The OHA is sorry to announce that the following OHA have passed away:

Dick Bowen (Staff). Died January 2020

Geoff Ogden (1956). Died 26th January 2020

Dr Michael Levin (Staff). Died 22nd January 2020

Simon Gelber (1973). Died 1st January 2020

Sidney Holt (1944). Died 21st December 2019

Ashley Alterman (1974). Died December 2019

Christopher Jenkins (1957). Died 22nd November 2019


Michael Long (1955). Died 2nd November 2019


Rex Charles Harris (1945). Died 24th August 2019. 

Peter Mitchell (1956). Died 19th August 2019.

Neil Johnson (1974). Died 7th August 2019


Wendy Morelli (Prep School Teacher) Died July 2019


Ivor Benjamin (1974). Died 4th July 2019


Huntley John Norman (1950). Died early July 2019

Royalton Summerfield (1943). Died 23rd June 2019

Paul Birkby, AKA Paul Darrow (1957) Died 2nd June 2019


Major Frank Milton Partington (1943) Died 14th May 2019


Mrs Myra Hardcastle (Staff). Died 8th May 2019

Thomas Jessell (1969). Died 28th April 2019

Dr Rob Bailey (1974). Died April 2019


Roger Skinner (1963). Died 6th April 2019

John Munday (1955). Died 9th March 2019

David A Sutcliffe (1957). Died 1st March 2019

Roger Easterbrook (1953). Died 18th February 2019

Neville Mark Cooper (1955). Died 2nd January 2019

Professor Wallace Peters (1942). Died 26th December 2018


Tony White (1946) Former OHA President. Died 23rd December 2018


Alan Taylor MBE (staff 1961 to 1996) Died 23rd November 2018

John Weiss (1951) Died November 2018

George Morrison (1952) Died October 2018


Russ Hakes (1961). Died October 2018

Sir Dennis Landau (1945). Died October 2018

David Pennington (1962). Died September 2018

Stefan Tietz (1945). Died 21st August 2018

Rex Tasker (1948) Died 24th July 2018

DFB "Dave" Wrench (staff 1962-1970) died 18th June 2018, aged 81.  

Robert Pascall (1962). Died 8th June 2018

Ed Raw (1971). Died 22nd May 2018

David Seaman (1961). Died 19th May 2018

Norman David Hummerstone MBE (1937) died 1st May 2018

Anthony Vernon Peacock (1948) died 28th April 2018

David Grossel, History Teacher (1973-79), author and Fulham supporter. 

Gordon Bourne, former Governor, after whom The Bourne Hall at Elstree is named. 

Duncan McInnes died on 27th February 2018

John Frederick Eyles (1940) died on 21st February 2018

We would appreciate friends and family sending us obituaries to post.


Geoffrey Ogden 1956

Geoff was raised in Kenton, Middlesex, and attended Priestmead Primary School from where, at the age of 10 years, he passed the entry exam to Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, then at Hampstead. He was a very bright lad and more than held his own with others a year older. He represented the school at cross country running, his stamina having been developed by cycling some 25/30 miles each day to school with John Parker and me. He was involved in school theatrical productions and became the warrant officer in charge of the Combined Cadet Force.


After A levels he attended the London School of Economics where he was involved in the rather tricky area then described as logic and scientific method, without doubt the fore runner of the world of computers and modem management systems. He also represented the LSE in long distance running.


He left the LSE with a very good degree and later qualified as an accountant eventually moving into financial management in large organisations developing alongside that experience, his knowledge and expertise in the use and application of computer systems in various settings.


After initially working in the the UK he had several postings overseas and lived for many years in South Africa. His returns to the UK would always be marked by very fluid meetings with John Parker and myself in various London hostelries and with his LSE colleagues, notably Frank Stoner, who is here today and other friends such as Peter Denny.


Geoff eventually returned to the UK where he undertook commissioned work with

local authorities and NHS boards throughout England and Wales. He became involved in politics and did a great deal of work in support of the Conservative Party locally. With John Slade, who is here today, he organised fund raising functions and political meetings. He also canvassed extensively at election times. This and his professional career afforded him direct access to many prominent people which he would often put to use to assist others. He would spend much of his leisure times canal walking.


He was always proud of being an Old Haberdasher and supported both the school and the Old Haberdashers' Association. He played a bit of rugby for the old boys in his younger days but whilst he may have been powerful in the business world he was pretty hopeless in the line outs. He was however good in post match matters. He attended many social functions both formal and informal in support of the Association.


Geoff never married. Sadly, when in his thirties, his intended fiancé was killed in a car crash.

The last few years of his life were not good to Geoff. He suffered a stroke some seven years ago which curtailed his ability to walk. This gradually worsened leaving him bed ridden for the past three years. He also had had a kidney removed when he was in his thirties and this with his weakening condition left him prone to infections. He bore all his inflictions with inspirational cheerfulness and resolve, maintaining his passion for white wine. During one of his many stays in hospital a consultant described him as the most resilient person he had ever met.


Geoff was a good and loyal friend, (for over 70 years to John Parker and me, over 60 years to Frank Stoner, nearly 60 years to Peter Denny and over 30 years to John Slade) A kind and a caring person with an impish sense of humour and a brilliant mimic.


He will be greatly missed. RIP dear friend.

Ken Davies (OH 1956)

Dr Michael Levin (Staff)

Michael Levin, who died on Wednesday 22 January aged 86 after a long illness, taught Physics with great accomplishment at Habs from 1972 to 1997, and for those of us who were taught by him his enthusiasm and knowledge of his subject was second to none.


He also was a vitally important member of the Careers department as well as overseeing a very successful generation of Habs Chess players.


Michael was himself an Old Haberdasher, joining the School at Westbere Road in 1946 and leaving in 1950. After obtaining excellent degrees from Imperial College, London, and spending some years working for the National Coal Board, the lure of Haberdashers was such (as with a number of OHs) that in 1972 he returned to teach – having been recruited by the then Headmaster, Tom Taylor. Michael’s sons Jonathan (OH 1980) and David (OH 1982) both came to Habs, as indeed did a number of his nephews.


Our thoughts and condolences are with his whole family, and most especially his widow, Henny.

Simon Gelber 1973

We are devastated to receive the news that Simon Gelber, mainstay of the Old Haberdashers’ Cricket Club and a key member of the Association’s management team, passed away on New Year’s Day after suffering a major heart failure on Christmas Day. He will be sorely missed by all those whose lives he touched.


We attach below a transcript of the words addressed in his memory by Colin Blessley, OHA President, before a lunch preceding two rugby home games at Croxdale Road on 4th January 2020. A minute silence was observed on the field before the kick-off of each match.


Rest in Peace, Simon. We will remember you.

Simon Gelber

A tribute by Colin Blessley - 4th January 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, guests.

I wanted to say a few words before we proceed.

I think that most of you will have heard by now that Simon Gelber passed away on New Year’s Day.

With his passing, we have lost a true OH stalwart – he was involved in many aspects of the OHA’s activities, not just those of the Cricket Club, of which he was a very effective defender of the faith within the overall Association universe. Simon steadfastly conserved good relations with the School, when, on other fronts, there had been major breakdowns in the relationships.

Without him, the OHCC Annual Dinner at Lord’s would not exist. Indeed, he was risking the cricket equivalent of doing a Nobbly, still playing until the end of the last season.

He was often on the touchline at our home rugby matches – one of a dedicated group of supporters who attended regularly over the years. He was also quite a fair referee.

Being well- read, for many years, he was the Editor & Correspondent for OH Notes – a pretty thankless task, as a number of his successors will bear witness. Getting publishable material from contributors was like getting blood from a stone. However, this did not diminish his great sense of humour.

In view of the fact that his professional career was in the catering industry, it is hardly surprising that, together with David Heasman, he founded the black tie “Gourmet Dinner” programme held here at the clubhouse, with Simon doing all the cooking and plating up – maybe we should hold one in his memory.

He was also historically involved in the clubhouse bar management, a role which, at my request, he re-assumed last summer. Most of the improvements in the bar product offering are down to Simon’s hard work – ably supported by Pauline – so please, by your custom henceforth, ensure that his efforts are recognised.

Simon was the man to call when an item of kitchen equipment needed some TLC. His business, Court Catering, performed wonders on emergency call-out and many potential disasters were averted. He master-minded the installation of the new appliances, which are proving so valuable on occasions such as today.

Although not an accountant, he had a fine eye in financial analysis and (as I know to my occasional cost) actually read accounts from cover to cover. He was the only member of ExCo to pull me up because a footnote cross-reference was incorrect.

We shall sorely miss all of his contributions – indeed, I ask myself who and how can we replace him. The answer is we cannot – his unassuming but always constructive presence was just him. It will not be the same without him.

Go with God and Rest in Peace, Simon.

Sidney Holt 1944

Sidney Holt, who has died aged 93, aimed to live long enough to save the great whale species from extinction – something he had been fighting for since being appointed to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1961 to give scientific advice on annual catch limits for each hunted species.

He managed to curtail the slaughter but did not succeed in halting it until 26 December 2018, when Japan left the International Whaling Commission and announced it would no longer kill whales in Antarctica, at last guaranteeing the great whales a sanctuary where their seriously depleted numbers might continue to recover.

Holt’s battle to save the whales began after he had established himself as a world-renowned scientist in the field of fisheries, having co-written a book published in 1957 on how to calculate fish stocks and therefore work out sustainable catches. The book, On the Dynamics of Exploited Fish Populations, was a collaboration with a fellow UK Ministry of Fisheries and Food (Maff) scientist, Ray JH Beverton. It became the must-have textbook for fisheries scientists.

Holt had worked out the equations that formed the core of the book while camping on Rannoch Moor in Scotland, waiting for wood ants to return to their nests. He had been sent out on a motorbike to scout for areas of Scotland that could be turned into nature reserves, and out of curiosity began weighing the ants when they set off to forage in the morning. He marked them with tiny spots of green paint so he could identify individuals when they returned and weigh them again.

He posted off the fishery equations to his co-author and four years later the ministry published the results, establishing the international reputations of both men.

Holt, who had an intense curiosity, believed in spreading his knowledge and had already represented the UK at various international conferences on fishing. Four years before the book was published he was asked by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to run a training course in Istanbul, after which he was recruited to work full time.

Holt and his wife, Nan (nee Meadmore), known as Judy, whom he married in 1947, went to live in Rome, and he spent the following 25 years working for the UN. His reputation continued to grow as he produced more than 400 scientific papers and articles. He served as director of the fisheries resources and operations division of the FAO in Rome, secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and director of Unesco’s marine sciences division in Paris.

In 1961, as a part-time additional job, he became one of the so-called “three wise men” – independent scientists advising the IWC, which was intent on devising sustainable limits to catches of great whales. Although he officially retired from the UN in 1979, he continued work to limit the slaughter of whales, first for the IWC until 2002, and then as a scientific adviser to various anti-whaling countries, including the Seychelles and France, as well as environment groups.

After retiring from the UN he became first director of the International Ocean Institute in Malta and helped draft the Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982).

He won many accolades for his work on protecting marine mammals, animal welfare and fisheries science, including the Global 500 award of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Blue Planet award of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Sidney was born in the East End of London. His father, also Sidney Holt, was a briar-pipe maker, and his mother, Ethel (nee Fryatt), had worked in a confectionery factory. They moved to Colindale and Sidney won a scholarship to Haberdashers’ Aske’s boys’ school before going to Reading University, where he got a first-class degree in biology. He wanted to continue studying but his parents could not afford to support him and he joined Maff, working in its Lowestoft laboratory.

Although he began his research life at sea, sewing buttons on plaice and releasing them to determine where they had migrated when they were caught again by fishermen, he was soon in demand elsewhere. He was keen to accept a job in the US at five times his Maff salary, but was refused a visa. He later discovered he had been labelled a communist for helping two visiting Russians translate their scientific paper into English.

Instead of America he worked at Nature Conservancy in Scotland before joining the UN in Rome. Holt was proud to have worked for the UN, but it was saving the great whale species that became his passion. He used his scientific, communication and diplomatic skills to turn the IWC from pro-hunting to a conservation body, a process that took decades of dedication.

The first great milestone in saving the whales came when a moratorium was introduced in 1984. However, Japan immediately invented “scientific” whaling – killing whales to check their age and the state of the stock – a loophole that allowed it to continue to slaughter the mammals for meat, also exploited by Norway and Iceland.

The annual meetings of the IWC were a political battleground in which Holt was ever present, patiently explaining the science and revealing to journalists the “bribes” of fish plants and cash sums used by Japan to get small nations to vote alongside it.

As he got older he grew more radical and became a Greenpeace representative, helping to found Greenpeace Italy, advising the IFAW, and finally endorsing the work of the Sea Shepherd organisation, directly confronting the Japanese whaling fleet as it hunted in the designated Antarctic sanctuary.

When Japan announced it had stopped “scientific” whaling in the Antarctic the news was hardly reported, but last September, when Holt was physically ailing, a group of prominent whale campaigners from around the world made a pilgrimage to his home in Umbria to celebrate and thank him for his immense contribution to their cause.

He met his partner, Leslie Busby, while they were working at Unesco. She survives him, along with his son, George, from his marriage to Judy, from whom he separated in the late 1970s.

Kindly reproduced from The Guardian 8th Jan 2020

David Seaman 1961

David Seaman died on the 19th May 2018 (OH informed Dec 2019) in Cardiff, which had been his home since the 1980s. Born in Hendon during the Second World War, his family moved to Mill Hill soon afterwards, where they lived for the next 20 years or so.

David played the piano from a very early age, rattled through his graded examinations and then attended the Royal Academy of Music in his early teens. He attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School Hampstead before going to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge to study Music, obtaining both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees. Whilst at Cambridge, David won a prize for his arrangement of the Coventry Carol, which was then performed by the choir of King’s College in the Chapel.

After Cambridge David studied conducting at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He trained as a repetiteur at the London Opera Centre and toured the UK with Opera for All.
Applying for positions in the UK he was told he was too inexperienced, so David applied for and was awarded a scholarship to study conducting in Hamburg. This set him up for the next 12 or so years, leading to positions as a repetiteur at Deutsche Oper Am Rhein in Düsseldorf, as 2nd Kapellmeister for Städtische Buhnen in Nürnberg and 1st Kapellmeister for Landestheatre in Coburg. In 1974, during his time in Nürnberg, he co-founded Pocket Opera Company (POC), Germany’s oldest independent opera company, which presented alternative full-length productions of operas, initially using David's own reduced orchestrations and then branching out as it became established. David continued to work as Musical Director of POC until 2003, adding to his library of arrangements which were toured extensively, both in Europe and throughout the world. The company still prospers to this day.

David and his wife Christine, who met in Germany where she was a ballet dancer, decided to return to the UK when the eldest of their three children reached school age. With 12 years
of work in Germany behind him, David now found he was too experienced for the positions he sought in the UK. However, he was offered a role at Welsh National Opera (WNO) as Conductor and Assistant Chorusmaster and the family moved to Cardiff in the mid-1980s.

Following from his success with POC, he conducted his version of Hansel and Gretel for WNO as the first of their circuit tours, which took opera to chamber theatres across Wales and the South West of England. The huge success of the first tour led to WNO commissioning David to arrange and conduct three more operas - Don Pasquale, Macbeth and finally La Cenerentola. Amongst his credits were the preparation of musical editions and then conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of WNO in animated versions of operas including The Magic Flute, which you can still find on YouTube.

In all, David prepared reduced orchestration versions of over 20 operas, from the best loved repertoire pieces such as Carmen and La Traviata to less well-known operas like Der Vampyr (Marschner), which played all over the world, including the USA, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand as well as many European venues. He did not confine himself to mainstream operas either, working on a number of other arrangements such as John Eaton's Songplay, with music by Kurt Weill, which he conducted in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. He continued to write and to arrange throughout his life, always exploring new ideas, such as his swing arrangement of Die Fledermaus (Swinging Fledermaus) and his own opera.

David’s approach to arrangements was to build from scratch with what was indispensable to the music rather than stripping away instruments from the full score. His scores have been performed by a variety of companies across the world, to great international acclaim. His famous and world’s first Der Ring an einem Abend (yes, Wagner’s full Ring-cycle, condensed into one evening) has been particularly successful, with performances in Germany, the UK, all over North America and elsewhere. "The edition works so succinctly, one scarcely notices that about ten hours of music are missing" – Die Zeit

David was loved and respected by the singers at WNO, with whom he worked tirelessly and always enthusiastically, coaching and helping them prepare for their operatic performances. 

As well as being a wonderful pianist he was also a consummate organist and played at various churches in the Cardiff area over the years. When not working on operas for WNO, coaching singers, accompanying them in recitals, or working with other instrumentalists, he loved to take music into the community. Through playing in small scale recitals with singers and players to founding a community-based opera company with family and friends to take small budget productions of operas like Hansel and Gretel to towns and villages that could not support large touring groups, he did all he could to spread the joy of his art.

Christopher Jenkins 1957

Chris was 75 years old, the only son of Arthur George Jenkins (Jenks) who attended Haberdashers for a short time in the 50s.

Unfortunately the school did not suit him and for the rest of his education he attended a local Comprehensive. He joined Elliot’s in Borehamwood and helped build an enormous computer hence his lifelong interest in that field.

Chris joined the OHRFC, his Brother in Law being John Hanson, past OH Captain, playing for the junior sides in the second row although he was like a pipe cleaner at that time! He married Margaret, Tony Alexander was their best man, then moved to Oxfordshire where he joined Cholsey rugby club and maintained his interest in Rugby throughout his life

Chris was also fascinated by the stars and gave several lectures in Oxford regarding that work. He built an observatory in his back garden which he was able to access from his study.

He cared for Margaret when she was too ill with her non Parkinson’s lymphoma and they both laughed like drains when Chris tipped her out of the wheelchair going up a kerb!

Chris is survived by Charlotte and Hannah and three granddaughters. His cancer was a short lived disease and it was a shock to everyone when he died. He was in pain but had palliative care at the end.

Liz Hanson – Sister

Peter Mitchell (1956)

Peter Mitchell died on 19 August 2019 at the age of 80. Many OH will remember Pete from school. At the age of 8 Pete had polio which left him with a withered left arm. In spite of this Pete achieved much with his life.

He left school for the LSE where he graduated in 1959. He then moved to Truro where he joined the planning department of Cornwall County Council where he was to spend the rest of his working life. Though he was born in London he came from a Cornish family, and this was to be his home for 60 years.

Pete was very active in the life of Cornwall. He was a Crusader leader, Secretary of Truro Baptist Church, active politically with the Liberal Democrats amongst many things.

I only really got to know Pete well on my frequent visits to Cornwall. He loved and knew Cornwall and her people well. He was always interested in old school contacts, which included TEC in his retirement in Cornwall. Quite a number of OH were spontaneously contacted by him.

Our sympathies go to Pete’s son Andrew and his sister Jane. 

John Kirkby (1957)

Rex Charles Harris (1945)

Rex Harris was born on 29 April 1927 in London and from Hampstead Garden Suburb Primary School obtained a scholarship to Haberdashers in 1938.  


In 1940 he was evacuated to Dorset and attended Bridport Grammar School, where he stayed for two years until he matriculated.  He returned to Haberdashers in 1942, where in his last year at School (1944-1945) he was School Captain at Chase Lodge, Mill Hill.  He was also a member of “the fire-watching elite” at Westbere Road.  


Rex was a keen sportsman and played Rugby for the 1st XV, captained the 2nd X1 Cricket team in an unbeaten run of two years, and represented the School at the Public Schools Cross Country running event at Blackheath.  He also attended the summer working camps at Seal and Lambourn during the last years of the war and was a Sergeant in the JTC. 


His National Service was spent in the Army Intelligence Corps, where he learnt Russian.  He went on to study Modern Languages and Economics at Caius College Cambridge and it was at a dance there attended by Old Haberdasher undergraduates that he met his future wife Lavinia (née Dalby).  Rex and Lavinia married in Cambridge and recently celebrated their 69th year wedding anniversary.   


On leaving Caius College, Rex joined J. Lyons & Co as a management trainee, working in various parts of the UK, before returning to London as Chief Executive of their Bread Bakery Division, which later merged with Spillers to form Spillers-French Baking Ltd.  When Spillers closed down its Baking Company, Rex joined Grand Metropolitan's Contract Services Division as Executive Development Manager, running management programmes both in the UK and in the Middle East. 

In 1985 he set up his own highly successful training and management development consultancy.  


Following retirement in 1996, Rex greatly enjoyed reunions at The Clubhouse with fellow Old Haberdashers and with his three sons, Christopher (1971), Keith (1974) and Neil (1979), where they usually provided the largest family contingent of Old Haberdashers at the Fathers & Sons Dinners. Christopher is married to Carol, the daughter of another Old Haberdasher, Ian Stuart-Kregor whose son Paul (1972) is also an Old Haberdasher.


Ever since his latter years at school, Rex was very keen on jazz and swing music, giving talks to the School Music Society on the subject.  This interest was taken up again in retirement, when Rex presented many illustrated talks and recitals to a number of Big Band Societies, going on to form The Woburn Sands Big Band Society when he was 80.


Rex passed away peacefully on 24th August after two years of ill health and is survived by his wife Lavinia who lives in Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire and his three sons.

Huntley John Norman (1950)

Huntley John Norman was born on 26th December 1931 in Hull. At the start of the Second World War he was living in North London and so in 1939 he was evacuated to Wiltshire. By the end of the war he was back in North London attending Haberdasher's School until 1950.

Like many of his generation he did national service and was part of the Royal Artillery parade lining the route of the coronation of the Queen in 1952.

After national services he trained and qualified as a quantity surveyor. It was during this period and in the early and mid-1950's he played rugby and cricket for Old Haberdashers before injury forced early retirement from both. However he continued to enjoy watching both for the rest of his life.

By the 1960's Huntley had moved to Horsham in Sussex and married his beloved wife Pamela in 1961. 1965 saw the birth of his first son Graham flowed by Andrew in 1967.

During this period and until his retirement in 1996 he worked as a quantity surveyor for various firms including a period of self-employment. He worked on a variety of projects from Heathrow Terminal 4 to the Farnborough Wind tunnel to the naval dockyards at Rosyth as well as large housing developments and school building at Trinity and Whitfgift in Croydon where he had moved in 1980.

His love of sport never left him and he encouraged his two sons supporting them through thick and thin, rain or shine in whichever sport they chose. He also served as a committee member for 3 years at the Old Whitgiftians Rugby club watching his son play for over 15 years including games against Old Haberdashers. He could also be relied on to solve practical issues such as cutting holes for windows in walls or to producing picture frames for his daughter in laws paintings.

In 2009 he moved down to Worthing to be closer to family. He passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside on 28th June. He is survived by his wife Pamela and sons Graham and Andrew.

Ivor Benjamin (1974)

Ivor was not only a well-respected director of theatre, but a tireless campaigner for directors’ rights, and was heavily involved in the work of both the Directors Guild of Great Britain and the Directors Charitable Foundation. 

Below, Chair of the Directors Charitable Foundation Vladimir Mirodan writes in remembrance of Ivor, and his formidable life and works. 

Theatre director and writer Ivor Benjamin, who died recently following a long illness, dedicated much of his professional life to helping directors as well as to celebrating the art of directing in all its forms. In her eulogy, given during a moving funeral ceremony attended by over two hundred mourners, his widow Amanda described him as a ‘rescuer’ – of people as well as causes. Nowhere was this more in evidence than in his long and dedicated support for the aims and struggles of directors.

Born in 1956 into a close-knit Jewish family in North London, Ivor was educated at Haberdashers Aske School and in the late 1970s read English at Trinity College Cambridge. A production he directed in his final year gained him a Best Director award at the National Student Drama Festival; this in turn led to his first professional appointments: first as Assistant Director at the Youth Theatre, then as Staff Director for the main company at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry (1982-84). During the decade that ensued Ivor also directed at the Birmingham Rep., the Bolton Octagon, the Harrogate Theatre and the Contact Theatre in Manchester. Notable productions included an adaptation of Animal Farm, Willy Russell’s Stags and Hens and the UK cast premiere of Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! In all, Ivor directed throughout his career over 60 stage productions in Britain, Canada, Ireland and Israel as well as writing 14 plays and film scripts. His adaptation of Rashomon, based on the original Japanese stories, toured internationally to Ireland, the USA, Singapore and the Philippines. 

Forever in search of the new, Ivor was an early adopter of the use of computers in the arts: this led him to gaining an MSc in Systems Analysis (City University, 1993) and as early as 1995 to lecturing enthusiastically on the possibilities of using virtual reality in the theatre. During the 2000s Ivor was actively involved in promoting Chinese film in Britain and chaired for several years the jury of the China Image Film Festival in London as well as being on the international jury of the Beijing Film Festival. Coming from a family of engineers, Ivor combined his professional interests with a life-long passion for dismantling, constructing and riding vintage motorbikes.

Ivor joined the Directors Guild of Great Britain soon after its formation in 1984 as the only organisation representing directors in all media. An enthusiastic promoter of directors’ rights, Ivor was soon elected to the Guild’s Council and eventually became one of its Vice-Chairs. In this role, he was at the heart of the various struggles and mutations the organisation underwent through the 1980s and 1990s and took an active part in planning and delivering the ‘rights strike’ which led to TV directors getting a much-improved deal from the broadcasters. When screen directors decided to form Directors UK, Ivor’s steadfastness enabled the DGGB to continue as an organisation serving mainly theatre directors, who would otherwise have been left homeless. Through Ivor’s vision (and occasionally his financial support), the DGGB was restructured as the executive arm of a charity, the Directors Guild Trust. Under Ivor’s chairmanship, between 2005 and 2015 the DGGB offered its members a sustained programme of craft-related workshops and social events as well as organising the Peter Brook Lectures, which involved well-known directors such as Brook himself, Phyllida Lloyd or Mike Leigh and were open to the general public. In 2015, the Directors Guild Trust joined forces with Directors UK and the recently established Stage Directors UK to form a new charity, the Directors Charitable Foundation. Ivor was instrumental in the creation of the new charity and became one of its most valued Trustees, working tirelessly for it until his illness prevented him from doing any more.

Ivor will be remembered by all who knew him for his boundless energy, his gentle wit and above all for the warmth and generosity of his friendship. His was a truly gracious spirit: instinctively and effortlessly he saw nothing but the best in everyone and everything. 

Ivor Benjamin died on 4 July 2019, not long after his sixty-third birthday. He is survived by his wife Amanda, his daughter Jilly and son Joe. He will be sorely missed. 


Reproduced with thanks to Directors UK  

Major Frank Partington (1943)

Born 8th September 1925 in Liverpool. Educated at Haberdashers Aske’s Hampstead School. Joined Royal Signals in Spring of 1944 and trained as a technician. Served in British Liberation Army (BLA) 1945 until VE Day. Given emergency commission 1946 and served in Northern Italy and with Royal Artillery in Palestine and North Africa until 1950 during which time obtained regular commission. Service continued as instructor Army Apprentices’ School Harrogate, TA Adjutant, instructor officer training, Staff Officer to Commander Royal Signals Malta, Squadron Commander 3rd Infantry Division Signals and Signals Staff Officer War Office/MOD. Awarded SQ (Staff qualified).


Following appointment as 2nd -in-command 16 Signal Regiment, qualified in colloquial Arabic in Aden prior to secondment to the Federal Regular Army (FRA) as Signals Advisor until November 1967. Prior to retirement from the British Army April 1975 served as SO2 Engineering in NATO (HQ AFCENT) and GSO2 in MOD. Joined SAF Signals on contract May 1975 until December 1983 as SO2 Signals/2nd -in-command and also CO.


Awarded WKhM (Distinguished Service Medal). On return to UK worked briefly (18 months) with the Internal Audit Section of the local council in Fleet, Hampshire, where he lives, as well as involvement with Citizens Advice, Royal British Legion, Royal Signals Association, Aldershot branch (Welfare Member) and Church. For a number of years was also Treasurer of the local Hospice Support Group

Dr Rob Bailey (1974)

Rob Bailey was at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School Elstree from the prep, until graduating from the 6th form in 1974. He was an enthusiastic participator in many school activities, including school plays, including ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, which toured Germany; choir and rugger. He made many friends at school, keeping up with some of them for the rest of his life.

Rob was a GP in Peterborough for the last 30 years. He qualified in 1980, having studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. Rob had both FRCS and was elected FRCGP, for services to the Royal College of General Practitioners. He gave superb service as a GP at the Minster Medical Practice. Many of his patients testified how he “went the extra mile”. Visiting his patients when they were admitted to hospital was, for him, routine practice. In addition, he had sessions at the local hospice, and was a key contributor to end of life care in the Peterborough area. He was also a breast surgeon, with sessions at the local hospital.

Rob was a keen cyclist and walker with huge energy, despite living with type 1 diabetes for 40 years. He was also a keen choral singer.

Sadly, he died suddenly, shortly before retirement, whilst walking in the Alps. He is survived by his wife Ita, and children, George and Siobhan. He will be sorely missed by them, and his wider family

Sadly many of the old obituaries were lost with the demise of the old website.

We do, however, have downloadable obituaries with hundred available.


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