Weddings, Births and Obituaries
Mr Craig O'Dell married Ms Laura Newberry on 21 July 2018 at St Nicholas at Wade church. The reception was held in the grounds of her parents' house in St Nicholas.
Junior School 1990-1993
Mr and Mrs Peter Winter were married in Hildersham Cambridgeshire on the 29th September 2018 and had their reception at Chippenham Park.
Becky Davis (nee Peskett)
Becky Davis (nee Peskett) got married to husband, Bradley Davis, in August 2019. They met whilst both working at Chickenshed Theatre Company in London in 2015.
Here is a photo from the 17th August 2019 with the guests that have a connection to SLC. All but one of Becky's bridesmaids were OL's!
From Left to Right: Crystal Graham (former Junior School teacher) Simon Eglesfield OL, Emily Graham OL, Gavin Horton OL, Zahra Tarjomani OL, Parisa Tarjomani OL, Isobel Vince (non OL), Adam Eglesfield OL, Myself – Becky Davis (Peskett) OL, Bradley Davis (non OL) Mary Peskett OL, Leon Peskett OL, Jennifer Draper OL, Sarah Peskett (FS and KS1 Co-ordinator, Reception Form Teacher).
"We all still see each other regularly, are still best friends and all love to come back to SLC when we can for OL days and OL matches!"
"We are also delighted to let you know that myself and Bradley are expecting a little girl in early March 2021!"
Felicity Rose O'Dell - born 31st July 2017
Felicity Rose arrived by emergency c section on Monday 31st July 2017 weighing a tiny 4lb 4oz to Laura O'Dell (nee Newbery - OL Laing 2005) and Craig O‘Dell. All doing very well.
Edison Fitzpatrick - born October 2017
We would like to announce the arrival of our third child, Edison, in October of 2017
and joins brother Ziggy and sister Darcie. Darcie now attends the Junior school at SLC. We have recently moved back to Kent from Exeter. Laura Fitzpatrick (nee Goodall) Laing 2001.
William 'Roger' Gingell Cossham (Lodge 1948)
14th March 1931 - 20th February 2016
William Roger Gingell (known as Roger) aged 84. His heavenly Father called him home on 20th February 2016. Dearly loved husband of Phillida and treasured father of Joanna, Sarah and Clare. Adored grandfather to Charlotte, Georgina, Henry, Edward, Thomas, Joseph, George, William and Rosie. Roger had many memories of the happy days when he was at SLC including during the war years when the school was evacuated to Courteenhall.
Alexander Underhill (Lodge 2010)
14th March 1992 - 20th June 2017
Alex tragically died in a hiking accident in Dubai where he was living and working. The OL Society and College dedicated March 2018 Old Lawrentian Day to Alex’s memory and a Celebration of Life service for Alex was held in the Chapel. Peter Russell and Robin Bendall led the beautiful service and despite the horrendous weather conditions, many friends, family, OLs and staff made the journey to the school with a number of OLs reading uplifting tributes and a wonderful composition sung by Abi Cardwell and EJ Standeven. The hockey and netball teams organised to play that afternoon consisted entirely of OLs from Alex and Robyn’s era.
Alexander “Alex” Charles Underhill was born in Hong Kong on the 14 March 1992, a blond haired, blue eyed baby. All the Chinese ladies would come up to him and touch him in the pram for good luck. When Robyn, his sister, was born, Alex doted over her, and from here on would look after her from near or afar. From an early age he made friends with everyone. He was so laid back and casual about everything (including school work), and he had a knack for being a nice guy. As Alex’s father, Patrick, was in the Army, the family moved around a lot and Alex fell behind in his school work. It was decided that he would go to St Lawrence College Junior School in 2001 when he was 10 years old and he was to stay all the way through to Upper Sixth. His sister, Robyn, joined him at St Lawrence a few years after. At SLC, Alex discovered sport and some fantastic values that would stay with him throughout his whole life. He was very popular at school and continued to stay in touch with many of his friends. He would look after new starters at school and ensure that they were not alone. Alex threw himself into school life. He would get involved in the inter-house school plays always playing a ‘funny’ character. In one house play Alex was an Irish woman donning a pink wig, his mother’s pinafore and mimicking her Irish accent. He completed his Gold, Silver and Bronze D of E after joining the Army section of the cadets, played hockey and cricket for the first IX, even receiving his Sports Colours. The teachers and staff at SLC played a major and influential part in his life In 2010, Alex secured a place at Christ Church Canterbury, where he continued his love of all things sporting including playing hockey for the first and second IX, and partying for the whole of Canterbury! Alex graduated in 2013 with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science. Alex then went to work at Holland & Barrett in Whiteley and within a few short months was the stand-in manager at Shirley in Southampton. The opportunity came up for a post in Dubai, and after several Skype interviews he landed the job and the following year he embarked on his new journey to live and work there. Alex loved Dubai and made many good friends. An Old Lawrentian (Jack Stanton) who was a few years above Alex in school, had heard that Alex was coming to Dubai and picked Alex up from the airport and from there on then they had a very close friendship. Alex was a good manager at Holland and Barrett in the Dubai Mall and his co-workers looked up to him with fondness and respect due to his compassionate nature and his assistance in teaching them English. A gregarious and vivacious character, Alex never had a bad word to say about any one. He was always inclusive as a child, throughout school and to the ‘new comers’ in Dubai. Alex was a very loyal and extremely lovable individual, and he had a strict set of rules that guided him regarding friends to which he always abided. Alex had a tattoo on his arm in Arabic which said ‘If the sky is the limit why are there footprints on the moon’ That is the way he lived and loved. For us the world will definitely be a lot duller and emptier without Alexander. Alex has left a massive void in our lives and in our hearts and we will miss him with every waking moment. He had a love for life and he always spoke fondly of SLC. I know in my heart that he would not want us all to grieve for too long, Alexander would rather we celebrate his life.
By Robyn Underhill
That I would never know,
But you forgot to teach me one last thing,
How to let you go.
Our family was so perfect,
Why did you have to go?
It wasn't your intention,
But our heartbreak you will never know.
I miss being your little sister
You always kept me safe
Someone I will always look up to
No matter the time, nor place.
Yes, we did fight when we were little
But we made up very quick.
The memories of us laughing,
Will always be the ones that stick.
You were compassionate, weird and funny too
Accolades that will always define you.
Look after us dear Alex,
From your 'buff cotch' up above.
I hope they give you FIFA and
angels shower you with love.
Sir Hereward Wake, Bt, Soldier and landowner Courteen Hall
7th October 1916 - 11th December 2017
Major Sir Hereward Wake, 14th Bt, who has died aged 101, was a countryman and a soldier who was awarded a Military Cross in the North Africa Campaign.
On the night of August 31 1942, Wake was serving with the 1st Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps (1 KRRC) when Axis forces broke through the minefield at the village of Himeimat, Egypt, and threatened to cut off the withdrawal of Allied units on the high ground. Wake, then a captain, was ordered to counter-attack with his lightly armoured Bren-gun carriers.
He led them through the hills with great dash and charged the enemy, driving them before him and inflicting considerable casualties. His small force held the minefield until dawn and throughout the action he was under heavy fire from a 20-mm gun and a tank. He was awarded the Military Cross. The citation stated that his boldness and leadership had averted a dangerous situation and had enabled the battalion to withdraw without loss.
Hereward Wake was born in London on October 7 1916. Better known as Toby, he was the eldest son of Major General Sir Hereward Wake Bt CB CMG DSO, the 13th baronet. Toby’s father was wounded by a bullet in the neck in the Boer War while serving on Lord Roberts’ staff, but survived to reach the rank of major general and was Colonel Commandant of 1 KRRC from 1938 to 1946.
The first known Wake was Geoffrey Wac, an 11th century Norman knight. The Baronetcy of Clevedon in Somerset was created in 1621 in the reign of James I. Courteenhall, the family seat near Northampton, was acquired during the Civil War.
Over the years, the Wakes produced some unusual characters. Drury Wake, a dispatch rider, rode from Constantinople across the Balkans in six days and nights on the eve of the Crimean War and permanently damaged his spine. During the Indian Mutiny, Herewald (sic), fearing that he might be murdered at any moment, wrote up his diary with the stump of a pencil on the wall of his bungalow.
Baldwin Wake, a bad sleeper, was in the habit of drinking his shampoo. It contained chloroform and one night he took too much and died from an overdose. William, the 11th baronet, purchased a human skeleton but was unable to find the money to pay for it and was clapped in a debtor’s jail. He escaped by ordering a piano and then sending it back, having first concealed himself in the packing case.
Joan, the 13th baronet’s sister, single-handedly set up the Northamptonshire Records Society. She had some difficulty cataloguing historical documents because she was in the habit of applying liberal quantities of face powder while still wearing her spectacles.
Young Toby was brought up in the belief that he was descended from Hereward the Wake, the leader of a resistance movement in the fens against William the Conqueror. He was educated at Eton where association football and athletics played a big part in his life. At Sandhurst, he was shortlisted for the British Olympic Pentathlon Team but an injury prevented him from continuing.
In 1937 he was commissioned as a regular officer into the KRRC. The first 10 years of his service were spent with the 1st Bn in Burma and then in Egypt where the battalion was “motorised” under command of Lt Col “Strafer” Gott. In the Western Desert, he served with 9 KRRC and then with “D” Coy 1 KRRC as a company commander at the Battle of El Alamein, and the remainder of the campaign in North Africa.
In April 1943, while commanding “C” Company 1 KRRC during the battle for Tunis, he was shot in the shoulder at point blank range. He reckoned this was poor marksmanship but he had to be evacuated back to Britain. He spent the first night in the wing of a mental hospital in Preston, which was the only accommodation available. After recovering, he joined 2 KRRC and commanded a company in Normandy.
One of his platoon commanders was Lieutenant Edwin Bramall, later Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the Chief of the Defence Staff from 1982 to 1985. After a spell as 2nd in command of 2 KRRC, he served as GS02 to the GOC 11 Armoured Division and then as a liaison officer at Montgomery’s TAC HQ.
During a lull in hostilities, his men’s rations were running low and he went out into No Man’s land to try to bag a few duck. A shell exploded close by, he suffered damage to his ears and, after a posting to 11 KRRC in Greece, in 1947 he was invalided out of the Army.
He then studied Estate Management and Agriculture and farmed at Courteenhall. In 1958 the Ministry of Transport served a compulsory acquisition order for a proposed route of the M1, bisecting the estate and affecting five of the seven farms. The house and its woodland were great passions in his life and, in an effort to hide the road, diminish the noise and screen the ever expanding Northampton, he planted a quarter of a million trees – some of them rare species collected on his travels and destined for his arboretum.
Wake was appointed High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1955 and succeeded in the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1963. He was Deputy Lieutenant of the county from 1969 to 1984 and Vice-Lord Lieutenant from 1984 to 1991. He was president of the Northamptonshire Record Society, the County Landowners Association, the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs and the local Royal British Legion. He was also Vice-President of St Andrew’s Hospital. In 2015 he was appointed to the Légion d’Honneur by the French government.
Wake loved a party and was an excellent dancer. He also had some good conjuring tricks – like eating a burning cigarette – and as a younger man played tennis and squash for his county. He hunted and played polo, and enjoyed fishing, shooting and stalking.
He married, in 1952, Julia Lees, who survives him with three daughters and a son, Hereward Charles Wake, who succeeds in the baronetcy.
Ivor Noel-Hume OBE - Cameron (Tower-Grange at Courteen Hall 1944)
30th September 1927 - 4th February 2017
Ivor Noel-Hume died at his home in Virginia in February where he had been Director of the Archaeology department of Colonial Williamsburg.
Ivor was a prolific writer and wrote his autobiography, 'A Passion for the Past', in 2012. This book weaves his personal life and professional career into quite an extraordinary story.
Ivor came to St Lawrence College at Courteenhall in September 1941. He had been at Framlingham College prep school but left in 1939 and had lost five terms of education due to a series of disruptive wartime home moves. He brought to the school a creative and eccentric personality and directed and acted in two theatrical productions which were recorded in the school magazine. The first in Easter 1944 was a patriotic piece he wrote about vile Nazis in France called “He died before dinner” which had two performances. In December 1944 an adaption of “If” by Lord Dunsany was presented again on two nights.
While at Courteenhall he encountered his first thrill of archaeological discovery. He had seen from a top floor window “a curious phenomenon, a dark pattern resembling the ground pattern of a long building etched on the surface of grass wet and shining with dew.” It turned out to be where the medieval Courteenhall house had been before the eighteenth-century mansion was built. The college cricket pitch was near the site and while 'watching' a match he found (with a small excavation) a lead pencil of the kind used through the centuries on schoolboys' slates.
He left school in December 1944 to join the Indian Army. For medical reasons he never went to India and was discharged in June 1945. With introductory help from the actor Ralph Truman OL, he spent the next four years in a thespian career which was ended by the decline of live provincial theatre in Britain. His interest in archaeology brought him a job at the Guildhall Museum in 1949 where he worked until 1956 when he was recruited to Colonial Williamsburg. He was appointed Archaeological Director in 1957 and worked there until retirement in 1988.
He came to London in 1992 to be awarded the OBE for ‘services to British cultural interests in Virginia'.
Richard Graham OL Manor 1942-1947
David Richard Melliar-Smith (Courtenay 1962)
20th October 1943 - 16th December 2017
David died peacefully on 16 December 2017, aged 74 after the early onset of a debilitating disease. He decreed a simple cremation service which took place on 10 January at the Macclesfield Crematorium. He leaves a widow, Caroline, 2 children and 5 grandchildren.
Dr Paul Andrew Brian Priday (Manor 1964)
25th September1945 - 11th May 2017
Paul sadly passed away aged 71 after battling with Neuro-endocrine cancer.
Paul entered the college in September 1959. A prefect and Head of House, he was also a keen sportsman gaining colours in the College 1st XI Cricket (’64 & ’64) and Athletics in ’64. He also made the 2nd Hockey XI ’64, and 2nd Rugger XV. Paul was also a regular in many of the various House teams: Hockey, Tennis, Swimming, Athletics and was Captain of Cricket. He also took part in the school plays.
Paul will be sorely missed from our annual Australian OL gatherings, in particular as he was one of the founders who met up in the Southern Highlands 25 years ago to form the Australian chapter of the OL Society.
Paul was instrumental in organising many of the venues in which we met at over the years including Finola's in Balmain, in addition to generously hosting two events at his family’s beautiful waterside house in Birchgrove.
For those of us who were fortunate to share his friendship, we have lost a true gentleman far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Margot and their daughter Polly.
Ann Brockbank. OL, Australian Chapter Liaison.
Dr Paul Priday was co-founder of Begg Dow Priday and then national creative director of J. Walter Thompson who later embedded himself in agencies to explore gender roles in adland.
Dr Priday charted an awarded creative career through a number of agencies. He also contributed to the industry as Chair of AWARD and continued to mentor younger creatives throughout his career.
After stepping away from advertising, Priday embarked on a PHD at Sydney University and embedded himself in two of Australia’s largest advertising agencies for his thesis to understand how women were treated in the creative side of the industry. Inspired to discover if the role of women portrayed in the hit show ‘Mad Men’ continued to exist, Dr Priday observed McCann and M&C Saatchi as well as overseas agencies, coming to the conclusion that many of the barriers for women in the creative industry continued, even as the industry strove to make diversity a priority. His controversial findings added to the debate on why few women in the Australian industry rise to creative leadership roles and the story became one of the most discussed within the industry recently.
Dr Priday’s creative work spanned a range of accounts including driving SPC Baked Beans and Spaghetti to second place behind Heinz with the memorable jingle “SPC baked beans and spaghetti for hungry little human beans” and driving the Bob Jane’s ‘T Marts’ business to national prominence.
Austin Begg, Dr Priday’s friend and partner at BDP, said his nature was almost “ambassadorial”. “He had a lot of qualities and he was a gentleman in a business with very few of them. His main strength was his ability to simplify and that resulted in Begg Dow Priday winning so many awards.”
Friends described his demeanour in an industry dominated by ego and flamboyance as that of ”a genuine advertising gentleman”.
Tom Dery, worldwide CEO of M&C Saatchi, knew Dr Priday from his formative days in the industry and described him as one of the pioneers of the early Australian independent agencies.
“He was a real advocate for the industry. From the mid-70’s he broke out into the independent agency world and led from the forefront with fresh new work.”
John Bevins, a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, said Dr Priday had played a formative role in helping nurture talent in the industry. “We each have our band of inspirers, people we admire and try to emulate as we go through our careers and lives. Prominent among mine was Paul Priday—from the very early days. Begg Dow Priday, with its young creative director pumped out into the Australian ad scene a sense of vibrant independence that I must have sucked in deeply. As I came to learn that Paul wasn’t what ad men are supposed to be - loud and brash and shallow. He was in his own very special way exactly the opposite and he emerged for me as a proper role model albeit one I was to meet with far too infrequently.”
Dr Priday is survived by his wife Margot and daughter Polly.
Ian Andrew Kemp Jackson
(Manor 1947 - 1950)
10th March 1933 - 26th November 2017
Ian joined St Lawrence in 1946. He was a keen sportsman and was in Manor rugby and hockey teams. Ian’s brother, Alan Jackson, and his cousin, John Sims, also attended St Lawrence. After leaving school Ian went to agricultural college and worked on various farms, including one in Denmark, before running his own farm in Mid Sussex from 1958 to 1998. In 1954 he joined the Buffs (Kent) during national service and was posted to Germany. Ian died peacefully in St Peter & St James hospice, Wivelsfield. He leaves a widow, Gill, and a son, Jamie.
John Gervase Nicholson (Lodge 1949)
24th November 1931 - 29th October 2017
John passed away after suffering with a collapsed vertebrae for 5 months, aged 84. Married for 60 year, he leaves a wife and 2 daughters. During his time at SLC, John was on the Boxing team in 1948 and 1949 and received Full Colours in 1949. He was a member of the 2nd XV Rugby team in 1947 and 1948. He received House colours for both Boxing and Rugby and was a first class swimmer. As a cadet in the CCF he passed his War Certificate A (Part 1). He had loved his work as a technician at the College of Aeronautics.
John Anthony 'Tony' Searle (Courtenay 1954)
20th November 1935 - 31st July 2017
Tony died suddenly at home on 31st July 2017. It was a great shock to all his family and friends. The funeral was held on Monday 21 August at Clyne Chapel, Blackpill, Swansea at 12.45 and at Morriston Crematorium, Swansea at 2pm.
The Society was kindly notified by Tony’s widow, Esther Searle.
Brian John Crawford - (Lodge 1948)
11th April 1932 - 13th November 2018
Brian Joined St Lawrence College in September 1946 and was part of Lodge House until he left in 1948. He was part of the College house boxing team in which he achieved his half colours in 1948. He also took part in the school athletics and winning the high jump in 1947.
Lodge House Boxing team 1948 - Brian is pictured here, top row, first on the left
As a cadet in the CCF Brian passed his War Certificate A (part 1) and after leaving St Lawrence College he joined the army as a clerk and became a tank driver based at Catterick. He left the army at 21 and worked for his dad in the family waste paper recycling business and went on to own his own factory for many years in the north east of England. They recycled all kinds of materials, metals, paper, corrugated card, the list goes on.
Eventually, it came to an end, the council started taking the recycling away for free so trading ceased. It was not over for him though, he continued with other projects over the years and in 2002 he became a city councillor for the Conservative party in Gloucestershire, Tuffley Ward, he won easily and by hundreds.
Brian served 8 years and contributed to many schemes raising thousands of pounds for the local youth centre. He was an amazing man and what I’ve written here does not do him justice at all.
He was a fun, exciting charismatic individual with so much energy. His humour was infectious and everyone wanted to please him. He did so many incredible things in his life. He was also a fantastic dancer.
He married twice and had three children from his first marriage to Marion the children’s names were Carole, Antony and Adrian and remarried my mother Joyce in 1983 and had me, Alice and my sister Peggyanne.
He often told us tales of things he got up to at school and how things were different back then. He also told us about pranks he pulled on his little brother Russell telling him to say to his french teacher ‘ voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir’ not realising he would actually say it. Well, he did because he did not know what it meant and you can imagine the rollocking he got.
His funeral took place on the 30th November 2018 where Brian wore his St Lawrence College Blazer, he was so proud of it and it’s beautiful blue colour, single breasted with gold buttons.
He was the best dad we could have asked for and he leaves behind a huge hole in our hearts.
Robert William Gainer Hunt, OBE
(Cameron Tower Grange at Courteen Hall) 1937-1940
28th July 1923 - 23rd October 2018
Dr RWG Hunt, eminent colour physicist and past chairman of Crusaders, died in Salisbury on 23th October 2018, aged 95, after a short illness.
Robert Hunt was born on 28th July 1923, and attended Merton Court Preparatory School, Sidcup, Kent, from 1931 to 1937. He joined the local Bible Class of The Crusaders Union, which became a life-long commitment.
In September 1937, aged 14, he went to St Lawrence College, and entered Tower House. In 1938 he won the form prize, a book called Major Mysteries of Science. Due to the outbreak of the second world war, the school was evacuated in his third year there (his last), to Seaford College, East Sussex - hardly, as he later observed, out of harm’s way! By 1939 he was doing the subjects he enjoyed: Science and Maths (his father, Col FRW Hunt OBE, was a Mathematician). At one point he wrote home pleading for his parents to take him away, ‘because they can’t teach me any more here!’. Robert enjoyed playing golf, skating, and doing little work at Seaford College; his dormitory moved to Beach Hotel, where he occupied room 17 and played golf in the bedroom. One day, he recalled, the ball bounced out of the window and into the sea!
He attended Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, from 1940 (aged 17) to 1943, when he gained a BSc, First Class Honours, and an ARCS (Associate of the Royal College of Science) in physics, then a DIC (Diploma of Imperial College) in Technical Optics, 1946-47. In 1953 he was awarded a PhD, and in 1968 a DSc (Doctor of Science), also from Imperial College.
In 1947 he married Eileen Redhead, and moved to Harrow, a year after he had started as a research scientist at the Research Laboratories of Kodak Limited, Harrow. There he worked on factors affecting the quality of colour images, and devices for making reflection prints from both negative and positive images on film. He played a major part in the development of the Kodak S1 Printer for printing colour negatives, for which he held several patents. He was finally Assistant Director of Research, when he took early retirement in 1982. During his working life, and a very active retirement, he wrote over a hundred papers on colour vision, colour reproduction, and colour measurement, and two books, 'The Reproduction of Colour' and, with Michael Pointer, 'Measuring Colour'.
He became a Crusader Leader while still at Sidcup, and as the family moved, was a leader at Harrow, Pinner and Northwood Hills. He was Crusaders’ Chairman from 1968 to 1973 and from 1982 to 1985.
Robert was awarded an OBE in 2009 ‘For services to the Field of Colour Science and to Young People through Crusaders.’
Robert was a man of committed Christian faith and showed great wisdom, kindness and generosity in his commitment to people.
PRW Hunt (son)
Fiona Helen Bevis Clarke (nee Stacey)
OL St Stephens College Girls 1974-1976
1st April 1957 - 17th July 2018
After her time at St Stephens, Fiona studied at University College Swansea where she gained her BSc in Energy Studies.
She spent the 76/77 academic year doing a post graduate in Photogrammetry at the University of Glasgow and then commenced work at Hunting Surveys in Hertfordshire making maps from ariel photographs.
In 1980 she married Christopher, whom she had met at University, and in 1985 they moved to Southampton and celebrated the birth of their daughter Isabel in August 1985. Their sons Alexander and Simon followed in April 1987 and August 1989 respectively.
In January 1991 she moved with the family to spend two and a half years living in Budapest where she became heavily involved in the International Women’s Group, amongst other activities.
Having been a full time mother since the birth of Isabel, in 1998 she qualified as a teacher and set out on her second career teaching at primary level at a number of different schools, only being forced to stop in 2015 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She did not like the phrase ‘fighting cancer’ or being ‘brave’ but she dealt with her disease with courage, even taking it as an opportunity to take up painting lessons and following up on a life long interest.
It was a great pleasure to her to see all three of her children married and ‘settled’ and was able to meet her first grand child, Olivia Rose, who was born on 30 April 2018.
She died peacefully on the morning of 17 July and is sorely missed by all.
Chris Clarke (Widower)
Sarah Katharine Holtby Quibell (Nee Harris) (Bellerby 1983)
23rd November 1964 - 30th March 2018
Sarah was born on 23rd November 1964 at Haileybury College, Hertford, and was the fifth and youngest child of Peter Harris (Headmaster of St Lawrence College 1969 -1983) and his wife Joan. She moved to St. Lawrence in the summer of 1969 at the age of four, and was a student at St. Stephen’s College where she took her O levels, before transferring to the mixed sixth form at St. Lawrence in 1981 to do her A levels. She left St. Lawrence to go to university in Durham where she studied English but then took a conversion course in Law, eventually becoming a barrister in London where she practised during the 1990s. She married fellow lawyer John Quibell in 1999, and they went on to have two sons Peter (born 2000) and Will (born 2003). While bringing up her young family, Sarah took over the Ibis bookshop in Banstead, Surrey which she ran successfully for a number of years, whilst also working tirelessly to get the best education she could for her two boys, both of whom have special educational needs. The family moved to Sussex in 2013, eventually settling in Hankham near Pevensey in 2014, where Sarah undertook a multiplicity of roles including that of a magistrate, a fundraiser and policy writer for her elder son’s school, and most recently as the originator and guiding light of the newly established Hankham Village Society.
Sarah made friends wherever she went. Having been associated with St Lawrence throughout her formative years, some of her longest lasting friendships were established there with former staff as well as students. Her sudden and unexpected death on 30th March 2018 followed a short illness.
Nicola Rogers (nee Harris)
Mr Christopher John Throndsen (Tower 1953
Former Master & House Master of Tower and Newlands Deacon)
6th March 1935 - 2nd April 2018
Christopher Throndsen sadly passed away in hospital after a having suffered a heart attack a number of days earlier. A family service was held at Margate Crematorium with Chris’s friend, Rev Robin Bendall, taking the service and a touching tribute given by Chris’s son Olaf and daughter, Isobel.
A service of thanksgiving was held at St Lawrence College Chapel on Saturday 5th May to celebrate the life of Chris and was very well attended.
The son of I. B. Throndsen (OL) who had kept wicket for the 1st XI under the captaincy of Dick Perfect, Chris entered Tower House in 1949 during Martin Martin-Harvey’s second year as Housemaster. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he played hockey and turned the disadvantage of being left-handed into a strength. He won his 1st Colours for hockey at left half in 1952, although the first record in “The Lawrentian” was when he appeared for the OL 3rd XI (captained by his father) against the College U16s in 1950. His sporting talent also shone through in tennis. He was awarded 1st Tennis Colours in 1951 and went on to captain the successful College team in 1952 and 1953 (known to be an “exceptionally strong” side). He even earned 2nd XV Colours for rugby in 1951. He revealed another side when contributing a number of poems (the first in 1950) to “The Lawrentian” and playing the clarinet in the orchestra.
On leaving SLC Chris took a National Service Commission and served 3 years in the Honourable Artillery Company, initially based in Malta. After service, he entered Worcester College, Oxford (Martin Martin-Harvey’s old college) to read Modern History, receiving his degree in 1958. He played some hockey as well and reached what he considered the peak of his hockey-playing when he represented the Occasionals against Cambridge Wanderers in 1957: he was one of four OLs playing in the match.
After teaching for a year at New College School, Oxford he decided to make his career in teaching and consequently studied for a Diploma in Education at Oxford in 1960. He was appointed to the staff at Felsted (one of the many St. Lawrence connections with Felsted) to teach History. While there he met and married Françoise and subsequently Isobel and Olaf completed the family. In 1970 he took part in a Commonwealth Exchange which took the Throndsen family to Australia and the experience of teaching in an Australian school. It also seems to have provided the opportunity for a world cruise in getting there and back.
While in Australia Chris was contacted by Peter Harris with the offer of a position in the History Department at St Lawrence College, leading to the daunting task of stepping into Martin Martin-Harvey’s shoes as Housemaster of Tower House upon his retirement in September 1972. Thus it was that Chris returned from Australia to Ramsgate early in the Lent Term of 1972. It is incorrect to assert that it is quicker to list the subjects that Chris did not teach but over the years he showed his many talents by turning his hand to Economics, French, Geography and R.E. in addition to his first love, History. As a gifted sportsman he also coached hockey and tennis and at various stages ran both golf and squash. He entered fully into the social life of the College and organised dances and discos for the enjoyment of the pupils. Above all he will be remembered for throwing himself wholeheartedly into the role of Housemaster, firstly of Tower until 1979 and then of Newlands from 1981 to 1984, by which time it had become Newlands-Deacon. The caring side he revealed as Housemaster is reflected in the affection his former charges have shown for him and the lasting friendships which have ensued.
Chris retired early in 1987 after Françoise had unfortunately developed multiple sclerosis: he needed to be able to devote more time to caring for her. He continued to show his deep loyalty and support for the College and was a very active member of the OL Society, serving on the committee for many years as well as being President for a year and even editing the OL News for one issue. He was also a member of the OL Lodge. There can have been very few OL functions which Chris missed and he was especially happy to be able to combine support for the Society with his love of golf. He was a good, steady golfer with a short back-swing, typical of a hockey player, and was a member at Deal for many years, where he relished the additional challenges of a links course.
After a brief stint as a financial adviser, Chris found a far better outlet for his talents when he worked as a guide for Major and Mrs. Holt’s Battlefield Tours. He led private groups to the battlefields and several OLs have benefited from his exhaustive preparation for these trips, which were informative and pleasurable. Identifying good restaurants was also an important priority. Organisation may not have been Chris’s strongest suit (former colleagues will remember the suspense of exam times) but Chris had a wonderful knack of making everything fall into place.
Chris frequently used the phrase “In a funny sort of way” and he certainly was quick to see the funny side of any situation. He derived great pleasure from providing enjoyment for others. He was a charming and generous host who liked to share his interest in wine, including the occasional “mystery bottle”, and there was always plenty of laughter. Always a true gentleman, he had style and was colourful with an interesting taste in classic cars (although he never owned a Rolls Royce, he was just looking after it!), which he had held in check for the last decade or so. Latterly he also showed great tenacity in caring for Françoise and running a home and garden. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and everyone who had the luck and pleasure of making his acquaintance - but we shall all have plenty of fond memories which will bring a smile to our faces.
Robert Fromow (Lodge 1952 to 1958)
5th May 1939 - 30th December 2018
At St Lawrence Robert was well known for his prowess in languages and on the sports field for hockey, cricket and shooting. After leaving school he spent a gap year teaching and then went to Kings College, London, to read Modern Languages. He later decided to concentrate on teaching. This was to be mainly English teaching. He spent various periods working with private companies in Paris, the British Institute in Barcelona, a Catholic school in Jordan, and he also taught in Venezuela and Mont-de-Marsan in SW France. In addition, over the years, he did language teaching at several institutions in the UK. It was during this time that he appeared on BBC’s Mastermind answering questions on his chosen topic, Gainsborough, where he achieved a high score.
However there came a time when he felt he’d done enough teaching and that it was time to move on. He decided to become a guide to places of historic interest. It was therefore in the late 1980s that he trained as a Blue Badge guide and worked at it for over ten years before becoming a guide lecturer for the royal palaces, chiefly Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. At the same time he was giving illustrated talks to various groups, such as the National Trust, U3A and Nadfas. These talks covered a variety of subjects, ranging from Syria to Australia, from Lawrence of Arabia to Crusader Castles, and from Don Quixote de la Mancha to Katherine of Aragon. He and his wife, Norma, travelled to all these places, with Robert making copious notes and taking vast numbers of slides which he would later use for illustrating his talks.
In 2007 Robert became a volunteer at Westminster Abbey. Wearing his Green Gown, he would always greet visitors from Europe or South America in their own language, making them feel at home. He always had a large following of visitors in the Abbey, in fact a recently published guide to the Chapel of St Edmund has been dedicated to him as ‘linguist and guide extraordinaire’. He also gave talks on the Abbey and took particular interest in the many scientists and mathematicians buried or memorialised there. In addition to Westminster Abbey he was actively involved with work at St Martin-in-the-Fields - for which he occasionally played cricket!
Away from the Abbey, one of the sports he avidly pursued was target shooting, mainly at Bisley. In the 1970s he was elected Honorary Secretary of the OL Rifle Club, later becoming its President. During this period he continued to achieve good scores. For example, at the Club Championship in 2001 he won a total of four silver cups. He was always very proud of the cups he’d won and made a point of cleaning and displaying them prominently whenever he and Norma had friends over. At the Club’s annual dinner Robert would always wear his 1st Colours blazer, the same one that he’d got at school all those years ago. And he could still get into it easily and do the buttons up!
Robert maintained a boyish enthusiasm for all things that interested him throughout his life. Above all he was immensely kind, modest and unassuming. If he sensed an injustice, an unkindness or a poor decision, a mistranslation or a disrespectful act he would make his views known. He was a good friend to so many and for the OL shooters at Bisley, the ranges at Bisley now seem just a little subdued.
Peter Gerard Goulding (Newlands 1976)
19th December 1958 - 2nd April 2018
It is with deep sadness that we send you this message to tell you that our dear brother, Peter, and son of Ken Goulding and the late Dorothy (Doff) Goulding passed away on 2nd April aged 59 at The Pilgrim Hospice, Margate after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The funeral was held at Thanet Crematorium, Margate, on 26th April and was attended by numerous OLs.
Ken Goulding, Hazel Wickham-Youngs and Helen Radwell
John Carlisle - Manor 1954-1961
28 August 1942 – 19 February 2019
(Taken from The Times, Wednesday 27 February 2019)
“Hang ‘em and flog ‘em Tory MP known as the ‘Member for Bloemfontein West’ and later as a champion of the tobacco industry
Known primarily for his eagerness to maintain sporting links with white South Arica during the years of apartheid, John Carlisle once summed himself up thus: “I’m a public bar politician and I represent the majority of Conservatives.”
Tory party leaders certainly agreed with the first part but were more sceptical about the second. A man of forthright opinion, Carlisle was, for 17 years, the most provocative member of the House of Commons by a considerable margin. He wanted to bring back the birch for football hooligans, took a dim view of feminists and thought the welfare state should be abolished.
As his final gesture against political correctness he left the House of Commons to become a propagandist for the tobacco industry.
Yet his career might have been so much more conventional. After he won Luton West in 1979 with a majority of only 246 he shared an office with John Major, the future prime minister. “He was to become a persistent and outspoken opponent in later years,” Major recalled, “who took great pleasure in offending every politically correct code that ever existed.”
At the time, however, the two men got on well. For all his alarming opinions, Carlisle could, after all, be charming and convivial. In his downstairs lavatory he had a cartoon with the speech bubble: “This can’t be much of a party if John Carlisle hasn’t bluffed his way in.”
Although a “natural backbencher” who enjoyed the freedom that came with not being in the cabinet, Carlisle nevertheless decided he needed to become better known. For his first Commons budget day he wore a straw hat because Luton was known for its millinery. Soon after, he campaigned against the import of vacuum cleaners from eastern Europe.
When this failed to fire the public imagination he concentrated on the sporting boycott of South Africa by Commonwealth countries contained in the Gleneagles agreement. His view was that sportsmen were the best ambassadors and, since plans to isolate South Africa had failed, sporting visits would help integration.
Although he clearly preferred the company of his own set, he always maintained his personal abhorrence of apartheid and denied receiving money from South Africa. In 1981, however, he did go on a fact-finding visit with all his bills paid in hotels in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, and Johannesburg. After he was taken to the black township of Soweto, he delivered his verdict that Soweto was not as bad as was painted and added that “parts of it are quite unpleasant, but then so are parts of Luton.” It was a statement received with little enthusiasm in his constituency.
Carlisle extended his campaign from sport to blanket opposition of all boycotts and sanctions against South Africa. In this he found an ally in Denis Thatcher, the prime minister’s husband. He pursued this with considerable courage, despite derision (sketchwriters called him the member for Bloemfontein West) and physical intimidation. When he tried to put his case to university audiences he was pelted with eggs at Leicester, chased away at Oxford, forced to speak behind a crush barrier at Bristol and thrown to the ground at Bradford, leaving him with a broken finger.
As his friend the former lobby correspondent Nigel Dudley put it: “He loved an argument and was never happier than when faced with an angry mob.” The two disagreed on many things but this was never allowed to compromise their friendship and they would lunch “long and hard” as they debated.
When events in South Africa forced him to change his position he did not regret his former activities because, he claimed, it was not sanctions or boycotts that had moved the government. Instead he rejoiced that sporting links had been renewed and took some credit for this. In his own words, however, his policies “suddenly looked a bit out of kilter as Mandela walked free.”
Although he had changed about South Africa, his other views had not altered since he arrived in parliament. He was in favour of capital and corporal punishment, a hardliner on immigration, prejudiced against feminists and homosexuals and a natural and active member of the Monday Club, a right wing grouping of Conservative MPs. He would have virtually abolished the public sector if given the chance. The health service would rely on insurance and public education would be replaced by private funding with vouchers for parents. “I am not unhappy about the perception that I am on the far right side of the party,” he announced.
With these views he was a natural recruit to John Redwood’s campaign for the party leadership against Major in June 1995. Carlisle had offered e to be a stalking horse candidate against his old roommate, but had met with a lack of response. He then became a member of a bizarre coterie of Maastricht rebels – the famed “bastards” – in the Redwood camp with Tony Marlow the most eccentric, appearing in a vividly striped school blazer. Redwood lost by 218 to 89.
One day when Carlisle took a prank phone call from the impressionist Rory Bremner pretending to be the Prime Minister cajoling him into supporting the government, he smelt a rat and spoke to whips. He knew Major’s voice too well.
As well as being a committed bon viveur, especially when South African red wine was on offer, Carlisle cut a dapper figure. He had neatly combed wavy hair, a measured speaking voice and a knack of making eloquent off-the-cuff speeches. He was not an MP for whom ideas had to be wrenched. Policies flowed from him. Parents of Asian children should have to pay for their English lessons. Other parents should be made responsible for their children’s fines.
Carlisle provoked outrage, however, when he attached another set of parents, the fathers and mothers of children massacred at Dunblane in Scotland in 1996. He described them as “emotional and hysterical” in their arguments for stricter gun controls . Carlisle, as a libertarian, opposed further controls, arguing that shooting was a noble sport.
John Russell Carlisle was brought up to shoot, coming from farming stock in Bedfordshire. Born in 1942, he was the son of Andrew and Ethel Carlisle (nee Handley). After being educated at Bedford and St Lawrence College, Ramsgate, he was sent to the College of Estate Management. He became a grain trader and took little interest in politics until in his thirties when he progressed rapidly, becoming Chairman of mid-Bedfordshire Tories within two years. By 1979 he was in the House, winning Luton West narrowly. Boundary changes created the new constituency of Luton North, which Carlisle, with the speakers on his campaign Land Rover blaring out ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, duly won in 1983.
With the campaign slogan “Everyone knows John Carlisle” he increased his majority to 15,573 in the 1987 election (it fell slightly to 13,094 in 1992). Ironically, considering his devotion to Margaret Thatcher – when she was on the point of resigning, he and a group of MPs begged Denis Thatcher to try to dissuade her – he did not believe that women’s suffrage had been a great leap forward. His female secretary recalled having to type a speech for him in which he declared that the vote should be taken away from women.
His thumping majorities were a cushion to pursue his own capacity for provocation with what were by then his favourite subjects: the growth of crime (“Show no mercy to the criminals”), Channel 4 (“Close it down”), the BBC (“Sack the governors”) and John Lennon (“Eulogies completely undeserved, low moral standards, made a sordid mess of his life”).
Towards the end of his Commons career, Carlisle carried his belief in private enterprise into his political life, becoming a car salesman at Westminster. He signed up with a retail motor company and claimed to have sold cars, mainly Rovers, to both sides of the House.
Then in 1996, Carlisle announced unexpectedly that he would not fight the next election. He gave as his reason ”the march of Euro-federalism”. Untroubled by self-doubt, Carlisle was not unemployed for long. Within weeks of leaving the Commons, he was apppointed executive director of the Tobacco Manufacturers Association. His task was to emphasise the industry’s important contributions to jobs and tax revenue and to resist attacks from the health lobby. He had also to use his contacts to persuade a sceptical Commons that an advertising ban would do nothing to reduce smoking and would only cause serious problems to sports relying heavily on tobacco sponsorship.
Carlisle made a robust defence of his new role. “I am against the demonisation of an industry that is 400 years old and raises a lot of money for the Treasury and provides a lot of jobs. It gives people who want to indulge a lot of pleasure”. He also revealed that no cigarette had ever touched his lips.
He was married in 1964 to Anthea May whom he had met at a friend’s 21st, after he had drawn attention to himself by letting a piglet loose in the kitchen as a prank. She survives him with their two daughter, Victoria, a journalist, and Justine, a farm administrator.
One of the daughters remembers overhearing Carlisle when he was in the bath pontificating to a journalist who had rung him for a quote about a film that was proving controversial. When she asked him what the film was, he admitted that he hadn’t even seen it.
He has a certain amount of luck. Two of his brothers as well as his father had died of heart attacks and he had had two himself, one in front of a doctor on his driveway, another while in hospital. But Carlisle knew, as he put it, that he was on “borrowed time”.
Having had an ambivalent attitude to women in the workplace for most of his life – he had not only objected to the introduction of female clergy but even to his own constituency agent being a woman, until he realised how good she was at her job – it may like a cruel irony that a female priest will be conducting his funeral service. To be fair to Carlisle, however, such was his lively sense of humour, he would have seen the funny side.
Geoffrey Cyril Shaw (St Lawrence College Master 1965 - 1977)
17 July 1939 - 16 July 2019
Obituary written by John Wedderburn.
This is personal account of my memories working with Geoff at St Lawrence College.
Geoff joined the school in 1965 as a Chemistry and Economics teacher and was appointed the housemaster of Courtenay house in 1969. He left St Lawrence College in 1977 to become Deputy Head at Leighton Park School in Reading.
I joined the school in 1975 to teach Chemistry and Physics, and become one of his house tutors. In order to check I was suitable for the job, I was asked to meet him in a local pub that evening. We got on from the start, helped by a few pints of beer of course. Geoff was certainly very good at the social side of running Courtenay. He would arrange parties once a year, take all his tutors out for a pint or two and made sure his teams were well looked after following a match - sometimes (according to Valerie his wife) going to his house for a party after a game.
Geoff was totally committed to running Courtenay. The boys loved him and his team of senior prefects were well picked by him. From the start, he wrote a Courtenay Letter twice a year which contained all the usual stuff like sport results, house prefects and the like. However, what made it very much his own style was his editorial commentary at the start of each letter. (Valerie still has all the copies of these at home.) In the December 1975 addition, Geoff had made a comment about my own management of the house committee. He wrote, “I handle the committee in the style of the Rhodesian premier, Ian Smith”. He also said my voice “could be heard all the way up the stairs from my room on occasions”.
We remained friends.
I was the live-in tutor throughout the time that he was housemaster. I can remember one memorable day when he was showing parents around the house. In those days, the top floor was where the junior dormitories were located. When he got to the top, the parents asked him, “Where is the air-conditioning?” Geoff replied, “In winter we close the windows and in summer we open them!”
His other commitments on a daily basis as a member of staff were mainly with sport. His particular passion was cricket, so much so that he was elected a member of the MCC. We were both officers in the CCF: I ran the RAF section and Geoff organised the Army section with Robin Garden (also i/c of the CCF). The school had an annual D of E camp in Dunkeld. Geoff and I would normally team up taking boys out on the hills. I had become a radio amateur in 1978 and Geoff realised the usefulness of this for the D of E. I helped him get his exam which he passed and became G8ZUI in time for the D of E trip that year. As it happened, we needed the radios that year. A boy had slid down a slate slope and was badly injured. However as we had the amateur radio, the rescue Land Rover was dispatched immediately. However it still took them an hour to reach us and he was taken to the hospital in Bridge of Earn.
His other passion was squash. He ended up running the whole of East Kent squash as well as his own teams at school. He also organised and ran the lighting for the school plays. During a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, a rather enthusiastic boy fell and broke his leg during the fight scene which was not quite what should have happened.
Geoff was invariably late for his lessons after morning break carrying a cup of coffee to the labs, blaming telephone calls from parents or other paperwork that needed to be completed. As you can see, he was a person where 24 hours was often not enough for him to fit everything in. He was well liked and respected by all.
I will miss him very much.
Geoff Shaw 5th from the right - CCF St Lawrence College
Old Lawrentians who attended Geoff Shaw's Funeral
Left to right: Nick Marchant (Vice President of the OL Society) Tower 1978, Andrew Dixon - Lodge 1974, Bruce Bradley - Grange 1973, Joe Cornwell - Grange 1977, Nigel Coleman - Tower 1967, John Wedderburn, Adrian Sebastian (Former name Daft) Courtenay 1974
Michael Lafayette Hunter (Courtenay House)
14 July 1938 – 4 January 2020
Michael was born in Birchington at his grandmother’s house in 1938. At the age of eight, he went to St. Lawrence College in Ramsgate. He made two good friends there, Albert Moth and Fromo who have both sadly predeceased him. They studied Spanish together. He played hockey and cricket for his House Courtenay.
When he left school, he was obliged to do his National Service with the RAF in Germany. He then went to SOAS and graduated with a degree in classical and modern Arabic after which he became an accountant.
After finishing his articles, he joined Whinney Murray and his first job was in Aden where the civil war was taking place. He then went to pre-revolutionary Tehran. Michael always loved Iran, the people and their culture. After a few years in Tehran, he moved to Riyadh and opened the office there. In those days there was little business and just a sandy track ran through the town. In the early seventies, Michael moved to Paris and then to the Yemen where he opened three offices. Michael lived in a large house in Sanaa and in those days, Yemen was very much on the hippy trail. Many people stayed in his house and he made many lasting friends. In 1975 Michael went to Beirut to Shamlan to further improve his Arabic. At Easter, the civil war broke out. Michael stayed on to finish his course and at some point was imprisoned over a weekend, as unfortunately, he had the same name as a Zionist spy whom the authorities were keen to imprison. He only ever commented how boring it was to be in a tiny crowded cell with nothing to do and no possibility of sitting down. After this, he was posted back to Riyadh where he stayed until the early eighties.
Michael’s next posting was to Muscat, Oman where he was joined by his third wife Susan. They had met in Paris in the early seventies as they both shared a love of the cinema. While there they acquired a sailing boat and spent very happy times exploring the coastline and beautiful beaches of Oman. Michael led several expeditions to Ras Al Had to see the giant turtles come ashore at sunset to lay their eggs and many weekends in the cool season were spent exploring the interior of the country and climbing mountains.
In 1987 the Hunter family moved to Kuwait which was considered something of a hardship posting as it is a “dry” country with no alcohol. Michael started a cinema club which met every two weeks and was a great success
Michael was in Kuwait when the Iraqis invaded in 1990. He stayed in the country for about ten days and then led a convoy of four jeeps out across the desert and mountains into Saudi Arabia taking the remaining ex-patriate staff of the office with him. Well prepared as ever he had the cot blanket tied to a broomstick to wave in case they had to surrender and the pet cat, who never stopped howling, in a cage in the back of the jeep. He escaped with just the clothes he stood up in. After the liberation of Kuwait Michael resumed his work there until his retirement in 1998.
He enjoyed a successful 33-year career with EY Middle East and in Paris,
After six years of studying in2018 at the age of 80, he completed his doctorate. He was very proud of this accomplishment. The subject of the thesis was the works of poets from the Iberian Peninsula and he wanted to demonstrate the extent to which they had been influenced by Neoplatonism.
Over the course of his life, Michael completed almost 20 marathons, including London, Paris, New York and Boston.
Throughout his life, Michael was a great adventurer and spent much time planning expeditions. He led a trip to the valley of the Assassins while he was in Iran. He had extensive knowledge of the Middle East from Kabul to Cairo and from Aden to the Caspian. To celebrate their 70th birthdays he and a close Iranian friend completed the end to end bicycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Over the course of his life, Michael completed almost 20 marathons, including London, Paris, New York and Boston.
However, Michael’s proudest achievement was his children and grandchildren. He tried to maintain close family ties in spite of the time he spent travelling. He leaves behind his wife, Sue, four children and eight grandchildren. He was so proud of them and during the last three months of his life, when he was so ill, they were all marvellous and visited him constantly and helped Sue, his wife, with his care. We hope Michael will be remembered as a generous man who was always ready to help other people either with financial or physical help and who always tried to do the right thing.
Stephen Bruce Marsden
(Tower 1965 – 1970)
4 April 1952 – 31 January 2020
Steve was the only son of Hugh and Joan. His second cousin, Gordon Watson (also Tower 1966-1971), was the son of SLC teacher Bruce Watson (EBW) and has very fond childhood memories of Steve. Steve’s SLC career, which included a number of sports such as sailing, was abruptly ended (as well as that of a St Stephen’s girl) when a police raid on a Broadstairs night spot led him to confess to having ‘dropped’ an illegal substance. This was an early sign of Steve’s joie de vivre, notwithstanding which he completed a degree in Architecture at Kingston Polytechnic (now Kingston University) and had a very successful career ultimately as Projects Director in Dubai.
His exploits are legendary (involving motorbikes, a Mark 2 Jag, a beach buggy, the Last Night at the Proms, camping on an Oman beach etc), and he never lost a certain disregard for authority. Also from his early love of sailing Steve developed into an expert scuba diver. See link below for one of Steve’s finest moments (30 October 2009 Whaleshark, Ras Musandam, Oman).
He was married four times and to the best of his knowledge leaves behind son James (who also worked in Dubai) and grandchildren Harrison and Jennifer, daughter Lucy and granddaughter Tara.
In later years Steve was dogged by cancer episodes which he faced with great courage and successive remissions led to him being dubbed Lazarus by friends. A Rascal he may have been at times, but in the words of friends: “he was always a kind considerate and polite person; generally got away with anything; a kind and very sweet person until he got into a car (then he was quite terrifying!); no airs or graces; he was a breath of fresh air; life was an adventure; at times stubborn and exasperating but so very, very generous; helpful, kind and loyal, he loved to laugh and was always up for an adventure; a wonderful person whose approach to life was totally inspirational; certain people stay in your memory for life and Steve was one of those, he was always a kind, considerate and polite person”.
Steve will be sorely missed by family and friends.
Contributions by OLs Mark Scott (email@example.com), Chris Snelling, Romney Jackson, David Macdonald, Brian & Gordon Watson, Barry Morgan et al. and non-OL friends spread far and wide including Sally Burgess, Michele Summers, Denise Jarrett, Graham Kimber, Geoff Chester, Bob Claridge, Richard Evans, Jim Darbyshire, Steve Jenkins, Peter Norgaard, Grant Seidner, Brian King, Frank Craven, Jim Morton et al.
Former Junior School Staff 1953-1983
21st November 1927 - 18th May 2020
John Dixon, who died in May 2020, was a member of the teaching staff at the Junior school from 1953 to 1983. During that time, he was Second Master from 1968 to the time he retired, and Acting Headmaster in the Lent term of 1969 and the Michaelmas term of 1978. His family has received many tributes to John from former pupils, describing him as a charismatic and inspiring teacher who commanded respect from all those he taught. His dedication to his pupils was legendary, and he had exactly the right knack of getting the best out of them, whether in the classroom or on the playing field.
Born and raised in Whitstable, John went to secondary school at Kent College, where his daughter Sally teaches, but in his first term there, aged 11, War broke out and the entire school was evacuated to Truro in Cornwall, where he spent the remainder of his school days. John loved to recount his school days there, and the fact that Robert Shaw, of ‘Jaws’ fame, was Headboy! It was at Truro that he developed his lifelong love of Geography and also sport, playing football, rugby and hockey to a high standard. After school, he joined the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman, and, although the war had now ended, he saw some enemy action off the coast of Corfu, a time that he recalled when the family sailed there on holiday in the 1980’s!
After leaving the Navy, John trained to be a teacher at Borough Road Training College in London, and cut his teeth in some very challenging primary schools in the area. It was when he returned to see the family in Whitstable that he met June and they were married in 1956, a marriage that lasted for 64 years until her passing in March 2020. They lived in Broadstairs for the rest of their lives. Daughter Sally was born in 1958, and their son, Simon in 1962, and both attended St Lawrence College.
In 1953, John joined the staff at The Junior School, where he remained until his retirement. There follows an extract from a tribute to John when he retired, written by Keith Roberts, who was Headmaster from 1955 to 1973: ‘ John was appointed in 1953 as a Junior Master by Gordon Weymouth, then Headmaster, to teach Geography and Games. When I took over in 1955, John took charge of hockey and became the Second Form Master. From that moment the hockey never looked back. He was a brilliant coach and I do not think we ever lost a match against Felsted during this period. It was always a delight to go into his classroom and see the students thoroughly enjoying their work and concentrating so hard!
John was also Head of the Geography Department and worked extremely well with the late John Evans, who was godfather to John’s son Simon. The two were complementary and ran a very efficient department. In 1968 John became the Second Master, and I could not have had a more loyal member of staff. When we were given a Sabbatical term in 1969, John and June took over the School, and we left with complete confidence.
John’s sense of humour was notorious, and he served the College not only with distinction but with loyalty too. I for one will always be grateful to him’ Many reading this will remember the school trips that John and June led, to Holland, Paris and the Norfolk Broads, to name but a few. On the Easter trips to the Broads, he used to hire a motor cruiser, piloted by June, and 5 sailing boats with no engines which became the boys’ homes for a week, where they slept and cooked their meals, as well as getting into all sorts of scrapes. This will either have fostered a life-long love of sailing in these boys, or put them off boats for life! Many photos of all these trips are in the family’s possession if anybody would like to see them!
John’s abiding passions was sport, particularly sailing and golf, and Amateur Dramatics, especially Gilbert and Sullivan. He was a very good actor, and indeed, had considered it as a profession before deciding on teaching. One might say the two professions are very similar! He had a fine singing voice and sang in several choirs, notably the traditional Carol Concert in Broadstairs led by the former Prime Minister, Ted Heath.
In retirement, John and June enjoyed playing golf, spending time with their family and many friends, and exploring the world by cruise liner. They were devoted grandparents to their 3 grandsons, James, Joe and Jono. John would be on the touchline supporting James and Joe as they played rugby and hockey for Kent College, and remembering his short time there. He was particularly proud of his little American grandson Jono, who looks to be taking after his Grandfather in his outgoing personality and love of music.
Some will be familiar with John’s alter ego, Jethro. Having spent much time in Cornwall as a young man, he could ‘Out-Jethro’ the Cornish comedian, and in the latter years, he became well-known as an after-dinner speaker, telling Jethro jokes that had his audience in stitches. The last four and a half years John and June spent their time at Buckmaster House in Broadstairs, where they enjoyed a well-earned rest from their busy lives.
To sum up John, he was witty, charming and a great raconteur, a dedicated schoolmaster and the life and soul of any gathering. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends and former pupils.