Obituaries


John Albert Gwilliam OM 1931 – 1946

The Old Monmothian Club is greatly saddened to record the passing of John Gwilliam OM36-41, one of Monmouth School’s greatest rugby players, and our most capped. John won 23 caps for Wales between 1947 and 1954, 13 of these as captain.

He led the 1940 unbeaten 1st XV before his distinguished first class and international playing career.

John led an equally distinguished life beyond the rugby field, as one can see in today’s obituary from the BBC.

http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/25758156

We offer our sincere condolences to John’s family.

 

Colin Copestake MCR 1962 – 1998

It is with sadness that Monmouth School and the Old Monmothian Club record the sudden passing of Colin Copestake (MCR 1962 – 1998).

Educated at Burton Grammar School, he won a Choral Award to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he studied Modern Languages. Appointed to teach French and Spanish at Monmouth School in 1962, he would spend the whole of his career here until retirement in 1998. A dedicated teacher, not even the occasion of a broken leg could prevent him from teaching his classes which came to him in School House while his leg was in plaster. Many OMs remember with gratitude the visits and exchanges he organised as Head of Spanish.

It was not only in the classroom that Colin made his mark. He was Master of The Grange before moving on to be Housemaster of School House, where he was to earn the respect of scholars and rogues alike. He also served as Examinations Officer and tackled, with his customary lack of fuss, the ever-increasing forest of material produced by the various examination boards.

A fine cricketer, he was long-time coach to the Under 15 XI and was once selected in 1981 for a celebrity side which played in a benefit match organised by Graham Burgess against a Somerset side which included Ian Botham, who gave no quarter when Colin came to the crease.

A stalwart of the Chapel Choir his bass-baritone voice thrilled both there and in School concerts. This passion for music was to continue into retirement with membership of Monmouth Choral Society and with his unfailing commitment to the Choir of St. Mary’s, Monmouth where he practised his quiet, devout Anglican faith.

I remember the warmth of the applause he received when he addressed the boys at his final Assembly. This said much for the esteem in which Colin Copestake, the stern yet kindly disciplinarian, was held.

Colin’s funeral will be held at St. Mary’s Priory Church, Monmouth on Thursday 10th November at 12 noon. This will be followed by a family-only cremation. Refreshments will be served in The Priory Rooms.

The School and the Old Monmothian Club extend their deepest sympathy to Jennifer and the family.

 

Thomas ES Hodgson OM41-48

HODGSON–Thomas E. S. Of Orlando, FL passed away on Monday, August 22, 2016 surrounded by family. Tom was born on November 6, 1930 in Bristol, England to Phyllis and Thomas Hodgson. He attended Monmouth School, excelling both academically and athletically. After military service, he went on to Bristol University, graduating with a degree in Economics. In 1955, Tom joined the Bank of London and South America (BOLSA). His first posting took him to Brazil where he met his future wife Elia Maria de Oliveira. In 1968, the family relocated to New York where Tom ran the North American operations of BOLSA. Tom’s banking expertise helped to restructure the many failed loans of the Latin American Debt Crises of the late seventies and early eighties. During his tenure, Tom expanded the bank’s retail, treasury, and merchant banking operations. In 1974, Tom became a director of Lloyds Bank International, retiring in 1987. After the untimely passing of his wife of 32 years, Tom relocated to Boynton Beach, Florida. During his retirement, Tom travelled the world via freighter and cherished his time with his eleven grandchildren. He volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Society, Boca Raton, for over twenty years and supported many overseas charities. Friends and family will remember Tom’s quick wit, kindness, and generosity. He is survived by his four children, Evelyn Tuminello (Frank), Amanda Hompe (John), Thomas Hodgson (Sarah), and Valerie Callender (Andrew), as well as 11 grandchildren, Nicole, Matthew, Andrew, Hailey, Alexandra, Eliza, Olivia, Patrick, Tessa, Alexander and Sebastian.

Our condolences to family and friends

Source: The New York Times

Henry Toulouse OM42-47

It is with profound sadness that the Club records the sudden passing of Henry Toulouse on Wednesday 10th August. Henry was the foundation upon which the modern Old Monmothian Club was built. Until 2 years ago, he served unstintingly as the Club’s Honorary Membership Secretary, giving up countless hours of his own time over a 40 year tenure to keep the records of the Club. His knowledge of ‘what the boys were up to now’ was encyclopaedic and caring. During that time, Henry also was the Editor and compiler of the OM section of The Monmothian. Henry continued to serve on the Executive Committee after retiring from duty. Henry will of course also be forever remembered as Monmouth School Rugby Football Club’s most loyal supporter, and its historian. The 1st XV touchline will never be the same again.

Funeral Arrangements: 2.30pm Tuesday 23rd August at Royal Forest of Dean Crematorium, afterwards at Monmouth School. Please contact Roger Atkins rogeratkins70@gmail.com for further details.

Peter Lewis (Honorary Member OMC)

Sadly Peter dies in autumn 2015, he would have been 90 this year. He was very pleased to attend OM Day 2015 together with his son and grandson on a special table with Mr James Boiling, Head of Sixth Form.

Peter Lewis was fly half in the 1943 FIVE WAYS GRAMMAR SCHOOL 1st XV that beat Monmouth School 1st XV! The only victory Five Ways had over Monmouth School in the 5 years played!

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Alun Devereux Melbourne Thomas OM41-46

Alun sadly died on 13 January 2016 in Guernsey, Channel Islands, where he lived for the past fifty plus years since leaving Wales. Alun enjoyed returning to Monmouth School a few years ago for a Rowing Reunion.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Roy Beddington OM41-47

Roy sadly passed away on 14th March 2016 after a short illness borne with grace and humour. He was a beloved husband, dad, granddad, great-granddad, brother, uncle, companion and friend.

He attended Monmouth School from 1941 to 1047, of Hereford House. He will be much missed. His funeral service will be held at St Andrews Church, Rippingale on Wednesday the 6th of April 2016 at 2.00p.m.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Graham Bradley Marshall Hancock OM45-51

Graham sadly passed away suddenly aged 82 on 13th February 2016. Graham of New House looked back on his time at Monmouth School with great affection, recently attending both the War Years Reunion and Henry Toulouse Retirement Lunch organised by the OM Club.

Loving husband to Joyce, Dad to Simon & Roger and Grandfather to Amy.

Funeral service to take place at Gloucester Crematorium on Wednesday 2nd March at 11:30.

Family flowers only please, but if desired donations to British Heart Foundation may be sent to Goodwins Funeral Directors 8 Old Cheltenham Road, Longlevens, Gloucester, GL2 0AW or at www.justgiving.com/Simon-Hancock3

Our condolences to family and friends

 

O. Royce Bowen OM32-40

Ormond Royce Bowen attended Monmouth School from 1932 to 1940 in Hereford House. Royce was born in 1922 in Brockweir. He lived a tremendous life, winning a bursary to Monmouth School where he excelled both academically and on the sporting field. He played in the 1940 XV unbeaten rugby side, as well as playing tennis, cricket and even boxing for the school.

He won a scholarship to Oxford where he read chemistry, leading to a career with British Nylon Spinners and ICI. Maureen and Royce lived between Cape Town and Brockweir for many years.

He recently joined us at the War Years Reunion in 2012 organised by the OM Club accompanied by his granddaughter Amelia they were both the oldest and youngest guests on the day!

Royce is survived and missed by his sons Rudge and Tim, and four grandchildren, Jessica, Amelia, Emma and Will.

A grave-side memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday 9th April at the Brockweir Moravian Chapel followed by tea at Glen Wye.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Stuart A. Dowle OM55-62

ERRATUM. Due to an editorial error there were inaccuracies in the reporting, in the recent Club newsletter, of Stuart Dowle’s passing. The following information is now correct:

Stuart, brother of Maxwell (OM49-59) died 9th July 2015 in University Hospital Wales, Cardiff after a long and very brave fight against cancer. A member of Hereford House, he represented the School with distinction at Rugby and Cricket, then pursued a very successful career in accountancy. Unfortunately, he just missed the 1955 Joiners’ Reunion held in September 2015, championed by his fellow OM David Dowle (55-62).

Stuart is survived by his two sons and two daughters from previous marriages and a granddaughter, his widow Beryl and a stepdaughter.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

David J Griffiths OM 76-83

We are sorry to announce that David passed away on Tuesday 12th January 2016 after a short illness, age 52 yrs.

He attended Monmouth School from 1976 to 1983 , Hereford House.

David was known fondly as “Weg” to most of his friends.

His funeral is taking place at the Forest of Dean Crematorium Cinderford, Gloucestershire GL14 3HU at 3.30pm on Monday 1st February 2016.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Ian Sadler OM 55-61

Further to the happy re-union of the 1955 cohort in September 2015 at the School, it is with great sadness that Preston J Powell OM55-63 reports the death of his closest friend Ian Sadler (School House 1955 to 1961) on behalf of Christine, Ian’s widow.

Unfortunately Ian was unable to join the 1955 Joiners Reunion because of the progression of his final illness.

He was always keenly interested in the news of his friends and contemporaries and was very sorry not to be able to catch up with everybody at our special occasion.

Ian died sadly passed away on October 23rd and was laid to rest in the churchyard at Coed-y-Paen near Pontypool, very close to where he lived for most of his life.

Our condolences to family and friends

Ian Seymour OM 70-74

Ian (Cedric/Sedge) Seymour was very well known and respected as a rugby player and coach after leaving School, notably for Berry Hill, Cinderford and Monmouth. He was a member of the winning 1st VII at the Rosslyn Park Schools’ Festival in 1974 – a gentle giant off the field. He sadly lost his battle with cancer at the age of 59.

The former Berry Hill Club Captain enjoyed his most successful playing years during the 1980s when he shared in the glory of famous matches against greats such as Bath, Harlequins, London Welsh and London Scottish.

Known locally as “Sedge”, the father-of-two continued coaching at Berry Hill while working on his farm, in Edge End, despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer in early 2013.

“… he had a farmer’s natural strength – a player’s player and a real forward thinker.”

He leaves his partner, Kathryn, and his two sons, Adam and David,

A funeral service will be held in memory of Ian Seymour from midday on Tuesday, January 5 at Christchurch Church, in Berry Hill.

Source: Gloucester Citizen

Our condolences to family and friends

 

AL Sockett – Staff 50-78

AL ‘Algi’ Sockett (known to his colleagues as ‘Sox’), was born in March 1913 and was a master at Monmouth School from 1950 to 1978, latterly as Head of Classics. He had served in photographic intelligence during the War, monitoring the effectiveness of Allied bombing of Germany, using the skills he had developed as an archaeologist in interpreting photographs of sites of potential digs.

He recalled how Churchill once visited Bomber Command at its headquarters deep under the Chilterns and asked Sox for an explanation of what his section did. Sox gave an account which Churchill then relayed to Mrs Churchill, who had joined the group a little later, impressing Sox with the accuracy and incisiveness of the way he did it.

As has so often been the case with staff at the School, Sox’s contribution went far beyond the classroom. With his wife Daphne, he was the first Housemaster of St James House, the first cohort of which contained two future Oxford University professors and a future rugby international, as well as being School Librarian.

Whenever he could he would also take boys out on archaeological digs, sometimes surreptitiously, when they should have been at rugby practice. OM Paul Roberts, the curator of the fabulous 2013 Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition at the British Museum, has paid tribute to Sox’s influence.

In March 2013, Sox celebrated his 100th birthday at a special lunch at Monmouth School, impressing people with the sharpness of his mind which remained active until the end of his very long life.

His funeral will take place at 12 noon on Friday 22nd January in St Mary’s Priory Church.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

John A Hubbard OM 44-49

We are sorry to announce that John passed away on 14th November, loving husband of Christine.

He attended Monmouth School from 1944 to 1949.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Lord Ezra OM 31-36

Lord Ezra, who has died aged 96, was chairman of the National Coal Board from 1971 to 1982. A most notable alumni – Liberal Democrat peer, Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge and Liveryman in Haberdashers and Fuellers.

More details: The Telegraph

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Paul Langford OM57-64

A Memorial Service is being held at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, on 30th April 2016 at 2.30pm, followed by tea in the Langford Room at Lincoln College, Oxford.

The memorial service is an opportunity for all who knew Paul to celebrate his life and achievements. If you would like to attend, please register HERE.

Paul was a great supporter of the Choir at Lincoln, and Mr Bob Blake (1946) has started a fund at Lincoln to establish a choral scholarship in Paul’s name. If you would like to make a donation towards this, you can do so via this Donation page on our website

Please email oldmonmothians@monmouthschool.org if you would like a place on a mini bus departing Monmouth School, Porters Lodge, time tbc.

It is with great sadness that we record the passing of Paul Langford OM, one of the School’s true academic luminaries.

Professor Paul (FBA, FRHistS) Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, 2000 to 2012, died peacefully in his sleep on 27 July 2015, aged 69.

Paul Langford FBA FRHistS (born 20 November 1945 in Bridgend; died 27 July 2015) was a British historian. From 2000 until late 2012 he was the rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, succeeded by professor Henry Woudhuysen.

Educated at Monmouth School and Hertford College, Oxford, Langford was elected to a junior research fellowship in modern history at Lincoln College in 1969, becoming a tutorial fellow in 1970. He was a lecturer at the University of Oxford from 1971 to 1994, being elected a reader in modern history in 1994 and becoming a professor in 1996.

Having served as a member of the Humanities Research Board from 1995, in 1998 he was appointed chairman and chief executive of the newly established Arts and Humanities Research Board, “dashing around the country, successfully selling the idea that research in the arts and humanities should be as fully and imaginatively funded as research in the social or natural sciences.” He held this post until returning to Oxford to take up the rectorship of Lincoln College in 2000.

Langford was a fellow of the Royal Historical Society from 1979, a fellow of the British Academy from 1993 and was made an honorary fellow of Hertford College in 2000. In 2002, the University of Sheffield awarded him an honorary doctor of letters.

His notable publications include A Polite and Commercial People. England 1727-1783, the first volume to be published in the New Oxford History of England.

Langford married Margaret Edwards in 1970 and they had one son: Hugh. He was a freeman of Worshipful Company of Haberdashers.

Source: Wikipedia

Much loved husband of Margaret and father of Hugh

Our condolences to family and friends

 

John McCairn – Staff

Mr John McCairn has passed away in Deal, Kent on 12 June 2015.

John was a member of staff from 1976 and was instrumental in setting up the Handicraft Centre. He was also able to help out of sports afternoons and was able to referee. As an airborne soldier he enjoyed his role as the Warrant Officer I/C the Monmouth School CCF.

In his time at Monmouth School he was also a Town House Master.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Brian Margrett OM 45-51

It is with enormous sadness that the Old Monmothian Club records the passing of Brian Margrett OM 45-51 on 20th June 2015.

Brian was hugely respected by all of the OM Club Executive Officers as a key member of the Committee and a previous President of the OM Club his wise counsel was always positively received.

A former Director of British Steel Industries and beloved husband of his late wife Anne and devoted father.

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Desmond Vowles – Staff 49-53

Desmond Vowles (Vivian Charles Desmond) sadly passed away died in Oxford, aged 91, on 3rd May 2015.

Desmond was Head of English and Deputy Housemaster of School House from 1949 to 1953, when he married Barbara Coombes, the Headmaster’s Secretary.

He then moved to Canford School as Head of English, leaving in 1960 to become Lecturer in English Education at Reading University.

Desmond and Barbara made their home in Monmouth from 1997 until moving to Eynsham, near Oxford, in 2011

Our condolences to family and friends

 

Revd Canon Geoffrey H Brown OM43-49

Geoffrey Brown OM43-49 came into New House as a scholar from The Crypt School Gloucester in the mid 1940s He became Head of School before he left in 1948 to do his National Service commissioned in the Royal Artillery. He then went up to Trinity Hall Cambridge where he read English and History.

Geoffrey featured prominently in the “Footlights” where he both wrote sketches and performed. Having committed himself to ordination, he went from Cambridge to Cuddesdon Theological College, and after ordination to curacies in east London and Birmingham.

Revd Brown took a parish in Birmingham before moving north to Grimsby as a canon, soon he was called to St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, where he served with distinction for 12 years settling the finances on a firm basis by inaugurating the successful restaurant in the church crypt.

With his wife Jane and twin daughters he retired to the West Midlands and subsequently to near Cheltenham

He died aged 85 after a short illness on 27th May 2015. A service of commemoration is to be held at St. Martin’s on July 1st 2015 at 10.30am.

Notes from his dear friend Alan Stacey OM42-50

Our condolences to family and friends