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The lives of those we remember

The strong friendships forged during your time at Downside can last a lifetime. Join us in celebrating the life of fellow contemporaries. Requiescat in pace

To share an obituary with the Development Office, please email oldgregorians@downside.co.uk

  • Martin Allen (S51)

    Martin Allen (S51)

    1935 - 2024

    Family legend has it that Downside was chosen for Martin’s education because our father’s sister, in her youth one of the Bright Young People of the 1920s, reported that an acquaintance of hers from that period had been allowed to bring his pedigree hunter to the School and ride it to hounds. Neither our father (at the time of Martin’s birth a recent and enthusiastic convert to the Catholic Church) nor or our businessman grandfather had had a conventional education. Our grandfather, however, who believed in “always buying the best”, had sufficient resources to subsidise the cost of his schooling, so the suggestion was duly acted upon.

    In fact, Martin was no more interested in riding to hounds than in playing cricket or rugger; he did, however, become sufficiently involved with the school Beagle pack to have an excuse for avoiding more than minimal attendance at uncongenial activities. He would also spend happy afternoons with John Todd, later to achieve prominence as a mainstream writer and publisher but then from his lodgings in the village propagating various “alternative” ideals in a samizdat periodical, the Somerset and Taunton Standard. I don’t know how many issues appeared – perhaps only one or two? – but Martin proved an enthusiastic assistant, honing his touch-typing skills on the stencils from which it was produced.

    Another influence was Dom Ralph Russell, with whom Martin kept in touch for many years and by whom he and his wife Caroline were married in 1966. The hope (an unrealistic one) had been that he would join Spillers, from which our grandfather had retired as managing director in the year of his birth, and with which the family had been closely involved for over a century. Instead, he turned after a couple of false starts to teaching. In time this took him to the far north of England, where for a term or two in the late 1960s he found himself acting headmaster, following its proprietor’s untimely death, of a small Catholic prep school near Alnwick. Later he moved over the border into Dumfriesshire and the state sector, and ultimately after official retirement to a nearby “progressive” school, where although poorly paid he was in his element. He and Caroline had seven children, who by the last count had produced sixteen direct descendants.  Most of these have settled within reach of the parental home, a not particularly capacious former village schoolteacher’s house where until they started fleeing the nest visitors had to choose between a boxroom scarcely six feet long and a caravan in the garden (a model, in Martin’s prime, of self-sufficiency), and for family celebrations the house still overflows with children, grandchildren and assorted friends.

    From the beginning Martin was independent-minded, rarely accepting conventional doctrines or opinions without critical analysis. This, after a few years in which he would bicycle long distances to Lefebvrite Masses, led to a parting of the ways with the Catholic Church, and eventually with organised religion altogether, humanitarian and political causes assuming priority. Recently he did, however, admit that the Our Father still played a part in his life. Memory eternal!

    Hugh Allen (S62)

  • Rory Fisher (R53)

    Rory Fisher (R53)

    1936 - 2024

    Dr. Rory Henry Grattan Fisher passed away, at his home on January 7th, 2024. Born May 29th,1936, the only son of Dr. Harry Fisher and Jennie Fisher (nee Gallagher) of Brighton, Sussex, England, and formerly of Dublin, Ireland. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Maeve (nee McNamara); and is survived by his daughter, Clare (Paul); son, Gavin (Pauline); and grandchildren, Liam, Alannah and Aidan.

    He was educated at Downside School, Somerset, England. He studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, where he also received a BA in English Literature and Irish History and remained an avid reader all his life. He boxed for Trinity College and played rugby for Sir Patrick Duns Hospital. Rory was a keen sailor, and in later years, a keen lawn bowler at the RCYC.

    Rory practised geriatric medicine in England before moving to Canada in 1971, becoming Head, of the Department of Extended Care, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in 1973. At Sunnybrook, he introduced innovative programs aimed at maintaining veterans in the community and led a comprehensive approach to palliative care.

    Rory was able to combine his and Maeve’s love of travel with work by attending and speaking at international conferences, Brazil and Japan were among their favourites. Maeve and Rory enjoyed entertaining guests at their home and took pleasure in displaying hospitality to their many friends.

    Dr. Fisher was a Fellow of both the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and Canada. He was a Professor Emeritus Department of Medicine, at the University of Toronto. He has been President of both the Canadian Geriatric Society and the Canadian Association on Gerontology. He was Director of the Interdepartmental Division of Geriatrics, at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto. He was also Chair of the Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario and a member of the board of the Pan American North American Council. He was on the Advisory Council and the board of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute. He has been President of the Toronto Catholic Doctors Guild. Dr. Fisher was a member of the Board of the Canadian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and had served as Chair of the Membership and Recruitment Committee. He was a Knight of Magistral Grace and awarded the Cross pro Melitensi Merito.

    In 2012, Rory was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was invested with the Order of Ontario in 2013.

    The Globe and Mail

  • Rudolph Agnew (S51)

    Rudolph Agnew (S51)

    1934 - 2023

    Sir Rudolph Agnew, who has died aged 89, was a third-generation leader of the mining giant Consolidated Gold Fields, which he defended in a fierce 1980s takeover battle against Minorco but went on to sell to the Hanson group.

    Consolidated Gold Fields (originally “of South Africa” and often shortened to Cons Gold) was founded in London in 1887; with the backing of Cecil Rhodes, its original purpose was to exploit gold deposits at Witwatersrand in South Africa. In the 20th century, it developed rich mining interests in Australia and acquired aggregates businesses in the UK and North America.

    A major issue of Rudolph Agnew’s tenure as chief executive from 1978 and chairman from 1883 to 1989 was the company’s continuing engagement in South Africa under the apartheid regime. Despite pressure from investors, Agnew refused to withdraw, remarking later: “I thought it was better to feed apartheid than starve it.”

    But at the same time, he provided Mells Park, a Somerset estate owned by Cons Gold, as a secret venue for talks between representatives of South Africa’s governing National Party and exiled ANC leaders which led to the release of Nelson Mandela. Afterwards, it was a great satisfaction to him that such a peaceful transition of power had been achieved: “The important thing now is how much investment there will be.”

    The great boardroom drama of his chairmanship, meanwhile, was a hostile £2.9 billion bid for Cons Gold in September 1988 by the Luxembourg-registered Minorco, an offshoot of the Anglo-American mining conglomerate and its controlling Oppenheimer family. Vehemently opposed, Agnew went to war with Minorco’s South African-born chief executive Sir Michael Edwardes – no stranger to corporate conflict as former chairman of the British Leyland car company, but a relative newcomer to mining.

    Ferocious exchanges followed, Agnew suggesting that Minorco was “totally motivated by secrecy and tax avoidance” and adding for good measure that “if there was a trade descriptions act for management, this one would be had up for fraud.”

    After the bid was cleared by UK regulators, the offer was raised first to £3.2 billion and in May 1989 to a final £3.5 billion – but a US court ruling made it impossible for Minorco to win without Cons Gold’s acquiescence. Hostilities finally subsided – and Lord Hanson’s group, with Minorco’s support, entered the ring with an offer of a ‘“harmonious merger” at a similar price level. “Unlike Minorco,” came Cons Gold’s response, “Hanson is a serious company” – and the deal went through.

    Agnew admitted that for him the Minorco battle had been personal, not least because his career was at stake. His jibes even included reference to Edwardes’s shortness of stature – Agnew by contrast being (according to one profile writer) “a tall, handsome, silver-haired man with a languid air, [who] looks like the former cavalry officer he is” and whose conversation “is urbane and amusing”. But he also had a combative side, observing that after Edwardes’s aspersions on the competence of Cons Gold’s board, “I was reacting, and I have the Irishman’s ability to retaliate.”

    In fact, Agnew’s great-grandparents were Irish immigrants to New Zealand, where both his grandfather and father were born. Rudolph Ion Joseph Agnew was born on March 12 1934 in Perth, Western Australia.

    His grandfather John Agnew (1872-1939) made his early career in Australia and China as an associate of Herbert Hoover, who was a mining entrepreneur before entering politics and becoming the 31st US president. John joined the board of Consolidated Gold Fields in 1922 and became its chairman in 1933; his son Dolph (1896-1960) developed the company’s ventures in Australia, where he was a doyen of the mining industry. Dolph’s wife was Pamela, née Campbell, and Rudolph was their youngest child. Rudolph was educated at Downside and commissioned in the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars before joining Consolidated Gold Fields in 1957 – and discovering that because of his grandfather’s status, it was assumed he was rich enough to be paid “£100 less than any other management trainee”. In fact, “I was not rich at all.”

    He gained experience on the company’s Mount Goldsworthy iron ore project in Western Australia in the 1960s, returning to England after the company acquired the Amey Roadstone aggregates business in 1967 but, by his own account, “had no one to run it. I was the only middle manager available, [so] I got the job. That was luck because nine years later I and some others had built it into the biggest… subsidiary in the group. Which was why [at 44] I became chief executive.”

    After Hanson’s absorption of Cons Gold, Agnew accepted a seat on the new owners’ board. But he resigned in 1991, some suspecting that he disapproved of a Hanson plan to launch a hostile bid for ICI and one reporter noting that Agnew was “the only director not seen to be clapping as Lord Hanson made his entrance” at the company’s annual meeting.

    In his later career, Agnew was chairman of the ferry operator Stena, the oil company Lasmo, Redland in building materials and TVS Entertainment in commercial television. He retained a foothold in his first industry as a director of Newmont Mining and the Russian gold venture Petropavlovsk and was also on the board of Standard Chartered.

    Away from business, he maintained a strong interest in conservation as chairman of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, vice president of the Game Conservancy and a trustee of WWF (UK).

    Agnew was knighted in 2002. He was three times married and twice divorced: the first marriage, in 1957, was to Tessa Longley, with whom he had a son who died in a car crash in 1982; the second, in 1965, was to Clare Dixon, daughter of the 2nd Lord Glentoran, with whom he had a son and a daughter; the third, in 1980, to an American, Whitney Warren, who survives him with the children of the second marriage.

    Sir Rudolph Agnew, born March 12 1934, died September 14 2023

    The Telegraph

  • Jeremy Grayson (R50)

    Jeremy Grayson (R50)

    1933 - 2023

    My father, Jeremy Grayson, who has died aged 90, was a professional photographer who worked over the years for clients including the BBC, Radio Times, Talk of the Town and the London Palladium.

    He photographed a plethora of famous people: Shirley Bassey, Sammy Davis Jr, the Beatles, Marlon Brando, John Mills and Harold Macmillan to name a few. From the 1960s onwards his photos were used in advertising campaigns, on record and book covers, and in magazines.

    Born in London, the son of Brian Grayson, who formerly owned a publishing company, and his wife, Sofia (nee Buchanan, Jeremy was educated at Worth school in West Sussex and Downside school in Somerset, after which he completed his national service in the RAF. He trained in photography during the 50s on Bond Street in London at the studios of the Austrian portrait photographer Lotte Meitner-Graf, and at the photographic shop run by Wallace Heaton, on the same road, before turning freelance.

    Jeremy met Sara Upton, a secretary/journalist when they were living in the same shared house, and they married in 1958, going on to raise six children in the thriving, bohemian community of Chelsea during the 60s and 70s. This gave the family privileged access to an exciting world of film sets, theatres, TV studios and some wonderful people from all walks of life.

    Despite his professional and personal links with some famous figures my father remained down to earth and committed to his local community. During the 70s and 80s, he became involved with the running of a playground for disabled children in Chelsea, fighting hard to ensure its survival. He was very popular with the children and staff and, more generally, was incredibly caring and generous to those less fortunate than himself. He also later volunteered for the Riding for the Disabled Association.

    A generous man with a wonderful sense of humour, he provided us children with the most exciting of upbringings, based on his warmth, fun and love of people and the outdoors.

    In 1998 he and Sara moved to East Stoke, then later Winfrith Newburgh, both in Dorset, where he enjoyed painting, gardening, exploring the countryside and reading.

    He is survived by Sara, his children Simon, Caroline, Anna, Paul, Lucy and me, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Mark Grayson

  • Roderic O'Connor (R62)

    Roderic O'Connor (R62)

    1946 - 2023

    When Roderic O’Connor found his ­bohemian friend, the Hon Garech Browne, handcuffed to a bar stool in ­Soho’s Colony Room Club in the early 1980s, he remarked: “Garech, we all know you’re fond of a drink, but this is ridiculous.’’

    The Guinness heir, it transpired, had been left in this unusual condition as a result of a prank played on him by Francis Bacon and his boyfriend John Edwards.

    To secure his unshackling, Browne dispatched O’Connor to Wheeler’s ­restaurant in nearby Old Compton Street, where Bacon and Edwards had disappeared to lunch, taking the key to the handcuffs with them.

    It was typical of O’Connor’s sense of humour to tease his friend about his embarrassing predicament rather than offer immediate sympathy. A friend from those Soho days described him as “someone who might emerge from a cocktail shaker into which was added Jeffrey Bernard, Brendan Behan and a pinch of Einstein”. To his wide circle of friends, he was known as “The Boffin”, even though he was an autodidact who had never troubled the varsity.

    When in his cups, a condition O’Connor heartily and regularly enjoyed, he laid claim, his friend Marina Guinness recalled, to being “the true High King of Ireland’’. The O’Conor Don family — the one ‘n’ is crucial to the claimants’ legitimacy — was, he said, “too English to be true descendants of the last High King of Ireland. Real they certainly are, but I’m the true heir to the throne of Ireland.” His parents, it seemed, had named him after the last High King of Ireland, who died in 1198.

    Despite his name, O’Connor was not immune from the accusation, occasionally levelled at him in Ireland, of not being all that Irish himself. His accent, acquired as a boarder at Downside School in Somerset, and a lifelong association with his Anglo-Irish friends, was once self-described as “suspended in aspic midway somewhere over the Irish Sea’’.

    O’Connor lived a peripatetic existence in his early life, with periods in Ireland, England, Australia, and Thailand. But Ireland was always home. Much of his life was spent at Luggala, Co Wicklow, a Guinness family estate inherited by Garech Browne on the death of his mother, Oonagh Guinness, of the brewing dynasty.

    He was a devoted champion of the right of the people of Wicklow to the preservation of the integrity of their county’s landscape, known worldwide as “the garden of Ireland’’. In the area of environmental law, few could match his ability to find loopholes, often in complicated European Union legislation.

    Perhaps his most outstanding achievement was as one of the principal advisers to the group that legally challenged the Irish government’s plan to put an interpretative centre near the unspoilt natural beauty of Luggala. After public expenditure of €1.8 million, the scheme was eventually shelved, largely thanks to O’Connor’s tenacious pursuit of the matter through the courts.

    Roderic O’Connor was born Kevin Roderic Hanly O’Connor in Dublin in 1946, the only son of Captain Maurice Bernard O’Connor and his wife Pamela (née Hanly), who had been married to the 16th Viscount Gormanston. Lord Gormanston was killed during the Second World War. Roderic’s maternal grandmother was Lady Marjorie­Feilding, daughter of the Earl of Denbigh, aide de camp to King George V.

    Roderic’s mother lived at Gormanston Castle, a gothic revival house in Co Meath. Evelyn Waugh considered buying it when it came on the market in 1946 and was somewhat surprised when it was Mrs O’Connor, as she had then become, who opened the front door to his persistent knocking. When Waugh expressed surprise at the chatelaine of such a grand house opening her own front door, she told him, “I’m afraid footmen have gone out of fashion in Ireland, Mr Waugh.’’

    O’Connor was brought up in Dublin when its reputation as a literary bohemian capital was about to ebb. He caught the dying embers of a bookish society dominated by heavy drinking, petty literary skirmishes, and genteel poverty. It was a place, as he described it, “where impoverished poets drank in the same bars as penniless princes”.

    Oonagh Oranmore and Browne (as Oonagh Guinness became after her marriage to the 4th Lord Oranmore and Browne) and her house, Luggala, became an integral part of O’Connor’s life. He was at the party she gave for her son Tara’s 21st birthday in March 1966 when the guests included Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Brian Jones, and Anita Pallenberg.

    Through the house he also became friendly with John Hurt, Lucian Freud, Bono, and Seamus Heaney, who said to enter the place was to “cross a line into a slight otherwhere”. If you went to Luggala and were judged to be boring, you were never asked back, no matter how rich and powerful. The only crime was to be dull and conformist. Proximity to celebrity did little to excite ­O’Connor’s interest, however. He lived in a grace and favour cottage at Luggala named The Boot Shed and was highly protective of his friend Browne, who he saw as an easy victim for the many hangers-on who preyed on his overly generous nature.

    Matters came to a head when the late self-styled Count Randal MacDonnell of the Glens moved into Luggala to catalogue its library. O’Connor moved out, suspecting MacDonnell’s interests to be anything but honourable. He was proven right when a threatened court case exposed that MacDonnell had pilfered large quantities of valuable chattels from the house’s famous collection.

    An unexpected inheritance from his paternal grandfather’s family in Australia brought a temporary reprieve to the usually perilous state of O’Connor’s finances. He bought a run-down house in Connemara. Among his first guests were two glamorous models he met in London. He offered them “uninterrupted views from the house of a broad Atlantic Bay”. As one of them later put it, “He wasn’t joking about the views; they were uninterrupted because all of the window frames in the house were unglazed.’’

    He could prove to be a most unusual house guest himself. A friend who invited him to stay for Christmas found him in bed staring at a torrential downpour of water from a burst pipe falling just inches short of his bed. When his host reproved him for not raising the alarm, he answered with a casual non sequitur, as he puffed on an untipped Gauloise, “I was just thinking that Yeats wasn’t really a fascist after all.”

    O’Connor may have presented himself to those who did not know him as standoffish and somewhat of a curmudgeon. Certainly, he was enigmatic. When a friend once asked him for the time, his answer was: “What do you want to know for?’’

    At heart, an innate shyness made him appear a difficult character. In his early seventies, he was delighted to discover that he had a son, Sebastian, and grandchildren from a relationship he had while travelling in his youth, possibly in Thailand.

    “The greatest honour I have received in my life,” O’Connor told friends “Was to be made a committee member of the Irish Landowners’ Association, because, curiously, the only land I own is in window boxes.”

    He was a devotee of the 12 volumes of Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time. He would have seen the tragic nature of his death as a result of a fire at his cottage not as others might. In The Kindly Ones (1962), the sixth­volume in the sequence, Powell tells us that the funeral pyre is the last resting place of the nomad. The irony of his own demise would not have been lost on Roderic O’Connor.

    Roderic O’Connor, environmentalist and Irish eccentric, was born on March 27, 1946. He died in a cottage fire at Luggala on October 18, 2023, aged 77.

    The Times

  • Michael Alexander (S59)

    Michael Alexander (S59)

    1941 - 2023

    Michael Alexander, who has died aged 82, was a translator, poet, academic and broadcaster whose interests ranged from Old English poetry to the modernism of Ezra Pound, and he was also the author of an epic history of English literature that ran to more than 400 pages.

    While still a student at Oxford University, Alexander started translating Anglo-Saxon poetry into modern English verse, inspired by Ezra Pound’s translation of The Seafarer. In 1966 Penguin published his translations as The Earliest English Poems, and he was subsequently commissioned to translate the 3,182-line Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf into modern verse. It was first published in 1973 and Alexander went on to produce a glossed text, also for Penguin, in 1995. “Alexander’s translation is marked by a conviction that it is possible to be both ambitious and faithful,” noted the medievalist, Tom Shippey. “[He] communicates the poem with a care which goes beyond fidelity-to-meaning and reaches fidelity of implication.”

    Several more books followed, including A History of Old English Literature (Macmillan, 1983) and The Canterbury Tales – The First Fragment (Penguin, 1996). Collectively,  Alexander’s Old English books for Penguin sold more than a million copies. His translations were singled out by WH Auden, Seamus Heaney and Kenneth Clark, who used Alexander’s renderings of Anglo-Saxon poetry in Civilisation.

    Academic success led to literary commissions for BBC Radio. For 17 years he represented Scotland on Radio 4’s Round Britain quiz, alongside the Sunday Herald journalist Alan Taylor, who referred to the programme as “the mental equivalent of the medieval rack”. In later years, Alexander’s documentaries for Radio 4 included Past Perfect, a profile of Penelope Fitzgerald, and Macavity’s Not There, on TS Eliot.

    Upon his retirement from the position of Berry Professor at the University of St Andrews in 2003, Professor Robert Crawford, Head of the School of English, observed: “Poetry seems written in his stars.”

    The eldest of three children, Michael Joseph Alexander was born in Wigan on May 21, 1941, to Joseph Alexander and his wife Winifred, née Gaul. The family lived in Liverpool but had transferred to Wigan after the city came under heavy bombardment from the Germans. When Michael was five, the Alexanders moved to rural Worcestershire, where Joseph was the manager of an agricultural cooperative. Michael attended boarding school from the age of eight, at Worth Priory in Sussex and then Downside, Somerset. At Trinity College, Oxford, he read English from 1959 to 1962.

    After leaving Oxford, he spent a year learning French at Cahors and Italian at Perugia (where he met Ezra Pound), then took a job as a trainee in publishing at William Collins. He left in 1965 for a PhD at Princeton, which he abandoned after a year. The publication of The Earliest English Poems in 1966 led to a job as a lecturer in English at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Alexander lived in Montecito and was (for the only time in his life) well paid but found UCSB rather “vacant”. Returning to London, he worked briefly for the publisher André Deutsch, under Diana Athill, at the same time taking on the commission to translate Beowulf for Penguin.

    The work took him to the University of East Anglia, where he held a temporary teaching post, and then to Stirling in Scotland, where he rented a room in a castle, made lifelong friends, and met his first wife, Eileen Mccall. In 1985 he was appointed to the Berry Chair of English at St Andrews University, where he helped to revitalise the struggling English department.

    After retirement from St Andrews, he continued to write, publishing Medievalism: the Middle Ages in Modern England (2007), Geoffrey Chaucer (2012) and Reading Shakespeare (2013). A History of English Literature (2000) ran into two further editions in 2007 and 2013. In 2021 Shoestring Press published Alexander’s short book of poems Here at the Door (the title taken from a line by John Donne). It included a three-stanza reduction of Beowulf, which ended:

    Much later a Dragon awoke,
    Sent Beowulf’s hall up in smoke,
    So, his fifty not-out
    Was all up the spout.
    But he killed it, then died. What a bloke!

    A gifted raconteur, Michael Alexander took his Catholic faith very seriously but wore it lightly and was never dogmatic.

    He enjoyed games but did not play to win, preferring to explore the dead-end corridors of the Cluedo mansion rather than enter any rooms. He was physically active well into later life, demonstrating the playground zip wire to his granddaughters and playing real tennis at the Oxford University Tennis Club.

    With his first wife Eileen (née Mccall), Michael Alexander had two daughters and a son. She died of cancer in 1986 and he married, secondly, Mary Sheahan. She survives him with his children.

    Lucy Alexander

  • Robert Walker (B55)

    Robert Walker (B55)

    1938 - 2023

    Lord Robert Walker, who has died aged 85, was an outstanding Law Lord and Justice of the Supreme Court, and previously the doyen of the Chancery Bar, second to none in the field of private client trusts and taxation work.

    Exceptionally clever even by the rarefied standards of the highest appellate courts, Robert Walker was also diffident, good-natured, kind, and humane. During his rise up the judicial hierarchy, he presided over a broad range of appeal cases, several of which were widely reported.

    Robert Walker was born on March 17th 1938, the son of a conveyancing barrister. He was sent to Downside and aged 17 went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, to read Classics, switching to Law after two years and graduating two years later with a First. He was a successful middle-distance runner at School and university and, later in life, ran several marathons, including one in less than three hours at the age of 48.

    Called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1960, he became a tenant at 17 Old Buildings and soon became highly regarded as an equity barrister with a thriving estate duty practice, dealing with the implications of the Variation of Trusts Act (1958).

    His advice and drafting stood out for clarity, precision and quiet persuasiveness. His advocacy displayed the same qualities, meaning that judges paid attention to his submissions in a way that they might not with more long-winded counsel. His pupils included Nicolas (now Sir Nicolas) Bratza, later President of the European Court of Human Rights. After taking Silk in 1982, Walker appeared as senior counsel in numerous leading cases concerning equity, trusts and taxation. Acting for the Church Commissioners in 1991, he saw off an attempt by the Bishop of Oxford and others to ensure that the Commissioners prioritised Christian ethics over the pursuit of profit when investing the Church of England’s funds, successfully arguing that his clients would be “feckless” if they sought to live by the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount when their job was to pile up “treasure on earth” to meet the costs of running the church.

    He said afterwards that the case had been “conducted with courtesy and without rancour” but also pointed out that “every pound that goes towards the cost of these proceedings will be one pound less for the stipends of the hard-working clergy.”

    Appointed a High Court judge in 1994, Walker was assigned to the Chancery Division, but he remained there only three years before his promotion to the Court of Appeal.

    With his keen moral sense, astonishing mastery of detail and ability always to see the bigger picture, Walker was an exemplary judge, adept at identifying what should be the right result in each case and then finding ways of arriving at it without compromising legal principles.

    He regularly surprised both judicial colleagues and counsel with his ability to master areas of the law distinct from his original field of expertise, and in numerous judgments, he contributed greatly to the development of the law across all areas. Renowned for the kind welcome he gave to new members of the Supreme Court, he was also an exceptionally good advocacy teacher at Lincoln’s Inn, where he served as Treasurer in 2010.

    Lord Walker was also a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong. He was chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on the HS2 Bill in 2016, and a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Scrutiny of Secondary Legislation from 2018 to 2019.

    He married, in 1962, Suzanne Leggi, who survives him with their son and three daughters. He will be buried in a small wood he planted near their home in Essex in 1997.

    Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, born March 17th 1938, died November 16th 2023.

    The Daily Telegraph

  • Zygmunt Tyszkiewicz (B51)

    Zygmunt Tyszkiewicz (B51)

    1934 - 2023

    After officer training at Mons, Zygmunt Tyszkiewicz joined the 12th Royal Lancers at Northampton Barracks, Wolfenbuttel, West Germany where he served from 1956 to 1958. He enjoyed the challenges of service immensely and would later draw on the leadership skills he learned at regimental duty throughout his working life. Having arrived in the UK as a seven-year-old refugee from war-torn Poland, he was thankful to have received an education and an introduction to the regiment thanks to the selfless generosity of Major Richard Rawnsley, 12th Royal Lancers and his wife Susan, of Well Vale, Lincolnshire.

    On leaving the regiment, Zygmunt Tyszkiewicz joined Royal Dutch Shell in London and during his 28-year career with the company, as an accomplished linguist, he was posted to Venezuela, Cote D’Ivoire, Republic du Benin, Tanzania, France, Holland and Greece. He then moved to Brussels taking up a position for the next fourteen years as Secretary General of UNICE (the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederation of Europe – now Business Europe”).

    He also served on the Board of the Raczynski Foundation in Rogalin, and as president of the Lanckoroncki Foundation from 1995 to 2014. During his business life, he was made an honorary doctor and honorary professor of business management at the University of Aberdeen, to add to his modern languages degree from Cambridge University. Zygmunt Tyszkiewicz was also appointed a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Order of Malta and was awarded the Order Pro Merito Melitensi. He was also made a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG), and received the Danish Order of Dannebrog and the Belgian Order of Leopold in recognition of his services to industry in Europe.

    John Tyszkiewicz

  • Derek John Denham (HonOG)

    Derek John Denham (HonOG)

    1947 - 2023

    Derek joined Downside in September 1994, taking on the post of Design and Technology Technician. From the outset, he was a breath of fresh air. His work ethic, drive, and enthusiasm for the subject made him a fantastic asset. He set about revamping the Department and was a constant presence, whilst Simon Potter and I were involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities. Derek supported teaching groups in the workshop, in addition to giving one-on-one help with A-Level and GCSE projects, where his specialist knowledge, patience, and practical skills were particularly useful. He used to open the workshop on Sunday afternoons and would often work until well after 6 pm during the weeks when the workshop was especially busy. Derek taught both Year Five and Six Plunkett pupils for several years as the prep school expanded. Derek was particularly IT savvy and was exceptional with Computer Aided Design programs, used extensively by the older pupils, as they developed their projects. Derek was always on hand to fix and repair items brought in by monks, staff, and pupils, and nothing was too much trouble. Although never an academic tutor, Derek was adopted by Caverel House, whilst Belinda Bouchard was House Mistress, attending House dinners, and of course the Christmas Party. He even represented the staff at both hockey and football against the pupils on a couple of occasions.

    Derek was diagnosed initially with Parkinson’s Disease in April 2021, which sadly forced him to retire prematurely in May 2021. When the drugs prescribed to treat the condition failed to alleviate any of his symptoms, he was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare neurological disorder. Derek fought the condition bravely, right up to the end, and I was fortunate to visit him at home just a couple of days before he died, to say my goodbyes. Derek was more than just a work colleague; he was a special friend, a remarkable man, and a true Downside legend. Father Leo and Father Michael conducted his funeral, and many younger OGs and staff attended, a testament to Derek’s popularity, and a true reflection of the affection and admiration he was held in, by so many.

    Neill Barrett

  • John Albert (S53)

    John Albert (S53)

    1935 - 2023

    John was born on the 24th June 1935. He was educated at Worth Prep School, and Downside under the renowned Headship at the time of the late Dom Wilfrid Passmore.

    At Downside, in his last year, he became Head of Smythe House, and in his final two years, he played for the 1st XI hockey team and the 1st XV rugby side, one year of which was, I believe, unbeaten. He much enjoyed all team games, and the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), but hated gym! He also discovered a lifelong interest in debating, and in studying History and English. After Downside and National Service, as a commissioned officer in the 3rd Carabiniers and a year’s sojourn in Italy, he went up to Oriel College Oxford, on the recommendation of his History teacher at Downside, Dom Aelred Watkin, who had advised John to study Medieval History under the tutelage of Billy Pantin, with whom Dom Aelred had a close connection. John always said that both Dom Aelred and Billy had a huge influence on John and his future, both of whom he greatly admired.

    John was much influenced by his Benedictine education, the foundation for his profound Roman Catholic faith, which meant so much to him and was the cornerstone of his life. After taking his degree at university, by good fortune, John landed a job with a Public Relations company, operating in what was an emerging sector, where his outgoing personality, cerebral dexterity and clear thinking served him well. He had to learn fast, but always said that Medieval History taught him to think outside the box and that the very great trial of final exams at Oxford proved excellent training for the future.

    He managed creative accounts with an incredible array of clients, first with F J Lyons, then at Charles Barker Lyons, where, as International Director, he was involved in dealing with the integration of legislation after the United Kingdom had joined the European Economic Community.

    My family and I were privileged to attend John’s wedding in Normandy to his beloved Anne. It was an amazing event, held in the beautiful and ancient Abbey of Bec, and followed by a wonderful lunch in the grounds of the family chateau; a truly joyful occasion with an abundance of Old Gregorians, University friends, and members of Anne’s large family present. We feasted into the small hours, and a great time was had by all.

    John and Anne created a loving, welcoming home at Sherlocks in Sussex for themselves and their four children, supporting also his mother and much-loved sister, Rosemary, who was very much involved with the Parish of Worth Abbey.

    John remained faithful to his Benedictine roots, with Worth very close as a Parish and school for his two sons.

    When he set up his own company a few years later, he decided to make it his business to allocate time and effort towards various charities and extramural activities: Cabe, Kulika, FitzRoy Support, St Mary’s School Ascot, the Old Gregorian Society Trust, to name but a few, and of course Oriel College. There he was elected a Fellow and finally, to his greatest delight, an Honorary Fellow, in recognition of his considerable support for Oriel.

    He was vibrant, good company and courteous to all, a loyal friend, who loved high-quality debate and good humour. He was a devoted husband and father. He will be greatly missed by many.

    With God’s grace, we shall all meet again merrily in the Heavenly Kingdom, and how exciting that will be.

    John Scanlan (S54)

  • Michael Campbell Joyce (C46)

    Michael Campbell Joyce (C46)

    1928 - 2023

    Michael was born in Liverpool, England to Eric Joyce and Helen Reardon-Shepherd on Dec 21, 1928. He attended Worth and Downside schools in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Bath, England. The month before his 20th birthday, he moved to Guymon, ok to work on the Robbins Ranch as a cowboy. During the Korean Conflict, he became a naturalized American citizen, then enlisted into the U.S. Army and remained until the war was over. He worked in the airline industry for many years and retired after 32 years at Northwest Airlines as Senior Director of Line Maintenance. Mike was a member of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus, Patrick Walsh council, #677. He was also a member of various civic organizations. Michael was a man of many interests, a voracious reader, and a lover of history, genealogy, travel, music, sailing and fishing.

    His family will miss him most for his unconditional love, kindness, brilliance, and gentle guidance.

    Fran Blocker

  • Lindsay Crofton (C75)

    Lindsay Crofton (C75)

    1960 - 2023

    Lindsay’s early years were spent in Indonesia, Nigeria, Dublin, Surrey and Berkshire.

    When he was a teenager, his family moved to Manchester, and for a short time, Lindsay called Istanbul home. Lindsay’s education began in Lagos and continued at the Oratory Preparatory School in Berkshire, followed by three years at Downside. After his family moved North, Lindsay attended Manchester Grammar School. Lindsay studied Law at Bristol University and his early career was in Human Resources moving with work between Solihull, Manchester and Sevenoaks in Kent.

    Later in life, Lindsay returned to the legal profession moving to Melbourne, Australia, to study for a Masters in Law. He stayed in the city and became a specialist in the laws of high-rise dwellings. Lindsay was very much at home in Melbourne and his life flourished both personally and professionally. He recently enjoyed contacting the Old Gregorians in the city.

    In 2022, Lindsay started a new phase of his life working for MNG Solicitors with offices in Melbourne and Ballarat, a role that he enjoyed hugely. It was obvious to Grahame and Gill, his brother and sister, that in the last years of his life, Lindsay was the happiest he had ever been.

    Lindsay’s wit, intellect and kindness will be sorely missed by family, friends and work colleagues.

    Grahame Crofton

  • Adrian Johnson (C50)

    Adrian Johnson (C50)

    1932 - 2023

    Adrian and I first met in Junior House in September 1945, just after his prep school, Worth, had returned to Sussex. (He was, incidentally, one of the Worth pupils up on the Downside playing fields when the fighter crashed, which will have traumatised him.). He went to Caverel and I to Roberts, as he was drawn to Caverel by the Housemaster, Dom Aelred Watkin, a distinguished medieval scholar. While I went straight on to Brasenose College, Oxford, for three years studying French and Italian literature, Adrian did his military service, and as an artillery officer became partially deaf while serving in Egypt. Once discharged, he had a brilliant three years at Kings College, Cambridge, graduating with a First.

    Two setbacks were experienced early on: the job he had taken at ICI was not at all to his liking, and a brief and unhappy marriage ended in an annulment. He was only reunited with his two children, Michael and Diana, in his old age. Meanwhile, his fortunes took a turn for the better: he obtained a position with the BBC Third Programme (Radio Three) as a Talks Producer, and one of his colleagues was Valerie whom he married and they produced a girl, Chloe, who grew up to become a highly distinguished art historian and gallery curator, and who in turn has made a very successful marriage and has four lovely and lively children.

    Adrian himself contracted cancer in his middle years and had to take early retirement, leaving London to settle in Cornwall, where his wife had family, before moving to Leamington to be close to his daughter and grandchildren. Adrian’s faith was all-important to him, and he delighted in being an Oblate of Quarr Abbey. As a professional Talks Producer, everything Adrian touched turned to gold. But where my admiration for him knew no bounds was in his God-given patience with a whole range of serious ailments in so many parts of his body, and he never, but never complained. Both his heart and his mind were forever at one in his service of God.

    Guido Waldman (R50)

  • Richard Thompson (C54)

    Richard Thompson (C54)

    1936 - 2022

    Respected public figures have recently stressed the need for big investment in life sciences and technology to help kickstart Britain’s failing economy post-Covid. As a trailblazing venture capitalist in Britain, Richard Thompson had been doing just that since 1977.

    A convinced Thatcherite, Thompson spotted talent, skills, innovation and budding entrepreneurialism amid the flotsam and jetsam of Britain’s failing traditional industries and the damage caused by unbridled union power. Combining problem-solving skills as a chartered civil engineer, experience of what makes companies successful in his years as a management consultant and exposure to merchant banking at Rothschilds, Thompson co-founded with Colin Clive what was believed to be the first British company that invested in the technology sector.

    A meticulous and punctilious man who raised the cultural ante with literary quotations at meetings in the oak-panelled boardrooms of the City of London, Thompson had already built up a technology portfolio by the early 1980s. In 1982 he backed Quintiles, a North Carolina-based contract research business in the life sciences field from under the noses of rival US venture capitalists. He helped the company to flourish before its merger with IMS Health to form IQVIA, a £12 billion healthcare tech giant, in 2016.

    As mentor, adviser and friend to a generation of entrepreneurs, Thompson lived by the military maxim that “time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted”. As a result he and his wife, Cynthia, entertained, and were entertained by, the managers of the companies he invested in. He liked to say that he looked for people with their “head in the skies but feet on the ground”. If he thought an entrepreneur was taking dangerous risks, he would describe him, with reference to one of Damon Runyon’s characters, as “Last Card Louie”. When underwhelmed by a chief executive’s leadership, he might borrow from Winston Churchill’s words about Admiral Jellicoe during the First World War to describe them as “the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon”.

    Richard Thompson was born in London in 1936 to Lieutenant Colonel Richard Thompson and Violet (née Harrison), who had competed in the Wimbledon ladies’ singles. Evacuated to Hampshire during the Blitz while his father was stationed in India, he was waiting at a bus stop in Winchester when he spotted a German bomber overhead. He shouted his alarm and ran home. The aircraft duly dropped a bomb and a man waiting for the bus, who had refused to believe the young “plane enthusiast”, was killed.

    At Downside School in Somerset Thompson excelled at sport and at the age of 15 obtained A-levels in maths, higher maths, physics and Latin. He wanted to study higher maths at university but his father insisted on him becoming an engineer. He won a county major scholarship to read mechanical sciences at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, in 1956.

    Thompson went on to qualify as a chartered civil engineer after joining Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners. Showing an early flair for business, he charged his flatmate Ted Reece nine pence a day for a lift in his MG from Maida Vale to Hyde Park Corner. One cold night, Thompson, leaping out of bed to close the window that Reece had opened, split his pyjamas right down the back. Reece turned the financial tables by selling him another pair for five shillings.

    His energy was unflagging. During the lockdown in 2020, he took up tennis again.

    The Times

  • Michael Hill (Ra69)

    Michael Hill (Ra69)

    1952 - 2022

    In September 1965 I arrived at the Junior House at Downside School and encountered, amongst 90 others, Mike Hill. After a year we were assigned by the “sorting hat” to our Senior Houses – Mike to Ramsay under Dom Laurence and me to Ullathorne under Dom Gervase.

    Our Houses were adjacent in new buildings constructed after the 1955 fire. In the apex of the two Houses was the art room. Mike soon found a home in the art attic presided over by Maurice Percival – a charismatic teacher who had previously taught art at Harrow School for many years.

    In our third and fourth years we were required to join the CCF. You could opt out and Mike joined Paddy Twist (Ra70) in the newly created Horticultural Society, a voluntary service in lieu of the CCF. This entailed growing some lettuces and radishes on a plot of land close to the residence of the domestic staff.

    In our third year at Manchester University, we shared a house in Rusholme, where I witnessed some of Mike’s more eccentric traits. His clothes moved from one side to the other of an open suitcase, without any sign of washing. He did not make notes of lectures attended but only bullet points; presumably filling in the data from remembered facts.  I was very impressed by this approach. It meant that he remembered things of importance to him and nothing else. He and Paddy bought a Morris Minor together, affectionately named Wingletang. Later Mike had another with a cherished number plate RH53. He must have been gutted when his mother got rid of the car stored at her home without realising that the numberplate was worth many times the value of the car. Later he purchased several MGBs which he cherished, including a V8 version imported from Japan which he used to go to the local shops.

    After we graduated, we had to find jobs. Mike got a job at Oxford County Council and lived at Eynsham.  In the mid 1970 we saw each other frequently and after Oxford, Mike moved to London to work at the Docklands Development Corporation. In the late 1970s, we had a memorable trip to Mull with Nick Carew Hunt (U69) who had been a contemporary at Downside. On the way up we stayed with Mike’s brother, Padraig in Kendal. Our destination was Nick’s aunt house Craig Ben Lodge and we behaved recklessly, trying to drink the Craignure Inn dry and being mistaken for poachers.

    In 1980, Mike and I had our first long haul journey together and we visited New York, then on to Toronto, Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles staying with friends or relations where we could. On the way to LA, we met up with one of Mike’s aunts who gave us a slap-up meal at the Big Sur. Mike always surprised one by his family connections that would appear out of the ether.

    By the 1980s, we all had our partners and home responsibilities, so our meetings were less frequent. Mike married Hellis and moved to Sidcup when Mike went to work for Countryside Properties where he continued until he retired.  They have two children Lawrence and Chloe. The skiing bug hit him hard, which continued unabated until the end of his life. Mike also loved to drive steam engines which he did yearly in Poland where the steam network is extensive. He would even take control of passenger trains out of Krakov station.

    Mike kept his friends in mainly separate compartments.  His old chums might occasionally infringe on his skiing trips but on the whole family, skiing, work, train driving and painting were kept separate. Since Mike retired in 2017, he went on a yearly painting trip to Tresco on the Isles of Scilly – a place he had never visited before despite living in Cornwall as a youngster.

    Mike was always good company. He was always keen to meet up and have a convivial evening. His sense of humour was framed by the Goons and Derek and Clive. He told good stories particularly about driving steam engines. For many years Paddy, Mike, Nick, and I would meet up in London for a curry. At one of these events, Mike told us he had been ill but was now recovered.

    I last saw Mike in July at the funeral of a mutual friend, and he seemed in good health. Little did I know that Mike would be diagnosed with terminal cancer soon afterwards and was taken away only 2 months later.

    Rupert Otten (U69)

  • St John Morgan Davies (B48)

    St John Morgan Davies (B48)

    1929 - 2022

    MSt. John (B48) was an imposing man with dignity, and gravitas, with a little bit of dash, derring-do and 007-type flair thrown into the mix.  He was born in Lyons, France on 12th November 1929.  His father, Richard Morgan-Davies from Llandyssil, Pembrokeshire, won a blue at Cambridge and had a distinguished career in the civil service.  His mother, Helene Dumonteil Lagreze, was born in Singapore to a family from Marseilles, who lived in exotic locations like Mauritius and Zanzibar.

    St John led an eventful life, and it’s a wonder he made it to 92, given the amount of near-death experiences he had. Back in the 40s St John’s parents lived in Rathnapura in Ceylon, where his father was District Commissioner. When war broke out there was a fear Ceylon could become the next Singapore. St. John, his sister Jeannine and brother Max were booked on a troopship back to the UK. Sadly the ship was torpedoed days later but St. John and his beloved Jeannine and Max made it back to the UK.

    Some years later St John was commissioned into the Inniskilling’s Fusiliers and was sent to Malaya as part of the Chindits fighting the Japanese. Waiting in a jungle clearing for a parachute resupply drop a sudden premonition made him jump out of the way at the last minute. Seconds later a ton of baked beans hit the ground where he’d just been standing.

    St John had only been married for a few months in Kenya when he caught Blackwater fever and had to be read the last rites in hospital. Thankfully he made it through helped by a diet of steak and Guinness administered by his new bride.

    St John was also a superb athlete. Running. Swimming. Boxing. Number eight and Captain of the 1st XV at Downside, number eight for the Army Western Command, and captain of the Ceylon 1st XV.

    His rugby highlight was playing an international against the All Blacks who stopped off at Colombo on their way to tour Europe in the 50s. Rugby however became a bit prosaic for St. John so he took up spear-fishing. He was often found two miles offshore, in the water a mile deep, with a string of fish hanging off his waist. Occasionally this would become a string of fish heads as the occasional shark would bite them off his belt.

    When it was time to leave Ceylon, St John decided on Ethiopia. But first, he had to extract his savings from the now-socialist state of Ceylon. He bought ten sapphires from the local gem dealer, swallowed them for breakfast, jumped on the plane and retrieved them at the other end, so to speak! Well, only 8 made it through, but they do happen to now grace his beloved wife’s engagement ring!  Addis Ababa is where St John met Marguerite.  She was working for TWA and was also an occasional air hostess on Emperor Haile Selassie’s government plane. They married and spent two happy years horse riding in the Abyssinian mountains and enjoying life before fatherhood!

    St John always tried to teach his children the right values. The value of honesty which he learnt from his father and no doubt his years at Downside. He told the story of how he travelled from Launceston to Paddington by train, standing room only, and then proudly told his father who met him at the other end that he hadn’t paid for a ticket.  He was marched to the ticket office and made to buy that ticket post voyage, seat included. He taught the value of manners and respect. There was a time when a string of surly teenagers would come and visit his children. When shuffled onto the veranda and grunted something unintelligible, he’d gently suggest to them they exit the building, turn around, re-enter and try their evening greeting once again.

    He also insisted on treating everyone as an equal and didn’t tolerate any kind of snobbery. He taught his children vital skills such as how to box, swim, spearfish, shoot, do a great sidestep and even drive!

    These qualities of honesty, courtesy, and incorruptibility, led to St. John being Managing Director of three shipping companies in Kenya and the Consul for Sweden, for which he received the Royal Order of the Swedish Polar Star. His reputation in East Africa was legend and he was sorely missed when he left for Brittany. St. John spent his later years in Bath where he attended mass regularly at St. John the Evangelist church, spending time reading military history, watching war films, and with his family close by. He was a fine, and noble man and is deeply missed by his wife Marguerite, and three children, Pierre, Eric and Nathalie.

  • Michael Flynn (U75)

    Michael Flynn (U75)

    1958 - 2022

    November 16, 1958 – April 21, 2022, Michael Edward Flynn died peacefully on April 21, 2022, at the age of 63, at his home in Pasadena, CA, with his beloved wife Laura at his side. He faced a diagnosis of ALS in January of 2021 with incredible courage, dignity, and grace, spending every day enjoying his family, friends, and community. As the oldest of five children, Michael was raised in San Marino, CA, attended Mayfield Jr School and served as an altar boy at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church. He attended Downside School in Somerset, England, and had many fond memories and deep friendships from that period, finishing high school at San Marino High. He attended UCLA for college, and as a devoted member of Kappa Sigma, he served as Grand Treasurer, volunteering for almost 30 years managing the fraternity’s investments and assisting undergraduates. As a passionate Bruin, he travelled all over the country supporting UCLA’s football and basketball teams, even mustering the strength to attend the NCAA Final 4 playoffs in Indianapolis last year with his close Kappa Sigma brothers. Starting as an intern right out of college, Michael spent more than 25 of his 40 years at KPMG as an Audit Partner, working primarily out of the Los Angeles office, but regularly traveling the world in his role. As head of the firm’s Internal Inspection Program, Michael made significant improvements in both process and technology that will continue to benefit KPMG and secure Michael’s legacy and memory. He set high standards for himself and his teams and was a beloved colleague and mentor. He was an active member of the Jonathan Club for more than 30 years, serving on many committees and as President of the Board of Directors from 2016 to 2017. In the midst of the pandemic and his illness, Michael volunteered to serve on the Board of Directors as Treasurer at The Magic Castle in Hollywood. His expertise in finance and governance helped the Magic Castle not only to survive, but to flourish once it reopened. A first-generation Irish American, Michael visited Ireland often, enjoying the extended family of many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He thoroughly enjoyed his membership at Annandale Golf Club, honing his golf skills with his wife Laura. He took great pleasure and laughter from life, and relished his role as a supportive husband, son, uncle, and friend. He was very thankful for the support from his wife, his family and friends, his fraternity brothers, his KPMG colleagues, and his UCLA Health team as he bravely navigated his diagnosis. Michael leaves behind his beloved wife Laura and her family, his mother Ella Flynn, and siblings Patricia (Lawrence) Kemp, John (Stephanie) Flynn, Brian Flynn, and Elizabeth (David) Granville-Smith. Always the favourite uncle, and renowned for his holiday gifts, Michael leaves behind 9 nieces and nephews: Claire Marie, Larken, Elizabeth and Philip Kemp; Olivia, Kate, and Holden Flynn; and Brian and Gregory Granville-Smith. He was pre-deceased by his father, Dr. Martin A. Flynn. Michael lived his life with untold graciousness, kindness, and love, and will be greatly missed.

  • Peter Downey (S59)

    Peter Downey (S59)

    1923 - 2022

    Peter Downey, born and bred in the West Country, was a successful businessman who operated in more than 130 countries. But he achiever, or at least tried to achieve so much more.

    A wannabe soccer professional, accomplished rugby plater and County tennis player, he augmented his service as a local councillor by attempting to overturn the hold the Conservatives had over Bath’s seat in Parliament.

    He always championed the underdog, making sure youngsters enjoyed a decent start in life, and ran a charity fighting for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

    Peter lived in Bath with his long-suffering with Judy and the couple have a son and a daughter. Throughout his life he retained a deep affection for Bath Rugby. Sadly, Peter died only a few weeks before the publications of his autobiography, Peter from Bath.

    Extract from Peter from Bath

  • Dom Christoper Delaney (S50)

    Dom Christoper Delaney (S50)

    1932 - 2022

    Michael Joseph Peter Delaney, late Dom Christopher Delaney of Buckfast Abbey, was born on 26th September 1931 and came to Downside School in September 1947, entering Smythe House. Having left the School in July 1950 he offered himself to be clothed as a novice by Abbot Place Hooper at Buckfast and pursued the normal course of training in preparation for the priesthood. Solemnly Professional in 1955, he was ordained priest in 1957 and served in various parishes, including Downside’s large church at St Mary’s, Highfield Street, Liverpool, then under the care of Dom Benet Innes. These were difficult days for the parish clergy in England and Wales, not least in having to cope with the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council and of the controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul IV. The story, in this case, had a happy ending, for Dom Christopher was appointed to the large Ampleforth Parish of St Mary in the Canton district of Cardiff where he won the hearts of the people, not least of the poor and the need, whom he served with selfless devotion, typically by bicycle, until he had to retire into medical care – and even then he made himself available to the many who queued up to visit him. Dom Christopher was buried at Buckfast on 20th May 2022 where the number attending his funeral was off the scale of normal expectation for such an event. May he Rest in Peace.

  • Rachel Bevan (HonOG)

    Rachel Bevan (HonOG)

    1952 - 2022

    Rachel was born on the 21st April 1952, the fourth child of Roger Bevan, Downside’s Director of Music at Downside from 1953-83.

    She attended Leweston where she made a number of lifelong friends, and from there to Trinity College of Music in London. On leaving Trinity she was soon involved with several of the pioneering early music ensembles that were coming into prominence during the 1970s. She sang with the Clerkes of Oxenford, The William Byrd Choir, the London Oratory Choir and the Monterverdi Choir. She recorded as a soloist soprano with The Taverner Choir, Pro Contine Antique and the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge. She was also the soprano in Donald Swann’s quartet in his UK tour. As an established oratorio soloist specialising in baroque and classical repertoire, she appeared both at home and abroad, in the BBC Promenade concerts, and joined the English Concert on their World Tour in 2000.

    As a young soprano, she backed Queen on Bohemian Rhapsody and continued to receive royalties for her TV appearance in I, Claudius in 1981. On a lighter note, she was a belly dancer on the Basil Brush Show and also displayed vocal technique on the Yorkshire TV series ‘Learn to Sing’.

    After marrying John Carter (C63), Rachel prioritised family life, settling in Somerset after a period in Scotland. She took the decision to forgo her singing career for a time to spend more time at home bringing up her children Hugh (B99) and Benedict (B01).

    During this time, she was able to teach private pupils at home and this led to a second career as a singing teacher. Starting at All Hallows Preparatory School, she took on Prior Park College, as well as Downside, where she taught for twenty-seven years. Rachel loved her time at Downside and there can be no better tribute to her than that of the Head, Andrew Hobbs, who said of her at Prize Day in 2021 on her retirement:

    “Rachel Bevan has been a singing teacher here for twenty-seven years, but as we all know she has been so much more. It is hard (in fact impossible) to think of anyone who has contributed more generously across just about every aspect of life at Downside or had a greater impact on our pupils or indeed our whole community. There is no one who sees the world through more youthful and optimistic eyes than Rachel, she cannot fail to brighten your day”.

    She formed the girls’ Chamber Choir on the advent of their arrival at Downside and was justifiably proud of the number of her pupils who gained choral scholarships to universities. For a short period, Rachel was also the House Mistress of Caverel. She particularly loved that time, finding it one of the most rewarding and fulfilling periods of her life. Rachel was also a prominent figure in local politics, being elected for two terms as District Councillor for Chilcompton and Stratton-on-the-Fosse.

    As well as her love of the school and its pupils, Rachel also loved the Abbey and its Community. She took on the mantle from her father of arranging the music and choirs for the great masses at Christmas and Easter and so it was fitting that her funeral took place there in October 2022. The many hundreds who attended were a testament to how she made an impression on people’s lives from all quarters.

    An album entitled Vidi Speciosam, performed by Rachel’s nephews and nieces in The Bevan Family Consort, was released in May 2023, dedicated to her and her close brother David (R68), who died a year earlier.

    John Carter (C63)

  • Bernard Kelly (S48)

    Bernard Kelly (S48)

    1930 - 2022

    Bernard Kelly, who has died aged 92, was a cosmopolitan merchant banker for Warburgs and Lazards, and later an entrepreneurial financier in his own right.

    In the hothouse of City talent that was SG Warburg & Co in the 1960s, Kelly was one of the “young Turks” deployed to execute pioneering Eurobond issues and takeover deals. Driving them forward were the firm’s German émigré founder Siegmund Warburg and co-founder “Uncle” Henry Grunfeld, who demanded meticulous standards and long working hours. A typical success was a $200 million bond issue for the Irish government completed over a weekend, Kelly – unlike competitors in other banks – having been at his desk late on Friday evening to field the call.

    Siegmund Warburg himself also demanded total loyalty. One Warburgs director, Ian Fraser, recorded in his memoirs that “when any of us made a mistake, which was often, we would be put in the doghouse. Bernard Kelly… was the young director who was most frequently ‘kennelled’, not so much because of his mistakes but because of his ‘face crimes’. The ‘thought police’ were commanded by Uncle Henry, who would, or so we imagined, report to Siegmund that Kelly… was disloyal and needed to be watched.”

    By 1968 this oppressive culture, combined with Warburg’s aversion to succession planning, provoked Fraser, Kelly and others to plot a breakaway that would have created a powerful new firm with capital backing from the Prudential assurance company. But it never came to pass.

    Kelly remained with Warburgs until 1975. With a large family to fund, he despaired of the Labour Government’s punitive tax rates and decided to move abroad: with Siegmund Warburg’s help, he found a new challenge in Monaco, setting up a merchant bank on behalf of Italian and Swiss shareholders.

    He and his wife Mirabel became friends of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, née Kelly, who when asked whether they were related declared: “Oh yes, we’re all one great big happy clan.”

    In 1980, Margaret Thatcher’s lower UK taxes persuaded Kelly to return to the City. His friend Fraser, now chairman of Lazard Brothers, invited Kelly to join him as a vice chairman – and between them, they injected new zest into a bank so old-fashioned that its directors maintained a policy of never making outgoing telephone calls. Kelly went on to work closely with another Warburg alumnus, the former defence secretary Sir John Nott, who in due course succeeded Fraser.

     

    Retiring from Lazards in 1990, when he reached 60, Kelly never lost his appetite for business, maintaining a portfolio of boardroom roles and private ventures into his ninth decade.

     

    Bernard Noel David George Terence Kelly was born in Brussels on April 23 1930. He was the elder son of Sir David Kelly, a Foreign Office diplomat of Irish descent who as minister at Bern from 1940 to 1942 was instrumental in persuading the Swiss not to assist the Nazis, and was later ambassador to Argentina, Turkey and the Soviet Union.

    Bernard’s Belgian-born mother was Marie-noële de Jourda de Vaux – “one of the grandes dames of British diplomacy”, according to her own obituary, and the last descendant of the Comte de Vaux (1705-1788), a prerevolutionary Marshal of France. Bernard’s godmother was Marienoële’s friend, Queen Marie-josé of Italy.

    Bernard was educated at Downside and did National Service – in the post-war years when, as he put it, “the army was organised entirely for the amusement of the officer class” – in the 8th Queens Royal Irish Hussars. He then went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, but was sent down after one term having failed a Latin prelim paper. Soon afterwards, he suffered a motorbike accident which required three months’ treatment at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

     

    While recuperating he was offered the chance to take articles with a small firm of solicitors. Once qualified, he moved to the firm of Simmons & Simmons in the City, wherein 1963 – despite his protestations that he was “not particularly good with figures” – Siegmund Warburg set out to recruit him.

    A fluent raconteur with a slight hint of a continental accent, Kelly always enjoyed being the centre of attention. In later years he was a mentor to many younger financiers through a clutch of non-executive and advisory roles, not least as chairman of Campbell Lutyens, a Mayfair-based investment boutique, and of Nexus, which managed a large portfolio of healthcare properties.

     

    He also dabbled successfully in property, collected art and, perhaps less likely, was a keen urban cyclist. When the shares of Maxwell Communication Corp, in which Kelly had a holding, collapsed in 1991, he cycled to the London home of Kevin Maxwell to shake his fist at the windows.

    Bernard Kelly married, in 1952, Mirabel Fitzalan Howard, one of eight children (all with first names beginning with M) of the 3rd Lord Howard of Glossop and his wife Baroness Beaumont. A devout Roman Catholic known for her saintly kindness to the needy, she became Lady Mirabel after her eldest brother Miles inherited the dukedom of Norfolk in 1975.

     

    The family home for many years – accommodating eight children, the widowed Lady Kelly on the top floor and assorted lodgers and strays – was two large semi-detached houses knocked together in Carlyle Square, Chelsea. Lady Mirabel died in 2008; her husband is survived by their seven sons and a daughter.

     

    Daily Telegraph

     

  • Jaroslav Dedek (S61)

    Jaroslav Dedek (S61)

    1942 - 2022

    On the Feast of the Epiphany 2022, my contemporary and friend, Jaro Dedek, died in his adopted city, Liège, after an illness borne with his customary realism and good nature.

    In Chapter LXVI, the Rule requires the Monastery “doorkeeper” to attend an enquirer “…speedily and with the warmth of charity”. Jaro was one such enquirer, for in July 1948 the Dedek family fled from their homeland owing to the Communists assuming power over Czechoslovakia by coup d’état earlier that year. Jaro was born in Brno on Armistice Day, 1942 into a long-standing, well-to-do family. Jaro’s father was a Professor of Chemistry at Prague University, aka Charles University, who devoted long years of research to the chemistry of sugar.

    Like so many other families at that time, the Dedeks scattered to several European countries. Jaro joined his family in Belgium after a year in Switzerland, where he learned French and enjoyed the pleasures for which the country is so well known. French became his second language, and he would master several others as time went by.

    Jaro’s father decided that his children had to be educated in England or in France. In September 1952, Jaro, who yet spoke no English, settled into Ketteringham Hall, an Anglican prep school near Norwich. After four years spent mainly on the sports field with many exiled foreigners like himself, Jaro accompanied his father on a tour of English public schools. Canterbury and Winchester were felt to be too large and too rigid, so Jaro chose Downside, sight unseen! “At least it was Catholic” wrote Jaro in an autobiography, and with the help of a priest in Louvain (Leuven) to jump the long waiting list, he sat the entrance exam and came to Downside in the summer of 1956. Housemaster Dom Ceolfrid could spot a Smythe boy at once, so Jaro joined us in Smythe for my last two years. It was at that time that we were joined by another refugee from Communist imperialism, M. S. C. A. M. Rakovszky De Nagyrako de Kelemenfalva. For several generations, the Rakovszky family had been prominent political figures in Hungary, so it was fortunate that they, too, could find “charitable warmth” in refuge at Downside.

    At school, Jaro paid due attention to his academic and extra-curricular activities. He was a pupil fully engaged with the extraordinary opportunities offered by a school like Downside. He joined several clubs; sang in the school choir; enjoyed the CCF and all sports except cricket which he never took to. Wavering between the arts and the sciences, Jaro was persuaded by his father to follow him into the sciences. Jaro took A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and French, and sat the Oxford entrance exam for a place at Christ Church in 1961 to read biochemistry.

    Before Jaro went up to Oxford, his father enquired of a friend, Paul Kent, who would be Jaro’s tutor, what useful gift he might give his son – “a book or maybe a slide rule?” “A dinner jacket” came the swift reply! Jaro would make full use of this wise suggestion. He found biochemistry “hard going” so he put his academic life in proper perspective and turned his attention to his many other interests. It was there that he developed his life-long love of music. Later, he would sing in a choir and play the piano. He enjoyed an energetic social life, and he took to rowing. Not being near a suitable river, Downside was unable to offer us rowing, so the chance to take it up in Oxford was too much for Jaro to resist. He used his height to row in the House third Eight in Eights Week, 1963. Going down from Oxford after four years with a degree that he himself found “mediocre”, Jaro decided to do a Ph.D. at the University of Liège where his degree class was of minor concern.

    In 1962, Jaro’s father died aged 71. He had put his life-long research into sugar at the service of Belgium’s largest sugar concern. He chose to settle in Liège, near the sugar mill. It was at this time that Jaro met Françoise Mottard, with whom he shared his love of music and travel. For many years, the Mottard family had been prominent figures in the capital city of Wallonia, with its extensive coal mines and strategic steel mills. Awarded his Ph.D. in 1974, in 1976 Jaro and Françoise decided to take on life’s chances together. They had three children and were married for 46 years, the last twelve in the house where Françoise had lived as a child.

    In his long professional career, Jaro made good use of his two degrees. In several different capacities, he worked for many of the well-known names in the pharmaceutical industry, which are centred in the Upper Rhine and particularly in Basel. He co-authored scientific papers with eminent scientists; he worked registering new drugs; and, for Glaxo in Geneva, in regulatory affairs. He was long involved in all the complexities of clinical trials. During his career, Jaro developed a keen interest in the humanitarian benefits of the pharmaceutical industry. Jaro had the temperament to cope with such complexity.

    Owing to the concentration of this industry in the Upper Rhine, Jaro and his family took full advantage of the region, on both sides of the river. They were keen skiers; they enjoyed walking in the Black Forest and the Vosges; and they participated in the Basler Fassnacht. Jaro became an active member of the Rotary Club, especially with international branches of the Club, and his keen membership continued to the end of his life.

    Thanks to an inquisitive mind and boundless energy, Jaro had many interests in addition to his first love – music. He was a good cook, who enjoyed the pleasures of the table. From an early age, he was fascinated by mushrooms. He had discovered them in Switzerland and seldom missed the early autumn season for picking them, in France or in Austria. He invariably made his own bread, following fashion with fine sour-dough recipes. A generous host, he kept a cellar that complemented his cuisine. He played host in several languages, and Françoise speaks word-perfect English with an enchanting French accent. Their family is a fine example of the “European family”: his three multilingual children are spread over Belgium, Spain, and Germany. The boundaries of this close “European family” stretch as far as Australia.

    At this tragically turbulent period of European history, we can be grateful that so many like Jaro chose, in similarly turbulent times, to spend time in England during their formative years. We can be grateful that the “doorkeeper” attended Jaro and others with the “warmth of charity” urged by St Benedict. At a time when those of us who are privileged with private education are so often ridiculed by those who are not, Jaro was an unimpeachable example of the finest pupils of every proud British school, whether public or not. Charming, warm-hearted, thoughtful, gracious, good company, and loyal to his many friends, he was devoted to his family.

    A few months after we had enjoyed a family visit together to an Andy Warhol exhibition in Liège in early 2021, he invited me to join him and our contemporaries at the Annual Dinner. Sadly, owing to his deteriorating health, we never got together. Jaro will be much missed by his many friends all over the world. For me, Warhol’s wonderful work will always evoke special memories of a very dear friend.

    RIP, Jaro.

    Guy AB Knapton, with grateful thanks to Françoise, Marie-Astrid, Olivier, and Benoit

    Brussels, June 2022.

    Guy Knapton (S58)

  • Michael Hope (B58)

    Michael Hope (B58)

    1940 - 2022

    Michael Hope, Fifth Baron Rankeillour, died on January 10th, 2022, after a short illness in hospital aged 81. He was born on October 21st, 1940, in Malvern, Worcestershire, the eldest son of a diplomat, the Hon. Richard Hope, OBE and his wife Helen. He attended Downside School from 1954 to 1958, where he particularly enjoyed playing cricket, and then went on to Loughborough University to study engineering and drive in rally races. He met his future wife Rosie while working in London; they married in 1964 and lived in Cambridge, having three children, Hettie, Louisa, and James (B86).

    Michael joined Pye Electronics in Cambridge and worked there for a short while before moving to IBM, where he spent the rest of his working life based in London, Welwyn and Norwich. While still working full time he set up and ran a ten-acre vineyard at Barningham Hall in rural Suffolk throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, and he came to give talks to The Vintner Society at that time about his experience of the fledging English Wine industry.

    It was after they moved to Thurton in Norfolk in 1982 that he and Rosie began running the Open Christmas initiative in Norwich. Having taken early retirement in 1992 Michael threw himself into charitable and community-based work and was for many years a trustee of St John’s Cathedral Norwich, helping to oversee the planning and building of the Narthex. He was also a Trustee and Treasurer of the All Saints drop-in Centre in Norwich.

    He was committed to conservation and became a board director of the Songbird Survival charity to try and arrest the staggering drop in traditional songbird numbers. He was also an active member of a number of other conservation-based charities in East Anglia, including the Kingfisher Bridge Trust.

    He had a lifelong passion for fly fishing which took him regularly to Scotland, Ireland and further afield, even as far as Alaska on occasion. Always keen to have a number of projects on the go, he expanded his skills and enjoyment of domestic carpentry to build kitchens, wardrobes and bookcases for many family members and friends.

    He was by nature open and gregarious, always interested in others and would instinctively help people regardless of the cost or time it might require. He was thrilled to accept the Diocesan Medal, on behalf of his dear wife Rosie as well, in September last year in recognition of their work in the diocese.

    After Rosie died in 2019 and his mobility declined due to a painful foot condition, Michael remained stoic despite the isolation of the pandemic; but it was immensely frustrating for someone used to being so active. Whilst in hospital it was a comfort for his family that he was anointed before he died at a time when visits to the hospital were very limited.

    Michael’s lifelong friend, and fellow Old Gregorian, Donald Ogilvy Watson, together with Rosie’s sister, Anji Fuller, gave wonderful tributes in their eulogies. Anji concluding with these lines of scripture: “No eye hath seen nor ear heard what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

    Fr Martin Gowman, parish priest of St Benet’s in Beccles, writes: “Attendance at Michael’s funeral surpassed all pre-pandemic levels, and it was such a privilege for so many old friends to be able to attend the Requiem Mass celebrated by Bishop Alan. For a time that was all too short, their presence in Beccles widened the scope of our parish life through their support of local charities, and Michael’s Benedictine memories. As an old boy of Downside School, Michael was able to give some moral support to the parish priest for as long as St Benet’s remained in Benedictine hands. Following Rosie’s death in 2019, with his brother Simon (B60) and younger relatives, Michael remained gently stalwart as an old Gregorian family man although in declining health – supportive to friends and parish, in the company of his own closest family. His death after a mercifully short illness coincided with the closing stages of the Benedictine history of St Benet’s, soon to be more fully incorporated within the Diocese of East Anglia.”

  • Leslie Addington (B41)

    Leslie Addington (B41)

    1923 - 2021

    Besides exceptional map-reading, the task of flying artillery “spotter” aircraft over enemy lines requires nerves of steel. For the 28-year-old Auster pilot Leslie Addington, who made repeated sorties between August and November 1951 during the Korean War, it meant flying low to make out enemy positions and then veering away before getting caught in the crossfire.

    During one offensive, Operation Commando, eight guns on the ground were “causing considerable trouble to our forward troops”, as the commendation for his later award read. An airstrike was agreed but the guns were well camouflaged and could not be easily identified. Leslie flew into enemy territory and circled over the target. An added problem was that his fuel was running low. With the tank almost dry he was eventually spotted by the Mosquito that was directing the fighter aircraft around him and he dived in low, dropping flares to indicate the target. For his actions Leslie was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

     

    Leslie volunteered to join the army as soon as he was old enough and chose the Royal Artillery. He was sent to India to prepare for the Allied invasion of Malaya and on his return joined 656 (Air Observation Post) Squadron as a “spotter” pilot. After Korea, he spent time with the British Army of the Rhine in Germany and had postings around the UK before settling in the Wylye Valley, Wiltshire. He was an instructor at the Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill, until his retirement in 1971 as a lieutenant colonel. Born on a houseboat in Srinagar, India, in 1923, Leslie was the sixth of nine children, five of whom fought in the Second World War and survived. His father, Raymond, was a cavalry officer with the Indian Army and his mother, Gladys (née Hughes), was the daughter of an official with the Chinese Maritime Customs Service. In addition to raising nine children, Gladys spoke five languages.

     

    The family returned to Britain in 1926 and Leslie was educated at Downside, where he excelled in athletics and cricket.

     

    In the early 1950s he met Anne Hume at a hunt ball in Somerset and they married in 1955. They raised four children: William, a civil engineer in Kuala Lumpur; Richard, a director of an estate agency in Devon; Suki, a professional cook; and Alice, who runs a floristry business.

    After retiring from the army, Leslie had a short spell in the personnel department of a printing business before he and Anne decided to turn their house in Sutton Veny, Wiltshire, into a finishing school.

     

    Taking on up to ten female students at a time for a year, they provided gardening, cookery and wine courses, and organised trips to the House of Lords. Leslie was a talented gardener with a particular interest in apple varieties, of which he had more than 20. He stored them all year round and supplied the cookery school with fruit and vegetables.

    Together with Anne, Leslie was a hospitable host and kept in close touch with his brothers, sisters and 36 nephews and nieces. He outlived all eight siblings and was determined to be the first to reach a century. He fell short by two years and a month.

    He remained an old-fashioned figure, attaching importance to the Victorian values he had inherited from his Indian-Army father, among them a commitment to family and duty, and a strong sense of humour.

    The Times

  • Dennis Walters (C46)

    Dennis Walters (C46)

    1928 - 2021

    Urbane and fiercely bright, Sir Dennis, who has died aged 92, was for 28 years an independent-minded MP for the Wiltshire seat of Westbury. Sir Dennis’s outspoken Arabist sympathies, particularly on the cause of the Palestinians, may have contributed to him being denied office under Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher.

    As a teenager, he served for 11 months with the Italian Resistance, returning to England to resume his education at Downside School and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge where he read Law and earned a tennis Blue. After university, Sir Dennis forged a successful business career in advertising and public relations. Later, he was employed as a personal assistant to Lord Hailsham during his chairmanship of the Conservative party and ran his campaign to succeed Harold Macmillan as leader. Hailsham considered him “the ablest man in the party.”  Sir Dennis was elected as MP for Westbury in 1964. In 1967, following the Six Day War, he and fellow Conservative member Sir Ian Gilmour travelled to Palestine. Both men later issued a statement urging Israel to help repatriate Palestinian refugees.

    Outside Parliament, Sir Dennis served as Chairman of Middle East International, founded in 1971 with a “mission to provide authoritative and independent news on the Middle East”. In 1980, at the best of Mrs Thatcher, and alongside Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, Sir Dennis set up CMEC, ostensibly to carry out the same functions of Middle East International but also, at first, to advance the cause of the Palestinians. He chaired CMEC until 1992 and then became its president. He was also Joint Chairman of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding.

    A frequent and passionate rebel for causes close to his heart, Sir Dennis was warned to drop the Palestinian issue if he wanted a ministerial career. Appropriately, his 1989 biography was entitled Not Always with the Pack. Sir Dennis left parliament in 1992 following stomach surgery and remained active for the remainder of his life, playing tennis well into his eighties and holding court at his house near the Tuscan city of Lucca. He loved nothing more than a good political debate around the dinner table and had a weakness for the Toscano cigars as chewed so menacingly by Clint Eastwood, the man with no name, in Spaghetti westerns. Sir Dennis was a true one off and will greatly missed.

  • Robert Limpeny (B51)

    Robert Limpeny (B51)

    1933 - 2021

    Bobby came from St George’s College in Quilmes, Argentina in 1947. School Prefect, Head of Barlow, Bobby excelled in sports, being a member of the 1st XI Cricket, 1st XI Hockey, 1st XV (Captain and Cap) as well Cap for Squash and football. He also played tennis, where he was selected to play at Wimbledon in the public-school championship. He captained the rugby team that beat Sherborne by 25-0. It was a match Bobby always remembered with great pride as a great day for Downside rugger when a try was worth three points. At the time, the Raven defined Bobby as “easily the best captain of Squash that the School has had since the war”.

    After finishing school, Bobby went to St. Catharine’s College at Cambridge to read Economics, where he continued his sports activities, mainly in Rugby. In 1954 he Captained the College XV when they won the League Championship and the Cuppers for the second year in succession without defeat.

    After graduating from University, Bobby continued his love for Rugby playing at Richmond. He then moved to France, where he played in Paris and started his professional career at Lorilleux Lefranc (later Coates Lorilleux). Bobby was later transferred to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he became CEO of the company and retired after some years at Total. A devoted economist, Bobby was always a source of advice too many. His undoubted ability, immense capacity for work, enthusiasm, energy, and determination won the respect of his contemporaries and will always be remembered for his natural kindness and complete sincerity of outlook.

    Bobby continued his Rugby activities in Argentina where he played for the Buenos Aires Cricket and Rugby Club (BA) and later for Club Universitario Buenos Aires (CUBA). A very keen sportsman he became president of The Squash Club in Buenos Aires and member of the Jockey Golf Club. Bobby taught his children the importance and values of sports in life. He also continued doing this by coaching rugby at Cardenal Newman College in Buenos Aires.

    Downside always had a special place in his heart. While at University, Bobby used to visit and stay for the weekend to meet friends where they enjoyed themselves very much. He always kept up to date with Downside through the Raven and occasional visits to the School. He was a devoted friend and someone with strong love for his family. He will be missed and always remembered for his wit, love for life and capacity to gather his family every year, which would join from different parts of the world to meet at a place very close to his heart. Bobby is survived by his wife Diana of 53 years with whom they have four children and nine grandchildren.

  • David Bevan (R68)

    David Bevan (R68)

    1951 - 2021

    David Bevan, who has died aged 70, was an organist, composer and tenor who for 36 years was director of music at the Roman Catholic Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer and St Thomas More, Chelsea; as a child he had been a member of the Bevan Family Choir, sometimes known as the von Trapps of the West Country, who toured widely until the 1970s.

    Somewhat self-deprecating by nature, Bevan did not consider himself a particularly fine singer, but he was a loud and reliable one. His ability to deliver the big tenor entries, such as the opening of the Rex Tremendae in Mozart’s Requiem, meant that he received many invitations to sing with professional choirs.

    As a composer his music had two distinct strands. For the church he wrote in the style of the 16th century and earlier. His wonderful fauxbourdon arrangement of the Magnificat, known as the “octavi toni” setting because it is based on the eighth tone in medieval Gregorian chants, has become a staple of the repertoire. Other compositions were more of a cross between Hindemith, Messiaen and Stravinsky in style, and include sonatas for clarinet, flute and cello as well as a Requiem Mass that will be heard at his funeral.

    David Hugh Bevan was born in Wales on February 26 1951, the fourth of 14 children of Mollie (née Baldock) and her husband Roger Bevan, who at the time was running a small music school in Montgomeryshire; a 15th sibling died shortly after birth. David’s great-grandfather had been Anglican archdeacon of Ludlow, but his father converted to Rome and in 1953 became director of music at Downside School, Somerset.

    The family lived in a rambling 15th-century farmhouse set in two acres, where they grew vegetables and kept pigs, geese, goats, sheep and chicken. After dinner, the Bevan siblings often burst into renditions of favourite madrigals; one of them would pluck a note out of the air and away they would go.

    As they grew in number, so too did the family choir and most of the siblings were members, though not all at the same time. They undertook concert tours around Europe, made several television appearances culminating in the 1977 BBC documentary Harmony at Parsonage Farm, and performed at St John’s Smith Square, London. Being one of the older children, David eventually took over the conducting from his father.

    He was head chorister at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, recalling the master of music George Malcolm chain-smoking during choir practice. He then studied at Downside and went on to read music at Queen’s College, Oxford.

    In 1973 he won a French government scholarship to study the organ in Paris with Gaston Litaize and Jean Langlais, but there were few opportunities to practise and he frequently returned to the West Country to use the instrument at Shepton Mallet parish church. Not having a car, he walked the two miles from his family home at Croscombe, but on one occasion a motorbike came hurtling towards him. He leapt over a stone wall and broke his arm, putting an end to his scholarship.

    Meanwhile, he had been appointed assistant master of music at Westminster Cathedral under Colin Mawby. When Mawby’s tenure ended in a dispute over musical policy, Bevan became acting master of music, directing the music for the funeral Mass of Cardinal Heenan in November 1975 and the enthronement of Cardinal Hume three months later.

    He was not, however, appointed to the substantive position, which went to Stephen Cleobury, and in 1976 he became organist of St Agnes Church in St Paul, Minnesota, which has a strong musical tradition. There he developed the custom of using Gregorian chant and was director of the local Schubert Club Boys Choir, which had been founded by a former member of the Vienna Boys Choir.

    Returning to the UK in 1979, Bevan found no shortage of invitations to sing, including at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and for the BBC. He found a natural home at Holy Redeemer church in Chelsea, with which he had strong family connections. During the week he lived and worked in Bath, teaching A-level music at Prior Park and King Edward’s schools, and from 1995 to 2000 was director of Bath Baroque Chorus. More recently he was teaching at Reed’s School in Cobham, Surrey.

    In 1983 David Bevan married Clare Bowler-Reed, a chorister at Holy Redeemer. The marriage was later annulled, although they remained close. Every Sunday morning they loaded their five children into an ageing Citroën, which was prodded into action with a long metal bar, and drove from Somerset to Chelsea for an early choir practice followed by sung Mass. On the journey he played recordings of Beethoven string quartets, explaining the intricacies of the composer’s work to his often car-sick children. There was no television in their house.

    Bevan, whose interests included reading, swimming and ecclesiastical architecture, retired from church music in about 2017 suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The Vatican awarded him the Benemerenti medal for services to the Church, which was presented to him two months ago at the Church of St Birinus in Dorchester-on-Thames where he attended Mass towards the end of his life. He is survived by his children, all of whom also sang in the church choir including Sophie and Mary who are now pursuing international careers as opera singers.

  • Peter Dominic Dauthieu (S61)

    Peter Dominic Dauthieu (S61)

    1933 - 2021

    It is with great sadness that Ehrmanns announce the death of Chairman and founder, Peter Dominic Dauthieu. (S61). Peter passed away at his home in Jerez de la Frontera on 16th December 2021, aged 77.  A friend and mentor to many at Ehrmanns and the wine trade in general.

    Peter was born into the wine trade in 1944 (above the first Peter Dominic shop in the Carfax in Horsham).  In 1939, his father, Paul Andre Dauthieu, established Peter Dominic, which became the UK’s leading high street wine specialist chain and well-known household brand.  Peter’s education started at Worth Abbey prep school (West Sussex), followed by Downside Abbey senior school (Somerset).  After the completion of his MBA at Wharton (University of Pennsylvania), in 1968, Peter joined the management consultancy firm Arthur D Little in Boston, Massachusetts and later in Brussels.

    However, the wine trade was always his true calling having spent his earlier “teenage” years working in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Mosel, Oporto and Jerez, where he met his beloved Jerezana Mercedes in 1964 and married in 1968.  In 1972, he joined Pedro Domecq SA as International Director, a position he maintained until 1976 when he established Viniberia SA in Jerez and later Ehrmanns and the independent fine wine retailer H. Allen Smith in London.  From this he forged a modern wholesale, retail, specialist and major off trade business, being one of the first to sell to the rapidly developing UK supermarket channel.  Aside from establishing a significant Iberian category, he was also one of the pioneers of wines from South America.  Peter was Freeman of the City of London, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, Caballero of the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino and friend of the select Bordeaux 63er’s clan.

    A modest, intelligent and humorous man, who spoke 4 languages fluently, Peter worked relentlessly alongside his two sons, Peter and Paul, and the Ehrmanns team, to build a fiercely independent and flourishing business.

    Peter’s legacy will be his entrepreneurial spirit, dogged persistence and willingness to take risks that imbues Ehrmanns. Hugo Campbell, Director, commented:  ‘Working and travelling with Peter for over 30 years has been a journey never to be forgotten. His wit, humanity , creativity and razor sharp mind have been an inspiration and he is sorely missed’.

  • Athelstan Gurney Smeed (R54)

    Athelstan Gurney Smeed (R54)

    1927 - 2021

    Athelstan Smeed, better known by his friends and family as Lattie, was in Robert House at Downside. He was a winner at cross country and performed a solo on the BBC Radio Broadcast one Christmas. He was very proud of his school and spoke fondly of his time boarding throughout the war.

    He was one of the survivors after the tragic aircraft disaster in 1943, owing his life to a sting from a bee which meant he was rolling around on the ground when the wing of the aircraft passed over his head missing him by inches but wiping out his classmates. This left him devastated. He would pray silently for his lost brothers and used his faith to continue to live life to the full where theirs had been cut short so quickly.

    On leaving Downside his passion was to join the Guards but unfortunately his eyesight meant this was not possible. He undertook hotel management at Westminster School of Catering which meant training in London at the finest hotels including Grosvenor House and The Dorchester. His culinary skills were taught in Berne, Switzerland. He went on to become the youngest assistant general manager at one the best hotels of his time.  It was on the Isle of Guernsey at The Royal where he met Madeleine, his wife to be. He married Madeleine his wife of same age and went on to have 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.They became a formidable partnership in the hospitality industry and our parents went on to own their own hotels.

    He loved Horse Racing, the sport of kings and became a popular member at various courses in the South of England and had a passion for cars. He put all his children through private school and with his wife loved each and every one of us unconditionally. He was an extremely well liked individual and was liked by everyone no matter where you were from.

    Our father passed away peacefully and with great dignity and now rests alongside his father, brother and his dear, cherished wife of 65 years, Madeleine.

    Respected and loved by all he is missed on a daily basis but never forgotten. I pray that one day I might visit Downside, possibly with my children to walk the passages and relive where he called home for so many years. I wish to thank all those that took the time to write the kind words of sympathy. God bless you all!

    Christopher Smeed

  • Fergus Blackie (C55)

    Fergus Blackie (C55)

    1937 - 2021

    Fergus Craig Blackie was born on 18 July 1937 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). The son of Scottish Catholic immigrants who came to Africa not just to create a new life for themselves but, in the case of William his father, to study and practice Tropical Medicine.

    Fergus began his schooling at St George’s College, the distinguished Jesuit school, before moving to Britain to complete high school at the Benedictine Downside Abbey. Evidently the Benedictines impressed him enough to enter their novitiate after school. His discerned however that monasticism was not his way of serving God. He left the Order before taking vows and proceeded to read Law at University College, Oxford.

    He returned to Salisbury where he completed his articles as an attorney in 1963. Three years later he completed the pupillage necessary to become an advocate. He also married Adrienne Mary Appleby in January 1966. They had five children – Alexandra, Victoria, William, Caroline and Margaret.

    He was appointed a Senior Counsel, in 1980, the same year that Zimbabwe became independent. His career in the High Court had taken a different turn in 1978, when he was invited to serve as an acting judge in the Administrative Court, focusing on settling disputes over water. Blackie was appointed a judge of the Zimbabwe High Court in 1986, a post he held until retirement in 2002.

    Fergus Blackie moved with his wife Adrienne to South Africa. Settling in Johannesburg, he started a new career in mediation and arbitration, drawing on what he’d learnt with the ‘water court’ in the late 1970s. In this regard he helped to set up DiSAC, the Dispute Settlements Advisory Council, and worked with Conflict Dynamics.

    Behind this public persona, Fergus Blackie was a committed family man, warm-hearted and filled with a sense of humour. Committed to his faith, he took a considerable interest in Church affairs.  Above all he believed in fairness and had little time for posturing or posing behind technical jargon.

    In this, at very least, Fergus Blackie’s life should be an encouragement to South African judges, and all citizens who value the rule of law, to stand for that all too rare thing today, public integrity. He is survived by his wife, two brothers, five children and six grandchildren.

    Spotlight Africa

  • David Monico (S56)

    David Monico (S56)

    1938 - 2021

    It was quite unreasonable for David to leave us when he did. It was not his turn. Typical, of course, upstaging me to the last. But now that I come to reflect on our life together as brothers it does seem to me that I must have been an awful cross for David to have to bear throughout our formative years. All the things that I did and liked doing he hated. Most of the ideas I had he probably disapproved of. It wasn’t until he was about 15 when Pasmore, the Headmaster of Downside, put him into a special History Set, the aim of which was to capture major scholarships to Oxbridge that it dawned on me that he was probably cleverer than I was.

    Of course, he always had an enquiring mind. 1941 aged three and a half he is being pushed in his pram by his aunt Margot up Wippersnapper Lane in Westbury. Wippersnapper Lane is a horrible, cobbled, steep shortcut and the pram is heavy, unwieldy and old fashioned. The pram hits a thoroughly uncompromising pothole. ‘Jesus’ says aunt Margot ‘Where, Auntie Margot, where’, says David popping up in the pram all keen and bright eyed. ‘Oh, everywhere,’ says Margot who hadn’t done time at St Mary’s Ascot for nothing.

    David became part of the Stoneyard Set at Downside. Auberon Waugh, David Mlinaric,

    Rob Stuart and D were permanently ‘excused boots’ as the military might say. ‘Off games’

    While the rest of us covered ourselves in mud come rain or shine the Set would repair to the Stoneyard and place themselves under the protection of saintly Hubert van Zeller who would seek to beautify their minds.

    Whilst I was off doing National Service and learning how to defend my little brother should the Tartars and the Cossacks of the great Asian Plain take it into their heads to sweep over Western Europe, David duly won his Exhibition to Corpus Christi, Cambridge. It didn’t cross his mind that it was now his turn to defend me. Up we went to Cambridge, then, together. David an Exhibitioner and me, a humble commoner. We read History together and shared an elegant set of rooms in College throughout our stay. In cases of extreme emergencies we might borrow each other’s essays and I was very conscious of the fact that my essays were always rather better received when presented by David than when I showed up with them myself.

    More than anything David wanted to be cast in the `1959 Footlights Revue. All he had ever wanted was to have a life in the theatre. When he played the King in ‘The King and I’ at Cheltenham two old dears sat in the fourth row of the stalls. ’They say the King is much better than that Yul Brunner’ says one to the other – and then they both go to sleep.

    Mother died in 2002 and David was 64. At last he was able to fulfil his other ambition which was to make a life in Italy. At the Villa Prosperini, David and Neil were able to achieve all their aspirations, a gentle country life, love of friends, letter writing, books, good food (it should have been better wine) glorious summer weather. D complained bitterly about his first winter though. I was able to observe smugly that if he knew anything about the battle of Monte Cassino he would know how awful Italian winters could be.

    Wherever you are brother dear – keep a place for me.

    Martin Monico (S54)

  • Simon Keay (U72)

    Simon Keay (U72)

    1954 – 2021

    Simon was one of the first archaeologists to apply pioneering geophysical surveys on a large scale in the Mediterranean world, first in Spain, and then jointly with me in Italy, at Falerii Novi, Lazio, in 1997. It was this work that led the Italian authorities to invite us to undertake the first large-scale geophysical survey of Portus the following year.

    Simon’s Italian work had followed on from 20 years of influential research on Roman Spain. He was among the first non-Spanish archaeologists to work in Spain after the death of Franco (from 1978) and was held in very high regard there. His doctoral work on the late Roman economy established his profile, after which he went on to publish the first modern synthesis of Roman Spain, in 1988.

    However, his most pioneering work came in the series of large-scale surveys. Having met as students, and periodically worked together, in 1985 we were invited to conduct a survey of the hinterland of the Roman provincial capital at Tarraco (now Tarragona), where the Catalonian government was leading major new excavations.

    Recognising the potential of geophysical surveys for examining large sites, Simon co-directed, from 1991 to 1993, a project that mapped the city of Italica, the birthplace of the emperor Trajan, near Seville, revealing a variety of previously unknown buildings. This was later followed with an innovative study using Geographical Information Systems (a computer-based system for analysing maps) to better understand the networking of the dense concentration of Roman urban centres in southern Spain (2000-08).

    Born in London, to Lorelei (nee Shiel) and Anthony Keay, a company director, Simon attended Downside, before going to the University of London in 1974 to study archaeology. He stayed there to do his PhD, completed in 1983.

    In 1985 he was appointed lecturer in archaeology at the University of Southampton, rising to become professor by 1997. He stayed at the university until retirement in 2020, while also serving as director of archaeology at the British School at Rome for a decade from 2006. During this time, alongside the Portus excavations, Simon led a major EU-funded research project gathering comparative evidence from Roman ports across the whole of the Mediterranean. His publications of this research, along with the final report of his excavations, which he was completing at the time of his death, will be central to all future accounts of the Roman world.

    Throughout his work, Simon ensured that the everyday objects found were the subject of careful and systematic study, so his project publications remain as key works of reference. He was also a generous promotor of younger colleagues, always involving them as co-authors. This gave energy to his fieldwork projects, which, combined with his sharp – and often irreverent – sense of humour, ensured that field archaeology with him was always enormous fun.

    In 1986 he married Nina Inzani, a homeopath. She and their two sons, James and Leo, survive him.

    The Guardian

  • Sean Milmo (B60)

    Sean Milmo (B60)

    1943 – 2021

    Sean Peter Heywood Milmo was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, on May 30, 1943. He was the fourth of six children born to Sir Helenus Milmo, later a High Court judge, and his wife Joan.

    Educated at Downside School and Trinity College, Cambridge, Sean worked for more than 50 years as a journalist, starting on local newspapers in Shropshire and Teesside before later joining Reuters in London. He spent much of his career as a freelance writer specializing in business journalism.

    Sean was a nature lover, voracious reader, political activist, energetic dancer and avid football fan. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marion, and his two sons, Cahal and Dan, who have followed him into journalism.

  • Anne Whittlesea (HonOG)

    Anne Whittlesea (HonOG)

    I first met Adrian and Anne in 1977 when they arrived in Stratton with three young children, Alex, Alison and Amy, as Adrian took up his post as Art Master in the School. A year later Annalise was born at the Manor House in Stratton where they lived. At the time I was a young monk in the monastery with several others studying philosophy, theology, scripture, church history and canon law. The arrival of a young family, full life and joy, could hardly pass unnoticed by us young monks living on the top floor of the monastery.

    We’re in the liturgical season of Easter when we sing alleluia at the end of the antiphons and the choir of the Abbey Church at Downside has in pride of place the Easter candle. Over the years the candle has been decorated and painted by art masters and pupils from the school; I’m sure Adrian painted and encouraged his pupils to assist with this work. I mention the Abbey Church because when Anne became the House Mother in Plunkett, she encouraged the boys to take part in the different services. As the master of ceremonies, I used to meet Anne and two or three boys after breakfast on Sunday mornings in the Abbey Church to run through the bringing up of the gifts for the Offertory Procession at the mass. She also encouraged the boys to act as torch bearers at the Sunday evening Benediction.

    In the 1980s the Manor House in Stratton was full of activity and life as Anne and Adrian organised many activities: music and dancing lessons, art exhibitions, birthday parties and camping in the garden for the boys. Anne had her family of four children, but the house was filled with an overflow of Plunkett boys who loved being there and having Mrs Whitt, as Anne was affectionately known, as their house mother.

    Being house mother to young boys was very much a ‘hands on job’ and the success, the joy and spirit of friendship that was so much part of Plunkett House at that time was due to Anne’s care and love. She was the ideal person to be the House Mother, bringing her nursing and motherly skills to her work as she looked after all the needs of the students, being the link-person and bridging the gap that exists between home and school and supplying the softer, feminine touch that’s often missing in an all boys’ school. She was the able assistant to the House Master in administration and counselling, and as the discerning Christian person in the spiritual needs of the boys.

    Anne took an active and leading role in the Wessex Walks for Save the Children. When the charity celebrated their silver jubilee Anne was invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace.  When she retired from Plunkett House in 2000 the School organised a farewell party. I still remember Martin Fisher, the Deputy Head Master’s words: ‘all the boys who have passed through Plunkett loved Anne and as we can see many of her old boys are here today. One boy told me, we loved Mrs Whitt and we all fell in love with her.’ Damian Ettinger, the House Master of Plunkett at the time of her retirement, remarked in a letter to parents: ‘She has made her quiet influence felt throughout the House, has been involved in all areas of house activity, and displayed the love and compassion of an exceptionally dedicated woman.’

    Anne, as a trained nurse, took an active part in the OMV Lourdes Pilgrimage for ten pilgrimages. Here she was a valuable member of the medical team and she also managed to squeeze in time to sing in the Choir. I quote from the obituary that appeared on OMV facebook. ‘Anne was known to scores of OMV helpers as Mrs Whitt….She epitomised self-sacrifice and self-giving and the quiet tenderness of care for her family, her ‘boys’ and for our HPs (Hospital Pilgrims) knew no bounds. Truly, nothing ever appeared too much trouble as she drew from a seemingly endless reserve of energy and kindness.’ I thank Joanna Whitaker for those beautiful words that I think sum up the love and friendship Anne extended too so many. She brought the comfort and peace of God’s love to many.

    Let us pray for Anne that she may enjoy the peace and comfort of God’s love. In the words of today’s scripture reading from the Book of Revelation, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ In our sadness and loss, let us comfort one another, with those words, ‘I am making all things new.’

     

    Saints of God, come to her aid!

    Hasten to meet her, angels of the Lord!

    Receive her soul and present her

    to God the Most High.

     

    May Christ, who called you, take you to himself;

    May angels lead you to the bosom of Abraham.

    Receive her soul and present her

    to God the Most High.

     

    Eternal; rest grant unto her, O Lord,

    and let perpetual light shine upon her.

    Receive her soul and present her

    to God the Most High.

    Fr James Hood (B72)

  • Michael Lomax (C60)

    Michael Lomax (C60)

    1943 - 2021

    When the Vatican XI, a cricket team comprising largely Sri Lankan and Irish priests, asked for a match against the small French village of Entrecasteaux, its English inhabitant and former advertising executive Mike Lomax leapt at the proposal. Tall, clever and a good cricket player — he was the village umpire and a leading international umpire in France — Mike had always taken a big-hearted approach to life. Since 2000 he had followed a pattern

    whereby he spent five months of the year in the picture-perfect village with its own château and Le Nôtre maze, five months in a fisherman’s cottage by the sea in Deal, Kent, and the remaining two months travelling. Friends joked that in another life he should have been a travel agent such was his passion for exploring the world, including Japan, Vietnam, the US, India, Turkey, Syria, Georgia, South Africa, South America, New Zealand and Australia.

    He loved opera, particularly Mozart, and travelled to Italy for performances as well as to Berlin, Nice, Marseilles and, in Britain, Glyndebourne and Holland Park. He spoke German and Italian, and was fluent in French with an accent assumed to be Walloon or Swiss. Mike was born in 1943 in Fulmer, a village in Buckinghamshire, the first son of Peter, a lawyer, and Mary, a successful portrait painter. His Victorian great-grandparents had made money in Chile in the nitrate business and Mike enjoyed a comfortable upbringing in Chelsea. He was sent to Downside, the Catholic boarding school in Somerset. Mike had two younger siblings, Rosamund and Rod, and an elder sister, Geraldine, who was killed in a road accident in her early twenties.

    After school, where he excelled as a southpaw boxer, he won a scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge, to read English, and was involved in drama alongside Eric Idle and Tim

    Brooke-Taylor. He toured Europe as a member of the Pembroke Players. The world of advertising beckoned, and he started out at McCann Erickson, following a stellar trajectory through the financial advertising and public relations world at a time when the industry was in its heyday. He was director and head of media at Streets Financial, joined Charles Barker, one of the oldest of the public relations companies, as joint managing director and became the chief executive of First Financial. At the latter his main client was Jupiter Asset Management and when he left First Financial he continued to work for Jupiter. When new regulatory boards were introduced in the 1980s he was on the Securities and Investment Board, the forerunner of the Financial Conduct Authority. He was also at the forefront of the marketing for the Cancer Research campaign and, nearer to home, a governor of Newington Community Primary School in Thanet.

    In 1967 Mike married Rachel (née Salmon), a senior civil servant who became a deputy governor at the Bank of England, and they had two sons: Tom, who is a doctor in Tokyo, and Dan, a lecturer. The marriage broke down in the late 1980s and in 1992 Mike married Margaret Stone, a financial journalist who had set up the Times money section in the late Sixties, and whom he had known in financial circles for many years. Between them they had six grandchildren: Alisa, Mia, Sasha, Evie, Ned and Bertie. Mike and Margaret moved from Maida Vale to the Barbican but on realising the number of traffic lights separating them from the other side of the river decided to move out of London and to divide their time between France and Deal, where Mike played golf. At 6ft 5in he was a big hitter, although sometimes on a different course from that on which they were meant to be playing. To many, however, it was his encyclopaedic mind — he could recall the date of an event in history at random — and all-embracing interest in the world that made him entertaining company, not least in his fascination with Turkish carpets: he had 13 in Deal and ten in France.

    The Times

  • John Kevin Newman

    John Kevin Newman

    1928 - 2020

    Since Kevin died on 26 July 2020, I have received letters of condolence from a number of you. Your kind words mean more to me than you could ever imagine, especially since you are drawing from memories that go back more than fifty years.

    Kevin’s memories of Downside also stretched back—specifically to 1955 when Dom Wilfrid offered him a position teaching Group 1. To the Headmaster’s pointed question: “Can you make [the boys] work?” Kevin gave, without hesitation, the reply, “Yes, if you support me.”

    At that time Kevin was unemployed, as penniless as Chaucer’s Clerk of Oxenford. But he was confident that he could teach. If he had taught himself Greek so well that Rector Barber offered him a place at Exeter College before his interview concluded (“I’m surprised that your Greek is better than your Latin!”) he was convinced that he could assist in preparing the boys in Group 1 for the future if they were willing to trust him and work hard. The years he spent at Downside were filled with a sense of purpose and of accomplishment. He sometimes said that he learned Greek and Latin by attempting to answer the questions asked by the boys in Group 1. Again, like the Clerk of Oxenford, “Gladly would he learn and gladly teach.”

    But after fourteen years it was time to move on. When he was offered a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with one of the finest Classics Libraries in the US, he realized that to continue with his research he had no choice but to accept. The terms were generous: he could borrow as many books as he wished for as long as he wished. The Classics Librarian eventually automatically renewed the volumes when they came due and would sometimes even drop books off at the house. And during his 31 years as a faculty member, he was excused from teaching for five years so that he could get on with his research.

    However, Kevin never forgot Downside, he never forgot Group 1, he never forgot the excitement of watching the intellectual growth of intelligent boys who were working toward a well-defined goal. Over the years he often heard from old pupils. But the affirmation that he had spent his life pursuing a worthwhile career came at the splendid celebratory dinner in 2012 at Brooks’ Club, when so many former members of Group I spoke of the lessons they had learned, …was it in Room 6?

    Sadly, Kevin’s heart never recovered from the damage inflicted on it in January 2019. During the subsequent eighteen months his health, both physical and mental, gradually deteriorated. Not long before he died, when his dementia was quite advanced, he asked me if I thought he might be able to go back to Downside to teach the boys. What answer could I give? I don’t think his heart had ever really left.

    Frances Newman

  • Roddy Mellotte (S60)

    Roddy Mellotte (S60)

    1942 - 2020

    It was a very happy day for Roddy and his family when they arrived to live in Stratton-on-the-Fosse in 1983 after a tour in Northern Ireland. He was asked if he had come to educate his sons at Downside, “No” he replied, “I have three daughters”! Oliver came along later.

    Roddy was born in Walton-on-Thames May 1942, his father was Irish and an eminent ophthalmologist and his mother was Australian. He had two sisters and an older brother, Michael who predeceased him.

    Roddy was schooled first at Worth and then went onto Downside excelling at sport and particularly rugby (many will remember his 1958 unbeaten rugby side!). Amazingly he was offered a place at St. Mary’s Paddington but decided he wanted to join the army. He entered RMA Sandhurst in 1961 and was commissioned into the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment in 1963. During his career he travelled widely and mostly at the expense of Her Majesty. He had witnessed or been on the periphery of some key events in history, observed some powerbrokers at work, been at the court of Royalty and fed his love of ceremonial by taking part in some wonderful occasions. He worked in National and International Headquarters. One highlight was a NATO posting to Denmark during which he was appointed ADC to Queen Margaret II, Colonel in Chief of the regiment. Another was a posting to Hong Kong in 1973 when he was involved in the mysterious world of Military Intelligence and worked with real “spooks” and attempted to scrutinise the inscrutable Chinese.

    He has been a “head hunter”, an entrepreneur, a PR man, an amateur psychologist and a legal adviser, such was the varied life of an infantry man. Roddy married Marybell in 1971, then had three daughters, Gina, Louise, Alice and a son Oliver. Roddy was immensely proud of his family and was blessed with nine grandchildren (and another on the way) all of whom adored and revered him.

    Roddy retired from the Army in 1997 after serving for 34 years. He joined the Civil Service immediately and continued his job at Warminster as a Retired Officer for several more years. He took over as editor of the Old Gregorian magazine from Jake Francis-Jones in 2009, big shoes to fill, but found it an interesting and fulfilling task as his love of anything Downside was important to him. He was also a stalwart supporter of any rugby or cricket game and was often seen on his red tricycle up at the pavilion and around the village.

    Roddy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008, a condition that he endured with great courage, always finding a solution to a problem and so uncomplaining. His faith was strong and he managed mass at the Abbey on a regular basis until a few months before he died. He was an example to us all and has left a huge gaping hole in the Mellotte family. Rest in peace darling man.

    Marybell Mellotte

  • John Coward (B54)

    John Coward (B54)

    1937 - 2020

    John Francis Coward, a Sheerness ship broker’s son, was born at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey on October 11 1937. He was educated at Downside Abbey, and in 1954 entered Dartmouth, where he won the Queen’s Telescope.

    After two years in the frigate Tenby Coward joined the trade, serving in conventional, diesel-powered submarines (1959 until 1970), culminating in command of Oracle. He also served in nuclear-powered attack submarines from 1970-77, ending with command of Valiant.

    His submarine service included loan service in Australia and Canada, and several operations close to the northern coast of the Soviet Union. In the Mediterranean, when observing Russian naval operations, Valiant suffered a seawater flood in the reactor compartment.

    Forced to surface, Coward was subjected to a board of inquiry after he turned a blind eye to an order not to run the reactor: the board’s report condemned his decision on engineering grounds, but a top-secret annex acknowledged the political embarrassment that might have been caused had Valiant been found on the surface surrounded by Soviet forces.

    As naval assistant to the First Sea Lord (1978–80), Coward saw at close quarters the row over cuts between the Secretary of State for Defence, John Nott, and Admiral Sir Henry Leach.

    After Brilliant, Coward held only one other desk job in the Ministry of Defence, as Director of Naval Operational Requirements (1984). Promoted to rear-admiral in 1987, he was better able, as Flag Officer Sea Training (1987–88) to pass on his wealth of personal experience.

    His next appointment, as Flag Officer Flotilla One (1988–89), was remarkable because he arrived in his flagship, the destroyer Bristol, in Leningrad on the morning in May 1989 when the British government expelled more than 400 Soviet diplomats. The visit could have been disastrous, but instead its success was entirely due to the strong rapport which Coward quickly formed with his Soviet Navy hosts

    Promoted to vice-admiral, Coward, who had been one of the brightest submariners of his generation, felt that he had “come home” when he became Flag Officer Submarines (1989–91), though his term of office proved uneventful. He was knighted KCB in 1990.

    His appointment in 1992 as Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies (until 1994) seemed a surprising choice: staff training, he thought, was “like the symmetry that the lions bring to Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square, nothing but mere adornment … officers should be tested at sea and not in the political mire of Whitehall.”

    Yet his term of office, ably supported by his wife, was hugely successful: he won worldwide affection, very much to the UK’s benefit, among the international students who worked together and shared social occasions, without obsessing about their attention to studies and written work.

    On leaving the Navy, Coward became Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey (1994-2000). It was a far from easy appointment, with an antagonistic Labour government seeking confrontation with proud islanders, while Coward helped to defuse threats to their ancient rights.

    He showed himself to the islanders to be as intelligent, calm, humorous, impeccably mannered, pragmatic, brave and determined as he had to his ships’ companies. His quick wit was also well-known: at the opening of a new school building, he was introduced to the oldest surviving pupil, who was 90. “Isn’t it about time you left and found a job?” he asked him.

    Coward’s contemporaries regarded him as one of the finest leaders of men – a classic gentleman sea officer in the Nelson tradition, yet always ready to break the rules if the situation required.

    His passion was sailing: his last boat was the 40ft Swan sloop, Lutea.

    He married his fellow Sheppey islander Diana Sandra Taylor in 1963; she survives him with their two sons.

    John Francis Coward, a Sheerness ship broker’s son, was born at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey on October 11 1937. He was educated at Downside Abbey, and in 1954 entered Dartmouth, where he won the Queen’s Telescope.

    After two years in the frigate Tenby Coward joined the trade, serving in conventional, diesel-powered submarines (1959 until 1970), culminating in command of Oracle. He also served in nuclear-powered attack submarines from 1970-77, ending with command of Valiant.

    His submarine service included loan service in Australia and Canada, and several operations close to the northern coast of the Soviet Union. In the Mediterranean, when observing Russian naval operations, Valiant suffered a seawater flood in the reactor compartment.

    Forced to surface, Coward was subjected to a board of inquiry after he turned a blind eye to an order not to run the reactor: the board’s report condemned his decision on engineering grounds, but a top-secret annex acknowledged the political embarrassment that might have been caused had Valiant been found on the surface surrounded by Soviet forces.

    As naval assistant to the First Sea Lord (1978–80), Coward saw at close quarters the row over cuts between the Secretary of State for Defence, John Nott, and Admiral Sir Henry Leach.

    After Brilliant, Coward held only one other desk job in the Ministry of Defence, as Director of Naval Operational Requirements (1984). Promoted to rear-admiral in 1987, he was better able, as Flag Officer Sea Training (1987–88) to pass on his wealth of personal experience.

    His next appointment, as Flag Officer Flotilla One (1988–89), was remarkable because he arrived in his flagship, the destroyer Bristol, in Leningrad on the morning in May 1989 when the British government expelled more than 400 Soviet diplomats. The visit could have been disastrous, but instead its success was entirely due to the strong rapport which Coward quickly formed with his Soviet Navy hosts

    Promoted to vice-admiral, Coward, who had been one of the brightest submariners of his generation, felt that he had “come home” when he became Flag Officer Submarines (1989–91), though his term of office proved uneventful. He was knighted KCB in 1990.

    His appointment in 1992 as Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies (until 1994) seemed a surprising choice: staff training, he thought, was “like the symmetry that the lions bring to Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square, nothing but mere adornment … officers should be tested at sea and not in the political mire of Whitehall.”

    Yet his term of office, ably supported by his wife, was hugely successful: he won worldwide affection, very much to the UK’s benefit, among the international students who worked together and shared social occasions, without obsessing about their attention to studies and written work.

    On leaving the Navy, Coward became Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey (1994-2000). It was a far from easy appointment, with an antagonistic Labour government seeking confrontation with proud islanders, while Coward helped to defuse threats to their ancient rights.

    He showed himself to the islanders to be as intelligent, calm, humorous, impeccably mannered, pragmatic, brave and determined as he had to his ships’ companies. His quick wit was also well-known: at the opening of a new school building, he was introduced to the oldest surviving pupil, who was 90. “Isn’t it about time you left and found a job?” he asked him.

    Coward’s contemporaries regarded him as one of the finest leaders of men – a classic gentleman sea officer in the Nelson tradition, yet always ready to break the rules if the situation required.

    His passion was sailing: his last boat was the 40ft Swan sloop, Lutea.

    He married his fellow Sheppey islander Diana Sandra Taylor in 1963; she survives him with their two sons.

    Vice-Admiral Sir John Coward, born October 11 1937, died May 30 2020

    The Telegraph

     

    The Telegraph

  • George Cooper (B43)

    George Cooper (B43)

    1925 - 2020

    George Leslie Conroy Cooper was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel GC Cooper of the Rifle Brigade and later of the South Wales Borderers. He was educated at Downside and Trinity College, Cambridge, before being commissioned into the Royal Engineers as the war was ending in 1945. His early service was with the Bengal Sappers and Miners in Burma, rebuilding bridges destroyed during the campaign to oust the Japanese.

    In 1957 he married Cynthia Hume. They had a daughter, Clare, who has Williams syndrome, a rare congenital disorder that causes learning difficulties, and a son, Tim, a freelance writer and trustee of the Williams Syndrome Foundation, a charity that Cooper and his wife established in 1980 to promote and fund research and support families with affected children. All survive him.

    Cooper’s experience in Korea might have dominated his outlook but for the extraordinary variety of assignments that followed. He saw service in the Middle East, including attachments to King Hussein’s Arab Legion in Jordan and the Iraqi army, and returned to England to attend the Staff College, subsequently serving on the staff of 39th Infantry Brigade in Belfast. This was before the Troubles, but the brigade contingency plans to deal with inter-communal violence provided a useful insight into the underlying tensions in the province for when he was to return as brigade commander in 1971.

    Recognised as a high-flyer in his early thirties, he was given command of 26th Armoured Engineer Squadron in Germany in 1962 before returning to the Staff College as an instructor in 1964. He advanced to lieutenant- colonel as chief of staff of the 1st Division in the British Army of the Rhine. This was followed by command of the Royal Engineers in the 4th Division, again in Germany. He was next summoned to the MoD to head Army Staff Duties 2. On return from Germany in 1968 he informed the military secretary that he could not serve abroad again except for in an emergency because he needed to remain close to his wife and daughter.

    In 1969 he was appointed commander of 19 (Airportable) Brigade at Colchester, part of the strategic reserve set up to react to emergencies outside the Nato area. As a demonstration of his brigade’s ability to respond, he had it flown to Malaysia for Exercise Bersatu Padu (Cohesion). On return to the UK elements of the brigade were deployed on the streets of Belfast.

    Promoted to lieutenant-general in 1979, he was appointed General Officer Commanding South East District at Aldershot, the largest of the army’s districts. There he was faced almost immediately with the anti-nuclear protests against siting cruise missiles at Greenham Common and Molesworth, requiring close co-operation between the police and the army to ensure their security. On promotion to four-star general in 1981 he joined the Army Board as adjutant-general, responsible for personnel, just in time to take part in John Nott’s defence review that year.

    On his retirement from the army in 1984, Cooper joined the UK Board of GEC with responsibility for management development, but quickly became disillusioned and resigned. He did not, however, lose touch with the army.
    General Sir George Cooper, GCB, MC, adjutant-general 1981-84, was born on August 10, 1925. He died on January 6, 2020, aged 94

    The Times

  • Nicholas Lash (C50)

    Nicholas Lash (C50)

    1934 - 2020

    A prominent Catholic professor of theology at Cambridge University died on July 11th. Mgr Mark Langham, chaplain at Fisher House in Cambridge, remembers his life.

    Despite his clear-cut accent and homely English ways, there was always something exotic about Nicholas Lash. Born in India in 1934, he was the nephew of the Anglican bishop of Bombay, while his brother became an Orthodox Archimandrite, and his own nephews are the actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. You never quite knew whom you were going to meet when visiting his house in Hereford Street.

    He attended Downside school, where he imbibed a love of Benedict and his rule, and then served for five years in the Royal Engineers before studying for priesthood, eventually becoming Dean of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. In 1975 he resigned his ministry and became a lecturer in the Divinity Faculty at Cambridge University. Three years later, Nicholas was appointed to the Norris-Hulse Divinity chair, one of the most prestigious professorships at the University; this was the first time since the Reformation that a senior theology post had been held by a Catholic.

    The Norris-Hulse Professorship requires its incumbents to be not only formidable theologians but serious philosophers as well. With his incisive mind, his insistence on the exact use of language, and his readiness to criticise what he thought were lazy or unfounded opinions, Nicholas excelled in his post. Brilliant and imaginative, he was the author of numerous theological books, and a regular contributor to theological journals. His academic theology, however, was never separate from his own lively faith. In one of his best-known books, Believing Three Ways in One God, he sought to assist the faithful towards as deeper understanding of the Trinity through a close reading of the Apostles’ Creed.

    He was a loyal and obedient Roman Catholic, although never unafraid to pose critical questions to those in authority, and his achievements were recognised by the Church with the award of a Papal Knighthood by Bishop Alan at the University Chaplaincy in May 2017. He and his wife Janet were stalwarts of the chaplaincy, warm hosts and wickedly funny raconteurs. Nicholas was a prayerful man who reminded us that all theology is a response to God’s word, and that whatever our failings, we can still discover God’s love for us and for this world.

    The Diocese of East Anglia

  • Michael Reeve-Tucker (R68)

    Michael Reeve-Tucker (R68)

    1949 - 2019

    Most of my brothers were born in Jamaica (the rest of them in Carlisle (our sisters were born in Herefordshire)); had the Windies selectors been on the qui vive, Mike was the most likely to have had a call-up. His fast bowling for the 1st XI in 1967 and 1968 reached heights of unplayable menace, especially at Lord’s, where he was cruelly deprived of a hat-trick in the morning session by an umpire who turned down the plumbest of plumb LBWs. The sorry umpire explained that, had he raised his finger, he feared the match would have been over by lunch.

    His was an idyllic childhood, spent in a village in Herefordshire, on the family farm in Cumberland, and on various army patches around the world – Catterick, Jamaica, Germany, Hong Kong (where not surprisingly he did a stint as a model) – usually in the happy band of the four outlaw brothers.

    A talented sportsman, he was a bruising centre in the excellent 1967 XV and a stalwart of the Hockey XI; and, latterly, an accomplished golfer.

    On leaving Downside he went straight to Sandhurst to start a distinguished 27-year army career.

    He was the embodiment of Downside’s Benedictine ethos and values, which were instrumental in his rising to become the last Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Hampshire Regiment, the very same regiment that his father (TSW Reeve-Tucker (R38), Head Boy and Captain of the unbeaten 1st XV) had commanded in the 60s.

    Curiously, he was the third Roberts boy in a direct line of succession to command it, after Tim Glass and Paul Davis.  Following its amalgamation with the Queen’s Regiment in 1992, he became the first C.O. of the 1st Battalion, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. He took the new battalion to Armagh, an interesting challenge for a Catholic, and regularly attended at Kensington Palace to report on regimental affairs.

    The army sent him all over the world, including two long spells in Germany, in Bavaria where he was sent to learn the language and, it is surmised, to teach the German army how to play cricket (wie ist das?!), and also in West Berlin.

    On retiring from the Army in the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel he had a spell as Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, before moving to Zambia in 2012.

    There he built a house and created a garden which he filled with flowers and fruit trees, on his eldest son’s, Piers’ (R94), land, where all were welcome, and all came. He gradually became grandfather to seven and was adoring of and adored by them. He would organise fun parties and trips on his boat on the Zambezi. In recent years he taught cricket at his grandchildren’s school.

    As Council Member for Zambia for the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League he worked passionately to ensure many families got their life saving grants. He also headed up the annual Poppy Appeal, something he did with huge pride.

    A fine leader, his was an ebullient and adventurous spirit. He was a loving, dedicated and kind father of six, – Piers, Poppy, Dominic (B97), Alexander, Olivia and Imogen – son, brother and friend, sustaining many wonderful friendships around the world.

    Stephen Reeve-Tucker (R69)

  • Nicholas Martin-Smith (B68)

    Nicholas Martin-Smith (B68)

    1950 - 2019

    An Oxford friend of Nicholas recalls his first impression “of a small figure, self-contained and discreetly making his way through the shadowy spaces between Hall and Meadow Buildings at Christ Church, open to everything going on around him but holding back from drawing attention to himself – unlike so many of our contemporaries who enjoyed making a splash. He retained that quietly modest presence throughout his life.” Perhaps one can draw a comparison between this image of Nicholas and his father’s profession as a senior member of M16.

    Nick had a wonderful capacity for friendship and kindness but was also a scholar with a great sense of fun. I have fond memories of regular lunches in the City with Nick and Chris Golden (C70 RIP), each of us speaking non-stop throughout.

    A follow partner at Clifford Chance where Nick worked for most of his career, remembers Nick. “As a lawyer he was superb, one of the best in the firm. No case was too complex for him and everything he did, he did with elegance. Complicated matters seemed to gravitate towards him. He was entrusted with some of the most demanding and high-profile cases that came to the firm. Clients knew that when Nick was in charge of one of their matters, they would be dealt with expeditiously and competently.”

    For myself I roped Nick in for a game of bridge, my first date with my future wife. Nick was later to be godfather to our youngest son. He remembers Nick as “a third parent, providing support in a real way, working behind the scenes and never overbearing”. Many ladies wanted to marry Nick but he always managed to avoid matrimony till the end of his life when he married Reiko.

    When a colleague at Clifford Chance had a riding accident, Nick visited him weekly in hospital near Aylesbury for 16 months, and taught him the Alexander Technique there. Nick gave up much time in his busy life to his friends.

    Similarly, he helped numerous god-children and other friends financially through their careers and education, and helped his parents maintain a comfortable life style in their retirement. In his own retirement Nick investigated his mother’s Jewish ancestry, and helped Mark Blundell (C69) research the Blundell ancestry.

    Nicholas Martin Smith was born on 17 October 1950. His father Patrick served in the Friuli region of Italy with the SOE, and his mother Phyllis Brown joined General Alexander as a secretary from the SOE. They met and married in Austria.

    Nicholas was educated at Penryn where he was a contemporary of Alan MacDermot (B67). He excelled at chess as did his elder brother Michael: the final of Penryn’s chess competition was held between the two brothers. From there Nick won a scholarship to Downside. As he was young for his year he took a year out with his parents who were posted in the Congo at the time.

    He came to Downside in Michaelmas 1964 leaving in 1968 with a Classics scholarship to Christ Church. At Downside he won the Somerset junior chess championship. Despite his formidable intellect he only obtained a 2nd at Oxford and failed to pass the Foreign Office exams.

    He joined Clifford Turner, later Coward Chance, and among his many areas of expertise became the world expert on aircraft leasing. He spent some years working in Japan and once complained, indicating a stack of papers three feet high, that the work exhausted him.

    Nick wanted to retire at a very early age but the firm persuaded him to help open a new office in Thailand. This gave Nick much pleasure and he developed close contacts with the Thais.

    Eventually, though still in his 40’s, Nick retired and spent some years in New Zealand learning the Alexander Technique. His later years were spent mastering this and amongst his friends and godchildren from his flat in the Montevetro building in Battersea where he had moved from his earlier home in Islington. He had a long-term relationship with Reiko, a pianist, though they always maintained separate homes.

    A few years ago Nicholas told us that he was developing a form of cerebral Parkinsons which he knew would lead to mental decay. With friends he made all the arrangements to dispose of his wealth. Shortly before he died he married Reiko.

    I can only include a handful of the tributes to Nick that I have received. He leaves us all with memories of a wonderful man.

    David Clark, (S68)

  • Gerald Moriarty (R46)

    Gerald Moriarty (R46)

    1928 - 2019

    The death of Gerald Moriarty on 28th September 2019 at the age of 91 brought to an end an outstanding career within the legal profession. Born in India on 23rd August 1928, into a distinguished Irish family which claimed the dubious distinction of inspiring Conan Doyle’s iconic villain, Gerald Evelyn Moriarty received his early schooling in India under a governess where he remembers being warned to look out for leopards when taking the dogs for their daily walk. In due course he was “sent home” to boarding school; in this case to Worth Preparatory School, recently founded  by Downside.  Here he thrived and ended up as Head Boy.

    Gerald’s transfer to Downside for his secondary education nearly didn’t happen. In fact he was physically already at Downside because, on the outbreak of War in 1939, Worth had been hurriedly evacuated to what became known as “the Worth block” (now “the Barlow block”) on the south side of the Downside Quad.

    Apparently, there was a monumental family row over whether it was safe for Gerald to be at boarding school in wartime. So for a short time he found himself transferred to Glenstal in the West of Ireland until the family, prompted by a tantrum staged by Gerald himself, backed down and re-instated Plan A.

    Gerald thrived at Downside, showing talent both at games and in the classroom. He got on particularly well with the monks, with whom he developed some lifelong friendships and whose monasticism gave a particular flavour to what were to become his deeply held religious convictions. One incident which greatly affected him was the tragic accident in which nine of his contemporaries were killed when a plane crashed onto the cricket field during a school match.

    By the time his schooldays had reached their end, the war was over and National Service loomed. Downside had already built up a strong relationship with The Irish Guards and so Gerald’s application was sent there. But fate intervened when he failed the medical. As it happened, the Head Master, Dom Christopher Butler, an Oxford “triple first” himself, had influence at St John’s College, his own alma mater, and so it was swiftly arranged that Gerald should proceed there without delay to read history which led, in due course, to a career in the Law.

    Jumping forward for a moment to the year of his marriage, 1961, those who know the family will be aware of the quite exceptional extent to which Gerald and Judy became what in modern jargon might be called “an item”. Certainly, in the world of Downside School in general and Old Gregorian events in particular – a world in which the present writer’s time as abbot happily coincided with Gerald’s time as President of St Gregory’s Society – with dinners and speeches to be arranged worldwide – there was never any doubt that Judy would be making the arrangements into which Gerald’s relaxed presidential style would fit exactly with no trace of a crisis or a fuss. The high point of each year in the Gregorian calendar was always the Easter Retreat and re-union and here again the arrival of Gerald and Judy got the event off to a flying start each Maundy Thursday evening.

    Meanwhile back in London, Gerald’s career progressed with impressive speed. Called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1951, he took Silk in 1974, became a bencher in 1983 and, from 1976-1998, sat as a Recorder of the Crown Court. He became something of a specialist in appeal work in his latter days.

    There was something very restful about the family home which Gerald and Judy established over many years at Hawkedon, near Bury St Edmunds. Those of us who work in East Anglia knew that hospitality was always available, even at short notice. Gerald lived on there in retirement to a ripe old age and while Langleys New House was neither a stately home nor a country estate, one felt his pride in the place as he showed off his plantations and plans for development.

    Death, when it came, was mercifully swift and the ministrations of Judy and the boys were all and more than anyone could wish for. Summoned to preside at the very Catholic Requiem Mass in Hawkedon, I was delighted by my first sight of the order of service with its prominent Gregorian cross ancrée on the front cover followed by a photo of Gerald’s seriously fine portrait by fellow Gregorian, Michael Noakes (S50). People over 90 don’t expect a crowd at their funeral – but the church was packed and the cheerful atmosphere at the wake reflected perfectly the sense that a man of living faith, a true believer, had gone to his eternal reward.

    Dom Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard

  • Gerald Walsh (R52)

    Gerald Walsh (R52)

    1934 - 2019

    Gerald Patrick Walsh-Waring attended Downside School from 1947 to 1952 in Roberts House. After completing his final year, he went straight to St Mary’s to read medicine and had a successful career both in the private sector and with the NHS. He had a great love of his patients and passion for life.

    The Catholic Church was an important element of his life, influencing his decisions and underpinned his actions. His other great love was horse racing, including the time where he owned a number of race horses himself. His other passions included opera and classical music, steam trains, and dogs. Although he was not a sporty man, he was a keen Chelsea football supporter also.

    He was a kind and gentle man, loved his patients. Beloved husband to Olivia, father to Emma, and grandfather to Hugo and Honor.

    May he rest in peace.

    Olivia Walsh-Waring

  • Graham Cottle (B65)

    Graham Cottle (B65)

    1947 - 2019

    I was fortunate to be able to count Graham as a good friend.

    Graham went to Downside and represented them at cricket, rugby and boxing. He has been described as a fearsome and determined opponent in the boxing ring as well as a committed and able team member on the cricket and rugby pitches.

    After getting his degree at London University and passing his Bar Exams, Graham took up a pupillage on the Western Circuit and in 1972 joined the then newly formed annexe of 4 Pump Court here in Exeter joining Graham Neville, Sir Neil Butterfield and Francis Gilbert, each of whom, in time, also became Judges, Sir Neil Butterfield becoming a High Court Judge and the other two, along with Graham, Circuit Judges.

    After practicing as a Barrister in Exeter and then Winchester, Graham was appointed to the Circuit Bench in 1993. He had been a successful practitioner at the Bar, but it was as a Circuit Judge that he was to make his greatest contribution to the criminal justice system. For he was a very fine Judge. He had an instinctive understanding of human nature that enabled him to know who and what he was dealing with.  He had an unerring knack of seeing the common sense answer to any problem.

    He was the resident judge at Exeter, that is the judge responsible for the running of the court centre. The latter role brought with it his appointment as the Honorary Recorder of Exeter. He had a wonderful technique for sorting out cases. If a defendant was maintaining a not guilty plea in the face of overwhelming evidence he would announce that the defendant could either see sense and be sentenced there and then or the case could be adjourned for a trial in front of, as he would say, a keen young Recorder and who knows what would happen to him then. If Graham had a particularly difficult defendant who was insisting on defending himself and whose trial would require a judge with unlimited patience, Graham would direct –“this is one for Judge Neligan.” He was Resident Judge at Exeter for 10 years, longer than most judges are allowed to hold such a position; a testament to how good he was in the role, his perceptive and sensitive administration sustaining an efficient and happy court centre. His approachable manner and support of and loyalty towards the court staff won him many friends.

    He worked on the Parole Board. Through that work as well as his work as a judge he was aware of the impact that the custodial sentences he had to impose could have, particularly on those who needed a helping hand to get away from a lifestyle that had led them into crime. He supported and did voluntary work for the charity Landworks. It provides supported routes into employment and the community for those in prison or at risk of prison. Graham conducted legal surgeries for the charity, helping offenders understand their sentences and the law.

    A few years ago the Western Morning News published an article entitled “The Power 150”, listing those that the newspaper thought were the 150 most influential people in the West Country. Graham was number 45. He was very amused, and never taking himself too seriously, had an apron with “Number 45” emblazoned on the front.

    For Graham’s family, it is a great sadness that his retirement was cut short. He had had a hip replacement operation in early April and his recuperation seemed to be going well. He was looking forward to getting back on the golf course. But it was not to be. For Graham’s family we can offer the comfort of the thought that Graham was greatly respected throughout the legal community. His qualities of integrity, humanity and judgment meant that he was held in the highest regard. For those of us who were fortunate to enjoy his company outside work, he will always be remembered for his humour, kindness and generosity. He has left us all with many happy memories of our times together.

    Extract from a Tribute by Paul Dunkels , Esq. , Q.C.  at a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of His Honour Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Cathedral on June 1st. 2019.

  • Archbishop Michael Bowen (R48)

    Archbishop Michael Bowen (R48)

    1930 - 2019

    On Thursday 17th October 2019, Archbishop Michael Bowen sadly died.

    Archbishop Emeritus Michael Bowen faced the challenge of implementing the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. He introduced new structures in the Archdiocese of Southwark and brought about renewal in many areas of Church life.

    Born in Gibraltar on April 23, 1930, he grew up in Wimbledon, South-West London. He had one brother. He was educated at Avisford House prepatory school, near Arundel, and then by the Benedictines at Downside School. When he was ten, his father, a major in the Army, was killed in action in Norway during the Second World War. His mother remarried in 1945, to Sir Paul Makins.

    In 1949 he was called up for National Service and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Irish Guards, his father’s regiment. Afterwards, he spent a year at Trinity College, Cambridge, and then worked briefly in the wine trade.

    He began his studies for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome in 1952. During his time there, he produced Gilbert and Sullivan operas and also played cricket in a league. He gained theology and philosophy degrees from the Gregorian University and was ordained in Rome on July 6, 1958.

    His first post was as a curate to St Gregory’s, Earlsfield. In 1960 he moved to The English Martyrs, Walworth. In 1963, with the Second Vatican Council under way, he returned to Rome to teach theology at the Beda College. He came back to England in 1966 to become Chancellor of the newly-established Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

    In 1970 he was consecrated coadjutor bishop for the diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The following year, on June 27, after the death of Bishop David Cashman, he was made the diocesan bishop.

    Following the death of Archbishop Cyril Cowderoy, he was appointed Archbishop and Metropolitan of Southwark on April 23, 1977.

    One of the high points of his time in office was the visit of Pope John Paul to St George’s Cathedral in 1982 to celebrate a Mass for the sick. It was Archbishop Michael who suggested that the seven sacraments be the theme of the pope’s six-day visit to Britain.

    The profile of St George’s Cathedral was raised considerably during his time, and he launched a £5 million appeal for its refurbishment. It staged concerts, took part in the Southwark Literary Festival and hosted the annual graduation ceremony for the students of South Bank University.

    For 26 years he served both as a governor of Digby Stuart College, Roehampton, and Chair of Southwark Province’s Bishops’ Committee for St John’s Seminary, Wonersh. He served for 15 years on the Bishops’ Committee for the Venerable and Beda Colleges in Rome and 11 years as a director of Catholic National Mutual Ltd.

    Throughout his life he enjoyed golf, tennis and cricket. He once played against the Duke of Norfolk XI at Arundel and – the story goes – got out legendary England batsman Colin Cowdrey.

    He will be remembered both as a gentleman and a gentle man.

    May he rest in peace.

    Independent Catholic News

  • David Twiston Davies (RA63)

    David Twiston Davies (RA63)

    1945 - 2019

    David James Twiston Davies was born in Montreal on March 23 1945. Although he thus started out in life in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, as an adult he was to display scant enthusiasm for anything French – wine, war cemeteries and the Bourbons’ support for the Jacobite cause excepted.

    Descended from Samuel Davies (born 1788), Welshman and Wesleyan minister, David was the eldest of the two sons and two daughters of (Mervyn) Peter Twiston Davies, who converted to Roman Catholicism, and his Canadian wife Isabel, née Fox, from a Catholic family which had emigrated from Co Tipperary in the early 19th century. His great-uncle, Sir Leonard Davies, a noted civic figure in Monmouth, added Twiston to the family surname by deed poll in 1939.

    Taken to Britain as an infant, at the age of four David contracted tuberculosis and for a time returned to Montreal for treatment with streptomycin, a drug which was not at the time readily available in Britain. He was later sent to prep school at All Hallows, Cranmore, in Somerset, and then to Downside.

    Having cut his teeth in journalism with two years (1966-68) on the East Anglian Times at Ipswich, he returned again to Canada (nearly all his life he travelled on a Canadian passport), and for two happy years – having hitchhiked from Montreal to Winnipeg – worked for the Winnipeg Free Press in Manitoba.

    He joined the Telegraph as a news sub in 1970, and was assistant to the paper’s literary editor from 1977 to the mid-1980s, when he had a stint on the desk dealing with the Manchester edition.

    He liked the work, but in 1987 was made letters editor, and then in 1988 editor of the Peterborough column.

    There followed his long spell on Letters up to 2001, by which time some views which continued to be aired regularly on the letters page – views, for example, in vigorous opposition to homosexuals in the Armed Forces – were becoming out of step with the times. A fresh approach was sought, and Twiston Davies returned to Obituaries.

    In retirement, he wrote the odd article for the Telegraph, for example about the sale of a large collection of antiquarian books he had inherited from an old colleague, Baron Seymour de Spon, and which on moving house he was obliged to sell. He continued also to contribute thoughtfully to The Catholic Herald.

    He never forgot his Welsh heritage, and when in the home circle needed little prompting to break into song with O Canada!

    He never learnt to drive, and had a tendency to clumsiness – his wife Rita would caution the children: “If you see your father with an electric drill in his hands, remove it painlessly.”

    He loved books, enjoyed the novels of P G Wodehouse and Robertson Davies, and had the greatest respect for the monarchy.

    Strong in his Catholic faith, with his family he attended the Easter retreat at Downside each year.

    He married, in 1970, Margaret Anne (Rita) Montgomery; she survives him, with their daughter, Bess, and sons, Benedict, James and Huw.

    The Telegraph

  • Robert Prendergast (S59)

    Robert Prendergast (S59)

    1941 - 2019

    Robert James Christie Prendergast was born on the 21st October 1941 in Beaconsfield. He made some lifelong soulmates at Worth but enjoyed Downside much more, despite the odd skirmish with Dom Wilfred Passmore. No sportsman, he preferred the scholarly and more gentle pursuits.

    Following a year spent travelling around Europe with school friends in a Land Rover, he went to Trinity College Cambridge to read Law. These were halcyon days where he made more friends and was academically fulfilled. Joining Middle Temple, he read for the Bar and was called in 1964. Following his pupillage, he joined Chambers in the Inner Temple.

    Robert was always immaculately dressed: it was rare to see him without a tie. On one blisteringly hot Summer’s day, he encountered a barrister friend, who cheekily enquired whether he ever dressed without one, Robert responded “I’d rather go out without my trousers.”

    His deep affection for Downside drew him and his beloved Bibi, and in due course, their daughter Victoria, back for the Easter Triduum for 25 years. This was cemented in 1999 by his appointment as President of the St. Gregory’s Society. He conducted the annual meetings  much the same way as one imagined he did his court: A slow, precise, measured delivery and rhetoric sprinkled with dry humour. Naturally charming and witty, he was always a good companion.

    Robert was appointed a Recorder in 1987 and became a Circuit Judge in 1989 a role he undertook with great responsibility. He was described as a “great and popular judge whose humanity and kindness always shone through.”

    He retired in 2006, refusing other appointments, determined to enjoy his newly found freedom with his family, whom he adored. This included his grandsons, William and Alasdair whom he introduced to chess, buying them a set, but something he may possibly have regretted when he was nearly beaten by a six-year old!

    It also afforded time to become IT and email literate, and a mature student at Birkbeck College where he achieved a diploma in History of Architecture. Being a holder of a Student card as well as a Freedom Pass caused him much amusement. Technology aside, he never forsook the handwritten letter, when appropriate, and his letters were gems: always thoughtful and beautifully written.

    His cancer diagnosis came as a shock to everyone. He underwent chemotherapy and extensive surgery, and despite heavy medication, he suffered considerable pain. He endured his illness privately and without complaint. He knew his end was near and yet he rang his friends, asking after them, reluctant to dwell on his own situation. This was his way of saying goodbye. If there are heroes in such circumstances, he is one of them.

    Robert was a true gentleman in manner and deed. A Christian by example and practice, placing the well-being of others before his own. He was a very special person, a fine Judge and an outstanding Gregorian who will be hugely missed.

    Robert died on the 17th May 2019. May he rest in peace.

    Roddy Mellotte (S60)

  • John George Gaggero (S52)

    John George Gaggero (S52)

    1934 -2019

    John George Gaggero was a perfect gentleman of the old school and part of the generation of Gibraltarians who defined the Gibraltar in which we live today. Theirs was the generation that made Gibraltar and its people resilient, innovative, honourable, generous, tolerant and kind – having to overcome enormous difficulties.

    Born in Gibraltar five years before the outbreak of World War II, he was evacuated to England in late May 1940 with his mother and siblings where he spent the duration of the war. Educated at Worth and Downside schools, he chose to do his military service in England and trained at Mons Officer Cadet School where he passed out 1st in his class and was awarded the Stick of Honour.

    He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, joined the XII Royal Lancers, a cavalry regiment equipped with Saracen armoured cars, and was posted to Malaya during the emergency in 1953. On conclusion of his two years’ military service, he joined the Ailsa Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland as a Trainee Manager and where he qualified as a Member of the Institute of Engineers of Shipbuilders in Scotland (MIES) and later became a Member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (MRINA).

    On returning to Gibraltar in 1958, he joined M.H. Bland & Co Ltd as a Director and soon afterwards other group companies in the marine, tourism and aviation sectors. He quickly put his expertise as a naval architect to good use by playing a key role in the management of the company’s, Ship Agency, the Ship Repair Yard and the Mons Calpe, the ferry that provided such a key lifeline for the Rock between Gibraltar and Tangier.

    He played a leading role in planning and executing the construction of the cable car to the top of the Rock, which was inaugurated on 30th March 1966, shortly before the frontier between Spain and Gibraltar was closed by the Spanish government. It played an important part in upgrading the Gibraltar tourist product and received wide international acclaim.

    These were the years that shaped the man he was to become: humble and caring, giving equal attention and respect to all those he came across from all walks of life, dedicated to his work, his community and devoted to his family.

    He was to play a key role in 1982 during the three-day conversion and re-fit of the SS Uganda into a hospital ship for the Falklands War. Also, in a clandestine operation before the Prime Minister had announced to the House of Commons that Britain was to send a task force to reclaim the Falkland Islands, he was tasked with taking a team of Royal Marines in the middle of the night to meet the SS Canberra as she transited the Straits, and inform the Captain that his ship was to be requisitioned as a troopship.

    But John Gaggero also dedicated much of his time over his long life to serving the community. He served as a Justice of the Peace from 1972, was at various times until 1998 Deputy Chairman and then Chairman of the Magistrates’ Association and the Magistrates’ Poor Fund; was a member of many boards and committees including the Board of Education (1960-66), the Labour Advisory Board (1962-

    66), the Board of Management of the John Mackintosh Hall (1964-96), and the Dock Labour Board (1978-81).

    Professionally, as well as being a Director and later Deputy Chairman of all Bland Group companies, he was a member and later chairman of the Gibraltar Shipping Association (1966-97); the Red Ensign Club committee (1971-6); Managing Director and later Chairman of the Stevedores and Cargo Handling Company (1978-97); Director and later Chairman of the Gibraltar Chart Agency (1987-9) and a Director of Gibraltar Shiprepair Limited (1988-92).

    He was appointed Honorary Consul for Denmark in 1964 and in 1972 was appointed a Knight of the Royal Order of the Dannebrog and later, in 1981, a Knight 1st Class of this Royal Order. Her Majesty the Queen appointed him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1981.

    John Gaggero retired from business life, as Chairman of M H Bland & Co Limited and from public life in September 1997 to enjoy a well-earned retirement. He nevertheless kept a lively, paternal interest in the firm through to the end, proud of the way the firm continued to grow under the stewardship of his children.

    A devoted family man, he is survived by Valerie, his wife of 58 years, and by his four children, John, George, Katrina and Amanda, 10 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter.

    Valerie Gaggero

  • Michael Thesiger (B53)

    Michael Thesiger (B53)

    1936 - 2019

    Michael passed away peacefully on 6th February 2019 with his wife Patricia and 5 children at his bedside.

    He was born on 13th January 1936 in a small hospital in central Calcutta. At the age of 6, he and his parents relocated from India to Tanganyka (now known as Tanzania). It was there, whilst at junior school in the middle of Africa, that Michael first met Tony Vyvyan, who was to become a fellow pupil at Downside and subsequently a lifelong friend.

    Once the war had ended in 1945, Michael and his parents moved to London, and he continued his education at Worth Preparatory School before going on to Downside.

    Whilst at Downside he developed his passion for sport.  His natural hand/eye coordination and expansive reach made him a formidable opponent on the squash court, and he went on to represent Downside 1st VI.  However, it was on the cricket pitch that Michael was most at home, and his lanky frame and whippy wrist action soon earned him a place as opening bowler in the Downside 1st XI.

    Michael had aspirations for a career in the military and was hoping to join the Grenadier Guards. However, due to a serious leg injury sustained whilst playing rugby at Downside, it was not to be. His father was very keen that he should immediately embark on a career in the City, and so shortly after leaving school, he was articled to Ralph Ashton Hamlyn at Binder Hamlyn. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1963.

    Soon after qualifying, Michael joined Dunlop in their Overseas Division. This enabled him to satisfy his thirst for travel, something actively encouraged by his cousin Wilfred, and  in 1965 Dunlop sent Michael on a 5 year secondment to Argentina as Finance Director.

    Returning to the UK in 1970 with Patricia and his young family, Michael left Dunlop to become Finance Director of Boustead – an overseas trading company. In this role he continued to enjoy his travels with frequent trips to America, Australia and the Far East.

    At the age of 60 he retired from Boustead and was invited to join the British Heart Foundation to set up a new internal audit department, easing him into full retirement.

    During his relatively brief illness, he displayed immense strength, dignity and humour….traits which characterised the way in which he lived his life and for which he is so fondly remembered by those people whose lives he touched.

    A service of thanksgiving to celebrate Michael’s life was held at Worth Abbey on 5th April 2019 with many OGs in attendance.

     

  • David Hawkins-Leth (R54)

    David Hawkins-Leth (R54)

    1937 - 2019

    David Hawkins-Leth was, at the time of his death 81. He was commissioned into the Royal Air Force Regiment in 1959 and served in many operational theatres around the globe. His final appointment, in the Rank of Air Vice-Marshal, was as Commandant-General of the RAF Regiment and Director-General of RAF Security.

    Following his military career he was appointed Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod in the House of Lords and in 2009 he was appointed Director of Military and Government Affairs for WDSL Aerospace Ltd, taking on a similar post with Coltraco Ultrasonics Ltd in 2014.

    David was appointed a Gentleman Usher to Her Majesty The Queen in 1994, becoming an Extra Gentleman Usher in 2007.  He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London from 1994 until 2012, when he went to live in Denmark on his wife Dr D Hawkins-Leth’s retirement from her dental practice in Harley Street.

    He died in the UK after returning to spend his last weeks with his immediate family, his two brothers, Michael (R57) and Peter (R53).

  • Jake Francis-Jones (B55)

    Jake Francis-Jones (B55)

    1937 - 2019

    Capt RC Francis-Jones, RN

    Ronald Carew Francis-Jones, otherwise known as Jake, was born in 1937 in Pretoria, South Africa from where he grew up in the wilds of Africa living out of the back of a 4-tonne (Army) truck.  Along with his mother, there were years of enormous adventure, loyally following his father who served with the Northern Rhodesian Regiment.

    From South Africa all the way through to Somaliland, Jake and his mother became adapt to this rugged lifestyle and the many adventures that ensued.  Whilst there were many incredible stories, there was also intense hardship and  Jake and his mother, joined by a much younger sister, muddled their way through a frugal existence; particularly after the Battalion had left to fight in the Far East.

    Attending Pembroke House (Kenya) before being sent to his beloved Downside.  Shipped to Somerset, where flipflops were not in fashion, the Kenya relaxed attire was swapped for starched collars and a world that couldn’t have been farther apart.  With Kenya being too far to return to, except during the Summer holidays, term time was important as he would spend the Christmas and Easter holidays in Torquay guest houses, by himself.   It was during one of the CCF trips, that the nickname ‘Jake’ was bestowed upon him.

    After Downside, a brief spell back in Nairobi returning to the UK to complete his training as a midshipman at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.  After a few years in the Royal Navy and whilst serving in Cape Town, as the Flag Lieutenant, Jake met and a year later married Diana le Poer Trench in Nairobi.  The globetrotting continued with many world deployments and happy times.  Once past a certain rank Jake was shackled to a desk but still loved the Royal Navy till the day he retired.

    A short stint followed with the Game Conservancy, fuelling his appetite for shooting, but his true passion was when he focused his attention towards Dom Daniel’s card index system and encyclopaedic knowledge of Old Gregorians.  Within a brief period, the card index system had been claimed, digitised, and regular emails were being dispatched, invigorating the global OG family.

    Everything and everybody, Old Gregorian, was being organised.  Jake was alight whilst Dom Daniel enjoyed his new sedate lifestyle; everybody was happy.  Jake also realised that not only could we celebrate the many successful OG’s but that there were also a forgotten band of brothers who needed help.  He responded by raising the idea of Bruised Reeds at a council meeting and was, unusually, flatly denied any support.  Nevertheless, undeterred he crafted the idea and set about just helping those in need.  He didn’t need or want any praise but was really encouraged as more offered to assist him.  With this, also came the advent of the Old Gregorian Magazine, the profits from which would go towards a bursary for a student at the school. All matters OG remained with Jake until the very end.

    Diana survives him with their two sons, James and Maxwell.

  • Ian Symington (S47)

    Ian Symington (S47)

    1929 - 2019

    It is with deep regret that the Symington family announce the death of Ian Symington (S47) on Friday 28th June, aged 90.

    Ian was born in Porto, Portugal in 1929 and was educated at the Oporto British School before going to Downside School in England. On leaving school he joined the army and served in the Seaforth Highlanders regiment in Scotland. After military service he returned to Portugal in 1949 to join his father John and his uncles Maurice and Ron in the family Port company, where he was to work for his entire career.

    In the two decades immediately following the II World War, the Port trade and the entire Douro vineyard region was in a parlous state: Port had historically been almost entirely dependent on exports and with Europe devastated by the war, sales were minimal. During this time many of the historic family Port companies were sold or simply closed. Ian, together with his cousin Michael, joined later by cousin James and brothers Peter and Amyas, fought to keep Port alive and to develop new markets. Travelling tirelessly across Europe and the world, Ian and his cousins brought Port back to the notice of consumers in the main markets. Their work was rewarded when, in the 1960’s, Port sale began to climb steadily around the world. Together they built the business into a thriving and successful port company. Ian was respected for his meticulous preparation, determination and negotiating skills. Ian and his wife Cynthia were also renowned for their generous hospitality entertaining numerous journalists and customers, both at home in Oporto as well as in the Douro, in so doing they built lifelong friendships and strong partnerships with customers around the world.

    In 1983 he was made President of the Wine & Spirit Benevolent Society a charity for those less fortunate in the wine trade. At the end of his Presidency the Chairman of the Society wrote; “I was lucky to have had the right President, someone who is regarded with so much affection by the trade”.

    Ian was a passionate lover of the Douro and nearing retirement, he rebuilt an abandoned farm house overlooking the Douro river near Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, one of the Symington family’s most beautiful and remote vineyards. Here with his wife Cynthia they spent many happy days with family and friends.

    Ian was a leading figure in the Port trade for nearly 50 years and his work laid the foundations for the success of Port and the Douro of today.

    Ian married Cynthia in 1954. They had two daughters, Susie and Nicky, and a son Johnny who joined the business in 1985. He had eight grandchildren and one great-grandson. His granddaughter Vicky is one of six members of the 5th generation of Symington’s who now work in the family business.

  • David Edwards (S55)

    David Edwards (S55)

    1937 - 2019

    Lieutenant-Colonel David Edwards, who died aged 81, was a rowing blue and a Commonwealth Games medallist as well as having had an adventurous Army career.

    His father, Group Captain Hugh “Jumbo” Edwards, AFC, DFC, was a well-known oarsman, double Olympic gold medallist, pilot and Oxford rowing coach. Young David recalled long hours on airfields during the Second World War watching and waiting for sight of his father’s aircraft returning from missions over enemy-occupied Europe. When the family moved to a cottage high on the Berkshire Downs his father would fly his bomber low over the roof to let everyone know by the roar of engines that he was back safely and needed a lift home from the RAF station.

    At Downside, David distilled a fierce, alcoholic brew in the chemistry laboratories; his housemaster referred to him as “the leader of the underworld”. He was awarded a state scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, where he took up rowing seriously. He was late handing in his thesis in the Chemistry finals because the date clashed with Regatta Week at Henley, and he was awarded an unclassified degree.

    Edwards was commissioned as a National Service officer in 1960 and joined the 10th Hussars (10H) as a troop leader, but signed on in the regular Army two years later. He served in Germany and then in Aden during the Emergency; while on patrol in the Radfan Mountains he was bracketed by a bazooka. Recalling the experience, he commented that there was nothing quite like being shot at to concentrate the mind.

    He returned to Germany after qualifying as a helicopter pilot, and on promotion to major he commanded his Regiment’s Air Squadron. On one occasion, while piloting his CO, he crashed in a

    forest in the Moselle Valley. Fortunately they were unhurt and his CO went to get help while Edwards stayed with the smouldering helicopter.

    After attending Staff College, Edwards returned to regimental duties in Germany and then Northern Ireland, where his squadron was deployed to guard the Maze Prison, which housed IRA prisoners.

    In October 1974, long-standing tensions within the prison exploded into violence. The Royal Hussars (renamed following the amalgamation of 10H and 11H), heavily reinforced, took part in a major operation to restore order. Edwards, as second in command, claimed later that he had led the last dismounted cavalry charge undertaken by the British Army.

    An unconventional and rather wild cavalry officer, he earned the nickname “Pissy” for his love of parties. One bibulous evening in the mess he challenged a brother office to race him to the other side of the building by way of the roof – and won. On exercises, he carried a .22 rifle to encourage dawdling tanks to keep up – and also to extinguish lights left burning at night and to supplement troop rations from the local wildlife. Soldiers tend to admire officers who bend the rules, and they were prepared to follow him anywhere.

    The Telegraph

  • Stephen Lunn (Ra68)

    Stephen Lunn (Ra68)

    1951 - 2019

    Stephen Nicholas Lunn was born on 14th January 1951 and died on17th March 2019. He was one of six children of Peter Lunn and Antoinette Preston, daughter of the 15th Viscount Gormanston. See “The Lunn family and the Kandahar”.

    At school his friend Anthony Berry QC remembers how he endured the rigours of life at Worth with a healthy disdain for authority which he maintained until leaving Downside in 1968. He did not lack for academic ability or sporting talent but he chose not to rely on either in furtherance of his own or the school’s glory.

    Easily evading university, he set up shop in Kensington Market selling leather gear and, in particular, moccasin boots with long tassels. They quickly became fashionable and “Noddy’s Nipples” was very successful. The wedges of folding money impressed his many penniless old school friends down from Oxford for the weekend. He manufactured most of his merchandise from a back room in his flat in Wellington Square in Chelsea and often the same undergraduates would seek temporary employment stitching leather bags and punching holes in leather footwear. Juliet met Stephen in 1970 when she was 17 years old. They lived together in Wellington square, Chelsea from 1971 to 1972.  “It was a rather wild flat, everyone seemed to use it as a place to meet and party. “

    They moved to Taverners Close from 1972-1975 and then they moved to New Kings Road where they set up shop as Lunn Antiques. They married in 1977 and three children followed Lizzie in 1980, Will in 1982 and Pete in 1985.

    In the early 80s when the beautiful Victorian lace underwear items that Stephen and Juliet were finding were on nearly every page in Vogue and worn as skirts and tops rather than underwear. He had the idea of selling copies of them. His sister Brigid was living in Cairo at the time and adapted the clothes to fit a modern body (Victorians had 17” waists) and bought Egyptian cotton and Nottingham lace and got them made by two very gifted seamstresses in the top floor of their house.

    They expanded their sources of “new” lace over time to India and China but Stephen kept up his regular visits to Portobello and other markets in search of antique clothing.

    Despite Stephen’s Bohemian lifestyle, he had a deep religious faith. This was to bring him immense support after he was diagnosed with cancer and given three months to live, 9-12 months with treatment.

    Stephen had an abiding passion for skiing, mainly on the mountains in Mürren but when the snow went: water skiing on the reservoirs around London.

    Shortly after his diagnosis I was one of a dozen, mainly OGs, to gather with Stephen in Mürren for a last skiing holiday on the slopes that the Lunn family had made famous.

    Stephen was to enjoy two more ski winters after this and countless ski runs. The Kandahar motto “Sicut Sagitta a Sagittante”, which roughly translates as “don’t turn unless you have to” describes Stephen’s ski style, and his attitude to his cancer.

    Eventually the cancer caught up with him but he leaves us with wonderful memories of a kind and generous man who loved god, his family and his friends and was surely loved by them all.

    David Clark with thanks to Brigid Battiscombe, Anthony Berry, and Juliet Lunn

  • Anthony John Watty (R53)

    Anthony John Watty (R53)

    1935 -2018

    Anthony was born in the Philippines and lived in Australia, Portugal, and the UK before immigrating to Canada at age 20.  He attended the University of British Columbia and obtained a Master’s degree in Architecture.  He began his career in Vancouver and in the early 1970’s moved up the coast to Lund, a small hamlet and fishing village near the town of Powell River.  He continued practicing architecture from a home office in Lund while pursuing his passion: restoring and building wooden boats “3 inches to 33 feet”.  His not-quite-completed live-aboard sailboat is his masterpiece; he drafted the original boat plans and worked on it, off and on, for more than 3 decades.  It’s built mostly from local wood such as red and yellow cedar and Douglas fir.

    Anthony’s architectural drawings were all drafted by hand prior to the days of computer drafting.  His designs and plans for homes and public spaces are characteristically artistic and meticulous.  As well as being an accomplished architect and maritime aficionado, Anthony was a life-long learner and immersed himself in both fiction and non-fiction literature on a broad range of subjects.  In addition to his intellectual pursuits, he was an exceptional craftsman, a backyard mechanic, and the ultimate Mr. Fix-It.

    Anthony enjoyed the outdoors and learning about the local wildlife.  He was a keen observer of nature and took pleasure watching insects, birds, butterflies, and dragonflies while sitting on the deck of his hand-built home in the woods.  He especially admired the soaring and acrobatic swallows.  He made homes for birds and bats and bees as well as his own.

    Anthony is survived by 2 sisters, 2 children, 3 grandchildren, and his soul-mate and partner of 45 years, Margaret.

    Margaret Leitner

  • James Bernard Bourke (S58)

    James Bernard Bourke (S58)

    1938 - 2018

    James Bourke and I were contemporaries in Smythe. As he was older than me we were not in the Junior House together but we became close friends in Smythe as time went by. It became obvious that James would accomplish good things: natural ability, wide and varied interests, and a gift for companionship are promising attributes at a young age.

    James was a member of Smythe who, for so many reasons, no one could ignore. Today, he might have been diagnosed as being mildly autistic. He could often be encountered humming to himself the opening bars of the Ninth or something less well known, conducting himself as he went by. Not only that! James also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of classical music and could cite from memory every Opus number of any classical piece broadcast on the Third Programme. The BBC had designed this to be “of artistic and cultural importance … for persons of taste, of intelligence, and of education”. In other words, for James. The rest of us listened to pop music on Family Favourites before lunch on Sundays! Family Favourites To my knowledge, James did not then play an instrument but he was a tireless collector of classical recordings, all made of shellac in those days, which he played regularly on a large radiogram at his parents’ home.
    At home we were close neighbours, he in Southampton and I near Portsmouth. He kindly invited me to visit him and his parents, in about 1957. The Bourkes lived in the centre of the city, in a handsome Georgian terrace house. His father was a GP and, in retrospect, it’s obvious that James would follow his father, and become such a respected surgeon. That weekend, he had arranged to attend a lecture by Frederick Ashton so, in bright sunshine, we walked along the famous docks to the auditorium, with one of the Queens towering above everything in sight. Frederick (later Sir Frederick) Ashton is credited with being the founder of British ballet and was a celebrated dancer and choreographer. I recall being amazed by the complexity of what I had considered to be, well, dancing. About ballet, I shamefully knew and understood nothing.

    James was a good if not outstanding athlete in rugger and cricket. What little he may have lacked in ability, he more than made up with his enthusiasm for any sport or game. He was also almost as knowledgeable about his favourite sports as he was about music. If you wanted to know the test match score, you asked James. Later, he put his knowledge of, and interest in, sport to excellent purpose for the benefit of others.
    In 1958 he took his ability and enthusiasms to Christ’s College, Cambridge. There, he read medicine in Part 1 but in Part 11 he switched to anthropology and archaeology, which were then, apparently, an enthusiasm and which would certainly become one later, in the public domain. Going down from Christ’s, he went back to medicine and completed his training at the London Hospital where he met his wife, Anne. They were married in 1965 and had three children.
    In 1972 Jim, as he became known, went up to Nottingham where he was appointed consultant surgeon and reader in surgery. He spent the next thirty years at the General Hospital and the University. There, he helped establish the Queen’s Medical Centre, where he became Medical Director. During his distinguished professional career, Jim still couldn’t leave sport alone. When his days playing cricket came to an end, he became a major figure of Nottingham rugby club, acting as the club’s doctor and Chairman. The club became a force in British rugby, and many members played international rugby. His 2006 article in the BMJ drew attention to the dangers posed by scrums, which he believed should be uncontested. In this, they are still some way short, but they pose less risk now of serious injury than they did.

    Jim applied his knowledge of anthropology and archaeology to “Pete Marsh”, a mysterious body found in a peat bog near Wilmslow in 1984. In 1986 Jim co-authored a book entitled “Lindow Man: the body in the bog”. “Pete Marsh” is now on display in the British Museum.
    As a fellow pupil at Downside James was a man of many promising parts in the making. With his wide interests, he was always a stimulating companion, and he was as kind and generous to me at school as he would be to so many people throughout his caring and varied career. Naturally, Jim never lost his passion for music, especially for opera. He was a regular visitor to Glyndebourne and to Buxton opera house, where, I feel sure, he would hum an aria in faint earshot of his fellow patrons.

    Guy AB Knapton (S58)

  • Edward Brett (B46)

    Edward Brett (B46)

    1928 - 2018

    Dr Edward Brett was one of the first paediatric neurologists at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Starting work in an era when old-fashioned clinical skills were paramount to correct diagnosis, throughout his career Edward marvelled at the introduction of CT and MRI scanning and the revolution in genetic understanding of diseases in children.

    Paediatric neurology was still in its infancy, and Edward used the opportunity of working in a large specialist hospital to describe and classify neurological problems in children. His experience led him to produce the standard textbook on the subject, Paediatric Neurology, first published in 1983 and essential reading for anyone in the field for the next 30 years. Edward was one of very few such specialists in the country, and each year he and his fellow neurologists would get together at a meeting in Oxford organised by Professor Ronnie McKeith. This led, in 1975, to the formation of the British Paediatric Neurology Association, of which Edward was one of 27 founder members: he went on to play a major role in its development.

    Edward was sadly involved in the tragic plane crash at Downside in 1943 that many of you will remember, when a Royal Navy Sea Hurricane plane flew too low over the cricket pitch, crashing and killing nine boys as well as the 22-year-old New Zealand pilot. Fourteen boys were injured, 10 of them seriously. Edward, who had been reading a book, sustained a badly broken femur which needed many months in traction.

    He went on to study Medicine at Oriel College, Oxford, and St Mary’s Hospital in London. After military service in Malta and at Wheatley, a military hospital near Oxford specialising in brain injuries, he continued his paediatric training at St Mary’s and then on a Fulbright Scholarship at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as three months in Paris.

    A special interest in the neurodevelopmental features of prematurity formed the substance of his MD thesis, and after a spell at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, in 1970 he was appointed consultant paediatric neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He loved and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of art, literature, antique silver and ceramics. His knowledge of Latin and Greek and fascination with languages enabled him to preface his lecture abroad with a greeting in the home language.

    After his retirement from the NHS, Edward shared his expertise through his consultative role as paediatric neurologist at the Tadworth Court Centre, formerly the country branch of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. His opinion was also valued as an expert witness in medico-legal matters. In later life he became passionate about family and Irish history. He was also proud of his Irish heritage and his father’s post in the RAMC. These strands indirectly inspired his two other published works of scholarship: The British Auxiliary Legion in the First Carlist War 1835-1838, published in 2005, and White Slaves in Rio, published in 2015.

  • Tony Price (HonOG)

    Tony Price (HonOG)

    1927 - 2018

    Tony came from a fortunate background, his Grandfather was a maltster in Shrewsbury, and one of the ‘Grandees’ of the town, you can still see his malt houses there today.  Young Tony was the only child in his whole family, so he was doted on by Uncles, Aunts and he was the centre of attention for them all.

    He went to school, Kings College Junior School in Wimbledon, and then he was evacuated to Shrewsbury during the war, where he went to Prestfelde, a prep school there. After the war the family moved back to London, and Tony went to Cranleigh School, where he became Head of House and won a place at Oxford University. He was eager to do his bit for the war effort and after two terms he joined  the Navy where he served on many ships including HMS Zealous and HMS Protector. After the war, he came back to Oxford and finished his degree, and by all accounts settling down to university life was not so easy and he was responsible for a few pranks and misdemeanours.

    He subsequently worked for Mecca and Dunlop, but he was uncomfortable in the world of business and so took the wise advice of an old Navy and Oxford friend, Andrew Foot, to try teaching, and found a job in Stratton on the Fosse at Downside School in 1954 in the modern languages department. The Downside common room at that time was almost wholly Oxbridge educated gentlemen, who had some experience of war, and were all spirited individuals, so, he was very much at home there.

    The next year he married his first love, Iris, and they settled into a life in Somerset and became an important part of the School and the local community. He was lovingly nick named “Half Price” by the boys at Downside because his Head of Department Dominic Pryce, who was very tall, was known as “Full price”.

    He ran the Naval section and was able to indulge his passion for sailing. He was a keen golfer and amateur painter, a Churchwarden and Treasurer of St Benedict’s Church for many years and heavily involved everything going on in the village. He was dedicated to his charity work for the RNLI and earned a special Silver Medal for all his fundraising for them.

  • Robert Begg (S50)

    Robert Begg (S50)

    1932 - 2018

    Robert was born in Buenos Aires, to Robin Glassford Begg, and Louie Marjorie Macadam, who lived until she was 104. The family represented Dewar’s Whisky in Argentina.

    After a boyhood spent in a haze of horses, riding with gauchos through the emerald-slopes of the Sierras Chicas in the central Argentine region of Córdoba, Robert was preparing to take the Common Entrance examination before beginning life at Downside.

    Robert was captain of the cricket team and the first XV at Rugby and always lead through kindness. After Downside, he read Economics at Magdalen College, Cambridge. On the cusp of starting a job in the City of London, he returned to Argentina for a holiday. He met and fell in love with Susan Agar, whose family were also Scottish descent. By 1958, they were married and all plans to work in London were abandoned. With his business partner, Ian Macgowan, he ran City Service, a company founded in 1947, offering financial and travel services to Anglo-Argentines.

    Robert’s pioneering spirit came from his father and saw him place Argentina on the map as a destination for tourists. The 6ft-tall Anglo-Argentine produced photographs from a leather suitcase to reveal the diverse beauty of Argentina: from the sub-tropical and ravishing Iguazu falls to the soaring Antarctic icebergs.

    To this day, international tour operators recall Robert speaking 30 years ago of how a million penguins might be seen every April, migrating from Patagonia. They were fascinated by Robert’s factual account of the penguins huddling close to a cliff until one dropped off the edge, hurtling into the ocean. “Argentina,” Robert sagely predicted, “is a giant, waiting to happen.”

    He and Macgowan, who never quarreled, decided to develop foreign tourism to Argentina. Robert also represented American Express in the country, including the provision of Travellers’ Cheques.

    By the 1990s, thanks to his diligence, City Service dealt with the majority of the Cruise liners docking in the ports of Argentina. A fair man, Robert’s aim was never to monopolise in business. He sought to innovate, and thus increase opportunities for the whole industry. “His motto was never to cut more slices from the cake – simply increase the size of it,” said Merina, his daughter.

    Yet his affable, outgoing nature masked a private shyness. Robert was a rock to his children Robin, Merina and Kevin and his daughters in law, Teleri and Louisa. With a light touch and dry wit, he dispensed judicious counsel. Direct, and collected, he never lost his cool, even when a bus once blocked his car on a narrow lane, and the driver, somewhat enraged, approached Robert’s car, brandishing a hammer.

    Devoted to Susan, he travelled the world with her when she became President of the World Federation of Rose Societies. Later, when she became ill, he nursed her tenderly at their home in Hurlingham. His grandchildren, Elicia, Clementine, Lilly and Rory, recall his dimpling smile, as they fixed Robert his evening whisky and soda.

  • Carol Matthews (HonOG)

    Carol Matthews (HonOG)

    - 2018

    With great sadness we received the news that Carol Matthews had died on 6 December 2018 after a long illness borne with her distinctive combination of determination and cheerfulness.

    Carol was well known to generations of Gregorians. She came first to Downside to join the Geography Department, but subsequently took on the role of Head of Biology. She was a natural teacher, intensely interested in her subjects and always happy to answer questions, whether they came from pupils or colleagues.

    However, she is likely to be most remembered as the first of our female members of staff to take on key pastoral roles, when what had hitherto been essentially a monastic school for boys was gradually accepting girls, and a growing number of pastoral roles were passing from the monks to their supporting staff.

    Carol was the natural person for such a pioneering role. Education was in her blood; her father had been a Headmaster. Nonetheless she had not been born to privilege. She had to clear the hurdle of the 11 plus to earn her place in Morpeth Grammar School before crossing the more mysterious divide that separates the North from the South, when she travelled to Bristol University to read Biology. The warm reception she received there is a testimony both to the good sense of the University and to Carol’s own outgoing and affirmative personality. The fact that Carol’s own children – Michael and his two sisters, Kathryn and Rachel – came to Downside was a powerful indication of her own commitment to the school in which she was teaching and taking on tutoring and pastoral roles. It is not easy to combine parental and professional life, and it is a testimony to Carol and her family that, with the inevitable mix of triumph and adversity, it worked out so well in the end.

    An enduring testimony to Carol’s time at Downside is the garden of the Biology Department. To visit Carol’s office next to the Biology Lab, for tea and sympathy mixed with strong good advice clearly delivered, was to rest in an oasis amid the arid wilderness, if not the howling wastes, that a school can sometimes resemble. For many years Carol mentored our trainee teachers. This was a role she greatly enjoyed and at which she excelled. Perhaps her most important lesson was the exemplary way in which she herself maintained consistent standards of calm and ordered presentation together with approachability and pure fun. Many teachers will be grateful to Carol for the initial guidance she provided them in a career that meant so much to her and which she herself enjoyed.

    An important reason for Carol being such a good fit at Downside was her own strong Christian faith. She was a committed member of the Church of England with strong Catholic sympathies. Her understanding of human frailty, combined with an admiration for high ideals, qualified her signally for a leading role in a Catholic boarding school that was moving towards co-education and navigating the currents that rapid change in the world presents to an ancient institution like a monastic school.

    It was at Downside that Carol met Peter Matthews, the school’s long-standing and exceptionally talented organist and music teacher. They enjoyed a happy marriage. We extend our sympathy to Peter and to all Carol’s family. Together they had a transforming effect on Downside’s development, for which we are grateful.

  • Antony Edward White (B58)

    Antony Edward White (B58)

    1941 - 2017

    Anthony, known to his friends as Gabby, went from Downside to Trinity College, Oxford, as had his father, Gabriel White. Antony’s son Edward also attended Downside.  A history scholar, Gabby had a high opinion of the history teaching at Downside, especially that of ‘Dizzles’ Gregory. In later life, he donated to the Sligger Library, the School’s history library.

    I did not know Gabby at Downside, but we shared rooms at Trinity, rooms once occupied by Robin Atthill, who taught English at Downside. We became good friends and, later, godfathers to each other’s children. Gabby’s Oxford years shaped his life in many ways. Two of his tutors influenced him, both medievalists: Maurice Keen of Balliol, with his sharp intellect and ready wit, and Peter Brown at All Souls, the pioneering historian of Late Antiquity. Brown added to Gabby’s knowledge of the art of Western Europe, a lifelong interest in the iconology of the Byzantine Church.

    Within weeks of arriving at Trinity, Gabby was at the centre of a group of friends, who met frequently. The mixture of intellectual argument, sense of fun, generosity of nature and enthusiasm for life then apparent was a leading feature throughout his life, and these friends have remained warmly attached for nearly six decades. In Oxford, he also met his future wife, Francesca Stanley, an undergraduate at LMH, and began a lifelong partnership based on shared values and mutual respect and affection.  His father Gabriel, was Director of Art at the Arts Council, and his brother Christopher, became Director of the Ashmolean Museum; his uncle Edward Ardizzone was a much-loved artist and an outstanding book-illustrator. Ardizzone’s views of Downside hang on the walls of the School today.

    After a year at the Slade, and a short stint of school mastering in Essex, he taught at Liverpool College of Art, then in the University of Calgary and finally as a Fellow of the Department of Art History at Colombia University in New York.  To venture into art publishing was a logical next step. A colleague describes him as ‘an innovator who sought to combine intellectual optimism with commercial ambition’. He founded Scala Books, art publishers, and built it up.  His most remarkable professional achievement, however, was to penetrate the English-language art-publishing market in mainland China, with a collection of art guides to major Chinese museums and institutions.  He learned Mandarin in his later fifties, and, after many visits to China, was chosen to publish the politically sensitive visitor’s guide for the newly opened National Museum of China in 2013.

    For his children and other young people, he was always there to offer company and support, his genius being to treat everyone of

    whatever age or status as his equal, offering encouragement without judgment up to the very last. Those who knew him have many happy times to remember and much to be grateful for.

    Michael Alexander

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