters. John writes : "We played rugby for the Old Haberdashers together, he loved his time with Julian Littlewood as captain."

Roger Walters writes - "I have vivid memories of playing with Rob under Julian's leadership. They were indeed happy days.  I remember Rob's forthright approach to playing as a quick, open-side flanker. A no-nonsense type of player, direct and uncomplicated Always enthusiastic and always going forward."



Bryan Heiser (1946 - 2013)

Bryan Heiser

Bryan Heiser, who has died of polio aged 67, spent most of his adult life fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged and, through the poetry he wrote, highlighting life's subtle twists and turns. He was perhaps best known as the pioneer of Dial-a-Ride, a free door-to-door scheme for people with disabilities who cannot use public transport, which was launched in London in 1980 and now operates throughout Britain.

Born in Rugeley, Staffordshire, Bryan was brought up in Finchley, north London. He won a scholarship to Haberdashers' Aske's school in Elstree, Hertfordshire, then went on to read philosophy, politics and economics at Durham University and, on a Fulbright scholarship, at Harvard.

Bryan contracted polio at the age of 27 on a hedonistic trip to Morocco. He found himself paralysed and in an iron lung and from that point on always used a wheelchair. But, as Bryan put it: "It isn't what you've got, it's how you use it: if you define the race you needn't lose it!"

For 17 years from 1980, he worked for Camden borough council in London – latterly as an internal ombudsman, helping to solve the problems of local residents. Bryan also undertook a research project on the lot of under-fives in the borough. He launched the first Dial-a-Ride in Camden, with funding from the Manpower Services Commission and later a grant from Camden council to buy the special vehicles required. Within a few years, with support from the Greater London Council, the scheme had expanded throughout London, and then, with government funding, around the UK.

As an independent consultant, Bryan was appointed by Hillingdon council to investigate the disputed ownership of Stockley Park, a large piece of land to be developed within the west London borough. Then, in 2001, the health minister, John Hutton, appointed him to the National Care Standards Commission, describing Bryan as "a leading player in the development of disabled and older people's rights and services".

In 2000, Bryan had been appointed special adviser on disability to the board of Transport for London and he continued in this role through Ken Livingstone's two terms as mayor. Bryan played a role in making TfL buses wheelchair-accessible, and this was one of his proudest achievements. He was an ardent supporter of bendy buses, which provoked lively debate with some of his more entrenched London friends.

With a passionate interest in the arts, Bryan was chair of Drake Music, a technology and music charity providing disabled musicians of all ages with routes into music. He was an active member of the Poetry Society, running a weekly poetry group in his house in Camden until, in 2005, we moved to Norfolk, where he embarked on a master's degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia.

We met in 1997 and married in 2005. I survive him, along with Thomas and Olivia, the children of his first marriage, to Sue.

David John (died 1998)


Peter WESCOTT (1955 - 1962)
died in June 1991

I remember Peter most from our days at school where he demonstrated a maturity and presence much beyond his years. Nonetheless he had a delightful sense of humour which would manifest itself in league with others of us, often intent on mirth at the expense of a master or someone in authority.

Peter was a good all-rounder, both academically and on the sporting field, where he was captain of the First XV. He became Head Boy and took a place at Gonville and Caius in History, having shown his determination and ability to work hard, rather than rely solely on innate talent.

In later life, Peter was an ambitious and determined man who undertook a range of entrepreneurial ventures which many others would not have dared. He had business courage although finally it was his business misfortunes which led to his sad death in June last year. Peter will be well remembered as an exceptional Old Haberdasher who dared to succeed. 

Peter Felix

It was during our last at school - the first at Elstree - that I became aware of the high standards which Peter set himself and for which I always admired him. A fearless flanker, he was always there in the midst of the fray - often to the white knuckled dismay of mother on the touchline! In the prefect's room he was a supportive and dependable deputy school captain before taking over the senior position himself. Subsequently Peter became a lifelong friend whose career and family life I knew from his Cambridge days, through the early accountancy stage to his eventual and established family and entrepreneurial years at Cookham Dean.

Peter will be remembered for his roguish sense of humour and love of pranks. This contrasted with a sometimes reserved and more serious self that was equally engaging to those who knew him well.

It is a great sadness for all his friends, his father Lionel, and particularly for Judy and their two teenage children that Peter is no longer amongst us. Let them and us remember the fun he was, his loyal friendship and his determination to succeed.

Bill Lewes

Having played for the Colts and B2 XV, while still at the school, Peter restarted his 0HRFC career in 1965-66, after coming down from Cambridge. Although not taking his football too seriously, during his four post-graduate seasons, he appeared in five of the remaining six sides in operation at the time, missing out the 1st XV. Accordingly, half of his sporadic appearances were with the W and 'C', in which there were quite a number of players of his own calibre, albeit of rather ancient vintage. His last game was on 25/1/69, when the 'C' drew with Alleynians - just before the onset of several weeks of ice and snow. His membership of the Association coincided with its formation in 1962/63.


Dr John Buckingham (passed away August 2015)

John left Haberdashers' with an enthusiasm for chemistry and won a First at the University of Southampton before gaining his D.Phil from the University of Sussexwhich was followed by work in Switzerland and Sheffield before assuming a role as lecturer in Chemistry at Westfield College, part of London University. In 1978 he co-authored The Atlas of Stereo Chemistry, co-authored with the highly regarded Chemist, Professor William Klyne.

In the early 1980s John left academic life to become Editor of the Dictionary of Organic Compounds, a complex challenge as the Dictionary had not been brought up to date for a number of years. The Dictionary was finally republished in 1987 and John continued to remain an expert in the field of natural products, contributing to other books and journals.

John also wrote books for general readers. In 2006 he used his literary prowess and scientific knowledge to write Chasing the Molecule about the history of Chemistry as a science, acclaimed as “a very different book, verging on a novel in style with the discipline of a reference text”. In Bitter Nemesis (2007), he explored the history of strychnine, first as a medicine and then as a poison throughout Western Europe.

He was still working when he died. He was the co-author of the Desk Companion of Natural Productswhich is to be published posthumously in November, and will include a dedication.

John loved playing Bridge, a valuable life skill that he gained at Habs' and founded a Bridge Club in the South West of France where he lived in his latter years. He also adored classic cars and sadly he was killed in a road accident in Austria in August of this year. He leaves behind two daughters, four grandchildren and one great grand daughter.

John SV Green (died in 1990) 

Simon J. ENGLISH (1955-56)
died early 1999

As a member of Russell's house, Simon English's interests were towards cricket and cross country and was a keen member of the S.S.U. Leaving in 1961 he was an occasional visitor to Borehamwood for social events and was a member of the O.H. Rifle Club where he was a keen shooter in a number of disciplines. Simon shot regularly at veterans meetings as well as the L.M.R.A. league.961 he took up a career in mechanical engineering.

Roger Deakin (1943 - 1996)

Deakin wrote highly readable articles about these and other matters for newspapers and magazines, including The Daily Telegraph and BBC Wildlife. He was a co-founder and trustee of Common Ground, the group that promotes and celebrates the interdependence of nature and culture. One of its activities of which he was particularly fond was the promotion of "Apple Day", a celebration of the English apple and its trees.

What brought him international fame, however, was his book Waterlog (1999), which recounted his adventures during his self-appointed mission to swim across Britain from Cornwall to the east coast. He swam across bays, up and down rivers, along canals, through lakes and ponds and, on one occasion, a swimming pool.

The undertaking was inspired by John Cheever's short story about a young man who swims home across his neighbours' pools after a party on Long Island. Deakin believed not only in the right to roam but also in the right to swim.

Beyond all his learning, his ability to connect with other people and his gentleness, he had an unconventional streak. He believed in what he called "Wild Swimming", feeling that nature was there to be energetically enjoyed.

Waterlog was written in a style that was perceptive, learned, amused, and typically self-effacing, and its insights into the countryside as well as into the condition of England itself won it admirers as far afield as Australia, Japan and California.

As a sequel to that success, Deakin embarked on a journey which was to take him across the ancient woods of the world, covering hundreds of miles on foot, traversing the woodland and forests of more than a dozen countries including Portugal, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Australia. During this odyssey he was attacked by dogs, stalked by a wolf, shot at by a peasant who thought he was a bear, and confronted by a venomous King Brown snake as he crawled up a gully in Australia.

Happily, before he became ill he was able to complete his book Wildwood: A Journey through Trees, and he had a meeting with his editor from Hamish Hamilton several days before he died. Part memoir, part natural history, part travelogue, the book examines the mutually dependent relationship between human beings and trees.

Roger Stuart Deakin was born on February 11 1943 at Watford. His family was originally from the Midlands, and his father worked as a railway clerk. Roger was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hampstead, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read English under the guidance of Kingsley Amis.

After Cambridge he went into advertising as a copywriter. His accounts included one for Royal Navy recruitment, and he would later recall how he spent days on an ageing destroyer sweeping for imaginary submarines off Portland; when the moment came to return to port, the captain put the ship almost on her side, full speed ahead against wind and tide, to make home in time for the crew's evening entertainments.

Advertising and London did not not suit Deakin, so he used his savings to buy a rundown but commodious moated farmhouse, Walnut Tree Farm, with about a dozen acres, near Mellis, in Suffolk. For three years he taught English at Diss High School, where he was an exuberant and effective teacher; he received visits from ex-pupils for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile he started to restore the house and dredge the moat; he acquired more fields, on which he grew hay and wild flowers; and he planted a wood. He then turned his hand to producing and directing documentary films on subjects such as allotments, rock'n roll in Essex, stable lads in Newmarket and the East Anglian country and western singer Hank Wangford. It was at this time that his interest in the countryside, and in writing, began to blossom.

He wrote a number of programmes for Radio 4, including The House, a diary about the ecology and restoration of his home; another, Cigarette on The Waveney, charted a journey down his local river in his canoe, called Cigarette. Deakin was a man utterly without pomposity.

He was invariably courteous, and considered political correctness a discipline for the dull. At Walnut Tree Farm he was the picture of an involved, enthusiastic and informed countryman. Roger Deakin married, in 1973 (dissolved 1982), Jenny Hind. They had a son, who survives him, as does his partner, Alison Hastie.

Wikipedia Entry

Roger Stuart Deakin (born 11 February 1943 - 19 August 2006) was an English writer, documentary-maker and environmentalist.

Deakin was born in Watford, Hertfordshire. Educated at Haberdashers' Aske's and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read English, Deakin first worked in advertising as a copywriter and creative director. He was responsible for the National Coal Board slogan "Come home to a real fire". Following this, he taught English at Diss Grammar School for three years.

In 1968, he bought Walnut Tree Farm, a semi-ruined Elizabethan moated farmhouse on the edge of Mellis Common in Suffolk, near Diss, which he rebuilt and developed over many years and where he lived until his death from a brain tumour. This had first been diagnosed only four months previously. The house and its surroundings were the subject of two BBC Radio 4 documentaries, The House and The Garden, that he produced. A further documentary, Cigarette on the Waveney, covered the subject of a canoe trip down the nearby River Waveney. He also made several television documentary films covering subjects as diverse as rock music, Essex, Hank Wangford, allotments and the world of horse racing.

Deakin was a founder director of the arts and environmental charity Common Ground in 1982.

In 1999, Deakin's acclaimed book Waterlog was published in the United Kingdom by Chatto and Windus. Inspired in part by the short story The Swimmer by John Cheever, it describes his experiences of "wild swimming" in Britain's rivers and lakes and advocates open access to the countryside and waterways. Wildwood appeared posthumously in 2007 and describes a series of journeys across the globe Deakin made to meet people whose lives are intimately connected to trees and wood. In November 2008, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, a collection of writing taken from his personal notebooks and largely focusing on the wildlife and ecology of the area around his farmhouse, was published to high critical appraisal.

Deakin appears in The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane. The TV documentary The Wild Places Of Essex, also by Macfarlane, includes scenes shot at Walnut Tree Farm. Waterlog inspired a one-hour documentary, Wild Swimming, on BBC Four in August 2010 presented by Alice Roberts. It is stated in it that he was the source for the voice of the swimmer in Alice Oswald's 48-page poem; Dart, about the Devon River Dart.

Deakin married Jenny Hind in 1973 with whom he had a son, Rufus, before the marriage was dissolved in 1982. Deakin died in Mellis, Suffolk. He is survived by his partner Alison Hastie and his son.

Review of Wildwood: a Journey Through Trees - written by Will Self and published in the New Statesman 12th July 2007

Roger Deakin's Waterlog was the literary gem of 1999. The conceit was simple: the author set out from his moated farmhouse in Suffolk to swim across Britain in a succession of streams, rivers, ponds, fens, tarns, lochs, pools - natural and man-made - and, of course, the sea itself. Emulating the protagonist of John Cheever's classic short story, "The Swimmer", Deakin created a special kind of literary classic, at once a travelogue, a discourse on natural history and an investigation into the culture and mores of our island people.

I read a lot of books - but Waterlog was one of my favourite kind, not only because of its subject matter, but also because of its methodology: the pitting of the individual psyche against the tumult of being itself. I didn't know Deakin - who, as well as a writer, was a film-maker, broadcaster and environmentalist - but like many other fans of the book, I felt as if I did. His was a witty sensibility, as happily afloat on the whirlpools of mutable time as he was on the sinuous rills of his beloved water.

Few books make you change your habits; this one changed mine, and those of several of my friends who read it. We became, if not as accomplished wild-water swimmers as its author, certainly passionate converts, ever ready to plunge into the turbid brown Avon - even in icy May - or scull out into the choppy Channel. Deakin's basic message - that swimming in wild water makes you happier and better adjusted, both to your habitat and its inhabitants - was confirmed with every scamper over the pebbles, each heart-stopping plunge into the elemental bouleversement.

Then, last year, the news came that Deakin had died, aged 63, of a brain tumour. All that vigorous, onrushing motion stilled by the scuttling crab - it didn't seem right. But he had managed to finish, in the last few days of his life, the manuscript of a second book: Wildwood.

It's inevitable that a book as keenly anticipated as this one should prove, if not exactly disappointing, somehow disorienting. I wanted the same experience as Waterlog - but Deakin provided a different form of immersion. Gone is the straightforward trajectory through water and in its place comes a path as convoluted and knotty as its subject matter. Gone, too, is the lightness of writing about the natural world that made it possible for a city dweller such as myself, who doesn't know his ash from his elder, to make believe that he's happily feral.

Despite growing up in Watford, Deakin became an enthusiastic naturalist when he was a schoolboy. On botanising trips to the New Forest organised by his teacher, the eminent entomologist Barry Goater, Deakin immersed himself in the close study of flora and fauna. In Wildwood he returns to Dorset, and in Goater's company walks the same paths, cataloguing sylvan diversity. Deakin quotes the 19th-century agriculturist William Cobbett approvingly: "What are these deer for?" He lauds Cobbett for his practicality and lack of cant, yet so many would-be modern Cobbetts are distinguished by their capacity for the self-righteous homily. Deakin never stoops to that. Although a committed environmentalist - he was a founding trustee of the arts and environmental pressure group Common Ground - he didn't build wooden tubs in order to thump them. His passion for the natural world and anger at its degradation are expressed through the praxis of conviction: he is the antithesis of a high-profile eco-warrior, hopping between jets on his way to the next earth summit.

Long time resident in Suffolk, where he took over a dilapidated, cruck-built farmhouse and reconstructed it himself, Deakin managed his own smallholding, swam in its moat, turned wooden bowls on his lathe and - in homage to his friend, the wood-sculptor David Nash - created an Aboriginal-style wiltja out of living ash trees. Some of the most moving passages inWildwood concern this philosophy, woven out of the living wood of Deakin's copses and hedges. Sitting at his desk, sharpening a wooden pencil and observing the quotidian - yet special - place he had created, Deakin allows his mind to take flight through time and space, brachiating through a forest of fact and fancy. From the walnut burr veneers of which Jaguar dashboards are made (and in this section Deakin, a motorist himself, is notably deft) to the propellers of First World War aircraft, he locates wood as an ur-substance: building material, art object and artefact; a furniture of the world that, like the ridge pole of a tent, supports the canopy of effulgent life.

His obituarist in the Guardian, Ken Worpole, located the two poles of Deakin's life-work as the anarchism of Colin Ward and the Anglicanism of Ronald Blythe - both Suffolk neighbours. From childhood holidays in this neck of the woods, I feel I have some affinity with Deakin's milieu, the hippy proto-greens of Barsham Faire and "Coypu Comix" in the mid-1970s, who were, in their turn, the lineal descendants of the Woodcraft Folk and, before them, the Men of the Trees. This is a Janus-faced tradition, politically, with one visage set woodenly on the sacred groves of the past, the other on the more pliant saplings of futurity. It's a furrow perhaps best ploughed in Patrick Wright's masterful history of 20th-century English environmentalism, The Village that Died for England.

Of course, unlike Deakin, I've lived out my life cocooned by synthetics rather than minutely observing the creation of cocoons. Part of what makes Wildwood a bewildering read for the non-naturalist is Deakin's complete absorption in his chosen subject: he augurs his way into his material, following the narrative grain from the ethnology of ravens to the construction of writing desks. In truth, I found him weakest as an art critic; and although his writing on David Nash in Wales, Mary Newcomb in Suffolk and John Wolseley in northern New South Wales is undoubtedly impassioned, I'm not sure his exploration of the allusiveness of man-made artworks matches the precision with which he describes natural processes.

Deakin supplely weaves withies of observation together, covering journeys to the Spanish Pyrenees in search of the rare Albères cattle that browse the cork oaks; a wintry trek through the Bieszczady woods of the Polish-Ukrainian border; a study of the human diversity of the Pilliga forest of northern New South Wales; a stroll through the chestnut groves of the Hérault and the olive ones of Lesbos. The most spectacular of his travels is a trip through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where he encounters local arboriculturists who harvest amazing wild walnut forests, and visits the ancestral home of the apple.

Yet, enthralling as these travels are, it's back home in England that Deakin's writing takes flight, especially in his descriptions of his own Suffolk homeland. His intimate accounts of hedging, coppicing, grafting, pruning, and eventually planning and turning his beloved wood, may have made me feel inferior, but I experienced atavistic stirrings and desired to go tree climbing once more.

Even now, sitting in stony Stockwell, south London, with his posthumous gift on my lap, I'm moved to consider what exactly is the benefit of Deakin's brand of raised, woody consciousness? Not all of us can live the life of praxis that he did, yet on finishing Wildwood I found myself thinking more concretely about the trees - and wood - in my life than heretofore. Even if it's only the carbonised briar in my tobacco pipe, the planed pine of my custom-carpentered desk, the cedarwood in my cigar humidor, Wildwood has provoked me. Perhaps this year, under Deakin's influence, I will finally learn to tell my ash from my elder.


Christopher John Curry 

Christopher John Curry died on 28th February 2012.Born on 5th September 1940, he started at Haberdashers' in 1951. He went from there to Northampton College, part of London University, but now the City University and graduated with a BSc in electrical engineering. He became a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. For most of his professional life he worked for Tampax Ltd starting as a project engineer in 1968 and rising to Vice-President International when the firm became Tambrands. He opened and became responsible for plants in Ukraine, Russia and China. After redundancy in 1994, Chris started his own business called Manufacturing Lead International working as a management consultant for various organisations. He specialised in businesses in Eastern Europe and he lived in Finland for a time crossing the border into Russia each day to supervise a paper mill. He retired in 2005. He was married to Delia for 45 years and leaves children James & Nicola and four grandchildren. 

Barry ALBONE (1952-60 Dec)

Died suddenly on 11th February 1991.

All-round sporting ability was clearly evident in Barry's school career, which saw him awarded colours or half colours for rugby, cricket and basketball. Playing for the 1st XV in 1960 he took part in the last match staged against OHRFC 'A’ at Chase Lodge. A school prefect, vice-captain of Joblings and a L/Sgt in the CCF (Army section), Barry passed his '0' levels in 1957 and 'A' levels in 1959-60.

In both the OHRFC and OHCC, Barry's story is one of outstanding achievement, confirmed by his membership of both of the sporting 200 clubs. In rugby he played 236 1st XV games (291 in all, plus appearances for the LXIV Club, etc.) beginning with the Old Cranleighans in October 1961 and ending with a win over Wellington during the 38th Easter tour in April 1974. Probably the best prop forward of the post-war era, he scored 7 tries for the senior side - positively care-free high scoring for a member of the front row fraternity! Acting captain in 1968/69, he was a vice-President during 1979-87.

Despite being heavily involved in a commercial career (he held a number of senior positions in a career of more than 25 years with Colgate-Palmolive) Barry was also able to dedicate his considerable talents to the cricket pitch. A genuine all-rounder, he made 212 1st XI appearances from July 1960 (as a schoolboy) until May 1976. Barry scored 2,103 runs as a middle-order batsman and took 29 wickets as a change bowler -when not performing both acrobatically and effectively as a wicket-keeper. Behind the stumps, he made 28 stumpings and took 75 of his 115 catches for the 1st XI. He also made 17 2nd XI appearances and 27 for the Sunday XI, the last of which, in August 1976, was his final game for the OHCC. Barry was vice-captain 1st XI 1967-69 and a vice-President 1982-91.

Following his departure from Colgate-Palmolive, Barry set up his own business as a marketing consultant. Particularly sad to report, he was due to marry in April of this year.

Large numbers of OH and business acquaintances attended Barry's cremation service.


Robin Cole (Haberdashers 1954 - 1959)

Robin died of inoperable cancer whilst he was a pupil at Haberdashers. He was born in Watford in 1943 and died in Hendon in 1959. He is buried in St Margarets churchyard, Edgware.

The Reverend Canon Roger Mason B.D., B.Sc. (Econ)., A.K.C. (Haberdashers 1952-59)

 Roger attended the school when it was based at the Westbere Road campus.  He would be the first to admit that his schooldays,  particularly in his early years, were not to be the happiest days of his life.  Nevertheless by the time he reached the sixth form he  was to enjoy both extra-curricular and academic success.    He was appointed Company Sergeant Major of the school cadet corps and  at a combined schools cadet camp at Aldershot, he was awarded a tankard for being the best NCO in South East England.  In fact he  was so keen on things military that he seriously considered an army career but was let down by his eyesight.  He obtained 5 “A”  Levels, unusual for those days.

 Roger enjoyed, on occasion, being that little bit different and promoted a resurgence of the straw boater as headgear for the  summer term.  He rowed for the school and was later to row for King’s College (London) at Henley.  He also became a member of  London Rowing Club, a membership he retained for the rest of his life. 

 On leaving school he entered the Inland Revenue.  He studied at night school and gained a degree in Economics from London  University.  However he realised that he was being called to the Anglican Ministry and commenced his theological studies at King’s  College.

 During this period he met his wife Jean, sister of the former Middlesex and England fast bowler Alan Moss. Roger and Jean were to  have a happy marriage with four children and six grandchildren.

 After graduating, for the second time, Roger and Jean went off to Warminster for more practical training in the ways of the ministry.    His career commenced and progressed.  He was a curate in Enfield, a Rector to two rural parishes in Shropshire, where he gained mentions in the national press for using a pony and a trap to carry out parish visits.

He returned to London and served as vicar at St Mary’s Willesden for 10 years.  He involved himself heavily in education, serving on various Brent Council Committees, it was a passion he held for the rest of his life. 

He decided it was time to move on and was appointed to St Mary’s, Prittlewell (Southend on Sea) where he spent eighteen years, the bulk of his ministry.  During this period he was appointed as a Non-Residentiary Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral.  

At the age of 65, having overcome one brush with cancer he decided to retire.  Roger and Jean moved to Melton Mowbray.  Unfortunately he was diagnosed with further cancers and thus began his five year battle with that dreadful disease.  He overcame a major operation and the lure of parish work proved too strong and he came out of retirement and took up his final challenge as a part time assistant priest to several parishes in Rutland.  Unfortunately after several setbacks he eventually succumbed to his illness and died on 27th January 2012.

Written by Clive Bender February 2012

Peter B Woolstone (died in 2002)

Julian Littlewood (died in 1989)

Derek J Semlyen (1952 - 59)
died on 26th August 1987, at the age of 45.

After playing once, as a schoolboy, for the OHRFC, Derek returned to the club in the 1960/61 season and played spasmodically for the next five seasons, making the last of 30 appearances on 14/11/64. During this time he had worked for the family's photo finishing business, but then trained as a solicitor.

In 1973, he joined Henman, Ballard and Co (later Henmans) in Oxford, as an assistant, subsequently becoming a partner and helping to build up a successful personal injury litigation department. Derek was a founder-member of the Oxford and District Solicitors Association, which has instituted an annual prize for trainee solicitors, as a memorial to him.

For some years, in the 1970's, Derek was on the committee of the Oxfordshire Squash Racquets Association and organised the county's Open Squash Championship on a number of occasions. He was Chairman of the Governors of the Clifton Hampton Primary School and a member of the Parochial Church Council, organising fund-raising events for the school, the village hall and, in particular, an annual open air concert in aid of the Parish Church. On 28th November 1988, there was a performance of Mozart's Requiem in St Paul's Church, Culham, in his memory.

He leaves a widow, Jean, and their children, Charlotte, Katherine and Thomas.


Keith Ernest George Coggins

24 May 1940 – 26 April 2015

Obituary provided by David Coggins.

Keith died suddenly on 26 April. He was born at the beginning of the Second World War in Bristol.  The family moved to London in 1942 and he later followed John and I at the school in Westbere Road, leaving in 1958. 

On leaving school he joined the National Coal Board as a management trainee and as was the custom in those days we all played rugby with the Old Boys at Boreham Wood.  In 1964 he married Vivian and worked for several companies until he took up an appointment in Saudi Arabia in 1978.  On his return from Saudi Arabia he continued his varied career running a number of businesses including The Downing Arms near Cambridge. 

In 1990 a business took him to Johannesburg in South Africa where he was later joined by Vivian and they both continued to operate the business to the present day.  My wife and I visited them a couple of times in South Africa when we enjoyed the company of their social group of all races and met a young ethnic South African girl who he has been sponsoring through school and who is now in her final year.

Keith leaves a son and daughter and three grandchildren.



Michael D Kustow (1950 - 57) - died 29 August 2014

Michael David Kustow, producer and writer, born 18 November 1939; died 29 August 2014 (obituary taken from The Guardian, 1st September 2014)

Michael Kustow

Michael Kustow at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, central London, in 1968, where he successfully rode the alternative wave. Photograph: Chris Morris/Rex

Not many people in the arts over the past half-century in Britain had as big an influence behind the scenes – writing, producing, proselytising – as Michael Kustow, who has died aged 74 following a heart attack. For someone who never really felt he belonged, Kustow was nonetheless involved in many of the greatest artistic enterprises of our day. This activity was always pursued under the aegis of some outstanding figure he admired as a creative father figure: Arnold Wesker at Centre 42 at the Roundhouse in London, Peter Hall at the Royal Shakespeare Company (and later the National Theatre), Jeremy Isaacs at Channel 4 and Peter Brook at the RSC and in Paris.

Kustow was always a cardinal, never a pope – except for the period from 1967 to 1970 when he successfully ran the Institute of Contemporary Arts, which moved into its magnificent new home on the Mall, within hailing distance of Buckingham Palace. Even then he was uneasy with his status, worried that he might not catch the new surge of the alternative culture in so palatial a setting. But he did, masterminding, for instance, a fantastic series of plays, events and exhibitions dedicated to the surrealist poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and signing out with a memorable fiesta celebrating comic books, entitled AAARGH!

Kustow's complicated view of himself – part vanity, part insecurity – was best expressed in his autobiographical memoir, Tank (1975), in which he adopted a third person, K, to describe his youth, his background, his sex life and his cultural enthusiasm. It's one of the best books of the decade, and a fine example of the sort of radical, intellectual energy that defined the movements of the era.

A brilliant writer and critic, Kustow positioned himself at the heart of cultural politics at home and abroad, a true internationalist with an incredible contacts book. He was equally at home with underground poets, high-ranking television executives, troubadours, actors and alternative comedians. His cultural appetite was voracious. He was the only person I ever encountered jogging on Hampstead Heath who owned up to listening to Harrison Birtwistle on his earphones.

Born and brought up in Golders Green, north-west London, Michael was the son of Mark and Sarah. Mark came from a Russian immigrant family, and sold children's clothes in a shop in Bermondsey, in the south-east of the city. Sarah came from a Polish immigrant family, worked as a secretary and was very interested in literature. Thus Michael was a second-generation English Jew, and identified from an early age with Kafka, James Joyce and Brecht. He was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's school, then in Hampstead, and Wadham College, Oxford, where he read English and was a contemporary of Melvyn Bragg, whom he regarded as a smoother version of himself.

His leftism was at once natural, heartfelt and fashionable: after Oxford, where he was enthralled by the New Left and worked in undergraduate theatre alongside John McGrath, Ken Loach and Michael Billington, he joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and went to Israel to work on a kibbutz.

He took a boat from Haifa to Marseilles and joined Roger Planchon's Théâtre de la Cité in Lyon, one of the great Brecht-influenced postwar companies, which performed classics in the suburbs. Planchon was Kustow's first professional father figure. As well as teaching English and translating with the company, he appeared in minor roles in important Planchon productions such as The Three Musketeers, touring in Germany.

Back in Britain, he became a postgraduate in the Bristol University drama department, finding a sympathetic nexus of activity with Harold Pinter's first play produced there, Charles Wood and Peter Nichols writing in the city and Tom Stoppard working on the local paper. But in 1962 he was drawn to London by Wesker's Centre 42 project at the Roundhouse, and then the following year by Hall's RSC. Wesker was Kustow's ideal of "a messianic Jew", while Hall was a role model in applying the standards of the literary critic FR Leavis to Shakespeare in developing a militant classicism; against which Brook was busy reacting and churning up controversy.

Some RSC directors disliked Kustow's intellectual flamboyance, dismissing his influence and that of the American director Charles Marowitz, Brook's associate on the Theatre of Cruelty season, as pretentious. But Kustow and Marowitz widened the company's range and, in the RSC magazine Flourish, which Kustow edited, created an invaluable outpost of criticism and debate.

Kustow's first book, The Book of US (1968), was an account of Brook's anti-Vietnam war protest play US, which he scripted alongside the poet Adrian Mitchell and the playwright Denis Cannan. After four turbulent years he was ready for the even more volatile world of the visual arts at the ICA, leading his troops into the Mall in April 1968, shortly before Parisian students occupied the Odéon theatre during the May riots; the coincidence was not entirely inappropriate.

When Kustow rejoined Hall as an associate director at the National Theatre in 1973, he took charge of visiting foreign companies, in-house exhibitions and what became known as platform performances, highlighting the work of Brecht, Philip Larkin, Groucho Marx and Robert Lowell. In 1980 he directed Simon Callow in a performance of all Shakespeare's sonnets; Callow was also involved in performances of Kustow's new translation of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale.

And then, ever in search of the new departure, he joined the new Channel 4 in 1981 as commissioning editor for arts programmes, calling in contacts and favours with a dizzying frenzy and, as recounted in his book One in Four (1987), a journal of his penultimate year at the channel, unbounding elation.

Kustow's programmes tended to shadow the establishment arts world, even record specific events, notably Brook's Mahabharata epic (the film was completed in 1989), rather than break new ground. But his default setting was the shock of the new and the cutting edge, so he never really invaded Bragg's South Bank Show territory.

Kustow left Channel 4 and formed his own production company in 1990, working with his former RSC associate John Barton, as well as Hall, on programmes about Shakespeare workshops and the elephantine genesis of Barton's theatrical epic about the Trojan war, finally filmed as Tantalus: Behind the Mask (2001). Two further books, theatre@risk (2000) and Peter Brook (2005), remain eloquent testimony to a sustained engagement with the performing arts, the first in particular containing astute and vivid critical writing on figures as various as Ariane Mnouchkine, Mark Ravenhill, Ken Campbell, Alan Ayckbourn, Robert Lepage and the brilliant South African satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys.

Kustow's first marriage, to his Oxford contemporary Liz Leigh, ended in divorce. In 1973 he married Orna Spector, and they divorced in 1998. He later lived with Jane Shallice for more than 10 years, and is survived by his sister, Alexandra, and brother, Lionel.

Michael R Hunt (1950-57) – died 14th July 2014

‘Competitive but Modest’

Michael Hunt 

The following obituary was compiled by John Jeffers and Robert (Bob) Adams and with grateful thanks to Michael’s wife Catherine for her many contributions.

Michael was born in Harrow on 8th January 1939, brought up in Kingsbury, but interrupted by wartime evacuation to Halifax.  He joined Habs in 1950, but we (JJ & RA) were privileged to have shared earlier school years with him. One of us (JJ) attended the same primary school, Fryent in Kingsbury, where Michael was captain of his school football team, also being selected to play for the Wembley schools side.  RA, at another Wembley primary school, on 3 or 4 occasions found himself and Michael on opposing sides.  The result of these encounters was, not surprisingly, nearly always a victory for Fryent.    But Michaels’s academic abilities were also already well to the fore.  As the son of a local businessman he was exceptional in all aspects of school life, being also the school captain at Fryent in the year prior to obtaining admission via the 11+ and school entrance examinations to Westbere Road.  

At Haberdashers he soon made his mark in a variety of sports, ultimately becoming a member of the Rugby 1st  XV, the Cricket 1st X1, and the athletics team.  He was also a competent boxer – RA well remembers his demolition of an opponent in an inter-house match resulting in the referee, Mr Hewson, stopping the fight after about 30 seconds of the 1st round.  As a cricketer ‘The Skylark’ of Autumn 1956 described him as ‘a bowler very difficult to hit and who often removed settled batsmen’ and ‘His action is well worthy of imitation.  His batting has been disappointing, but he has taken several good catches.’  In 1957 he was reported as being ‘one of the best fielders in the side’.  In an inter-school athletics match Michael won the long jump, an achievement repeated at the school sports day winning this event for his house (Meadows).   Earlier, he had been runner-up as Junior Champion at the school annual sports day, only being pipped by Barry Shaw, who as well as being the Junior Southern 3 A’s title holder, subsequently took all the school sprinting and high jump records.

1st XI 1957

Michael’s success in both sporting and academic activities continued unabated, not least his being an integral part of the initially somewhat controversial Edgware Rovers XI that won the Wembley Youth football League in 1954. That year also saw the team, composed of Haberdashers pupils,  (including JJ) winning the Wembley Rotary Cup at Edgware Town's ground in front of over 1000 spectators. A very proud moment for all involved because they had beaten many teams of boys from soccer playing schools - which of course at that time Habs, was not.

Having spent 3 years in the 6th form to take S-level, Michael's years at Westbere Road enabled him to blossom as a very high achiever and a State Scholarship to Bristol University was his due reward.   This was a highly significant event in Michaels’s life as it was there that he met wife-to-be, Catherine, just before their graduation.    The pair had been part of a group of 8 students on a camping holiday, armed with small tents, 2 primus stoves and a VW van.  There were just 2 girls and Catherine did most of the cooking.   One day a certain awkward soul would not eat Catherine’s ravioli, so she then prepared him an omelette only to be told it had not been properly cooked.  Being just about to hurl the whole pan at the ungrateful fellow, Sir Galahad Michael intervened and calmed things down, thus demonstrating his inherent management skills.  This impressed Catherine sufficiently that they started going out,  eased by the fact that  they lived on the same underground line – obviously   quite a long journey  as  they have kept up travelling together  for no less  than 52 happy years.    They married while Michael was studying for his PhD, much to his father’s dismay as he thought he should wait until he could support his wife.  But somehow Catherine overcame father’s opposition, to the extent that for a couple of years she had Michael as dependent relative on her tax return! 

After his PhD Michael joined CEGB as a research chemist where he stayed for five years, but he decided this job was not for him.  Now with two young sons Stephen and Graham, he was looking for greater opportunities.  Catherine’s father, always immensely proud of his son-in law, was on a train to London telling his fellow passengers that Michael was looking for a job.   One of these turned out to be PA to the MD of Akzo Chemicals UK, who said she would ask her boss if there were any vacancies.  Accordingly Michael was asked to send in his CV to the HQ in the Netherlands and as result he started work with them. As a huge multi-national this gave him the chance to do many different jobs and he rose steadily through the company, ending his career as Chief Executive of the UK operation.

Michael was a devoted family man; there was nothing he would not do for his boys.  Whenever he returned from a business trip, there was always excitement to see what present he had brought back, whether  the first Walkman from Japan, a baseball glove from America or a cool 1977 T Shirt from Hawaii, his gifts were always well thought out.   Of course, having their dad back to play football with them was even better than the presents.  Later in life this devotion was carried on to his daughters-in-law and grand children.  He was so proud of his family.

As a sportsman Michael was always super-fit so it was a shock to be told, aged 50, that he had a brain tumour which needed major surgery.   Characteristically he never gave up and was back at work in 3 months, at first part time, gradually increasing to full time.   He lost the hearing in one ear, which as an accomplished pianist he loved music, and, he was sad that he could hear nothing in stereo.  His company gave him great help and everyone respected him for his bravery and loyalty and the support he gave to all his employees.   Not surprisingly after this episode his attitude to life changed with a tendency to live for today, a wise course.   Unfortunately the tumour recurred 10 years later but luckily could be treated with radiotherapy, although he was told that ‘time was not of the essence’ so he and Catherine set off on a 3 month round the world trip.   As he could not rush around so much, they invested in a motor home called HUMPHREY, and had 12 years of fabulous trips all over Europe.

Michael continued to indulge in many activities at his home in Sidmouth, including among many others bridge and golf and being a member with Catherine of the East Devon Luncheon Club.  Chance meetings between JJ and Michael on the golf course, and RA at the luncheon club, we re-met after a gap of 40 years.   

Michael died at home in Sidmouth on the 14th July 2014, aged 75 years.   His funeral was attended by a large gathering of his friends and relations from many parts of his life, including JJ and RA, two of his OH friends.   We and many others recognise Michael as a fine man in every respect and consider it an enormous privilege to have shared a small part in his life.

Anthony P HUGHES (1952-57)

died on 27th February 1997, after a long and brave fight against cancer. 

Anthony was a pupil at the School under the headmastership of Dr. Taylor and was in Calverts House. He had many fond memories of his school days including a special one for a certain T. E. Carrington whose name still evokes memories for two generations of Old Boys!

Anthony maintained his links with the School by sending his only son Patrick (1977-84) to follow in his footsteps. After leaving school at 17, Anthony qualified as an engineer at Hendon Technical College and joined de-Havilland in Hatfield. After a period of National Service he joined the Ministry of Defence where he had a number of notable achievements in the field of aero engines. In the late '80s he was promoted to Assistant Director Helicopter Projects.

Anthony lived a full life with a selfless devotion to his family and the church. He was a keen angler and lover of music. He has supported the School and the Girl's School in a number of choral concerts. His swansong was due to be Alan Taylor's farewell concert in 1996 however ill health finally forced him to the audience were he at least had the pleasure of watching his son perform in his place.

Anthony will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him, and our thoughts are with his wife Ann, son Patrick and two daughters, Katharine and Joanna. His funeral took place on the 5th of March at St Edmund The King, Northwood Hills. Old Boys present were P G. Hughes (1977-84), P J. S. Vacher (1945-55), A. R. T. Marsh (1977-82).

Adrian Marsh


John Horrocks - died 18th May 2015


His brother Peter writes - 

I am sorry to let you my brother John died this morning. He had not been well since Christmas and  they found he had cancer which had spread. He had a very enjoyable and successful life.

Peter Vacher writes - 

Tony Alexander, John Hanson and I plus John's brother Peter were the OH contingent at John's funeral yesterday which was otherwise very well attended.   There was no eulogy as such or speeches, just a very brief overview of his life from the Minister. John and Peter both played for OHRFC.

Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, born September 25 1939, died January 21 2015




Leon Brittan at the Old Haberdashers' Association Annual Dinner in 2010

The following obituary was published in the Daily Telegraph on 23rd January 2015.

Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, who has died aged 75, overcame a humiliating end to his ministerial career during the Westland crisis to become the longest-serving and most effective of Britain’s European commissioners.

Widely respected for his intellect and capacity for hard work, Leon Brittan made his reputation in the early 1980s as a formidable administrator with an unrivalled grasp of the details of his brief, a talent that had previously made him a successful QC.

Suddenly brought into Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet in 1981 — promoted over the head of Nigel Lawson to chief secretary to the Treasury — he proved highly effective in imposing detailed control on public spending, an intellectually demanding task that his predecessor, John Biffen, had found too unpleasant (or too difficult).

As home secretary after the 1983 election, Brittan imported a raft of ideas for updating criminal justice, including stiffer sentences, and easing restrictions on using tape-recorded witness statements and on independent prosecutions. He produced many reforming Bills and tried to streamline Home Office bureaucracy; senior officials reckoned him the only post-war home secretary to realise what was wrong with the department and try to remedy it.


Brittan was one of the few Cabinet members who could privately persuade Mrs Thatcher that her initial reaction on a particular issue was wrong, and his willingness to argue with No 10 contradicted the popular caricature of him as a placeman.

Yet though he was one of the most gifted of her ministers, he was short on political judgment and sensitivity. Myopic-looking and unashamedly intellectual, Brittan’s manner was widely interpreted, especially by press commentators, as patronising, even contemptuous. In her memoirs Mrs Thatcher recorded: “Everybody complained about his manner on television, which was aloof and uncomfortable.”

Where the public saw arrogance and coldness, Brittan’s friends noted precisely the opposite: a shy, humorous and exceptionally kind man and, improbable as it might have seemed to outsiders, the object of real affection. Even in a wider circle he was notable for being completely free of malice or spite. Yet the criticism that he was too clever for his own good and short on common sense dogged his career.


Leon Brittan (centre) with Margaret Thatcher, Lord Hailsham, Sir Keith Joseph and Michael Heseltine in the 1980s (PA)

These failings came to the fore in 1985 when, in response to rising Tory anger at “Left-wing bias” in the BBC, Brittan tried to pressure the corporation’s governors to prevent the screening of a Real Lives documentary on Northern Ireland, an effort which, since he did not succeed, left him looking simultaneously authoritarian and ineffective. This episode prompted Mrs Thatcher to move him, against his wishes, to the Department of Trade and Industry in September 1985. She was also influenced by backbench Tory complaints that Home Office questions, in which Brittan was pitted against Labour’s Gerald Kaufman, who shared his Baltic Jewish origins, was “like being in a foreign country”.

The DTI should have been an easier billet, well suited to Brittan’s backroom talents, and his speech at the party conference soon after brought him an unexpected standing ovation. But then came Westland.

The Westland company of Yeovil, Britain’s only helicopter manufacturer, was in financial trouble and sought to be bailed out by Sikorsky, its American counterpart. The Sikorsky bid ran into immediate opposition from the defence secretary, Michael Heseltine, who claimed that the Americans would turn Westland into a “metal-bashing operation” and suggested the company look for a European buyer.

When Heseltine convened a meeting of the national armaments directors of France, Italy and Germany, as well as Britain, to agree a policy whereby they would only buy helicopters designed and built in Europe, he put himself at loggerheads not only with the Westland board but with the prime minister and her trade and industry secretary, who felt it was wrong for the government to prevent any particular solution to Westland’s problems.

This disagreement erupted into a political crisis, with the arguments played out in Parliament and the press, mostly to the advantage of Heseltine, lobbying frantically behind the scenes. Then extracts were leaked from a confidential letter in which the solicitor-general, Sir Patrick Mayhew, accused the defence secretary of “material inaccuracies” in the presentation of his case.

Following Heseltine’s dramatic resignation in mid-Cabinet on January 9 1986, it emerged that Brittan had authorised the leak, albeit with what he thought was No 10’s consent. On January 24 he offered his own resignation.


Brittan with John Gummer in 1984 (Hulton Archive)

Brittan’s departure at the height of the worst internal crisis of Mrs Thatcher’s premiership was the direct result of his loyalty to a prime minister he regarded as a friend. Inevitably, he was seen as the fall guy, a necessary sacrifice to save Mrs Thatcher herself. “He meekly accepted the role of scapegoat,” Lawson recalled. “Had he made public all he knew, she could not possibly have survived.” Perhaps in acknowledgment of this, Mrs Thatcher broke with tradition in expressing a clear desire in her reply to Brittan’s letter of resignation to have him back in Cabinet as soon as possible. But he was never rehabilitated, and in 1989 left for Brussels.

Leon Brittan was born on September 25 1939, the younger son of Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the country as refugees in 1927 and settled in Cricklewood, where his father was a doctor. Leon’s elder brother, Sam, would become a respected columnist on the Financial Times.

From Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Leon won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge. His ambition to succeed in both law and politics was clear: he gained double Firsts in English and Law and became both president of the Union and chairman of the university Conservative association. After a scholarship year at Yale, he was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1962 and became a leading libel lawyer, taking silk in 1978.


Brittan in 1992 (Rex)

Two years before, Brittan secured a change in the law of contempt of court in a case that involved The Daily Telegraph. Its reporter Nicholas Comfort had named a ward of court in the paper, and the Official Solicitor brought prosecutions for contempt against the Telegraph and the Slough Evening Mail, which had repeated the story.

After a three-day trial in the High Court both papers were found guilty. The Telegraph’s counsel advised the paper to accept the conviction, but Brittan, representing the Slough Evening Mail, insisted on appealing and so both papers had to contest it. He won, convincing Lord Denning that it was ridiculous there was no permitted defence against a charge of contempt. In the interval he told Comfort, whom as a young barrister he had taught at Trinity, “I don’t think we got this far in the syllabus, did we?”

After being rejected for 14 safe Conservative seats, Brittan was elected MP for Cleveland and Whitby in February 1974. The seat disappeared in boundary changes and in 1979 he won the far-flung Yorkshire farming constituency of Richmond, representing it until he resigned to join the Commission in 1989; the future Conservative leader William Hague took his place.

Brittan’s initial reluctance to go to Brussels owed much to his affection for his constituency. He may have been an improbable countryman but he became an enthusiastic one, with a passion for cricket. Whatever his defects as a national politician, he was a popular local MP.

Within two years of entering the Commons, Brittan became Opposition spokesman on devolution, then on industrial relations, and played an important part in framing Conservative trade union reforms. In Mrs Thatcher’s first government of 1979, he became minister of state at the Home Office under Willie Whitelaw who, with Sir Geoffrey Howe, became his main political supporter and mentor.


Leon Brittan, as EU commissioner, with Japanese trade minister Ryutaro Hashimoto in 1995

It was Whitelaw who recommended him to Mrs Thatcher as a suitable replacement for Biffen in 1981. His promotion as the youngest member of her Cabinet was announced at a party given by Sir Geoffrey in No 11 Downing Street to mark Brittan’s marriage to Diana Peterson, a divorcee with two teenage daughters. Lady Brittan would go on to chair the National Lottery Charities Board and be appointed DBE.

Although Brittan’s appointment as a commissioner was reckoned by some of his friends a poor and belated consolation for his loyalty to Mrs Thatcher, Brussels gave full rein to his talents. Serving first as competition commissioner, he demonstrated not only a lawyer’s mastery of detail but also a steely determination to force through the principles of fair competition against entrenched national interests.

His ability to plough through and absorb mind-numbing detail won him the admiration of staff at the Commission, and his willingness to learn languages (he became fluent in French and German) earned admiration from colleagues and European politicians; the president of the Commission, Jacques Delors, rated him “one of the most brilliant men I have ever met”.

In 1993 he was appointed vice-president of the Commission and given the crucial trade portfolio, a job that pitched him into the centre of the tortuous Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt). Brittan’s mastery of detail proved crucial in reaching agreement with the Americans later that year, a personal triumph which saw his reputation as a high-powered if aloof intellectual transformed into that of a deal-maker on a grand scale.


Brittan in 1989 (Rex)

Yet Brittan’s successes won him few friends; his unshakeable faith in the power of reason left him little sympathy for emotionally tinged arguments in favour of French farming. The Gatt negotiations were notable for an explosive encounter with the French foreign minister Alain Juppé in which Brittan saw off French attempts to scupper the EC-US Blair House Accord limiting farm export subsidies.

Although this triumph kept the Uruguay round alive, the French never forgave him. “He was good,” a German official at the showdown was quoted as saying, “but maybe he was too good.”

French opposition effectively sank Brittan’s hopes of succeeding Delors, and put paid to his hopes of the crucial eastern Europe portfolio after the installation of Jacques Santer. Santer had assured Brittan the job was his, but at the last moment voted for the Dutchman Hans van den Broek, a volte-face which caused Brittan to consider resignation.

Brittan also paid the price for growing Conservative Euroscepticism under Mrs Thatcher and her successor John Major. He sought to counter this in speeches and articles despite personal attacks in the British press, some of which bordered on the anti-Semitic, and a relationship with Major which was no better than cool. But his support for Britain’s entry into the EMS and the Euro put him increasingly at odds with his own party and with sentiment in the country.


With his wife Diana at home in Wensleydale, Yorkshire, in 1990 (Rex)

Brittan was among the commissioners who resigned en masse in 1999 following allegations of nepotism against their French colleague Edith Cresson. Within days of clearing his desk at the Berlaymont he was appointed vice-chairman of the merchant bank Warburg.

The last year of his life was overshadowed by rumours, including the allegation that as home secretary he had failed to act on a “dossier” prepared by the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens detailing alleged child abusers within the British establishment.

Brittan published two books on Britain’s role in Europe, The Europe We Need (1994) and A Diet of Brussels (2000), arguing for the nation to become more fully engaged.

Leon Brittan was sworn of the Privy Council in 1981, knighted in 1989 and created a life peer in 1999.

He is survived by his wife and his stepdaughters.

Laurence A Usiskin (1950-1956)
died April 1997

He was eminent in Orthodontics as Senior Lecturer,Examiner and Sub-Dean at Guys and St Thomas' Hospital Dental School.He was a very fine clinician in his chosen field,as well as an exemplary member of community and family, but he tragically died suddenly from natural causes. His loss has left a huge gap in our family life,and he is remembered with a lot of love especially by his wife Susan, and children Helen and Michael.

Alan Usiskin

David Saville (1956)

David died on 25th January 2012 after a distinguished ministry in the Church of England.

He was at one time Vicar of Christ Church Chorleywood and a Rural Dean. In 1991 he joined the staff of the London diocese as an adviser for evangelism and finally was Rector of Hackney. In 1997 he was made a Prebendary of St Pauls Cathedral 

James Wigzell (1956)

James died peacefully at home on 26th February 2012.


Alan Morris (1955) - died Tuesday 8th December 2015


Alan was born in Harrow on 14th December 1936 and grew up in Kenton, Middlesex.

He attended Uxendon Manor Primary School. 

During the 2nd WW his father was in the Army in India and Burma.  In 1943 Alan was evacuated, as were so many children, from the Home Counties, first to Birmingham, where his mother joined him, and then to Cardigan Bay, which he enjoyed.

His father finally returned home in March 1946.  As for many others it was a deeply affecting episode in his family’s life.

At the age of 11 he gained a scholarship to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School.

He was a member of the Methodist Church in Kenton and was a keen member of the local Scouting movement throughout his teenage years.  At 17yrs he joined the Rovers, and he has celebrated annual reunions with his Rover friends until this year.

From 1955-59 he trained at University College Hospital – a friend remembers they dissected a cadaver together in Anatomy class, and he qualified as a Doctor in 1960, having gained the Ericksen Prize in Surgery in 1959.

He then went on to gain experience in different areas of medicine, including working in 1965 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in the paediatric surgical unit.

He then moved into General Practice and from 1969 to 1973 worked in Warsash (Southampton), Edinburgh and Witney.   He was offered a partnership in a group practice in Chesham in 1973 where he remained a GP for 32 years.

He became a single handed GP in 1994 in a 2-up 2-down rented accommodation, and then bought Aureole House in 1994, a former public house, then offices, then transformed into a general practice. He retired in 2005.

In 1984 he met Sylvia, whom he married in 1986, and settled down to a happy family with his wife, stepson Alex, and then Christopher who was born in 1988.   Alan continued to develop his professional knowledge and attended many courses, with a special interest in ENT, and was an active member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

In 1999 he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners.  In a letter to his mother he noted that as well as recognition of good work it meant paying a raised membership fee!

Outside of his professional life he was actively involved in the local Rotary club, of which he was president in 2007, the Leyhill Golf Club and enjoyed staying in touch with old friends from Haberdashers’ through the Old Habs Assoc., including the Old Habs Golfing Society. He was also a founder member of the Old Habs Target Rifle Club, shooting at Bisley, which was also a sport that his wife enjoyed.   In later years he changed to match rifle shooting.

He had been a member of the Berkhamsted Choral Society in the 1970s, and in the last few years he and Sylvia sang with a local choir.   He was also learning Spanish.

He enjoyed travelling and recent holidays have included South America, Pakistan, NZ, Canada, the Caribbean, and most recently, earlier this year, Burma/Myanmar, to visit the country that his father had been in during the war.  He also enjoyed trips to Spain.

Since 2007 he has been the president of the Amersham Hard of Hearing Club, because of his interest in ENT, and he was on the committee of the Chesham Sick Poor Fund.

He enjoyed life, his family, and was interested in people!

Eulogy given by Alan's son, Chris Morris :

Before I begin I would like to thank all of you here on behalf of my mother, my brother, my aunt, myself and everyone else in the family, for all of your efforts to be here today, to help us mark my fathers’ passing. We appreciate you all taking the time to be here, but I would like to make a special mention to the Rotary Society who cancelled their Christmas lunch so that they could join us. I would also like to thank the Singing for Pleasure group which Mum and Dad were both a part of who kindly asked if they could sing today in Dad’s memory.

One thing which we always knew but became so much more apparent in the time since his passing is the amount of people Dad knew and how many friends he had. Each of you here had your own relationship with my Dad, each of you has your own set of memories and your own individual way that you would describe him. I hope that, in this eulogy that I offer, you will recognise some part of the man that we all knew, and a man who will not be forgotten. 

Getting to speak to some of you since Dad’s passing has highlighted some of the fantastic qualities he had which were seen by so many people. A way that Dad has been described many times over is as a true English gentleman and I could not agree more with that. 

Dad would take an interest in all those around him. One thing which would never cease to amaze me was that he could take almost any of you here today and he would be able to tell me about everyone who was in your family, how he first met you and an unbelievably detailed description of exactly what you had been doing for the last few years. This summed up Dad because he loved being around people and you knew that when he was finding out about you, he truly cared.

Getting to speak with you all meant that we were also able to hear about all the good that Dad did. He was not a boastful man and growing up with him, my brother and I were lucky enough to be around an intelligent, kind hearted man. No matter what he was doing, he would be able to make time for you with a wonderful smile on his face.

Another quality of Dad’s which will be well known is how he would never be found to do things half heartedly. His passion for the medical profession was second to none. I don’t think he ever saw it as just a job; Dad wanted to help people and would go above and beyond to make sure his patients were well cared for. His house visits would often go late into the night for this purpose, but he would never complain or expect special thanks, that was just what he did.

As well as everything I have mentioned, Dad cared most about his family, and there were lessons from him that he never had to actively teach me but I was able to learn by just being lucky enough to be around him. The relationship between him and my mother was one of true mutual love and respect, their dynamic to watch was always fantastic and they had thirty years of wonderfully happy marriage together. For myself and everyone else going to visit, you would always be greeted by a house full of laughter and stories of all the great thing they had been doing and people they’d been seeing. Especially in the time since retirement, they visited some amazing places together in the last few years like Pakistan, Peru, New Zealand and most recently Burma, which he visited as his father was there during the war.

My brother Alex always had the most lovely relationship with Dad, always joking together and Dad was so impressed with everything that Alex did. From him and his family were a huge source of pride for my father. From my brother, Dad gained a wonderful daughter-in law and three grandchildren who he could not be prouder of. Having been able to see Dad together with his grandchildren was a real gift and I want them to know that he could think more of you than he did, he knew you were very surely that you would each go to do great things and would want you to all be happy in what you did.

Dad’s sister Susan and her family, which includes a brother-in-law, nephews, nieces –in-law and lovely great nieces were also a huge part of his life.

One of my favourite things about Dad was the cheekiness he had, which was epitomised by his obsession keenness of keeping and not discarding of things; not quite hoarding but it did take up a whole room. When this all got a bit much, then mum would mention he should move of it, she would then be very happy to see that this had happened, only to walk into the shed and see everything had migrated to there. Dad did point out, with a wonderfully cheeky smile, that as requested, it had been moved.

Outside of work, Dad was a keen golfer and shooter and would organise and attend many events for both of these. After asking him how he had done that day, I was sometimes less convinced that it was about the sport when he would take more time describing how wonderful the meal and dessert had been. He mainly though enjoyed the company of those he got to play with, I know many of you are here today and he had a lot of respect for you.

Being part of the Rotary club was a huge passion of Dad’s and I know that he would wear his Rotary pin with pride. The work that all of the Rotary do is something which we greatly respect and some of the projects were just amazing. I remember the most extravagant project which I heard about most recently was building a Zambian Roundhouse which is a real sized thatched hut in the grounds of a school. It was by all accounts a very impressive structure and Dad was very proud to see it finished.

Where Dad had many passions, what he cared most about was family. Mum and Dad enjoyed thirty years of wonderfully happy marriage and my brother and I were lucky enough to grow up in a house full of smiles and laughter. 

He had a loving sister and brother-in-law who he cared greatly for, a wonderful daughter in law and three amazing grandchildren who loved him dearly and called him ‘Pops’. He also had three nephews and a niece. Alan’s nephews, Matthew and Andrew, shared his love of sport, enjoyed accompanying him on interesting trips to the Royal Society of Medicine and thought no Christmas was complete without his quiz boards which was a general knowledge game he would create every year.

Dad will be remembered as a kind man and a good man. He had a wonderfully cheeky smile which could brighten up any room. He will be missed by many in the community but we must remember that he lived a good life and that should be celebrated.

All of us were lucky to know an intelligent, kind hearted man who will be greatly missed but not forgotten. A truly special gentleman. 

Ray Kipps (1955) – died Sunday 22nd April 2012

Ray Kipps Funeral service

Ray Kipps      Ray Kipps   Ray Kipps

Ray made a valuable contribution to OHRFC as both player and President and of course, also to the OHA as its President in 1995-96.

Ray was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and only given four months to live, but he showed his resilience by surviving this long. He spent his last months in Clare House Nursing Home, Hersham and during this time he received excellent care. The Home requires more exercise equipment for their patients and the family decided that, taking account of Ray’s many sporting interests, it would be a good memorial to him if some equipment could be donated. Discussions with the Home have revealed that a set of parallel bars costing about £500 would be a great help. The parallel bars were officially presented to the Nursing Home in early October 2012 and here is a photo of the plaque.

Transcript of the Tribute to Ray given by Dr David Brown 

Ray was born in November 1935, as the only child of Steve and Ruby Kipps. Steve and Ruby had a wonderfully long, harmonious and caring relationship, and a relaxed, convivial and optimistic attitude to life. These attributes were transmitted in full to Ray, and to his relationship with Gill, and now to Chris with Emma. Perhaps there is a “Kipps gene” for life enjoyment and enhancement – there certainly is physically in that friendly contented Kipps smile which, in Ray’s case, even the trauma of fighting an overwhelming cancerous invasion could not suppress. That lovely smile is seen also in Chris, was so evident in their other son Lawrie and is now obvious in Chris and Emma’s daughter Evie.  Let’s hope it spreads further as a lasting tribute.

I first met Ray in 1947 when we were 11-year old “freshers” in form 2S at Haberdashers school in Cricklewood. I can’t now remember exactly how and why we developed a friendship – we weren’t in the same houses (Ray was in Meadows, I was in Russells); we didn’t have any specific school interests in common – Ray was much the more sporting, and excelled in Rugby, whereas my limited sports activities (mainly running and athletics) were more solo affairs; and we weren’t in the same subject groups except for chemistry and physics.

Perhaps it was just the fact that we didn’t live far away from each other – I lived in Hendon and Ray lived in Cricklewood Broadway, in a flat above the Victoria Wine company, where his father Steve was the “licensed victualler”. Hence Ray acquired an intimate knowledge of the drinks trade, which stood him in good stead in later life, as many will appreciate. Certainly our proximity allowed us to spend the weekends avoiding doing too much homework. Some things we did together were cultural, like going to the Royal Festival Hall to listen to a series of concerts illustrating the history of music. Some were less cultural, like sampling London’s pubs on a Saturday evening (and walking home to his flat along the Edgware Road when the evening ran too late and the last bus had gone). We also found an excellent way of countering Sunday boredom, through the fortunate circumstance that my parents had their main meal at lunchtime whereas Ray’s had adopted the more continental habit of eating in the evening, so we could enjoy two lunches – a post-pub lunch in Hendon, then later to Cricklewood for dinner – the perfect arrangement for two growing lads.

Our friendship became further cemented by joining Pop Oliver’s School harvest camps in North Cadbury where we learnt to drink scrumpy. This was forced in us by the fact that Pop proscribed  us from drinking beer – notwithstanding the fact that scrumpy was much the stronger, as we soon found out.

Then we started going on long summer cycling holidays together, in England and abroad. For example one summer we cycled through Devon & Cornwall for several weeks on the princely sum of £15. This we did by staying in barns and working on farms doing such jobs as cleaning out pig-sties – I still have an image of Ray chasing a brood of piglets around the farmyard which he had inadvertently let out from their pen – they’re incredibly slippery squirmy little things to get hold of – and the smell of pig shit followed us for several days.  

On another occasion we spent a month in Norway and Sweden – part of the time with John Davies, another OH who unfortunately drowned a while later. In this trip we ended up in Skjolden, at the head of the Sognefjord, about 150 miles north of Bergen from where we had to get our boat back to England. We had been told we could get a boat from Skjolden to Bergen so asked when it was due. We were thinking in terms of hours, but got the answer “on Tuesday” – that was on the preceding Friday! So we stayed above the only cafe for 3 days, living on a diet of cornflakes and fresh salmon. Then when we eventually got to Bergen, we were accosted late at night on Bergen dockyard by 3 drunken sailors, one of whom was brandishing a knife and shouting out something in Norwegian. We thought our end had come. However, when we explained that we were English, the knife-wielder broke into broad Scots. It turned out that he had been in the British navy in the war and was trying to sell his knife to get money to get back to his ship. We couldn’t help, of course, having none ourselves.

On these and other cycling holidays Ray was a wonderful travelling companion. His relaxed attitude to life came into its own. For instance, when it was hot and we had to stop at a convenient pub to quench our thirst, he was quite happy to spend the afternoon in the sun in a convenient meadow, rather than pushing on. Only once do I remember  his feathers being a little bit ruffled, when his bike chain came off going down a hill outside Oslo past a flock of girls – Ray let out a strong (and in those days forbidden) expletive, only to hear the girls giggling –they were English! That’s one of the few times I’ve seen Ray blush.

Life moved on, but Ray and I remained close friends through the years. Ray was my Best Man and I was his. We both accepted the honour of being Godfathers to each other’s first born child and our two families have spent many happy times together over the years. We also enjoyed many more holidays with Ray and Gill, and made new friends with them, and these holidays too were always enhanced by Ray’s sunny temperament. 

After leaving school Ray entered Kenchington Little and partners for a period, then in 1960 enrolled in the Royal Engineers for his National Service. He was stationed mainly in Cyprus at the time of the Greek-Turkish dispute, where (among other things) he became a cricketer and rugby player on Her Majesty’s service for the RE and met another great friend, David Pearce. After returning to Blighty in 1961 on account of his mother Ruby’s illness, he re- joined Kenchington Little and partners for a life-long career in civil engineering.

Throughout his life, Ray’s over-riding passion has been the Old Haberdashers Association (of which he was President in 1995-6) and especially of the OH Rugby Football Club as both player and past-President. It was in such activities that his laissez-faire approach to life became supplanted by dynamism, particularly on the rugby field.  And it was through the Rugby Club that he first met Gill. In later life this dynamism also showed through in his work as Branch Meetings Secretary for NADFAS (the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies), for which he organized many events.

Life for Ray and Gill has not always been easy. They lost their second son Lawrie at age 21from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and their daughter Julia has had a longstanding illness. And now Ray’s own life has been prematurely cut short by an invasive kidney tumour. Even here Ray proved an exceptional patient – although first diagnosed 4 years ago, with a prognosis of 4 months, he outlived that prediction many-fold (so much for statistics) but eventually and inevitably succumbed to the enemy within. Throughout Gill has proved an even more exceptional wife, nurturing and caring for him through ever-increasing degrees of infirmity, at home, in hospital and in his final abode at Clare House nursing home, borne up by her continuing strong religious faith.

Ray will be sorely missed by all of us here today. All our sympathies now go out to Gill and to their son Chris and family. And finally some small, but vital compensation: although Ray himself is no longer with us, his genes go marching on. Not everyone is blessed with that sort of immortality. 

OH at Ray's funeral were : Mr & Mrs David Maconachie (David was Ray’s brother-in-law);  Phil & Tessa Alterman; Donald Wells; Rodney Jakeman; John & Caroline Egan; Mike & Joan Bovington; David Heasman; Tony Alexander; John & Liz Hanson; Peter & Christine Shiells; Malcolm and Jane Tappin; Robin Mathew; Duncan McLaren; Melvyn Steele; Brett Rolfe; John Parker;Alan Woolford; Ian Powell; David Yeadon;  Mrs Pat Cook;Peter & Patricia Vacher. 

A tribute to Ray written by Peter Shiells

Ray was not a large man, but his courage on a rugby field merited him a place in OH rugby folklore. His height remained constant but in later years his girth increased due becoming a gourmand. He played more than 200 games for the OH 1ST XV over a period of 19 years from 1955. He started as a wing forward and later reverted to centre at a time when OH probably had the two smallest centres in Old Boy rugby. His pal in the centre was John Boon and they together with Phil Alterman competed for the shortest player. In one photo John and Ray were sitting on the ground and to Ray’s continued chagrin it turned out that JB had taken a brick with him to elevate him above Ray!

I well remember when Ray was doing National Service inAldershot(55-56)he managed to get (ex Secretary, and ex Colonel(?)) Arthur Jenkins to request his release on Saturdays to play for the OH. I picked him up at Guildford on a number of occasions and delivered him to the ground, played alongside him but never found out how he got back to Aldershot. He was probably enjoying his freedom at a party somewhere. After demob the après rugby activities continued in bachelorhood, but he did manage to turn out for the Skylarks on many Sunday matches. He was one of the limited number of owners of aSkylarks tie marketed so well ( but not necessarily supplied) by Tony Pettet.

He was an avid tourist from his first tour based in Monmouth in 1956 as a teenager (where he surprised Ellis Cinnamon by asking for a whisky mac on a last orders round) through a period where he enjoyed many of the bar games and post match drinking, to the time when he supported the team as president. At Wiveliscombe one year, he played in the rain at scrum half and came off the field so coated in the red mud he was indistinguishable from a piccaninny.

Ray played for the army when stationed in Cyprus after his Aldershot days but I think that he really enjoyed the ambience of the London Old Boy club scene. We enjoyed the early CLOB dinners arranged by Alan Cooper and Chris Robinson and he and I dropped in to the Old Paulines where we were always made welcome after internationals at Twickenham. He put a lot back into the game as president of the OHRFC in 1987-88 and was an organiser of the Past Player lunches at the club for a long period.

He was president of the OHA in 1995-96 and represented the club together with John Egan on AROPS for a number of years.

Details of Ray's Rugby career

Ray played at blind side wing forward whilst at School and played in the 1953 1st XV captained by Harold Couch which won all but one match.

At the Old Boys he played both wing forward and centre three-quarter. 

Club debut  Axv .v. Old Albanians 29/1/55 as a Schoolboy – drew 3-3

1st XV debut 10/12/55 .v. Old Paulines Won 8-5 – Ray was later a frequent visitor to Old Paulines due to its proximity to his home.

100th 1st XV appearance 10/10/64 v Old Askeans Lost 0-3

150th 1st XV appearance 8/4/66 .v. Cross Keys on Easter Tour. Lost 3-26. OH played Cross Keys, Tredegar and Lydney on that tour – must have been tough!

200th 1st XV appearance 12/10/68 .v. OMT. Lost 0-14

Final appearance for 1st XV .v. Taunton 16/3/74. Lost 0-19

Ray was 1st XV vice-captain under the captaincy of Philip Alterman.

Ray was OHRFC President 1987-89.


Nigel A. FULLER (1947-55)
died 7th December 1998

Nigel was the outstanding schoolboy of his time - academically he was always near the top of the best sets and eventually went onto read chemistry at University College, London.

He was School Captain, captain of rugby and cricket and house-captain of Hendersons. Additionally he represented the School at athletics and basketball, was a member of the choir, the science society, the sociological society, the geographical society and the music society. He was the holder of the Haswell Charteris Black memorial prize for sport and played rugby for both the Middlesex and Mill Hill Public Schools' XVs and cricket for the Hornsey Public Schools XI.

Nigel was the third of four brothers, his father working for the Bank of Australia and becoming a financial adviser to the Australian government. His occupation took him and the rest of the family to Australia during the 1939-45 conflict and this is where Nigel spent his early years. On their return they settled in Kenton and Nigel won a much sought after Foundation Scholarship to Haberdashers'. His younger brother Adrian followed him to the School and also excelled as a scholar and sportsman.

After his graduation from University College, Nigel worked for the Medical Research Council at Mill Hill and at that time met and married Ann. He moved to Scotland Yard in the forensic science laboratory where he became a principal scientific officer and was considered to be one of their very best brains. He was a member of the Blenner Hasset committee which considered the suitability of 'breath tests' to control drink driving and he subsequently played a leading role in the development of the breathaliser.

Additionally he was something of an expert in drugs and toxicology and was a master in the investigation of fires, shoemarks and toolmarks to name but a few. His involvement with the Old Boys began while at school when he started playing rugby. Indeed he was a regular member of the 1st XV during the Easter term of his final year. This was in a time when schoolboys were allowed to play senior rugby and when the Club fielded seven sides a week on a regular basis. He was a certainty to play second row with his size and height but one can only wonder with his surprising speed (he sprinted for the School) and fine ball handling skills what impact he may have made at centre or at full back. In total he played 421 times for the 1st XV and was club captain in the 1967/68 season.

Nigel was great company but in truth a very private person who appeared to have few concerns other than where his next pair of outsize boots or shoes would be found! He and Adrian were proficient at cockney rhyming back slang - an extremely difficult and bewildering form of communication. They were often 'going for a kettle' an activity banned by John Stagg before 1st XV matches.

Nigel's uncles, Leslie and David Gooch (both O.H.) influenced him and his cousin Guy Dexter to play cricket for Pinner where he opened the batting and the bowling for many seasons and was captain of the Club when they won the Mayor of Harrow's knock out cup in 1963.

He was the perfect 'team player' always first choice in his position, reliable, skilled, training hard and constantly working for the side both on and off the field. Always good humoured, he was vastly popular with a fund of ready quips or pithy comments.

Life, however, was not quite so idyllic as it seemed. His father had a series of strokes which left him permanently disabled and his son, Peter, was diagnosed as having leukemia and after four years of treatment died aged six. Furthermore his much loved brother Adrian died tragically after collapsing on the rugby field whilst playing for the O.H. 1st XV at Borehamwood. Together with this his marriage to Ann became untenable and they separated.

In 1988 he was forced to take early retirement due to ill health, but fortunately by this time he had met his long term partner Jenny and they lived together for over twenty years.

Following retirement he was a regular visitor to the Club House, mostly to club functions, including the 200 Club for which he was doubly qualified. He remained good company and it was obvious that he took great pleasure and much pride in the activities and achievements of his two daughters-Ruth by his marriage to Ann and Joanna with Jenny.

It was after a surprise visit to see Ruth and Sam, his 11 month old grandson, that he collapsed and died in hospital two days later. Nigel's funeral was held at Pinner Parish Church and was extremely well attended including many Old Haberdashers.

Nigel was a gentle giant of a man, much loved by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.

David W Bulstrode (1951 - 55)
died suddenly on 1st September 1988 in his 48th year.

Some years after starting as a junior clerk with Lloyds Bank, David accepted an offer from Slater Walker, Jersey, to set up a lending department. When the firm collapsed in the mid 1970s its Jersey Operation was taken over by Lazards, in which he became a director. By now David had concluded that his business life seemed permanently based on the island, so he and Sylvia (whom he had married in 1965) had moved to Jersey from Hindhead. Having also joined the board of Marlar Estates in 1978, he broke away from Lazards entirely in 1982, in order to concentrate on developing his property business. This necessitated business trips to London and, as these twice coincided with the 1950-59 Decade Dinner, his five attendances included two as the winner of the long Distance Tankard! 

Latterly as the chairman of the company owning the Queens Park Rangers, Fulham and Chelsea grounds, he played an increasingly important role in the affairs of the Football League. After becoming Chairman of Queens Park Rangers, David was elected to the Management Committee and had come under pressure to stand for the office of League President. Some of his plans, in particular the proposed merger of Fulham and QPR were bitterly opposed, but, as a life-long fanatical football supporter, he considered this to be the true solution of financial survival. His openness and charm were recognised by many of his opponents and went a long way to defuse animosity. Only time will tell whether his ideas were ahead of his era.

He leaves a widow, Sylvia, son Paul and daughter Katrina.


Peter Vacher writes

WARREN LEIGH 1936-2016

Born and brought up in North London, Warren joined the school at Westbere Road in 1948 and left after a year in the sixth form to commence articles, eventually qualifying as a solicitor five years later.  After a short period in private practice, he moved on to the Civil Service to work for the Post Office in the Property Law Department which he helped to found, staying on under the aegis of British Telecommunications and rising to become Director of the department.

When the decision was made to outsource his department in 1992, Warren elected to leave work early and went on to enjoy a lengthy retirement in Stanmore which enabled him to pursue his interests in cricket, opera and jazz, these happily supported and often instigated by his wife Irene, whom he married in 1969.  Their daughter Susan was born two years later. 

 Warren survived two serious bouts with cancer and we resumed our friendship after a long hiatus when a mutual friend brought us back in touch just a few years ago.  I had last seen him in 1987 at the OHA Centenary Ball held at the school when he and Irene were the guests of the Hyman family.   As a member of the MCC Warren took me to Lords and in turn he joined my yearly jazz appreciation class as a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic contributor.  We met up frequently at concerts and I was always happy to hear about their latest visit to New York and to share jazz experiences.  Irene and Warren joined us at the Swanage jazz festival and it was always a pleasure to get together for a meal and to exchange views about the latest happenings on the jazz scene.

In more recent times, Warren joined the moveable feast that is the Old Lags lunching group and re-connected with a number of his contemporaries.  His death on March 7 came as a terrible shock and our heartfelt condolences go out to Irene, Susan and her family, including his grandsons Joel and Nicholas. Patricia and I will miss him as a friend and as a veritable mine of information on all things cultural and musical.

Peter Vacher [1946-1955]  


Dan Tunstall Pedoe (1954), cardiologist and chief medical officer of the London Marathon, (December 30, 1939 - February 13 2015). Obituary taken from The Times 27th February 2015

tunstall pedoe

Twins Dan and Hugh Tunstall Pedoe attended the School but left in 1954 and moved to Dulwich College.

Medical director of the London Marathon who helped to make the race safer for thousands of runners. When the London Marathon was first mooted in the late 1970s there were concerns that giving ordinary members of the public the opportunity to run more than 26 miles on the streets of the capital would put hundreds of lives at risk. The fear was that unfit runners would push themselves just as hard as highly trained elite athletes with potentially fatal consequences. The race founder Chris Brasher was determined that the event would be a people’s marathon, open to anyone who completed the necessary training and Dr Dan Tunstall Pedoe was the man who assured him that this could safely be achieved.

Tunstall Pedoe, a distinguished cardiac consultant, was appointed founding medical director of the London Marathon in the build-up to the first event in 1981. Known to his marathon colleagues as “Dr Dan,” he was to remain in the post for 27 years, becoming arguably the world’s most experienced doctor in marathon medicine and leading the way in setting medical standards for marathons.

Nick Bitel, chief executive of the London Marathon, said it was hard to overstate Tunstall Pedoe’s contribution to the race and to the health issues around long-distance running in general. “He really invented marathon medicine,” said Bitel. “He was hugely respected not only among his peers in this country but around the world. He set up the whole system that provides medical aid to the runners and really the London Marathon would not be in the place it is today were it not for his contribution.”

Tunstall Pedoe worked unpaid at every marathon in London for years. In the early days he did not allow his professional involvement to prevent him from taking part himself. He was a more than respectable distance runner and recorded a best time of 3hrs 8min This was all the more impressive given that he did not complete his first marathon until he was 40. In addition to London, he ran marathons abroad, including the New York race on several occasions.

His recipe for medical safety was simple and it still underpins the medical philosophy behind the marathon today — prevention. Tunstall Pedoe required that anyone with a known heart condition or who experienced shortness of breath or chest pain during light exercise should see a doctor before continuing with their training. He also required all competitors to complete a 15-mile run sometime before race day.

When he started, Tunstall Pedoe was the only doctor officially attached to the event and he was assisted by two physiotherapists, one podiatrist and a small number of personnel from St John’s Ambulance. Twenty years into his tenure staffing levels had grown with nearly 40 doctors, 50 physiotherapists, 30 podiatrists and well over a thousand St John Ambulance personnel attending the race.

Tunstall Pedoe’s confidence that marathon running was capable of being safely achieved by vast numbers of ordinary people was borne out by the statistics. In the first 20 years of his stewardship there were eight deaths at the event, all but one of which were heart-related. In that time 530,000 people had completed 2.5 million hours of competition, running nearly 14 million miles on London’s streets. The death rates gave runners a one-in-66,250 chance of dying.

Peter Hamlyn, a consultant neurosurgeon and director of sports medicine at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London hospitals called Tunstall Pedoe “a remarkable man”. He added: “Their record in cardiac resuscitation makes the London Marathon one of the safest places in Britain to have a heart condition.”

In 2000 Tunstall Pedoe edited Marathon Medicine published by the Royal Society of Medicine, a collection of papers based on a symposium on best practice in medical standards at marathons that covered the history of endurance training, the social phenomenon of marathon running, marathon myths and medicine and the effects of ageing on marathon runners.

Dan Tunstall Pedoe was born in Southampton in December 1939, the eldest of identical twin boys. His brother Hugh, who survives him, is a research cardiologist. An elder sister died when they were young. The boys father was Daniel Pedoe, the son of an immigrant from Poland, who was a distinguished mathematician and geometer. Their mother, Mary Tunstall, was a geography lecturer who Daniel met when they both taught at Queen Mary College in Mile End, east London.

The twins had an interesting childhood. They were educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s school and then Dulwich College, but spending some of their holidays in foreign locations such as Sudan, Singapore or the United States, depending on where their father was working. Both boys secured scholarships to read medicine at King’s College, Cambridge. Tunstall Pedoe followed up with a Phd at Wolfson College, Oxford, which he completed in 1970. Its subject was “Velocity distribution of blood flow in major arteries of animals and man.”

Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe is Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Epidemiology, based at Dundee University since 1981. Training in medicine and cardiology in London, he joined Jerry Morris’s MRC Social Medicine Unit in 1969 to start a heart-attack register in East London. ‘Volunteered’ as Rapporteur by WHO coordinating the multicentre study, he remained Rapporteur to WHO studies for 34 years. Joining Geoffrey Rose as senior lecturer in epidemiology at St Mary’s for seven years from 1974, he worked on the United Kingdom Heart Disease Prevention Project, and taught epidemiology.

Dan Tunstall Pedoe married Diana Robin Shankland in 1968, three years after returning from a spell working as a junior doctor in India. He had developed an abscess in his tooth in India and was treated at Barts where his future wife — always known as Robin — nursed him. She predeceased him last year. They had three children; Nadine is a geography teacher, Simon a logistics manager and Ian a music entrepreneur.

After a spell living in Oxford and a year in San Francisco, Tunstall Pedoe moved to Hackney in east London in 1973 and worked as a consultant cardiologist and lecturer at Hackney Hospital and Barts. He loved teaching and continued well past retirement. At Hackney hospital he took a small department and built it up, specialising in non-invasive techniques using ultra-sound to measure blood velocity. He was chief of the commissioning team for the new Homerton Hospital when Hackney closed and he founded the London Sports Medicine Institute at Barts , which he ran for several years.

Tunstall Pedoe was passionately committed to the NHS and rarely took on private work. In later years he was dismayed by the continual crisis within the service. He saw marathon running and exercise in general as a great way for people to live the kind of healthy lives that the NHS was founded to support.

An energetic individual, Tunstall Pedoe had many pursuits outside his work. He enjoyed a lifelong passion for photography, specialising in micro-photography of insects. He was also a keen astronomer and chess player. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for a number of years and died of a heart attack. In his running days, to keep his training on track, he would go out in all weathers, day or night, usually accompanied by the family’s pet dog.

John Walker (1954 leaver) – 1936 - 11th October 2013

Johnny Walker

It is sad to record the passing of Johnny Walker.

Recollection of him at Westbere Road, Haberdashers’, is of a young man interested in sport, the R.A.F. section of the C.C.F, and evidence of achievement in economics. He was part of the school first tennis team and was awarded colours. He left school in the academic year 1953-54

He, and many, were aggrieved by the death of his older brother, Michael, in a plane crash about the year 1954. For John, National Service in the R.A.F was spent in Germany.

During his active life in stockbroking, he also helped individuals to finance projects. Just lately it even included setting up a programme for MRI scanners.

His constant connection with Old Haberdashers’ Golfing Society for over fifty years is noted. The records show that he was appointed captain for three spells, and was secretary for a period till 1975. In that era he won most of the society’s trophies. He was a long term member at Ashridge Golf Club, his handicap in the teens.

Lately his health lessened, and he lived with a list of diagnoses. We would discuss these, out at lunch in Great Missenden. He was reliant on the staunch support of his wife Sylvia. When confined to a chair he was comfortable in Rayners Residential Care, nearby, a tribute to the Matthews family ,the owners.

In earlier years he was keen on stylish cars. At the completion of his funeral service on Friday 25 October, his coffin was borne out of the church fairly swiftly to the theme tune of F1, The Chain. The mourners followed a white E type Jaguar, in procession, through Little Missenden .

His supportive family, not least Sylvia, included sons Dominic, Luke, Guy and daughter Lisa, and their children, as well as his first wife Desiree, mother of the four. The sons spoke with humour , in the pulpit, of their father’s life. Lisa read a tribute.

He would have been so joyful to see the picture of Charlie, his latest grandchild, and Charlie’s mother, Lisa, included here.


Tony Skrimshire died 12th September 2014

Tony Skrimshire C.Chem, FRSC, FIFST, passed away suddenly at home on 12th September 2104. Retired Director of Heinz UK, Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers. Beloved husband of Margaret, devoted father to Jane, Katharine and John and loving grandfather to Sebastian, Alice and Abigail. 

Don Cooper died August 2013

written by Mike Ive

I first met Don when we both joined the entry class at Priestmead Primary School in Kenton in 1942.  We did all the chidrens' parties together, but were not always in the same class, I was envious of him because he already had a girlfriend three months older than him.    We both moved to Habs together although I don't think we were ever in the same form.     I imagine that the thing  people from our year will remember most about Don was the winter's morning when there was snow in the playground over ice and  the more adventurous were sliding about all over the place and Don, determined to outdo everybody, set off from the edge of the playing field at Westbere Road down the slope towards the kitchens achieving a really high speed but unfortunately forgot that under the heap of snow protecting the windows was a very large pile of coal or coke  - I was one of those who part carried him to the sickbay from where he was rapidly transferred to the old Redhill Hospital at Edgeware they patched him up threw away virtually all his clothes, cut most of his hair off and released him after three days - his parents were not pleased!

I think Don left before the sixth form and I do recall, that as soon as he had completed National Service, having an invitation to his marriage to that same five year old, Adrienne, that he had known so many years before.    I blotted my copybook because I was serving in Malaya and on the day sent a congratulatory telegram to the brides home,  but forgot that the army regards any telegram as needing to be delivered immediately and Adeienne's family was not impressed at recieving a telegram before five in the morning.   But the marriage was a resounding success and Don & Adrienne had two sons, moved into a fine house and bought a villa in Southern Spain and were excellent hosts.    Don started working as a salesman for a stationery firm but soon moved on and set up his own company which did remarkably well and gained a very good reputation.    Then tragedy struck, Adrienne died in her early fifties.    Don was inconsolable and cut himself off from everyting, he refused to talk to his friends, tried to ignore his own sons, sold his company, sold his house and moved into a small flat and seemed to be waiting for his own end.

One of his sons virtually dragged him to the funeral of someone who we had both known at Priestmead , but Don was so confused and kept talking about Adrienne as though she was present, that his presence did not help.   So it wasvery sad but no surprise to hear he had gone.

So there you have it - Don was an energetic teenager, a devoted husband and father, a successful businessman, a shattered widower and finally a very sad and sick old man


David Maconachie 1934 - 2012

David Maconachie Funeral Service Sheet

  David Maconachie

David Maconachie passed away on Saturday 29th October 2012. This is particularly sad as David was the brother-in-law of Ray Kipps, who also died recently. Their wives, Gill and Anne, are sisters. David was school captain in 1952, a talented cricketer and played many games for the OH rugby club. He lived in Sussex and was an officer in the Sussex Society of Rugby Referees. He was a well respected referee in Sussex in the 70s and 80s and continued right up to the age of 75 when he was appointing referees at all levels through-out the week over the last 15 years and still covering for referees in mid-week doing 30 to 40 games a season. A great supporter of the Sussex Referees Society and could be seen supporting new referees on a Saturday or just enjoying Sussex rugby. The Sussex rugby clubs view of David was that he was “a true gentleman, a person who made a real difference to our game, a genuine loss”. 

David Maconachie Presentatio

In 2009 David was presented with an International referees shirt donated and signed by Wayne Barnes plus a 'reward the volunteer' certificate and tie awarded by the English Rugby Football Union.

David has been refereeing for 38 seasons for Sussex and in the Middle East, the United States and various venues in Europe.
He worked on the principle of 'I have kit with me so I am available to referee wherever we are'. David was known to referee 3 games in a day rather than say that there was no-one available. On many occasions over the years the Sussex County and Schools Union have recognised his contribution.

Stanley Crossick 1935-2011

Stanley Crossick, the founding chairman of the European Policy Centre, one of the earliest Brussels think-tanks, died on Saturday (20 November) at the age of 74. Although he had been suffering from ill-health for the past ten years, his long interest in European and international affairs remained undiminished: he had just returned from China, where he took part in a conference on the EU-China strategic partnership.

Crossick was born into a Jewish family in 1935 and grew up in north-west London. He was educated at the Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School and went on to study law at University College, London, qualifying as a solicitor in 1959. It was in the 1970s that he became involved in international legal affairs, while working for Franks Charlesly and Company, and subsequently for the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Community – in which role he helped ease the path for UK solicitors to work in Brussels.

Ian Forrester, a partner of the law firm White & Case, said that Crossick's special talent showed itself in his recognition that lawyers needed to understand the political process in Brussels rather than concentrating merely on legal principles. Crossick built on this approach when he formed the Belmont European Community Law Office in 1979. According to Forrester: “What he was good at needed a vehicle.”

That developed into what would nowadays be described as a public- affairs consultancy, through which he developed a wide experience of the interaction between business and the EU institutions.

In 1996, together with Max Kohnstamm (Obituary, European Voice, 28 October), who had worked with Jean Monnet on setting up the European Coal and Steel Community, and John Palmer, the European editor of the Guardian, Crossick founded the European Policy Centre.

Their aim was to create a serious pro-European think-tank in a field that was dominated by the Centre for European Policy Studies. Hans Martens, the EPC's chief executive, said: “The EPC would not be what it is today without the vision and guidance of Stanley Crossick.”

Crossick will be remembered for his passionate commitment to European integration and his belief in the Community method of Monnet, where European integration is built through a series of gradual steps and strong EU institutions. He was a strong believer in Monnet's axiom: “Thought cannot be divorced from action.”

His admirers remember him as a good listener whose ability to find solutions lay in his ability to see all sides of an argument. He was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire and, in 2003, a member of the French Ordre Nationale du Mérite.

In recent years, Crossick had developed a strong interest in EU-China relations, becoming a senior researcher at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies. Song Zhe, China's ambassador to the EU, paid tribute to him: “Stanley never hid what he thought. He gave relentless criticism to whatever policies or action he did not approve, whether they were from the Chinese or the European side.” Song said that while he disagreed with Crossick on many issues, he appreciated his “outspokenness and candidness”.

The Chinese also treated him with high esteem in line with traditional respect for the elderly. This, the ambassador wrote, was because they present their “wisdom and experience as a beacon that sheds light upon our path, warning us against bumps and hurdles”.

David Edward, formerly a judge at the European Court of Justice and a professor of law at Edinburgh University, who knew Crossick for almost 40 years, said: “No conversation with Stanley was ever dull. Ideas poured out of him for others to take up.” As technology developed, the ideas poured out in the form of prolific blogging: Crossick posted some 500 entries on subjects ranging from European politics to the Middle East peace process, Iran and China.

For several years, Crossick contributed comment pieces to the pages of European Voice. Tim King, the newspaper's current editor, said: “Stanley was a good friend to European Voice and, because he was an energetic enthusiast, to many other enterprises in Brussels. He was of a generation for whom the construction of the European Union was a noble cause – he and I grew up in the same part of London and he once recounted to me seeing the fascists march along streets that I know well. So he was serious about the EU, though ready to break into laughter about most things, given half a chance.”

He is survived by his wife Dahlia, daughter Elizabeth and son Jonty. 

Victor Mathias (1953) 1938 - 2012

Born in Willesden Green on 14 January 1938, Victor Mathias said that his career was decided practically from birth by the fact that both sides of his family ran timber businesses.

He was one of the large post-war intake at Haberdashers’ in Westbere Road in 1948.  He remarked that his story was that of so many “bright” kids in the neighbourhood.  At primary school, he had been used to topping the class.  At Haberdashers’ he soon found himself as a little fish in a big barrel.  Of the thirty boys in the first form, three went on to earn entries in “Who’s Who”, two became world renowned professors of medicine, one became a Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford and a number of others entered teaching either as university dons or in secondary education. By contrast he described his career as very modest.  In his own words, with typical wry humour “I worked quietly for 43 years in my father’s timber-yard, until he died and I retired in the 1990s.  During all that time, I used to boast that our family firm employed only one person and we were grossly overstaffed”.

He left Haberdashers’ after ‘O’ levels in 1953, but his further education continued as an evening student at the City of London College, the London School of Economics and Birkbeck College.  He summed up his situation during those 14 years thus - “until 5:30 in those days I was an office worker, from 6:00 onwards I was a student”.

Part of his philosophy for a happy and fulfilling life was to find what one is best at and specialise in that as a labour of love.  He found that he had a talent for Italian, ending up with an honours degree in the language and several impressive looking diplomas awarded in Viareggio for a series of summer courses that he attended there in the 1950s.  Later he took up teaching Italian privately in London and had pupils whom he described as “seeming to enjoy paying for my lessons” over a period of many years.

No account of Victor’s life would be complete without an emphasis on the role played in it by chess.  Having played no part in the thriving chess activity at the school, he “discovered” the game in 1972 when Bobby Fischer hit the world’s headlines.  From that point he took every opportunity to develop his chess skills.  Although he admitted to having never been more than a reasonably competent club player – being known as the Drawing Master because so many of his games ended in draws - he began to specialise in playing chess very slowly i.e. by post, where there is no adrenaline rush but each individual has time to play the best chess he is capable of.  In 1990, after writing several successful articles for ordinary players, he took over a quarterly chess publication – “Popular Chess” - which he managed and edited as a one man operation for almost a quarter of a century.  In 1994, he began to run a national Postal Chess Club for ordinary players which has thrived for almost 20 years and that was appreciated particularly by players living in remote parts of Britain where they cannot easily find an opponent against whom to pit their chess wits. 

In 2009, BBC4 having decided to make an hour long programme about chess and wanting to cover the game in all its aspects enquired “Is there anyone left who still plays chess by correspondence?”  They were directed to Victor, as his Popular Chess Postal Club was just what they were looking for.  He was interviewed at some length and was allowed during the programme to make the case for playing chess as slowly as possible.

Another of his hobbies was participating in quiz nights and in organising quizzes.  Opponents recognised that any team that he was in was formidable and that his teams had a record of winning.  Indeed some team members believed that, even on his own, he would have won most contests.  As a quiz organiser he didn’t bother to write down the questions.  He only wrote down the answers, which list he gave to the markers, who themselves rarely knew the questions to which the answers applied.  

Victor married Maureen, a dentist, in 1969 and he described her as “the finest wife anyone could wish for”.  They lived in Northwood for most of their married lives and had two sons, Graham, who also went to Haberdashers (O.H.1981 – 1988) and Barry.

By his own admission Victor was a one man operation – whether in business, or in chess publication – and yet in this there was also a contradiction. To some he may appear to have been a loner and yet another of his personal characteristics was the remarkable way that he kept in touch with a wide circle of friends, remembering birthdays and sending annual greetings, and random notes, keeping in touch with school friends from his days at Haberdashers and before and since.  Drawing on his encyclopaedic memory when others would have depended on notebooks and diaries and lists he remembered everything that was important to him. 

He arranged reunions of his classmates every few years – a close circle of those with whom he had been at school at Westbere Road and not only did he keep in touch with them but, indirectly, he encouraged them to keep in touch with each other.  The “gregarious loner” or as he saw himself – “He was his own man”.

Victor Mathias died from leukaemia on 18 January 2012.

Michael Heppner



Barry Neale Parker died 8th September 2012

Barry passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday September 8th 2012. He follows his much-loved wife, Gwen, and sorely missed son, Kevin. He is survived by son Giles and grandchildren Elena, Daniel, Katy and Jasmin. Barry was an officer in the Meteorological office at Bracknell, and was very involved in the Wokingham Society and later the Berkshire Local History Association.

Terence HE (Terry) Field (died 2002)

Keith R Chamberlain (died 1995) 

David L Stern (1948-52 Prep)
died suddenly on 2nd July 1989 during an asthma attack. He was 49.

David received his secondary education at Dover College and played his first game for the OHRFC on 11th January 1958, in the C XV against Old Askeans. In the following season he made his 1st XV debut against RNC Greenwich. However, the club was already blessed with excellent hookers, in Philip Alterman and Roger Leverton, and David had to serve a long and happy apprenticeship in the "Ex A" and "A" XVs before becoming first choice senior hooker in 1970/1 and 1971/2. A serious eye injury caused his retirement on 25th March 1972, when he had played 359 times for the club, 69 for 1st XV, 153 for the A and 97 for the Ex A.

David enjoyed life to the full and thrived on pressure. Unless he was abroad on business, he would be at his office from 5am until 7pm every day. Yet he had time for everybody and always saw their best sides. He was a regular at the 1950-59 decade dinners, past player reunions and other social events and his friendly humour is remembered by all. 

In May of this year, David and Rosemary celebrated their 25th Wedding anniversary with a surprise party arranged by their three children, Paul, Sarah and Sally, coinciding with Sarah's 18th birthday. Among the family and friends present were their wedding guests, Jan and Duncan McLaren ('55) and Pat and Roger Leverton ('56).

David's funeral took place at Hendon Cemetery on 7th July. The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Michael Lacy, who in his excellent address referred to David as being always at the centre of the action, be it the front row, family or business. Above all, he said, David would wish to be remembered with laughter, not tears. The funeral arrangements were conducted by Keith and Clive Leverton and amongst the mourners were his brother Colin, Tony Alexander ('62), Philip Alterman ('49), John Boon ('56), Michael Ewer ('56), Neil Forsyth ('45), David Leverton ('53), Duncan McLaren ('55) and Jan, John Parker ('56), Chris Robinson ('48), Melvyn Steele ('59), Peter Stevenson ('46), Nobbly Tanner ('35), Patricia, wife of Peter Vacher ('55) and Libby, wife of Paul Watson ('56).

Michael (Mike) John Keen (1935-1991).

Mike played on the Haberdashers’ School rugby and athletics teams, leaving HAHS in 1952 with a state scholarship to Oxford University, continuing on to Cambridge University where he received his doctorate in geology. At Oxford he continued playing rugby and also competed in swimming and rowing. In 1961 he accepted a position in the Geology Department at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a cross- appointment in the Geophysics and Oceanography Program in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science. In those early years he established the first Canadian university program in marine geophysics and the first marine geophysical expeditions undertaken from a Canadian government oceanographic research vessel.

Mike remained at Dalhousie University from 1961 – 77, serving for several years as Chairman of the Department of Geology, later as Assistant Dean of Science, during which years he trained a number of outstanding young scientists in the field of marine geosciences. His textbook (“An Introduction to Marine Geology”, Pergamon Press 1986) made a major contribution to marine geoscience education.

Mike had a strong commitment to linking science to national issues, and he had the vision to recognize the importance to Canada of the newly negotiated UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which allows expansion of nations’ offshore economic zones based upon submarine geological structures. Although international boundaries can be easily established on land, offshore boundaries are sometimes disputed, and this has proven to be more frequent now that exploitation of undersea oil, natural gas and mineral wealth is technologically and economically feasible. For Canada, the nation with the longest coastline of any country and with promising extensive offshore hydrocarbon deposits, national marine boundaries in the Arctic are open to challenge by several countries.

In 1977, Mike left Dalhousie University for the Geological Survey of Canada, where he was appointed Director of the Atlantic Geosciences Centre at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in the greater Halifax area. Being appointed to a senior position in the federal government enabled Mike to assemble the key people and the required funding to undertake needed research to address some of these submarine boundary disputes facing Canada, and working with the Canadian Department of External Affairs, he provided technical advice that Canada took to the World Court in The Hague and to discussions on these issues being held with other nations. Mike was the driving force behind the publication of a major synthesis of current knowledge of the offshore geology of Eastern Canada.

During his years with the federal government, Mike was one of a few who, at that time, supported women going to sea on research vessels, and he battled with a stubborn bureaucracy who felt otherwise about that particular issue. That was a battle he won; fittingly, Dalhousie University has established the Michael J. Keen Memorial Award, presented annually to the outstanding female student in the second-year of the Earth Sciences degree program.

In recognition of his scientific contributions, Mike was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1974, and in 1986 he received the Logan Medal of the Geological Association of Canada. During the late 1970s and 1980s, Mike served successively as president of the Atlantic Geoscience Society, the Geological Association of Canada, the Canadian Geological Foundation, and the Canadian Geophysical Union, and also as Chair of the Canadian Geoscience Council. The Geological Association of Canada established the Michael J. Keen Medal, which is presented annually to a senior scientist who has made important contributions in the fields of marine or lacustrine geology. In 1994, a 50 km submarine trough at the edge of the continental shelf in the NW Atlantic Ocean, with depths greater than 3000 metres and a profile similar to that of the Grand Canyon, was named the Michael Keen Canyon. 

In a four-page ‘note of appreciation’ regarding Mikes contributions to education and research, the Geological Association of Canada’s scientific periodical noted that Mike “had a superb high school and undergraduate education and a mind to retain most of it for the rest of his life. With that background, he could make leaps of faith and see connections in a scientific problem long before his colleagues wrote down the first equation… He was a person who made a difference in peoples’ lives, who looked for the best in others, and gave the best he had.” 


Professor Raymond Cuninghame-Green (1933 - 2013)

Obituary provided by David Duke-Evans, as sent to the Queen's College Record

Raymond Cuninghame-Green, Professor Emeritus of Industrial Mathematics at the University of Birmingham, was, both individually and in collaboration with eminent colleagues, a pioneer in the field of mathematics-based operational research, his most outstanding achievement being his discovery of the new system which he named max-algebra, also known today as tropical mathematics. He died on 9 June 2013 some three months after suffering a severe stroke.

Raymond was born at Hendon in 1933, attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, and matriculated as a scholar of Queen’s in 1952. His 1955 Oxford degree in Pure Mathematics was followed by a PhD from Leicester in 1960. The direction of his career was probably determined by his first occupation as a cyberneticist in, successively, the computer, steel and food industries and in the hospital service, after which he spent some years as Professor of Management Mathematics at Twente University, Enschede; there he volunteered the courtesy of delivering his inaugural address in Dutch after a short intensive study of the language and met the requirement of lecturing in Dutch after one year.

Raymond was appointed to the Chair of Industrial Mathematics at Birmingham in 1975, beginning a period when he laid the foundations of management mathematics. He was head of the university’s School of Mathematics from 1994 to 1997, and retired in 1999 whilst remaining research-active.  His first paper on max-algebra had been published as early as 1960 and altogether, in addition to a number of highly respected books on his subject, he wrote some 50 peer-reviewed research papers. 11 of these, co-authored with a principal specialist colleague and collaborator, Professor Peter Butkovic, can be downloaded from

Professor Butkovic, who worked intensively with him until 2009 and maintained their occasional  working meetings  until December 2012, summarises Raymond’s  authoritative academic status by identifying him as the first to realise that the maximum cycle mean is the principal max-algebraic eigenvalue of a matrix, and categorises some examples of his numerous other achievements as the analysis of max-algebraic linear systems, linear independence, rank, residuation, duality, maxpolynomials, the discovery of the characteristic maxpolynomial, rational functions, and the proofs of several results for irreducible or finite matrices that were later proved in full generality in the 1980s and 1990s by other authors, including the complete description of (max-algebraic) eigenspaces, the cyclicity theorem or spectral projector. Most of these demonstrations appeared in Raymond’s lecture notes Minimax Algebra, Lecture Notes in Economics and Math Systems 166, Berlin: Springer 1979, since cited by over 600 other researchers in twenty countries and maintaining its significance for the continuation of the development of tropical linear algebra today; a scanned copy can be downloaded freely from Professor Butkovic’s above-mentioned website. This work seminally influenced the widening of max-algebraic applications, which crossed the boundaries of mathematics and are now used in areas as different as computer science, phylogenetics, modelling of cellular protein production and railway scheduling.

Non-mathematicians would doubtless feel more at home in Raymond’s professional company to know that his typical lessons also encompassed such a topic as waste limitation by study of the ‘milk tray problem’, reflecting a strong interest in assisting industries, such as clothing and footwear manufacture, the carpeting and upholstery sectors, container construction, sheet glass cutting and many others, to deal economically with the tasks imposed by design.

Raymond twice served as a council member of the Operational Research Society, was an editor of the Operational Research Quarterly and a foundation co-editor of the IMA (Institute of Mathematics and its Applications) Journal of Maths in Management. He participated widely by invitation in international conferences and projects in Europe, China and USA, including for example the Mathematics Genealogy Project sponsored by North Dakota State University. He rated his visits to China as among the most professionally rewarding of his occupational travels.

A close friend from boyhood, Victor Tunkel, Secretary of the Selden Society, recalls Raymond as one of the most memorable of many colourful school contemporaries - original, with a mercurial wit, a mischievous sense of humour and a brilliant facility with words, adding that he was multi-talented, “indeed, I recall being surprised to learn that he had made his career in mathematics”. They spent many hours together at the piano, both playing by ear, writing sketches for their own amusement, heckling at Speakers’ Corner, and subjecting friends to harmless pranks. Other school contemporaries have also testified to Raymond’s reputation for puckish jocularity; this certainly remained with him as an undergraduate, and was augmented by a ready wit and an ingrained kindliness towards others, all of which attributes underlined his natural sociability throughout his life. I myself recall a chess game, all in the mind, no chess set, between Raymond and a future Joint British Chess Champion, Leonard Barden (Balliol), during a slow train journey from Oxford to London, a game they resumed and completed on the return journey to one another’s entire satisfaction.

Although never one to blow his own trumpet too loudly in public, Raymond left an indelible reputational mark on his profession. He lived a full and rich life, his warmth and friendship touching the lives of people in many countries. He is loved and missed by his family and friends.

Dr John Alan Mathews (died 24th April 2013)

John was born on the 19th June 1934 in Herne Hill, South East London, to Henry a wholesale confectioner and chess enthusiast and Dora, his much beloved mother.  During the second world war he was evacuated with Dulwich Hamlet School to Sussex, but then chose to join his sister Jean at the Jewish School for the Deaf.

At the age of 7, John and the family relocated to Caversham where he went to Reading School and he first met his future wife Wendy. Their school playing fields were adjoining and their parents had been acquainted before the war.

In 1944 when John was 10, the family moved to Wembley Park, North West London and John transferred to Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys in Cricklewood. He felt the school prepared him well for his adult life and he remained intensely loyal to it. He was delighted every time he heard a reference to Haberdashers’, particularly the humorous way  it was referenced in Alan Bennett’s play, ‘The History Boys’  in which the headmaster says: ” We're low in the league. I want to see us up there with Manchester Grammar, Haberdasher Askes, Leighton Park... or is that an open prison?”

At the age of 17 John was offered a place at Jesus College , Cambridge to read medicine which despite his young age, he accepted. There John joined the Roosters, an esoteric fraternity, where an annual ‘breakfast at lunchtime’ was held on ‘Hangover Sunday’ and at which the noble tradition of processing backwards whilst singing the Welsh national anthem was perpetuated. A recent invitation to the forthcoming ‘roost’ was received by Wendy his ‘esquire’.

John was a man with passions (some would say obsessions). He approached all the things which mattered to him with dedication and stubborn determination. Music was his central passion: the axis around which all other aspects of his life revolved.

He remembered being taken by his mother at the age of 7 to hear the Palm Court Orchestra in Heelas department store in Reading . At that time, each movement of a classical work was released on a separate record and Dora had only purchased the first three movements of what became one of his favourite symphonies. John found out much later at a live performance of this symphony that it had 4 movements. He narrowly escaped the embarrassment of premature applause.

John received immense enjoyment from playing the violin and over the years he was instrumental in organising events at which music would unite four generations of the family. He particularly delighted in playing trios with his Uncle Martin on the violin and Uncle Alan on the piano and encouraging his children and grandchildren in their musical interests.

In 1957, John finished his clinical training at Guy’s Hospital, married  Wendy and after a few years moved south of the river, living in Walton- on-Thames. After his appointment in 1970 as a consultant Rheumatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital, he and the family moved to Roehampton, South West London where they lived for 30 years and brought up their three children.

He approached his medical career with characteristic attention to detail. One of John’s mantras was “always be an expert in something, no matter what or how small”. He himself became an expert on medical conditions of the neck and went so far as to gain personal experience by breaking his own in a skiing accident in 1997. He survived and testament to his determination to ‘continue as normal’ he made frequent cycling trips wearing his stabilising halo vest, much to Wendy’s consternation.

Besides being a dedicated clinician, John was held in high regard by his colleagues, students and patients alike. His trainees’ fondness for him was evident at the reunion he organised for them in 2011. On one occasion Wendy overheard a conversation between medical students in a lift in which he was identified as ‘the cuddly one’.  

He connected his passion for music with his work by establishing a unique National Health Service clinic for musicians with musculoskeletal conditions. The clinic continues to thrive at St Thomas’ Hospital.

In his retirement John had been writing a book, reflecting his life’s interests. He explained that it could be read from either end. Musicians starting their reading from the front would find information relevant to their conditions, whereas specialists reading from the back could find medical details of how to treat those conditions. Throughout, the book is peppered with anecdotes which would be interesting and amusing to friends, colleagues and family alike.

Recently John had become fascinated by the connection between music and the brain: its relevance to performers as well as the profound psychological effect music has on listeners. He was due to co-chair a meeting on the subject at the Royal College of Physicians in London next month

His meticulous attention to detail extended past music and work . Be it buying a stereo system a paracetemol or most importantly a KitKat, the same thorough research would be required to reach a decision.  ‘Which?’ magazine never reviewed KitKats, but John would have been the authority had they done so. When travelling abroad he would often take a  British KitKat so as to perform a blindfolded comparison with the local version. He had even been known to add his KitKat addiction to important medical documents.

Other passions must not go unmentioned. In no particular order, these included: Arsenal Football Club,  buying last minute tickets for concerts and theatre, Marmite, kippers for breakfast, arguing parking fines, writing letters of complaint, asking awkward questions at medical meetings, wearing worn-out clothes, getting a good radio reception for radio 3, cricket and football coverage.

John was a well-loved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, colleague and friend. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. 

John M Gibson (died 19th November 2012)

Information supplied by Richard Rowlinson.

John Gibson


John died aged 78 after a  period of ill health. Born in Wimbledon in 1934, he was evacuated to the Lake District during the war years. He started school there but then moved to Kenton and finished his education at Westbere Road. He was a member of the rowing club and coxed the 1st eight.

After leaving school in 1951, John was called up for National Service and two years later he began a career with the Midland Bank.

John married in 1959 and set up home in Chesham,where his two children were born.

In the seventies he was appointed manager at the Leigh on Sea, Essex, branch and as a result the  family moved house to Little Baddow, a village near Chelmsford.

John was heavily involved in local community work throughout his life. While living in Chesham he was appointed chairman of the local Parish Council and often found himself treasurer of various committees. He became a church Elder in Little Baddow.

With retirement from the Bank coming a little early for John’s liking , he spent a few years working for M&G, the unit trust group, in Chelmsford.

In retirement John and his wife,Shirley, travelled extensively but still found time to play bridge regularly  and to bowl throughout the year.

John is survived by his wife,a son and a daughter.   

Terence HE (Terry) Field (died 2002)

Keith R Chamberlain (died 1995)

David L Stern (1948-52Prep)

died suddenly on 2nd July 1989 during an asthma attack. He was 49. 

David received his secondary education at Dover College and played his first game for the OHRFC on 11th January 1958, in the C XV against Old Askeans. In the following season he made his 1st XV debut against RNC Greenwich. However, the club was already blessed with excellent hookers, in Philip Alterman and Roger Leverton, and David had to serve a long and happy apprenticeship in the "Ex A" and "A" XVs before becoming first choice senior hooker in 1970/1 and 1971/2. A serious eye injury caused his retirement on 25th March 1972, when he had played 359 times for the club, 69 for 1st XV, 153 for the A and 97 for the Ex A.

David enjoyed life to the full and thrived on pressure. Unless he was abroad on business, he would be at his office from 5am until 7pm every day. Yet he had time for everybody and always saw their best sides. He was a regular at the 1950-59 decade dinners, past player reunions and other social events and his friendly humour is remembered by all.

In May of this year, David and Rosemary celebrated their 25th Wedding anniversary with a surprise party arranged by their three children, Paul, Sarah and Sally, coinciding with Sarah's 18th birthday. Among the family and friends present were their wedding guests, Jan and Duncan McLaren ('55) and Pat and Roger Leverton ('56).

David's funeral took place at Hendon Cemetery on 7th July. The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Michael Lacy, who in his excellent address referred to David as being always at the centre of the action, be it the front row, family or business. Above all, he said, David would wish to be remembered with laughter, not tears. The funeral arrangements were conducted by Keith and Clive Leverton and amongst the mourners were his brother Colin, Tony Alexander ('62), Philip Alterman ('49), John Boon ('56), Michael Ewer ('56), Neil Forsyth ('45), David Leverton ('53), Duncan McLaren ('55) and Jan, John Parker ('56), Chris Robinson ('48), Melvyn Steele ('59), Peter Stevenson ('46), Nobbly Tanner ('35), Patricia, wife of Peter Vacher ('55) and Libby, wife of Paul Watson ('56).


Tom U Burgner (died 2001)


Brian Sewell (OH 1949), art critic, author and columnist, born 15 July 1931; died 19 September 2015. (Obituary taken from the Guardian 19th September 2015)


Brian Sewell, who has died aged 84, was for many years the best-known, most outspoken and most widely read art critic in Britain. His column in the Evening Standard was loved by London’s strap-hangers, even when they knew nothing about the artists he was laying into. In recent times, he wrote with equal fury on a vast range of other subjects, particularly the postures of political leaders, which eventually won him the Orwell prize for political writing.

In and out of the art world, Sewell was a controversial figure, but he excited huge affection from those who knew him – including me, as his next-door neighbour for 10 years. However, he also incurred the wrath of museum curators and art dealers, many of whom thought him thoroughly disagreeable. On 5 January 1994 a group including Sir Eduardo PaolozziGeorge Melly, Bridget Riley and Marina Warner wrote a letter of protest to the Evening Standard claiming that its art critic was “deeply hostile to and ignorant about contemporary art” and that the capital deserved better than Sewell’s “dire mix of sexual and class hypocrisy, intellectual posturing and artistic prejudice”.

The fracas proved much to Sewell’s advantage. The following day, he and his opponents traded insults on television and within weeks he was named the arts journalist of the year in the British Press Awards. He later posed naked on the cover of his unrepentant book, The Reviews That Caused the Rumpus (1994).

The sharpness and vitality of Sewell’s pen were complemented by his ultra-posh voice. Even he would admit his speech had “some of the intonations of Vita Sackville-West”. Much sought-after as a broadcaster, often for Any Questions and Question Time, he was affectionately and ferociously lampooned by French and Saunders on TV, and in Dead Ringers on Radio 4. Although Sewell could give as good as he got, memorably dressing up as the art-loving nun Sister Wendy for a TV Christmas special, he was always a reluctant “personality”. He did not enjoy being mocked by Paul Merton on his second appearance on Have I Got News for You. Though his six-part Channel 5 series, The Naked Pilgrim: The Road to Santiago (2003), attracted millions of viewers, his broadcasting career ended with Brian Sewell’s Grand Tour of Italy (2005), which he described as an “incompetent failure”, and a one-off TV film, Dirty Dalí: A Private View (2007).

Brian was born in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, and brought up by his mother, Jessica, and stepfather, Robert Sewell, in Kensington, London. Almost half a century later, he discovered that his real father was the composer Philip Heseltine – pen-name Peter Warlock – who had killed himself seven months before his son’s birth. He described his mother as “an artist of sorts”, and at the age of four he was taken to the National Gallery and found spellbound by Murillo’s The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities and Dürer’s The Madonna With the Iris.

At 11, he became a day boy at Haberdashers’ Aske’s, an independent school in Hampstead, at a good time to indulge his “rampant sexual nature”. On leaving school, he toyed with the idea of becoming an artist – he received lessons from his mother’s former lover,William Coldstream – or a violinist. On Desert Island Discs he would describe his national service (1952-54) as one of the happiest times of his life. There he learned how to get on with people and formed a deep non-sexual fondness for his fellow soldiers.

In 1955, Sewell became a star pupil at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and a particular protege of the newly knighted director, Sir Anthony Blunt. In later life, Sewell dismissed as “unthinkable” the idea that he and Blunt had been lovers, though in 1958, after he had gained his art history degree, it was partly through Blunt’s influence that he sailed into a senior job at the auctioneers Christie’s. Though his knowledge and eye were never disputed, many of his colleagues found him waspish and impossible to deal with.

To console himself, Sewell had secret lunches with the young Bruce Chatwin, later to write On the Black Hill, and who was suffering in his own way at Sotheby’s. In 1966, Sewell resigned from the auction house and became a freelance art adviser or “errand boy”, making long trips across Europe. The turning point in his life came in 1979 when his mentor, Blunt, was exposed as a Soviet spy. Mobbed outside his house, Sewell became a household name overnight – and indeed his face and voice created such a powerful impression that he seemed to have upstaged Blunt himself.


Alan Bennett’s television play A Question of Attribution (1994, based on a one-act play first seen at the National Theatre in 1988), imagined an encounter between the Queen (Prunella Scales) and Blunt in his capacity as surveyor of the Queen’s pictures. In order to represent Blunt, James Fox chose to play the role in Sewell’s voice. Among those whose attention had already been caught by Sewell’s remarkable persona was the new editor of Tatler, Tina Brown, who quickly conceived the idea that he should become her up-and-coming magazine’s art critic.

His first Tatler column appeared in June 1980, focusing on the work of his friend Salvador Dalí. Four years later he was approached by the Evening Standard and invited to become the paper’s art critic, a post that he seized upon.

Sewell took pleasure in his writing, using baroque language and long sentences, rich in sexual and scatological terminology, to attack those contemporary practitioners of art whom he saw as derivative. He complained that most contemporary art – with the notable exception of the Chapman Brothers – was of “scatterbrained triviality” and even at its best “merely a puzzle to be solved, of no aesthetic value”. What was needed, he thundered, was a united opposition to all this rubbish.

He was equally dismissive of many of the 20th-century’s most hallowed masters. Ben Nicholson was a “minor craftsman”, Gwen John “an extreme example of the archetypal silly woman”, LS Lowry “tedious, repetitive, lacklustre and stereotypical”. He mocked Lucian Freud for “allowing his paintbrush to crawl into a woman’s crotch with the insistence of a caterpillar into a cabbage heart”.

In Sewell’s view, Picasso produced in his dotage “some of the saddest, most degraded, humiliating, repetitive, tedious, uninspired, obsessive and crudely painted banalities that have ever masqueraded as art”. He lashed out at Andy Warhol – “Few men have had a more destructive influence on art” – and showed no mercy for his old teacher Coldstream: “As a painterly influence, the harm he has done is extensive.”

In the 1990s, Sewell began to write on a host of other subjects. His boyish interest in cars had already found expression in a regular feature in the Evening Standard. Now he claimed that vivisection had achieved nothing in terms of a cancer cure, lambasted viewers of Cilla Black and readers of Jeffrey Archer, dismissed the Princess of Wales as “a silly young woman”, and complained that while travelling in Gascony and Aquitaine he was never once offered proper mayonnaise.

He continued to be sincerely outrageous. Political subjects excited him most. He believed the Iraq war was thoroughly immoral, and when Tony Blair asked people to trust his government, Sewell responded: “Trust them? I would sooner trust ferrets to feed a pet rabbit lettuce.”

As a neighbour, though, he was kind-hearted, offering advice on cars, leaking gutters and problematic cisterns. He loved animals devotedly and was particularly attached to the dogs he had picked up abroad or in a rescue centre, even those with disagreeable personalities. When I first met him, he owned a Jack Russell called Mrs Macbeth. “I dislike Mrs Macbeth intensely,” he confided. “She’s horrid. She’d been taken to the vet to be put down for generally unpleasant behaviour – she’d bitten a baby – and the vet asked if I could take her. Within minutes, she had bitten me.” When he moved house, he methodically dug up the remains of eight dogs and reburied them in his new garden. “I wanted them with me,” he explained. “If they’d been humans, I wouldn’t have cared a fig.”


In recent years a serious heart condition did not restrain Sewell from driving his gold Mercedes at high speed, drinking vast quantities of coffee, falling in love or expressing ever riskier views in print. But he grew increasingly wistful about the course his life had taken. “In emotional terms I’ve made a mess of my life,” he said. Being an art critic, he believed, had destroyed his private life. “I try to stand apart. Nothing matters more than intellectual probity. The critic must be prepared to sacrifice even his closest friends.”

Perhaps it was in this spirit that he eventually produced his bestselling two volumes of autobiography, Outsider and Outsider II (2011 and 2012), which began with his ramshackle childhood, unhappy time at school and the epic sex sprees he enjoyed as a young adult, and went on to present Christie’s in the 50s as “a den of amateurism and low-level corruption”. In Outsider II he retells the Blunt affair and ends by describing himself as “a Cassandra bewailing the end of the ancestral arts that have served mankind so well since his beginning”. The books are full of salacious material – or “pure filth” as one reviewer put it.

In 2013, he published Sleeping with Dogs, a book celebrating a lifetime of canine attachments. Here he confessed he often slept with four dogs at a time and revealed that the once hated Mrs Macbeth had eventually become a pillar of the community. His final book was The White Umbrella (2015), a tale about Mr B and his pet donkey, Pavlova, intended to impress on children the need to take responsibility for the environment.

Sewell claimed to hate his celebrity status and remained wry about his homosexuality, a condition he described as “an affliction”. Asked if his writing had done any good, he replied: “None whatever. I haven’t had the slightest effect on anything in politics or the arts.”

Despite these brave admissions, an ever-worsening heart condition and then cancer, Sewell was high-spirited to the end: passionate, cruel, kind, far-sighted, puffed up, self-hating – and, the author of many secret acts of kindness, always loyal to old friends and new.


Daily Telegraph Article - An article by Angela Wintle taken from the Daily Telegraph magazine 7th March 2015 


Meadows House rugby 7 – names provided by Peter Shiells. Metcalfe, BR Miller, DF Gainsborough, B Sewell, JJC Hughes, D Cullingford, G Warren

Brian Sewell writes: “I am the little one in the back row [far right] of this photograph, next to Gainsborough, the captain. I am 16. We have just won the school’s inter-house seven-a-side competition, a fleeter form of rugby in which scrums and line-outs are over in a moment, and fast running and flying tackles are the order of the day. We are on the school’s playing fields at Chase Lodge, Mill Hill. Most of us have cycled the five miles from Hampstead, where its grim Victorian buildings lay, burdened by its faintly Dickensian name, Haberdashers’. We shall cycle back again – all this muscular activity on the short post-war rations of 1947.

The photographer, Michael Grabow, an elder boy mysteriously able to find film for his camera, is in command. We shall be last into the communal bath, the water very much off the boil.

I had some aptitude for rugger and enjoyed it. There were fewer rules then (or referees were less pernickety) and the game had a fluency that it lacks now. We were also lighter and less likely to be injured in a collapsing scrum or by a brutal tackle. I played in the Army (national service) and occasionally later, always as hooker.

At school we played each other on Wednesdays and teams from kindred schools on Saturdays. There was then (and perhaps is still) a category of private day school that had pretensions to be public, but Haberdashers’ was no Eton and drew its boys from, at best, the middle of the middle classes. Its motto, ‘Serve and obey,’ suited the shopkeeper parents of so many boys, most of whom shortened Haberdashers’ to the execrable ‘Habs’. I resolved never to use abbreviations.

Apart from rugger I grew up away from the school. Music and art were my consuming passions, but neither was on the syllabus. Teaching myself the history of art, I was the perfect example of the adage that he who teaches himself has a poor master. I read Walter Pater on the Renaissance and wrote exquisite ekphrastic essays on Fra Angelico and Raphael.

I realise now that a handful of masters in English and history could not have been better, but those attempting to teach me physics were wasting their time and mine. Education should be based on aptitude, not compulsion. Were I at school now, I would sink without trace.

Of the other boys in the seven, I recall the names of three – Miller, Hughes and Thomas. One of them, the ugliest, when he had left school and I was in the Courtauld Institute, I bumped into in Baker Street. Grabow, the photographer, gifted in languages, set up a travel agency in Regent Street. I became whatever it is that I am.”

John Foster - passed away 10th April 2015

john f 

John passed away peacefully on April 10th this year. He had suffered in his last few years from Alzheimer’s. As this progressed, his fleeting insights into his situation caused him much frustration which he handled with great dignity. This was matched throughout by Angela’s love, devotion and strength.

John, together with his brother Dee, joined Haberdashers at Hampstead in 1943. He represented the school in most sports, rugby, cricket, athletics and boxing, from where lifelong friendships were formed. He continued his rugby and occasional cricket with the Old Haberdashers for years, and became a regular on the touchline alongside Nobbly and Dick Cook when his sons were playing many years later.

















Back: Roger Leverton, John Parker, Tim Goodman, Barker Benfield, Malcolm Tappin, Tony Pettet, ????? , John Foster

Seated: John Boon, Michael Bovington, Peter Stewart, Harold Couch, John Stagg, Duncan McLaran, Whittenbury

As well as rugby and cricket, he was also a keen fisherman and golfer, but his greatest love was skiing. This started from a school trip to Wengen in 1947, run by John Dudderidge, and gave him his lifelong love of skiing and the Alps.


Sadly, tragedy struck John’s family in 1958 when his brother was killed in action as an RAF pilot in Aden and this affected him deeply.

He had met Angela while at school. Boat trips to Bisham Abbey, and the Norfolk Broads, gave way to National Service and training as an Architect, before they married and settled to life in Walton on Thames. They moved to Radlett in 1966, where their sons David and Paul attended Haberdashers at Elstree.

He spent his working life as a professional architect, working at John Laing and for much of his career at Kyle Stewart, where his notable achievements included designing the prestigious Southwark Crown Courts in London. Little known was his skill as a fine artist, which he would indulge from time to time. His perfect job could easily have been The Boys’ Own illustrator.

They eventually retired to South Devon in 1997, where John’s natural gift of humour would delight his grandchildren on their many visits, during which he would ensure their continued education in the classics: Ben Hur, The Magnificent Seven and Last of the Mohicans.

His passing and release from Alzheimer’s, allows us to look back clearly on a good life full of happy memories, on a man who was courteous, kind, devoted to his family, and overflowing with a natural generosity of spirit and dry humour that was always so easily given.

He is sadly missed by Angela, David and Paul and all his family and friends.

David Greenwood - passed away 22nd February 2015

Robin Matthew – passed away 27th September 2014


Robin had a long and distinguished OHRFC career. He made 225 appearances for the 1st XV, starting on 11th March 1950 against Sutton (8-8 draw) and ending on 16thMarch 1963 against Hull & East Riding (3-25 loss). He made his 200th appearance against Old Paulines on 18th November 1961 (3-6 Loss).


OHRFC Veterans XV 1967 – including some of the most illustrious members of the Rugby Club

Back Row : Tony White, Robin Matthew, Peter Graham, Chris Robinson, Ray Kipps, Peter Shiells, Roger Easterbrook, John Percy, Marshal Lumsden. Front Row : Dick Cook, John Stagg, Alan Cooper, Michael Beaman, Colin Paterson. On the ground : Philip Alterman, Derek Kenward and Nobbly Tanner

He was involved with a large number of significant projects to improve the ground and the clubhouse – notably the building of the stand, the clubhouse extension and the false ceiling in the main clubhouse.


OHRFC A XV 1949-50 – Robin is again on the far left in the back row, others in the photo are Ivor Binney, Norman James, Ralph Hargreaves, JS Alexander, Alan Cooper and Bill Apted

Robin was also a stalwart of the OH Golf Society and managed the annual fixture at his club, Chorleywood, for a number of years.

He married Jackie in 1968 in Northwood Hills and their son, Angus, was born in December 1969.

Peter Shiells writes – “his career was in architecture working for a private practice involved in renovation of churches. His many appearances for the OH 1st XV are logged in Tanners records. A twinkling No8 with (speaking as a centre) a habit of clearing a lineout by spearing the ball (American football like) into the hands of our centres - at least it moved the point of attack! Robin, Dick Cook and I had a close friendship and we spent a lot of time after the games analyzing the beer and the tactics and smoking the odd cigarette - Robin usually appeared with only one left in a packet so we had to resort to Dick's woodbines. He remained a bachelor into his thirties and therefore was a stalwart of Easter tours and in due course the OH golf society. I started playing golf later but can remember some legendary weekend visits to Hunstanton which Robin had been involved in for some time. It seemed that this event became a sort of summer Easter tour as people like Gilbert Husband and Jumbo Jackman were on hand. Robin played his golf at Chorleywood and after the death of Michael Cloote organised the team of OH to play there until 2013. I remember his infectious chuckle.”

Mike Ive writes – “although I frequently travelled to and from Hampstead with Robin, I haven't seen him since leaving the old place and the only thing I might have been able to add to the proceedings might have been the fact that initially Robin was not the most punctual of arrivers until the day when he arrived nearly half an hour late for the first lesson in the morning which happened to be taken by the Mouse who commented that at that rate Robin would be late for his own funeral - not such a common phrase in those days - Robin was so taken aback by such temerity that I can't recall him being late again!”

Robin’s funeral was attended by a large number of OHA members : Donald Wells and Scotty, Rodney Jakeman, David Heasman, John Egan, Peter Shiells, Peter Mackie, Mike & Olga Dichlian, Brett Rolfe, David Brown, Tony Alexander, John Parker, Malcolm Tappin, Ian Powell, Alan Morris, Harold Couch, John Lidington, John Hanson, Peter & Patricia Vacher.  


Robin, Alan Newton and Geoff Wheal at an Old Lags lunch in 2002

The eulogies were given by Robin’s son Angus and by Mark Robinson (Robin’s stepson and son of the late Chris Robinson). Angus has kindly sent me a copy of the eulogy he gave at Robin’s funeral which I reproduce below :

“I want to thank everyone here for taking the time out to come and give Robin a fair send off.  Being the man he was, I know he would be more than a little embarrassed by all the fuss but delighted nonetheless. Robin, as I always called him, was to me a private man, polite, dignified, understated and respectful. Qualities that in today’s world are in scarce supply, or somehow considered unfashionable.

Robin, here are my reflections on you.

Robin, the father -  quite simply….you gave me space to be my own person, I now realise how lucky I was in this regard. You let me find my own way. I thank you for this.

Robin, the sportsman - Robin loved his sports and his sports clubs loved him. When our local tennis club needed an extension, it was Robin who built it, with his own fair hands.

When Haberdashers Old Boys, his beloved school and rugby club, needed a grandstand, it was Robin who stepped up to the mark. I recall with great pride and as an impressionable 5 year old, the improbably massive structure that was his creation. The Old Habs clubhouse seem to feed my imagination as a boy, the long ago faded team pictures of a handsome Dad with hair, the smell of liniment and stale beer, the warm cosy fire. Wonderful memories and I know he cherished greatly both the club and the game itself. I think it was with great sadness that I eventually took up playing hockey! 

Robin, the architect - As a young boy and in my capacity as surveyor’s assistant, it was my time spent on Robin’s architectural ramblings that kick started my interest in buildings and especially my love of churches. I enjoyed being around him because he was unfailing patient and kind to me. Sometimes we would have a pub lunch together after a hard day’s work, what a treat it was to be able to spend time one on one with my Dad in such surrounds.

Robin, the laughter - Finally I would like to pay homage to Robin’s sense of humour, perhaps his greatest gift. I’m sure most of us have been fortunate enough to experience first-hand his contagious laugh and the sheer joy expressed through his contorted face. Family occasions with Robin and my late uncle Stan, were a blessing. These men were seriously funny and I will never forget, even as a young boy, the laughter and merriment that accompanied my parents entertaining, often late into the night. A private person perhaps but also a person so generous of spirit, that he could fill any room with his laughter and humour. 

Robin, I thank you.”

Here are some additional memories of Robin provided by Angus :

“OH was in Robin’s blood. I was always rather fascinated by what it was that generated such affection for the OHA. He obviously loved his rugby and played for a great many years at OH. But he was always recalling with great fondness the personalities, Easter tours etc. It was almost as if I knew these people without ever having done so. He did in fact meet my mother there, Jackie Matthew who was social secretary for a while. She came on tours and met Robin that way.

On the subject of tours, Robin would always come alive when the subject of the West Country came up. As a child every holiday we had seemed to have a tour memory for him. To say he enjoyed them was an understatement. Robin didn’t talk about the past much but he did clearly delight in talking about Old Haberdashers and his countless tours. I believe there is even footage on YouTube of a distant tour that he went on in the 60’s. Actually makes for rather fascinating viewing…

So Robin was responsible for planning and helping to construct the old stand that has now gone. He also helped build the changing room extension that included that massive bath. As a child I have memories of the club house as being this fantastic place, the smell of liniment, the noise of studs on wooden floors as the first team jogged out onto the pitch and the steam from that bath. I will always carry those memories. The bar of course was also a place of fascination for me and again, I put my love of beer and its smell down to formative years at the OH club house. It Was always rather odd to see your Dad with hair in pictures of long ago 1st teams. He seemed to me quite dashing, Brylcream and all. Not like the middle aged Dad he would have been at the time. As you can see, the OH club house left rather an indelible mark on my 6 year old brain!

At his funeral I was totally blown away by the number of people who attended. It was fitting that the chapel was crammed with golf friend, tennis friends but above all OH friends. He would have been delighted but also embarrassed at the fuss. He was a genuinely humble man, unassuming but also possessing of a hilarious personality. He could light up a room with his laughter and you couldn’t fit another laughter line on his face! Hope this helps….I really must visit the club house sometime.”

Norman GM Stares (died 1990)

William R (Bill) Gibben (died 2002)

C Gordon SPIERS (1941-49)
died on 15th July, 1990. 

Gordon was in the School 2nd XV and the Swimming VIII. On completion of National Service in the RAF he tried a variety of civilian jobs, but soon rejoined the Service, and was commissioned in the Equipment (later Supply) Branch. His postings included RAF Negombo, Hong Kong, Clark Field, in the Pacific, Abingdon (Twice), Rheindahlen, Thorney Island, Khormasksar (Aden), Gaydon and Upavon. He also served twice in the Ministry of Defence; but he was a practical man and had quickly displayed an aptitude for Air Supply Duties. He thus spent much of his career as a specialist organiser of Mobile Air Movements Teams, taking part in most of the campaigns and exercises involving swift transportation of service units and supplies around the world.

His final posting was for 9 years, based at Brize Norton, where as a squadron leader he took part in supporting activities for the Falkland Islands campaign. He retired from the RAF only 2 years before his untimely death at the age of 60.

In 1956 he married Ann Hutton, sister of Michael J Hutton (1948-1955). 

Despite a busy service career Gordon enjoyed a very happy married life, and he possessed a variety of accomplishments. He was a natural raconteur, became a knowledgeable countryman, with considerable expertise in gardening, etymology, taxidermy and cooking. He was also a fine shot and talented artist with both pen and brush.

He leaves a widow, Ann, and his four children, Ben, Shaun, Kevin and Jane, and brothers George W (1931-36) and Reggie J (1940-47).

Alan R. BOVINGTON (1940-49)
passed away at Chard on August 1996 and was buried in Taunton on August 7th 1996 surrounded by immediate members of his family and some close friends.

Alan, was vice-captain of the School in 1948 and Editor of the Skylark. He was a regular member of the O.H.R.F.C. 'A' XV making his 1st XV debut on Boxing Day 1950 at Weston-Super-Mare. He continued, usually in the 'A' XV as pack leader, but captaining the side in 1954-55 and 1955-56, before hanging up his boots in December 1963, in the Ex 'B'. He also made 39 senior appearances in the O.H.C.C. 1st XI.

After school he went to the Imperial College and gained his B.A., B.Sc., A.R.C.S. C. Eng. and became a Barrister at Law.

He followed this with a distinguished 16 year career at the North Thames Gas Board culminating in being Assistant Secretary to the Board and manager of the Management Services Department After a three year stint at Dexion he became Departmental Planning and Programming Officer of the Greater London Council. He left London to become Director of Planning of Anglian Water Authority where he was responsible for forward planning, services, water resources and the computer specification and hardware selection. He took early retirement and went to grow mushrooms with his beloved wife, Cherry, at his side in Chard.

He and Cherry were blessed by the birth of twins and it was a major tragedy in both of their lives that one of them developed a tumour in the brain which led eventually to a loss to the family with considerable impact on everyone concerned.

A major influence in Alan's life was his military training where he was a Second Lieutenant in the National Service of the Royal Artillery and where he eventually became a Lieutenant Colonel of the London Scottish Territorial Service.

Alan was a man who gave complete loyalty and sincerity to everybody he was in contact with and in turn inspired a similar loyalty and affection from the people to whom he was close This degree of loyalty was unusual even in his era, and would be even more unusual in the present era and it heightens the sense of loss which everyone associated with him will feel.

Peter Freitag 

John L BOUCHERAT (1944-49)
died on 8th August 1990.

Leaving the School with his matriculation, John studied as an accountant. After qualifying, he eventually joined Stofforths, in Chichester, but was forced to retire towards the end of 1989, when he was diagnosed to be suffering from motor neurone disease. Although he lost the power of speech, John remained mobile for the ten months of his illness, during which his strong faith (he had been head server at Chichester Cathedral for some time) and his sense of humour enabled him to cope. He died peacefully, at home.

Having been a member of the 2nd VIII at the School, John maintained a strong interest in rowing, in particular, attending the Regatta at Henley, where he had entry to the Stewards' Enclosure.

After a contemporary had encouraged him to join the Association, in 1984, John attended both the biennial reunion dinners of his decade, in October 1985 and March 1987, as well as the Centenary dinner in March 1988. However, the remainder for the 1940-49 decade dinner, in April 1989 brought an apology - possibly because the lengthy night journeys back to Chichester were becoming rather too frequent.

He leaves a widow, Angela.


Geoffrey M Scholl (11th January 1932 - 30th May 2015)

Keith Scholl writes - Geoff was always proud to be an Old Habs man often seen wearing his OH tie. After National Service in the RAF he became a salesman for several Oil Companies. This led to various moves around the country ending up in Lutterworth Leicestershire. He in later life specialised in carburation for fleet use with LPG  His two younger brothers, both Old Habs were at his funeral wearing their OH ties too!

Reverend Canon John Knowles-Brown AKC (1941-48)

(Obituary written by Keith Dawson)

John Knowles-Brown

John Knowles-Brown died on 3 March 2014 at the age of 84, following a short illness. Although he was a good age, his death came as a shock to all who knew him because, until the last days of his life, John had been full of zest and youthful spirit. Our sympathy goes to his wife, Pamela, and daughter, Hilary, in their loss and we remember a friend who was a big man in every way.

John Henry Knowles-Brown was born in Whetstone on 10 February 1930. He was a pupil at Hampstead and a member of Russell’s during and just after WW2 (1941-48). His family had many connections with Haberdashers and Russell’s. His father, Frank Henry Knowles-Brown, attended the school from 1909, just a decade after the move from Hoxton to Cricklewood. Frank’s brother Arthur, and John’s uncle on his mother’s side, were also HABS boys at that time. John’s son, Matthew (1970-77), who was Vice-Captain of the School in 1976-77, died tragically young in 1983.

At school, John was a keen member of the CCF, enjoyed rugby and was an enthusiastic cross- country runner who represented the School and ran with the Highgate Harriers. With typical diffidence, he always claimed not to be in any serious way academic but he had a keen mind and a highly-tuned intuitive sense. He retained strong feelings of loyalty and affection for the School. When I came to know him in Sidmouth he often talked to me about HABS in his time, and in Matthew’s. We went together to a number of OH West Country Dinners in the past 15 years and I had planned to take him and Pamela to the next Dinner on 14 October this year.

From a very young age John had felt a call to the ordained ministry. It is said that the family called him its black sheep because nobody else had ever before imagined doing anything so outlandish as becoming a clergyman. However that may be, he first acted on his sense of calling when he was 16 or 17 by going to a national conference under a schoolboy selection scheme. Young John was told to come back after he’d done his National Service.

So it was that John gained invaluable experience of life as a national serviceman in the RAF Police from 1948-50. At 6’4” he must have been a convincing sight! That experience at an end, John entered King’s College, London, to read Theology. In 1954 he was ordained a Deacon of the Church of England, in the diocese of St. Albans. His first curacy was at St. Andrew’s, Hertford, and it was while he was at Hertford that he married Pamela whom he had known since they were teenagers together in the local church youth club. Then in 1958 he and Pamela moved to the parish of St. James in Bushey where John was appointed to a second curacy.

After three years in Bushey John went back to the RAF, serving as a Chaplain from 1961 to 1965, including a happy two-year posting with his family to Famagusta in Cyprus during an unusually peaceful interlude in the island’s civil war.

Returning to civilian life in 1965, John began his first incumbency at the church at Farley Hill, in Luton. The parish was on a large council estate and services were initially held in a multi-purpose hall-church. In his seven years in Luton John achieved two big changes. He pushed through and supervised the building of a new church. He then discovered that the land where it was built had belonged to a French Abbey dedicated to St. John the Baptist in the time of Henry II, and so the church of St Michael and St George became the Parish Church of St John the Baptist.

In 1972 the family moved to Totteridge where John became Vicar of St Andrew’s, the church where he had gone to Sunday School and where his father had been a member of the Church Council. John served St. Andrew’s for 23 years until his retirement in 1995. During that long ministry John Knowles-Brown gained the respect, the liking and the love of his parishioners because he was good to his core, open, direct, straight and fair-minded, utterly unpretentious and there for them. He was an acute listener, a man who understood human suffering at first hand and who could truly empathise with those who needed him.

John made his mark in the wider life of the diocese of St. Albans. He served as Rural Dean of Barnet from 1979-89 and was made an Honorary Canon of St. Albans Abbey in 1985. When he retired 10 years later he was made a Canon Emeritus. There was a strong thread of mission and service running through John’s life, from his teenage years to the very end. In his almost 20 years of retirement in Sidmouth he, and Pamela, were fully engaged in the life of the parish helping with whatever seemed useful.

Throughout his life, John was a doer and a fixer. Had he not become a priest he could certainly have had a successful career as an architect, a project manager - or even as a craftsman [a missed vocation, perhaps?]. His mother’s father had been an architect and his father was a clock collector, maker and repairer who ran the family business in Hampstead and London. John was a very practical man; it was embedded in his genes.

As a boy of 12 he took apart one of his father’s medieval clocks just to see how it ticked - and, impressively, he put it back together again. He could never resist a creative challenge and the Knowles-Brown home in Sidmouth contains many examples of John’s craftsmanship, including an 18th century sofa and chairs beautifully re-upholstered and re-covered. Late in life he taught himself to play the classical guitar rather well, but strictly for his own pleasure.

He put his practical skills to good use also in his work for the Church. Not only in Luton where he conceived and oversaw the building of the new church, but also recently in Sidmouth where he became site manager during the large-scale re-ordering of the parish church. He was in his element, keeping a close eye on the work in progress, getting to know the team of craftsmen and effectively becoming their chaplain. The results were stunningly good.

Above all, John was a good, sweet man who lived out his deeply held beliefs each day. He was unfailingly positive and cheerful and he made life better for those around him simply by being himself. He was also shrewd and acute; within his twinkling smile there was an appraising gleam. He will be missed by his many friends but long and happily remembered.

Colin Stuart Paterson CBE, (1948) Soldier and Shipping Company Managing Director. (1932 – 2013)

The following obituary has been written by Ronald Partington.

 C Paterson

Colin died on the 14th April 2013 in his 81st year, just 13 months after the passing of his twin brother Michael. 

Colin’s early life in Finchley, where he grew up, has been covered by Brian Granger in his obituary for Michael. 

Colin and I became friends in 1948 when we were in the same form and played in the first fifteen rugby team. He was a stalwart in the second row and went on to play for the O.H. for a number of years after leaving school. Visions of this 6ft. 2 man of 14 stone with a scrum cap controlling a mass of hair and giving his all on the pitch remain clear.

Colin joined the Royal Artillery at the commencement of his National Service, but after Officer training was commissioned into the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. He served in Korea and was in the front line against North Korean and Chinese forces. He was reluctant to talk about his experiences and the horrors of war.

On returning home on the completion of his full time service, he joined the London Scottish Regiment, to complete his Territorial Army commitment and during this time was promoted to Captain. This was the same Regiment served in by his Aberdonian father Lieut. Paterson, known affectionately as Long Pat.

Colin started his working career with Union Castle in the London docks and was involved in the handling and shipping of freight. After a number of years he joined North Sea Ferries, which was a new company involved in a Roll on and Roll off operation, between Hull and Rotterdam. In 1968 the company had two ships, one under the Dutch flag and the other under the British flag. Colin was in sole charge of operations for the latter vessel.

During his 14 years in Hull, he became a Governor of the Humberside College of Education and Chairman of the College’s Maritime Advisory Committee. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the College for the contribution he had made over a number of years.

In 1983 he became Managing Director of Caledonian MacBrayne, which was centred in Gourock on the Clyde. The Company provided ferries for the Hebridean islands off the west coast of Scotland and was subsidised by the Scottish Executive. The family made a new home in Helensburgh.

During the 14 years he was to remain Top Man at Cal Mac, until his retirement, he was involved in all aspects of the workings of the Company. He used his management and personnel skills to bring about the successful development of the company, often against a challenging financial environment. This was evident with the introduction of new ferries on various routes. He was well respected and regarded by his staff.

In the New Year’s Honours list of 1994 Colin was awarded the CBE for ‘Services to Scottish Shipping and Services to the Highlands and Islands.’

In retirement Colin realised there was a life after work. He spent 2/3 days a month with the Highlands and Islands Enterprise Trust for awhile and became a leading campaigner to restore the ‘Maid of the Loch’ paddle steamer, to service on Loch Lomond. Golf became a good way to get some exercise and enjoy good company in most weather conditions.

His loving family always remained the centre of his life, together with his religious beliefs. He was an Elder at St.Columba’s Church in Helensburgh for many years.

During the early part of his career I lost contact with Colin and it was by chance that we got together again about 25 years ago. It was a pleasure to renew our friendship and get to know his supportive family. His last two years were not easy for him as the progressive advancement of Parkinsons took effect. He bore these difficulties with great fortitude.

He is sorely missed by his wife Marcella, children Stuart, Andrew, Fiona, Catriona and all who knew him.


The following obituary was published in The Scotsman 22nd April 2013.

Colin Paterson

Colin Paterson who has died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, was – from 1980 to 1997 – the politically astute, occasionally controversial managing director of Caledonian MacBrayne. He upgraded the company’s Highlands and Islands shipping fleet in the final decades of the 20th century and frequently stressed that efficient, economy-boosting ferries were dependent on improved rural roads and ports, including a new route from Oban to Mallaig.

Paterson was involved in controversy when the company introduced Sunday ferry services in some Hebridean island communities, where many people made it clear they didn’t want them.

In 1989, the company succeeded in its plans in North Uist, but failed two years later at Tarbert, Harris, when the local churches and the vast majority of residents fiercely opposed the introduction of Sunday sailings.

It took a threatened blockade of the pier by Scalpay fishermen opposed to the Sunday sailings and the realisation by then Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind that the government would have to send in the Royal Navy if it was determined to break the protest. In February 1991, the company had to make undignified retreat – and it would be 20 more years before Tarbert had Sunday sailings.

Paterson was an intelligent, efficient executive who managed, after some years of lull, to secure a succession of bigger and better ships for Caledonian MacBrayne, starting with the Isle of Arran, launched late in 1983 and the first major new vessel in four years. He also saw the conversion of services generally to end-loading – there were still half-a-dozen archaic hoist-loading routes when he took over – and all the vessels built under him were drive-through, roll-on, roll-offs.

There was some irritation though with the names he personally chose for the big ships. Very few of them were traditional and the “Isle of…” formula was criticised by many for being boring, while also giving the impression that a number of vessels were operating wildly off-station. For example, the Isle of Arran put in a good few years at Islay.

Paterson is credited with fighting off attempts to privatise Caledonian MacBrayne and has been commended for his political guile. This came to the fore during the building of the Skye Bridge, which was contracted out to a large US company, which was empowered to charge hefty tolls, and assured that Caledonian MacBrayne would not be allowed to continue with the ferry service in competition.

When the Conservative government minister Lord James Douglas-Hamilton approached Paterson later asking him why CalMac was not continuing to run ferries between Kyle and Kyleakin the ferry company chief, in understandable irritation, is said to have told him: “It’s because you forbade it.” This happened on a special sailing of the car ferry Isle of Lewis at the end of July in 1995 – a few days before it came into service between Ullapool and Stornoway.

A member of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Paterson was adamant that sea transport links to the islands were vital to the healthy growth of the communities they serve and he was circumspect about linking them to the mainland with road bridges.

He said the case for more road bridges should be carefully scrutinised because the economy of an island could actually be adversely affected by a bridge. He said: “When an island is no longer an island, its attractions alter in tourist terms – on the one hand, a road link may make it easier for the delivery of goods but on the other, the tourist, who would once stay for some days, may be content with a fast day-trip then straight home again.”

Paterson said that every time the CalMac fleet had been improved – and he conducted a programme of £66 million of capital investment in his first ten years with the company – there had been an immediate growth in traffic, which in turn saw more visitors heading for the islands.

This was a policy he believed in and followed with simple requirements such as well-thought out programmes whereby buses and trains arrived to meet the ferries, which was important to people.

He was decorated CBE for his services to shipping at the age of 61 after 11 years service with Gourock-based CalMac, having joined from North Sea Ferries, based in Hull, where he was UK manager. He was a governor of Humberside College and chairman of the Maritime Advisory Committee there. He received an honorary fellowship of the Hull-based college before he left the area to work in Scotland.

When he retired 15 years ago, Paterson took on the lead role in the voluntary campaign group fighting to save the Maid of the Loch on Loch Lomond. Two years ago, when illness forced him to resign as chairman, he volunteered to continue to serve in the Maid’s souvenir shop and, although the old paddle steamer remained static and berthed at Balloch, it was at that time attracting 30,000 visitors a year to the Bonnie Banks.

He also oversaw much of the renovation of the Maid and the rebuilding of the Balloch Steam Slipway, which was officially opened by the Princess Royal.

Born in London in 1932, Paterson and his twin brother, Michael, were educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School, where the boys, both tall, strong and handsome, played rugby before Colin joined the Royal Artillery in 1950. He served with distinction as a signals officer with various regiments in Hong Kong and with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment in Korea.

He first married Margaret Petrie and is survived by his second wife, Marcella, and four children, Fiona, Catriona, Stuart and Andrew. He was an active member of the community in Helensburgh, where he was a governor of Lomond School and an elder of St Andrew’s Kirk, where his funeral service took place on 20 April.


Taken from the Worshipful Company of Cooks Newsletter – summer 2012

Michael Paterson

The death of Brigadier MJ Paterson CBE was announced on 2 February 2012, aged 79.

Michael Paterson was commissioned into the ACC in 1952 as a National Service subaltern. He served in Cyprus, was promoted to Captain in 1960 and was appointed Adjutant. By then he was clearly earmarked for greater things. As a major he commanded a company, served as a senior caterer in Germany and completed a tour on the staff in the ACC Directorate. On promotion to lieutenant colonel in October 1974 he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Army Apprentices College (ACC). This was followed by another tour in the Directorate at SO1 level and technical appointments as Deputy Director in BAOR and Northern Ireland. On promotion to colonel, in 1980, he returned to BAOR and became the senior catering officer in that theatre until he was appointed Director of the Corps in April 1985.

Brigadier Paterson was a shrewd and capable leader, a meticulous administrator and could be ruthless when defending his Corps. He was appointed CBE in 1988. On his retirement in 1988 to 1993 Michael Paterson was appointed Clerk to the Governors at the Royal Masonic School for Girls. He rose to the highest echelons of Free Masonry and accrued many Masonic decorations. He was a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London, a member for 26 years and past Vice-President of the Reuniondes Gastronomes, was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1994 and devoted an enormous amount of time as a trustee of his parish church in Crondall, raising funds and playing a part in the administration of the church.

He was an enthusiastic sportsman, playing Corps rugby, cricket, tennis, squash and golf. He was made Honorary Life President of the Army Rugby Union in recognition of his enthusiastic services to Army Rugby, especially at junior level. As a tennis player, whilst still Director, he was adept at selecting younger, more athletic playing partners and contesting every point fiercely. An enthusiastic golfer, Michael was a member at Hartley Wintney GC for 20 years and attended every ACC Golf Society major event including the Scottish tour for many years. He was a long term Vice-President of the Society, becoming President in 1993. He played a full part in Society affairs and his annual ‘President’s Day’ was always marked by his inviting guests to participate in what he considered to be the highlight of the calendar. A generous man, he was always willing to share his round, shot by shot if given the opportunity.

Michael Paterson was a major contributor, loved to speak with his chefs when serving and was always supported in what he did by his wife Diana. Their garden parties were the stuff of legend; his support for her in the local Conservative party was unstinting and anyone who did not attend the annual Party Hog Roast missed out on something memorable. An achiever in the true sense of the word, Michael Paterson was approachable, courteous and charming and accepted his end with great courage. He will be greatly missed not only by his family, but the hundreds who knew and respected him no matter where they met.


RONALD WATERS 1930-2012 – AN APPRECIATION (published on The Marlow Society website)

Ron Waters


The death of Ronald “Ron” Waters in December 2012 has deprived Marlow of one of its most loyal residents. Ron was instrumental in leading change, preserving our heritage, providing an objective analysis of problems and providing solutions.

A true cockney born in Shoreditch within hearing distance of Bow bells, Ron was moved by his parents to the fresher, healthier air of Burnt Oak after he survived diphtheria when he was 3.  He grew up in Tewksbury Gardens, attended Haberdashers Askes where he played cricket and rugby and made life-long friends.  After leaving school, like all young men of his generation, he did his national service and it was while he was stationed at Woolwich that the young Lieutenant Waters met Mary Jean Jenkin (known to many as Jinks) on the platform of Woolwich Station. Mary waited whilst Ron served as a gunner in Egypt and they married on his return.

Despite loving the army and being a promising young officer, Ron preferred to return to civilian with Mary and they later had two daughters Lesley and Carolyn. In 1962 he became a civil servant working for London Transport and in ’68 moved to the Covent Garden Market Authority. Ron was responsible for relocating Covent Garden Market from its historic West End site to Nine Elms and spent many evening hours poring over plans and maps as he supervised the move.  After Covent Garden Ron once again, put family first in his choices and joined the planning department in South Bucks District Council. This decision equipped him with the knowledge and skills that he would later put to such good use in his work with the Marlow Society and his service to the community of Marlow.

Ron was an Elder of the United Reformed Church. His long term determination saw Christchurch through not one but many different redevelopment schemes starting in the 1980s. Ron and fellow church members finally completed the revitalisation of this building in 2003 since when it has provided the whole community of Marlow with a valuable social location for a multiplicity of valuable activities. He was rightly very proud of this achievement.

As Chairman of the Marlow Society for eleven years Ron deployed his experience and personality to ensure that Marlow retained its historic character whilst evolving as a vibrant town. His skills channelled The Marlow Society’s desire to preserve this town and made it the effective voice it now is, much respected by the local planning bodies and councils. He worked closely with the District and Town Councils where his contribution was always valued. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude for quietly achieving so much. The appearance and vigour of the town today is a living testament to his works.

Whilst devoting much time to the town Ron always found time to enjoy the company of his many friends. He and Mary, who was always at his side, were active and popular members of the Marlow Folk Dance Club and the Budavar Society. A happy and convivial person, Ron was always a devoted family man whose pride in his daughters and grandchildren shone through. This very gentle Gentleman is greatly missed by all who knew him.

Michael JB Cloote (died 1993) 

Christopher J. ROBINSON (1943-48)

Having battled courageously for some months in successfully overcoming a cancer in the colon, Chris sadly succumbed to a secondary cancer in the liver and passed away peacefully at home with his family on 3rd January 1995

Chris was born on 3rd December 1931 in Hendon and spent his early childhood in north west London with his parents and sister Audrey, joining Haberdashers' Aske's Hampstead School in Westbere Road, Cricklewood in 1943. During the war he was forced to move to south London, whereupon he spent a term or two at Whitgift.

Thereafter, perhaps his life and achievements are best reported with the following transcript of the eulogy delivered by John Parker (1949-56) at the Service of Thanksgiving held at Christ Church, Chorleywood on 13th January 1995 and attended by over 300 friends, relatives and colleagues.

'63 years and a month - too soon to be taken from us but, as we all know, the Grim Reaper knows no boundaries and plays his game with no rules - or laws.

'Too soon taken from us, to enjoy the parent's reward of seeing children fulfil ambitions.

'Too soon to achieve the status of Grandad and revel in hearing one's children complain of their children treating the home like a hotel.

'Too soon to indulge the fruits of years of labour in comfortable retirement - which he richly deserved and looked forward to immensely.

'Too soon, we have lost a dear friend whose loyalty and integrity in friendship, however difficult and brusque he may have appeared, were the hallmark of the man.

'But this is not to say that his life was without fulfilment, as we remember him as a determined achiever and an energetic contributor in any area of activity, be it at home, in the office or on the field of play.

'My friendship with Chris was forged many years ago through the common ground of the Old Haberdashers' Rugby Club and when our then young families joined with the Hansons in a series of summer holidays in Devon where he demonstrated the action man qualities he carried through life subsequently. The toddlers on holiday with us then, Mark and Allister, Kate and David and my own Andrew and Julie are all in their thirties now, the boys all having made some contribution over the years to the playing strength of the Rugby Club - as the girls would liked to have done! 

'Previous to our meeting he had left Haberdashers' at 18 (2 years before I even joined) having been in Calverts, my house and better known for sport than academy, distinguishing himself at rugby, cricket and boxing in addition to his first sporting love of swimming.

'It was whilst still at school he joined the Hampstead Priory Club, a sort of Haberdasher/U.C.S. swimming club in which, I understand, he went on to get trials in water polo at county, regional and national levels as a goal-keeper. Easy in his case, as with his height he was never in the deep end! Typical of Chris, having joined Hampstead Priory in 1946 alongside Sidney Bean, he maintained his relationship with club members, subsequently, after 10 years active membership. Even after disbandment the hard core members would meet annually right up to last year, I know this because Roy Naisbitt, who played polo with Chris almost 30 years ago and still plays at the age of 65, told me the other day and is here today. 

'Chris did his National Service as a lieutenant in the Royal Signals, joining Derek Kenward at Catterick before seeing some active service in Egypt during the Suez problems of '50/'51, whereupon he embarked on what was to be an illustrious career within the Old Haberdashers' Association.

'His achievements are manyfold and only Stagg, Cooper and Kenward might dispute that he was the most dedicated and committed contributor and achiever that the O.H.A. has had the good fortune to have had in its ranks, quietly and efficiently - "no, not quietly, he never did anything quietly in my experience" - loudly and efficiently getting on with any allotted or self-allotted task and carrying it through to its conclusion.

'He would have to be one of only three people in over 100 years history of the O.H.A. to have held the posts of President of the Association, President of the Rugby Club, and President of the Cricket Club, such was his dedication. 

'He would have to be one of only a handful of players to have played over 200 games for the O.H. Cricket Club.

'He would have to be a member of that elite group within the Rugby Club to have played more than 200 games for the 1st XV and certainly the only one to have achieved them in the most diverse positions of wing and 2nd row forward.

'He still holds the post - war try scoring record for the Club of 26 tries in a season, all accomplished on the wing, and this despite being visually disadvantaged. Forseeably, in these days of more competitive rugby, his record will stand for some years to come and deservedly so.

'He would have to be a member of an even more elitist group within the Rugby Club to have played for the 1st XV over the age of 40 (there were only six of us, but we have our A.G.M. every year in Rickmansworth and those of us remaining will continue to do so). 

'He would have to be the only player to have turned out for a game with two sons in the same side - against Watford 14 years ago this very weekend, joining Allister in the 2nd row, with Mark in the centre in what was his 594th, final and most contrived appearance in an O.H. shirt - but he lasted the 80 minutes. 

'He would have to be the sort of person to spend a week every year yomping across uncharted tracts of open country on a pub - to - pub hike, be it in the Lake District, Exmoor, Yorkshire or the Peaks with the likes of Stephenson, Purcell and Buchanan - just for the fun of it and the company. 

'In all this time he was achieving and contributing, in his way, to the progress of Chambers and Newman, that well-known firm of West End insurance brokers that he had joined in 1972. In only the following year, Malcolm Bennett, previously an assistant to Chris elsewhere, invited him to join the Board. In the ensuing years to the present time, he helped them through a tough development period, then, with his energy and indomitable spirit, helped the company through a devastating set-back, caused by one Roger Levitt, to re-group and recover to keep the company in the forefront of independent insurance brokers in the West End.

'Notwithstanding all these action-man accomplishments, he threw himself into an administrative role with the Association, being appointed Secretary in 1990. Flipping through the current O.H.A. magazine bears witness to his contribution as many items are endorsed "C.J.R.".

'As if this wasn't enough he teamed up with his great, and late friend, Alan Cooper, to further the aims and ambitions of the C.L.O.B. (Combined London Old Boys) and employed the same enthusiasm and energy typical of his playing days. To both the Association and C.L.O.B. he introduced many innovative ideas, emanating from years of experience and professional expertise, which now, like the rugby ball going through his hands, will have been passed on and carried through the gain line and on to the touch-down in the fullness of time for the benefit of all concerned. 'If I have given you an impression of a man for whom I have an enormous respect and affection I will have fulfilled my intention, and I am confident I echo the feelings of many others as demonstrated by your attendance here today.

'To Fern, Louise and Claire I offer my heartfelt condolences and sympathy in their loss of a husband and father, somebody regarded by us all as a lovely man and I hope we can assure them that they can count on our support in the future.

'Chris - you will be missed but your presence will continue to be felt by all of us who enjoyed the privilege of being your friend - a great companion to your peers and a source of inspiration and an example to the younger echelon following on. 'Chris - to you at opening time on the threshold of that ultimate and eternal Club house - 'Cheers and God Bless!'

John Parker 

Philip M LEIGH (1942-48)
died after a short illness on 9th October 1987 at .the comparatively early age of 57.

He was a staunch Zionist, making his first visit to Israel the year he left School, where he had been a prefect, captain of Strouts, a member of the Chess Club, the Music Society and of the 2nd XV. That autumn, he entered St John's College, Cambridge, where he read law and was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn, the same year he came down from University, practising for a time in Chancery.

Some two years after marrying Jacqueline in 1955, with the assistance of his father-in-law, Philip took over a small building society and became its managing director, building up the assets of the Bolton to a sum approaching £100m. In 1962, he became a founder member of the National Association of Estate Agents and, with his legal background, soon found himself chairman of the legislative sub-committee, charged with counteracting propaganda, which was seeking to discredit unqualified estate agents. Philip was so successful in doing so, that the NAEA has now become firmly established as the flagship of the independent estate agency, outside the ambit of the old established firms. At the time of his death, he was a Vice-President of the Association and a Fellow of the Chartered Building Societies Institute.

In contrast to his business life, Philip had a flair for writing radio scripts, notably for Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels in their long running “Life with the Lyons”. He was also adept at designing jewellery and was a keen bridge player. A life member of the HOBC, he remained a keen supporter of the Association, donating at subscription rates and attending the 1940-49 decade dinners. 

He leaves a widow, Jacqueline, and two sons.

Derek G. Kenward (1943 - 48)
died January 2001

Derek Kenward was born on 20th November 1929 in Cricklewood and first went to Mora Road Primary School from 1935 to 1939 but with the Second World War looming he was evacuated to Somerset where he attended the village school at Queen Camel and then went to Sexey’s School, Bruton as a weekly boarder in 1941.

With the threat of the blitz receding in September 1943 the family returned to London and Derek was accepted by Haberdashers’, then situated in Hampstead where he remained until 1948. During his time at the School he led a full and busy life being appointed a Prefect, made vice-captain of Russells; was in the Cricket Xl from 1945-48, captaining in his final year; was in the Rugby 1st XV in 1947 and 1948; was in the School boxing team in 1946 - 47 and in the athletics team in 1948 and additionally a sergeant in the J.T.C. 

Upon leaving School his National Service was undertaken in the Royal Signals Section where he served as a 2nd Lieutenant Transport Section. On returning to civilian life in 1950 he joined his father’s firm of solicitors, Robsons, on the Chiswick High Road as an articled clerk and in 1956 he became qualified and then in 1958 became a partner where he worked until his retirement in the 1990s.

As an Old Haberdasher he was one of the major figures in the Club’s history. One of a select company of four to hold the three senior presidencies, the Association, the Rugby Club and the Cricket Club. Additionally Derek is a member of both 200 Clubs for those who have played 200 1st team games for either Club.

As a rugby wing forward Derek was a true loose forward preferring the attacking side of his duties to the defensive chores but was an important member of the !st XV and was vice-captain of the Club from 1954 to 1958 and thereafter President from 1968 to 1970.

But Derek’s real sporting love was cricket and at Borehamwood he was both captain and President. However after leaving School he joined Brondesbury and did not become a full time member of the O.H.C.C. until 1953. He then made 317 first team appearances with his last match being in1976. During this time he amassed 4,660 runs as well as scoring the now legendary 154 against Old Merchant Taylors in July 1960. This remained the Club’s highest individual score for thirty years, and he still remains the holder, with Chris Robinson, of the seventh wicket batting record of 110 also against O.M.T., in 1959.

Memories of Derek include being able to set your watch by his appearance at Borehamwood following his playing retirement. His arrival at the ground punctually at 6.10 p.m. on a Saturday, often in his wonderful candy striped blazer in the Club colours of magenta, white and blue, to watch the last hour and a half was an event in itself and conversations in the bar were always accompanied by much laughter and of course by a White Shield Worthington, a drink many of us were first introduced to by the ‘Guv’nor’.

It is obviously sad for all who knew him that his final years were dogged by a long fight against cancer. However he never lost his optimism or his sense of fun. His funeral, well attended by Old Boys included the hymns ‘All things bright and beautiful' and ‘Jerusalem' and the congregation left to a rendition of ‘In the Mood’ by Joe Loss.

For Derek, good companionship was paramount and anybody who knew him will never forget his infectious laugh usually accompanied by a dramatic sweeping back of the forelock. His welcoming grasp of your hand meant that you were once again in the company of a man who enjoyed life to its limit. With his passing life at Borehamwood and indeed Lord’s Cricket Ground on test match Saturday will be both a little quieter and a little less joyous.

Brian HOPWOOD (1941-48)
Died tragically early (at the age of 66), only a few weeks after the diagnosis of his illness and only four years after his official retirement. 

He had played for the School 1st XV, gaining his colours in his second season, 1947-48. having also been a member of the cricket 3rd XI, the school boxing team and the shooting VIII (with colours). He belied the theory that most scientists preferred being cooped up in laboratories! 

Joining the O.H.R.F.C. in 1949-50, he played mainly as a prop in the 'A' XV, although he was able to adopt himself to hooking, when the specialists were unavailable. Always making himself available, he played his first senior game at Paignton, on 4th November 1950, followed by two other appearances later in the season. Two years later, his senior quota was doubled to six but it was not until 1956-57 that he became a fairly regular member of the 1st XV, with another dozen appearances. His 25th and only other game came on 20th September 1958 resulting in a satisfactory win over Streatham. It is thought that he was to have captained the 'B' XV, that season but his business commitments had decreed otherwise, so his football career finished, then and there! In the interim, he had played upwards of a hundred times for the 'A' team. 

We are indebted to Angela (whom he married in 1963) for the following career details. Brian was an electrical engineer and he became a director of M.B.M. Technology in 1978. The move from G.E.C. to M.B.M. Technology in Sussex was attractive to both, as an escape from the London area for their growing daughters, Anna and Emma.

Until his retirement much of Brian's working life was within the defence and aeronautical industries. Lately he had taken up photography again and had become involved in local affairs and he toyed with the idea of joining O.H. Rifle Club and suddenly he was no longer with us!

Although a life member of the Association, Brian continued to pay the full dues and attended the earlier reunions of his 1940-49 decade dinners.

To Angela, Anna and Emma, we would wish to touch upon their sad loss.

 Edward J. GRIEW (1943-48)

died during December 1996.

Apart from appearing as a wicket keeper for the O.H.C.C. 1st XI in 1954 and 1955 on a few occasions, Edward had little contact with the O.H.A.

He gained a degree at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Ivor Ronald Binney 

Ivor passed away peacefully on 5th September 2010 at the age of 80


Revd. Prebendary John Bernard Gaskell – passed away 28th October 2015

(Contributed by Michael Clark – 1947)

John died in Lewisham Hospital after a short illness on October 28th 2015 aged 87.

John’s distinguished career in the Church of England started in 1940, when he and I joined the choir at St Lawrence Whitchurch, Little Stanmore. This required a commitment to attend three evening practices at 6.00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and singing at three services each Sunday – not a bad challenge for 12 year olds! Although we were in different forms at Haberdashers and had totally different career paths in front of us, cycling together,frequently in the pitch dark,during the blitz and beyond,cemented our close,lasting friendship.

On leaving Haberdashers in 1947, John served two years National Service in the Intelligence Corps., read Theology at Jesus College, Oxford and trained for the Anglican ministry at Chichester Theological College. He then served as Parish Priest at St James Elmers End, All Saints Margaret Street,The Grosvenor Chapel and St Alban the Martyr in Holborn.

John was a very perceptive priest, sensitive to the needs of others, creative in his thinking, a great reader, preacher and raconteur, with a great sense of humour and to top it all, was an excellent cook!

John was a founding activist of “Affirming Catholicism”, was a Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral and was awarded the Cross of St Augustine in 2005 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury,Dr.Rowan Williams. The award was given for outstanding service within the Church of England.The Commendation signed by the Archbishop reads as follows:-

Victor Stock, the Dean of Guildford, remembers as a young theological student hearing John Gaskell preach at All Saints’, Margaret Street, and saying to him afterwards, “that was the worst sermon I’ve ever heard”. He realises that it shows how arrogant and stupid students can be, for Sir John Betjeman, who heard him preach week after week, has said that he was the best preacher in the Church of England! In a forward to a book about Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair, John Betjeman said, “The preaching tradition is fine. The best preacher I know is John Gaskell. I am very glad to say that I am a sermon taster, and I have never heard better sermons than his. He has the natural melody of language in his words. He is obviously a poet.” This is praise indeed from one of our greatest 20th century poets. 

Today we are thanking John for his distinguished service as a priest in the Church of England.While many know of his preaching, his influence in the confessional and as a spiritual director, especially among the clergy, has been more hidden

In retirement Fr Gaskell is often asked to speak about the Ministry of Reconciliation and through his experience, humour and humanity, a neglected sacramental grace is being rediscovered. This ministry continues to bring fresh discernment, healing and hope to many within the confidentiality and silence of the confessional and many lives have been changed through his work as a spiritual director. The fruits of this ministry have been shared even more widely through his book “Making a Rule of Life”.

John is a man of immense courage. When he hosted the first meeting of Mainstream, which later became Affirming Catholicism at St Alban’s, Holborn, he was much criticised by fellow Anglo-Catholic clergy.Holding the first eucharistic meeting of Affirming Catholicism at the conservative St Alban’s was significant and symbolic for the movement’s future It helped many of the same tradition to exchange rigity and exclusiveness for an honest engagement with the demands of an open and exploring catholic faith. John has been a great exemplar of  the best catholic values in their fully, all-embracing sense, without aggression or narrow “sectarianism”.

On a lighter note, John is also a great friend to many and is known as a generous host and appreciates his reputation as a bon viveur. His interests extend beyond the church; he is particularly knowledgeable on the subject of Wagner and maintains a regular progress around the art galleries of London

I have great pleasure in awarding John the Cross of St Augustine for, as one of his friends puts it, ‘representing the finest and best of rounded Anglicanism’.  

Glen D WARD (1940-47)
died suddenly on 18 June 1991, only a few months after retiring from Coutts and Co, the bank with which he had spent all his business life, from the age of 16.

Leaving the School after taking matriculation, Glen's sporting career was only beginning to blossom. Although (after a successful start) the 1st Xl was having a poor season, he found that there was no place for a successful 2nd XI opening bat, since the senior side was composed virtually of the same personnel as in 1946. In the circumstances, Glen probably enjoyed his season in a side which won 8, drew 1 and lost only to Merchant Taylors, being awarded his XXII colours and materially assisting Hendersons to reach the final of the House Competition. Apart from being dragooned into running in the junior cross-country race and being promoted to Lance Corporal in the ATC, these appear to have been the unlikely beginnings for an athlete who was destined to play cricket and soccer (including several seasons as captain) for Coutts & Co., hockey for Harrow and rugby for Hastings and Bexhill - and between 1954 and 1961, four games for the OHR17C 'C' XV, during which he scored 4 tries and a dropped goal! 

Although Coutts & Co. were a strong club side (three minor county players and another who had played occasionally for the Kent County Xl), Glen skippered them on a number of occasions, when the appointed captain was absent. While his elder brother, Desmond, (Old Lyonians & Pinner), managed to avoid playing against Glen (who played some Sunday cricket for Bessborough, at that time, on the circuit), he feels that he may have seen him in action at the top of his bent. This was during Glen's National Service, when he played for the RAPC on the main square at Lords (not the Nursery where such games are now staged) and hit the Cross Arrows for 92, to all parts of the cricketers' Mecca. 

Fortunately, the late Donald Blessley (mainly responsible for founding the OHCC, as a wandering side, in the latter part of the 1947 season), was already a senior member of Coutts, when Glen arrived. Accordingly, on Sunday 26 June 1949, the latter found himself playing for his Old Boys' Club, against OMT at Durrants and being 34 not out when the game was won by 6 wickets. Glen also played against the School and Mill Hill Village, giving himself an average of 56, by being out for 12, in the latter game. 

During the next four seasons, he made 17 more appearances for the OHCC, with a top score of 97 not out against Totteridge, when he declared, considering that 206 for 6 was enough for an afternoon game. His judgement was proved right - by 100 runs! By now he was a complete allrounder his right arm medium pace charge bowling earning him 5 for 7 against Pinner, in 1952. With the additional acreage which became available, members of the OHCC laid a square between rugger pitches and 1954 saw the first home game at Boreham Wood. While Glen found the home-made wicket too slow for his style of batting, during his last half-a-dozen seasons, he was persuaded to increase his annual appearances and played a further 59 games for the OHCC, with 14 of them at Borehamwood.

In spite of his dislike for the wicket, he still managed to score two of his ten fifties, during this period, on the home square - which would seem to be par for any course. Nevertheless, he saved his only OHCC century (the club's first) for North Mymms (the side he most wished to beat) in 1955, only for the game to be rained off, with the opposition on 54 for 3, chasing a declared total of 183 for 6! During 1957, when he made 15 appearances, Glen accumulated 483 runs, at an average of 37.15. Appropriately, his last serious game for the club was on 30 August 1959, when he made 58 towards a total of 153 for 5, to beat North Mymms!.

During his OHCC career (which included an appearance in a cricket week at the School in 1978!) Glen made 1,967 runs at an average of 32.78 and took 54 wickets at 16.61 apiece. Certainly, the best all-rounder to have played during the clubs 45 seasons and arguably, the best left-handed bat. 

Some OHCC cricket contemporaries last saw Glen at the club dinner in October 1990, when he was his usual quiet self and appeared to be fit and well and looking considerably younger than his approaching three score years. He was already looking forward to his imminent retirement, then some six months ahead - particularly to the cessation of travelling from his home in Westfield, near Hastings, to the City.

These and all others who knew Glen would wish to extend their belated sympathy to Judith, in her grievous and unexpected loss, which has come while their youngest daughter, Jessamy, still at school and their son James, at college. Also to the two married daughters, Amy & Alexandra and to Desmond, who was good enough to save his sister-in-law further grief, by supplying details of Glen's non-OH sporting life. 

George RICHARDSON (1937-47)
died in April 1999 

He will be remembered for his time at the School where he taught Classics before moving to Wakefield in 1947.

He was born in Darlington in 1910 and at the age of thirteen won a scholarship to Christ's Hospital in Sussex. From there he won a senior scholarship to Lincoln College, Oxford, and after gaining his degree in 1933 he studied for a Diploma in Education where he met a fellow graduate - Ethel who shared each other's lives for the next 66 years, marrying in 1937. 

From college George first taught at Kingston Grammar School before moving to Haberdashers' in 1937. During the War years his time was spent in the Royal Artillery on gun sites and in searchlight batteries in various parts of Britain. By 1945, now as a captain there was a transfer to the Army Education Corps before a return to Haberdashers' for a brief spell before the move to Wakefield to join the West Riding Education Department.

His interests away from teaching were in his playing days, football and cricket as well as the theatre, cinema and books and of course his family - his wife, children and grandchildren.

Richard W. M. COOK (1942-47)
died on 8th March 1997, declining rapidly after cancer was diagnosed only two months earlier. 

The address below was given at a thanksgiving service for Dick on 17th March 1977.

"We are here today to remember a good friend. Dick has certainly been a good friend to me over many years and particularly in a time of need a few years ago. A number of us here today spent school days with him and many more enjoyed his company as Scouts, Venture Scouts or Rovers, squash, badminton and not least as rugby players (to which I will return). 

"I think that his traits of honesty and conscientiousness were outstanding in the profession he chose. He was a public health inspector in Hampstead and subsequently Camden until his first retirement.

"It gave us all a sense of well being to know that some of the more seedy looking establishments in that borough had undergone the Cook inspection.

"It always amused me that when we were in foreign parts after a match against Plymouth, for instance, that Dick stuck to his favourite egg and chips while the rest of us explored the menu.

"Work in those days appeared to be easier and the afternoons were for report writing after putting the world to rights with his colleagues Pete Griffiths and Doug Malcolm in one of the local hostelries. He used his ability and knowledge to help many a builder out of a drainage problem and often had a drawing board on his knee at home.

"The period after the absorption of Hampstead into Camden was not a happy one and probably speeded up his decision to retire from Local Authority work some ten or so years ago. His experience was later put to good use when he was employed by various Housing Associations or Trusts as an advisor to check building quality. It kept his hand in and I have no doubt was really value for money. 

"Whilst being gregarious Dick was never one to push himself forward. So how did this man represent the Old Haberdashers on the Middlesex County Rugby Committee for so many years alongside Tony White. He was in fact the O.H. representative from 1980 to 1991. Dick's view of some of the pompous self seeking guys on the committee was very close to that offered by Will Carling on the whole Rugby Union Committee last year. He did not suffer fools gladly but he deserved the post because of his dedication to the game he loved. 

"He also worked unreservedly on the O.H. rugby committee where his knowledge alongside that of his schooltime friend Robin Matthew was instrumental in initially saving and then modernising the Clubhouse and its facilities which has extended its life by some thirty years! 

"All this committee work was preceded by a glittering playing career in the era when O.H. rugby was at its zenith, 338 games for the 1st XV between 1953 and 1969 against such sides as Plymouth Albion, Pontypridd, Nuneaton, Saracens as well as all the top London Old Boys and Hospitals who at that stage boasted a number of current internationals. He was my mentor or minder on the pitch, whenever I ventured into the three quarter line from full back, Dick covered back. He never missed - Mr. Reliable.

He did not look after me so well off the pitch and it often bought a chortle to him to be reminded that the passenger door of his Morris 8 tourer gave way on one occasion and deposited me on the ground at Kingsbury roundabout. Robin Matthew suffered the same fate and the bolt was changed to a larger one.

Dick was also part of the renowned back row of Kenward, Matthew, Cook which remained together for six years and which incidentally was first formed in 1947 when they played for the School 1st XV One thing that Dick did insist upon was that his initials R.W.M. always appeared on the programme to make his name nearly as long as Robin's and Derek's if they only had one initial. From blind side wing forward (none of your left and right) Dick was a real specialist. The laws on binding were the same then as they are now but I can visualise Dick now creeping forward along the side of the scrum to get to the most advantageous position. His dummy was renowned, a long sweep of the arms and holding on to the ball just as you thought you had caught it! He bamboozled opponents and colleagues alike. His competitive spirit and enthusiasm was infectious and his desire to talk about the game insatiable. 

He scored 63 tries for the 1st XV still the record number tries for the Club by a forward and not far behind the highest aggregate of 100 by Chris Robinson. At his peak in 1969 he scored 13 tries. No wonder he was known as a goal hanger! 

"Not content with his input into the top grade O.H. rugby he went on afterwards to play down the Club and be a pivotal member of the 'C' XV apart from scoring many times he helped many to improve their appreciation of the game. Nobbly Tanner tells me that Dick played a recorded total of 899 games for the Club which he admits may be one or two light.

"One day when one of our team swallowed his tongue, the medical training Dick received during National Service enabled him to save what could have been a tragedy. 

"Inevitably the body decided that a less physical sport would take over and until mid-way through last year Dick continued to play squash. A weekly meeting with Dai Davies was anticipated with pleasure by both of them. I can imagine the game getting slower but still remaining competitive. Dick also played badminton at the same club as Pat and sometimes with her. His determination to ignore the effects of knees damaged during his long rugby career never ceased to amaze me.

"I have spoken to a number of people who have referred to Dick as a private person. Dick and Pat were a particularly close couple with a very close knit family. Caravanning was probably another vestige of this image as first with family, and later on their own Dick and Pat enjoyed this form of holiday.

"Christine and I with our children spent many happy hours with Pat, Dick, Carol and Janet and this perceived private person image covered a true family man with a good sense of fun and humour.

"Our sympathy goes out to his loving family which now includes Richard, Carol's husband. Dick has been taken away with unseeming haste by this voracious disease. We will all have different memories of him, but to us all he was first and foremost, an honourable man."



John Coggins - 1928 - 17th May 2015


John had been suffering from lung trouble for some time and died on 17 May.  He started his education at Bristol Grammar School and joined Haberdashers at Westbere Road, when the family moved to Hendon in 1942.

He went on to become totally involved in school activities and apart from doing well academically he became a prefect and was successful in the JTC.  He played rugby for the first XV and as was the public service custom in those days went to harvest camp.  Finally he passed the Higher School Inter BSc exam for London University.


A XV 1957 1958 Standing -  D Mclaren, R Handscombe, B Howard, C Robinson, M Andrews, M Tappin, R Easterbrook, M Kimber.

Seated - J Foster, J Coggins, D Wells, M Bovington, B Hopwood

Seated R Kipps, J Boon.

Played 25 W 19 D 3 L 3. For 276 Against 92

On leaving the school in 1946 he took the Civil Service open examination for the Executive  Grade where he was very highly placed.  Before being conscripted into the army John spent time in the Export Credits Guarantee Department of the Board of Trade.  He had decided not to follow his success in the Inter BSc exam by completing his degree at University and went on to complete his conscription in the army to serve in the 14/20th King’s Hussars. 

On demobilisation he married Muriel and continued his career in the ECGD.  Meanwhile he studied to complete his degree by correspondence.  The department underwrites exports and during his career he visited several countries including Jugoslavia and South Korea.  After his service he played rugby regularly for the Old Haberdashers’ first XV and went on several Easter Tours.

In 1980 his office decentralised from the City of London to the City of Cardiff when John and his family moved to St Hilary, a small village outside the city.  Here the family happily settled down enjoying the advantages of rural life and where he eventually retired. He is survived by Muriel, two daughters a grand daughter and two great grandchildren. 

Peter J Stevenson (1939 - 46)

Peter Stevenson Funeral Service Sheet

Peter died on Friday 5th October 2012 at 4.55am. 

Peter made a huge contribution to the Old Haberdashers - especially to the Rugby Club, he made 406 appearances for the 1st XV, the fourth highest number achieved by any Old Haberdasher, behind Randal Whittaker, Nigel Fuller and his son Alun.

Peter was President of the OHA and of the Rugby Club, he also served the OHA in many roles and was a great supporter of our events and events at the School.

The following OH were at Peter's funeral - 

Jon Corrall, Philip Alterman, David Heasman, John Lidington, John Egan, Rodney & Gill Jakeman, David & Pat James, Harold Couch, Mark Rawlinson, Ian McCarthy, Eric Escoffey, John Parker, David Brown, Ian Smart, Keith Smart, Dai Davies, Tony Alexander, Graham Macfarlane, Mike Subert, Peter & Patricia Vacher, Nick Cooper (Old Whitgiftians).

Peter Stevenson Eulogy – Rev Roger Dunlop

Peter was born on 26th April 1928 to Frederick & Edith Stevenson.  He had an older brother, Ron, and their first home was 6, St. Leonards Street, in Westminster.  Sadly his father died whilst he was on military service. He was baptised on June 3rd 1928 in St John's Church in south west London. 

In 1935 the family moved to Hendon and Peter’s reports from Colindale Junior School show that he made 'steady improvement' in maths and languages in particular – he became 1st in his class of 48 pupils. He moved on to Haberdashers' Aske's, in Hampstead where he was to become a School prefect, Rugby captain, and also enjoyed cricket and boxing. 

He began his National Service in 1947 in the Middlesex Regiment but was transferred to the Royal Horseguards in Germany primarily to play for their rugby team! 

He met Gwyneth at a rugby match at Twickenham and they married here in June 1952, Peter moving to Northwood.  We give especial thanks today for their 4 children: Alun (1955), Hugh (1957), Jackie (1958) and Jane (1960) & for his 8 grandchildren: Gordon, Andrew, Helena; Rachel, William; Filippo, Daniella & Marco.  He loved his family and was very proud of them all and what they achieved over the years.  He was always interested in the grandchildren and how their lives were developing.

Following his sadness at Gwyneth’s departure he subsequently met and fell in love with Janet who he met through this church and in December 1993 they were married here.  With marriage to Janet his immediate family grew with her 2 sons, Paul & Gary and their 2 children (Ben & Madeleine).  He found much love and happiness with Janet, and was able to continue his travels with a companion much to his delight. 

Peter’s first job was with Colemans as a heating representative travelling all around the country.  He preferred to avoid heavy traffic and motorways and loved to explore country lanes.  On family trips he would say:- 'All roads lead to Rome', and he delighted in taking the scenic route down lanes with grass growing in the middle of them.  Sometimes he had an idea of where he would be, sometimes not. But it wasn't easy to tell.  And 40 minutes later would proclaim, ‘There you are’, as if success had never been an issue. But it all knitted together and he had an amazing knowledge of roads and directions. 

He studied to become a Company Secretary in a Chartered Company, and he gained his Chartered Institute status in 1957.  By the early'80s he was working for GKN, based in Ealing, as an Export Manager.

Peter loved hymns and the Bible.  Songs of Praise was a must every Sunday.  He was tremendously involved in the life of this church, most recently including serving as Christian Aid rep.  With his family Peter benefitted from many of the church activities and groups including Sunday school, Youth & Senior Fellowships, and Tennis.  He was an integral part of many of these.

Then of course was the Scouts: always an important part of his life from his time with the 24th Hendon during the war, and including joining a German Scout group at the 1st opportunity during his National Service.  He was an Asst Scout Master before coming to Northwood and on moving here he was a Senior Scout Leader, an Instructor, Asst Group Leader, Group Scout Leader, and an Executive Committee member for many years.  He was awarded the Silver Acorn (for 25 years service) and the Long service bar. 

There were jumble sales, gang shows, jamborees.  The annual Scout jumble sale and the two yearly Scout gang show became firm favourites with the whole family despite the embarrassment of seeing Dad dressed as a Fairy or Jemima puddle duck!  He was also the Genii of the lamp in a church drama group panto of Aladdin (the bath had a continuous green line around it for weeks!)  & he was chosen to narrate the Church production of ‘The Fall of Man’ due to his clear voice.  His performance of "Winkles" (an old East End lament) became a firm favourite around the campfire at summer camp – limited to one performance per annum to keep his blood pressure in check! He was known as “Pete Steve" to his Scouts.  & ‘Stodge’ to some!

Peter obviously loved sports - all sports - and was good at many of them, he swam in scout swimming gala’s and was great at butterfly.  He took the children to the Haberdashers swimming pool at weekends and taught them to swim.  He would go into the sea on holidays and enjoyed the waves as much as his children – one family memory is of almost being washed away by a massive wave in Cornwall on holiday one year even though Peter was holding onto them for dear life!  

Peter of course loved rugby and passed that love onto Alun & Huw.  We’ll hear more about all that shortly. 

There were good family holidays including an annual family to Southport for a national Methodist holiday.  He thoroughly enjoyed walking holidays with his friends eg along the Pennine Way. 

Peter threw himself into charitable work: he was devoted to generating aid and support to many charities around the world.  The chosen charity for donations is Sudbury Neighbourhood Centre where Peter was a stalwart and driver.  In September 1986 he was taking passengers home when flames leapt from the engine into the bus.  Peter stopped and immediately jumped out to free his frail passengers – all confined by seatbelts or wheelchairs.  He managed to free all 10 passengers and received several awards including The Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal and The Home Office Commendation for Brave Conduct.

He got involved with any charity that took his interest and found ways of raising money for them such as persuading pubs to run raffles for Easter Eggs that he had got from manufacturers.  Other methods included auctions, raffles, quiz’s, jumble sales, and dressing as Father Christmas.  All involved him going somewhere and making it work.  Recently he had become very keen on ‘The Kids for Kids’ programme - the organisation created to help children struggling to survive in remote villages in Darfur, Sudan.  

Despite his own failing health the wellbeing of others was usually uppermost in his mind with never any complaint about his own condition.  Peter & Janet (& Jane) were very regular visitors to the Dunstable area (no short round trip from Eastcote) to care for his older brother Ron who was suffering with Alzheimer’s. 

Indeed throughout his life he had always made the effort to keep in touch with friends and relations and visited people all round the country – always dropping in for a cup of tea.  Of course that was especially true of his children with visits to Jackie in Holland or Somerset and so forth.  He made a point of taking time to go and watch whatever their activities were: Jackie playing handball, Alun & Huw’s rugby etc etc

He was happy to help in whatever way he could, for example he once arrived at Huw’s to wallpaper in Wimbledon Park just as Huw were heading to Marlow for Sunday lunch.  The papering was all done by the time Huw returned! He never said no when he was asked for lifts, including a 3am trip to Heathrow for one of Jane’s friends, and he frequently took Jane to work.  He was so very proud  of  the fact that she was a nurse, and much to her embarrassment would often introduce her to everyone including doctors as, ‘my daughter Jane, she’s a nurse’.  He was always so polite to nurses and doctors, even though he often didn’t hear or understand them and you knew things were bad if any negative comments were made about anyone.

Other family memories include of finding Peter asleep in the car outside the family home with the radio playing away at full volume, since he had returned from work and wanted to catch the end of the radio programme! Sometimes he appeared to be almost asleep when driving the children on holidays and so they used to sing camp songs and chat to him to keep him awake.  On occasions they would even pour cold water on his head if they thought he was beginning to doze! On drives through the country, passing some part of the farming world with a rich pungent odour in the air, he would take a deep breath and say, ‘Aaaah. Lovely fresh air.’

He loved liquorice (cuttings and Pontefract cakes) and it became obligatory to give him some for birthdays and Christmas. He also loved to make Brawn and some of you will remember the horrible smell as he cooked a pig’s head for hours on the stove!

He would be shy of being publicly remembered for anything - but his belief was that someone who contributes something, in any area, should be thanked and not taken for granted, and your presence today shows your love and gratitude for Peter.  This gentle, caring, polite man who displayed strength of mind, humility and consistency without arrogance or malice.  With his jolly, bubbly personality, his wonderful smile and his deep interest in you and the friends and family you shared in common.  A tremendous role model who will be very much missed by us all. 

I rather like that image of Peter, when driving, enjoying taking the scenic route – down roads with grass growing in the middle of them – that for someone who managed to squeeze so much into his life.  For someone with so many interests and activities and passions you might have expected him to be dashing from one thing to another via the shortest route or the most efficient way of accomplishing something.  But no.  He took time to take the scenic route.  He took time for his family & friends.  There wasn’t the rush.  He was simply lovely to be with. 

Peter chose the Gospel reading we heard today to be read at his brother Ron’s funeral earlier in the year.  Jesus taking time just before his arrest to reassure his friends that the journey on which he was set would lead to the best for them.  He would prepare a comfortable place where they could be secure.  He would give them his peace – his wholeness – fulfilment in their lives. 

So with deep thankfulness for Peter we entrust him today to that peace – that wholeness – that fulfilment.  

Tribute to Peter Stevenson by Peter Vacher - transcript of the tribute given at Peter's funeral

I feel very honoured to have been asked to say a few words about Peter’s life-long involvement with the Old Haberdashers and I do this on behalf of all OH friends, many of them here today. For those not in the know, we are the former pupils of Haberdashers’ Aske’s school, once located in Hampstead and now in Elstree.  Peter attended the school when it was in Hampstead and left in 1946 after what must have been a pretty eventful period in the school’s history.  Having already proved his worth as a rugby player at school, it was only natural that he should make for the old boys rugby club soon after leaving, making his first XV debut in the second row against Weston Super Mare on the 1946 Easter tour.  And they lost!

With National Service out of the way, Peter consolidated his place in the club first team in the 1948-49 season with 31 appearances, becoming a powerful presence in an excellent 1st XV, travelling the country and playing some of the best clubs around.  He eventually made a breath-taking total of 406 appearances for the 1st XV over a 25-year period, his final call to the colours coming in March 1971.  Only three other OH players have overtaken him, namely the late Nigel Fuller, the still-active Randal Whittaker and rather significantly, Peter’s son Alun.  In his final playing years, Peter turned out for lower sides too including our second or A team when I was the acting captain.    I should add that in the few games we played together, I was usually hooking (that for the uninitiated is the position in the middle of the front row of the scrum) and I can tell you that binding onto his substantial frame was quite a challenge in itself.


OHRFC XV 1962-63 - Peter is in the centre of the back row

Peter was made President of the Rugby Club in 1985, having already served as President of our parent Association in 1979 and retained an unswerving devotion to the old boys to the end of his life, becoming a cheerful presence on the touchline, keen to follow his beloved OH rugby club’s progress, and regularly fund-raising for us while participating in our many and varied activities including the regular lunches we hold for retired members. 

1st XV 1985

1st XV 1985 - President Peter Stevenson

Above all it was rugby at its free-flowing best that delighted him, whether at club or international level and he remained a rugby man through and through, enjoying the company of other rugby people, passing on the special rugby gene to his two sons, both of whom had distinguished playing careers themselves, Huw in gaining a rugby blue at Cambridge, a feat repeated by his son Andrew, and Alun with the OH and later as captain of CLOB, again much supported by his father. I gather the three of them even played in the same team on one very special occasion in 1971.

How to sum up Peter?  Another OH contemporary Tony White, said of him, “There was nothing he wouldn’t do for you. He was the kindest of men.”   And so he was but he was also one heck of rugby player, a gentle giant as the cliché has it, powerful but benign, a firm friend to many and a marvellous adornment to our club and Association.  I count it a privilege to have known him. 

Rest in Peace, Peter. 

Peter Stevenson Tribute by David Diggens - transcript of the tribute given at Peter's funeral

When Alun asked if I would say something today about Peter, with an especial focus on his charitable work, I knew that I had a problem. The extent of Peter's charitable work is both legion and legendary. His commitment knew no bounds and I could only scratch the surface of a lifetime of helping others. That is what Peter stood for, believed in and committed to.

On the night of Sunday 23 November 1980 Southern Italy was rocked by an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude. The resultant damage was massive and widespread. Some 2735 people died and over 300,000 people in 679 towns and villages were left homeless.

The events of that Sunday gave Peter a perfect opportunity to exploit his talents. Peter wanted to help and he did!

Over the following weeks, whilst most people were focused on the festive season, Peter raised sufficient funds to purchase a four berth caravan from a member of the congregation here in Northwood and set about obtaining the necessary papers to enable it to be exported to Italy. He negotiated hugely preferential rates with the ferry company for the channel crossing and secured the most generous loan from a member of this congregation of a car equipped with all that was necessary to tow a caravan of that size to Southern Italy.

Peter was of course in his element. No task was too onerous and no obstacle too large and as Christmas drew near the only problem on the snow covered horizon was getting  the caravan to the earthquake damaged hill town of Potenza 1300 miles away.

I was privileged to be asked by Peter to join with him and Malcolm Gaudie in making the long drive and on the evening of Tuesday 30 December 1980 we left for Dover but, I may say, not before Peter had relieved well heeled diners and the proprietor of the Martini Restaurant of a substantial contribution towards the relief fund along with a tray of assorted pizza for the journey!

On route, we gate crashed Old Haberdasher Roger Leverton's sumptuous New Years Eve party in Lyon, sleeping on the floor of his house and departing, somewhat the worse for wear, in thick snow in the early morning of New Years Day.

We slept in the caravan thereafter. lt was bitterly cold. For the most part we ate in service stations and didn't wash! We managed an hour in snow covered Florence and enjoyed lunch and the warmth of a roaring wood fire in the trattoria of our choice.

Within 72 hours of leaving Northwood we were reporting to the operations centre in Rome and receiving instructions for the final leg of the journey beyond Naples. There had been problems with the hijacking of relief supplies and we were offered the opportunity to leave the caravan in Rome, from where it would be taken on to the disaster area by the military.

lt was never Peter's nature to give up and after coming so far he wasn't going to be thwarted by the possibility of a confrontation with those who were seeking to hijack the relief operation. In no time at all we were on our way, heading south.

Naples in the early morning rush hour was safely negotiated and beyond Salerno it was simply a case of turning left and making the long slow climb up into the devastated mountain region. In the weeks that had passed since the earthquake almost no repair work appeared to have been undertaken and there was damage everywhere. Roads were closed and diversions were numerous.

Suffice it to say, we arrived in Potenza without mishap on Saturday 3 January 1981 to receive a rapturous welcome from the priest in charge of the relief operation and were directed to the sports field below the town were a temporary camp had· been set up.  After briefly looking around the ravaged town we began the somewhat easier return journey knowing Peter's commitment had ensured that one more family would have shelter through the bitterly cold winter months that were to follow.

I cherish the opportunity that Peter's commitment gave me to participate in taking that caravan to Italy. I was merely a bit player in his act of great charity and I thank him most sincerely for the chance it gave me and the memories I still retain.

lt is over 40 years since I first met Peter, here at Northwood Methodist Church. In that time he has been a true friend and a delightful, generous companion on so many occasions. I shall miss him greatly.

Pictures from the trip

Pictures from Italy

Alan D. SPORES (1939 - 46)
died peacefully at his home in Worplesdon on 4th May 2001, aged 73 after a long and painful fight against cancer.

His time at Haberdashers spanned the war years, whilst living in Colindale next door to Peter Stevenson. He was a School Prefect, House Captain of Joblings and Flight Sergeant in the A.T.C. On the sports field he won his Rugby 1st XV colours and played for the Cricket 2nd XI. Extra-curricular activities could be listed as ‘fire-watching’ and harvest camps in Kent and Berkshire.

On leaving school in 1946, Alan served his National Service in the Army Intelligence Corps and then went up to Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he read History and Law, obtaining a BA Honours Degree.

He joined O.H.R.F.C. but his playing days were cut short by a knee injury, which led him to take up refereeing with the London Society of R.F.U. Referees but his knee finally gave out and he had to become a spectator.

Whilst at Cambridge he met Marion (nee Taylor), who was a physiotherapist at Addenbrookes Hospital, and they were married in Streatham in February 1953. Their first home was a flat in Dulwich and they then moved to Hampton, Sunbury and finally Worplesdon.

Alan joined Borthwicks in the City for a brief period, leaving to join his father in a menswear wholesale business in a basement office in Whitehall. The business expanded into the retail side with the opening (and occasional closing) of a series of menswear shops in West London and Surrey from Hatch End in the north to Reigate in the south. In 1978 an old-fashioned store was acquired in Sidmouth, Devon, and a year later a similar one in Axminster. With foresight and hard work by Alan the Sidmouth store has been modernised to become a miniature Harrods. The business is now managed by his son and son-in-law.

Whilst living in Sunbury, Alan was an active member of Sunbury Round Table, becoming Chairman in 1966/7. He served for many years as a J.P. and Chairman of the magistrates’ bench at Hounslow. He was a former Chairman of the Menswear Association of Great Britain and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fanmakers, and a Freeman of the City of London.

Alan is survived by his wife, his son Tim, daughters Penny and Kate and grandchildren Hannah and Christopher. The sympathy of all his O.H. friends is extended to them all. Alan loved his family, and they in turn loved and respected him. He was a true family man and a very good friend.

Eric Escoffey, Bernard Katz, Peter Stevenson and Tony White were present at an ‘At Home’ with his family and friends to commemorate Alan’s life. He is sorely missed.

Professor Paul Freeling
was born on August 5, 1928. He died on September 13, 2002, aged 74.

"Professor of general practice who transformed medical training and did much to improve the treatment of depression

PAUL FREELING was one of a handful of doctors who revolutionised general practice in this country in the second half of the 20th century. They transformed it from a hands-on-stethoscope art, picked up on the job, into an academic discipline. Freeling was one of the first to be appointed to a chair in general practice at St George's Hospital Medical School, Tooting, and the pioneering courses he ran for the Royal College of General Practitioners in the mid-1970s have set standards that continue to this day. 

Because of his concern for patients, Freeling remained a partner in a general practice in tandem with his academic and public work. Through his research, teaching and consulting-room work, he profoundly changed the profession's attitude to the treatment in the community of depressive illness. He doggedly fought for early recognition of depression by GPs and in the 1990s was a key member of the Defeat Depression campaign run jointly by the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners.

Freeling brought to all his work a sharp and searching intellect as well as great human warmth. He came from a cultured immigrant family in northwest London whose priority was education. He won a scholarship to Haberdashers' Aske's School and continued the prize-winning pattern he established there with an open entrance scholarship to St Mary's Hospital Medical School, and with later prizes in physiology and pharmacology.

Shortly after qualifying, he joined the RAF during the final years of National Service, He spent three years with the RAF, mostly in Egypt and Kenya.

Finding a junior partnership in a general practice on his return proved difficult. The team he finally joined had as its senior partner Max Clyne, who had strong links both with London University and with the Tavistock Clinic. Freeling attended university research seminars in the psychological aspects of general practice and joined an innovative group studying the training of GPs at the Tavistock Clinic.

The turning point for him, and for general practice, came with a book he wrote with Or Kevin Browne, a member of the group, The Doctor-Patient Relationship (1967). This was followed five years later by The Future General Practitioner, which was published by the Royal College of General Practioners and to which Freeling was one of six contributors. It attracted huge notice internationally as well as throughout the British medical establishment.

As a follow-up, the Royal College put Freeling in charge of its Nuffield GP training courses. Today these are recognised as having transformed not only the training but the entire culture of general practice in this country. Many who attended these courses described them as watershed experiences. "It soon became recognised that to take part in a training seminar led by Paul Freeling was to enter a bullring," recalled Professor Marshall Marinker. "Paul would soon let you know whether and when you were to be one of the banderilleros and when the bull. Paul was always the matador." The warmth of Freeling's personality shone through all the rigours of his training, and he became a lifelong mentor to many of his peers.

In academia he already was senior lecturer in general practice at King's College Hospital. In 1976 he transferred to St George's Hospital Medical School, where he became the Foundation Professor of General Practice in 1985. 

One more challenge now faced him - to make general practice not only a teaching but a research subject. A stream of outstanding papers from him and his colleagues helped to establish general practice as a full academic subject. The fact that he kept a base in a Wandsworth consulting room led him to challenge old orthodoxies, especially on the treatment of depression. 

In his attitude to peers and patients, he followed the advice he had given his daughter when he told her she could be "the sort of person whom nobody will dislike and nobody remember. Or you can be disliked by some and loved by others." Freeling was loved by many because he was a team player as well as his own man. It showed in his sports - he boxed for St Mary's Hospital, captained rugby teams in the RAF, and won a bridge cup for London University. 

His skill as a team player showed also in the number of committees and task forces on which he was asked to serve. He was a visiting professor or lecturer in Leeds and Nottingham, in Brisbane in Australia, Tel Aviv and at several universities in the United States.

Freeling was appointed OBE in 1981, the Royal College of General Practitioners honoured him with its Foundation Council Award in 1992 and bestowed on him its President's Medal shortly before his death. 

He married Shirley Stanley in 1953 and is survived by her, a son and daughter."

Taken from The Times 25th September 2002


James Julius Saul Reynolds

25th February 1928 – 1st May 2015

James Reynolds known to his friends and as Jim sadly passed away on 1st May 2015.

Born February 25th 1928, James and his brother Michael attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School and always had very fond memories of this time in their lives. He was very proud that both his sons, Mark and Paul also attended Haberdashers’.

One of his school reports read “This boy is too fond of playing the Buffoon”. Jim asked his father “what sort of musical instrument is a buffoon Dad?”

On leaving school, James went on to being articled in a firm of accountants before then joining the army for 2 years.  He always had very fond memories of this time, especially when he was stationed in Egypt.

James then went onto have a very successful career as a Chartered Accountant.  He was a member of the FCA and of the Guild of the Freeman of the city of London.

He married Jean in 1956 and they had 3 children, Lesley, Mark and Paul. Family was always incredibly important to James and he adored spending time his wife and children.  In later years he doted on his 4 Grandchildren Kim, Alexandra, Sam and Mia.

Jim was passionate about Travel - he took his family on many wonderful holidays and after he retired Jim and Jean went on numerous amazing trips around the world. He loved sports and always regretted not going to the Olympics in 1948,  he finally achieved one of his greatest wishes when they returned to London in 2012. He was interested in Politics and current affairs as well as having an avid interest in the stock market and matters of finance.  Jim and Jean had an enormous circle of friends and he loved to spend time with them as well as meeting new people – he was a man who always had a story to tell!

Jim was always extremely proud of his association with Haberdashers’ and attended as many of the old boy lunches as he could.   

He was a wonderful man with a great sense of humour.  He will be greatly missed by his friends and family.

William Leonard Denny (1938 - 1945)

William passed away after a short illness on 29th September 2012 aged 85 years.

David Pearce (died in 2001) 

Derek E. ZUNDEL (1938-45)

died suddenly in hospital on 25th March 1996.

Derek will be remembered by Old Boys, who were contemporary war-time pupils, as a maker of humour in difficult circumstances.

Short time schooling, an unexploded bomb in the garden of his home and 'fire - watch' at Westbere Road were all treated with mischievous comments which lifted the spirits of lesser mortals. His rise to prefect and A.T.C. Sergeant in 1945 were well merited and led to him being commissioned in India. Palestine was suffering troubled times before the emergence of the State of Israel. Derek served with distinction during those times and was briefly re-united with his brother Peter (1938-43), also stationed in the Middle East.

Following demobilisation, Derek embarked, with typical determination, upon a successful entrepreneurial career. Unfortunately this allowed only infrequent attendances at O.H. functions. His most treasured attendance was a 1940-49 Decade Dinner when three members of his 1938 Prep School 1st XI were present. The comment he made was 'Old friends are the best friends'.

'Old friends' join me in extending belated sympathy to his wife Rene, to his daughters Linda, Denise and Marie, and to his brother Peter.


John G. STAGG (1937-45)
died on 16th April 1987, in his 60th year and a month before the Association Dinner, the most important function of his Presidential year. 

Just before his own decade dinner, on 20th March, his illness caused paralysis from the chest downwards. Nevertheless, although it was generally known that he would not be able to attend, such was the regard for him that members of his decade (1940-49) produced a new record turn out of 72.

John was generally regarded as an O.H.R.F.C. man although he had gained his swimming colours at School and had won the half-mile in the sports. Awarded his football colours in 1944/5, he was a member of the best XV since the pre-war season of 1937/8. 

He played the first of 212 1st XV games for the OHRFC against Old Blues on 22/12/45 and made his last, and 610th club appearance, on 2/12/76 against O.M.T. This, in fact, was a special gesture, since he had officially hung up his boots at the end of the 1973/4 season. This date in itself was a remarkable statistic, in that he had had the honour to be appointed President for the previous season, the Club's 50th. However, as he managed to take the field on 4 occasions during his Presidential year (twice when the 1st XV was not engaged), his sequence of 26 consecutive seasons (since returning from the Services) remained unbroken. In the interim, John amassed a club record total of points - 2158, with 232 tries, of which 406 points (31 tries) were gathered in the 1st XV. 

Returning from the Services, he enjoyed regular 1st XV appearances in 1948/9 and 1949/50, but the latter was the first of a string of 7 poor seasons at the premier level and, thereafter, John spent more time in the "A" than in the 1st, his 200 odd points in 73 appearances helping them to continue their run of successful seasons. 

However, his organising ability had become so obvious that, although in his 29th year, John was invited to captain the club in 1956/7. His three seasons saw the club back to the success of the immediate post-war years and from levelling off at 15 wins and 15 losses, he handed over a going concern, with a record of W19 L7 D3 - then only the second time that 19 victories had been achieved.

In an era when it was usual to train twice a week, every player in the club had his appearances noted and certainly any senior player needed a good reason for missing a session. Three seasons later, John took over as acting captain of the Ex 'A' and in the following three seasons led the 'B' XV to a remarkable 50 wins from 67 matches, scoring 558 points (53 tries) out of the side's total of 1171 points. And so to seven seasons in the 'C', his special appearance being made in his 50th year.

John also found an outlet for his love of athletics and on his return from National Service joined the O.H.A.C., which had been reformed in 1948. His active appearances (he had been track captain for three years) had to be curtailed in the summer of 1956, when his campaign to produce a fully fit 1st XV went into action. Nevertheless he took on various sedentary posts, such as fixture secretary, chairman and secretary and was duly elected President in 1961, when the club won the inter-Old Boys Championships for the second consecutive year. A less joyful occasion was his re-election in 1969, because a poorly supported season was continued in 1970, when it was decided to end the club's existence of 23 seasons, rather than fail to honour fixtures the following year.

By the mid-seventies, John had only one outlet for his organising ability, the catering for the Old Boys' Sevens tournament in September. However, the Association's financial affairs were going through a sticky period at this time so he volunteered to run a 200 Club, more or less on a biennial basis. Later on, this was to become a 500 Club and even if the Stagg family was inundated with shares between September and the draw at the annual dinner in mid-May, he always contrived a full house, with latterly £500 either helping to balance the books, or in the eighties, representing bonus income.

In line with usual American business methods, John was invited to retire from Heinz in 1982, when he had reached the position of Industrial Relations Manager. However, this was not before he had persuaded chief executive, Tony O'Reilly, to speak at an O.H.R.F.C. dinner. Those present will forever wish to thank John for this particular piece of organisation. For a few years John had a position with some old football enemies in their Office Cleaning Services, but by June 1986 he found it impossible to continue due to his health. 

On the morning of 28th February 1953, John was due to play for the 1st XV against the Saracens, which he duly did. Upon his return, he was told Doris had already presented him with Robert and James was on the way. Those of modern vintage may feel that John ought to have been twiddling his thumbs in a hospital waiting room - his attitude and that of his era, was that he might be able to help on the field, while there was no way he could assist his wife. Since Bob played for the O.H. Veterans and Jim and his mother watched three days after the funeral, it would seem that they have a similar philosophy.

In recent years the original partnership had broken up and John had had a full-time relationship with Betty Greenwood, herself with grown-up children. On 9th December last, Jane Greenwood (1967-75) and Robert Stagg (1964-72) were witnesses at Willesden Register Office to their marriage.

There had been many good times over the years, but as his health deteriorated rapidly, the last few months of John's life were extremely difficult for him. That over 50 with O.H. connections, including the Association's Vice-President, the O.H.R.F.C. President and 16 past Presidents were at the cremation service, gave some indication of the veneration earned by John during his 41 years' service to the Association and his two, particular, associated clubs. We are grateful for that service and, perhaps selfishly, sorry about its abrupt end.

To Doris and their two sons, Robert (1964-72) and James (1964-71) , and to Betty, we extend our heartfelt sorrow at their loss. R & J S


Eric Thomas Purcell (1944 leaver) born 10th August 1927; died 8th January 2011

An Appreciation by Peter Vacher


Eric Purcell embodied the best of Old Haberdasher values. He gave willingly of his time for the Association’s various activities, initially as a player for the OHRFC and more occasionally as an OH cricketer, then as a committee man and clubhouse bar manager, and latterly, as co-organiser of the popular Retired Members lunches held at the OHA’s HQ. He was proud of his time at Haberdashers’ (he was Captain of the Lower School) and of his family, and absolutely committed to the Association and all it represented. Moreover he was held in great affection by his peers and by all who came to know him.

Having done well at school with both rugby and cricket, it was probably inevitable that he would gravitate to the OH rugby club once the second war was safely over and he had been demobilised from the Royal Engineers. Eric’s first season for which records survive was 1945-46 during which he played eight times for the AXV in the back row. Two years later he was still in the AXV but as a wing or full-back. In later years, as his career in civil engineering occupied him more and more, his rugby appearances dwindled and he played his final game for the CXV in 1954-55 as a fly-half when he scored two tries. It was continuing back trouble, sustained not on the rugby ground but rather surprisingly on the dance floor that effectively curtailed Eric’s rugby career.

purcell rugby

As to his participation in OH cricket, Nobbly Tanner’s meticulous records showed that Eric first played for the 2nd eleven in 1950 and then for the 1st eleven in the following season, with three more appearances in 1952. He resumed after a 20-year hiatus, appearing for both the 1st and 2nd elevens until 1978. Rather gratifyingly he and his son Nigel, also an OH, played in the same side a number of times in the mid-1970s. Away from the rugby ground and the cricket pitch, Eric served the Association as an Executive Committee member and then as joint-Secretary from 1956-59 before continuing this important job for a further two years as its sole holder. A career move then required Eric and his family to relocate to Waterlooville (he was seconded to the Admiralty) for a number of years; once back, he took on the demanding role of OHA Dinner organiser and ran the clubhouse bar, this in the days when the rugby club regularly fielded half-a-dozen sides and the clubhouse was thronged every Saturday. The vital service he gave to all aspects of the OHA was recognised when he was honoured as our President in 1969.

Eric’s professional life was as a Chartered Civil Engineer. In 1966, he joined HM Factory Inspectorate (later incorporated into the Health & Safety Executive). He had worked previously in the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. He served in the Specialist Construction Branch of the H&SE where his role was as an internal consultant to general inspectors who carried out inspections and enforcement. Later he moved into construction policy work, eventually retiring in 1987. Highly regarded both professionally and personally, Eric was then retained by a demolition company as an engineering consultant and mentor for a number of years. He was Chairman of the Association of Former Inspectors in the mid-1990s.

I came to know Eric best when we devised the idea of holding lunches for retired Old Haberdashers at the clubhouse, calling on the culinary skills of our resident stewards Mel and Pauline Howard. These are now better known as Old Lags lunches and continue to regularly attract 50 or more OH and former members of the school staff. Eric’s role was to connect with old friends on the phone, take the money at the door and ensure that fellow OH of various vintages had a good time. This he accomplished with his customary good humour and gift for friendship; he was helpful, uncomplaining and wonderfully supportive, but without ever seeking praise or special attention. The respect and affection in which he was held was never more evident than at his funeral which was attended by 40 or more Old Haberdashers and their partners and many of his professional colleagues.

Our sympathy goes to his widow Pauline whom he had married in September 1950, and to their daughter Angela and son Nigel, and their extended family.

W Terry A Cox (died 1992)

John B WELLS (1936-44)
died on 22nd January 1991 - a welcome release from pain, bravely borne, but which could only be eased by sedation.

In his last year at the School, John was a Prefect and Captain of Russell's House and taking considerable pleasure in helping to win the house Rugger shield in the Spring of 1944. He had been in the School 3rd XV, in the previous term, and had also represented the School at cross-country. Having obtained both the London Matriculation and Higher Schools certificates, he proceeded to Manchester University on a war office short course (Royal Engineers) in Mechanical Engineering. After being commissioned John joined the Re and during the 1946-48 period, was with the BAOR, concerned with railway transportation.

Upon demobilisation, he attended a course in laundry and dry-cleaning technology and Business Studies in London, during the following two years and, in 1950, joined the National United Corporation, being appointed General Manager of Mayfield Laundry, a post he held for twelve years. During the earlier part of this of period, John played regularly for the OHRFC 'C' XV, starting in 1948-49 and captaining the side in 50/51. In the following two seasons, he was happy to hand over the reins to a former Captain of the Club, who had made over 300 appearances for the 1st XV! At this time, he was re-christened John "Laundry" Wells to distinguish him from another John of the ilk. Although the 53/54 'C' was led by a back, he continued to prop during that season, but could not resist an invitation to play for the Ex 'B' in what turned out to be his final game, on 10th April 1954 - especially as the game was at home, the captain was another former 1st XV forward and they won, 23-6! By then, he and Victoria (whom he had married in 1946) had two sons and a baby daughter.

Moving to the Tonbridge area in 1962, he was appointed Manager of Mill Crescent Laundry and was on the board of Crescent Cleaners Ltd. A year later, John changed course completely and for the next seven years, became a farmer, as well as being agent and part-time secretary of the Weald Poultry Association. Probably deciding that self-employment was too time-consuming, he then spent four years as Distribution Manager of the Thames Valley Eggs Packing Station, followed by seven years, with Dom Holdings, for which he was Area Distribution Controller and the Tonbridge Depot Manager, with responsibility for London, South East England and the Channel Islands. Another change came in 1982, when he was appointed Commercial Manager for Wigs Ltd (Germany), under the UK director for general and sales administration, distribution and customer relations.

John's last venture (starting in 1984) was with Adult Education, lecturing on Business Studies, updating redundant Executives and coaching women returning to the workforce, youngsters leaving school with no job skills, people in detention centres and long-term prisoners in their final two years before release.

John had a life-long interest in Round Table International, having been Chairman of the Islington branch, before transferring to Tonbridge. He was also a Scout Leader and training Commissioner and a sincere churchman, being an altar server, a member of the Deanery Synod, a church youth leader and a member of the Canterbury Board of Finance.

As a life member of the HOBC, he had opted to make annual donations when the Association was formed in 1962. John attended two 1940/49 decade dinners from the wilds of Kent the last in 1980, when he was out-distanced for the long-distance Tankard, with the winner coming from Yorkshire! John's varied career was evidenced by the large congregation present at St Laurence Church, Hawkhurst, on 30th January, amongst them two of his former 'C' XV team-mates.

Toria was supported by their children Peter, Richard, Margaret, Geoffrey, Imogine and Andrew, together with nine grandchildren.

Brian H PUNCHARD (1937-44)
died suddenly on 30 April 1988 at his home in Boxford aged 61.

Following war service with the Royal Navy on the convoys to Russia, Brian became a Chartered Surveyor, starting his career with Drivers Jonas and then becoming a partner with Rogers Chapman & Thomas and subsequently with Donaldsons.

In 1973 he opened Donaldsons’ Brussels office, which he ran before returning to London in 1976, when he again regularly attended the1940-49 decade dinners run by the OHA, of which he was a life member. He was in the process of retiring from Donaldsons to become the Chairman of Citygate Estates when he died.

Throughout his professional career Brian was actively involved with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and served on its General Council in recent years.

For many years Brian was a keen member of the London Motor Club for whom he organised some of their major rallies. A trustee of Golders Green Methodist Churchy he also held office as Chairman of the Hampstead Wells and Camden Trust and as Chairman of his local Conservative Association at Boxford.

He leaves a widow, Gillie.

John E. DANGER (1939-44)
died on 15th June 1981 at the age of 54, after a long illness patiently borne.

Upon leaving the School, where he had been a member of the Shooting VIII John qualified as a surveyor, being with Cluttons in the early years and then joining Chestertons, with whom he

became a partner.

To his widow, Barbara, and their children Gillian, Susan and David (currently) at the School) we extend our sympathy in their tragic loss.

Dr. Alan J. CHARIG (1938 - 44)
died in Wexham Park Hospital on 15 July 1997 aged 70 following a stroke.

Outstanding academically even in his earliest days at Westbere Road, Alan went on to become an internationally respected expert in dinosaurs and vertebrate palaeontology. He was Researcher and Curator of Fossil, Mammals, Reptiles & Birds at the Natural History Museum in London, and wrote and presented the B.B.C. ten part television series, "Before The Ark", screened in 1974.

Alan was at the forefront of the modern popularity revival of dinosaurs and in 1979 wrote "A New Look At Dinosaurs", which had a great impact, and was translated into several foreign languages.

On leaving school in 1944, Alan went up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, but his undergraduate education was interrupted by National Service, in which he served in the Royal Armoured Corps, was a member of the first Inter-Services Russian Course at Cambridge University, (where he met up with another Old Haberdasher and classmate Rex. C. Harris - 1938-45) and became a Russian interpreter with the Control Commission in Germany 1946 -1948. 

He returned to Cambridge in 1948, graduated in zoology in 1951 and gained his Ph.D. in 1956. Following a year as lecturer in zoology in the Gold Coast (Ghana) Alan joined the National History Museum where he spent the rest of his working life. In 1964 he was appointed Principal Scientific Officer. Even after his retirement he continued to work on several scientific projects at the Museum and travel abroad, visiting fossil sites throughout Argentina and appearing on Spanish television in Barcelona.

In 1963 he led expeditions to Zambia and Tanzania, to Lesotho in 1966-67, during which the oldest articulated fossil mammal skeleton was discovered in rocks of early Jurassic age, and to Queensland in 1978 which turned up the fossilised form of one of the earliest herrings.

His trip to the Sichuan Province in China in 1982 proved to be the most fascinating of his many foreign experiences. 1983 however provided the most exciting research project of his career - the discovery in a brick-pit near Ockley, Surrey of a unique fish-eating dinosaur, Baryonyx walkeri, from the Early Cretaceous Period.

Alan was immensely proud of his School and attended every one of the O.H.A. dinners for his decade. His wife, Marianne, died in 1987. He is survived by a daughter, Nicola, two sons, Mark and Francis and six grandchildren, three of whom, Matthew, Richard and Charlie Norton are currently following in their grandfather's footsteps in Joblings at Haberdashers. The Association wishes them well - and looks forward to seeing them at O.H.A. functions in, due course. R.C.H.


J Ian SM Stuart-Kregor (died in 2001)

John R. WELLS (1943)

died on 25th August, 2002, aged 77, three years after the death of his younger brother Douglas (1940-46). His youngest brother Donald (1940-48) however still remains active within the O.H.A.

 John's death followed an illness whose origins can probably be traced back to December 1949 when he was involved in a motorcycle accident, ultimately necessitating the amputation of his left leg below the knee. 

Joining the School in 1935 under an assisted place from the Haberdashers' Company, whose livery he was to join 30 years later, his education was naturally interrupted by the War. 

He left the School in 1943, was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and served in Burma with the 8th Mahratta Anti-Tank Regiment of the Indian Army. Although tempted to stay in the Indian Army, John returned to England in 1948, took up Articles with Peat, Marwick Mitchell and joined both the O.H. Cricket and Rugby Clubs. His serious accident the following year sadly brought an end to his sporting ambitions but his determination enabled him to walk again unaided.

He remained with Peats for 22 years, being a partner for the final eight years. His work brought him into contact with large international clients in Switzerland and Spain, the latter involving a case at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. 

Leaving the profession in 1970 he joined Nottingham Manufacturers, then one of the largest and most efficient manufacturers of woollen goods in the U.K., as Finance Director. Although he found the work stimulating, he missed the City and its wider international horizons and returned to London in 1975 to join the Costain Group as Finance Director. He became heavily involved in their world-wide operations, travelling extensively in spite of the difficulties occasioned by his damaged limb, and involving himself with the City institutions on acquisitions and financial planning. 

On retirement from full-time employment in 1985, he took up a number of non-executive directorships with public companies. 

His financial expertise was not, however, restricted to professional firms and big business: he strongly believed in giving back to the community, some of his time and talent. In 1962 he had been, in his own words, the financial "midwife" at the birth of the United World College of Atlantic, a residential mixed sixth-form college with a world-wide student intake. He became a Governor in 1981 and continued his association with the college until 1992. He provided financial guidance and advice to The Royal Star and Garter Home for disabled ex-service men and women as a Governor from 1982 until 1995. He was chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee for some years, was the first vice-Chairman ever appointed by the Home and, at his death, was a vice President. From 1988 to 2001 he was a member of the executive committee and joint Treasurer for Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People not far from his own home in Cobham. Another charity which benefited from his financial advice and general expertise was the Church of England Soldiers' Sailors' and Airmen's Clubs.

His interests were not confined to work and charity for in addition to his membership of the Haberdashers Company he was a Mason and a member of one of the Cobham Probus societies. Until recently he was a very active member of all of these but his worsening health, particularly over the last two years, made it more difficult for him to be fully involved.

A well attended Service of Thanksgiving for his life in St. Andrew's Church, Cobham on 4th September 2002 heard Margaret Erskine, a colleague for many years at both Costains and The Royal Star and Garter Home, deliver a moving address to his memory.

In addition to family members of the O.H.A. present at the Service, Colin Hogg and Neil Forsyth, contemporaries of John at the School, were also present.

Donald Wells 

Edward J Van Der Heuvel (1940-43)
died suddenly on 16th September 1988.

He had emigrated to Australia about a decade ago.

Eddie, who propped for the School 2nd XV, earning his XXX colours after a number of 1st XV appearances and being awarded XXII colours for his bowling in the 2nd XI, left after obtaining his matriculation. Joining the Cameron Highlanders as an officer cadet in April 1944, he was at OCTU when the war ended.

Little is known of his early civilian career, although he worked in the office of the Comptroller of Income Tax, in Singapore, before returning to the UK in 1974, when he took up residence in Westerham, in Kent. 

Upon his arrival at Ringwood North, near Melbourne, Eddie soon made a niche for himself in the local community. He had one or two administrative jobs before joining the Victoria Health Service, as the Administration/Finance Manager of Maroondah, a medium-sized public hospital. From there, he became Administrator of a nursing home/hostel/day care centre, run by the Uniting Church, at Preston, a suburb of Melbourne. Career-wise, this was the happiest time of his all too short life, working and caring for the aged and he is fondly remembered for his sense of humour and sadly missed by the staff and residents.

In recent years, Eddie was pleased to have made contact, after a span of some forty years, with his near contemporary, Dr Tom O Penman (1936-42), after being informed of the existence of the British Public Schools Association, in Melbourne - some indication that his life membership of the HOBC was not entirely wasted, during his years overseas.

Eddie left a widow, Virginia, and a son and daughter.

Wing Commander David D. CHAMPION (1936-42)
died 27th June 1999

During his time at the School David Champion was a member of Calverts and was appointed a sub-prefect as well as playing for the rugby 3rd XV. He matriculated i n 1942.

During the War, David was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion the Queens Royal Regiment and was transferred to India in August 1945 being stationed at the Indian Military Academy at Dehva Dun and receiving a commission in February 1946. After a spell in Poona he latterly moved to Australia and joined the Royal Australian Air Force.

JOHN SYDNEY HAWKES (1936 - 1943)

John S Hawkes died on 18th June 2012 at the age of 86 years.

He joined the School in January 1936 and left in June 1943.  He then went on to Faraday House College to study electrical engineering, gaining his Diploma in 1945.  The war was in its final year and he was sent to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough where he worked in the laboratory on radar and bomb aiming equipment. After the war he joined Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. where he studied for his degree whilst learning in their factory.
He returned to their offices designing circuits and signalling schemes and eventually became Chief Railway Signal Engineer (Overseas).  He was very well travelled and enjoyed his work.

After taking retirement, he enjoyed many years of his favourite hobbies—astronomy, bird-watching, model and main line railways and steam locomotives.
He leaves a wife, son and daughter.


Philip Thomas: born June 16 1926, died January 14 2014

Philip’s obituary taken from the Daily Telegraph, 18 Feb.

Philip Thomas 

Philip Thomas, who has died aged 87, was a leading fire scientist, publishing much of the key research which underpins scientific understanding of the behaviour of fire and has led to improvements in standards of fire safety.

Philip Humphrey Thomas was born in north London on 16 June 1926. He won a scholarship to Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, followed by another scholarship aged 16 to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he took a double First in Engineering and went on to do a PhD in the Physical Chemistry Department.

After a year as a special research trainee at Metropolitan Vickers in Manchester he joined the FRS. In 1962 he was awarded Special Merit Senior Principal Scientific Officer status. He retired in 1986.

In 1949 a new Fire Research Station (FRS) was established at Borehamwood in Hertfordshire. It soon established itself as a world centre of research into fire prevention and control, and as a leader in the development of fire safety engineering. Thomas joined the FRS in 1951 and within four years had been appointed Principal Scientific Officer.

He started his work in a section concerned with the extinction of fires, and went on to publish more than 100 scientific papers which provided mathematical models for many different aspects of fire dynamics. His most important contributions, however, related to the behaviour of fire in buildings.

He was the first to introduce serious scientific discussion of the term “flashover” (the near-simultaneous ignition of combustible material in an enclosed area, as happened in the King’s Cross underground fire of 1987) and developed models for the behaviour of flames and “fire plumes”. These provided the scientific basis for the development of new roof venting systems designed to remove smoke and hot gases from single-storey buildings — and which are now widely used in such structures as shopping malls and airport terminals.

Thomas served as coordinator of the Fire Commission of the Conseil International du Bâtiment from 1974 to 1994, and as chairman of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Fire Safety Committee from 1976 to 1995. In the latter capacity he oversaw the development of international performance-based fire safety standards — a flexible approach which allows designers to maintain safety while using progressive designs that might otherwise have been restricted by building code requirements. In 1985 he was instrumental in founding the International Association

for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS), serving as its first chairman from 1985 to 1991. Thomas received many awards and prizes, including the Arthur B Guise Medal of the US Society for Fire Protection Engineering in 1991.

After the death of his wife in 1996 he married Joanna Haben — a family friend who had been widowed. She survives him with a son and daughter of his first marriage.

Dennis Cooper-Jones OBE (died 17th November 2013)

d Cooper jones

Dennis Cooper-Jones OBE passed away in Culm Valley Nursing Home on November 17th 2013, aged 89. This obituary has been provided by his son, Tim Cooper-Jones OBE.

He was born in 1924 at St Peter Port, Guernsey the eldest son of a dental surgeon. Educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School (as was his younger brother Maurice who died a few years ago) then in Hampstead. He went on to complete a BSc in Electrical Engineering at London University before seeing wartime service as Wireless Officer, Special Branch RNVR.

After the war he joined Standard Telephones and Cables as an Electronic Engineer, with whom he worked for 42 years, many as a senior manager. He travelled extensively in his various roles, yet found time to write two Business book, still in publication and many articles for technical publications and lectures. He was appointed an OBE in 1984 for services to the Defence Industry.

Apart from his family and fly fishing, his greatest passion was for his large garden, which he designed and planted over many years and enjoyed opening up to the village. He also served on many local committees, often as Chairman.

A highly intelligent man he was always friendly, helpful, interested and supportive to everyone he came across. He will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends.

John Feltham (died 24th October 2012)

John Feltham

John passed away on 24th October 2012,

John was a very active OH over the years and continued to attend functions until recent years. He was one of the founders of British Car Auctions and donated very generously to the OH sporting clubs and to Combined London Old Boys RFC.

Dr Tom O. PENMAN (1935 - 42)

died 3rd August 2000 

Tom Penman left the Hampstead School in 1942 during a period when London was under constant air attack during the Second World War. In a letter to the then President of the Association, Alan Morris he has described life at the School during those early years of the War.

“An oil bomb landed on the premises early on, but did not go off. The oil of this unexploded bomb created a dreadful mess and the discoloration was still visible even when I left school two years later. 

Two anti-aircraft shells landed on the School but fortunately neither exploded. One large (2,000 lb) bomb landed in the fields across the road. The worst hit the School had was when a large bomb (2,000 lb) landed on the Headmaster’s wing. It did not go off for some time later but when it did, it wrecked the administration area, demolished the caretaker’s flat and did enormous damage to the near-by science block.”

Upon leaving and after graduating, Tom worked for a while in the chemical industry in the U.K. before moving to Adelaide to take up a position as a lecturer in chemical engineering at the university there. After ten years he returned to industry briefly before setting up his own consultancy in 1970.

With degrees in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry he latterly became a Forensic Engineer in Melbourne which in his own words entailed” a lot of work as an expert witness.”

 Whilst in Australia Tom, was able to keep in touch with much of what was going on in the U.K. via the British Public Schools’ Association which at one stage had eight Old Haberdasher members. In 1988 he was elected the President of this Association and thereafter in 1995 was to become the Honorary Secretary.

In the last couple of years Tom was much restricted in his activities after suffering a spinal stroke in mid-1999 that severely curtailed his mobility. 

Bruce J Manning (1934-42)
died on 17th May 1988, after many years of coronary troubles and physical disability.

After leaving from the senior 6th form, Bruce joined the Royal Navy as a seaman, in February 1943, serving in HMS Cumberland on the Spitzbergen, Iceland and Northern patrol and then with HMS Wolsey on East Coast convoys. After being commissioned in 1944, he served as a Sub Lieutenant in HMS Barle in the Mediterranean and Red Seas and afterwards in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Bruce was a life member of the HOBC and, in 1971, attended one of the earlier decade dinners, before his health deteriorated, with a consequent move to Goonhaven, near Truro, in 1977.

In spite of his ill health, which he bore with the utmost courage, his sense of humour was retained to the last. 

He left a widow, Kathleen.


Wing Commander David D. CHAMPION (1936-42)
died 27th June 1999

During his time at the School David Champion was a member of Calverts and was appointed a sub-prefect as well as playing for the rugby 3rd XV. He matriculated in 1942.

During the War, David was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion the Queens Royal Regiment and was transferred to India in August 1945 being stationed at the Indian Military Academy at Dehva Dun and receiving a commission in February 1946. After a spell in Poona he latterly moved to Australia and joined the Royal Australian Air Force.


Kenneth Alfred Lowe - passed away 15th October 2015

The following eulogy was read on behalf of his three children Barbara, Judy and Robert at his funeral on 26th October 2015.

B.Sc (Eng), (Lond)

Chartered Engineer 

Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Member of the Chartered Management Institute

Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Engineers

Freeman of the City of London

Dad was born in London on the 27th March 1923. His father was George Leander Lowe (known as Len) an Electrical Engineer, Contractor and Retailer, and his Mother was Edith Marie, nee Thorpe, known as Marie.  (-pronounced Maari)

Dad was educated at a boy’s prep school; and then at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys in Hampstead.

As the 30’s recession had severely affected his father’s electrical business, a government Bursary was obtained and this enabled Dad to study mechanical engineering at Imperial College, London. 

Having completed the degree course with most of his studying being done in an air raid shelter, his war service was spent mainly in the Far East, in the Fleet Air Arm as an Air Engineer Officer, both ashore and afloat.

On demob Dad secured a 4 year graduate apprenticeship with the English Steel Corporation in Sheffield, to learn about the manufacture and manipulation of steel. It was during this time that he married our Mum, Phyllis. They had met during the war when Mum was a qualified nurse at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Dad’s first professional appointment was with Esso Petroleum Company on their new refinery at Fawley on the west side of Southampton water.

During these years in Fawley, the three children were born. Barbara, followed by Judy some 18 months later and then Robert 15 months after Judy. A busy time for our Mum and growing up we all remember seeing the Fawley flare from our bedroom windows!

Over the next eight years Dad progressed to the position of Resident Engineer and Construction Manager.

As the construction phase neared its end Dad was appointed by the British General Electric Company to head up the construction of Japan’s first nuclear power station at Tokai-Mura some 80 miles north east of Tokyo. 

After four years Barbara and Judy came back to the UK to start school in Great Bookham, Surrey. The rest of the family followed about 18 months later at the completion of the Japanese power station.

Dad then took on the project and construction management of power stations, oil refineries and large scale pipeline installations in Australia, Bangladesh, Iran and here in the UK.  The family went with Dad to Australia for two years within  18 months after his return from Japan, but we then had to settle in Great Bookham for schooling whilst Dad completed the other foreign assignments.

Dad’s hobbies in the early years included rugby and squash and in later years golf and sailing – dinghy, coastal and cross channel. Even during his later years Dad kept himself fit and until only a few months ago he was swimming and going to the gym once a week!

In typical fashion Dad had written most of this Eulogy himself but one sentence struck us quite deeply.

Dad had written that irrespective of anything else, he considered his most significant achievement, with the help of our Mum, was to be able to educate his three children privately, thus giving us a head start in the “hurley burley of adult life”.

Considering everything Dad achieved in his professional life we are so grateful for the sacrifices both he and Mum made which has helped us all in our careers and lives.

Barbara gave Dad two grandchildren, Antonia and Peter during the 1980’s. They are both married and well established in good jobs and hopefully future careers and now Antonia is going to have a baby herself. Dad was shown the scan of little “Pip” –the name the baby is presently known by – whilst he was at Zetland during his last few days which made him smile.

Dad also enjoyed the company of grandchildren through Robert’s marriage to Jenny and his own marriage to Jackie.

In 1994 our dear Mum passed away but Dad found happiness with Jackie whom he subsequently married in 1995.

Dad and Jackie had known one another since school days and after marrying they spent a few happy years together going on holidays and cruises from Southampton. Jackie sadly developed Parkinson’s disease and Dad hardly left her side during the last few months of her life.

When Jackie passed away Dad decided the time had come to go in to a Masonic residential home and he initially went to Cadagon Court in Exeter. However his deepest wish was to be at Zetland Court, in Bournemouth and it was here that he spent the last two years of his life. Dad was so very happy at Zetland and became very involved in all of the activities and discovered a talent for painting and drawing. A pastime he thoroughly enjoyed.

For over 60 years he was a Freemason.

During Dad’s final two and half weeks following on from his stroke, we all stayed at Zetland and got to know many of Dad’s fellow residents, as well as the staff. 

It became very obvious to us during this time why Dad had been so very happy here. He was looked after with lots of tender loving care and they even took us under their wing and offered us both practical and emotional support when we needed it most.

We cannot thank Debbie and her entire team enough for all that they have done.

So we say goodbye to Dad who lived his life to the full and his motivation and energy never ceased to amaze us.

So as Dad would always say “Cheers for now and keep smiling”

Alexander Kok, (1941 Leaver) born February 14 1926, died May 1 2015

Obituary taken from the Daily Telegraph 8th May 2015


Alexander Kok, the cellist, who has died aged 89, was a founder member of the Philharmonia Orchestra, a prominent chamber musician and a popular session player; he is credited alongside Ringo Starr, Elton John and Eric Clapton on George Harrison’s album Cloud Nine.

Kok lived a colourful life, with three marriages and a series of romantic liaisons. Two of his cellos were burnt beyond repair in a car accident and he was declared bankrupt after receiving poor advice when attempting to expand his music school in Cheltenham. None the less, he loved life in general and a hearty meal in particular, and was rarely downcast for long.

Kok’s brother, Felix, a violinist, became leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and they occasionally performed together, including, while they were still students, in Brahms’s Double Concerto under Sir Henry Wood. Later they formed the Beaufort Trio with the pianist Daphne Ibbott. After Kok’s solo debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1960, one critic wrote that his “tone was of a very appealing, mellow quality, and his musicianship was sensitively sympathetic and sincere”.

Alexander “Bobby” Kok was one of four brothers born at Brakpan, a mining town near Johannesburg, South Africa, on St Valentine’s Day 1926. His father, a Boer farmer-turned-miner, had a lovely baritone voice; his mother was an accomplished violinist and pianist. Bobby, who was head chorister at St Mary’s Cathedral, Johannesburg, was nine when a local carpenter presented him with his first cello, which was too big for him to play.

Felix had been encouraged to pursue his violin studies in London, so in 1938 their mother brought all her sons to Britain. Bobby joined his brother at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, where he shone at rugby and boxing, but upset the headmaster by winning a scholarship to follow Felix to the Royal Academy of Music. He joined Ensa, performing for British troops, and played with the Boyd Neel Orchestra.


Walter Legge set up the Philharmonia in 1945 and Kok was a member from the very first concert (conducted by Thomas Beecham), sharing his love of classic cars with Dennis Brain, their horn player, and Herbert von Karajan, who conducted in 1948. During this time he took lessons with Pierre Fournier in Paris and Pablo Casals in Prades, developing a deep affection for France.

In 1957 he joined Dartington College of Arts, in Devon, lecturing in music history, and the following year set up the Dartington String Quartet with Colin Sauer, Peter Carter and Keith Lovell. Within three years he was back in London, as principal cellist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, but by 1965, having found himself disagreeing with the BBC’s music policy, he had moved into the commercial world. Groups such as the Beatles needed backing musicians, while film, television and advertising work provided a steady income.

Kok was a founder of the Cheltenham Music School in 1971, but when he tried to extend its facilities in the mid-1980s he was thwarted by planners and, in his view, deceived by his legal and financial advisers. To add to his woes, there was a dispute over liability for the cellos lost in his accident the year before.
Eventually he retired to France, where he developed a rehearsal space for young musicians; although he had a few pupils, many friends regretted that there were not more. He also wrote A Voice in the Dark: The Philharmonia Years (2003), an anecdotal autobiography which takes its name from the way Legge’s voice emerged from behind a curtain during Kok’s audition to join the orchestra.

Kok was thrice married: to Annette Ingold in 1954; to Ysobel Danks, the daughter of the viola player Harry Danks, in 1964; and to Marian Hardy in 1981. All the marriages ended in divorce. Latterly he was cared for in Normandy by his friend Margaret Cook. After her death in 2013 he returned to Britain. He is survived by three sons from his second marriage.

Arthur Kerswill : died 6th June 2014

Arthur Kerswill

Arthur’s son, Paul, provided a copy of the eulogy used by the vicar at the funeral.

Arthur was a Londoner from Golders Green, born on 12th September 1924. He was the youngest of four, and to judge from the earliest family photos he was heavily into cricket and generally running around. He had a close relationship with his brother Fred, and in 1943 the pair started university in Edinburgh. After a few months they both left to join the Navy. Fred became a submariner, while Arthur served on motor torpedo boats. Arthur had what is euphemistically called a ‘good’ war, and he saw action on D-Day when his MTB was part of the decoy fleet.

The two young men wrote to each other, and we can read that they planned to return to Edinburgh after the war. That was not to be, because in November 1944 Fred’s submarine struck a mine off the coast of Narvik and the vessel was lost without trace. After that, Arthur didn’t feel motivated to return to university. Fred’s death stuck in Arthur’s mind for the rest of his life, and when dementia began to set in about three years ago, touchingly, he had a number of visions of his brother standing by his bedside in full naval uniform.

OHCC 1st XI 1958

But let’s go back to the 1950s. Rugby and cricket were Arthur’s consuming passions, both as a player for the Old Haberdashers and as a spectator. The Navy continued to run as a theme through his life. On one occasion as a young officer in the Royal Naval Reserve on an official visit to Oslo, he decided to while away an afternoon on one of the tourist boats that still ply Oslo harbour. After a few minutes, blue skies turned to rain and thunder, and the gallant young man decided to help the tourist guide put up the awning to protect the passengers. That tourist guide was a young lady named Inger, and Arthur steeled himself to ask her out for a drink. Inger became Arthur’s bride a couple of years later in 1955, and their son Paul was born the following year. Eleven years later, Inger and Arthur adopted two more children, Richard and Tanith, who became Paul’s brother and sister.

Arthur’s working life was a varied one, and it included running a printworks and a graphic design studio. In 1968 the family moved to the leafy outskirts of Hemel Hempstead, and Arthur moved his office to Berkhamsted. He tried various ventures, including importing Norwegian tableware and marketing a very expensive silver chess set marking the American bicentenary. Nothing much came of these, but around the same time he bought up Vacher’s Parliamentary Companion. This was a good move, and meant that he and Inger could enjoy a comfortable retirement.

They both enjoyed good health for several years, and their relationship blossomed. They set off on some wonderful trips, mainly to places where the wine is renowned: Zimbabwe, Madeira, Hungary, Germany, France and Italy. Inger and Arthur had always been the ideal hosts, and their dinner parties were famous.

Inger’s death in 2007 left Arthur rather rudderless. When he began to find day to day living difficult and sometimes confusing, he enlisted a number of people to provide care and help around the house. His three children kept in close contact with him until he died at 11.45 pm on D-Day 2014.

Everybody who has ever known Arthur comments on how good a friend he was, how honest and honourable, and he expected and received similar behaviour in others. His was a good, long life, well lived, and he will be sorely missed by many.

The following is a summary of Arthur’s involvement with the OHRFC – provided by Martin Baker.

Arthur was a stalwart of the Old Haberdashers’, particularly the rugby club. He played over 200 games for the 1st XV making him a member of the elite 200 club. He was a feisty back row forward and captained the club for four years from 1948 – 1952, at a time when the club regularly ran 7 sides and captaincy was a major administrative undertaking.









S.H. Bean

A.H.S. Kerswill






S.H. Bean

A.H.S. Kerswill






J.E.G. Moody

A.H.S Kerswill






J.E.G. Moody

A.H.S. Kerswill





Alan Whicker CBE (1941 leaver) born August 2 1925, died July 12 2013

Obituary taken from the Daily Telegraph

Alan Whicker, the interviewer and documentary maker, who has died aged 87, made highly influential and popular television programmes over a period of more than five decades.

 Alan Whicker

Alan Whicker on the Orient Express - wearing the OH tie sold to him by Rodney Jakeman at a book launch at Harrods that Rodney hosted in 1988.

(Photo courtesy of The Guardian)

One of the medium’s first celebrities, he was often described as a “travel journalist” on account of his many reports from exotic locations. But he preferred to call himself “a journalist who travels”, considering that everyone had a story which it was his job to tell. To this end he traversed the globe “at least 97 times”, and as early as 1982 presented the retrospective Whicker’s World — The First Million Miles.

His programmes delighted in the colourful, the eccentric and the downright ludicrous. Charming and deferential in blazer or safari suit, Whicker allowed his subjects to speak for — and often condemn — themselves. His habit of keeping his back to the camera suggested an air of neutrality and an absence of ego. His satirical asides, rich and subtle, influenced fly-on-the-wall documentary makers from Clive James to Louis Theroux; and his distinctive drawling, flat delivery was widely and affectionately mimicked in the nation’s saloon bars.

Whicker was particularly fascinated by the hidden lives of the rich and famous, and he interviewed figures such as J Paul Getty, the Sultan of Brunei and the Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier. He was never more content than when sipping champagne and gliding around the deck of a “superyacht” surrounded by scantily-clad women and self-made men, admitting that he was “happy enough to have the best”. In a poll by the advertising agency J Walter Thompson he was once voted “the most envied man in Britain”.

At the same time, Whicker was a consummate professional. He conceived, researched, wrote, produced and presented his programmes; this would often involve writing one while simultaneously filming, researching and planning others.

The son of a soldier who died young, Alan Donald Whicker was born in Cairo on August 2 1925, and was brought up by his mother in Hampstead. He was educated at Haberdasher’s Aske’s, where he would write to travel agents asking for brochures for “exotic locations such as Ostend”.

On leaving school he joined the Army, and was serving as an officer with the Devonshire R


Sir James Swaffield (1940 leaver), born February 16 1924, died July 4 2015

(Obituary taken  from the Daily Telepgraph 8th July 2015)


Sir James Swaffield, who has died aged 91, held two of the most influential positions in English local government as secretary of the Association of Municipal Corporations and, from 1973, director-general of the Greater London Council.

But he became engulfed by controversy as Ken Livingstone seized control of the GLC Labour group after the 1981 elections to push through Left-wing policies, and Margaret Thatcher geared up to abolish the council – as well as the Inner London Education Authority, to which Swaffield was also clerk. Retiring in 1984 with “a mixture of relief and regret”, he became a successful chairman of the British Rail Property Board.

Swaffield saw the GLC as essential for looking after “the whole of London”, and trying to make it “the best of cities”. But, with the capital’s population having fallen to a little over six million and its economy vulnerable, Livingstone’s concentration on totemic issues for the Left brought sharp differences with Swaffield. When he left County Hall, however, Livingstone led the tributes.

Swaffield was renowned for his immersion in day-to-day administration. At County Hall he insisted on meeting his assistant directors at a round table rather than a rectangular one, feeling it made the team work better. He also encouraged professionalism among staff, helping to set up the Institute of Local Government Studies at Birmingham University.

James Chesebrough Swaffield was born at Cheltenham on February 16 1924. His father was a director of a soap company. He attended Cheltenham Grammar School and Haberdashers’ Aske’s, Hampstead. Swaffield saw war service from 1942 with the RNVR, staying on post-war to retire a lieutenant-commander. On demobilisation he trained to be a council solicitor in Wembley, taking a London University degree (and later an Oxford MA). Qualifying in 1949, he joined the town clerk’s department at Lincoln.

He moved on to Norwich, Cheltenham and Southend, and in 1956 was appointed deputy town clerk of Blackpool. Promoted to town clerk soon after, he became the youngest in any county borough.

In 1958 Swaffield was caught up in a dispute between members of the town’s watch committee and its autocratic chief constable, Harry Barnes. A strict Methodist, Barnes had devoted most of his 15 years running the force to trying to stop the bawdy stand-up comic Frank Randle performing in the borough.

Randle’s death the year before had left a void in Barnes’s life and he decided to retire. The Watch Committee baulked at giving him his pension two years early, and when Labour councillors told Swaffield they were ready to force a special council meeting Barnes handed Swaffield his resignation, without waiting for the pension.

Moving to the AMC in 1962, Swaffield was for 11 years the key figure representing the interests of provincial cities and large towns. He oversaw a campaign to give councils greater powers over taxis, recommended striking teachers be suspended without pay, and scorned as “totally inadequate” an offer from Whitehall of 60 per cent of the cost of strengthening tower blocks after the Ronan Point gas explosion. But he was most critical of a succession of tight rate support settlements, from Labour and Conservative governments.

Peter Walker’s reorganisation of local government in 1974 spelt the end for the AMC, so the previous year Swaffield moved to the GLC, becoming Britain’s highest paid council official at £16,404, soon increased to £22,000 per annum. In June 1975 he supervised the counting of Greater London’s 3.3  million votes in the referendum on continued membership of the EEC. He also oversaw the inquiry by Robin Auld QC into William Tyndale junior school in Islington, which a takeover by far Left teachers had reduced to anarchy. Six staff members had complained about the way Ilea’s education officer Dr Eric Briault had handled matters; Swaffield rejected the charges.

Swaffield built up a solid relationship with Labour’s GLC leader Reg Goodwin, but after the Conservatives regained control in 1977 he and the more flamboyant Horace Cutler took time to gel. After a year, however, Cutler claimed Swaffield had “got the message that the political power was in my hands and the administrative power in his”.

Cutler had big ideas for halting London’s economic decline. In 1979 Swaffield and Fred Pooley, controller of planning, proposed building an airport in the Thames estuary – a forerunner of “Boris Island” – for less than £200 million. Cutler and Swaffield visited Pittsburgh together to study American enterprise initiatives.

Swaffield found the Thatcher administration’s approach to local government discouraging. Ministers, he said, believed councils “could not be left to get on with the things they were good at”. When stories were leaked about Ilea’s functions being “returned to the boroughs”, he observed tartly that the boroughs had never been responsible for education.

In May 1981 Labour under Andrew McIntosh regained control, and within 48 hours Livingstone ousted him. McIntosh had instructed Swaffield to halt civil defence preparations against nuclear attack, and tell British Rail to re-route nuclear weapon and waste trains away from the capital. Livingstone went further.

Swaffield had to warn members of Ilea they could be surcharged if they gave teachers time off to join the People’s March for Jobs. But when the council chose an advertising agency run by a former colleague of Livingstone’s, Tory councillors said Swaffield should have stopped it. Aims of Industry demanded his resignation for obeying an instruction to find out what business companies supporting an Aims campaign did with the council.

After leaving County Hall in February 1984, the first job Swaffield took was observing El Salvador’s presidential elections. He and the other UK observers had to be protected by hundreds of troops. Bureaucracy and guerrilla activity prevented 200,000 people from voting, but Swaffield reported that the authorities had done their best despite confusion at polling stations which made it “barely possible” to vote in secrecy.

Swaffield took the chair of the Property Board as British Rail under Sir Bob Reid was focusing more on its businesses. He handed over 10 sites to the Royal Society for Nature Conservation, but the thrust of the Board’s activities was firmly commercial.

Its largest development – Broadgate, on the site of Broad Street station – showed, with Canary Wharf, that London was turning the corner. Also on the drawing board, though it would take 25 years to deliver, was the redevelopment of 125 acres behind King’s Cross and St Pancras stations.

In 1986-87 major disposals helped Swaffield’s board raise more than £130 million. The next year, income rose to £243 million. Swaffield stood down in 1991, just before rail privatisation became an issue.

Swaffield was a long-serving chairman of the London Marathon Charitable Trust and deputy lieutenant for Greater London. He was appointed CBE in 1971 and knighted in 1976.

James Swaffield married Elizabeth Maunder in 1950; they had two sons and two daughters.

Norman James (1st May 1924 - 8th June 2013)

Norman James

The following text is the Tribute that David James gave at Norman's funeral on 27th June 2013

When Carol and Barbara asked me to talk about Norman today I was honoured as I must be the person who has known him the longest and he has always been part of my life.  He was born in Cricklewood in 1924 and went to Haberdashers School, Hampstead.  It was obvious then that he was highly intelligent matriculating at the age of 14. (He was the brains in the family!).

When the war came he was 15 and I was 11 and we were evacuated with the school to Wellingborough.  We were billeted with complete strangers and as far as I was concerned he became head of the family whilst we were away from home. He was my brother Joe - a nickname from our childhood days. He went to London University a year early to study law and after a year was called up to serve in the Army.

His army career during the war was distinguished.  He rose to the rank of Captain in the Royal Signals, working alongside Indian troops and served in India & Burma, finishing up at the end of the war in Jarva when the Japanese capitulated.  It showed his character and how modest he was because he never spoke about the war and even the family did not know that he was mentioned in Dispatches, evidence of which Carol and Barbara have found in a file since he died.

After the war he came back to Cricklewood and returned to London University to complete his degree.  On completing his studies he worked at Robsons, a firm of West End Solicitors, where he became a Partner. Norman worked at Robsons all his life until he retired, having his name on The Roll for over 50 years. He was, as expected, an excellent solicitor very meticulous and caring,   acting for many friends and family who are here today.

To pick up normal life on his return from the war, Norman came out to Haberdashers School to watch me play in a rugby match one Saturday and this is where he met Brenda his first wife.  They were happily married for more than 25years and had a devoted family life with their two children Ian and Carol. A great deal of their family life revolved around Norman's involvement with the Old Haberdashers Association.

He captained one of the Old Boys rugby teams for a time and then refereed in later years. The family supporting him on the touch line, with many Easters spent on 'rugger' tour in the West Country.  He became President of the Old Boys Rugby Club and later of the Old Haberdashers Association. He performed all his duties in both clubs to the highest standard - even though he lived south of the river in Epsom. 

He had a lifelong love of gardening and this is reflected in "The Glory of the Garden" by Rudyard Kipling.               As the poem hangs in the hall in Rivey Close Emma suggested that an extract be included today, and Ian will read this shortly.

Norman and Brenda had their 25th Wedding anniversary celebration but sadly Brenda died at an early age not long afterwards.  At this time he was supported by Carol and Ian together with family and friends, including Barbara - whose late husband Derek had been known to Norman during their working  lives.

Norman and Barbara's friendship developed over time and it was a great joy to both families when he married Barbara and they led a very full and happy life - during those years they had the joy of sharing families including their grandchildren and he was able to see them all reach adulthood.  As Adam said '"Grandpa was everything you strive to be" and "If I turn out half the person Grandpa was I'll be proud.''

Norman  and Barbara also enjoyed their Silver Wedding  Anniversary  and at that celebration he asked if they could both count their two 25years as Golden.

When Norman & Barbara moved to West Bytleet he became involved in this Church and many local organisations, including a Wine Circle, Music Group, Bowls Club Retired Men's Luncheon Club and the Woking Active Retired Club, of which he has been Chaiman. In all these activities he made more new friends - many of whom are here today.

They also established a home at Mudeford where numerous great times were had with family and friends alike.

His 80th Birthday cake was made in the shape of a wine bottle and Carol and Andy summed up his qualities on the bottle's label "This vintage wine has been carefully matured for eight decades.  Of excellent character, it travels well and is a good accompaniment to all occasions. Reliable and intelligent it is always pleasing to the palate."

Many of us have our own special memories of Norman - to me he will always by my brother Joe. But to sum up Norman - he was modest, very capable, caring and a rock on which all the family could rely.  As many of the tributes received have said "he was a true gentleman" and he will be sadly missed by all of us.

WAV (Tony) Odoni (died in 1992)

Douglas WS Birnie (died in 1995)

Turner Donovan Bridge (died in December 2002)

He was at Haberdashers from about 1936 to about 1940 (he did not take Higher School Certificate, joining the Army instead where he had a distinguished wartime career, leaving with the rank of major in 1946). 

He subsequently followed a publishing career, going out to Kenya in 1958 where he founded a publishing company which wrote, published and printed books and handbooks for several governments in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Gulf. He returned to England in 1970 and continued with publishing, specialising in the military sphere. From 1972 until 2000 he published the longest established military journal in the world, Army Quarterly & Defence Journal.

He was always interested to follow the fortunes of Haberdashers and even though he says that the school was not as distinguished academically when he was there as it is now, I am sure that his time there had a formative influence on his life and especially on his lifetime interest in history.

Maureen Bridge


Dr Llewelyn Gwyn Chambers, (11/02/1924 -09/12/2014) attended the school between 1935 and 1939.

Dr Chambers became a reader in the mathematics at the University College of North Wales Bangor, and also served as treasurer of the Guild of Graduates of the University of Wales for 27 years. Prior to working at Bangor, he had worked as a scientific officer in the Admiralty, and lectured at the military college at Shrivenham.

Dr Chambers always attributed his later academic success to the rigid grounding in the sciences he had received at Haberdashers, in particular the mathematics teaching. Strangely enough, his school reports from the 1930s do not point to prodigal ability until his mid-teens, from which time his strengths came to the fore.

One of his most bizarre recollection was that of a teacher who kept a collection of canes and tubes for doling out punishments, all with a particular name. A pupil would be punished by an instrument of his own choosing!

In September 1939, about to enter the sixth-form, Dr Chambers was on holiday in Cricieth with his aunt and unf le when war broke out. He subsequently did not return to London, and studied for the next two years at Porthmadog County School.

He then continued his studies in North Wales, graduating in mathematics at Bangor in 1944. He spent the next ten years in military work at Rosyth, Hazelmere and Shrivenham. He was appointed as a lecturer at his old college in Bangor in 1954, and worked there until his retirement in 1991. He was awarded a doctorate in 1968. He published several books on  the applications, of mathematics, but always saw his primary purpose as the teaching and mathematical nurturing of students. His ex-students invariably spoke extremely highly of him.

Dr Chambers had a wide range of academic interests, learning several languages, and his Welsh translation of Nicolai Gogol's play 'The Government Inspector' was published. He was amongst the founders of a Welsh-language scientific magazine in the early 60s - 'Y Gwyddonydd' (The Scientist). He was, perhaps, the leading authority on the Anglesey scientist William Jones, whose work was recently feted in’π Day'.

He married Mona Rees Owen in 1955, and his only son Huw is himself a mathematics teacher.

Richard (Dick) Seal - 16th April 2013

I'm very sad to advise that Richard ‘Dick’ Seal died on 16th April 2013, aged 91. He died peacefully after a short illness and his family enjoyed some quality time with him in his final days.

He was at school during the 30's and was well known as the mainstay of the athletics club, as a sprinter, winning the  'Victor Ludorum' cup in his latter years and running at both the White City and Crystal Palace. He also played rugby for the school and Old Boys’ first XVs and was a prolific scoring and hard tackling wing three-quarter whose contemporaries included, Nobbly Tanner, Ron Benge, ‘Jumbo’ Jackman, Kenneth Blessley and Charlie Amstein.

Shortly after the outbreak of war and after a short time working in the London insurance industry for the London and Lancashire, he joined the RAF where he was trained as a sergeant radio operator/navigator. There he met his wife Audrey, who survives him. After the war he returned to the City and worked all his career in the insurance industry, latterly as Head of Underwriting at the Royal Insurance in West London.

Dick’s sons, Gerry and Jon both attended Habs and were taught by some of Dick’s teachers; notably Messrs Paske, Dudderidge and Crossman.

On retirement Dick and Audrey retired to Milford-on-Sea where they spent many happy years together before, quite recently, illness sadly led to their move to specialist care homes. His brother John H. Seal, sons Gerald R. L. Seal and Jonathan M. G. Seal, together with his much-loved grandchildren, family, friends and carers attended his funeral on 29th April in Hedge End, Hampshire. Tributes and eulogies consistently referred to a ‘kind and caring, true gentleman’.

Dennis E Bailey (died in 1992)

EA Ray Chapman (died in 1992)

CG Eager (died in 2000)

Gordan P Pavey (died in 1997)

Brian D PARKER (1931-37)

died on August 24, 1990 in Kitchener, Ontario, after a short illness, aged 70.

His business life was, for the most part, spent in Canada where he emigrated soon after the Second World War following a brief period in South Africa. He retired in 1981 as sales manager of Syroco Canada. Before the war Brian joined the HAC and later saw commissioned service with the Royal Artillery and First Battalion Royal Scots in India and Burma, achieving the rank of Major.

He represented the School at rugby and boxing, winning his colours at both sports, and played scrum-half for the OHRFC 1st XV for two seasons after the war. 

To his wife Peggy and their children, David, Janice, Alan, Sherry and Judy and their respective children we offer our condolences on their sad loss. 

Alec J. PARKER (1932-39)
died on 3 August 1985.

After war service with the Royal Artillery in Normandy he joined the Westminster Bank in 1948 and was later. in 1981 seconded to the National Trust at Hughenden Manor. He took early retirement in 1983.

Alec played for the OH as a fullback immediately after the war; he was well-known as a designer and builder of model engines for which he won a Bronze Medal at the Model Railway Exhibition in 1980.

Derek MONNICKENDAM (1930-39)
passed away on the 8 November 1991, aged 70 years.

He was resident in Grimsby from about 1965, but died at Worcester, having gone there with his wife Sheila to stay with friends.

At school Derek was an above average scholar, sitting his School Certificate exams at 15 years of age. He told the writer that in the middle of his school years he (and another named Zinkin) was entered by the Headmaster, Reverend F J Kemp, for a scholarship exam arranged by the Haberdashers' Company. Derek won the scholarship, and this relieved his father from paying school fees for at least a year. However, the award was not announced in school, so Derek always felt a little embittered at getting no public glory, so to speak! He was awarded 6th form privileges at school.

In the war, Derek served from 1941 as an LAC Wireless Operator in the RAF, seeing service in Canada, Jamaica, and Labrador. After demob in 1946 he was in his father's highclass bakery business for a time, until he left to train and qualify as a dentist. Eventually he opened a practice in Grimsby.

Derek was always interested in sport. While living in the south, he sculled on the Thames as a member of the Mortlake Rowing Club. From Grimsby he sculled the River Anholme at Brigg. Every winter he went skiing on the continent, and took his children there on occasions for the experience. His main hobby was sailing; several years ago he took his wife, with their four children of school age, right across the Atlantic in his 30 foot sloop. His youngsters, two boys and two girls are all students, ranging from 20 years to 13 years of age.


Derek was a life member of the HOBC and for many years after the formation of the Association in 1962, donated at subscription rates. He was a regular attendee at the 1930-39 Decade dinners (being present at the first, in April 1965) and subsequent pre-1940 reunions, before moving to the North. Occasionally, he made the long journey from Grimsby, the last time (in April 1988) inadvertently causing the Hon Registrar considerable embarrassment, since the latter overlooked him and advised the President that the long-distance tankard ought to be awarded to a member from the Stafford area - at least 25 miles nearer Boreham Wood, even by the road route! Typically, Derek quietly reminded the culprit, only after the presentation had been made. 

To Sheila and their four children Claire, Richard, Giles and Louisa (only 13, at the time) we would wish to offer condolences for the loss of a loving man and a caring father, whose ashes were scattered in the Mediterranean, because of the long-planned world cruise, which never came to fruition. Also to his sister, Joan Cinnamon, on this further bereavement, some 18 months after losing her husband.

Frank E Howard (1933-39)
died suddenly on 6th May 1989

- the day following his attending a wedding in Cardiff (where he had enjoyed meeting some old BBC friends he had last seen some 20 years previously) and, very unfortunately, a week before his daughter, Rona, was to be married.

Upon leaving the School at the age of 16 (where he had played for the 1st XI and earned 1st XXII colours, with his 25 bowling victims) Frank went to the Woolwich Arsenal, as a chemist, and then joined the BBC in 1940 as a junior maintenance engineer in Radio. This was the start of a career in the BBC that was to last over 40 years. Based initially in Maida Vale, it was then that he first became acquainted with Aldenham House, whilst it was under BBC occupation and when, of course, the "BBC block" was constructed.

In 1942 he joined the Royal Navy, and as a telegraphist petty officer saw action in the Far East on the aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable. His tasks were the maintenance and operation of radio and navigational equipment on board ship and on its compliment of Fairey Swordfish aircraft.

In 1946 he returned to the BBC in London, based at Alexandra Palace, where he became involved in the early days of BBC Television, in outside broadcasts, covering events all over the country. He took a leading role in planning the TV coverage of the Festival of Britain from the South Bank in 1951. In this period, he played for the OHCC as a change bowler, appearing in 7 of the 11 games in 1950 (their 4th season) and occasionally over the next two years. 

In 1955, he married Margaret, who also worked at the BBC, and Ron A Benge (1932-38) was their best man. The same year they moved to Cardiff, where he helped to set up BBC Wales. These were busy and experimental times in television, and he was involved in outside broadcasts, almost always "live" in those days, of events all over Wales. These ranged from rugby internationals at Cardiff Arms Park, religious broadcasts from Welsh chapels and cathedrals, to coverage of climbers on the heights of Snowdonia. Their three children were all born in Wales. 

Following promotion, the family moved back to London in 1968 and settled in Radlett, principally to be close to the School for David and Jonathan. As Head of Engineering (Radio) Outside Broadcasts (London) he was responsible for covering all major national and international events, such as the investiture of the Prince of Wales in Caernafon in 1969, the Olympic Games in Munich, Montreal and Moscow and all the Commonwealth Games and World Cups up to his retirement in 1981. He had travelled widely in his job and his final project was helping to set up the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra tour to China and Japan.

In 1977, he was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal for services to Broadcasting. He attended a number of Association functions, particularly the pre-1940 reunions and Fathers and Sons dinners, whilst he lived in the Home Counties. However in 1983, he and Margaret moved back to Wales, to enjoy retirement at the Old Rectory, Llansantffraed, near Brecon, on the banks of the Usk. "Retirement" consisted of keeping a few sheep, goats and chickens and, latterly, opening up the Old Rectory as a small B & B establishment!

He was also actively involved in the local community of Talybont-on-Usk and was President and Secretary of the Brecon and District Railway Society. As a keen gardener, he was now in his element with the fertile soil of the Usk valley and the friends he had made in his six, all too short years of retirement. The number of these was evidenced by the attendance at his funeral in Llansantffraed, which was also attended by his best man.

His elder son, David, summed up his father as a quiet and gentle man - an epitaph with which OH contemporaries and friends will be in full agreement. He left a widow, Margaret, and their family, Rona, David C (1986-77Dec), and Jonathan W (1969-78Dec) 


John L. HOFFMAN (1934-39)
died in hospital on 19 July 1985 at the age of 61.

John commenced his war service as an Ordinary Seaman on the North Sea Patrol in July 1942. He was later commissioned Sub. Lieut. and was 2nd in command of Landing Craft Tanks at the Normandy Landing on D. Day in June 1944. He then commanded LCT in Eastern Waters. Upon his return to civilian life John entered a merchant bank and was approaching his retirement when he suffered a stroke. 

To his widow, Doris (Mickie) and their daughters Louise and Teresa, we offer condolences on their sadly sudden loss. 

Graham W. HARGREAVES (1935-39)
died on 9 September 1985.

Leaving the School at 16 after gaining his 2nd XI cricket colours Graham joined the National Provincial Bank as a temporary clerk in December 1939. Upon joining the 1st Battalion of the King's regiment in February 1942 he saw service in the Western Desert before going to Italy in October 1943 and then on to Greece in December of the following year.

Two years later Graham rejoined the Bank at their Barnet Branch. His potential was soon recognised and he was transferred to the Head office Staff department in March 1950 shortly before his 27th birthday. Thirteen years later he became a Chief Accountant's Assistant and prior to the formation of the NatWest group at the beginning of 1970 was appointed Financial Controller, South East Region responsible for the financial accounting methods of the Bank's Branch network. In January 1974 he was promoted Controller, Personnel Services, based at Draper's Gardens in the City. At 57 Graham received his final appointment as Personnel Manager based at Head Office 41 Lothbury having responsibility for staffing a number of specialist departments. He retired at the end of 1982, a few months short of 40 years' actual banking service.

Moving down to Donhead St Andrew in Dorset, Graham quickly adapted to village life, becoming Secretary and Treasurer of the Parochial Church Council and a bell-ringer at the church, as well as creating and editing the first village newsletter. He was always a keen gardener, maintained his interest in cricket as a member of the MCC and took his retirement exercise by playing badminton. We would express our condolences to his widow, Eleanor on the all-too-short period of that retirement and to their daughters, Janet and Susan.


OH (Bill)Van Weede (died in 2002)

Paul Deneman (died in 2001)


EH (Charlie) Amstien (died in 2001)

Frank E Beaven (died in 1995)

WR Drown (died in 1999)

Robert E Holgate (died in 1995)

John E Hughes (died in 1996)

George W Spiers (died in 2002)

Kenneth H Vere (died in 1992)

Ronald AF Adams (died in 1996)

Frederic C Davies (died in 1992)

Leo CG Green (died in 1999)

John Hibbert (died in 1997)

AL Keyes (died in 1998)

William F Menhinick (died in 1987)

Donald F YALE (1929-37)

died on 28th September 1991, after suffering a stroke. As this came after an illness lasting for some time, it was a merciful release.

Donald (who had been awarded his 6th form privileges) left the School after sitting General Schools and joined what is now the National Westminster Bank. Apart from the 1939-45 war period (when he served in the RAPC), he remained with the Bank until reaching the retiring age, in 1980.

When his late father, Frank H (1902-06) was elected as President of the HOBC in 1948-49, Donald took over as the Honorary Treasurer, a position which the former had filled since 1937-38. It is doubtful whether Donald really relished the idea, but considered it a filial duty. Accordingly, after continuing for the following financial year, he was happy to step down, when another "volunteer" was found for 1950-51.

A year or two later, he married Eileen and, thereafter, became engrossed with his family. While continuing his membership, when the Association was formed in 1962, Donald decided against bridging the gap of nearly three decades, when the first real opportunity to do so came, in 1965, with the first of the decade dinners. Nevertheless, he was always interested to hear, or read about, the fortunes of the OHRFC and OHCC and continued to follow the School's social activities the medium of the 'Skylark', which he read from cover to cover. Until his illness, Donald took his exercise on the tennis court.

To Eileen, and their daughter, Patricia and two sons, Richard and Peter, we extend condolences for their loss.


Norman F. ROSS (1933-37) died in England on 11th January 1987, after a comparatively short illness, at the age of 66. Although handicapped with a withered arm, Norman not only played cricket for the School 2nd XI, but gained his 1st XXX colours, as well as being one of the pair which won the Open fives championships. Since most of his working life was spent abroad, little was known of his career, except that he initially retired to Greenwich in Connecticut. However, we are indebted to J.B.Stollmeyer, from whose appreciation of Norman, in the April edition of "The Cricketer.", we quote the following:

"Full of fun and joie de vivre, Norman played a significant role in the development of umpiring in the West Indies. He was a founder member of the Trinidad Umpires Council, of which he was the first secretary and the success of his work was the lynchpin on which the West Indies Umpires Association was formed.

As an active umpire, he reached Test status, but his main field was in administration and it is in this area that he left his mark on the development of the game in the West Indies and particularly Trinidad and Tobago.

During his career with Texaco, he was stationed in Bogota, Columbia, where he was responsible for reviving the game, as indeed he did, when transferred to Caracas, Venezuela,-where through his efforts at the Caracas Sports Club, the flag of cricket was kept flying high for many years.

Finally retiring to Malaga, Spain, he was assisting Gregory Gomez, son of the former West Indies Test player, Gerry, to form the Costa del Sol Cricket Association, at the time of contracting his fatal illness.

His family and many friends will dearly miss the company of this delightful extrovert."

On behalf of the Association, of which he was a life member, we would wish to add our condolences, particularly to his brother, Danny.

Aubrey G. BURNETT (1932-37)

died on 3 September 1985, after being seriously ill for a year having contracted the disease known as Guillon-Barre-syndrome.

Although Aubrey left the School at an early age (but not before gaining the Life Saving Bronze Medallion) because of the family's move to Yorkshire, he became a Life Member of the HOBC. Furthermore, upon the formation of the OHA in 1962 he showed his continuing interest by donating subscriptions and making the long journey to attend the pre-1940 Reunion in 1980. 

Following the family tradition he joined the textile trade and devoted all his working life to it. During the war, he was in the Royal Navy on patrols in the North Atlantic and the English Channel and his sea-going interests were continued for a number of years thereafter, as CO of the Huddersfield Sea Cadets. After becoming Sales Manager in 1957 Aubrey transferred to another company within the group in 1973 as Sales Director. After four mills had come together under the collective title of Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, he was appointed in 1982 as Sales Director of all four companies. The appointment involved extensive travelling to South America, Japan and Europe and he became fluent in French, German, Spanish and Italian. It was after a trip to Hong Kong and Japan. in October 1984 that his illness became manifest.

During the periods of travelling, Aubrey acquired a deep knowledge of the Bible and the Christian faith and he served Kirkburton church for twenty years as a Churchwarden, as Vice-Chairman of the Parochial Church Council and. all too briefly, as a lay reader. Aubrey was married in 1944 and to his widow. Barbara, who devotedly nursed him during his declining weakness and his final deafness. We offer our condolences on her tragic loss, with the hope that the gap will be partially filled through their daughter, Josephine and grandsons Alastair and Richard.

Harvey H. BLOWFIELD (1923-37)

died early in June 1999 less than two years after his brother Basil.

He attended the School between 1932 and 1937 and during the Second World War served in the Royal Gloucester Hussars with the rank of Captain.

Following the War he married Pat and they settled in Bournemouth where they bought and ran a hotel which was always a welcoming place for guests to stay.

He was a member of Parkstone Golf Club and Parkstone Yacht Club where he kept his boat. An enthusiastic sailer Harvey was always keen to enter all races but never won as he was too good hearted and never took another yacht's wind during a race.

Readers may recall the annual 'needle' match between Harvey and brother Basil on the Norfolk Broads mentioned in last year's obituary of Basil.

Harvey's ashes were scattered from his boat in the sea following the funeral service at All Saints' Church, Brunksome Park on 8th June 1999. The members of the Parkstone Yacht Club sailed past and each yacht placed a rose on the water.

Denis Aubrey STEED (1930-36)

died on 19th December 1986 at Guy's Hospital, while undergoing a 4 hour bypass operation, which had a 50/50 chance of considerably extending his life beyond the next few weeks. In view of his former occupation, Dennis had cheerfully accepted the odds, expecting to win.

Leaving School at 16, Dennis had not reached the sporting potential of which he was obviously capable. In addition to being the leading wicket taker in the 2nd XI, he had had a number of games with the 1st XI, while hooking in the 2nd XV at the age of 15 was later to establish him in the OHRFC "A" XV's of '37/38 and '38/39.

His business life started with Langley London Ltd (tile manufacturers), but, after a few years, he joined the family firm of bookmakers.

During the war he served in the Royal Artillery. While on leave from the Western Desert, he met his lifelong friend and contemporary, Harvey H Blowfield in Alexandria. Thereafter, Dennis saw service in Italy and was demobbed with the rank of gunner - as he had started! 

While continuing with his elder brother in the book-making business, he was a regular attendee at the Association Dinner and at the reunions. However, when he and his brother closed down the firm, he bought a post office and stores in Biddenden, where he and his wife, Hazel, served the village, thus precluding visits to the London area for the dinners and reunions. 

In 1979, he retired to Broadstairs, from whence the Blowfield brothers made arrangements so that he could attend the pre-1940 reunion in April last year. Accordingly his contemporaries and others saw him looking well, as they would wish to remember him.

To Hazel and their son, Glenn, our condolences upon their sad loss, so comparatively soon after retirement.

Alfred Edward KING (1929-36)

died on 12th May 1999.

Alfred attended the School in the inter-war years being a member of Meadows House matriculating in 1935 and then taking a full time course in quantity surveying at the Regent Street Polytechnic for the next three years.

During the War he first served with the East Surrey Regiment in March 1940 and then from 1942 to 1946 with the Royal Engineers Works Services. In 1944 having married Eswyn Marqueurite Dawson he was posted to India and Burma where he helped supervise the building of the Tamu/Kalewa Road. Alfred was discharged with the rank of W.O.2 Royal Engineers in February 1946.

Alfred had two daughters Gillian, born in 1948 and Barbara, born in 1952, to whom we are grateful for the notes on her father and to whom we send condolences for the sad loss.


Captain N P Brown R.N. M.B.E.(1929 - 1935) - passed away peacefully at home on 24th July 2013

Peter Brown

The following information has been provided by Peter's daughter, Sue Taylor.

Peter was born in Dollis Hill on 2nd September 1919, he was the eldest of 3 children.   He was educated at Haberdashers and kept up his connections with the school through the Old Boys Association and the Haberdashers Lodge.  His younger brother, Stuart, was also educated at Haberdashers.

After leaving school he started to train in a paper mill in Scotland prior to the outbreak of war. During the war, already a member of the Royal Naval Reserve, he served on a number of minesweepers along the east coast of England and at the Dunkirk evacuation.  He was later appointed as Torpedo Officer on HMS Vestal.  Peter was one of a very few survivors when Vestal was sunk off Phuket Beach in Thailand after being attacked by a Kamikaze Japanese pilot.

After the war, Peter returned to the paper industry.  In November 1947 he married Eileen. He also continued with an active role in the Royal Naval Reserves until his retirement from the navy in April 1968.  After this he continued his connection with the Navy through the Sea Cadets and in 1995 was presented with an MBE for his service to young people.  Eileen and Peter retired to Poole in Dorset to live as near as possible to the sea and also to be near to family.

Peter passed away peacefully at home on the 24th July 2013.  He is survived by his wife, Eileen and two daughters.

William R. (Nobbly) TANNER (1929-35) died after a short illness on 16th August 1997. 

The following is the eulogy given by Tony Alexander at the funeral of Nobbly on Saturday 23rd August 1997 at Golders Green where in excess of 150 family, friends and Old Haberdashers' were present.

"Born 29th February 1916, died peacefully 16th August 1997.

"Dear Bill, or 'Nobbly', as we in the O.H. all knew him, had only celebrated 20 birthdays, when he died, not 81 as he would have us believe! Our thoughts go out to his family, here today, at their sad loss.

"A kind, humble person, some might even say, stubborn at times, with his heart only in one place - Haberdashers: Mr Haberdasher, the like of which we will never see again.

"A noble person in his own right, hence his nickname "NOBBLY"! Under pressure at school one day, reading a passage to the class, under the eagle eye of one Mr. Norton, he struggled to put emphasis on a particular passage. "He nobly strode forth resolutely", he tried. But instead, "He NOBBLY strode forth resolutely", came out. Ever since that eventful day, the legend was created, our own NOBBLY TANNER was born!

 "I first remember Nobbly some 45 years ago, coming off the rugby pitch at Croxdale Road with my father, Terry. The Elstree mud was thick on everyone, the side had won against K.C.S. by a convincing margin, and all Nobbly wanted to do was get to the changing room, get out his pipe after first having a cigarette, and complain to Terry that, for the final try, instead of holding the ball in the back row and scoring himself the tactics should have been different, so as to allow Nobbly to score his hat-trick! This he complained, would have made his records easier to compile, without having to put Alexander on the score sheet

 "HIS RECORDS! They will be remembered most of all! How many times when on rugby and cricket tours, have we dived into his record ledgers? Who was in the 'A' XV team, on 19th October 1957, the original selection and those who actually played? What was the score, who were the scorers, what was the weather like when the Extra 'B' played U.C.S. Old Boys on 5th November 1969? How many appearances did that make John Parker's playing total? It's all there, for every team, rugby and cricket - and of course his unstinting work as registrar for the O.H.A. The chasing up of members for their subscriptions, organising decade dinners, wine and cheese parties, amending addresses, knowing telephone numbers from memory and who attended the O.H.A. Dinner in 1974 - the Number and the Names! It's all there, and now alas no more. A chapter in history is closed, never to be emulated again.


"Born in Wandsworth on the 29th February 1916, staying in South London as a boy and joining Haberdashers' at Westbere Road in 1929, in Hendersons House. Not the greatest academic, he matriculated in the required subjects, captaining the School at rugby from his position at outside half and captaining his house at cricket in his final year at school. He left in 1935 to take up a post in the City, with a shipping company, where he stayed until his retirement.

"He played for the O.H.R.F.C. during the winter, the first choice fly half for the 1st XV, taking to the field in the summer for his other love - cricket. In fact he was one of the elite O.H. to have graced the hallowed Twickenham turf, playing in the only pre-war O.H. Middlesex sevens side that got through to the finals!

"With the outbreak of war in 1939, Nobbly joined the Middlesex Yeomanry, along with my father and many other O.H., but in his humble manner, decided in his own mind, not to go forward to the Officer Cadet Training Unit, as he did not think he was officer material! He became a sergeant in the 7th Armoured Division, posted overseas in November 1940, serving in Greece and North Africa. It was during his time in North Africa, when the Axis forces overran the Allies at Tobruk, that he was captured by the advancing German forces and became a P.O.W. for some months! During his captivity, he was also one of the very few to have an audience with Field Marshall Rommel. Not many people have that claim to fame - playing rugby at Twickenham and speaking with Rommel.

"He was released in 1942, after El Alamein, immediately drafted to serve in the Italian landings where he was wounded in 1943. Not one to complain at this setback, he returned to the 7th Armoured Division brought to North West Europe, taking part in the D-Day preparations and landings.

"Life for Nobbly during the war years, as indeed for the rest of his life, was centred around Old Haberdashers, keeping in touch, reporting back news and getting in a few games of rugby. True to his style an extract appeared in a letter he wrote home, mentioning an unexpected meeting. In true "Nobbly" style, it read... 

"Have managed to get in five games of rugger, 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 drawn, the last of which was played on the Sunday against one of our tank regiments. It was raining and blowing and I wasn't taking much interest. It wasn't until the second half, when a voice whispered in my ear, "Hello Nobbly, how are you?" It was Gordon Steele. Sorry unable to get his regiment, rank or number, but there was no club house to repair to after the match, only a 10 mile journey back in wet kit" Such was the man in any condition.

"When Nobbly was demobbed in 1945, he returned back to "Civvy" street, taking up his old position at his company and setting about the resurgence of the O.H.R.F.C., O.H.C.C. and H.O.B.C., the forerunner of the O.H.A. He moved to Barnes to live with his sister, getting the train out to match days for both cricket and rugby. Although he had driven armoured vehicles during the War, he decided it would be unfair to unleash himself on the British motoring public and never drove again, not that he needed to, when he moved down the road to Elstree!

"Nobbly played many, many games of rugby for all O.H. sides, breaking his neck twice and several other bones in his body. Indeed a note from the late John Stagg's diaries, which you might have read, sums him up.

"Sunday 20th October 1957"...

"In going for a score yesterday, Tanner broke his neck. I called on Nobbly with Ray Kipps. It was not pleasant, but he was his usual self in many ways, scores, scorers noted on his Sunday Times. Only one brief mention that he would never play again - which we quickly refuted. l wonder how many O.H. who had just broken their necks would really care who scored for the 'B' XV the day before? There is only one Tanner."

"Although not in the best of health, Nobbly still always managed to retain that twinkle in his eye, together with that humour that was his own; but pains and ailments seemed recently to get the better of him. Many, many more things could be said about dear Nobbly, so let us all recall our own particular thoughts and memories of him here today. We will miss you Nobbly, from your perch in the old stand watching the 1st XV, notebook to hand; or in the cricket score hut, complaining about who is bowling; or getting that late night phone call at 11.30 pm, to see if you are attending a function. We will miss the pungent smell of that Old Shag tobacco from your pipe and the many packets of Senior Service cigarettes smoked.

"We will all miss you deeply, Nobbly":

"Looking through a collection of poems, I came across a verse by a Northern poet, one Thomas Wilson, which could have summed up Nobbly:

"Thy joints are creaking with age. mine get more rigid daily too;

A few more seasons in this stage must bring us to our last adieu.

And when the curtain falls at last, should any one our story tell,

May this the sentence be that's pass'd, they both their parts have acted well."

Take care Nobbly. Goodbye and God bless you."

W.R. (Nobbly) TANNER Memorial Appeal

The response to the appeal was magnificent raising over £8,500 from all around the world. So many letters of praise for the work that Nobbly did, and the communication that he maintained with members. The following extract from one of these says it so well.

' you say, Nobbly was unique in the true sense of that word. How he found time to pen what must have been a multitude of personal missives to O.H.A. members defies imagination; he will not just be a hard act to follow but impossible to emulate. Certainly he was the one person who convinced me that I should not give up my membership."

The memorial plaque has been produced, and was displayed at the O.H.A. dinner. The officers of the association are currently looking for a registrar to assemble all the records.

Kelvin Pike


Stanley C POLLARD (1926-35)

died on 4 January 1992.

 He was a School Prefect and Vice Captain of Russell's House. After General Schools and matriculation in 1932, his Higher Schools and Inter BSc followed two years later, with an Open Natural Science Exhibition to Jesus College, Oxford and a Leaving Exhibition. His main sporting interest was rifle shooting and helped to form the original Rifle Club at the School, materially assisting Russells to win the first-ever inter-House shooting competition by being runner-up to the individual champion.

Upon coming down from Oxford, in 1938, with an upper Second, Stanley joined the Burma Frontier Service, serving until independence was granted in 1947, by which time, he had achieved the rank of Assistant Resident. However, he was seconded to the British Army in Burma in 1943, being commissioned with the rank of Captain.

After Burma became independent, Stanley joined the Colonial Service in Nigeria in 1948, returning in 1960, shortly after that country's independence.

 Returning to the UK, still only in the early forties, he took a Certificate of Education course at Bristol University and in 1961, took upon appointment at Strathallan School in Perthshire. When he finally retired, 21 years later, he had been the head of the Biology Department for many years.

In spite of his long overseas sojourn, Stanley had become a life member of the HOBC. When the Association introduced decade dinners, in 1965, he expressed keen interest in those who attended particularly those of the 1930-39 group. However, his school duties and the long trek from Scotland, precluded his own attendance. Although his retirement home was near Banbury, he evidently decided his roving days were over - especially with a night journey back to Oxfordshire.

Unfortunately, his wife died a year after his retirement. To their two sons, John (who kindly supplied most of the foregoing information) and Christopher, we extend condolences on the end of such a varied life and career.

H Stanley NODES (1926-35)

died on 26th July 1990, at the age of 73. 

Of his various sporting talents, it was at football that Stanley made the greatest impression, hooking for the School 1st XV for three seasons and being awarded his colours for the last two. At 6ft or more, he needed sizeable props, who were fortunately available, at that time. He was also a sound place-kicker and accounted for 92 of 315 points scored in his last season. Stanley also played fives for the School, gaining his colours in his final year, kept wicket for the 1st XI in 1934 and was in the athletics team (weight and long jump) for three seasons. He was also a School Prefect, Captain of Strouts and passed his General Schools in 1933.

After leaving the School, he joined the family business, a firm of undertakers, which had been founded early in the 19th century. Starting at the bottom rung, he was able to find time to play a season or two for the OHRFC, still as a hooker, but found his path to the 1st XV barred by one who was later to play for Middlesex in the County Championship. Later on, however, his business took precedence. Accordingly, he was delighted when the OH Fives Club was formed in 1936 and he was in the 1st IV, when matches were arranged in the following year. Pairing with Maurice J P Daly (1928-32) he also entered the Cyriax Cup, the Amateur Doubles Championship. These were evening events, of course, thus not impinging on his business career.

At the beginning of 1939-45 war, Stanley married Spi, to whom he remained devoted all her life, which tragically ended, nearly 50 years later. Joining the Royal Fusiliers in June 1940, he saw action in North Africa, Egypt and Italy with the 8th Battalion. During the Italian campaign, in January 1944, he was twice wounded, while leading his platoon to capture a German post and encouraging his men to retain it, against counter-attacks. His gallantry earned the award of the Military Cross. Thereafter, Stanley became an Instructor at the 163 OCTU, begin demobbed with the rank of Major.

Rejoining the family business, he became the fourth generation of the Nodes family to be its Chairman and had served the company over a spread of 55 years - half-a-century, in an active capacity. His nephew, Michael, is now the 5th to run it - regrettably, the last Nodes to be in charge, after two centuries or more. The latter's wife, Ann, has pointed out that one of the origins of their family name is thought, appropriately to mean, in Old English, a funeral pyre.

Stanley was a life member of the HOBC and continued to make annual donations after the Association was formed, in 1962. Unfortunately, when the first 1930-39 decade dinner took place, three years later, he was already plagued with kidney stones and had to send his regrets at being unable to attend to meet some of his School and OHRFC contemporaries.

To his elder brother, R H (Jerry) Nodes (1919-24) and his wife Joan and their son Stephen, to Ann and Michael and the latter's brother Nicholas, we offer condolences at the loss of a brother and uncle; a sterling man and true gentleman.

Robert Horton, MBE,

was born in London on July 5,1917. He died on January 2, 2003, aged 85.

"Bob Horton was born in London, the son of a science teacher. He was educated at the Haberdashers' Aske's School and Guy's Hospital Medical School, and qualified in January 1939.

At the start of the war, he was posted as medical officer to an anti-aircraft unit in the Fast End of London. For bravery working with civilian casualties of the bombing in 1940, he was appointed MBE (military). Later he was deployed in India and Burma. He took part in the Arakan campaign and went on to command a mobile surgical unit in the front line.

At the end of the war he was appointed officer in charge of the surgical division of a military hospital in Rangoon and finally a full colonel in charge of Rangoon's: general hospital. After six years' service, he was awarded the honorary rank of lieutenant-colonel.

In January 1951 Horton was appointed senior lecturer in surgery at the University of Bristol, later becoming a consultant surgeon at the United Bristol Hospitals. He was a pioneer in the field of vascular surgery, using grafts to save legs from amputation, and his first results were published in the British Medical Journal in 1956. In Bristol he also began the treatment of hernia under local anaesthesia as day cases. He was appointed clinical dean of Bristol University in 1961 and established a modernisation programme for the teaching curriculum. 

In 1960 the Royal College of Surgeons appointed him an examiner for the primary FRCS exam. In 1967 he was appointed to the Court of Examiners of the College, and he became chairman of the court in 1972. In 1966 he was awarded the Erasmus Wilson Demonstration, Royal College of Surgeons, and in 1973 he was made the Hunterian Professor of the Royal College, reading a paper on the use of vein grafts to treat gangrene, previously treated by amputation of the limb."

Taken from The Times 25th February 2003

Alan C. HARDING (1929-35)

He regularly attended the decade dinners, commencing with the original 1930-39 meeting which took place in April 1965.

Upon leaving the School, he joined Barclays Bank, going to many branches throughout North London, ending up as manager of the Holly Lodge, Highgate Office.

 He married Nora in 1955 and they were able to enjoy some 20 years of retired life, when he finished his working career in 1976, originally with their son Peter and daughter, Andrea, both now married. Alan was only two or three months away from celebrating his 50 years as a Methodist Preacher.

The Association offer their condolences to Nora, their two children and two grand-children.

Peter Dixon (died in 1997)

Geoffery T Hammond (died in 2002)

Harold H Hoffman (died in 1999)

William J Kramers (died in 2001)

D Ronald Steele (died in 1991)


David Owen Jones - died 4th January 2013, aged 95.

David Owen Jones

David Owen Jones was born in Hampstead in 1917, the family later locating to Ruislip.

He went to Haberdashers School of which he remained fiercely proud all his life. Not being academic he joined the Railways clerical staff until the War. He then saw army service in Egypt, Libya and Palestine. Like many of his contemporaries he said little about it in subsequent years.

Afterwards he went back to the railways for a spell but then joined the NHS in hospital financial administration, his final post being at Mount Vernon Hospital.

In retirement he moved to Overstrand in North Norfolk where he had family connections. He stayed there until he had a stroke in April 2011 and finally moved up to Beverley in November of that year.

School had given him a strong interest in rugby and he was an eager follower of the School Old Boys side, spending many Easters with them on tour in the West Country as well as often watching home and away matches in the London area.

His early work with the railways gave him an even greater passion – steam trains. He loved them and became very knowledgeable, travelling great distances to see something special.

He was a prolific reader of books, especially historical and political biographies and he was also a staunch Church goer and was often to be found on Church Tower duty in the summer.

He died in January 2013, aged 95

Information provided by David's nephew David Smith.

Henry Michael Excell 22nd August 1918 – 26th October 2010

Obituary provided by Peter Excell, Henry’s son; Professor and Dean at Glyndwr University,Wales

henry excell

Henry Excell was born in Hampstead,North London, the youngest son of a gardener in the service of a peer of the realm, although the Excell family roots were in Berkshire. Showing great ability at primary school (New End School, Hampstead), Henry was awarded a scholarship to pay for his attendance at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School. A by-product of his time there was the proximity of the Midland Railway main line (the school was then based near Cricklewood): many of the boys were fascinated by this, but there were grave penalties for those who even so much as glanced sideways through the windows as the train passed, rather than concentrating on the blackboard! Notwithstanding this, this inspired a lifelong interest in railways, which he shared with a school colleague (Geoffrey Suggate) and which he later passed on to his son, Peter.

On leaving school he sought work, not surprisingly, with the railways, securing an accountancy post with the Great Western Railway. In parallel in this period there was a vibrant culture of "making things", shared with his school friend and with his brother John. They built a very large model railway in a redundant shed; they produced various items of furniture and, perhaps most noteworthy, they built a substantial model engineering workshop in a shed that they created from scrap timber, the crowning glory being a foot-powered lathe, which they purchased second-hand and then transported in pieces, with the heaviest parts slung from a bicycle crossbar!

At the outbreak of the Second World War Henry volunteered for the Air Force, in advance of call-up, in the hope of becoming a pilot, a hope unfortunately dashed due to his small degree of myopia. The Air Force, however, recognised his usefulness as an accountant and, after basic training at St Athan, he was placed with little warning on a ship heading to the Middle East. His parents were not even aware that he had left the country until a friendly person in Cape Town offered to send them a message!

The ultimate destination was Egypt, where he spent the majority of the war administering support functions for the Air Force. He was classified as an accountant officer and here he learned Arabic, to manage the substantial contingent of local personnel. His memories were laced with tales of evocative places in Egypt and Libya and he also was able to take at least one leave period in the Holy Land.

He commented that, in the darkest days of the early 1940s, he and his colleagues had made a settled decision that, if Britain had fallen, they would make their way down to Kenya and fight on rather like the Free French.

He returned to England around the end of the war in Europe, being deployed to the RAF Hospital at Rauceby in Lincolnshire. In the office next to Henry's was a Women's Royal Air Force uniformed clerk, with whom a magical relationship was soon struck up, not least because she was also a very accomplished sportswoman. This was Elna, his beloved wife for 64 years.

Many memorable stories were told of life at the hospital in subsequent years, some poignant, some more hilarious, including Henry being given a severe dressing down by Matron for failing to salute her, since she held a superior military rank!

Around this time, his family found out that his beloved brother John had died of disease 3 years earlier, while a prisoner of war, forced to work on the Burma Railway project: a traumatic discovery that left a lasting emotional scar on Henry.

Henry and Elna were engaged in 1945 and, after she had taken him to see her predominantly Welsh-speaking family in Corwen and won their approval, they married in 1946.

After demobilisation, Henry tried to get back to work on the railways, but prospects there were poor and he was fortunate instead to obtain a post with the Westminster Bank. He distinguished himself by winning the Whitehead Prize of the Institute of Bankers, resulting in him being earmarked for advancement.

Consistent with his culture of "making things", when Henry and Elna bought their first house they essentially transformed it through their own handiwork, notably with extensive carpentry, DIY decorating and rewiring of the house. Interspersed with this was skilled carpentry in making toys for their son Peter, who comments that this permanently imbued him with the credo that “making things is good for the soul”.

In the early 1960s he was promoted to a managerial grade and they moved to the London suburb of Totteridge. The house backed on to a tennis club and this was manna from heaven to Henry and Elna, who had always been enthusiastic tennis players.

Henry's career blossomed through the 1960s as the Westminster Bank merged with the National Provincial Bank to become National Westminster. The results of this included many more foreign trips, culminating in a world tour which ended with a flight home on the late lamented Concorde: a memorable conclusion to a glittering career. He retired as a General Manager of the International Banking Division of National Westminster in 1977, being one of the top dozen or so people in the Bank, at a time when bankers were trusted and respected - and not overpaid!

Despite this high-powered executive career, he still made time to make things as a hobby, principally building his substantial model railway.

After retirement, Henry and Elna increasingly felt thatLondonwas not the place where they wished to live out their later years and they settled on Pembrokeshire, supporting the Church, Henry rebuilding his railway, playing golf and being active in the Probus Club and in politics. They were delighted when Peter married Dianne and doted on their grandchildren Matthew and Charlotte.

In recent times, Elna had suffered health problems and this had driven Henry to regard himself as her principal carer. He stretched himself to the limit in this, as would always be his natural inclination. Losing this support was an enormous blow to her, but she has gamely tried to be more independent: like the rest of the family, she has drawn strength from Henry’s example.

Sadly, we have had to say a deeply fond farewell to him, but in knowledge of a life well lived, through times both ‘interesting’ and difficult. He was an immensely hard act to follow but, for the family at least, not to try so to do is not an option.

Henry died at WithybushHospital, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, on 26th October 2010, having been in excellent health until suffering a fall some 3 weeks earlier. His funeral was held at St. Brynach’s Church, Dinas Cross, on November 5th 2010, followed by cremation at Narberth Crematorium. His ashes were interred in St Brynach’s church graveyard.

Cyril F Diggins (died in 2002)

John LB Graham (died in 1990)

EW Leonard (died in 2001)

John N Wall (died in 1994)

E J (Dicky) SMALL (1930-34)

died on 17th March 1987, after being in failing health for upward of a year.

Apart from being in excellent sportsman (School colours for Rugby football, cricket and athletics - of which he was captain) Dicky was a School prefect, Captain of Russells and successful in the London University Higher Schools examination. Upon leaving, he studied to be a teacher and, during the war, returned to the School at Westbere Road to teach English and to coach the first XV.

After marrying Deborah in 1945, he joined the teaching staff at Reigate Grammar School and, two years later, moved to Friends School, Saffron Walden. In the interim, their first son, Richard, was born to be followed, in 1951, by Timothy, during their eight years in Essex. After a three year spell at a Hertfordshire school, Dicky went to Brymore School in Somerset, where he was appointed a housemaster in 1960 and became a lay reader at the local church that same year.

The two boys went to Taunton School to follow in their father’s sporting prowess, Richard becoming the captain of rugby football, while Timothy shone at cricket and acted in school plays. With both sons following in his footsteps by embarking upon teaching careers, Dicky decided to give his full time to the Church and became a curate at St Thomas Church, Wells, in 1971, having been ordained three years previously. In 1975. he became Rector of Rodney Stoke-with-Draycott, before being appointed Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the period 1980-85 upon his retirement, in the former year, to Wells. Here, he resumed his close connection with St Thomas’, both he and Deborah singing in the choir, while Dicky preached and assisted at services. He also preached at the Methodist Church in Wells.

 Dicky was a Life member of the Old Boys, and when the Association Decade Dinners started in 1965, he delighted his contemporaries by making the long trip on several occasions.

Kenneth H. GRIFFITHS (1927-34)

died on 17 March 1985

Kenneth boxed for the School and played for the 2nd XV. In common with many others he joined the TA early in 1939 and in September was posted to 514 Company RASC, becoming a sergeant in July 1942. His overseas service started the following month, first with the 8th Army in the Western Desert, then in Iraq, Sicily, Italy and finally in Jugoslavia.

Upon retiring from the insurance business he went to the Isle of Wight, where he renewed contact with the late Arthur S. Wilshire (1924-33). To his widow we offer condolences for her sad loss.


Dr Denis Hand-Bowman. (Formerly D.H. Baumann) 1917 - 2015

Obituary provided by Michael Hand-Bowman

My father entered Haberdasher's in 1928 from Quainton Hall Prep School, Harrow, and was eventually head boy of the Lower School, under Josh Blunt.

 All boys then had to be in the Corps, and he was bugler in the band.

 He was a good allrounder and represented the school at sprinting, long jump, swimming, rugby, and fives for which he got his house colours (Joblings). After school cert., he studied for his premedical in the medical department of the Regent Street Polytechnic. Here he joined the Polytechnic Harriers and ran for them in the AAA Championship at White City, achieving both gold, silver and bronze medals.

In 1935 he entered Guy's Hospital Dental School qualifying at the end of 1940, and was selected as House Surgeon at the Royal Dental Hospital. Whilst there, he played rugby for the 1st XV of the Combined Charing Cross and Royal Dental Hospitals. He also swam in the 1st VII Water Polo Team. Whilst at Guy's he joined the medical branch of the University of London OTC, so at the end of his House job, he entered the Army Dental Corps in September 1941 as a Lieutenant and was promoted Captain a year later. (Now the Royal Army Dental Corps)

After his initial training he was sent to the Queen Victoria Hospital East Grinstead, Maxillofacial Unit, to learn how to re-build jaws under the world famous pioneering surgeon Archibald McIndoe.

Early in 1943 he was he was posted to the 33 Field Dressing Station. As the unit was landing on D Day in Normandy, they were sent to Scotland to train with Combined Operations. On returning to England, in September 1943 he married Margaret McQueen McArthur  In London. He then joined the 3rd Canadian Division, in No. 8 beach group, all landing on D Day on Juno Beach at Bernieres sur mer. He took part in the capture of Caen, Le Havre, and the final capture of Arnhem in 1945, finishing the war in Germany, and was demobilised from there in August 1946.

On the 1st January 1947, he started his own dental practice at Thorpe Bay, Essex, eventually having two other partners, and also practised part time in New Cavendish Street, London. In 1977 he retired to Crowborough, East Sussex, where he swam and played golf weekly, and always having been very fond of music, became a chorister in St. Dunstan's Church, Mayfield Choir, and also in the Mayfield Festival Choir.

He sang in Westminster Abbey, St George's Chapel, Windsor and Magdalen & New College, Oxford, as well as recording and broadcasting on BBC World Service Radio.

In 2009, his wife Margaret passed away, and in January 2015 he passed away peacefully with his family at his side.

He will be sadly missed by son Michael, daughter Wendy, granddaughter Serena, and son in law Richard.

Here is a link to the School memories he provided for the OHA website - The Original Housemasters and other memories. 

Maurice Zinkin (died in 2002)

Aurthor Southon (died in 1996)

E Roland Offord (died in 1995)

Clive FM Lello (died in 2000)

Geoffrey J Hersey (died in 2001)

Ralf A Hargrave (died in 1994)

Geoffrey C Eltringham (died in 1998)

Ivor W Davies (died in 1993)

Peter JF Cooper (died in 1995)

J Basil Blowfield (died in 1997)

Peter G Ashberry (died in 1999)

James C. TOWNLEY (1927-33)
died on 26 February 1985 at the age of 70.

His early education was at Bradford Grammar School, but when his family moved to London, he joined the School at the age of 12, becoming a sub-prefect and vice-captain of Henderson's and playing fives in the 2nd IV.

Having obtained an Open scholarship to Middlesex Hospital, James qualified in 1939. Thereafter, he served in the RAMC throughout the war, being at Dunkirk and later in West Africa. upon his return after holding a series of medical appointments, he joined a general practice at Harston, Cambridgeshire, where he spent the remainder of his life. The practice expanded to neighbouring villages, but after a time James found he missed the personal contact with his patients and decided to practise on his own. However, the increasing demands obliged him to take first one partner and then another.

In 1976 he had a serious illness, but made a remarkable recovery and was able to resume his calling. He shared a love of music with his wife, which was passed on to one of his daughters who became a professional violinist. James was interested in cricket and occasionally played golf, but the principal interest of this outstanding general practitioner was the welfare of his patients. To his wife, Joan, and their four children we extend our sympathy.

D.G.H. (Bunny) JOHNSTON (1921-33)
died on 1st April 1980 after a long illness, courageously borne. 

Douglas was an all-round sportsman, captaining the 1st XI at cricket, also gaining his colours at cross-country. He represented the School at swimming, fives, athletics and rugby, playing scrum-half for the 1st XV in the Spring term of 1933.

While at St Catharine's College he captained the Cambridge Hare & Hounds II against Oxford University. During the war he was commissioned in the Cameron Highlanders, but was re tired from regimental service through injury. Thereafter he was an instructor at the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun, with the rank of Captain.

Neil BROWN (1926-33)
died on 9th April 1991

Neil joined the HOBC upon leaving the School, so had been a member for more than 57 years. In fact, he must have been one of the last to be signed on by the late Stanley H Norton, who was the club's liaison officer at the School and was assistant secretary and assistant treasurer, at the time. Neil was a devout Christian, joining the Crusaders before leaving and later becoming a member of the Open Plymouth Brethren, preaching in many Evangelical churches and at conferences in the southeastern area.

He first worked for Henry and Co., a firm of estate agents, surveyors and valuers, before joining the LCC in September 1937, spending his early years at the County Hall, Westminster. At the outbreak of the 1939-45 war he was transferred to the London Fire Brigade clerical staff, before joining the 127 Parachute Field Ambulance in October 1940. Thereafter, he saw service in Greece (where he was slightly wounded during a parachute landing) Italy, France and Palestine.

Neil recommenced his County Hall career as a technical assistant in the architects department and in 1948, was elected an Associate Surveyor of the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors. He became an expert in the administration of the London Building Acts and byelaws, together with other associated Acts and Codes of Practice. Specifically, Neil was concerned with the highest level of public safety in connection with fire precautions and construction, involving factories, supermarkets, offices, shops, railway premises, hotels, boarding houses, schools, old peoples' homes and licensed premises in theatres and circuses etc. Becoming a Group Officer, he had the responsibility for the oversight and administration of a number of London boroughs within the GLC area. 

Developers and their agents sought Neil's advice and help on projects within the area he controlled, which was given readily and with the utmost courtesy - also saving them considerable finance and earning their appreciation and gratitude.

Within the County Hall, he was particularly admired and respected for the training he gave to young trainees in this very complex subject, which takes 5 to 7 years to master. 

He held firmly to his Christian beliefs and was a leading light in the Christian Union at the County Hall. One of his colleagues, for the 24 years before Neil's retirement in 1975, may be quoted as a fitting epitaph - "He had a fine sense of humour and was highly respected by all members of the Division. His contribution to the safety and well being of the public at large was outstanding and cannot be measured in words".

One of his sisters, Olive Hiner (who with two other sisters, has been responsible for researching his career details) noted that Neil had attended the football match at Chase Lodge, in April 1961, between a XV from the pre-Tom Taylor era and one from 1946-61 - is span, as Headmaster, at that time. Neil would have known a number of the former side (the youngest of whom would have been 34!) and he was encouraged to attend the 1930-39 decade dinners, which the OHA introduced in April 1965.

Clive H. BLOCKLEY (1926-33)
died on 27th August 1984 following the onset of Myeloid Leukaemia.

After returning from the Middle East at the end of the war, in which he was an oral surgeon, he joined a dental practice in Tunbridge Wells. Clive's humour was irrepressible and, to an inexhaustible supply of jokes old and new , he added a quick wit and infectious laugh. He could never see the point of being miserable and sorry for oneself, and tried to make sure his patients, his staff and those who worked with him left him more cheerful than when they joined him.

"Well I've had 68 happy years so I can't complain" he said shortly after being told that he was suffering from Myeloid Leukaemia. He bore the drastic treatment with typical cheerfulness and fortitude.

He loved professional life and belonged to many dental societies, including the British Dental Association, of which he was chairman of the local section. He was president of the American Dental Society of London in 1969 and the American Dental Society of Europe in 1980. He was a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of the City of London.

Clive was Senior Dental Officer and later Consultant Dental Surgeon at the Kent and Sussex and Pembury Hospitals. His good working knowledge of oral pathology and general medicine allowed him to build up a good relationship with his colleagues on the staff of both hospitals, and his sound advice and treatment was highly valued.

First and foremost, Clive was a family man and was tremendously proud of his children and grandchildren. Since his retirement, Doreen and he had spent their time helping their younger daughter, Frances, with her business, gardening and generally enjoying life to the full as always. We mourn the loss of a man whom none of us will forget.

Clive was a life member of the Association as is his brother, Spencer (1929-37). He leaves his widow Doreen, his family and to his brother.


Ken Blessley (1914 – 2012)

Ken was one of the stalwarts of the OHA and, until his death in April 2012, was amongst its oldest surviving members, having joined the OHBC (as it was known then) on leaving school in 1932. He wrote many contributions for various publications connected with the School and the OHA, which provided fascinating insights into life as a schoolboy in the 1920’s and 1930’s and into the early days of the OH, when material and financial resources were limited but there was no shortage of volunteers, either on or off the pitch.

He started his Haberdashers career in April 1920 at Westbere Road, following his elder brother, Don, into Calverts. His early career at school was one of solid, if not stellar, progress. As a local, he walked to and from school and lunched at home every day, until the attraction of improved fare for prefects proved irresistible. The last few years of school, however, were a period of much greater achievement, academically as well as in sports and other activities. Haberdashers only became a rugby-playing school in 1922, but rapidly developed prowess as a result of the talented coaching of a number of masters, and Ken played a number of games for the 1st XV. He became a prefect (this entitled him to wear a tasselled cap, eat an improved lunch menu at a separate table and use a cane – sparingly, apparently – for the punishment of lesser offences). With this came the Captaincy of Calverts (not matched by any subsequent family member!) and culminated in his being named School Captain in his final year, leaving in 1932.

He joined the Cadet Corps (at the time the 3rd Cadet Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers) and participated in weekly drills in the playground dressed in regular Army-issue, requiring regular applications of spit and polish – it did not change much in the next 40-50 years. Hefting a Lee-Enfield MkI .303 did not appeal, so he joined the Corps band as a bugler, thus complementing his keyboard skills learned from his mother, and rose to the rank of Sergeant. His Corps experience was to prove useful a few years later when, along with a number of fellow-OH, he enlisted after Munich, prior to the commencement of the Second War.

Ken obtained a place and a minor scholarship to study French and German at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He obtained a solid 2nd Class degree, but probably could have improved on this result had it not been for the terminal illness of his mother and her premature death a few weeks before his final exams. After graduating, he joined the family firm, Blessley & Spier, chartered surveyors and estate agents, as an articled clerk in their offices just above Finchley Road & Frognal BR station, with a view to qualifying as an RICS, which he achieved in 1938. In April 1939, he obtained his first remunerated position with a firm of surveyors in Park Lane, London.

Paid civil employment was to prove a short-lived experience as, after signing-up, in August 1939, he was embodied to a Field Company, Royal Engineers as a Sergeant, at Duke of York’s barracks in Chelsea, and did not return to a civil salary until February 1946.

His wartime experiences took him far-afield but, initially, were limited to Barnet, Scotland and the Midlands, before being posted overseas. His duties included bomb disposal and anti-invasion defences. During this period, after a spell at OCTU, he was commissioned in April 1940 and, more significantly, in Inverness met Gwen MacRae, whom he was to marry 6 years later on his return from overseas service.

Raymond Mays, Ken’s OC at the time, had been involved in the pre-war construction of the Trans-Iranian Railway, and had managed to convince Allied Command of the need to sever this vital link, which otherwise would give the German forces access to the Gulf oilfields, unless a number of major bridges were destroyed. Ken was posted to Persia but the Russian victory at Stalingrad meant that the Allies were now focused on shipping vast quantities of matériel to support the Russian westward advance. Accordingly, the military objective changed to improving the railway and road links from the Gulf ports to the Caspian, a distance of some 700 miles.

Thereafter, he began a long journey homewards which took him via Sicily, participating in the surprise invasion, which then served as the springboard for the invasion of mainland Italy and the push north. Still with the Royal Engineers, but now commanding a Company, he was involved in major initiatives at Caserta, Monte Cassino, Chiusi and the Mont Cenis Pass. Ken was repatriated in October 1945 after turning down promotion to a posting with the occupying forces in Berlin. In all he had spent 4¼ years of active overseas service, without home leave, and was demobbed with the rank of Major in February 1946. He was Mentioned in Dispatches twice (1942 and 1944) and was awarded the MBE (Military) in 1945 and the ED (TA).

Ken resumed his interrupted professional career, joining the Public Trustee Office as a property adviser, but then transferring to the Middlesex County Council in 1950. This move to local government was the beginning of a long and distinguished career in the public service, being appointed County Valuer for Middlesex in 1953. The massive reconstruction required after the war required his involvement in myriad projects where he played a key rôle, including the purchase of land for the construction of roads, schools, welfare and health facilities, fire and ambulance stations, as well as the consolidation and conservation of immense swathes of Green Belt.

With the reorganisation brought about by the London Government Act 1963, creating the Greater London Council, Ken was the only Middlesex Chief Officer to be appointed one of the GLC Controllers – Chief Valuer and Estates Surveyor. In this rôle, at the head of a department comprising 1,700 people, he became the largest landowner in the UK, with a multi-million pound programme, which included projects such as the revitalisation of St. Katharine’s Dock, Covent Garden Market, Thamesmead and the South Bank, to name but a few. He was awarded the CBE in 1974 for services to Local Government and retired in 1976.

An astonishingly active man, Ken was a major contributor to the development of his profession and its people, serving on and leading committees at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Association of Chief Estates Officers, the County Councils Association and the Cambridge University Land Society. In addition, he was involved in a number of Government committees and working parties in areas related to his fields of activity and was invited to speak on many occasions at City Guildhall, The House of Commons and prestigious universities.

Unbelievably, Ken also found time to be an active member of the HOBC, later to become the OHA, which he joined on leaving school. Not only did he have a long and successful career on the rugby field, but he also managed to dedicate much effort to leading or supporting projects which underpinned the structure, resources and facilities of the Association, culminating in being elected President in 1962.

Ken’s first appearance for the OHRFC 1st XV was on the 1935 Christmas Tour in Taunton and his last, again at Taunton, on Easter Monday 1949, having clocked up a total of 149 appearances, despite a 4¼ year absence on active duty. His final playing service was as Captain of the Extra A XV for the 1950-1952 seasons. A serious knee injury put paid to his playing career, but this did not stop him from refereeing on an active basis for a number of years, albeit more junior sides.

He successfully negotiated the agreement with the LCC which allowed the incorporation of a third rugby pitch (the current 1st XV pitch), as well as land to permit the location of the cricket square in the central area between the new and original pitches, thus creating a proper outfield. It also permitted the opening of the access from Croxdale Road, which continues to be the principal entrance, replacing the original access off Theobald Street.

On occasions, when volunteer labour made up for a lack of full-time staff, Ken would be seen on a Saturday morning driving a decrepit and unreliable Pattison towing a gang-mower to prepare the grounds for the afternoons games. It was a long time before a proper, much-used blue Fordson tractor replaced the original machine.

Another critical post-war function in which he participated, when private cars were in as short supply as good bitter beer, was the collection from Paddington Station of kegs of Wiveliscombe’s best, purchased by Arthur Jenkins and shipped up by train from Somerset, to serve at the Clubhouse bar on Saturday afternoon.

Together with a number of other OH volunteers with building, engineering or architectural skills, he was an active contributor to some of the projects which have withstood (some better than others) the passage of time and the elements. The construction of the Clubhouse was carried out by an amateur team, including Ronnie Diggens, Arthur Kerswell and John Stagg with OH perching precariously atop the main structure, spanners in hand, securing the A-frames which still support the roof today (and the interior false-ceiling erected many years later under the supervision of Robin Mathew). Facilities have improved since the original erection, but the structure is the same. The “new” extension bar was another important project.

With Gwen, there was rarely a Saturday that would pass when the Clubhouse would not be the social location for the evening, after having formed part of a large, vocal spectator group on the touchline. In addition, during an earlier period, the productions of the OH Dramatic Society proved to be a major draw. They were frequent visitors to the theatre in London and, later, after their move to the South Coast, Chichester and Brighton. However, his passion was always the OHRFC and he was made Life Member in recognition of his important contribution.

Motor racing was an important pastime in early adulthood and he was a member at Brooklands from 1935 up to the outbreak of war. His enthusiasm never waned and Ken was still able to provide well-informed commentary on F1 well into his 90’s. He conserved some magnificent photographs of pre-war track action.

He became a member of the MCC and was a regular follower of Middlesex’s fortunes in the County Championship, visiting Lords frequently until the later years.

He married Gwen in April 1946 in Inverness, after becoming engaged some six months earlier. His brother Donald and he were the only two men not wearing kilts at the ceremony. Gwen died in November 2005.

Ken is survived by his sons, Colin (1954 - 1965) and Andrew (1958 – 1968) and his grandchildren, Christopher, Thomas, Jonathan, Krista, Milo and Sebastian.             


Kenneth Blessley

Published at 3:57PM, July 24 2012

As Chief Valuer and Estates Surveyor for the Greater London Council from 1964 to 1977, Kenneth Blessley drove forward the first redevelopment of London's Docklands into commercial mixed-use space and set the pattern for the transformation of the capital's quaysides into highly sought after locations for homes, offices and leisure facilities as port activity began to recede.

By the mid-1960s it was becoming obvious that the swathes of London's Docklands would face dereliction in future years. And as the warehouses began to empty and the quayside cranes to droop, Blessley negotiated the deal to buy the 25 acre site of St Katharine's Dock, near Tower Bridge, from the Port of London Authority in 1969. The subsequent redevelopment of the docks and warehouses into houses (both public and private, including penthouses), offices, restaurants and pubs and a major new hotel surrounding an attractive yachting basin, proved to be a big hit, especially with City workers nearby. There was even a popular cultural element to the scheme as the artist Bridget Riley was given some disused warehouse space at an affordable rate to develop an atelier of artists' studios.

Blessley was praised for what was an early example of a public-private partnership between the GLC, which assembled the land, and the commercial developer Taylor Woodrow, which funded and built the scheme and leased the buildings from the GLC in return for a healthy ground rent. Blessley's entrepreneurial spirit in spotting opportunities and driving forward commercial development of London's fast-changing landscape in the 1960s and 1970s made him popular with the GLC's Tory administration under Desmond Plummer (1967-73). He had to overcome strong opposition from the Labour opposition at the GLC which fiercely resisted the sale of St Katharine Docks, and with it the admission that thousands of docking jobs would be lost, and of the GLC acting in such an overtly commercial manner. This he managed, chairing stormy steering groups on development proposals, with customary bluntness.

Blessley, who headed up a vast estates department at the GLC of some 1,700 people, also negotiated the £6 million deal to buy 12 acres of land at Covent Garden from the market authority after the flower and fruit and vegetable market relocated to Nine Elms in Battersea in 1973. Interested parties were poised to negotiate with Blessley on the assumption that the buildings in and around the 17th-century Inigo Jones-designed piazza would be swept away for wholesale redevelopment of a prime London site.

However, the Government intervened and spotlisted buildings scattered around the area, which necessitated moving the scheme forward as a heritage/conservation project. . In the midst of a global recession, it was not a good time to be asking the politicians for money, but Blessley eventually secured funding from the GLC to refurbishment of the market buildings. His instincts were proved correct and the recasting of the market buildings to be filled with restaurants, cafes, craft and gift shops would go on to become a big draw for tourists and a money spinner  for the landowner. He also negotiated the deals with London Weekend Television and the National Film Theatre to take up the remaining vacant plots along the South Bank and enhance its offer as a centre for the arts and culture.

Not all of Blessley's deals were successful. Perhaps the boldest one he negotiated was the 1965 purchase for £6.7 million of 1,300 acres near next to the Thames at Royal Arsenal which had long been used for the manufacture, storing and testing of weapons but which had outlived this purpose. The vision was to develop this land into 17,000 new homes as a modern city that would be known as Thamesmead. Despite the problems of dealing with unexploded ordnance, the first phases which mainly comprised  Brutalist tower blocks was built, but the money ran out and later phases were eventually;;cancelled, leaving the existing development isolated amid marshland by the Thames. The development would often be criticised for exemplifying the worst excesses of postwar housing design.

Kenneth Blessley was born in Hampstead in 1914 and educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School and St Catharine's College, Cambridge after which he was articled to a firm of surveyors in Hampstead.

He joined the Territorial Army in 1938 and during the war he commanded a company of Royal Engineers repairing bridges to allow troops to advance in Sicily through Caserta, Monte Cassino, Chiusi, Pesaro and Monte Cenis. He was mentioned twice in dispatches and was appointed MBE and ED.

He joined Middlesex County Council as Deputy County Valuer in 1950 and was appointed County Valuer in 1953. He assembled land over a period of time for a new town centre at Feltham and sought tenders from the private sector to develop commercial buildings in return for ground rent. He signed a deal with Hallmark Property and the resulting scheme generated considerable sums for the council.

The success of Feltham was noted and when Middlesex disappeared under the Local Government Act of 1963, Blessley was appointed Chief Valuer and Estates Surveyor of the newly created Greater London Council. It was a period during which he was able to replicate the Feltham model as the GLC increased its land holdings by more than 8,000 acres and invested more than £450 million in land and property. And with so much of London still not rebuilt after the war and increasing swathes of industrial land becoming derelict there were plenty of development opportunities in the capital.

He successfully campaigned for improvements to the property compensation code. At a time of major expansion in London's road network, he drew attention to a number of anomalies and hardships in the law governing compensation and compulsory acquisition. His presence on the Government's Urban Motorways Committee allowed him to put forward amending proposals, many of which were written into the Land Compensation Act 1973.

On retirement in 1977 he was appointed CBE.

Ken Blessley married, in 1947, Gwen Macrae who predeceased him in 2005. His two sons survive him.

Kenneth Blessley, CBE, surveyor, was born on February 28, 1914. He died on Apri110, 2012, aged 98

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Eric H Wilson (died in 2002)

Richard MB Tiddy (died in 1990)

Gerard H Kramers (died in 1996)

John V Goldsbrough (died in 1990)

Maxwell WJ Denham (died in 2000)

Maurice P Daly (died in 1994)

Arthur Burley (died in 2000)

James Peter Maurice THOMPSON (1925-32)
died on 13 April 1986 at the age of 70.

Peter left School in December 1932. His chief sporting interest there was boxing which was then a major School sport at the highest level. In his last year he boxed for the School at under 9 stone, winning four out of five bouts against some good boxing schools. He also played football for the School 3rd XV. He played regularly for the lower sides of OHRFC in the years before the war and subsequently for a year or two after 1945.

During the war he joined the RAF in October 1940 and after a period in South Africa was commissioned becoming a navigator in Lancasters of Bomber Command. On leaving School he entered the accountancy profession in his father's firm and qualified as an Incorporated Accountant in 1938, subsequently becoming a Chartered Accountant. He returned to his father's firm after the war, becoming senior partner in 1963. In 1964 his firm merged with another, also led by an Old Haberdasher, M. J. Jackman (1925-32). Peter continued in practice until he retired in June 1985. 

Peter will be remembered with respect and affection by all his old friends and contemporaries. He was a man of strong convictions and very thoughtful towards those who needed help. Our sincere sympathies are extended to Anne and to their son martin. Our condolences also to Peter's brother Stanley (1924-31) who has had his own problems of illness to cope with.

Harry Levene (1926-32)
collapsed and died suddenly on 29th September 1988.

Leaving at 5th form level, Harry made his career in the Civil Service, retiring in 1981. Although never involved in a personal capacity, in the post war years he became an ardent touch-line supporter of the OHRFC and, when the OHCC ceased to be a wandering club in 1956, he became a regular attendee at Boreham Wood matches, giving his financial support to both clubs, as an honorary member. 

A life member of the HOBC, Harry became more involved in the social side when, after 1962, the Association arranged an augmented programme of social events. In particular, he was a regular attendee at the biennial reunion dinners of his era (formerly the 1930-39 decade and then the pre 1940 group) and at the annual Wine and Cheese parties.

Amongst his outside interests, Harry had a particular appreciation for paintings and was happy to discuss his visits to numerous galleries and exhibitions.

He left a sister, Vera (his only remaining close relative).

Martin J Jumbo JACKMAN (1925-32)
died in hospital on 30th January after several months of a debilitating illness. He was 77.

At school, he had followed his brothers Frank and Peter as Captain of Hendersons House, creating an unusual and probably unbeatable record. He was Senior Prefect in 1931/32 and represented the School at Fives, Boxing and Athletics but clearly his outstanding contribution was in Rugby Football. He was in the 1st XV for four seasons, awarded colours in 1931 and was made Captain for 1932/33. In holiday football in December, he represented Middlesex Schools against Kent, Surrey and the Eastern Counties and also played for London v the Rest.

A less well recorded activity was in the Cadet Corps band where, predictably, he carried the big bass drum. Fellow musicians included Basil Phillips and Poppy Brown on drums, Alan Nicol cymbals, Phillip Frost flute and Terry Alexander and Ken Blessley bugles. Jumbo's pace could, at times, vary which resulted in an interesting hint of syncopation. No doubt, in contemporary times they would have constituted a pop group.

On leaving school, he embarked on his chosen career as a chartered accountant, qualifying in 1938 and remaining with the same firm, Holden Howard (apart from war service) until he retired as a well-respected partner in 1977.

Like many of his contemporaries, Jumbo joined the TA early in 1939, choosing as his regiment the 4th County of London Yeomanry along with a number of other OH - Jack Bell, Neville Burrell, Colin Colquhoun, Frank Ingram. Tony Beaumont and Toby Manton were already Sharpshooters in the 3rd Regiment. After training in Devon and Sussex (to the considerable advantage of many local pubs), his regiment was dispatched in the summer of 1941 to the Middle East, forming part of the 7th Armoured Division, the Desert Rats, at the vital battle of Sidi Rezegh in November. Their cruiser tanks were heavily outgunned, his received a direct hit killing the other members of his crew and leaving him with serious wounds, the worst the loss of an eye. After several months in a hospital in South Africa, he returned to the UK and was invalided out in 1942.

He made a remarkable recovery and his friends in various parts of the world were astonished to read in early 1944 that he was playing football again - for the Wasps! He had two seasons in their 1st XV, 1944/45, 1945/46 and was selected to play for the London XV in December 1945 but unluckily the match was scratched owing to bad weather.

His first recorded appearance in the OH 1st XV was against Harrow in December 1932 a few days after leaving school but George Jamieson in 'Making a Mark' quotes an unauthenticated story that Jumbo played for John Gooch's Extra C at the age of 14 and had been reprimanded by his captain for being too rough, clearly a fabrication. However, there is no contradicting the date of his last 1st XV game, against Chippenham on Easter Monday 1954 when he scored a try - a fitting conclusion. 

In the intervening years he made 315 1st XV appearances, broken by the war which caused him to lose six potential seasons, nevertheless he was the first to pass the 300 mark. Another memorable first as an OH was his full County cap for Middlesex in 1933 (v Surrey). In 1936, he was in the OH Seven which got to Twickenham having beaten Blackheath II, London Irish and Wasps on the way, before losing in the 8th round (quarter-finals) to the Metropolitan Police by a single score (6-11).

He was elected Captain of the Club for the 1938/39 season and took over again from 1946 to 1948. These latter two seasons still stand high in the success ratings, with that record run of eleven victories against strong opposition in the Autumn of 1946. Despite his whole-hearted dedication to the game he suffered comparatively few injuries, at one time recording 93 consecutive appearances, a remarkable tribute to his fitness. As a really good club member, he eventually graduated to become captain of a memorable C XV from 1951 to 1953, although subject to recall to higher things from time to time.

He was first elected to the OHRFC Committee in 1934, served as Honorary Treasurer from 1949 to 1957 and was twice President - 1957/58 and 1963/64. For many years after his playing career ended, he was a regular touchline supporter and Easter Tourist, rarely absent from the various social events.

On the field he led from the front, powerful and fast with a devastating tackle but he was never violent or bad-tempered and, in contrast to what one sees today, never descended to dangerous or dirty play. The writer can certainly vouch for Jumbo's contribution in the scrum having packed down in the front row in 136 games (not certified by WR Tanner!) when he was at lock. He bridged the gap between generations of OH, from the founders in the 20's through to the 70's and those 'young' players still on the field who had made their debut in his last seasons.

George Jamieson in his book suggested that Jumbo 'well deserved the title of the outstanding forward in our history' and, 34 years later, surely nobody would seek to challenge the validity of that opinion.

He was also President of the Association in 1963/64, for many years on the Committee and present at all its functions. He was made a Vice-President of the OHCC in 1961.

In July 1976, rather late in life, he married Judith, a friend for many years and they settled in Dulverton with a flat in Chelsea. Sadly their companionship was shortlived as Judith became seriously ill and died in December 1980. She was a very talented artist, introducing Jumbo to a somewhat different life style and they travelled extensively - to her native Australia, to Singapore, the USA and elsewhere but it is perhaps true to say, in retrospect, that he never really related to the Somerset scene or to that large, empty house in Dulverton and it was no surprise to his family and close friends when he returned to NW Middlesex to a flat in Elm Park Court, Pinner.

He was thus able to maintain his links with Elstree, the OH and the world of rugby. He took holidays in Australia, meeting up with Maurice Daly, went to the Spanish Islands and to Cyprus. He was always interested in the theatre and read extensively, acted as honorary secretary/treasurer to the Elm Court complex and set up such things as the Simpsons group, an elitist quarterly luncheon club, and his chairing of their meeting at the end of November was his last real outing.

It was good that, until the onset of this final illness, he led an active social life, ever hospitable as a host, ever welcome as a guest, particularly with Betty and Poppy Brown, Marie and Peter Ashberry, Gwen and Ken Blessley, and their gatherings, formal and informal, will not be the same again.

A kind and considerate person, at all times a gentle man, reserved, even taciturn and often reluctant to communicate, particularly in the last sad months when he was clearly unwilling to burden others, even his family and closest friends, with his problems.

The chapel at Breakspear was packed on 6th February and many of us were able to express our sympathy on that occasion but all OH who knew Jumbo will wish to add their condolences to Peter and to Bunty, and to his nieces - Honor, Penny and Nicky; they have lost a much loved brother and uncle. We shall all miss him.

Martin F

Henry G.FELDMAN (1923-32Dec)
died on 16 March 1986, after being ill for some time.

He left the School at the age of 16. At that stage, he had played cricket and fives for the Under 16 teams and rugby for the 3rd XV, having been junior athletics champion in 1931.

Henry started his own career in the cinema world, but later on, formed his own silkscreen printing business, until ill-health caused him to retire about 1980. When the Association started biennial reunions of the pre-1940 leavers in 1965, Henry became a regular attendee, but had not been well enough to attend since 1981.

To his widow, Mildred, and their daughter, Iris, we extend our sympathy.


John A. (JACK) TOUT (1925 - 31)
died 24th April 2001

Jack was born in South Africa of British parents on 31st August 1914 who subsequently divorced and then sent him back to his paternal grandparents who were living in the U.K. in Hendon. 

Jack was brought up in the local Methodist Church (which was also attended by one Denis Compton) and was very keen on sports from an early age. He joined Haberdashers’ in 1925 and was immediately a member of the junior rugby XV and cricket XI as well as being an athlete of some note, winning the junior athletics ‘Victor Ludorum’ in 1928. Jack left the School in 1931 and subsequently joined the Territorial Army in the 1930s resulting in his call up at the outbreak of hostilities at the start of the Second World War and was then commissioned in the Royal Artillery He was posted to Northern Africa and en route via South Africa was reunited with his family once more.

In 1937 he met and married Eileen and his daughter Carol was born soon after he left the U.K. on overseas service in 1940. Following his tour of duty through Africa and then on into Italy he was demobilised at the end of hostilities and ran his own business in Croydon for a good number of years before eventually transferring to a transport company at the then fast developing Heathrow. Thereafter he moved to Lex Garages working there until his retirement, at which point he acted as a Welfare Officer for the Company’s pensioners.

Jack was a founding member and active playing member of Hendon Rugby Club before becoming involved with the London Society of Rugby Football Union Referees, continuing as a senior assessor after his active refereeing days came to an end.

He was a frequent visitor to Borehamwood for many rugby and social events and indeed was a regular at Peter Vacher’s ‘Retired Members’ Lunches‘. As many have remarked Jack was one of those precious individuals who upon meeting you immediately felt better for seeing, a man with a constant chuckle in his voice and an immensely positive attitude to what life had for him.

The foregoing is largely due to the reminiscences of Idris Edwards who first met Jack in 1919 and remained firm friends with him for the rest of his life,a period of eighty two years - a remarkable stretch of time.

William G. STEED (1923-31)
died on 25th June 1980 after a stroke.

Bill served throughout the 1939-45 war in the Royal Artillery, spending four and a half years in the Middle East and Italy.

On demobilisation he rejoined the family firm of turf accountants and stayed with them until retirement. However, after losing his wife he restarted work, having a job in the Civil Service and continuing with it, in spite of failing health.

To his two sons, Michael and John and his brother, Dennis A. (1930-36) we offer belated sympathy.

Noel G SMITH (1924-31)
died on 6th May 1991.

A member of Strouts, Noel's main sporting attribute was as a boxer, winning most of his bouts against other schools' representatives and being awarded his colours.

Upon leaving the School, he became articled to a London firm of Chartered Accountants, qualifying in 1937 and joining Price, Waterhouse, Peat & Co. Almost immediately, he went on a tour of duty in Brazil, from whence he returned, in 1941, to join the RAC. After being commissioned in January 1943, Noel was posted to a Tank Transporting Co, seeing service in Normandy and NW Europe from June 1944 to July 1945. Thereafter, he was posted to Burma, being demobilised as a Major, in 1946.

After continuing with Price Waterhouse for a year, Noel joined John M Winter & Sons, becoming a partner in 1953. However, he resigned at the end of that year and joined Edmundsons as the Company Secretary. During 1954, he joined the Board and became joint Managing Director, three years later. In 1966, he became sole Managing Director, retiring in 1972.

Soon after the OHGS was formed (in 1952/53), Noel joined the Society and continued to play at least until the Ashridge meeting in October 1989. During the mid-1970's he had been elected captain. His local golf was played at the Royal Wimbledon.

With the formation of the Association in 1962 with its greater scope for social events, Noel's membership became more active and he was a regular attendee at the pre-1940 reunions, including the most recent one in October 1989. He also attended some of the OHA dinner and one recalls the beaming jollity with which he greeted one.

Noel was a member of the Fan Makers Livery Company and attained Grand Rank in the London/Warwickshire Masonic Lodge. His clubs also included the Naval and Military and the Anglo-Belgian.

To his widow, Mary (whom he married in 1987) and the sons, John, Peter and Christopher of two earlier marriages we extend our condolences. John's wife, Lorraine, has been particularly helpful to Mary for the earlier details of Noel's life - as also has Henriette, Peter's wife.

Arthur P PORTCHMOUTH (1926-31)
died on 22nd December 1988.

Having left the School after taking General Schools, Arthur joined the Metrication and Standards office of the South Easter Gas Board. In 1938, he joined 28 A/A Bn, RE TA having been in the Cadet Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, which had been in operation at the School until the Summer he left, when a change of Government caused its disbandment. However, from the outbreak of war, his civil occupation remained reserved until 1943, when Arthur rejoined, trained in the ranks and passed through OCTU and was posted to the Army School of Chemical Warfare. He was demobbed as Lieutenant RE.

A life member of the HOBC, the formation of the OHA in 1962 saw the beginning of some additional social events at the clubhouse, hitherto used mainly by members of the OHRFC and OHCC. Consequently, with the introduction of decade dinners, he made what was probably his first appearance at Boreham Wood, when the second reunion of the 1930-39 group took place in June 1967.

However, after his early retirement from the Gas Board, in 1976, he moved from Kingston to Ferndown, near Wimborne - a somewhat daunting prospect for a night journey, even though only then in his early sixties.

He leaves a widow, Joan, and son Alan.

Noel W. JOHNSTON (1918-31)
died suddenly on 26th September 1986

He was Captain of the School in his final year. He had been Captain of Swimming in the previous one, a member of both the Athletics and the Cross Country teams as well being in the only pre-war 1st XV to be awarded colours in its entirety, after a term which ended with the defeat of Denstone College.

On the scholastic side, Noel passed Higher Schools in 1929 and the inter BA examination the following year and went up to Jesus College, Oxford where he was awarded a second class degree in History, before taking a Diploma in Education after which he taught at Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire. 

During the last war, he served in an A.A. Regiment R.A. with the rank of Lieutenant.

He leaves a widow, Joan, and children, Michael and Anne.

L.F. (Poppy) BROWN (1925-1931)

Poppy, as he was known to many generations of Old Haberdashers, died on September 21st 2000. He was 86 and had for some time been in poor health.

His school career was certainly distinguished: he specialised in boxing, was in the School team for six years and Captain of Boxing in 1930. The writer can still recall watching a school match in the gym and as he climbed in to the ring, he gave his unfortunate opponent a quelling look which was almost a technical knockout. It may well be that many members of O.H. committees will have seen that look when a contentious issue was under discussion. He was made a prefect in 1930, Vice-Captain of Hendersons House, 1st XV in his final year being awarded colours, and he was a sergeant in the Corps.

There is no doubt that, if he had been able to stay on for a full year after the final exams, he would have been School Captain, but he left at Christmas 1931 to start his career in the National Bank of New Zealand where he was to stay (apart from the war service) until he retired in 1974, achieving the top post of Manager at the Head Office. During these years, he and Betty had many spells in New Zealand starting in 1949 and David and Margaret were born there. They made many friends and in those pre-package days were able to visit several unusual places on their travels. Poppy became personally involved in a number of New Zealand activities; he was Treasurer of the New Zealand Society from 1960 to 1977 and President in 1977/78 when the guest of honour at the annual dinner was the Duke of Edinburgh - a very proud moment for him and indeed for the family.

He joined up in June 1940, went to O.C.T.U. in April 194l and, despite a serious illness there, was commissioned in August with a posting to the 1st. Battalion of the Beds. and Herts. Regiment. They went overseas in May 1942 and, after a spell as Regimental Signals Officer in Arabia, the unit joined the India Command and the Beds. and Herts. became a vital element in the 14th Army Campaign in Burma. In March 1944, he was seconded to the Chindits, Orde Wingate's Special Force, and took part in the 'Broadway' landings by glider, the second wave of the operation which led to the crucial battle at Imphal. At the successful conclusion of this project, the company he commanded (he had been promoted to major) returned to their base in India and the only way back was on foot some 300 miles. He was remembered as an officer who not only commanded respect but who his men relied on in times of great difficulty and sacrifice.

Poppy became a member of the O.H.R.F.C. on leaving school and was soon selected for the senior sides with two successful seasons in the 1st XV immediately prior to the war. This would no doubt have continued after 1946 but he had a knee injury aggravated by a wartime game which ended his playing career. However, he became very active in the administration of the Club, Honorary Treasurer for some years and a regular supporter at all games and social events. For several years he organised the referee rota for junior sides and was rightly made President of the Club in 1961. He was also closely involved in the Old Haberdashers’ Association, especially on the financial side, serving as President in 1976 and here again, he and Betty attended all the various functions at the club house and the School until his health deteriorated.

In the immediate pre - war years, he was one of a group of O.H. rugby friends - Jumbo Jackman, Donald Blessley, Maurice Daly, Terry Alexander, Gilbert Husband, Reg Grossman and we spent a lot of time together (apart from Saturdays) - gallery first - nighters, local films, evenings at the Chequers in Hendon - all unattached and probably accepting that we might be on borrowed time.

Poppy and Betty moved out to Stanmore in 1952 and he became actively involved in golf with enjoyable days on the local course which he could see from his home. He made many new friends there who, when his playing days had to end, continued to visit him. He and Betty had married in 1948 and they were justifiably proud of the academic and career achievements of David and Margaret, taking special pleasure in watching the development of the five talented grand children.

He was forthright in his views, didn't suffer fools gladly or hesitate to show his disapproval of anyone or anything failing to satisfy his high standards. He had respect for discipline, no doubt stemming from the code of conduct at school and his later war service; a man of integrity as shown by his standing in the financial world of the City and also loyal - to his family and friends, to the School and the Old Boys, to his Regiment and to the Bank- qualities which sadly no longer seem to rate very highly in today's politically correct world. 

But beneath all this he was a kind and caring man, with a great sense of humour and always a very congenial host. He found relaxation in reading, in the theatre and in music.

There was a full attendance on October 3rd at the Breakspear Crematorium - family, golf friends, neighbours, former Bank colleagues and a large representation of O.H. including ten Past Presidents of the Association. David(1958-68), read from Corinthians 13; Ken Blessley spoke about his old friend's life.

Arthur N Batty (1926-31)
died suddenly on 31st August 1988 

- in fact less than a fortnight after writing to enquire about the whereabouts of a school contemporary. 

A member of Russell’s House, Arthur was a School Prefect, Secretary of the Chess Club and CSM in the Corps. After taking his Higher Schools and Inter BSc examination in 1930, he went up to Jesus College, Oxford, after leaving in the following year. There he read PPE and obtained a Second, before joining Courtaulds, with which concern he remained until the 1939-45 war.

Joining the Royal Navy as a seaman, Arthur served in HMS Nelson, Victorious, Pursuer and Striker, before going to RNAS Burscough, in the latter part of 1944, by when he was commissioned, finishing his service as a lieutenant, in March 1946. His first appointment, thereafter, was as Private Secretary to the Governor of Malta, but he returned to the UK, two years later, to join the family firm of Batty’s Removals, founded by his father in 1930. Arthur ran the business for many years, eventually selling it, in 1983, upon his retirement.

He was an active member of the Henry George Society for the taxation of land values and a strong supporter of the anti-apartheid movement. His association with the HOBC brought him into renewed contact with his contemporary Hugh J Tierney (1924-31) and the two families remained in close contact, in spite of the latter’s subsequent move from Edgware - and both were regular attendees at the reunion dinners, the first of which was the 1930-39 decade in 1965, three years after the HOBC became the Old Haberdashers1 Association. 

Sylvia and Arthur were married in 1942 and, in later years, after the birth of their daughter, Margaret, their mutual hobby was ball-room dancing.

Arthur was blessed with a lively mind and gentle personality and will be missed.


Charles W Kropaczy (died in 1997)

William R Van Der Kolk (died in 1997)

Ronald A. MALLISON (Ronnie) (1923-30)

died on 16th April 1997 at the Manor Hospital, Walsall, West Midlands, 

He was a member of Meadows House and a contemporary of Colin Colquehouln (killed in the Middle East, Second World War), "Asher" Grossman (died Second World War), Maurice Daly (died 3rd November 1994 in Australia) and "Nobby" Gillett (17th November 1987), calling themselves the "Famous Five".

Ronnie played for the 1st Cricket XI and the 2nd Rugby XV and was a member of the cadet force. On leaving school he joined Messrs, Sharp Perrin & Co., a City Textile Company, with whom he stayed all his business life, although they were taken over by Courtaulds in the 1960s.

Always a keen sportsman he quickly joined the Old Boys' Rugby Club, playing for various sides before making his 1st XV debut on 16th February 1935. He captained the cricket team called "Old Change", playing in the City of London League from 1936 to the outbreak of war. He joined the London Scottish Territorial Regiment in 1932 and represented them in their athletics team, particularly in the 440 yards and cross country and was also was a member of their fencing and bayonet fencing team from 1932 to 1936.

Although playing only once for the 1st XV in 1935/36, he was selected to play in the Middlesex Sevens, assisting his "Famous Five" colleague Maurice Daly to score all the 11 tries scored by the backs during the tournament. Ronnie's 3rd and 4th were vital in wins over Blackheath 11 (9-6) and Wasps I (8-3) in the round of the last 16. After 60 years this remained the high water mark of his O.H.R.F.C. career. So much so, that in April 1986, despite all his other commitments Ronnie travelled down from Walsall to attend the pre-1940 reunion at the Club House and there met three other members of the 1936 VII - exactly 50 years after playing at Twickenham.

At the outbreak of war he was commissioned in the Royal Tank Regiment and served at Tidworth and Bernard Castle until being sent to India serving in Poona and Dehru Dun.

Returning to civilian life he was sent to Birmingham by his firm; after two years he moved to Walsall where he remained. His first wife, Hazel, whom he married in 1938 died in 1982; But he remarried some two years later to Irene. He had two sons and two step sons and many grandchildren. On retirement at the age of 63 he joined his local Probus club in which he played a full part in all its activities, becoming Chairman in 1986. He was a keen member of the Walsall Bowling Club playing two or three times every week. He was a prominent Freemason for 50 years, attaining high office in several Degrees, both in London and Staffordshire.

Richard Mallison


Adolf S Woolstone (died in 1993)

Adolf A Walford (died in 2000)

Peter H Jackman (died in 1992)

Ronald W Diggins (died in 1997)

Eric A. SMELLIE (1924-29) who died on 17th November 1986, after a long illness, started his career in a bank, before switching to accountancy and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1938. Eric had joined the S/L Company of the Middlesex Regiment T A , that year and was posted to the A A Brigade upon outbreak of war. His overseas service commenced as a staff captain in the S E Asia Command, before subsequently joining 12th Army H Q in Burma from where he was demobilised in November 1945. Returning to industrial accountancy he retired in 1977., at the age of 65. During the next eight years he was able to give full attention to his many hobbies, of which the main one was the study of antiques, about which he became very knowledgeable.

To his widow, Joanna, we extend our condolences on the sad conclusion of 42 years of happy married life. Also to their daughter, Susan, son, Paul, four grandchildren, and Eric's brother, Cyril N (1926-32).

Lionel GREEN (left 1929)
died April 1991

The following brief obituary has been drawn from the information published in The Daily Telegraph.

Lionel attended the School at Westbere Road until 1929, when he went to Berlin to study the technology of clothing. He joined his brothers in a clothing manufacturing company selling directly to the retail trade and registered the nationally known "Windsmoor" trademark in 1939. This quality clothing was successful and the business burgeoned due to his own character and innovative marketing. He pioneered the concept of manufacturer's shops within major stores, which proved successful.

Outside his work, he is remembered as a man who had time to listen and who lived his life by the standards of his religion. He is survived by his son Sir Allan Green, Director of Public Prosecutions, and his second wife Judy.


Frank A Jackman (1922-28)
died, after a lengthy illness, on 25th September 1988, shortly before his 80th birthday.

Frank went to the School in 1922 and his stay there was highly successful. He was captain of the School in 1926/7, captain of rugby 1927/8, and captain of Athletics in 1927 and there can be few who have achieved all these honours. He was also a member of the Cadet Corps, ending with the highest rank, officer cadet. On the academic side, he passed two Higher Schools and Intermediate examinations and after leaving school, in 1928, went on to obtain his BSc at London University. 

He joined the staff of Carless, Capel and Leonard Ltd, well known as the originators of the word "petrol". He concentrated on coal tar products and on general research and development. He became a Director in 1954 and Managing Director in 1964. He took particular interest in Anglo-Dutch co-operation in the oil industry and for this and other services to the chemical industry was awarded the OBE in the Birthday Honours of 1966. He retired from Carless Capel and Leonard in 1967 and operated for many years thereafter as a consultant, with particular emphasis on pollution, appearing frequently in Court as an expert witness. 

He travelled extensively, both on business and pleasure and was always interested in foreign languages. He became fluent in Dutch and several other European languages.

Sport was a major interest for him throughout his life. He played rugby for the OH up to the war and captained the Ex A XV for several seasons. After the war, he re-joined the Rugby Club Committee and took charge of the bar at Elstree. With his knowledge as a chemist he will remembered for his technical efforts to clarify the beer, which, in those dark days, travelled up from Somerset and was often of dubious quality. 

Frank became President of the OHRFC in 1959/60, having been President of the Association (then HOBO) in 1958/9. He represented the OHRFC for many years on the committee of the Hertfordshire Rugby Union, being treasurer for nine years (1955-63) before being honoured with the Presidency for three years (1964-66).

Another great interest was in the Livery Companies of the City of London and, in later years, he was on the Court of both the Blacksmiths' Company and the Bowyers' Company. In 1987 he was Renter Warden of the Blacksmiths' Company and was due to be proposed Master when illness intervened.

His wife, Beryl, died in January 1987 after a lengthy illness. He left two daughters, Honor and Penny, and six grandchildren. MJ

Sidney L. BAXTER (1921-28)
died peacefully on the 19th August 1996, he was in his 87th year.

Apart from being vice-captain of the School and gaining an Open Exhibition to Jesus College, Cambridge, Sidney was a genuine all-rounder on the sporting field. He played for the School 1st XV was captain of Athletics, Secretary of the Tennis Club, was in the School Swimming VIII, as well as Regimental Sergeant Major. When he came down from university, with a 2nd Class Honours Degree in the Mathematical Tripos, he had added a half-blue for lacrosse to his other sporting activities.

It would appear that he started his teaching career at Waterloo Grammar School, before moving to Dover College, where he was 2nd Lieutenant in the college O.T.C. in April 1939. Joining the infantry in September 1940, he became gunnery instructor of the R.A. School of Survey for the period 1941-45. In 1945 he went overseas to India, becoming a Staff Major, before his demobilisation in January 1960.

He became Headmaster of William Ellis School and by the time he returned to Brighton, Edith and he had celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. They were both remembered by generations of their staff and many former boys, at the Thanksgiving Service in August 1996.


Alfred JR Gentle (died in 1992)

Jack E Roston (died in 2000)

Aubrey S Wilson (died in 2000)

Robert A WILLIAMS (1922-27)
died on 1st July 1990.

After leaving the School, he went to Imperial College, London, where he was awarded a degree in Chemical Engineering, staying on for his MSc. Robert's business career was the ICI, where he was principally involved with the development of nylon. He retired in the mid 1970's, after 47 years with the company.

Robert was a life member of the HOBC, which became the Old Haberdashers' Association in 1962. Three years later, the idea was mooted of having decade dinners at the clubhouse and the first of these was the 1930-39 group. With the passage of time, this was merged with the less populous 1910-29 group and Robert attended the pre-1940 reunion, in May 1974. Having moved to the Yarm area, in North Yorkshire, a few years after the war, he found himself toasted as the long-distance traveller of the evening.

Robert also attended the next but one of the biennial meetings, in April 1978, but was pipped by a member, who had come from Stocksfield, in Northumberland. However, at 68 or 69, this was a heroic effort, which sadly, owing to his becoming a Parkinsons sufferer, shortly afterwards, turned out to be his last venture of this nature.

His two daughters, Valerie and Glenys, and two step-daughters had provided him with twelve grandchildren and their visits continued to delight him to the end.

Derek W.G.G. PARSONS (1923-27)
died on 26th March 1987 at the age of 78.

He was Captain of School Boxing and of his house Joblings, as well as being more than 50 years ahead of modern tactics, by being a running fullback in the lst XV of 1924/5 and 1925/6.

After leaving School, he took a degree in Chemistry at Bradford University and subsequently worked for I.C.I. for whom he ran operations in Cairo. Before going abroad, he had played some football for Richmond.

The obituary notice in the press indicated that he had been a Politician, as well as a Chemist, but the Association has no news of his post-war activities.

Kenneth Charles Harvey PARKER (1919-27)
died peacefully in Bexhill Hospital on 30th September, 1990 at the age of 81 following a short illness.

Immediately Harvey left School in 1927 he joined Morgan Grenfell & Co., the London Merchant Bank, and was to spend the whole of his working life with that firm, retiring in 1970 following 43 years' service. Whilst the majority of his City career was spent in the developing Securities Market, latterly he moved into an administrative role assisting in overseeing the building and furnishing of new office accommodation for the Bank.

In 1969, however, lung cancer was diagnosed but following a successful operation to remove this Harvey retired in the following year and with his wife, Kathleen, moved from Stanmore down to Bexhill-on-Sea.

Harvey had first met Kathleen in 1926 following a visit to the Hendon Air Display and they celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1985. Of interest is the fact that Kathleen was herself the daughter of an Old Haberdasher who attended the Hoxton School.

During the Second World War Harvey served in the Royal Signals and was seconded to the Special Operations Executive. He was demobilised holding the rank of Captain.

Although Harvey's involvement with the OH sporting clubs was minimal, he was always proud to wear an OH tie and he will be particularly missed in the ranks of Freemansonry. Having joined the Old Boys Lodge in 1931, he became Master of the Lodge in 1959 and was for some 10 years until his retirement from Morgan Grenfell, Secretary of the Lodge. His services to London Freemansonry were acknowledged by the award to him of LGR and his considerable involvement with Freemasonry continued right up to his death in Sussex.

Harvey was a very caring and kind man and this was evidenced by the devoted care and attention he paid to his wife throughout his life, particularly when she herself had undergone major surgery about a year before his death.

He will be missed by the many friends he had made in the City and in the world of Freemasonry and by your correspondent, whom he had encouraged and helped during his own career with Morgan Grenfell.

Walter W. HARRIS (1921-27)
died on 17 January 1986 at his daughter's home in Oakville, Ontario, ten days before his 77th birthday.

Walter retired from the then Westminster Bank in 1969, when he was joint General Manager in charge of the Metropolitan East Area, including the City of London. Until the death of his friend Joe A. J. Blanckensee (1912-22) he was a regular attendee at the Association dinner in the Haberdashers' Hall.

To his widow, Dorothy, and their two daughters, Sandra and Gillian, we extend our condolences.

Donald BLESSLEY (1917-27)
died suddenly in hospital in Bushey on April 1st 1987. 

He had not enjoyed the best of health for some time but only the previous evening, many of his oldest friends remarked on his excellent form at a pleasant gathering in Knightsbridge, celebrating the wedding of the daughter of an O.H.

Donald was at Westbere Road from 1917 until 1927, a period of considerable change in the nature and activities of the School with the transition from a wartime organisation to the system which was to operate until 1939. It is strange to record that his school years were undistinguished: he did not even represent his house (Calverts) in any team game, although he had individual successes in athletics and in swimming. On leaving, in March 1927, he joined Coutts Bank where, apart from war service, he remained until retirement in 1970. He held positions at Head office and as branch manager, concluding his career in one of the most senior posts at 440 Strand. He volunteered for service in the Royal Navy in June 1941 and spent some time at sea as a rating including a spell on the battleship King George V. He was commissioned in 1942 and was gunnery officer on corvettes on Atlantic and Mediterranean convoy duty with the rank of Lieutenant. His last months in the Navy were spent in command of an armed trawler based on Rosyth.

However, he will best be remembered by O.H. for his achievements in sport. Coutts very quickly assessed his cricketing potential and he was a regular member of the Bank's strong 1st XI for over 20 seasons, opening the attack as an accurate pace bowler, in most pre-war seasons taking over 100 wickets. Moreover he had a deserved reputation as an outstanding cover-point. He also played for the Private Banks side which included several players of county standard, and for the United Banks; he undertook administrative duties in all these clubs. He was a member of the M.C.C. for 35 years.

After the early post-war games against Bledlow, he became the main driving force which led to the formation of a properly constituted O.H.C.C. He was the first captain in 1951, playing regularly for the 1st team for 9 seasons and then on a more selective basis, ending with a game for the Sunday XI in July '64. Among many notable achievements, mention can be made of his 3 for 1 against Cuffley in 1958 and that he raised and captained an OH XI which played the inaugural game against the School at Elstree on 9th may 1962. He was Honorary Secretary in 1947/50, the first President in 1955, and made a life member in 1981. He campaigned continuously for ground improvements at Boreham Wood, eventually succeeding in getting the funds and authority for an 'acceptable' square.

His involvement in football revealed some contrasts. For two years after leaving School, he played soccer with some success in Willesden Polytechnic colours, but then he was persuaded by some contemporaries to join the O.H.R.F.C. and within two seasons he had appeared on the wing for the lot XV. There was strong competition amongst the backs in the top sides at the time but he was a regular member of the lot or A XVs until 1939. Records are unfortunately incomplete, but during this time he probably played 80 games for the 1st XV including a Christmas Day match against Taunton in 1935 when he badly damaged a knee which was to trouble him from then on. He was the captain of an outstandingly successful A XV in 1937/9 and their well-attended post war reunions were memorable social occasions.

For the first two years of the war, he did a splendid job in running a side whose home pitch was Westbere Road. There was a nucleus of regular players but in the main, he relied on men home on leave from the services - many young O.H. made their debut in this XV, some sadly for the only time. He made 12 appearances in the 1945/6 1st XV, including captaining the side on the first post-war tour against Barnstaple, Weston, and Wiveliscombe and he ended with two seasons in the A and ExA before recurring injuries brought his football career to a close in 1949. In his final season he scored over 100 points, many from accurate place kicking. He was Match Secretary from 1947 to 1952 and President in 1958/9, serving on the Committee for over 20 years, allowing for the wartime break.

He was also a member of that elite pre-war. group, the O.H. Dramatic Society, appearing in 11 productions between 1932 and 1939 under the famous team of Cecil Birch and Jerry Nodes. One of the less publicised features of the society was the Sunday morning scenery painting sessions in somewhat macabre surroundings.

A life member of the Association, he was elected President in 1965, thus becoming the first to have held the three major old Haberdasher offices and one of his regular diary dates was always Club Night at Elstree.

He had many other interests - golf at Mill Hill; a weekly swim at the local baths; music and theatre; books and gardening; travel; he was never bored or boring, an amusing companion with a fund of stories. As a leader he inspired loyalty and affection from his teams: an enthusiast, perhaps a perfectionist which led at times to a lack of patience and certainly intolerance of contemporary standards of behaviour not only in sport. It is a feature of Clubs such as ours that each generation produces a handful of outstanding personalities and Donald was certainly one of these - player, team captain, administrator, referee, umpire, loyal supporter of social events at Elstree and the School.

30 members of the Association were amongst the large number of friends at the Parish Church for the service and were able to express their sympathy to Anne, Nicholas and Gillian which will surely be felt by all those other O.H. who knew Donald during a period of active involvement of nearly 60 years. KB


Eric H Bodman (died in 1997)

George A Goldup (died in 1995)

George B Jamieson (died in 1992)

Ronald E Spiller (died in 1995)

James C. HENRY (1922-26)
died in February 1985 

He was an all round sportsman, but he particularly excelled on the rugger field. He was awarded his 1st XV colours in 1924 and, on leaving School, was selected for the O.H.R.F.C. 1st XV at wing forward, a position he retained for several seasons, until his work prevented his turning out regularly. Nevertheless, whenever possible, he played for one of the lower sides and was invited on the first two Easter Tours to the West Country in 1931 and 1932.

For those first tourists, the abiding memory relates to the village square at Wiveliscombe, where the Salvation Army band was playing. As Jim was passing, the trombonist extended his instrument to its fullest, only to have it pushed back while he continued blowing. The resultant sound caused much amusement to both onlookers and other members of the band!

On leaving School, Jim had decided on a medical career and qualified at Guy's Hospital. He became a member of a group practice in Enfield in 1937, and the following year married Hellen. In 1939 he joined the R.A.M.C. and was stationed in the Orkneys, before going overseas in the following year and serving in the Burma Campaign until its successful conclusion in 1945, being demobbed with the rank of Major.

Returning to his Enfield practice, he again became involved with the O.H.R.F.C. being elected to the Committee in 1947 and becoming a Vice-President in the following year. As he watched many of the 1st XV games, he was not infrequently called on the pitch to decide whether or not an injured player was safely able to continue to play.

Retiring in 1967, he and Hellen moved to Aberdeenshire, where he died in February 1985 at the age of 77. Jim was a very popular member of the O.H. and attended most functions until his move/ to Scotland. However belated, we extend our deepest sympathy to his widow.

H W Baines HARPHAM (1919-26)
died on 29th March 1991.

Upon leaving the School, Baines joined the family firm of Harpham & Son, a concern which specialised in the setting up of exhibitions and bazaars and advising how to run them. Many of these were the vogue in the period before the 1939-45 war and the business thrived. Joining the RASC in June 1940, Baines was posted overseas in January 1941 and served with the 345 GT Co in Egypt, Palestine and Syria until February 1944, when he joined the 7th Armoured Brigade RASC, in Italy. In September of that year, he returned to the UK and was posted to the Directorate of Personnel Movement, War Office, until his demobilisation in February 1946, with the rank of Captain.

In the changed circumstances of the post-war era, he joined his Aunt, who had set up (on the property owned by Harpham & Son) a concern known as Venture Transport, which contracted out coaches and vans on a hire basis, at Brent Cross. Around 1960, the value of their freehold was such that the firm was able to sell at a price which enabled Baines virtually to retire. Thereupon, he and Sheila moved to Mylor, near Penryn, in 1961. Eight years later in April 1969, they entertained to luncheon some of the elder brethren supporting the OHRFC’s first-ever tour to Cornwall. Two or three of these he had known when Baines had assisted the OHCC to field a roving XI in their first three seasons - 1947-49. At Mylor, he was on the Rural District Council and continued to act as a church-warden, as he had done, for some 15 years, at Holy Trinity, Finchley. He was also a member of the PCC.

In 1981, however, he suffered a minor stroke, while living at Falmouth, to which they had moved in the late 1970's. Some years later, Sheila also suffered in the same way, but was left severely incapacitated. Whereupon, Baines took over the household chores and had soon learned to produce quite venturesome meals. In 1988, they decided to move to Henley-in-Arden, quite near where their daughter Judy, her husband, Brian and their five children lived. This was also about 60 miles wet of where their son, Alan and his wife, Di live, near Bedford. Accordingly, when Baines was admitted to Warwick Hospital on Maundy Thursday, both were able to visit him that day. They found their father in good spirits, so that when he sent them home to their families, that evening, they did not demur. Baines, however, died on Good Friday morning.

Apart from his assistance in helping the OHCC to get started, Baines was a life member of the HOBC, but elected to make annual donations when the OHA was formed, in 1962. In June 1970, he attended the pre-1940 reunion at the clubhouse, his trip from Cornwall gaining him the long-distance travelling award for the occasion. Six years later, Baines was again present at this biennial function, but had to give pride of place to a member who had travelled down from Co Durham.

Although Sheila was well cared for in a nursing home, from soon after their arrival at Henley-in-Arden, Baines always took her home for the weekends. Judy and Alan have continued this process, whenever their own family concerns have made it possible.

Frederick G HAILS (1917-26)
died in early February 1988 at the age of 80.

He was in the successful School First XV of the Autumn Term 1925, when all but two of the 14 matches were won and he was re-awarded his colours. He had also been awarded athletics colours, winning the 880 yards and the mile on the same afternoon, and was a keen member of the Cadet Corps, of which he became RSM. Fred and his brother, Oswin, were very keen on cars and an abiding memory of a friend and contemporary concerned their arriving for a rugger game in a home-made two-seater, with a plywood body and an engine which had originally driven a lawn-mower!

Whilst studying to be a solicitor, Fred played for the OHRFC First XV for several seasons. However, it was for his professional services that his name is known by current members of that Club, since he handled all the legal work in connection with the purchase of the ground at Boreham Wood in 1935, being elected a life member in consequence. In the late 1930's, he took up dinghy sailing on the Welsh Harp, only to have his new interest curtailed by the advent of the 1939-45 war, in which he commanded a minesweeper, with the rank of Lieut. Comdr., RNVR.

After demobilisation, Fred successively became Clerk to the Justices at Atherstone and Nuneaton in Warwickshire and at Dartford in Kent, before serving as Coroner for North Staffordshire for more than 25 years. During this period, he dealt with some 50,000 cases, mounting resolute campaigns against drunken drivers (later extended to drunken pedestrians) and for having dangerous drugs clearly marked and in child-proof containers. He was also well-known for his support of voluntary euthanasia for neglected old people, while his trenchant remarks from the bench resulted in a chemical (which had caused stomach cancer amongst the firm's workers) being discontinued.

He left three sons and brother, Oswin.

Norman R GILLETT (1919-26)
died in Edgware Hospital after a short illness on 17 November 1987. This obituary is written by his contemporary, Roy Cottle. 

“He and I first met at the old School in Westbere Road in our first term when Mr Wagstaff was Headmaster, however he being in Meadows house and I in Calverts. We became good friends and each used to visit the others home quite often in the holidays. Apart from the war years, when we were in the forces, we kept in touch for some 68 years, and for me it was a friendship I valued tremendously. We enjoyed various holidays together with our families and had many interests in common.

Norman was a splendid athlete and some of his many achievements in the world of sport are detailed in the following paragraphs. After he retired from the Bank of England in 1968, he became a golf enthusiast and was a popular member of Hendon GC. He also acted as Secretary and Treasurer for the Linen Dragon Old Peoples Cottage Homes. Olive presented him with two fine children, Pamela and John (my godson) and their two granddaughters were a source of delight to them both.

He and I were elected to membership of the MCC on the same day in 1950, he having played his qualifying games, and with two other contemporaries (Donald Blessley and Stanley Phillips who predeceased him in 1987) we spent many happy hours at Lords, where he was so well known to many who had been colleagues and opponents over a long period. 

Norman went straight from School to the Bank of England where after early years in various sections he was transferred to General Welfare and became Hon. Secretary to the sports club from 1947-55, and then General Welfare Organiser from 1957 to retirement in June 1968. Whilst respecting his natural modesty, it would be wrong not to chronicle some of his many achievements in the world of sport. Cricket was undoubtedly his first love, and over 20 years he played some 500 innings for the Bank side, scoring some 15,000 runs. He was captain of the side for several years. He appeared in representative matches for the Club Cricket Conference. At rugger, in his early winters he played right wing three quarter in the first XV and obtained colours for United Banks. A troublesome knee injury ended his rugger career in 1934, but not to be outdone he turned to soccer and played regularly until 1939. He was a good swimmer, played water polo, and was no mean performer at Fives, Squash and Snooker before taking up Golf on his retirement. 

As a public figure he inspired confidence, respect and affection. A large congregation paid tribute at an impressive service at St Paul’s, Mill Hill on 25th November 1987."

W David BROWN (1919-26)
died on 7th September 1990, at the age of 82 in Wycombe General Hospital, a week after having suffered a heart attack.

David went to the London School of Economics, upon leaving the School and joined British Petroleum, after obtaining his degree. After some years at the London headquarters, he was posted for a tour of duty in Columbia, before going on to New York, where he remained until the outbreak of the 1939-45 war. Still with BP, he went first to Algeria and then to Italy, organising oil supplies for the allied forces. 

After the war, David became a Director of BP Trading and various allied companies and retired in 1968. At the age of 60, however, he started a new career, running a farm, with the aid of his wife Rachel, at High Rews, near Marlow. He was still farming, when the heart attack occurred.

David was a life member of the HOBC and before moving out to Marlow, attended in May 1966, the first of the reunions for pre-1930 leavers.

To his widow and their two daughters, Helen and Harriet, we extend belated condolences at the abrupt end to a working life extending over sixty years.

Patrick G. F. BARRY (1921-26)
died aged 78 on 1 February 1986 after a long illness. 

Pat was in the School 1st XV and on leaving joined the Rugby Club. He played occasionally for 1st XV on the wing notably against Saracens in 1932 and on tour the following Easter. He captained Extra A XV from 1934/37. Pat was an enthusiast both on and off the field and on suitable occasions could be relied upon to recite and to lead the singing. 

He took an active interest in local politics and was awarded the OBE. He was made a Knight of the Order of Oranje Nassau for his services to Holland. Mayor of Paddington in 1960, he was for 44 years an Alderman of the City of Westminster. In an AA Regt. TA he was embodied in August 1939. He saw service with mobile Light AA forces in the UK before crossing to France in 1944 and was demobbed from Germany in September 1945 with the rank of Captain.

He is survived by his wife, Mitsa, who looked after him to the end and to whom we offer our condolences.

Ernest Roy BARRETT (1919-26)
died peacefully and without pain in his 78th year on 21 October 1987. 

He joined Lloyds Bank on leaving School and had a successful career, retiring as Manager of the Threadneedle Street Office. He and his brother Jack, and Neville Appleton (another OH) did four years together in the Territorials, and was called up shortly before the outbreak of war. He served with the Royal Artillery, rising from the ranks to finish as a senior commissioned officer.

He left a widow, Freda, after 51 years of happy married life, daughter Brenda, son Richard, two grandchildren and two brothers L.B. and L.C., who both played for the OHRFC when the Club started and for long afterwards.


former Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple and former chairman of the Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women, died on October 19 aged 90. He was born on October 30, 1907. 

Ashe Lincoln distinguished himself particularly at the Bar, in the Royal Navy and in the Jewish community. He was a recorder and deputy judge of the Crown Court, Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple and deputy world president of the International Association of Jurists and Jurers.

In the Jewish community, he served a wide variety of organisations with distinction and dedication. He was life chairman, honorary secretary and political committee chairman of the British Section of the World Jewish Congress.

The Masorti assembly of synagogues was another body in which he was particularly active as president and former chairman. He was a lifelong and dedicated Zionist and had held several leading posts in the movement.

Fredman Ashe Lincoln was born in Bradford, a son of Reuben Lincoln, who was first a minister and then a solicitor, and was educated at Hoe Grammar School, Plymouth, Haberdashers' Aske's School, London, and then Exeter College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1929 and took silk in 1947.

His sojourn in Plymouth enhanced his love of the sea. He joined the RNVR in 1937 and attended navigational training classes at night school and at weekends to qualify for his yachtmaster's certificate. He joined the Royal Navy as a sub-lieutenant when the Second World War began in 1939. His book Secret Naval Investigator (1961) is a thrilling story of his exploits in the detection of mines and torpedoes. A second book of his, published earlier this year, is entitled Odyssey of a Jewish Sailor.

In the early days of the war he served in minelayers. He transferred to minesweepers and helped in the recovery of one of the first magnetic mines. For this he was mentioned in dispatches. He then volunteered for the commandos and took part in the Allied landings in Sicily and Italy. He was again mentioned in dispatches during the landings at Salerno.

He later served during the North West Europe campaign and was one of the first British officers to cross the bridge at Remagen on the Rhine - the only Rhine bridge left standing after the Germans had blown up the others. It had been brilliantly captured, before it could be demolished, by the US First Army which was as a consequence, able to establish the first Allied bridge-head on the east bank of the river. 

Lincoln was national chairman of the Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women in 1948 and 1949, and again in 1952, when he accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh as he inspected the association's parade at Horse Guards. He stood for Parliament in 1945 as Conservative candidate for Harrow East.

Two years later, in the same constituency, he withdrew as prospective candidate and it was said that some of the then members of the constituency association were anti-Semitic. One member resigned in protest, but the leadership of the constituency strenuously denied the allegation.

In 1950, when Lincoln was unsuccessful in his attempt to become the Conservative candidate in Willesden East, the vice-president of the local Conservative Association re-signed, again alleging anti-Jewish prejudice.

Lincoln's practice at the Bar grew and in 1955 he was elected a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. As an advocate he was very sound; he was careful and above all reasonable. In his work at the Criminal Bar he was always distinguished by his lack of cynicism, a trait all too common in those regularly engaged upon such tasks.

In the City of London Lincoln was a liveryman and in 1949-50 Master of the Worshipful Company of Plasterers.

In 1933 he married Sybil Eileen Cohen, who survives him, along with their daughter and son, who is senior rabbi of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York.

The Times, October 22 1998


Neville Appleton (died in 1992)

M F (Toby) MANTON (1920-25)
died on 10th January 1991.

Upon leaving the School, Toby started a career on the Stock Exchange in the City, continuing until the start of the 1939-45 war. During this period, he played regularly for the OHRFC, mainly at Ex 'A' and 'A' level. Having joined the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpeshooters) in 1938, Toby was immediately mobilised, at the beginning of the following September. During 1941, his regiment was sent to Egypt, as part of the 22nd Armoured Brigade, which came under the command of the 7th Armoured Division for the Battle of Sidi Rezegh in November that year - the decisive encounter of that campaign in the Western Desert. After Tuni fell, in May 1943, the brigade was despatched to Italy, where Toby continued until the end of the war. He was demobilised in September 1945, with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

His six years with tanks and armoured carriers was not to be wasted, since he decided to take up engineering as his post-war career. At the time of his retirement, in the mid-1970's, Toby was with Foster Wheeler.

Some half-a-dozen years previously he had re-married, he and Joan having first celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary, shortly before his death.

Having rejoined the Association in 1964, Toby became a regular attender at the reunion dinners of his age-group, making his last appearance at the club-house in April 1986, when in his mid-seventies.

To Joan and their daughter, Jane, we offer sympathy for their sad loss.

former Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple and former chairman of the Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women, died on October 19 aged 90. He was born on October 30, 1907.

Ashe Lincoln distinguished himself particularly at the Bar, in the Royal Navy and in the Jewish community. He was a recorder and deputy judge of the Crown Court, Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple and deputy world president of the International Association of Jurists and Jurers.

In the Jewish community, he served a wide variety of organisations with distinction and dedication. He was life chairman, honorary secretary and political committee chairman of the British Section of the World Jewish Congress.

The Masorti assembly of synagogues was another body in which he was particularly active as president and former chairman. He was a lifelong and dedicated Zionist and had held several leading posts in the movement.

Fredman Ashe Lincoln was born in Bradford, a son of Reuben Lincoln, who was first a minister and then a solicitor, and was educated at Hoe Grammar School, Plymouth, Haberdashers' Aske's School, London, and then Exeter College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1929 and took silk in 1947. 

His sojourn in Plymouth enhanced his love of the sea. He joined the RNVR in 1937 and attended navigational training classes at night school and at weekends to qualify for his yachtmaster's certificate. He joined the Royal Navy as a sub-lieutenant when the Second World War began in 1939. His book Secret Naval Investigator (1961) is a thrilling story of his exploits in the detection of mines and torpedoes. A second book of his, published earlier this year, is entitled Odyssey of a Jewish Sailor.

In the early days of the war he served in minelayers. He transferred to minesweepers and helped in the recovery of one of the first magnetic mines. For this he was mentioned in dispatches. He then volunteered for the commandos and took part in the Allied landings in Sicily and Italy. He was again mentioned in dispatches during the landings at Salerno.

He later served during the North West Europe campaign and was one of the first British officers to cross the bridge at Remagen on the Rhine - the only Rhine bridge left standing after the Germans had blown up the others. It had been brilliantly captured, before it could be demolished, by the US First Army which was as a consequence, able to establish the first Allied bridge-head on the east bank of the river.

Lincoln was national chairman of the Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women in 1948 and 1949, and again in 1952, when he accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh as he inspected the association's parade at Horse Guards. He stood for Parliament in 1945 as Conservative candidate for Harrow East.

Two years later, in the same constituency, he withdrew as prospective candidate and it was said that some of the then members of the constituency association were anti-Semitic. One member resigned in protest, but the leadership of the constituency strenuously denied the allegation.

In 1950, when Lincoln was unsuccessful in his attempt to become the Conservative candidate in Willesden East, the vice-president of the local Conservative Association re-signed, again alleging anti-Jewish prejudice.

Lincoln's practice at the Bar grew and in 1955 he was elected a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. As an advocate he was very sound; he was careful and above all reasonable. In his work at the Criminal Bar he was always distinguished by his lack of cynicism, a trait all too common in those regularly engaged upon such tasks. 

In the City of London Lincoln was a liveryman and in 1949-50 Master of the Worshipful Company of Plasterers. 

In 1933 he married Sybil Eileen Cohen, who survives him, along with their daughter and son, who is senior rabbi of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York.

The Times, October 22 1998

Leslie GOLDFIELD (1922-25)
died on 15 March 1991, at the age of 79.

Having been present for the first two seasons of rugby, at the School, it was natural that Leslie would join the OHRFC, which had been formed in 1923-24, only one season after the School's switch from soccer. Whenever this occurred is unrecorded, but it is known that he played, as a prop, in the 1st XV, towards the end of the 1932133 season. He continued in that position until the latter part of 1934/35, when he played in the second now for the last nine games of that season. From then on, he continued as a lock, making well over 100 1st XV appearances. In 1937/38, Leslie played in all 33 matches including the famous victory against Plymouth Albion, where, because of his formidable physique, some of the more partisan spectators signalled him out for some vociferous treatment. However, since his 2nd row partner, George Jamieson and the late Jumbo Jackman (No. 8) were equally massive, it was only the referee who needed a police escort as he left the field - misguidedly, he had had the temerity to penalise the home side, near the posts, for the vital score in the 8-6 result! While this famous West Country club was only met on five occasions, in the prewar era, post-war OH sides have managed just one draw in 20 further encounters! 

While on leave from RAFVR, Leslie played at least once, during the first of the war seasons, in 1939/40. After demobilisation, he continued his 52 year span with the Steinberg family firm of Alexon, in the fashion model department, before retiring in 1977.

Although a member of the HOBC/OHA for many years, Leslie could not be persuaded to leave Little Venice for the wilds of Hertfordshire, when the Association introduced the 1910/29 reunions in 1966. He remained a madly-keen spectator of all sports, latterly enjoying watching horse racing from the depths of an armchair.

To his widow, Shirley, we wish many happy memories of their 30 years together. Also to her step-daughter, Sally, on the sad passing of her father.

Douglas S. BAKER (1920-25)
fell asleep on 3rd July 1996 at the grand old age of 88.

He entered the School in September 1920 (when the fees were £7.00 per term!) and it was School and the Old Haberdashers that were to influence so much of his life.

It was at school that his sporting progress began. He was a keen boxer - School under 7 stone 71b. champion in 1924, the year he was awarded his boxing colours. However rugby was his game, although he never played for the School 1st XV It was on leaving school in 1925 that he immediately became scrum half of the O.H.R.F.C. 1st XV He was partnered at fly half by Cecil Burch (1915-23), a combination that lasted for seven years to the season of 1931-32 - a period that included the best pre-war season 1926-27. (P24 W19 L5 Pts 401-168)

Being an "Old Haberdasher" meant so much to him. He was proud of his School and relished the fact that he could account for at least twelve other people either as direct family or related by marriage who were "Old Haberdashers".

He was a regular attendee of the Decade Dinners beginning with the pre-1930 reunion in 1968 - known by him as the "Old Sweats Dinner". Later, in 1974 he was to instigate with Ian, his son (1953-60) the Fathers and Sons Dinners. Apart from Rugby, Doug also excelled at other sports. In his early years tennis was a passion. He won many tournaments in the 1920s at the Phoenix Lawn Tennis Club often in partnership with his old friend A.(Bill) Bailey (1920-25). In his retirement he took up bowls, again winning many trophies, at the Pinner Bowls Club of which he was elected Club Captain and the Club President.

On leaving school he entered National Provincial Bank at their Golders Green Branch. His career flourished and he retired in 1968 as the Deputy Registrar. During the War he served with the Pioneer Corps serving overseas with the M.E.F. and P.A.I. Force. Finally he became a Staff Captain at the War Office.

He was a dedicated Freemason, a tireless member of the East and West Lodge and he rose to high office within the order of Freemasonry.

In 1933 he married Marjorie Weller and they shared 62 very happy and devoted years together. Nothing gave them more pleasure than to receive the Queen's Telegram on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding.My father was an unselfish man, of kind and gentle disposition, a meticulous man yet with a delicious sense of humour. He will be sadly missed by all his many friends and family, my mother Marjorie, my sister Jacqueline, son-in-law Michael Kimber (1945-52), myself, my wife Alison and all his grandchildren to whom he was so special. He was in truth a lovely man.

Ian D. Baker


RJ (Jerry) Nodes (died in 1994)

Arthur S. WILSON, CBE (1917-24)
died on 28 July 1985, a few weeks short of his 80th birthday.

Arthur qualified at the Royal School of Mines in 1928 (ARSM, MIMM) and went to Nigeria for a year with the Alquife Mines and Railway Co., afterwards going to Granada, Spain in January 1930 as a junior mining engineer. His wife joined him and their two daughters were born there. With the fury of the Spanish Civil War increasing, the family were sent home and Arthur was posted to the Company's haematite mines in Egremont, Cumberland. In a reserved occupation he was sent back to Spain in 1942 and was there until after the war when his wife rejoined him. In 1954 he joined the Neuchatel Asphalte Co. Ltd. at Travers in Switzerland as Directeur en Suisse.

Ten years later Arthur received the CBE, when he was President of the Anglo-Suisse Chamber of Commerce, receiving the honour during the British Week. He retired from Neuchatel in 1970 upon reaching 65 and returned to the UK. However upon seeing an advertisement for a "year's fill-in job" with Bisichi Tin Mine Co. on the Jos plateau in Nigeria, he thought it would be amusing to revisit the scene of his first appointment, some 42 years previously. To his surprise his application was accepted and the temporary job stretched to five, so that he finally retired in 1975.

In spite of his long sojourn overseas Arthur maintained links with the Association (he was a Life Member of the HOBC) and continued to take the School Magazine. To his widow, Nancy and their children Caroline, Julia and Richard we extend our condolences.

Leslie F. W. MALLOWS (1918-24)
died peacefully on 2nd March 1981 in Bournemouth.

Before the war Leslie, who was a Life member of the HOBC was in the catering trade and was a member of the Round Table in Willesden. He was commissioned in the RAF in January 1940 and became a Squadron Leader in 1944.

After demobilisation, Leslie entered the hotel business and became the proprietor of the Knightsbridge Hotel in Bournemouth, until his retirement in the mid-1960s.

To his widow, Mollie and their daughter Alison, we offer our condolences.died on 5th August 1980, at the age of 47 after a long fight against illness, yet the writing of this is none the easier for the passage of time.

Harold B. GIBBINS (1921-24)
who died on 27 October 1984 was a Life Member of the HOBC.

He was married in 1938 and during the war was a Ft. Lt. in the RAFVR and did overseas service in Ceylon. Harold retired from the National Westminster Bank in November 1966 at the age of 60, being at that time with the Salisbury branch.

His retirement was spent at Ringwood in the New Forest. To his widow, Marjorie, and their son we offer belated condolences.

Stanley (Shonk) GAYWOOD (1918-24)
died on 24th March 1991.

He played in the School's first season of Rugby football in 1922/23 and was in the OHRFC 1st XV in the Autumn of 1924 - the Club's second season. His business career was with Barclays Bank and it is thought he played for the bank on an intermittent basis. However, "Making a Mark" reports that he also played for the Club in 1925/26 and that he became a member of the Committee in 1929.

Thereafter, it is apparent that his football career remained with the OHRFC up to and including the war-time 39/40 side. Shonk had some notable try-scoring highlights in his football career, crossing the line in the first-ever game at Boreham Wood against Old Alleynians (9-3) on 3/4/37 and against Roncoroni's XV, in the official opening game in the following autumn. A few weeks later, he got the one he probably cherished most - the only try in our 8-6 victory at Plymouth - which proved to be the only success in 24 other attempts to beat them! 

By the 38-39 season he had become a pre-war phenomenon - a 1st XV wing forward at the venerable age of 30! Nevertheless, he had already become one of the elite five who had made 200 1st XV appearances in the sixteen seasons up to that time - a further 29 have made the grade during the 45 seasons since the war.

During the 1939-45 war he was a Flying Officer with the RAF. It may be recalled that, during his early training, Shonk's big moment was when a senior officer took him up for a flight from Hendon aerodrome - ACM Sir Theodore McEvoy (1915-21) is now living at Bognor Regis!

Shonk was amongst the low demobilisation numbers to be rounded up by Kenneth H Blessley (1920-32), who was able to get the OHRFC restarted as early as October 1945. Unfortunately, however, an injury in a practice game made Shonk decide to call it a day. Nevertheless, until his retirement to Italy, in 1970, he attended social functions such as the 1920-29 and pre-1940 reunions.

For the next decade and a half he and Sally became keen archaeologists, attending digs in Austria and Germany, as well as various parts of his "home" country. However, a severe attack of phlebitis in 1985 saw him, the following year, in an armchair capacity, checking finds in libraries. In 1987, they visited Sri Lanka and continued on to Japan where their son had an appointment. Before reluctantly leaving Grosetto (and a fruit and flower garden, carefully attended for 18 years) he was able to make contact with the advance party of the OHRFC's 52nd Easter tour, at nearby Piombino. Shortly after, came the final move to Venice.


Stanley Varcoe VINCENT
was born in Devonport in 1905.

He won a scholarship to Haberdashers' School in Cricklewood, after which he worked for a time at the Bank of England in London before being accepted by Handsworth College in Birmingham as a candidate for the Methodist ministry. During his time at Handsworth, Stanley excelled at both Greek and Hebrew and was recommended by his tutors for an academic life. However, on leaving Birmingham with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he felt a strong calling towards missionary work and in 1930, after his ordination, he went to Burma where he carried out pioneering work under extremely primitive conditions among the Lushai people at Mawlaik in the Chindwin Valley.

In 1933 Stanley married Violet May Batchelor at a double wedding in Burma where Violet and her friend Dorothy were married to Stanley and his colleague, the Rev Dennis Reed. This happened on the same day as the two women arrived in Burma by ship from England after having been apart from their prospective husbands for three years.

In 1934 and 1938 Stanley and Violet had two children, Betty and Peter. When the Japanese invaded Burma, Stanley and Violet took their two children and joined a march through the jungles to India where, after many difficulties and shortages of food, they arrived at Bangalore. Stanley immediately left his wife and children and went back into Burma to help the families and refugees flee from the advancing Japanese army. He then remained in Mawlaik until the last party of refugees left and only then did he set out for India and safety. For his actions during this evacuation Stanley was subsequently mentioned in despatches. In 1942 a baby daughter, Jennifer, was born in Bangalore but she was to die from dysentery shortly afterwards.

In 1944 the family sailed back to Liverpool in a convoy which came under torpedo attack and then went to Parkstone in Bournemouth where, in 1945, their youngest son, Richard, was born.

After the war Stanley returned to Burma to report on the state of the Church, a report which he summed up in his book "Out of Great Tribulation" - a description of the suffering and privations of the Christian Church under Japanese rule.

In 1947 he returned to England where he worked as until 1952 and then in Penzance until 1954. In the same year he returned to work as a missionary in Mandalay until August 1956 when he joined the British and Foreign Bible Society as secretary of the Burma Agency. He continued with this work until 1965, at which point he moved to Hong Kong as Asian executive secretary after being forced by the Nationalist government to leave Burma. Although this presented him with a new challenge, the move must have been tinged with sadness as, to the end of his life, he would always refer to the Burmese as "My People".

In 1969 Stanley returned to England where he worked as a member of the home staff liaising with the auxiliaries and working as an itinerant speaker on behalf of the Bible Society.

On retirement in August 1970, Stanley and Violet lived for several years in Edington in Wiltshire, before moving to Methodist sheltered housing at Church Court in Midsomer Norton and then finally, as a result of increasing age and infirmity, to Pondsmead nursing home at Oakhill in Somerset in December 1992, where they lived together until Violet's death in May of this year.

Douglas A Brewer 

Gazette, 22 October 1998

Leslie C. STERN (1914-23)
died 8th March 1981 

He was a Life Member of the HOBC and an honorary Member of OHRFC for many years. He was a regular supporter having been present on the touchline at Boreham Wood until a few months before his death. His own sporting interests were swimming and shooting for both of which he represented the School.

Until his retirement in 1979 Leslie was managing director of his own firm manufacturing delicatessen products. To his widow, Mabel and their children Maureen, Colin and David (1949-52 Prep) we offer our condolences.

E Patrick St C KEHYAIAN (1913-23)
died on 22 December 1990, at the age of 85. 

Pat, a School 1st XI spin bowler, was one of the many OH cricketers to join Brondesbury Cricket Club (very adjacent to the Hampstead site) in the years before the 1939-45 war. He played mainly for that club's 2nd XI and occasionally appeared in the invitation OH XI, in the annual match against the School. The last occasion was in 1939, when the match was abandoned, just after the start of the latters innings - traditionally batting second - so that there was no opportunity for the use of his spinning guile. 

In 1942, his business career (a self-employed dealer in Oriental carpets and rugs) was interrupted, when he joined the RASC, seeing service with the 4th Indian Division throughout the latter part of the North African campaign. Before proceeding to Italy, he spent several weeks on the Greek island of Pantellaria. Pat was demobbed with the rank of Captain.

Rejoining Brondesbury, he continued to play cricket and tennis there, until the family moved to Ashtead, in Surrey, in 1968. In the early post-war years, Pat achieved the quite remarkable feat of interrupting the reign of Roy Newman (who had left the School a decade later) as the tennis singles champion - doubtless, later in the evening, causing him to delight his friends with a display of expert tap dancing! With the introduction of the decade/reunion dinners, by the OHA, he attended the 1910-1929 group's initial gathering in 1966, but felt, thereafter, that the journey back to Surrey would be too hazardous.

Pat had met his wife, Cara - sister of Gerard H Kramers (1921-32), who had joined Brondesbury, some years later and of William J (1926-35) - at the club in 1937. He made up for the lost war years by carrying on his business, until his retirement in 1988 - a fairly unusual working span of 65 years! Until then, he was occasionally to be seen walking through the "City Gates", pausing only to pass the few words with the one of a group of former City workers, who had retired after the more usual stint of 40-45 years.

We would wish to offer our condolences to Cara, their daughter, Juliet, their son, Philip (and their families), as well as to his brothers-in-law, Gerard and Bill.

L.C. (Jack) BARRETT (1916-23)

Jack Barrett was one of three brothers (L.B. and E.R. now deceased) who were educated at Haberdashers between the years 1910 and 1926. At the time of his death he was the joint 'senior' member of the Association.

Upon leaving the School, on the last day of the summer term in 1923 he immediately took up an appointment with Westminster Bank the following Monday and served with the bank for 48 years apart from his service during the War when he joined the Royal Air Force becoming Operation Rooms Controller at Bowmore, Gibraltar and Lydda.

His involvement with the then Haberdashers Old Boys' Club was firstly with the embryonic O.H. Rugby Club and he was probably the last person who played in the first practice games in 1923 at what was then the Home of Rest for Horses adjoining the School in West Hampstead.

Despite suffering from severe myopia he captained the 'B' XV between 1931-36 and had a strong team as he was able to persuade several members of the 1st XV who were giving up the game for various reasons (marriage or old age!) to play for his side for a few more years.

Jack was a very keen cricketer and joined Brondesbury C.C. directly after leaving School and was later made a life member and vice-President after 50 years membership. As a member of the M.C.C. he was a frequent visitor to Lord's with his wife Joan who was also a keen Middlesex supporter especially as their son John had played cricket as a colt at Brondesbury with a certain Mike Gatting.

Jack Barrett married Joan and they had three children and six grandchildren. He was a regular supporter of pre-war social events and less frequently latterly with his last recorded attendance being a pre-1940 leavers Dinner in April 1988.

To his widow Joan and the family the Association would wish to send its heartfelt condolences.

B George ABRAHAMS (1915-23)
died on Christmas Day 1990, at the age of 81, in Harare, Zimbabwe.

This information only became known to the School last August when a friend wrote to the Headmaster, who had exchanged correspondence with George in connection with an Essay Prize on the subject of Central Africa, which the latter had endowed a year or two before. As previously reported in the Notes, soon after he had joined the Association in 1988, George had spent many years in Zimbabwe and knew the country extremely well. In fact, he had invited any members visiting there to contact him, if they wished to see something of the countryside, outside the towns.

Keith Dawson has reported from the friend's letter, that George was an extremely popular personality, well-liked by all who came in contact with him and was one of Zimbabwe's remarkable characters. Also, that he had been a member of the Estate Agents Council from 1970 and was its chairman from 1974 to 1979, as a mark of respect for his contribution during the founding and formative years of the Council. He was also a member of the Auctioneers Estate Agents and Valuers Institute of Zimbabwe, being highly respected and well liked by his associates. He became a Fellow and Honorary Life member, as a mark of his benefaction to the profession, his knowledge, experience and not least his sense of humour.

It is believed that George would have appreciated the following epitaph "Doyen of the Zimbabwe Property Valuation Profession".


R A (Bunty) PHILLIPS (1918-1924)
died on 22nd August, 1990, in his 80th year.

Born in St. John's Wood in 1910, he followed his brothers Stanley and Norman through Haberdashers' and Taunton Schools.

On leaving school Bunty joined the OH Rugby Club. He was a good forward and, on at least one occasion, captained the Extra A with distinction. After a serious back injury in 1935, he turned to refereeing and progressed to taking charge of senior games in the 1938/1939 season. He also played cricket and tennis and, together with many other OH's, was an enthusiastic member of the Brondesbury Club, where he met his future wife, Margaret.

In April 1939, he joined the Territorials and was called up soon after war began. He was commissioned in the RASC and from 1942 saw active service overseas, first in North Africa with the First Army, and then in Italy. For his services in the Italian campaign he received the MBE, and he ended the war with the rank of Major.

Bunty and Margaret were married in 1949 and moved to a house in Hampstead Garden Suburb. They were both active and devoted members of St. Alban's Church, Golders Green, where Bunty served as churchwarden for some years. They were also enthusiastic members of the Suburb Residents Association.

Sport remained a passion for Bunty throughout his life. He was very keen on athletics and if the OH Athletic Club was competing he would be there to watch and encourage. He was invited to become President of the Athletic Club in 1966, at a time when it could boast a number of fine athletes in the team.

Most of his working life was spent running the family business in Smithfield with his brother Norman. After his 'retirement' he took up a part-time position with another OH, Basil Blowfield, with whom he continued until May 1990.

Margaret died in January 1988, a loss from which Bunty never fully recovered. Despite his grief he was, till the end, a loyal and fine friend and will be remembered with great affection by many, not least his daughter, Sandra, and son, David, and his three young grandchildren.

Keith Ashton Henderson (1915-22)
died in March 1988 in his 84th year.

Keith was the son of B L K Henderson, the schoolmaster who gave his name to the house of Hendersons.

Upon leaving School Keith went to Strasbourg for two years to improve his French and German. Always a keen linguist he was eventually additionally fluent in Spanish and Italian and was studying Modern Greek during his retirement. Upon his return from Strasbourg, he joined the Great Western Railway and whilst with them took his B Comm at the London School of Economics, where fellow students were the late Arthur G. Jenkins (1914-21) and W David Brown (1919-23).

Seconded from the GWR, he became British Railways' representative in charge of the Travel Bureau on the "Queen Mary" from her maiden voyage in 1937. Later Keith went to Toronto to open an office for British Railways, returning to England upon the outbreak of the 1939-45 war. Appointed to the RTO at Rouen, he was in the last boat to leave Brest, when France was being overrun. Thereafter, Keith had a War Office appointment, with the rank of Major.

After the war, he returned to GWR for a short while, before going as traffic manager to Monsanto Chemicals, where he stayed until his retirement in 1969. He had the unique experience of attending two Haberdashers's Schools - the Kindergarten for girls and boys at the Haberdashers' Aske's Girls School in Acton and then Westbere Road! IKH

He left a widow, Sarah and his brother Ian K, (1916-24).


Stanley Bruce WAVELL (1916-21)
died peacefully in hospital on February 27th 1988 at the age of 83.

Of his school days, Bruce liked to recall that he was there at the time of all the six original housemasters, whose names are perpetuated to this day some seventy years later. Upon leaving, he spent some years in the office of a firm which was engaged in cutting and supplying wooden type and accessories for the printing trade. Just before the 1939-45 war, however, he joined the Finchley Borough Council (which later became Barnet) and remained there until his retirement in 1970.

In 1983 Bruce presented the Wavell Collection to the School - a splendid collection of stamps (particularly British Colonies) - which had been started by his father, Sydney Ellis, who had left the Hoxton School in 1890 and had been President of the HOBC in 1931/2. After his father’s death, in 1942, he added considerably to the collection, parts of which are now on display, by rotation, in a glass-fronted cabinet in the School Library. 

Stanley had been a member of the HOBC/OHA for over 65 years and had attended the earlier reunions of the pre-1940 generation, before his removal to Dorset.

He leaves a widow, Elsie.

John E. SERBY, C.B., C.B.E, (1912-21)

died on 30 January 1997 aged 94. 

John was the younger brother of the late W.F. Serby (left 1915) and was School Captain in 1920-1, Captain of Russell's, C.S.M. in the Cadet Force and Editor of the Skylark. He entered the School in 1912 in the Remove form under Percy Meadows and was subsequently in forms under Messrs. Norton, Strouts and Russell.

Among his contemporaries were two of the School's greatest all round athletes of the Soccer era, the late John G. Kehyaian (who succeeded him as School Captain ) and the legendary E.J. (Teddy) Baxter whose cricketing achievements with bat and ball were unsurpassed in the inter-war period. Together with his brother, Bill, they were all members of the Five Year Club.

John obtained an Exhibition to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, (then worth £30 a year!) and subsequently entered the Civil Service as a junior Scientific Officer in the Admiralty in 1927. From there he went to the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, as a Scientific Officer in 1930 where he rose to become Deputy Director In 1950-54, Director General of Guided Weapons in 1954-61 and Deputy Controller of Guided Weapons, Ministry of Aviation from 1961 until his retirement in 1963. He was on the H.O.B.C. committee in 1924 and was awarded the C.B.E. in 1951 and the C.B. in 1958.

He married Clarice Lilian Hawes in 1933, they had a daughter.

Henry C. Edwards

ACM Sir Theodore MCEVOY (1915-25)
died on 29 September 1991, at the age of 86.

In spite of his illness, he was an outstanding fighter leader. As Station Commander of RAF Northolt, he formed the Polish Fighter Wing in 1941, after they had fought magnificently in the Battle of Britain, the previous Summer. Now they became part of Sholto Douglas's aggressive policy of taking the war to German-occupied France. Following some severe losses, Mac decided to test conditions for himself and flew with the wing, but was bounded on the way home. Badly wounded he crash-landed his badly-damaged Spitfire at Lydd - in the middle of an anti-invasion minefield, from which he was gingerly rescued by the Home Guard!

He went on to build a reputation as one of the most accomplished RAF staff officers of the Second World War, progressing as Group Captain, Operations HQ Fighter Command in 1942, Senior Air Staff Officer No. 11 Group in 1943 and of No. 84, the fighter group which supported the Normandy landing, in the following year. Mac became Assistant Chief of Staff Policy in 1945 and Director of Command and Staff Training after the war ended.

He learned to pilot helicopters and, at the age of 51, took a refresher jet course at the RAF Flying College, Manby. In 1950, he had become Assistant Chief of Staff Training and then in 1954 RAF instructor, at the Imperial Defence College. It was at this time, in 1954/55, that he became President of the HOBC, of which he was a life member. Two years later, he went to Fontainbleau, as Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces, Central Europe, returning in 1959 to the Air Ministry, as Air Secretary. He continued to fly a variety of aircraft including Meteors, until his retirement in 1962, after three years as Air ADC to the Queen. 

Apart from his calligraphy and gardening, Mac played golf as a pastime and enjoyed turning out in a foursome of which the other members were the legless Douglas Bader, the fingerless Arthur Donaldson and the one-armed Gus Walker.

There follows two widely differing appreciations by his contemporary Teddy Mautner (1912-22) and the son of another leaver of the twenties - Gustave J Muteau (1921-25). On behalf of the Association (to which Mac had been making annual donations since its foundation in 1962) we would wish to express to Marion (with whom he had celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1985) our deep-felt pride of her late husband. Also, to their daughter Jill and son, Robin. 


Theo was a contemporary of my late father (Gustave F Muteau 1921-25), and was instrumental in getting him posted to RAF Intelligence where his knowledge and expertise in languages could be properly utilised in WW2. 

As a result of his friendship with my father he heard of the abominable state of my handwriting and decided that I should be privately tutored by him - as he was, despite his injuries, one of the most noted calligraphists in this country. You see the result, which has been my normal handwriting every since.

To see him at work with his quills and pens was a great privilege, which I enjoyed for many years. But my most lasting memory of this great OH is of him inspecting the CCF at Westbere Road. It was painful for him to stand for more than a few minutes, even with the aid of his two canes but he handed them to his ADC and proceeded to inspect the whole Corps - not just the front rank as many inspecting officers were prone to do - and then to stand to take the salute as we marched past. For well over an hour he walked and stood unaided; often stopping to chat to us. He told my father later that he was in agony the whole time but he refused to let us down! What a man!

Truly a parfait knight and a gentleman. 

C Muteau 

Air Chief Marshal Sir Theodore McEvoy KCB, CVE. Did he, in 1915, envisage this description of himself in later years? I would not be surprised. When, to us other boys, aeroplanes were just dots in the sky, by "Mac" they were recognised as Bristol Fighters or Sopwith Pups, or whatever. If ever there was a boy with a firm and fixed ambition as to what he wanted to do in life it was Mac and flying. After becoming a cadet-officer in the School Cadet Corps, he went on to Cranwell and passed out - predictably - with the Sword of Honour two years later in 1925. 

From then his career through the Royal Air Force was one of steady promotion, and this in spite of a crippling disease of the spine, spondylitis, which overtook him before he was 30. Whilst it was developing it caused him intense pain, and it was small consolation that once his spine had set in its curvature it no longer hurt, but he was never afterwards able to stand straight. The fact that he was not invalided out of service is proof of his outstanding qualities as an airman and a staff officer.

He played a leading part in RAF activities throughout the war, particularly as Group Captain Operations HQ Fighter Command, and he served in Normandy, being mentioned in despatches. Subsequently he rose to be Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces, Central Europe, at Fontainbleau. On the way up the ladder as Station Commander, Northolt, in 1941 he formed close links with the Polish Air Force fighter units, and received a high Polish decoration.

Retired in 1962 at the age of 58 he occupied his time in a variety of interests, including gliding, calligraphy, he wrote an exquisite italic hand, becoming President of the Italic Handwriting Society - and glass engraving, where in spite of severe eye disability he was able to apply his calligraphic talent to glass. He also busied himself politically in anti-Communist activities and will have been gratified to have lived to see the turn of events in Russia and Eastern Europe. Mac is survived by his wife Marian, and a son and a daughter, and grandchildren.

E E Mautner (1912-22)


FC Rodney Mundy (died in 1997)

Frank A. NOBLE (19 -20)
died at his home on 18 June 1985, after suffering an heart attack.

He was a Life member of the HOBC and belonged to the Five Years Club which operated during, and for some years after, the 1914-18 war.

A. Gordon C. HAILEY (1913-20)
died on 25 June 1984.

Gordon spent all his working life with a firm of timber importers, retiring as General Manager in 1968. However, for a further five years on a regular basis and for some years thereafter part-time, he acted as consultant for the firm's West Country business, being based in Cornwall.

Upon his final retirement, Gordon moved to Rowledge in Surrey, where until his wife's death, they continued to enjoy an occasional round of golf. Gordon was a Life Member of the Association, but by the time he returned to the area of its social activities, considered that the night travel involved was too hazardous to undertake. Accordingly, his main interest was reading about the various activities, particularly those of the OHRFC and OHCC and the pre-1940 Reunions.

To his son Clive (1953-60), daughter Jennifer, and his five grandchildren we offer belated sympathy.


Sir Hubert SHIRLEY-SMITH (1911-19)
died on 10th February 1981

Sir Hubert, who was in his 80th year, captained both the football and cricket XIs. On leaving School he joined the Five Year Club of the HOBC and proceeded to London University where in 1922 he obtained a BSc (Eng.) from the City & Guilds Institute, gaining the diploma of Imperial College. The following year he joined the staff of Sir Douglas Fox & Partners (later to become Freeman, Fox & Partners) where he assisted with the calculations and designs for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

After a spell in the North-East he returned to London to assist the late Sir Ralph Freeman (1888-1897) on designs and estimates for the Birchenough and Otto Beit bridges in Rhodesia. At the outbreak of war Sir Hubert was working on the Howrah Bridge in Calcutta but in 1942 he returned home to establish a new shipyard on the Forth for the construction of Tank landing Craft for the invasion of Normandy. From 1945-60 he was with the Cleveland Bridge Company and visited bridge sites in Nyasaland, Siam, Australasia and Finland where the company was responsible for the celebrated ROVANIEMI bridge. He designed the steelwork for the Shell Centre tower.

From 1960 to 1965 he acted as site agent for a consortium and was in charge of the construction of the Forth Road bridge. After he retired in 1967 he set up in private practice with W. V. Zinn & Associates.

On the council of the Institution of Civil Engineers from 1952 until 1967, he became President in its 150th Anniversary year and was knighted. From 1958-65 he also served on the council of the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors. He was Vice-President of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering and the Institute of Civil Engineers awarded him the Telford Gold Medal for the many papers which he contributed to the Institution. 

To his widow, Marie, sister of the late Jack G. (1912-22) and of E. Pat Kehyaian. (1913-23), and to his brother Kenneth (1909-18) we would like to express our condolences.

Sydney E PHILLIPS (1912-19)
died on 13 November 1987.

He was born in St John‘s Wood in 1906, merely a stone’s throw away from Lords where he spent much of his school summer holidays. He attended Haberdashers from 1912 to 1919 and then proceeded to Taunton. His school days were undoubtedly very important in preparing him for a successful business career.

Stanley qualified as a chartered accountant in 1930 and shortly afterwards he joined Trade Indemnity as its first claims manager. He brought to the office two qualities that characterised him throughout his business career, absolute integrity and a genius for compromise. He quickly established a reputation for fairness in claims settlements and became progressively more and more respected by those accountants specialising in insolvency work. The value to his company of his influence in this field cannot be overstated.

In 1938 he joined the Territorial Army with seven of his closest friends from the Brondesbury Club, five of them being Old Haberdashers. On 26 August, 1939 they were all called up to prepare a gun site on the Saracens Rugby Ground at Winchmore Hill where most of them had played and enjoyed the aftermath of a rugby match. The pavilion and the bar now served as their sleeping quarters. Later on he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force and was despatched by sea to Singapore. Thankfully, as a result of two direct torpedo hits, he never reached Singapore and was off-loaded in the Middle East. He was based in Cairo and rose to the rank of squadron leader, being mentioned in despatches.

At the end of the war Stanley returned, fit and well (as did his seven friends) and resumed his business and sports activities where he had left them. On his return to the City in 1945 he was appointed Deputy General Manager of Trade Indemnity and, in 1961, its General Manager. With the company firmly established, Stanley set out to achieve what had been his ultimate objective throughout his career: raising the status of the company to the point where it was known and respected in financial circles in the City and abroad. He established the first overseas branch of the company in Australia in 1963 and maintained a close and sentimental interest in its development until his death. He was President of the International Credit Insurance Association from 1965-68, and later became President of the Berne Union. He also represented the company’s shareholding interests on the boards of the Netherlands Credit Insurance Company and Allgemeine Kredit in Germany. By the time he retired in 1973 the goal that he set himself had been attained. It was the supreme moment of his success.

Throughout his time as General Manager, Stanley fought hard for the betterment of his staff. Despite difficulties and frustrations, his loyalty to them never wavered. He was able to offer employment to quite a few Old Haberdashers during his years in control.

When Stanley returned to London after completing his schooling at Taunton, he became a founder member of the OHRFC. He must surely have been the last survivor of the founder members. He captained the "A" XV in the first two seasons, 1923-25, and again in 1930-31. He then captained the club for four seasons from 1931-35, and finally took over the “B” XV for 1936-7. Having played for 14 seasons he had already commenced office in administrative duties, having been Hon. Treasurer from 1935-7. He had a further two years in this post from 1946-8, before becoming President from 1952-4.

He was a trustee during the early days at Boreham Wood, which was first used in April 1937. During his 14 or more seasons as a player, he skippered for 8 of them as well as undertaking his first term as treasurer. During the seasons 1932-4 his 1st XV set a record of 12 matches undefeated, starting with the 3rd Easter Tour in April 1933 and finishing in early December of the following season. His personal contribution to the last ten of those games was 32 points (including 3 tries) out of a total score by the team of 126 points. Whilst the feat was equalled in 1946-7, it has not yet been surpassed at this level. While still President of the OHRFC, he was elected President of the HOBC for 1953-4 - a unique honour.

In the summer months he played cricket and tennis at the Brondesbury Club where he made many lifelong friends, but none more important than Elsie, whom he later married - one of the many weddings at the time to result from the Brondesbury relationships. Like many other sports-loving men, he then turned to golf and joined Hendon Golf Club. He served on the committee for many years, was captain and, later on, a trustee. He was made a life member in recognition of his efforts for the welfare of the club. He was a member of many golfing societies (including the OH and Tauntonian) which developed an even wider circle of friends for him. He regularly represented the Tauntonians in the Halford Hewitt Tournament.

Stanley was a man who worked hard, played hard and got the most out of life at all levels. He once said that when you can no longer offer anything to life it is time to go. He had a charming personality, was a proud family man and a generous and caring person with a great sense of humour. He has been described by more than one person as the epitome of a true English gentleman - one of the great Old Haberdashers.

During his entire married life Stanley was faithfully supported by his wife, Elsie, and in his last years, when he lived for him what was an unnatural existence, sitting in a chair in front of “the box", she tended to his every need. He leaves Elsie and son, John.

R A "Bunty" Phillips

Wg. Cdr. Norman A. MARTIN. O.B.E. Retd. (1914 -1919)
died 4th February 1997 

The O.T.C. Parade during the Great War, taken at the School at Westbere Road. Norman Martin is there somewhere!!

On leaving school after the end of the First World War, Norman qualified as a member of the "Five Year Club" for those who were at school for the duration of the war, and he also joined the O.H. soccer club.

From school he started with a firm of London stock-brokers as a junior clerk, and became a "blue button boy" on the floor of the stock-exchange, eventually becoming a dealer in insurance shares. His sporting activities during this period included playing soccer and cricket for stock-exchange teams, but his real enthusiasm lay with swimming. He joined the Hampstead Priory Swimming Club, and was quite successful in races at the longer distances and at water polo. At this latter sport he eventually became an England trialist, although never representing his country.

In 1926 Norman married Rene, and they set up home in Kenton, Middlesex, where in 1931, their daughter Pat arrived, and in 1934 a son, Tony, (1944-50) was born.

In 1940 he joined the R.A.F. and gained a commission in the Ground Defence Force and this became the R.A.F. Regiment in 1942. He served in the U.K. until going to Europe soon after D. Day, where he saw action on several occasions, having a particularly uncomfortable time in the Ardennes - the Battle of the Bulge - towards the end of the war. He remained in Germany with the British Air Force of Occupation, until 1948.

Towards the end of 1946 Norman was joined by his family for a year - Tony having been granted special leave by Mr. Cooper, head of the junior School at the time.

After serving for two years in this country with Technical Training Command, he was sent to the Canal Zone of Egypt, where he remained until retiring from the R.A.F. as a Wing Commander in 1953. Prior to Norman's arrival in the Middle East, our relationship with Egypt had become rather strained and defence of British installations in the Canal Zone was high priority. Norman's efforts as part of this operation were appreciated and he was awarded the O.B.E. on his retirement.

Limited choices were available in 1953 when taking early retirement from the services, and Norman and Rene settled for running a village shop in South Essex, between Laindon and Billericay, where they remained until January 1968. On taking full retirement, they moved to Shaftesbury, and by various stages to Kingsbridge in South Devon, where they arrived in 1988.

Norman lost his wife, Rene, in 1992, after 66 years of marriage, but remained in their flat overlooking the Salcolme Estuary, until he died in February 1997.

He leaves his two children, both of whom now live in retirement in Kingsbridge, five grand-children, and eight great-grandchildren.


He was a member of Meadows House and a contemporary of Colin Colquehouln (killed in the Middle East, Second World War), "Asher" Grossman (died Second World War), Maurice Daly (died 3rd November 1994 in Australia) and "Nobby" Gillett (17th November 1987), calling themselves the "Famous Five".

Ronnie played for the 1st Cricket XI and the 2nd Rugby XV and was a member of the cadet force. On leaving school he joined Messrs, Sharp Perrin & Co., a City Textile Company, with whom he stayed all his business life, although they were taken over by Courtaulds in the 1960s.

Always a keen sportsman he quickly joined the Old Boys' Rugby Club, playing for various sides before making his 1st XV debut on 16th February 1935. He captained the cricket team called "Old Change", playing in the City of London League from 1936 to the outbreak of war. He joined the London Scottish Territorial Regiment in 1932 and represented them in their athletics team, particularly in the 440 yards and cross country and was also was a member of their fencing and bayonet fencing team from 1932 to 1936.

Although playing only once for the 1st XV in 1935/36, he was selected to play in the Middlesex Sevens, assisting his "Famous Five" colleague Maurice Daly to score all the 11 tries scored by the backs during the tournament. Ronnie's 3rd and 4th were vital in wins over Blackheath 11 (9-6) and Wasps I (8-3) in the round of the last 16. After 60 years this remained the high water mark of his O.H.R.F.C. career. So much so, that in April 1986, despite all his other commitments Ronnie travelled down from Walsall to attend the pre-1940 reunion at the Club House and there met three other members of the 1936 VII - exactly 50 years after playing at Twickenham.

At the outbreak of war he was commissioned in the Royal Tank Regiment and served at Tidworth and Bernard Castle until being sent to India serving in Poona and Dehru Dun.

Returning to civilian life he was sent to Birmingham by his firm; after two years he moved to Walsall where he remained. His first wife, Hazel, whom he married in 1938 died in 1982; But he remarried some two years later to Irene. He had two sons and two step sons and many grandchildren. On retirement at the age of 63 he joined his local Probus club in which he played a full part in all its activities, becoming Chairman in 1986. He was a keen member of the Walsall Bowling Club playing two or three times every week. He was a prominent Freemason for 50 years, attaining high office in several Degrees, both in London and Staffordshire.

Richard Mallison

Stanley Henderson (1912-19)
died in 1987 or 1988

Regrettably, only on the return of the Old Boys Notes in mid-August 1988, from his address in Iver, Bucks, has the death of Stanley Henderson become known.

Those who knew him will recall that Stanley was awarded a first class Honours in Natural Science, Tripos Part II in 1922, whereupon Emmanuel College, Cambridge elected him to a research studentship.


Jack FB Tigg (died in 1992)

Dr Kenneth Shirley SMITH (-1918)
died February 1987 

Kenneth, who left School in 1918, was a member of the Five Year Club, formed just after the 1914-18 War. 

He had been consulting physician and cardiologist to Charing Cross and the London Chest Hospitals, the editor of the British Heart Journal and President of the British Cardiac Society, as well as the organising secretary of the first European Congress in 1952.

He was the Gold staff officer at the 1937 Coronation and served in the 1939-45 war as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the R.A.M.C. , being mentioned in dispatches.

George W. BILAINKIN (1915-18)
died on 16th March 1981 at the age of 78.

He was a journalist of wide experience. After leaving the School, he continued his education at the Athenee Royal in Belgium. As a young man George was joint news editor of the Jamaica Daily Gleaner and was subsequently on the staff of the Leicester Mail and the Press Association, before going to Penang as editor of the Straits Daily Echo and acting as The Times correspondent in North Malaya. Returning to UK in 1934 he was successively assistant literary editor of the Daily Mail, on the staff of the News Chronicle and diplomatic correspondent of Allied Newspapers. From 1940 he was special correspondent in Russia for the London Star and for American newspapers.

After the war, George was in demand as a lecturer and turned his attention to writing books based on his travels and career. Amongst his ten published works were biographies of Tito and Maisky, the former Russian Ambassador in London, and such works as "Four Guilty Britons" and 'Joseph Kennedy's Fateful Embassy'. His marriage to Dr Lilian Rivlin in 1940 was dissolved in 1949.


Charles L Magnus (died in 1994)

Francis T. CORDINGLEY (1909-17)
died peacefully in hospital on 26th January, 1996.

Francis Thomas Cordingley (Zwanziger) was 94 years old and widowed twenty years previously. He was physically frail but lived on his own with great determination and a fighting spirit. An avid reader with a keen interest in current affairs, he disliked T.V but enjoyed its sport, especially the cricket and rugby.

He often talked of his school days and was proud to be an Old Boy of Haberdashers. and took an enthusiastic interest in the annual magazine, occasionally writing in with comments. I believe he was the oldest Old Boy and as a life member 'had his moneys worth'!

He was born in Hampstead in 1901 and spent all his school days at Haberdashers, bar a short time at a local dame school. It was the School, he told me, where most of the local boys attended and he and his brother (Christian/Vic) and brother-in-law (Arthur Knowles-Brown) walked to school every day and it was a long way from Heath Street to Westbere Road. Whilst at school he joined the cadets and was keen on sport and later played for the O.B.'s football and rugby. He left in 1917 and after a short spell with Marconis joined the family business, Zwanziger Bros. (later called the Hampstead Bakery - a restaurant and bakery in Hampstead High Street). 

Too young for the 1914-18 war, he joined the London Division of the R.N.V. R. as a Ldg. Telegrapher where he shot for them at Bisley and won many prizes. In 1931 he married Eileen Reed, the daughter of Charles Reed, a bespoke tailor of Heath Street, Hampstead and had one daughter. In 1939 as he was in a reserved occupation and he remained in Hampstead throughout the Second World War.

In 1947 he took up ice skating with the family and was probably one of Betty Calloway's (Torvil and Deans instructor) first ice dance pupils at Richmond where he danced in the ice dance formation team. He and my mother then started modern sequence dancing which he continued to do, well into his eighties. He retired in 1964 and with my mother moved to Mill Hill.

We are indebted to his daughter, Mrs Jill Whitford for the reminiscences above and the Association sends its condolences on her sad loss.


Donald G Murdoch (died in 1993)

Denis W. H. BOND (1906-16)
who died peacefully on 18 April 1986 at the age of 87.

Denis enlisted immediately on leaving the School, in the Royal Field Artillery Signals Section and served in France until the end of the war. In spite of his experiences there he joined the Artists Rifles (28th London Regiment) TA in 1922 and continued with them until just before his marriage in 1927. Denis was also a member of the Five Years' Club comprising members of the HOBC who kept the Club alive during the 1914-18 war.

In 1920 Denis entered the gentlemen's outfitting department of Selfridge's and at varying periods was with a number of other large London concerns, including Moss Bros. and Lilywhites. The Royal Warranty of the latter provided a most interesting strata of clientele. From 1939 he was with the Hendon Civil Defence as a warden. Later on, he moved to Bournemouth, where he joined Daniel Nealls, being mainly concerned with school outfits, before helping out at a small, private firm of bespoke tailors. There he stayed until the retirement of the owner, in 1983 ending his own 63 years in the business, some six years after celebrating his Golden Wedding anniversary.

His retirement was spent at Poole, where he was a member of the RFA Association and the British Legion, his other interests being gardening and music. To his widow, Ruby we can but hope that the memories of nearly 59 years, companionship will do something to fill the gap. To her and their daughters, Cynthia and Isobel, we would wish to express our condolences.

E Lawrence BENDING (1911-1916)
died in February 1988.

Laurie spent all his working life in the Stock Exchange working for several firms until his retirement in 1972. He lived in Cricklewood until around 1932 where he was an active member of the Church, running the Church Lads Brigade. He moved to Ruislip and lived there until the death of his wife in 1975. He then moved to Broadstairs, to be near his daughter and her family.

After the First World War, Laurie was a member of the Five Year Club, which was responsible for rebuilding the HOBC. He was called up into the Army in 1940 and served in Egypt, Greece and latterly Italy. He fell in love with Italy and Italians and maintained this interest to the end.

His principal love outside work was Amateur Dramatics, and he performed in local groups and the Stock Exchange Dramatics Society. He is remembered by a near contemporary as a good comedian in concert parties. After retirement he took an interest in drama at a local Broadstairs college and became a keen gardener. He leaves a son and daughter.

Charles H. ADAMS (1912-16)
died suddenly in Amersham General Hospital on 6th November 1980.

Charles was a founder member of OHRFC, and captained the 'A' XV in its first season of 1923/24. His working life was spent in the Civil Service with the Inland Revenue Department and on his retirement in the early 1960s he took a part-time job with a firm of accountants, his vast range of experience in the tax field being particularly useful to them.

In 1966, he married Doff, whom he had known from childhood days and while he was at the School, but had only met up with again after he had lost his first wife and she, her husband. They had a happy decade together, enjoying much travel on the Continent until her death in 1977.

Since then Charles had continued with his other main interest of stamp collecting (for which he won several cups over the years), as well as his motoring, driving himself to the Association and Rugger Club reunions, in addition to his 1980 tour through France, Switzerland and Italy. Those rather younger members who enjoyed his company at OHRFC past-players lunch in early October will be astonished to learn that his innings has closed for 81.

To his step-daughter, Patience, we express our sympathy for the sudden termination of such a joyful companionship.


Edward S. WOOLSTONE (1905-15)
died on 15 February 1986 at the age of 86.

Edward matriculated with four distinctions, in spite of the distractions of sitting the examinations in the open, a precaution taken because of a scarlet fever epidemic. As soon as his age permitted he joined the Middlesex Regiment and served in France for the remainder of the war.

Upon demobilisation, Edward went to New Zealand and Australia, before returning home to enter the family business of Raphael Tuck & Sons of Moorfields in London. He was a very kind gentleman, well read, with sound opinions and advice for those who consulted him. Being childless himself, his affection for his brother's children and grandchildren earned their respect and love.

Edward was a member of the Association for many years and the reports of the periodic visits he and his wife paid to his revered former headmaster, the late Charles L. J. Wagstaff (1910-19) were partly instrumental in having a memorial plaque unveiled at the School. His many friends will agree that a suitable epitaph would be found in the time-honoured words "he played the game", an expression not readily understood in this day and age.

To his widow, Bea, and brother, Dr Adolph S. Woolstone (1918-24) we extend our sympathy in their sad loss.

George Norman SUMNER (1908-15)
died on 31st July 1980 in his 81st year.

Although he had matriculated with five distinctions, after the Great War George entered the family firm of miniature frame manufacturers. In spite of numerous operations and the loss of an eye he remained very cheerful and was still making his own miniature frames until the day he died, fifteen years, after his official retirement in 1965.

George was already a Life Member of the HOBC in 1922 so that it is probable that he joined over sixty years ago. To his widow, Eileen, we extend our sympathy in her bereavement.

Frank LAMBERT (c1908-1915)
died aged 90 on 27th September 1987 Although he was not an active member of the Association, it is clear that, from the obituary received printed in The Reading Chronicle, he served the Amateur Swimming Association in Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire in many capacities and with great affection and success.

He was still an active Committee member of the Reading Swimming Club, which he joined in 1948, at the time of his death. A former swimmer and water polo player himself, he was already a well-known official. He became Honorary Secretary of the County in 1951, and was President in1959 and 1969. He was Southern Counties ASA President in 1971. He received the ASA's highest award for services to swimmers, the Harold Fern Award in 1985. 

He embodied the very best qualities of voluntary service, especially in amateur sport. He was conscientious, reliable, fair-minded and at the same time possessing great enthusiasm for the sport and interest in all its participants. His kindness and personal encouragement towards all involved helped many a struggling competitor and floundering administrator. He leaves a widow, Marjorie.

Douglas Grahame (Shoog) Knowles (1915-26)
died at the age of 80 on 26th July 1988. 

Douglas was so full of life and vigour that it is difficult to believe he is no longer with us.

Douglas will be remembered as "Shoog" by his contemporaries in the old Haberdashers' Association, of which he was a life member, and in the rugger club.

Now why "Shoog"? We have to go back to World War One to find the answer. 1914-18 were years of great privation, and all Britain's resources had to be devoted to fighting through to final victory on 11 November 1918. Clothing became very scarce, and Douglas had to turn up at Haberdashers' School, then in Westbere Road, wearing a pair of his father's old trousers handed down - and they certainly were handed down, and hung in large folds below the knee. I believe that they must have been forerunners of the plus-fours that came later!

Stanley Norton was master at the School who played an important part in the change over from soccer to rugby in 1923. He was positive and forthright. "What on earth have you got there, Knowles, Sugar Bags?" And so Douglas became "Shoog" for ever after!

Douglas had a distinguished record at Haberdashers' School - he was CSM of B Company of the cadets, in the cross country team, won the shot put, was 2nd in the mile walk, in the School 1st XV in 1924/5 and 1925/6, being pack leader in the latter season, and his captain (Eric Bodman) described him as "the best forward in the side". In between all this, he did enough work to do well in the Higher Schools Examinations.

Douglas chose insurance as his career, following in his father's footsteps. He started with Atlas Assurance, then later joined the White Cross as an Inspector. During the Second World War, Douglas served in the Intelligence Corps under Field Marshall Montgomery. On demobilisation, Douglas became a manager of the Watford branch of the White Cross for some years, and later was promoted to Head Office in London, as Motor Manager.

The first written OHRFC record of Douglas came when he was in the 1st XV against Sidcup on 29 March 1930, and he played many a fine game as a prop until he moved away from London.

He left a widow, Elizabeth, and family.


Travers F. DAY (1909-15)
died very peacefully on 28 April 1987, two days before his 89th birthday.

It will be recalled that Travers was a member of the Five Year Club, after the 1914-18 War, but lost touch with the H.O.B.C. when the family moved to Cheshire. While in London, he played for the O.H.F.C. 1st XI in 1920-21 and 1921-2, before moving on to Hampstead Town (now Hendon) F.C. All his working life was spent in the family firm, dealing with estate management. 

In addition to soccer, his other recreation was scouting, having been one of the original scouts when Baden Powell started the movement. Travers founded the 9th Kenton Scout Group in February 1946 and was its scout master until 1960. There may well be a number of O.H. who lived in the area who have benefited from his leadership and experience, without perhaps realising that their leader had been to the same school.

He was a great family man, his daughter June (who set the wheels in motion for his rejoining the Association) and son Brian, providing him with seven grandchildren, all of whom attended the funeral, some travelling from the south of England. There are also five great grandchildren. Travers followed the careers and doings of them all with keen interest and was particularly proud and happy to be referred to as the 'head of the family" by his eldest grandson.

Shortly after rejoining, Travers enquired whether an O.H. Shield could be obtained for him. He was delighted with the result, when a Committee member took this up and forwarded one to his home in Wilmslow, where it was prominently displayed amongst his other trophies.

To his widow, Gladys, we offer our condolences, in the hope that the many happy memories from nearly 62 years of marriage will sustain her in her loss. Also to June and Brian and their families on the passing of the "head of the family".


Denis TEGETMEIER (-1909)
died March 1987

Denis was the grandson of the Victorian naturalist, and left the School in 1909, having won the art prize.

He served in the 1914-18 war as a trooper in the 11th Hussars, before being commissioned in the Royal Artillery. Thereafter, he studied at the Central School of Art and Craft and became a painter, etcher and engraver. Denis became associated with the Roman Catholic circle of the sculptor, Eric Gill. With other pupils he helped Gill in cutting and painting the Great War memorial at New College, arguably the finest of oxford's post mediaeval works.

In 1922, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church and turned his naturally satirical mind to drawing cartoons deriding the commercial world. Some appeared in his books "The Seven Deadly Virtues' and "The Unholy Trinity". He also produced etchings and copperplates for Sterne's "Sentimental Journey' and Fielding's "Jonathan Wilde".

When the Gill family moved from Wales to High Wycombe, Denis joined them and in 1930, married the daughter, Petra, who bore him six children. In later years, they moved to Bradford-upon--Avon, where he had a notice in large, elegant letters in his studio, inviting guests to "Leave My Bloody Tools Alone"!


Henry NORMAN (1900-07)
died at the Royal Masonic Hospital, Hammersmith on 28th February 1981 at the age of 89.

Henry joined the School during the re-siting period, studying at Elm Lodge and Woodbrook in Cricklewood Lane before going to the new building in Westbere Road in 1902.

He was a Life member of the HOBC and after being Honorary Auditor for fifteen years was elected a Vice-President in 1937-38. Owing to the intervention of the second World War it was 1945-6 before he became President. Henry was also Hon. Secretary and Treasurer of the Benevolent Fund for many years and a member of the Lodge from 1920 completing 50 years as a Past Master last December. He was also very active in several other branches of Freemasonry. 

Henry became a Chartered Accountant in 1912 and only retired from business in 1971. To his widow, Emma, and son, Kenneth J. (1943-51) and grandchildren Colin, Lesley and Susan. we offer our appreciation of the services he rendered to Old Haberdashers over a long period.


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