If you have news about former pupils, students or staff who should be listed here, please let the secretary know.
Notices will be posted here for a period of several months.
1931 - 2020
Attended Monoux 1943 - 1950
Brian Hunter died on 27th March 2020.
After Monoux, Brian served for two years Nation Service in the RAF. He gradyated from London University with a degree in Russian and French.
He was librarian at the London School of Economics and a contributor to and editor of the Statesmen's Year Book.
Brian, together with his wife, Catriona Jones, was a regular attender of the OMA AGM and Dinner, together with many friends.
1954 - 2019
Attended Monoux 1965 - 1972
1946 - 2019
Attended Monoux 1956 - 1963
We have recently received news that Nic Common passed away just before Christmas 2019.
No further details are available at present.
Go to:- messages from former school colleagues, friends and members of the choir
1954 - 2017
Attended Monoux 1965 - 1972
1933 - 2018
Attended Monoux 1944 - 1951
Tribute by Derek Steward:-
Alan Johnston has passed on after a short illness.
He was an outstanding sportsman at school, representing the school and the borough at athletics in the sprints and the school, borough and county at soccer. He left school in 1949 and joined the Port of London Authority, working in communications and eventually in port ship management. In 1951 he was called for National Service with the Royal Corps of Signals and immediately he had finished his training was sent to the front-line in Korea. He rarely spoke about his experiences there except that when one day he was repairing a broken telephone line, he suddenly saw about two thousand Chinese troops coming over the hill heading straight for him. "Never did my earlier experience as a sprinter come into better effect and I skidaddled the scene tout suite."
For most of his married life he lived at Fiddlers Hamlet, Epping where he learned, with his wife, to become a competent horse rider. He retired to Lincolnshire and became involved in the welfare of survivors of that war. He eventually became Regional Chairman of the Korean Veterans Association and was still active in that work until shortly before the end.
Alan was for many years an active and very popular member of the Old Monovians Football Club. He continued to come down from Lincolnshire to the Club Dinner until he was eighty. He was an easy-going man who always seemed happy and was a great companion, except when I travelled to matches on the back of his motor-bike. He based his riding style on his hero, the great TT Champion, Geoff Duke and several times I was nearly bounced from the pillion at high speed.
Much of the cause of his happy life was his nearly sixty year marriage to Sheila who survives him, as do their three daughters and four grandchildren.
2nd May, 1920 - 21st November, 2018
Attended Monoux 1931 - 1937
Prefect 1936-7, Vice-Captain Mallinson House; 1936-7
Football 1st XI; 1935-6, 1936-7, Football Colours: 1936
Cricket 1st XI: 1936, 1937, Cricket Colours 1937
Excerpt from Valete, 1937:-
In Brunwin the School is losing a keen sportsman and accomplished scholar who will be remembered not only for his versatility, but also for his supremely cheerful attitude to life. As one of the leading members of the Table Tennis club, he was, in fact, one of those stalwarts who brought about the change from "ping-pong" to serious Table Tennis in the School, as a valuable member of Cricket and Football 1st XIs, and as a conscientious Prefect, he earned the respect and affection of all who knew him. It is fitting that he should have rounded off his school career by obtaining a Junior Clerkship in the Civil Service, and we wish him every success in his new position.
Tribute by Derek Steward:-
Bunny was at the School from 1931 to 1937 and joined the football club that year. In 1939 he enlisted in the Royal Navy and had a very active war, serving on small boat escorts with both Atlantic and Mediterranean convoys. He became a cryptographer and was in great demand to decipher the most difficult enemy messages- a skill which certainly saved his life on at least two occasions. Off the coast of Belgium he was ferried from a motor torpedo boat to decipher a German communique only to see the boat he had just left blown to pieces. The same thing happened to him again during the Anzio landings and he earned a second sobriquet, 'Lucky Brunwin'.
After the war he joined the War Damage Commission before having a long and successful career with the Stationery Office retiring as a Senior Principal Officer.
His pre-war experience with the Old Monovians Football Club had been sufficiently pleasant for him to be determined to restart it. He gained the support of ex- fighter pilots Cyril Oakley and Frank Bradley, ex- commando Don King, former Ghurka Captain Wally Ridgway, former member of the Tug-boat Squadron, Charley Stringer and lawyer, Vic Cosier. They handed over a very well organised and highly respected club to the next generation in the 1960's.
Bunny was also a great traveller and cricket fan and was a regular attender at Lords. In 1978 he joined the OM's Test Match Dining Club and was a popular member of this group, attending matches at Nottingham, Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Headingly until well into his nineties. In fact he was so popular that there were expressions of disappointment if he couldn't make it. He was a great listener and enjoyed himself hugely without making a song and dance about it. He regularly attended the Football Club Dinner, coming up from Gosport, almost until the end to stay overnight with John and Mavis Smiles at Toot Hill. At this year's dinner at Woodford Wells we will be toasting his achievements and memory.
Arthur, to give him his real name, was married to Marjorie for nearly seventy years. They had two children, David and Jennifer, five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
A great life, well lived.
Stanley James Gunter
10th November 1930 - 2nd January 2019
Attended Monoux 1941 - 47
Tribute from Stan's daughter, Jane.
Born 10 November 1930 at 8am in Hackney to the sound of the factory hooters – the only son of Rose and Stan.The family moved to Leytonstone where Epping Forest became Stan’s new back garden.Schooling started in Selwyn Avenue but started badly. Stan fell off the slide on the first day, broke his nose and spent a week in hospital with concussion.On passing the 11+ he went on to William Morris before moving on to George Monoux.This is where his love of football and athletics began.
In 1947, following the advice of a teacher, Stan looked for his first job in the City – he was hired by the Commercial Union Insurance Co either “because he could answer the question how many 32 pence there were in £1,000 or because he would be a useful addition to their harriers club”.He loathed this role and so National Service was a relief.As an ordinary seaman on a destroyer he described himself as a “seagoing charlady” but he got his first taste of cruising the Mediterranean at her majesty’s expense.
Stan's teaching career.
A few years after demob, Stan spotted an advert for people to train as a teacher and signed up.He trained at Buckinghamshire Teacher Training College in Newlands Park for 2 years.Having switched his focus from maths to PE, Stan studied for a further year at the prestiguous Carnegie College of Physical Education in Leeds.Stan’s first teaching role was as head of PE at George Mitchell school in Leyton.Three years later he returned to Hackney and The Grocers grammar school (Hackney Downs) where he spent the next 30 years – the last 17 of which were as Deputy Headmaster.A colleague recently described Stan as a “rock, reliable, firm but fair” - “every school should have a Stan”.
Leisure and retirement
Outside of work, Stan enjoyed sport, cruising and music (particularly Frank Sinatra and musicals) Stan played football for the first team of the Crouch End Vampires, tennis at Lyndhurst Lawn Tennis Club and golf at West Essex.Taking early retirement gave Stan the opportunity to spend the whole summer playing golf and then cruise somewhere new in the world in the winter. Stan was a member of West Essex Golf Club for over 30 years and was still playing 3 times a week into his eighties.The club was an important part of Stan and Peggy’s social life and in Stan’s words “no finer club exists.
Stan met his wife Peggy at a dance organised by Walthamstow Stadium where Stan’s mother worked.They were married for over 60 years and raised three daughters – Jane, Sally and Clare. Stan had four grandsons and three great granddaughters.
His funeral was held at Forest Park Crematorium, Forest Road, Hainault on Wedneday 16th January, 2019
Peter Andrew Durgnat
Peter Durgnat passed away on 24th December, 2019
Geoffrey Hewitson passed away on 13th February 2018, aged 83.
Beloved husband of the late Shirley, much-loved father and father-in-law of David and John, Clare and Harriet, proud grandfather of Annabel, Lucy, Georgia and Tom and adored companion of Judy Shedden.
A respected and inspirational housemaster and master at Winchester College for 37 years, master and governor at Forest School, and longstanding player and supporter of the Corinthian Casuals.
Service of thanksgiving to be announced.
Attended Monoux 1957-64
I am very sad to report that my cousin David Gorrie passed away on January 8, 2018, after a battle with Parkinson's disease and attendant complications. He was living in Lymm, in Cheshire, and leaves a wife, three children and three grandchildren.
At school David was the sporty member of the family and was in football teams in particular, a great interest of his, although he also kept up the other side of things and wrote pieces for the Monovian, for example.
He took a degree
in psychology (London external), and worked in personnel management in London, in the Middle East, and latterly in Lancashire.
Brian Murdoch (Monoux 1955-62)
Peter Plouviez FRSA
30th July 1931 - 5th October 2017
Attended Monoux 1943 - 1950
Peter Plouviez passed away on 5th October 2017, aged 86. No funeral at his request, but donations may be made to St. Michael's Hospice, 25 Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 0LR. A memorial service will be held next year
Douglas John Insole CBE
18th April 1926 - 5th August 2017
It is our sad duty to announce that Doug Insole passed away on 5th August 2017 at the age of 91.
The funeral will be attended by close friends and family by invitation only. We request that all well-wishers respect the family’s privacy at this time.
A Memorial Service will be held later this year, details of which will be released in due course.
John Barron, 1933 - 2017
Unfortunately I have some sad news which I would be grateful if you would pass on to other members of Old Monovians Association - my father has passed away last Thursday evening (13th April). He had been diagnosed with Parkinson's about three years ago but was also afflicted with bladder cancer in the past year. He was aged 83 years and is survived by his wife Francie, his sister Mary, his three children and his eight grandchildren.
Michael Barron (son)
John Barron passed away peacefully, at home, on Thursday 13th April aged 83.
The funeral was held on Friday 12th May at Christ the King, Walthamstow. For anyone who would like to give a donation, we are supporting Parkinsons UK or Cancer Research
Derek Steward wrote this tribute to his friend:-
Apart from the war years when we were evacuated to different parts of the country, John and I grew-up within 150 yards of each other in Brookscroft Road, Walthamstow. After the war we regularly played football in Chapel End playground with sometimes as many as eighteen players on each side. We were so keen that we would climb over the locked gates of the school during the holidays and play until well after dark. For many years he claimed that I was always a brutally dirty player after darkness fell.
He was a very good ball player but regarded heading with abhorrence and would continually remind colleagues that the name of the game was football and heading should only be used as a last resort. On the ground he was good enough to captain the School 1st XI in one of its great periods when England schoolboy, Bob Wyton , Cambridge Blue, Geoff Hewitson and Harwich and Parkestone amateur, John Smiles were in the side.
What marked him out was that in spite of his responsibilities, academic demands, being a school prefect and captaining the 1st XI, he never seemed to be under pressure, a feature that would stay with him until his last illness. Then he was more concerned about the love of his life, Francis than about himself.
In due course he won a place at Cambridge, graduated, did his National Service and qualified as a Chartered Accountant, all without ever seeming to pause for breath. After a period as an accountant he obtained a post in the City vintners and ale merchants, Finch and Co. eventually ending his career there as a Director of the company.
He started playing regularly for the football club in 1957 and took over as Treasurer in 1964, shortly after we obtained our own ground at Roding Lane North. Those were difficult years financially, as we teetered from one financial crisis to another. As Chairman of the Committee I must have asked him at fifty successive meetings, “John, are we bankrupt?”and back would come the answer,”Well, yes and no.” He would then give a masterly display of creative accounting so that we all slept more easily that night. As a bar auditor he was outstanding and in front of us would look at the barrels and bottles and say straightaway, “We are making 26%.”
In all the time I knew him I never saw him in a bad mood or lose his temper. He was strengthened by his wife, the redoubtable and spirited Francis, two sons and a daughter and eight grandchildren. He is an outstanding man and it has been a privilege to have known him.
Max Hooper, 1934 - 2017
Max Dorien Hooper, biologist and historian. Born 20th November, 1934; died 10th Febriuary, 2017.
He is survived by Phyllis, their daughter Rachel and son Jeremy as well as two grandchildren.
Walter Ramsey Crowe, 1928 - 2016
Attended Monoux between 1939 - 1944
Walter Crowe passed away suddenly at his home in Owen Sound, Southern Ontario, Canada, on Thursday Novenber 3rd, 2016, age 88.
Dearly loved husband of Joan Crowe (nee Morgan) for 64 years. Loving father of Anne Crowe (Ian Davis) of Waterloo, David Crowe (Jean Auger) of Calgary and Michael Crowe (Rosemary Doyle) of Toronto. Proud grandfather of Megan Davis (Binush Paul) Peter Davis, Aran, Erica, Julia, Maccleston and Pressman Crowe and great grandfather of Laila Paul. Predeceased by his parents, Walter and Ethel Crowe.
Walter Crowe B.Com, M.A.Econ, PH.D was a Professor in the Business School at the Lakehead University in Thunder Bay from 1966 - 1993. He retired to Owen Sound in 1993 where he volunteered at the Grey Bruce Health Services for 20 years and at the Billy Bishop Museum. He was Past President of Owen Sound Field Naturalists and active in the local Bruce Trail Club.
Joan Crowe writes:-
Walter left the Monoux in 1944 with his Matric. and went to work in the Foreign Office. He was called up in 1946 and spent the last half of his National Service in Israel with the Intelligence Corps which was a life changing experience. He decided to leave the Foreign Office and do an external London Univ. B.Com. He started with his Intermediate at Walthamstow Tech which is where I met him. I had just started teaching and was up-grading my Higher School Cert. Physics and Zoology to Intermediate B.Sc. in evening classes. He went off to Regent St. Polytechnic in January 1950 and finished his B.Com in June 1951. He worked in Business and we married in 1952. He wanted to go to America and I didn’t so we compromised and came to Canada in May 1953, He worked in Toronto and we travelled across North America. Our daughter was born in Toronto in May 1953 and he decided to come back to England to train as a Community College teacher in Huddersfield.
His first teaching job was at Reading Tech. from 1956-1958. Our first son was born while we were there. Then he move to Manchester Business College for four years. We lived south of Manchester in Poynton where our second son was born. In 1962 he was appointed Head of the Business Department at Welwyn Garden City Tech.. After 3 years, he decided to do a Master’s degree. He was refused leave of absence so he went anyway. I stayed behind with the children and taught Science at the Girl’s Catholic school for the year. In the spring of 1966, Lakehead University, which had just become a university, advertised positions, Walter applied, the President came to London and interviewed him. He was appointed and in August 1966 we were all shipped out to Thunder Bay, with all our furniture, too!! He worked on his Ph.D at Brunel University and we spent a year’s sabbatical leave in the Uxbridge area 1973-74, He graduated in 1976 and spent the rest of his career as a full professor at Lakehead.
As you can tell, he was a person who made up his mind to do something and did it – usually twice as fast as anyone else! He was very popular with his students. From his obituary you can see he didn’t stop after he retired. We both loved travelling and literally travelled round the world together – one advantage of a sabbatical leave every 7 years!
Maurice George Cowell, 1918 - 2015
Attended Monoux between 1929 - 1935
It is with much sadness that I am to inform you of the passing of my father in March. Please accept my apologies but there has been much to do here at Inglenook, his beloved home of sixty three years.
On leaving Monoux, he moved to Hythe, Hampshire, where he started work in the drawing office at The British Power Boat Company under Hubert Scott-Paine until the outbreak of war.
After he was demobbed in 1946, whilst training in architecture he worked on farm building in the South and west during the government's post war drive to expand agriculture. He married our mother in 1947 and they frequented the Beaulieu river in the fifteen foot clinker sailing dinghy they built from scratch, from which the proceeds bought the plot of woodland where in early 1952 he designed Inglenook, unaltered to this day.
Having qualified as an architect, he operated his own practise from 1953 until retirement, narrowly escaping computer aided design and it's widespread derivitives. Being a traditionalist of his era, he by far preferred the renovation and upgrade of older dwellings, paying particular attention to balanced elevations aesthetically using natural materials, than blanket demolition prevalent in recent decades. Age dictated the sale of his pre war sailing sloop which gave us countless happy occasions, but this enabled him to indulge in his woodworking skills, originally inspired whilst at Monoux and combining with his lifeling interest in early clocks, gave him great satisfaction.
Frailty, compounded with perpetual back problems, a constant reminder of 1941, led to poor posture and ultimately hastened his demise, but good fortune granted his wish to remain at Inglenook, until literally his last few days.
Across the many decades he spoke with pride and esteem towards Monoux and the enjoyable time spent there, most grateful for the discipline and practises, some undefined, that were instilled within to gain fortitude, a fortuitous reserve ahead of war years. Such important if not essential values that he came away with were dear to him and ran parallel with those needed during conflict in the design and trials of motor torpedo boats for the Admiralty at Poole.
Without hesitation it would seem, Monoux imparted established principles; a foundation with lasting influence to include the importance of balance and appreciatine each day, thereby achieving contentment.
I had several conversations with Maurice in recent years and his enthusiasm was highly infectious!
Peter George, 1932 - 2015
Attended Monoux between 1944 - 1951
Peter, who died on 2nd August, joined the Monoux fraternity in 1944. In 1951, he won an exhibition to study chemistry at Trinity College, Cambridge. Upon graduation, he was immediately snapped up by Kodak and worked for them until retirement.
He married Heather in 1965, so this year was their golden anniversary, celebrated over some months with their daughter and three grandsons and a wide range of friends.
For many years, Peter and Heather lived in St Albans , but in 2000 they moved to near Ledbury in Hertfordshire. Peter had a lifelong interest in photography, theatre, making beer and growing fruit and vegetables. In Hertfordshire he became an expert in old varieties of apples, e.g. Pomeroy of Hertfordshire. He was an accomplished pianist and Scottish dancer and was secretary of the Harpenden Scottish Dance Club for many years.
He was a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur, attracted by the great sides of the fifties and sixties and suffering a sense of anti-climax ever since. He was a regular member of the Old Monovians Football Club for some years and for most of that time he was our fixtures secretary. This became an onerous task when we moved to our new ground in Roding Lane because of the poor drainage. He would frequently have to rearrange matches. I knew him as an admirable man, strong, yet non-confrontational with a lovely whimsical sense of humour. At probably the last football dinner he attended, he said to me that he was a one woman man and a one company man, but he had made a lot of friends along the way
Tribute from Derek Steward
William S Harpin, 1930 - 2014
Attended Monoux between 1941 - 1948
I am writing to report the sad death of my friend, Bill Harpin, whose time at Monoux was greatly successful in very many ways.
Bill was academic without being what today might be called “nerdy” and was awarded a State Scholarship in 1948. The plaque recording this success was displayed on the front of the Assembly Hall balcony for many years until major refurbishment removed the balcony. (Fortunately, Bill was permitted to retain the plaque!).
Bill was an all-rounder. He was a brilliant cricketer, bowling fast right arm and batting left-handed. He captained the school 1st Eleven very successfully and set a new record for the number of wickets taken in one season (77). He also played regularly for the Essex schools representative team. He played outside left for the school Football 1st Eleven and was a very good javelin thrower. He took part in many school activities captaining Mallinson House and singing the part of Sam in “The Pirates of Penzance”.
Bill went to Birmingham University in 1948, reading English and specialising in Linguistics. His National Service was therefore delayed and began in 1951. He was commissioned with the Royal Army Service Corps and, when he married the love of his life, Rita, in July 1953, he wore Service Dress. I was privileged to be his best man and, having completed my National Service earlier as a second lieutenant in the Gold Coast Regiment, I had progressed to serving as an officer in the Essex Regiment, T.A. I therefore wore Service Dress also and we two Old Monovians presented a very military image on the day. Bill and Rita celebrated their Diamond Wedding in 2013 - a rare event in this modern age.
Bill had a long and successful career as a lecturer in Linguistics at Nottingham University and was involved in many voluntary activities (e.g. School Governor, Church Elder), where his intelligence, common sense and experience made an invaluable contribution. He played golf enthusiastically until the cancer which flared up around Christmas 2013 finally prevented him. Bill will be greatly missed by all who knew him. I was privileged to be his friend and thus to know also his lovely wife, Rita.
Tribute from Brian Chaplin
Barry John White, 1941 - 2015
Attended Monoux between 1953 - 1960
I am sad to have to tell you and all OMs of the death last week of Barry John White, who lived at 32, The Crescent, Loughton.
In the last few years he has fought the results of a very serious stroke with great courage, regularly and fanatically attending his beloved Spurs, travelling and attending pop concerts and being in the centre of things with chums from school and the Boys Brigade in Highams Park.
Last year he survived intensive care and a coma after a heart procedure in Barts and his recovery from that was described as miraculous by the medical staff.
However, last week he had a fall which resulted in a brain aneurism which led to his death.
At all times he has been supported with devotion and bravery by his wife, Brenda, and his daughters Sarah and Claire.
Barry's funeral will be held at the Cavendish Road Baptist Church on the 15th July.
Tribute from Keith Davis, at Monoux; 1954 - 1961
John Tonkin, 1954 - 2015
Attended Monoux between 1965 - 1972
We have the sad duty to announce that John Tonkin passed away on Thursday 29th February. John met regularly with former classmates and former members of the school choir, most recently on Wednesday 28th and at the Choir re-union on November 14th.
John left school in 1972 and joined Barclays Bank, where he went on to become a branch manager. Several years ago, he retired from the bank and took up a position with the College of Arms. He suffered ill health for a number of years and finished working only recently. He practised his faith and continued his love of music for many years at St. Barnabus parish church, Woodford. John leaves behind his wife Sue, son, daughter and grandchild.
On Monday 16th February, John's funeral was attended by a group of his old school classmates and choir members.
JT (right front) with old school friends, 28th February, 2015
Donald George Bleach, 1923 - 2014
Attended Monoux between 1934 - 1939
Wing Commander Donald George Bleach
12 February 1923 - 13 July 2014.
Donald, or Don as he was known to his friends, was born and brought up in Chingford, Essex and attended Monoux Grammar School from about 1934 to 1939. He joined the Scouts and eventually became a very young Assistant Scout Master. He was also active in the local church as a choirboy.
Too young for active service at the outbreak of WW2 he nevertheless wanted to ‘do his bit’ so having obtained his Driving Licence at 16 years old he volunteered to drive ambulances during the Blitz. He worked in the Public Health Department during the day and then volunteered for active service as soon as he was eighteen. He and his friend Jack Watling, having decided to join the Fleet Air Arm, were thwarted on finding that Recruiting Office closed and therefore with the impetuousness of youth headed for the RAF Recruiting Office which happened to be open. They were welcomed with open arms!
He was selected for pilot training and sent to Scotland near to the famous golf course of St. Andrews, where he ‘went solo’ after only nine hours of instruction. Much later he liked to recount, very tongue in cheek, how he had ‘played golf at St. Andrews’! Further training followed in America and after successfully completing his training he was awarded both his American and RAF wings and much to his surprise, his commission. He spent the war flying Catalina Flying Boats from East Africa, helping to keep the Indian Ocean safe from enemy activity.
After his wartime adventures Don returned to civilian life and qualified as a Public Health Inspector. In the summer of 1948 he met his future wife, Cynthia and they were married by October that year. Their first child, Roderick, was born in August 1950 followed in 1958 by twins, Adrian and Stella.
In 1949 Don rejoined the RAF where he spent the next twenty-five years, finally retiring in the mid 1970s with the rank of Wing Commander after a career which included, in the mid- 1950s, flying the fighter of the day, the trans-sonic Hawker Hunter with 54 Squadron. Other than the RAF he loved being involved in projects of all sorts including organising several big reunions for US trained Aircrew Veterans with his unique organisational ability which had been honed in the RAF. He was also an accomplished pianist and especially fond of the work of 1930’s composer and musician Billy Mayerl.
After retirement from the RAF he set up a family signwriting business with his sons, based at the Old School, Osbournby in Lincolnshire, where he had already bought what was to be his family home in the village for the next forty years. He worked on in the business until his late sixties. His wife, Cynthia died in 1992 after a long illness during which time he looked after her with complete devotion.
While he was in America during the war he had a whirlwind romance with a pretty young girl called Gerri. They lost touch, as was the fate of many wartime romances, only to get back together after Cynthia’s death. In 1994 Gerri became his second wife and they had ten very happy years together. They entered wholeheartedly into village life until Gerri’s death in 2004.
The church at Osbournby was full for his interment service including excellent representation from the RAF with uniformed serving members of 54 Squadron saluting as he was carried to his last resting place in the churchyard adjoining the church.
He was a kind and compassionate man who made an impression on everyone who came into contact with him during his long life. He will be sorely missed.
R D T Marshall, B.A., 1927 - 2014
Senior History Master; 1958 - 1964
Tribute from Ian Shaw:-
Dick Marshall passed away on Saturday afternoon, 29th November, 2014, close enough to kick off time at 3, though with a well half-polished cricket ball held in his right hand. He had played these games over half a century ago .He continued to play golf almost to the end in spite of continuous attention from the medical profession. His adored wife, Norma, had ended her days in the same hospice twelve years before. His dominant interest in history, politics and sport never wavered, though in his late years ballet, the love of their only daughter, Susan, became increasingly important.
Dick Marshall was educated at Enfield Grammar School and then Crewe Grammar School having been evacuated there during the war. At election time in 1945 he was happy to joust with others and shout 'Vote Labour' as Churchill drove open-topped in the road next to his school."The Saviour of his Nation" responded with the appropriate sign delivered with a cherubic grin. Dick Marshall went from Crewe to read History at Kings College, London and so was in the heart of events to appreciate the work of Attlee's outstanding ministry and the benefits of the welfare state and the introduction of free secondary education. That is, when he was not enjoying the golden age of The Old Vic Theatre Company with Gielgud, Olivier and, especially, Richardson - or at Lords to appreciate Compton and Edrich score their glorious runs in 1947.
His teaching appointments were all in grammar schools - first at King Edward VII, Kings Lynn, where he met Norma playing table tennis, followed by an indelible short experience at University of London publishers and thence to Dronfield. He arrived at Sir George Monoux in September 1958, to replace Hugh Colgate as Senior History Master, contemporaneously with Peter Groom, Ian Shaw and Ralph Wood. (Henry Chambers arrived in 1959).
He did not follow Hugh Colgate into the Small Staff Room where Messrs West, Bence, Chapman, Hyde, Jenkins, Rayner, Salmond, Taylor held sway. There was a weight of experience (along with J.S. Durrant ) reaching back even before the new school buildings of 1927.The mould had been set with high standards and a high reputation but its age was beginning to show. Discipline and attitudes were not as they should have been in 1958 and not easy for new Staff. Dick Marshall was fine of course, but not until he had visibly made his mark witnessed and illuminated by Roy Ludlow in the accompanying article.
The new members of staff influenced by Suez (1956), Hoggart's Uses of Literacy (1957) and the Angry Young Men, were not exactly and understandably to the taste of the Small Staff Room. The recommendation of Braine's Room at the Top (1959) to the V1th led to rebuke to the infant guard which was immediately intercepted, defended and rebuffed by cool, effective justification from Dick Marshall. It was crucial at that moment but, importantly, was to become symbolic. If the 1958 Staff Intake was the Summoning of the Estates General then he was the Mirabeau of the Revolution. He did not see it so - he just did it - but it set the ball rolling. He was the initiator of a cycle which was to flourish only until 1970. Mike Rawcliffe propelled the Revolution forward in 1960 leading the cause against streaming the first forms (as in 1958) on entry. Academic successes significantly rose in the mid Sixties through to the outstanding years of 1968 and 1969, those particular two Oxbridge years.
Dick Marshall introduced The French Revolution as another special A. Level option paper as soon as possible. In 1959 it ran alongside the established British Imperial History course. No longer totally "from England's shore to India's strand"! Another symbolic change! On France, historians such as Cobban, Goodwin and Hampson were being reinterpreted by Rude and Cobb. It was intellectually exciting and the Senior History Master was in the milieu. The Headmaster, Vincent Stirrup, encouraged Dick Marshall to acquire a Schoolmaster Fellowship at Merton. At Oxford fortuitously he found Cobb who enraptured him and with whom he greatly enjoyed convivial occasions. His term coincided, as one was told, with the visit of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor working for Neville Coghill.
A codicil occurred in 2001. To the delight of his wife, Norma, Dick Marshall took a small share in Danton, a 3-y-o gelding trained in Middleham by the rising star, Mark Johnston.
It was the scholarship that was important and the learning and the reading which were the essential accompaniment. He found it difficult to pass a bookshop. The Guardian was dissected. No surprise therefore to understand he was to become a member of the very successful Rotary Club of Rossendale quiz team until the day of his passing. At Monoux two strong A. level groups each year were maintained. He captivated the likes of Colin Martin and (the non historian!) David Wigston whose unmarked exercise book was his O. Level aide memoire. The gallant, sharp witted Donald Chapman spoke for the defence in the History Society debate on Suez but the Disraeli style opening attack and the closing Gladstonian morality won Dick Marshall the day for a cause in which he believed.
Outside the class room his presence was increasingly significant. In time the Headmaster came to seek his opinions. Dick Marshall was to proceed from Senior History to Headmaster at Haslingden, an elevation almost unknown in State Schools today - and not usual in 1964 though Colgate to Buckhurst Hill in 1958 was a previous case.
He took over the 1st X1 Football Team and returned it to its Lipton standards following a hiccup with the local schools. He embraced and encouraged, inter alia, Jones, Mason, Maxwell, Rainbow (? his favourite) and the high scoring Saville , Wastell then Labrom ( who for half a match on the right wing touchline benefitted from suitable encouragement) followed by Casey (the defensive rock) and Ludlow (the playmaker) and not forgetting those games graced by David Wenham, the fine centre forward. He supported Blanchflower's Spurs, frequently with Mr Wright, husband of the Headmaster's Secretary. To the end of his days he and Susan were faithful members at Blackburn Rovers.
On the cricket field he was self educated in the narrow terraced ginnels of Crewe. So his medium right arm deliveries were accurate and persistent. He bowled for West Essex and, with his stuttering run, for the Staff XI from the Staff Room End which mimicked the Lords' slope which tended to take the ball down the leg side towards Chingford Road. Umpire Ralph Wood found it very difficult to give lbws. Leg byes were not uncommon. After the game he was in his element. He talked in The Bell - he relished talking (often with a cigarette). It was a similar situation playing Bridge in the Staffroom at lunchtime. He had the gift of reflective laughter. He was a wonderful story teller.
Dick Marshall's leading heroes were Napoleon with whom he became disillusioned - the attitude to his men; Nelson, warts and all, took his place. He could speak of them - and often did so - without notes for half an hour. They were the centrepiece of his swansong talk delivered only in October at The Rotary Club of Rossendale.
Monoux did not touch him more than half as much as he unknowingly influenced Monoux in the Sixties. Peter Couch, Old Monovian, Senior Economics, Sixth Form Master (1969) and Ken Peacock, shrewd Senior Physics, who both went on to become Deputy Headmasters, were two of the few first to realise his value. Dick Marshall was extraordinarily able, delightfully fluent, far too perceptive, though generous in outlook .He possessed that integrity, the moral seriousness which was the hall mark of his generation.
He was a great schoolmaster.
Ian Shaw (History; 1958 - 1962, Senior History Master 1964 - 72)
with considerable assistance from Roy Ludlow,1956 -63, and Christopher Pond, 1961 - 69, Historian of Monoux; also, from Peter Groom, 1958 - 2004, and Michael Elliott, 1965 - 1976.
December 2014/January 2015
Tribute from Roy Ludlow:-
Dick Marshall, as he was always known at Monoux (although not to his face!), joined the staff, as Head of a very powerful History Department, in 1958. He made an immediate impression as an outstanding teacher and a strong, forceful personality. He seemed to us pupils to be more worldly-wise than the average member of staff, possibly because he had spent time in business before entering the teaching profession.
It was obvious that here was a man of substance and that nobody, least of all a pupil, was going to get the better of him. One boy, with the unusual surname of Money, was to learn this the hard way. He had missed his first History lesson, which enabled his classmates to play a dastardly trick. They told him that the new History master was a real pushover and that they were going to have a fine time in his lessons. As a result, the hapless Money came into the next lesson and immediately cheeked Dick. What happened thereafter became the stuff of legend and there were numerous variations of the story. However, I got the facts from Dick himself many years later. In those very different days Dick, having grabbed Money's collar with his left hand and the seat of his trousers with his right, lifted him out of his chair. He then shouted "door!". The boy at the front duly obliged and Dick slid Money head first down the corridor. Whether he came to a halt before exiting into the yard is not recorded!
At 'O' Level Dick taught us the causes of the First World War - how topical that appears now - and I recall six principal points immaculately organised in my exercise book. Results were outstandingly good and History became the single most popular 'A' Level and university degree subject among pupils studying Arts subjects in my year group.
My most vivid memories, however, concern football. It was my immense privilege to play for three years in the Monoux First Eleven under Dick. He gave up endless time for us - we played twice a week from September to April - and his enthusiasm was boundless. His knowledge of all aspects of the game was profound and he drilled us exceptionally well. The team spirit was uplifting, we played the game in absolutely the right manner and we played to win (which we normally did!). How we loved it. I recall Dick telling us that this would be the best football of our lives. I did not believe him at the time, but how right he was.
May I end on a self indulgent note. Dick was refereeing when I scored my only hat trick for the First Eleven. As I ran past him to the half-way line, grinning from ear to ear, he remarked in a resigned tone "We are never going to hear the last of this". I was very pleased to prove him correct!
I have been connected with the world of education all my life. I can say, with total conviction, that I have never met anyone more impressive in it than R D T Marshall.
4th December 2014
Chris Jones, 1944 - 2015
Attended Monoux between 1955 - 1962
Chris joined the Post Office after school, and remained in the Civil Service all his career, retiring about 2003 as Director of Administration for the British Museum.
Chris lived at Loughton, and downsized in 2007 to Theydon Bois. He was always very active in public service, through clubs and societies (eg CAB, Drama Society, Men’s Forum, Bowls Club, U3A Literature Group), as well as public-spirited acts such as litter picking. He latterly suffered from cancer. His funeral at Theydon Bois Parish Church was attended by a large group of family, friends, and local people.
Richard Labrom, 1944 - 2015
Attended Monoux between 1955 - 1962
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Richard William Labrom on January 14, 2015, in Montreal at the age of 70. Born on March 4, 1944, in Larbert, Scotland to Stanley Labrom and Esmeralda Philip, he leaves behind his younger brother Alan, his wife of 48 years and love of his life Jacqueline, his four adoring children, Marc, Ian, Sophie (Kevin) and Claire, together with five lovely grandchildren, Liam, Emmanuel, Emma, Leio and Étienne. Better known to most as "Dick", he grew up in East London and after completing degrees in French, Education and Management Studies in the UK, joined the personnel management ranks of British Airways. Posted to Montreal in its heyday in 1972, he fell in love with Canada and the city in particular, eventually refusing to repatriate to the UK in 1980 and joining Canadian Pacific Ltd. instead. He would work the better part of his career for CP, rising to head its HR function before briefly doing some HR consulting work and retiring. An accomplished amateur soccer player and cricketer growing up, Dick nurtured a passion for competitive sport his entire life and will be notably remembered by many for his considerable contributions to soccer in Canada as both a coach and builder over the last 30 years – contributions which saw him recently inducted into the Lac St. Louis, Quebec Ligue Élite and Quebec soccer Halls of Fame, and honoured by the Canadian Soccer Association with its Merit Award. When not on the links at his beloved Summerlea Golf Club in his latter years, Dick adored going to the theatre, concerts and debating the issues of the day. A great believer in family and a true gentleman, Dick's infectious energy and lust for life won him friends everywhere he went and he will be sorely missed by many. A visitation will be held on Friday, January 23 from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by a Memorial Service from 3 to 4 p.m. and reception, at the Château Vaudreuil Pavillon, 21700, route Transcanadienne, Vaudreuil-Dorion, J7Y 8P3. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Oncology Department at the Hôpital Charles Lemoyne and the West Island Palliative Care Residence are encouraged, not least given the great care with which they treated Dick and for which his family is eternally grateful. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Voluntas 514-695-7979, www.voluntas.ca
Ronald Wand, 1925 - 2013
Attended Monoux between 1937 - 1939
Ronald died in February 2014. He was at Monoux until evacuation and was always proud of his time at the school.
Dr D C Ellis
Dr Ellis, who lived in Strangford, Northern Ireland, died some while ago. If you have further information please let us know.
Malcolm Bird OBE, 1955 - 2014
Attended Monoux between 1966 - 73
School Captain, 1973
Malcom Bird died on 31st January, 2014. After Monoux, he spent a year as an exchange student in St. Louis, Missouri. He returned to study materials science at Thames Polytechnic (now University of Greenwich) from 1974 - 78, where he gained his MSc. Later awarded DPhil(hc)
His successful career in the automotive industry included a senior role at GKN Driveline and he served as committee chairman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Malcolm was a Justice of the Peace and received the OBE in 2005.
Arthur Hopkins, 1923 - 2013
Attended Monoux between 1934 - 1941
Arthur Hopkin died on 25th December, 2013. He was part of the evacuated school, and after leaving, served in the Royal navy.
After demobilisation, he joined the Civil Service. He was married to his wife Jose for 62 years.
John Pound, 1948 - 2013
Attended Monoux between 1960 - 67
Prefect; 1966-67, Secretary of the Literary Circle
John Anthony Pound died on 10th April, 2013. He lived in St.Agnes, Cornwall.
At school, he gained distinction in German and won the Form Prize for 6iig in 1966. John Achieved 3 'A'levels in June 1966 followed by another 2 'A'levels in January 1967. He went on to study at the University of Salford.
Tony Leonard, 1925 - 2013
Anthony Bowes Leonard, retired chemist, passed away on 10th March 2013. Tony lived in Great Amwell, Herts. where he was a member of St John the Baptist Church, serving on the PCC.
If you have any memories or information please make contact.
Stuart J. Barker, 1928 - 2013
Attended Monoux between 1939 - 1947
School Captain; 1946-47; Prefect, 1945-47; President of School Council; Secretary of Dramatic Society; Captain of Higham House.
Stuart Barker was born 18 August 1928 and grew up in Rowden Road near the Walthamstow Stadium. He attended Selwyn Avenue Primary School before Monoux, and instead of joining Monoux in September 1939, was one of those unlucky children to face evacuation on 2-3 September that year. It was well over a year before the situation was normalised.
Extract from 'The Monovian'
Barker was popular throughout the School, and made an efficient School Captain. When he was not keeping goal for the 2nd XI, he was always to be seen refereeing the 1st XI game. For two years in succession he won the cup for the senior quarter-mile at the School annual Athletics Meeting. He played the leading parts in two of the full-length plays presented by the Dramatic Society. Barker's academic career was crowned by the winning of a valuable Open Scholarship at St. John's, Cambridge. Stuart went on to join the Army training to be an officer.
He also served the OMA as Newsletter Editor.
Stuart died on January 15th, 2013 after a brief illness, aged 84. He leaves behind his wife Daphne, children Anne, Chris, Andrew and Judy and 12 grandchildren.
Patrick Mc Dowell, 1950 - 2013
Attended Monoux between 1961 - 1968
Pat was renowned at school for his abilities at tennis. He won the Charlotte Hyde Cup for tennis, was a senior squad member and tennis captain, representing Monoux at Wimbledon in the National Schools Championship in 1967. He also won the Roger Swinten cup for badminton and was awarded the V.S.G. Holtham prize for History in 1968.
He leaves wife Hilary and children Fiona and Matthew.
Pat and his wife Hilary ran Chingford School of tennis, initially on Whitehall Road and for the past 10+ years in Highams Park. Chingford School of Tennis
If any of his former schoolfriends would like to share their memories, please make contact
Ron Treadgold, 1921 - 2013
Attended Monoux between 1933 - 1939
Many of you will be saddened to hear that Ron Treadgold died peacefully on Monday 20th May 2013, aged 91.
For many years, Ron attended many OMA suppers and his bubbly personality made him a delight to talk to .
Ron was born into that post-war/pre-war period, the 1920's. He lived his early years through the euphoric closure of the war to end all wars.Hackney and Walthamstow were his territory and he went to Monoux from 1932-38 and he was a young man in the 2nd World War.
Ron trained and worked as a research Chemist at ERDE Waltham Abbey. Especially during the war, camaraderie and nicknames were de-rigeur. There was friendship and loyalty at ERDE. He loved the place, for his work-mates and also for the freedom that a research environment allowed. He was never cut-out to be a 'corporate raider', so instead at ERDE he could express himself and use his creative mind.
His social life was spent in the outdoors, on bikes and walking, and that is how he met his wife, Edna. Together they raised their 3 sons.
Ron will be remembered for three things – his humour, his social and engaging manner, and his capacity to do anything he put his mind and hands to. The list of his creations is extensive, ranging from a sailing boat, a fitted kitchen (pre-dating the concept), complete re-build of a scrap vintage car to be the pride of the family, and extensive construction projects. All self-taught. In between he became an accomplished calligrapher going on to teach the skill to others. At Christmas he worked at Harrods, writing elegant gift labels for their fine wines.
Ron's interest in the Yorkshire dales, the potholes of Derbyshire and the Welsh Coast were all passed to the next generation and beyond, and his talent for photography and his propensity to catalogue has left a wonderful biography of his life and family.
His sons Robert, Peter and James, including some Monoux pedigree, and their extended families remember him with love and pride. And for those of you who might know the house in Chingford and perhaps visited, be assured that Ron's hard work and his spirit remain in the fabric of that joyful place.
Ron Treadgold: Always thinking... always learning... always cheerful.
Peter Treadgold, Nov. 2013
Brian G.W.Higgins, 1932 - 2013
Brian (right) with John Scates
Attended Monoux between 1947 - 1949
Excerpt from 'The Monovian':-
1st XI Cricket; 1948-49, 2nd XI Football; 1947 - 49, Allpass House Cricket Captain; 1948-49.
Although he only joined the School in 1947, coming from William Morris School, Higgins soon became a prominent member of the Fifth (and later the Sixth) Form, and was an invaluable addition to the School's cricket team. He was very popular in Upper School circles for his invariable geniality and good humour.
William G. Anderson, 1932 - 2012
Attended Monoux between 1944 - 1952
Prefect; 1950-51, Captain, Whittingham House; 1st XI Cricket and Football. Scholarship award; Essex County Major Exhibition, 1951
Billy Anderson's forceful batting was something to be feared among inexperienced opposing teams, nor was he any less of an adversary on the football field. Whittingham House must surely have regretted his leaving before the swimming competition, as swimming was one of his chief outside interests and one in which he obtained considerable renown. Many will also remember the cornet recitals he gave on several occasions in the mid morning period.
Robert Frederick Wyton, 1936 - 2012
Attended Monoux between 1947 - 1954.
Prefect; 1953-54, Allpass House Captain, Football Captain and County Caps, Tennis Captain, Athletics Captain, 1st X1 Cricket.
During his time at Monoux, Bob became one of the finest all-round sportsmen the school has ever produced. He was truly one of the great characters of Monoux. His easy-going nature and immense good humour won him friends and admirers throughout the school, although certain members of Staff must have often have been a little bewildered by his 'will o' the wisp' act
extract from 'The Monovian' spring 1955.
Trevor Clive Viggers. 1929 - 2012
Attended Monoux 1941 - 1947
Charles was an OM possibly known to some of you, recently died on June 19th 2012 aged 83.
John Percival, 1929 - 2012
John Percival, who is one of the Old Monovians who has appeared in Who's Who, served for 30 years as chief dance critic on the Times. From an early age he wanted to be a writer and after a visit to the ballet at 16 he decided to write about dance. Born in Walthamstow in 1927 he attended Sir George Monoux and then won a place to Oxford. Graduating with a second class degree "It would have been a first if you spent less time at the ballet" said his tutor, he worked for the ambulance service, The LCC, the ILEA and then as a newspaper critic. In 1965 he joined the Times. His work was independent and sometimes conflicted with the establishment. He did much to recognize new talent. In 1994 he stepped down as chief dance critic but continued working part time even after his illness in 2008. He wrote several books including a biography of Nuryev. Appointed MBE in 2002 for services to dance. He married in 1953 to Betty Thorne-Large but this was later dissolved. In 1971 he married journalist Judith Cruickshank Full obituary - The Times Wed June 27th 2012
Jim Lewis 1927-2011
Jim Lewis playing for Walthamstow Avenue at Old Traford, 1953.
Jim Lewis, who earned a 1954/55 league champions medal with Chelsea, sadly died 21/11/2011 at his home in Kelvedon Hatch, Essex, at the age of 84. An amateur who joined in September 1952 from Walthamstow Avenue (which became, after several mergers, Dagenham & Redbridge FC), he scored 40 times for the Blues in 95 appearances in all competitions.Born in Hackney in east London, Jim was the son of another Jim Lewis who starred at Walthamstow Avenue, and helped the club to their first ever Amateur Cup triumph in 1952, playing in front of 100,000 against Leyton in the final at Wembley alongside future Blues teammate Derek Saunders Also in 1952 Walthamstow Avenue enjoyed a memorable run in the FA Cup, beating Wimbledon, Watford and Stockport before drawing a plum away tie against Manchester United. Jim scored at Old Trafford and then twice in a replay held at Highbury but suffered defeat in the second encounter. Ted Drake was on the phone within 24 hours asking Jim to join his Stamford Bridge revolution. Jim is rated among the greatest non-professional footballers of his generation. He was a regular England amateur international and made the Great Britain Olympics squad three times from 1952 to 1960.He scored 39 goals in 49 games for the GB side. For Walthamstow Avenue he scored 423 goals in 522 games. Well-regarded by the Stamford Bridge crowd who appreciated his commitment, Jim remained an amateur as the maximum wage for a professional was less than his earnings as a salesman. It meant he did not receive a new suit from Chelsea to mark the championship win as many of his team mates did. Instead the club presented him with an illuminated address which he treasured. Jim was at Monoux in the 1940s - We believe that Mrs Lewis worked in the school office during the 1960s You may not know that Jim Lewis who was at the school in the early 40's died on Monday 21st Nov. There is an obituary on the Chelsea FC website. Jim came to Monoux from William Morris Central school and made a name for himself as a soccer star. He played for England Amateur team and for Chelsea. He was a friend of Doug Insole and they both played for Walthamstow Ave. He worked for Thermos all of his life and retired as Sales Director.