Ottershaw School Old Boys’ Society
Ottershaw School Old Boys’ Society

Obituaries and Appreciations

 

David Turner

OT 821  North  - Eulogy

Before we reach the point that David’s life began, it seems apposite to give you a bit of his parents history. Norman Turner was an Englishman who joined the army aged 18. He was posted to Shanghai in 1939. Now at that time many Russian families lived in Shanghai having fled their homeland hoping to find safety and Maria Alexandra’s family was one of them. Known as Alex she and Norman were introduced and despite the circumstances, romance blossomed. Alex and Norman were married in Shanghai on 1st March 1941.

Norman was on active duty and Alex, along with other wives, was evacuated to Australia. On the ship she met another Russian wife, Mousia, and they became lifelong friends. It was in Australia that her first son Edward was born on 2nd March 1941. Alex received the ‘missing believed dead’ telegram but in fact Norman had been captured by the Japanese and was in a prisoner of war camp. He was finally released in 1946 and he and Alex were reunited in England.

Norman continued in the army and was in Folkestone when their second son Jim was born in 1947. By the time David arrived on the 22nd November 1950 the family were in Richmond, Yorkshire.

Being an army child meant that David’s formative years were fairly peripatetic and over the years that followed he and his family spent time in several countries including Malaya, Northern Rhodesia and Germany before finally returning to England. Seeing different parts of the world may sound exciting and adventurous and the experiences David had were indeed many and varied, but of course it wasn’t just his home that changed it was everything else and David told me over the course of his education he attended 13 different schools. His father’s last posting was to Aden in the Yemen, but by this time David and his older brother Jim were deemed old enough to stay in the UK and were placed in a boarding school in Surrey. David could still recall his first day and described the 4 years he spent there as being ‘Not a terribly happy experience. His father retired from the army in 1967 with the rank of Major, Quartermaster and settled in Palmers Green in North London.

By the time he was turning 17 David decided he’d had enough and left school. He had always been good at Maths and felt it made sense to utilise this skill so joined Lloyds Bank. His first branch was in Earls Court and then to Enfield.

While David was a conscientious employee he appreciated his time off too. His interests were wide and varied and reading was one of his favourite pastimes. David found books a great source of pleasure throughout his life. Although he preferred cerebral activities to physical pursuits he had a keen interest in sports and as most of you know was a lifelong supporter of Manchester United. He went to social events at the Norseman Football club, that his brothers attended, and also the Young Conservatives .It was at one of their meetings in 1970 that David first crossed paths with a young woman by the name of Eleanor Hawthorne. Eleanor had been away at teacher training college but was home for Easter, she and a friend decided they would join the Young Conservatives too, although Eleanor admitted it had more to do with the social opportunities it presented than any strong political views!

David confided that he knew very quickly that Eleanor was the woman for him although being the younger of Len and Ann’s two daughters he received a frosty reception from her father when they started dating! However when they realised how much David cared for Eleanor, Len and Ann welcomed him into the family and the three of them went on to became great allies. David was highly appreciative of Ann’s home baking, while Len introduced him to another source of enjoyment-bowls. David described himself as being ‘not a bad player’, but more about that later.

David and Eleanor continued to go out together and David proposed to Eleanor at the Easter football club disco in 1971 and they were married two years later on July 28th 1973, and so began a long and happy partnership. They lived first in a maisonette in Enfield and then in 1977 moved to a house in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.

In 1976 David felt he could go no further in the bank and moved to The Leeds Permanent Building Society, firstly in Dalston, East London and then to Edmonton, North London. David was very happy in the Leeds and felt as if he was part of a family. When his Regional Manager asked him over drinks one Friday evening if he would like to move to a new branch opening in Hertfordshire David responded with ‘I’d rather move to Scotland’. Eleanor was born in Tottenham but both her parents were Scottish and although neither David nor Eleanor had lived there they felt an affiliation with Scotland. David’s manager never forgot his ‘throwaway’ comment, so when a position came up in Kirkcaldy the following year David and Eleanor decided to take the plunge. In January 1979 David relocated to Fife and Eleanor joined him at Easter. The move turned out to be an extremely positive one and David spoke of how happy they had been in Kirkcaldy. Eleanor’s parents also returned to Scotland that year, settling in Montrose where Ann had lived until the move to London.

Something else that made them very happy was the arrival of their son James in December’81 and then their daughter Claire completed the family in November ’83, the day before David’s birthday, so a double celebration.

David’s parents were also coming to live in Kirkcaldy but in December ’82 his father suffered a fatal heart attack so his mother came on her own. As both of his brothers were working abroad he looked after his mother for the next 16 years.

When I asked David what his family meant to him he simply said ‘Everything’ and he was clearly very proud of his son and daughter. Family time was important to David and while he worked hard to support his wife and children he made sure he spent time with them too. Family holidays were a particular source of pleasure and he spoke fondly of the many camping holidays they had in France when James and Claire were growing up and eventually upgrading to a static caravan. There were also the holidays in Portugal.

With their children growing David and Eleanor decided they needed more space and were delighted to settle into 80 Dudddingston Drive, just around the corner from their old house in Barry Road.

David had continued to play bowls and after they moved to Scotland he became a member of Kirkcaldy Bowling Club. He did very well there being President one year and also took a team as far as the area finals but unfortunately a mix up with the date meant he missed the final match in Ayrshire and the team took a substitute instead.

In the meantime David was still working with the Leeds as an Assistant manager and his job gave him a lot of satisfaction. He became a Financial Advisor in 1992 and he was very successful. Then in 1995 the Halifax took over the Leeds and David was part of a new team including Esther, Anna, Jenny, Sybil and Dave. For 5 years he was one of the top advisors in the country and he was well rewarded for all his hard work, he and Eleanor went on trips to Gleneagles, Dublin and Barcelona, David even had the opportunity to fly on Concorde.

There were other trips that were more special for David because of their personal nature. In 1998, after his mother had died Jim told David that their mother had had another son while in Australia and had left him behind when she had returned to England. Her friend Mousia had kept the secret all those years. David went in 1999 and met up with Bob and his family, he was to return another 6 times with Eleanor. Each trip generating more memorable moments; among them a visit to the Barrier Reef, a champagne sunset cruise on a catamaran, Bob and Dell’s wedding on the beach and Sue and Adam’s wedding. But perhaps the most precious memory of all was Bob’s 60th birthday when his three brothers surprised him by making the trip to Australia, it was the one and only time the four brothers were together. A very special event indeed.

While Claire’s talents lay in languages, James showed an aptitude for Maths like his dad, and it also meant a lot to David that his son shared his love of Man U. David and his friend Martyn would go down to Manchester to meet up with James and they would go to a match.

By now the Halifax had merged with the Bank of Scotland, creating the new HBOS and David’s job had undergone another transformation. Gradually these changes began to take a toll on his health and in 2007 he decided to take his pension and reduce his working week to four days. A couple of years later David’s health deteriorated further and he was admitted to hospital with fluid on his legs. He was treated for the problem but referred for further tests which uncovered the fact that he had an extremely rare genetic condition that had been affecting his muscles since birth, explaining why he had been unable to do certain things.

David has always been a practical man and he dealt with the news with stoicism and a determination to make the most of the situation. He and Eleanor continued to travel and as well as going to Australia had holidays in France, Spain and Portugal.

In March 2017 there came the bad news that David had an inoperable brain tumour which would only be treated with radiotherapy and medication.

Once again David resolved to carry on living his life to the best of his now restricted abilities and in May (2017) he and Eleanor spent a wonderful day at the Chelsea Flower Show. Eleanor drove and they stopped on the way down and also went to Oxford to see James on the way home. It was very busy, and very hot, but David’s mobility scooter helped enormously and he was extremely touched by how kind and helpful everyone was. Indeed he spoke of the incredible support he’d received from so many people, friends, neighbours, staff at the Western and how these kindnesses had restored his faith in human nature. David continued to be under the care of Dr. Zeidler and maintained a positive approach.

It was clear from talking to David that he had led a very full and fulfilling life, one that had presented him with various challenges, but which had also brought him much joy, the source of which was undoubtedly his family and friends.

Howard Aldridge

Howard Aldridge (OT 136; West)

On 4 December 2013 Howard Aldridge passed away.  His funeral was held at St Mary’s Church, West Chiltington, West Sussex, on 16 December 203.  The eulogy, delivered by Dennis Mountstephen (not an Ottershaw Old Boy), should have been carried in the current (Autumn 2014) issue of The Gazette.  It is reproduced below and will also be included in the next edition of The Gazette (Spring 2015).

I feel very privileged to have been asked by Liz to say a few words about dear Howard.

Born in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, he had his early schooling there.  However, during the war he moved to stay with his grandmother in Bournemouth to escape the bombing, returning to attend Ottershaw School in Chertsey, where he was known to his school friends as Number 136.  He was a natural ball player and played for the school in rugby, cricket and squash.  

In 1956 he joined the Royal Air Force with whom he trained in Canada, eventually flying Valiant bombers and Canberras.  There he met Aidan Moore, a fellow pilot who is here today and has remained a life-long close friend.

Howard left the RAF in the early Sixties and, having got his civilian licences, he joined BEA, which eventually became British Airways.

He married Liz in 1965 and lived in Weybridge, then Walton on Thames, where Jamie and Annaliza were born.  The family moved to West Chiltington in 1981 and Howard continued his career flying Argosies, 737s and 747 Jumbos until his retirement.

Howard was a bit of an enigma: articulate and interesting, he loved a good argument, and I think it fair to say that his views on many things were to the extreme right of Genghis Khan!!  He was, however, a very kind man and particularly in his concern for and care of seriously ill or terminal friends, as I know from personal experience.  You may be aware of his community activities.  He drove the local Community Bus and The Mary How Trust double-decker screening bus.  I suspect that piloting a Jumbo was a cinch for him compared with the latter, which was both very temperamental and a pig to drive!  From time to time he gave the bus a thorough external clean by hand – akin to washing an elephant with a nail brush!!

I knew Howard and Liz ahead of 1990, but not awfully well.  I rather suspect that he viewed me with some little suspicion as I was a banker (before they were brought into disrepute!!) and not even able to fly an aeroplane, whilst I, perhaps, was a little in awe of this Porsche-owning, sartorially elegant man with his always immaculately combed hair!            

All that changed in 1990 when Ann, my first wife, and I gave Howard a lift to attend Aidan and Jenneth’s son and Howard’s god-son Warwick’s Passing Out Parade at the Academy.  The journey was rather like the road to Damascus, after which and a good lunch together we became firm friends.  This was cemented by an incident at Sandhurst which left us both highly amused.  Princess Diana was taking the salute on a very cold November day.  The saluting base was surrounded by glass except, of course, at the front.  She was wearing an extremely short skirt and was heard to exclaim to her military escort and in range of the PA system: “God, it’s bloody cold in here!!”

Howard took great delight in his grandchildren, Oscar and Pandora, and was so kind to some of my grandchildren, especially six-year-old Kitty, who on one occasion was allowed to travel in that precious and tenderly cared-for Porsche to West Wittering beach, complete with large vanilla ice-cream – the latter being hardly compatible with the Porsche upholstery!  Howard was very understanding!!

He dearly loved his dogs, Teddy and Macintosh, even though the former had developed a penchant for eating £20 notes – and, on one occasion, a picture I had painted and which Howard was to frame.  He also loved motor racing, especially Formula One.  Having once had Nigel Mansell on board one of his flights, he then experienced a high spot when Nigel entertained him right royally at Silverstone.

Liz encouraged Howard in a whole series of hobbies and sports but he was a bit of a Mister Toad.  He did make a great success of cookery classes followed by picture framing (another success), fly-fishing and hilarious attempts at pottery when Kitty and I were at their lovely South African house.  He had the greatest difficulty in extracting the air from the clay, nearly becoming apoplectic in the process.  Although he never actually fired one of his creations, it would assuredly have qualified as an entry for the Turner Prize.  In sport, although a natural ball player, he never seemed to match the ability shown in his youth.

We both had a weight problem and decided to join Weightwatchers.  That was both hilarious and sad.  We were the only men attending and one would have thought we had arrived from outer space.  Both staff and punters refused to take us seriously – so we gave up.  Any resulting good achieved would have been negated by our convivial weekly evening meetings at the “Riser” in Nutbourne!!

Howard loved a good subtle joke: he almost died laughing at my oft-repeated story of the Abergavenny Gorilla.  He was a really lovely man, helpful and affectionate, and I very much valued his friendship.  I mentioned the beautiful house in South Africa – his Shangri-La.  He absolutely adored the sun and it seems apposite for me to finish with the last lines of the Rev Eli Jenkins Sunset Poem from Under Milk Wood: “AND TO THE SUN WE ALL WILL BOW, AND SAY GOODBYE – BUT JUST FOR NOW.” 

Dennis Williams

News of Dennis Williams’s death on Wednesday 18th September 2013

After an heroic fight of some 2 years, our friend Dennis died at his home in London last Wednesday evening.

He had enjoyed an extended period of remission from Cancer also enduring major heart surgery at the end of last year.

We enjoyed Dennis and Renate attending our AGM last year and him attending our lunch in the Spring of this year ;  an event Dennis founded some 12 years ago, assembling Ottershaw Old Boys from the earlier years of the school

This year he achieved a flight to Hong Kong to spend a holiday with his son Mark and his family.

He also spent summer at his home in France where he was visited by his family who also kept closely in touch for happy occasions with him when at home in London. A number of Ottershaw Old Boys visited Dennis in London as well as many of his friends from past years.

A sterling supporter and past President of the Ottershaw School Old Boys Society , Dennis was a fine friend to so many of us. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Letters should be sent to his wife Renate at :-

18 Crieff Road, London SW18 2EA

Funeral arrangements for Monday 30th September

After a family service at the Crematorium, there will be a church service at St. Mary’s Church Battersea at 1400 hrs.

Following the church service there will be a reception at “The Woodman” public house from 1600 hrs.

Donations to :- Paul’s Cancer Support Centre

Please let me know if you will be able to attend the service on the 30th September, also if you will be accompanied by a wife or other family member so that I can advise Renate of numbers expected at the reception.

peterjones311@gmail.com, 02380 562 889

By post to Camelia House, Victoria Road, Netley Abbey, Southampton SO31 5DR

Peter Jones

President of Ottershaw School Old Boys Society

Thomas Fillans (Tom) Kennedy

My father, Thomas Fillans (Tom) Kennedy, passed away on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2014 in Blenheim, Marlborough, NZ. We had his service on the Edwin Fox one of the last surviving ships that brought immigrants to NZ.

A book has recently been published by Nikau Press, Nelson NZ called "Teak and Tide" if people are interested.  It was involved in the Crimean War and later helped establish the frozen meat trade to England from NZ. It sits at Dunbar Wharf in Picton under cover with a purpose-built museum alongside. My mother and father spent over 20 years as volunteers helping to save the ship and for a number of years my father was on the Board of Management. He was also the secretary/treasurer of the Ngakuta Bay Boating Club for 25 years and was involved in a number of other organisations. He was a very community-minded person after he retired (as above), and kept active. He continued to play tennis and golf and go fishing for blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds in his boat "The Rose". We all enjoyed these fishing excursions.

After leaving Ottershaw he had a long and highly regarded career in Education in New Zealand. For many years he was Inspector of Pacific Island Schools and from 1975-1981 he was Director-General of International Education (NZ). These jobs meant he travelled three to four times a year and my mother often accompanied him. Some years after he retired he wrote a memoir "An Ocean of Islands" (privately published), about his time in the Pacific.

He was at Ottershaw from 1950-51. He taught Science and Social Science and was in charge of the Young Farmers' Club which raised pigs as a pilot commercial enterprise. This included visits to local stock markets and research centre such as Rothamstead. He often talked about those young men (two in particular with the name of Big Sayles and Little Sayles (OTT166 and OTT227).  When he was Principal of Tonga College in the Pacific Islands from 1954-56 he oversaw a farm of 200 acres that principally grew food for the college boys (who also worked on the farm for 2 hours a day),.and also produced root crops, bananas, coconuts and raised dairy cows and interestingly (as noted above) pigs.

I recall we lived in a caravan when we first arrived at Ottershaw then later moved into a house next to  (or near) the Cunningham's. We also enjoyed trips to the continent in the caravan and I have a photo of my brother & myself being bathed by my mother in a  small tin bath and strolling along the canal in Venice and so on. My mother and Mary Cunningham corresponded for many years exchanging calendars and so on until Mary (I think) passed away. 

My father did enjoy being kept up-to-date with the magazine and more recently the emails. He and Tom Newnham who was at Ottershaw at a similar time were life-long friends in New Zealand.

Julie Kennedy

Lindsey Greig

We recently heard the sad news of the death of Lindsey Greig, OT 847 West. An obituary appeared in The Independent on 29 May and is reproduced here, with the kind permission of that newspaper. 

Innovative publisher of trade periodicals and founder of the landmark legal website DataGuidance

Lindsey Cameron McNeil Greig was a pioneering publisher and conference organiser. Originally a publisher of print periodicals, such as The Lawyer, he was quick to see that online publishing would be the best way forward.

The Lawyer, launched in 1985, was a weekly magazine which dealt with issues relevant to the legal profession; contributing writers often came from top law firms around the world.

Greig started Cecile Park Publications in 1999, a company for providing, in his own words, "global, authoritative and incisive legal and regulatory information solutions in fast-growing business areas". His first print and online journal was called E-Commerce Law & Policy. He went on to publish periodicals in new areas of law, such as data protection, e-finance, e-health, doping in world sports, online gambling and cyber security.

As well as these journals, he also organised conferences and workshops for industry and legal professionals in many countries, delivering face-to-face communication and networking for specialists in many fields.

Data Protection Law & Policy was a monthly newsletter Greig began in 2004. This was a means of ensuring that businesses and public services could cope with a maze of regulatory and organisational rules governing privacy compliance. The point was to enable effective, well-regulated, and transparent use of data.

Greig launched DataGuidance in 2007, and it is now a leading tool for data protection and privacy compliance. Covering 162 countries and 218 jurisdictions, DataGuidance boasts the largest database of privacy legislation, official guidance and codes of practice in the world. The online website is constantly updated and is enriched with in-depth content, written by a network of more than 250 international privacy experts. Among the subscribers are some of the world's best-known companies, such as American Express, BP, Deutsche Bank, Dyson, MasterCard and Western Union.

Greig also helped with the editing and publishing of The Future of Privacy, a book by his lawyer friend Eduardo Ustaran.

Greig was born in Worplesdon, Surrey on 17 November 1951, the youngest of five children. His father, C. McNeil Greig OBE MC, was the director general of the United Association for the Protection of Trade (UAPT), the UK's leading credit-reference agency.

Lindsey Greig attended the Ottershaw Boarding School and went on to get a BA in Philosophy at Warwick University. It was here that he was exposed to socialist politics and protest. After leaving university he took a summer job at a Woking engineering factory, Con-Mech Ltd. He found that a group of Italian immigrants were working 12-15 hours a day in poor conditions. He got involved with union organising and was appointed a shop steward for the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (AUEW). The union sought recognition from Con-Mech, but was refused. Greig was fired, and the workers went on strike with union support and picketed the factory. Although the union was taken to court and fined for breaking newly introduced labour laws, there were national strikes of engineering and newspaper workers in support of the AUEW. The union finally withdrew their support – but Greig continued with the strike action, which was backed by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

Greig returned to Warwick University to study Economics and he stayed committed to the SWP for many years. He was involved in a counter-protest demonstration against a National Front march, which led to his arrest; he had to be bailed by his brother Ian.

One of his first jobs was driving a delivery van for restaurateurs the Roux brothers. He spoke excellent French, and in 1976 taught English as a foreign language in Paris.

His career in journalism began as a freelancer for the weekly newspaper Socialist Worker, and he became a full-time journalist in the late 1970s. He reported on several major UK industrial disputes, including the 1984 miners' strike. By the mid-1980s he was writing articles for a number of publications, including Accountancy Age and other Haymarket titles. An innovator and entrepreneur, Greig came to realise that there was a similar market opportunity for lawyers – which is how he came to launch The Lawyer.

In 1984 Greig, tall and handsome, married Hannah Solemani, a psychoanalyst, and they had two daughters: Rebecca, now a journalist and television presenter; and Phoebe, who is educated in mathematics and finance and works at Cecile Park Publications. Greig was a devoted and loving husband, father, son and brother.

He and his wife were great friends of mine. His list of entrepreneurial achievements, however impressive, cannot convey the qualities of character which distinguished him: his warmth, kindness, pleasantness, cheerfulness, curiosity and enthusiasm. He became seriously ill in the last months of his life with complications of an aggressive cancer. He had full knowledge of what was happening to his body, but his good cheer and positive temperament never wavered. I will always treasure him for the wonderful person he was.

MORTON SCHATZMAN

Lindsey Cameron McNeil Greig, publisher: born Worplesdon, Surrey 17 November 1951; married 1984 Hannah Solemani (two daughters); died Crouch End, London 12 April 2015.