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Obituaries

Recent deaths and obituaries are posted here.

Niamh Radosavljevic (KES 12-14) died suddenly in September having suffered a stroke. She attended King Edward’s for Sixth Form, having been awarded a Sir Edward Abraham Memorial Award, in Chemistry. She progressed to The Solent University, Southampton where she studied Computer Science and in her third year she was selected, from a highly competitive field, for an internship at IBM, Hursley. She returned to Solent to study and work, becoming a very respected and competent IT engineer. Niamh travelled widely, partly for cultural exploration and partly entrepreneurship ventures and moved to Liverpool where she had a successful career as an IT engineer working for Torus. Her House, called, The Hive, as it has always been a buzz of activity, came to be a focal point of support and encouragement for others with Niamh known as 'The Queen Bee'. Niamh was diagnosed late in life with ADHD and funds are being raised in her memory to support local Liverpool ADHD charities, to provide initiatives to young people, with neurodiversity, to support their empowerment in living satisfying and meaningful lives. Upon her death, Niamh donated five of her organs to others capturing her generosity of spirit and personality. Her parents are blessed to have shared their lives' journey with her for twenty-five years.

David Reginald Wasp (KES 52-60) died in April 2021. His passion for learning and education began at KES where he excelled at history and developed a love of sport. Upon sitting the Oxbridge entrance exams and gaining a place at Keble College, Oxford, he read for a degree in history, followed by a Diploma in Education. David went on to have a long and successful career in teaching and education consultancy. His teaching career began at Eltham Green Comprehensive school, before moving to Thomas Carlton Comprehensive School in Peckham. In the 1980s he moved into teacher training before becoming an OFSTED Inspector. In 2000, David was at the forefront of the Teach First programme, inspiring and mentoring graduates making the transition into education. David was an exceptionally special father to Lucy, Daniel and Emily and grandfather to five grandchildren. His loving nature and playfulness were boundless and he is greatly missed.

David Glyn Withers Thomas (KES 50-58) attended King Edward’s on a scholarship and proceeded to Cambridge where he gained his Masters in Physics at Gonville and Caius College. British Electric paid a portion of his fees in exchange for his reading Boolean algebra, a then obscure field of mathematical logic. Subsequently he was employed by them to help build one of the first working industrial computers in the UK. He soon joined Rio Tinto where he used the still new techniques of programming computers in binary, what computer scientists now call machine code, on engineering teams in South Africa and Canada. Seeing promise in the field, he sailed to the United States to attend Harvard Business School, where he was a 1967 Baker Scholar, before moving to California. In Los Angeles, in 1969, he met Margaret, whom he married. They moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where they lived for several decades and raised three children. In the 1970s, Glyn founded a small computer consulting company which developed software for large firms. He retired to a ranch north of Reno, Nevada where he lived out the last decades of his life quietly, enjoying books, scenic mountains and wide, open space. He is survived, and missed, by his three children and two young grandchildren.

George Drury (KES 48-56) died in June 2021, aged 84. During his time at KES he was Deputy Head of School in his final year, editor of the Sotoniensis magazine and was a talented rugby and cricket player, captaining the 1st XI in 1956. He took up a major award to New College, Oxford in 1958, studying Modern History, after conscription in the Army. After graduating, he completed a Masters in Applied Social Sciences at Leicester University and became a Probation Officer. He married Erica in 1962 and moved to Ripley in Derbyshire where he lived throughout. In retirement his other interests led him to write a book on the renowned Royal Crown Derby porcelain painter William 'Quaker' Pegg and he gave many talks on this to local history societies, U3A groups and the like, even entertaining a packed audience at the Derby Book Festival on his 80th birthday. He is survived by his wife, Erica, son, Paul, and daughter, Isabel.

Martin Hyman (KES 48-52) (photo) died in April 2021. He was born in Southampton before the family moved to Jersey for his father’s work. However, as his father came from a Jewish family they fled back to Southampton in 1940 shortly before the German invasion. As refugees, life was hard but after leaving school, he won a place at the University of Southampton becoming a biology teacher and  retiring as Assistant Head in 1993, having moved to Livingston, Scotland in 1979. Martin was an acclaimed English long distance athlete who in the 1950s and 1960s competed widely at the top level - his speciality distance was 6 miles (10,000 metres). Highlights of his career included appearances for England in the Commonwealth Games at Cardiff and Perth, and for Britain at the Rome Olympics and European Athletics Championships in Belgrade. In addition, he ran for Great Britain regularly in international matches, captaining the men’s team in the early 1960s, and was a multiple British Championships medallist. He is survived by his wife, sons and his brother.

Peter James Rashleigh (KES 43-48) attended St Mark’s Infants School until 1939, when World War II broke out. During the war his school was bombed and for two years his education was very limited with home visits by teachers and sharing with other schools. However, despite this, in 1942 he was awarded a scholarship to KES who were, at the time, sharing facilities with Poole Grammar School. This being the case, aged 10, Peter was evacuated to Poole and billeted to Parkstone. Upon leaving KES, Peter worked for the Union Castle Mail Steamship Company for 2 years before completing his National Service in the RAF. In 1952 he began working for Folland Aircraft Company Limited, moved to Esso Petroleum in 1957 and then Hooper & Ashby Ltd in 1961. In the mid-1960s he went to work for Minister Fuels before moving to New Zealand in 1975 where he worked for the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club in Auckland for over 20 years, retiring to Cairns in Australia in 1998. 

Arthur “Roy” Cash (KES 38-46) (photo) passed away in September 2021, aged 93, having been ill for some time. Whilst at school he was secretary of the chess club, a capable actor and received his football colours. In 1945 he sat and passed the Higher Certificate in German, History, Latin, French and English Literature despite the disruption of war and subsequent evacuation to Poole. In 1953, after university, Roy completed his teacher's training at KES under Dr Stroud. He then took up a teaching post in the German Department at Bishop's Vesey School and moved to Sutton Coldfield, later becoming Head of German and then Head of Modern Languages. He remained at Bishop's Vesey until he retired. A kind and patient man with a ready smile, he was regular at the annual Poole Veterans’ reunion lunch. Roy leaves his wife Joan and children Andrew and Carol and will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

Air Commodore James Mackereth Stevenson CBE (KES 37-39) passed away peacefully on 28th March 2021 aged 94. A decorated member of the Royal Air Force, he spent his retirement living in Lincolnshire. His wife, Maxine, predeceased him but he leaves a daughter Michele, two grandsons and a great grand-daughter.

Michael Sergeant (former Head of Maths and Director of Sixth Form at KES) died at the end of 2020. He was born and grew up in Aldershot the youngest boy of three. His enthusiasm for education started early. Angry that his older brothers got to go to school and he didn’t, he walked himself there on his own and thus started school a year early. From Farnborough Grammar School, he went on to study mathematics at Southampton University before completing his teacher training. His first post was in Torquay before he arrived at KES where he would teach for 36 years. A patient and calm man who was close to his family, he was a good friend and had many hobbies and interests. He fostered a love of cricket, puzzles, stamp collecting and chess and for many years he ran the school chess club alongside his other responsibilities. He will be hugely missed by his friends and family and died aged 85.

Ray Paull (KES 1945-1955) (Former Head of Biology at KES)

Ray left school in 1955 and completed his degree in Botany at Southampton University, graduating in 1959. He then returned to KES to take up a teaching post in the Biology Department becoming Head of Department 12 years later. Upon his retirement in 1994, he had spent a combined total of 45 years in the school. Sport played a huge role in Ray’s life. He was a talented hockey player, playing for the 1st team at school and university and for the OE Sunday side and a keen cricketer and golfer, becoming Captain of Stoneham Golf Club in 1991. Ray also loved Jazz music and was an enthusiastic gardener. In 2010 he suffered a severe stroke which left him struggling to communicate but, along with his wife, Pam, he remained active. Ray lived in Southampton his entire life and passed away peacefully at home on October 14th. He will be deeply missed by Pam and his children Susan and John and so many of the wider KES community.

Francis Godfrey Woolf (KES 1938-1946)

During his time at KES, Godfrey (as he was known) was Head Boy from 1945-1946. Upon leaving school, graduating from Southampton University in 1950 and following his Military Service in the Air Force, Godfrey taught physics at Portsmouth, Maidenhead and Chester City Grammar Schools. He became Head of the Middle School and then Deputy Head of the High School finding the pastoral side of his role the most rewarding. Once retired from teaching Godfrey worked for the Methodist Church in Ruislip. His life-long connection with Methodism started with the family’s membership of St. James’ Road Methodist Church in Southampton where he met Doreen, his wife of 67 years. Godfrey enjoyed researching his family tree and, along with his sister, wrote a short history of a forebearer entitled “‘Dear Franky’ The Life and Times of Francis Woolf (1740-1807)”. Godfrey and Doreen retired to Hayling Island where they remained active and he was a regular attendee at KES reunions. He leaves his wife, Doreen, two children, Christopher and Alison, his grandchildren and a great-grandson, Beau.

John Robert Reginald Simms (KES 1946-1952)

John joined the school in 1946 from Wells Cathedral College where he was a chorister. He completed his National Service in the Army and was sent to Egypt in charge of the NAAFI. He also learnt to drive a 3-tonne truck. Later, according to his friends, he continued to drive in a similar fashion even as a civilian driver. John qualified as a music teacher and taught for many years at Glen Eyre School in Southampton. He became a Freemason in the Woolston OE Lodge where he played the organ and was also an active member of PROBUS.

Frances Eleanor Mason (Former teacher of History at KES)

Frances passed away peacefully in October after a long battle with illness. She and her husband, Roy (also a former teacher at KES) were affectionately known as ‘Minnie and Micky’ during their time at the school. She will be sadly missed by her family and friends and the many students she helped over the course of her teaching career.

Colin Churchill Dibben (KES 1945-1951)

Colin passed away in April aged 85. He was one of many from his family to attend KES including his father, Stanley, brother, Kenneth, and later his daughter, Claire. Colin joined the family firm William Dibben and Sons in 1951, a well-known builders’ merchants established by his great grandfather in Southampton in 1874. He worked in various roles over the years, progressing to the Personnel Manager. In 1955, as part of his National Service, Colin served in Cyprus as an Army Physical Training Instructor during the Cyprus Emergency. He enjoyed keeping physically active, playing rugby at school and later for Trojan’s. Colin worked hard and was a family man with an optimistic, friendly and kind personality. He will be dearly missed by his wife, Mary, daughter, Claire and son-in-law, Golam.

Professor Justin Adrian Ivan Champion (KES 1973-1980)

Justin was born in Gloucester but his family moved to Southampton when he was a child and Justin subsequently attended KES. He proceeded to Churchill College, Cambridge, where he completed undergraduate and research degrees. After Cambridge, he took up a lecturing post in Early Modern History at La Sainte Union before he moved to Royal Holloway, University of London where he remained for the rest of his career. As Head of the Department for History from 2005 to 2010 he established the MA in Public History, the first to run in the United Kingdom. He also led the College’s Magna Carta 2015 activity, and played a key role in Royal Holloway winning substantial Leverhulme funding to establish its Magna Carta Doctoral School. He was as an outstanding historian, an exceptional communicator, and an effective teacher who will be much missed by his family and friends. Justin was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014 and died in June 2020, at the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, aged 59.

Joe House (KES 1939-1945)

Joe House was one of seven siblings and died in the same house in Shirley in which he was born. In 1939 he was evacuated from KES to Poole Grammar School and after a period as a sergeant in the Royal Army Education Corps, he became a PE and religious instruction teacher in London, before moving back to Southampton in the 70s to care for his father. A former teacher at Glen Eyre/Cantell School, he led London school boys in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in 1948, kayaked down the River Wye in the UK and the Rivers Moselle and Rhine in Germany, sailed to the Isle of Wight on a dinghy his brother had built and went mountaineering in Scotland, Wales and the Lake District. He also travelled extensively in Europe, Russia and the USA and had a keen interest in photography. Joe was a lifelong bachelor, a keen church goer and dedicated member of the City Life Church congregation. He was a much-loved brother, uncle and friend and died aged 91.