Old Stoic Obituaries 2023 -2024

Mr Crispin Robinson (Former staff 1993-2020)

It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the death from cancer of Crispin Robinson on 6 April. Crispin joined Stowe in September 1993 after completing an MPhil at the Courtauld Institute, followed by doctoral research into Fra Bartolomeo at the Dominican Convent of San Marco while working as a Special Assistant at the British Museum. 

Crispin created the History of Art Department at Stowe, now a flagship department with stellar results, and rose to become Senior Deputy Head. A civilised, humane and compassionate scholar, known affectionately by former tutees as ‘ Robbo’, Crispin was the consummate schoolmaster who taught his charges “to assume at a moment’s notice a new intellectual position, to acquire taste, discrimination, mental courage, soberness and, above all, to gain self-knowledge” (William Johnson). 

Crispin retired from Stowe after 27 years of outstanding service, winning the gratitude, respect and admiration of countless pupils, parents, and colleagues. Crispin found huge solace in his faith and the certainty of the resurrection. The counterpart of suffering and grief is the compassion and love it inspires. Crispin’s legacy lives on in the History of Art Department and the many Stoics he inspired through his teaching and boundless pastoral care. The Robbo Bursary Fund has been established to honour Crispin and there will be a Memorial Service at Stowe in June (details to be published in due course). 

Anthony Wallersteiner

Mr Ronald Alexander (Grenville 61) 

Ronald died on the 29 of March 2024 due to complications after heart surgery. He was married to Lorna for over 51 years and had three children, Peter, Charles and Fiona. 

After leaving Stowe he went to Edinburgh College of Arts  to study architecture. He completed a seven year course and left with an M.Sc. , Dip. Arch.He then practised as an architect from home for the next 52 years, mainly working on listed buildings, mostly in Ayrshire.  In addition to that he became a Master of Foxhounds with the Eglinton Hunt for 25 years.

With his love of horses he competed in British eventing.  From this, he became a technical advisor for British eventing and designed cross-country courses in Scotland and England. In particular, designing the Scottish Championships at Thirlstane Castle, and for 25 years designed the three day event at Blair Castle in Perthshire.

Latterly, he also worked for the Federation of International Eventing, designing cross-country courses and officiating in Britain and abroad as FEI steward and technical delegate visiting Europe, Russia, South Africa and South America.

He also became a very good and knowledgeable gardner, opening his garden at Barnweil in Ayrshire for over 25 years under Scotland’s Garden scheme.

Gerald Coldham (Walpole 51)

Died peacefully at home on 22 March 2024.

Mr Peter Keens (Grafton 50)

Peter died on 15 March after a short illness. Beloved husband of Penny, cherished father of Fenella and Zoë, and loving grandpa of Emily, Sebastian, Charlotte and Felix.

Warwick Greville Collins (Grafton 53)

Died 4 February 2024.

Basil Dewing (Chatham 54)

Died 15 February 2024.

The Thanksgiving service will be in Great Malvern Priory on Friday 19 April at 2pm.

Brian Mead (Former Staff 1959-1979)

Died 4 February 2024.

Ken Melber (Former Staff 1987-2000)

Died February 2024.

Mr David Kahn (Temple 49)

David died on 31 January 2024.

John Michael Meade (Bruce 54)

John died on 6 January 2024, aged 88. Husband of Valentine, brother of Theodosia and the late Frank, father of Tania, Catherine, Nicholas and Elizabeth, and grandfather of 15. The funeral will be held at 11am on Thursday 1st February at All Saints Church, Earsham, Norfolk, NR35 2TQ.

Mr Robert Derek Bingham (Temple 60)

Robert sadly passed away 9 January 2024.  He had been battling cancer for some time and is now at peace.

Mr Robert Roberts (Cobham 49)

Robert sadly passed away 9 January 2024.  He died peacefully at home with his daughter with him.

General Sir Frank Kitson (Chandos 45)

Frank Edward Kitson was born in December 1926, the elder son of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry and Marjorie de Pass. His uncle Frank de Pass was the first Jewish recipient of the Victoria Cross in 1914.

After his education at Stowe, in 1946 he joined the British Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade. In 1955, he was awarded the Military Cross for service in Kenya and awarded a Bar to it in 1958 for “exceptional skill and leadership as a Company Commander during jungle operations” in Malaya.

In September 1970, Frank Kitson took command of the 39th Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Following that, he was the Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley from 1978 to 1980, and appointed KCB in the New Year Honours. In 1982 he was Commander-in-Chief, UK Land Forces, and served as Aide-de-Camp General to HM Queen Elizabeth II from 1983 to 1985. In retirement, Sir Frank was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Devon and gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland. He continued his close connection with Stowe, serving as a School Governor and a Campaign Patron.

Sir Frank was married to Elizabeth Spencer, who received an OBE for her work with the Army Families Federation, and they had three daughters. He died peacefully on 2 January 2024, aged 97.

Mr Ian Church (Walpole 45)

Ian died peacefully on 17 December 2023. He loved his years at Stowe and was head of Walpole.  His love continued with his funding the repurchase of the original lions on the South Front and is listed at Stowe as a benefactor.

Michael Avory (Chatham 66)

Micheal James Avory was born in February 1948 in Shepperton, Southwest London.  He was the youngest of four children born to Valda and Edward Avory; Edward (Ted) Avory was a British tennis player and an Old Stoic.

Whilst at Stowe in April 1963, Michael was lucky enough to see the Beatles live in concert in the Roxburgh Theatre.  That experience gave him a life-long love of the Beatles and all music, and he would go on to compose, record and perform his own songs.  His career took him in various directions, including into photography, advertising and teaching before he retired to Italy.  Michael was gifted, generous, honest and loyal, may he rest in peace.  He died on 12 December 2023.

Mr Ian Anderson (Lyttelton 67)

Sadly died 14 December 2023 after a long illness.

Mr Guy Dixon (Temple 49)

Guy sadly passed away on the 29 November 2023 after a brief illness.

Amongst a very active and busy life, he was also the Chairman of National Boatshows and a Liveryman of the Salters’ Livery Company.

Mr Jules Coni (Chandos 56)

Sadly died 18 November 2023

Lord Rowe-Beddoe (Chandos 55)

ROWE-BEDDOE David Sydney, Baron of Kilgetty, died peacefully on 15 November 2023, aged 85. Adored husband of Madeleine, loving father to Lisa, Samantha, Amanda and stepfather to Annabel and James. Grandfather of twelve, great-grandfather to one. A true and loyal friend. 

A renowned international businessman and philanthropist, David had a life-long relationship with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, holding the position of Chair from 2000-2004, becoming President for 15 years.

Stowe has welcomed two further generations of Rowe-Beddoes who share his creative passion.

Mr Dennis Paravacini OBE (Cobham 49)

Dennis died peacefully on 11 November 2023 aged 93.

On leaving Stowe, Dennis headed to Cambridge University and then successfully worked for The Bank Note printers Thomas De La Rue and also worked with The Royal Mint.

Dennis maintained a close connection with Stowe and supported the school to his dying day, treasuring fond memories of his school days.

Sir Frank Sanderson (Chandos 52)

Died 9 November 2023

Frank Linton Sanderson, the third baronet of Malling Deanery in Sussex, was born in 1933 to Sir Bryan Sanderson, the second baronet, and his Polish-born wife Annette (née Korab-Laskowska). After attending Stowe and undertaking National Service with the Royal Navy, Frank Sanderson studied at the University of Salamanca in Spain before taking up a place at the University of Oxford. He then began a forty-year career as a marine insurance broker, succeeding to the baronetcy in 1992.

In 1998, he speared-headed a campaign with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to build a new visitor centre at the Thiepval Memorial in France, raising over £750,000 to realise his ambition. The centre opened on 1 July 2004, and Sir Frank was awarded the OBE in 2005.

He was married to Margaret Maxwell and they had five children. Sir Frank died on 9 November 2023, aged 89.

Mr John Massey Stewart (Walpole 51)

MASSEY STEWART John Hugh Hamon passed away peacefully on 26th October 2023, aged 90. Much loved and devoted husband to the late Penelope (née Lynex), father to Julia and Hamon, brother-in-law to Anthea and father-in-law to Karl.

Jane Lazzeri - nee Baker (Stanhope 88)

Sadly, Jane Lazzeri died in Pisa, Italy on 8 October 2023.

Mr Michael Gordon Legg (Cobham 57)

Michael passed away on 5 October 2023. Michael was a global mining geologist who worked in territories in the United States, Canada, Africa, Ireland, and Eastern Europe.

Mr David Bates (Bruce 63)

David died on 27 September 2023.

In 1963, at the age of 18. David began his career at S H Benson – one of the UK’s top advertising agencies of that era. Three years later he joined the family business Alfred Bates & Son Limited in London’s Fleet Street. The family business had been started by David’s Grandfather Alfred Bates on 27th July 1908 and he was one of the early pioneers and founders of agency practice. David was a Freemen of the City of London and in 1969, took over as Managing Director from his father Edward Bates and soon set up the Classified Recruitment arm of the business.

In the 1980’s under David’s leadership, Tavner Resources was strategically acquired, resulting in the business being appointed by the Canadian High Commission as their leading agency. In the 1990’s Rupert Lovell and Curtis was purchased, further cementing the Agency as one of the leading recruitment advertising agencies. David also, oversaw the office move from Fleet Street to the historic location of  St. Katharine’s Docks overlooking Tower Bridge and the Tower of London and where the business would remain for the next 25 years.

Mr Bob Ramchand (Grenville 67)

Died on September 18 2023

Mr Russell Hallam (Chandos 66)

Died on 9 September 2023

Mr Tim Dew (Chandos 90)

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Tim, headboy, passed away in September 2023 from bowel cancer in Edinburgh. He is survived by his wife, Fiona, and two daughters, his mother and father, David Dew (Chandos 1953) and brothers; Rod (Chandos 1980) and Martin (Chandos 1981). 

Tim led a full life as an entrepreneur creating start up businesses, mentoring businesses and being involved in the Roundtable and other community groups. His family encourage everyone to get tested because screening saves lives.

Mr Peter Wells Fisher (Cobham 52)

Peter was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1935 and attended Stowe from 1948 to 1952.  He adored his time at Stowe and was always glad to have been one of JF Roxburgh’s boys and proud to have been made Head of his house, Cobham. 

At Stowe, Peter developed a passion for architecture, which he went on to study at the University of Manchester, starting in year two of the course rather than year one on account of his aptitude and continuing to a successful career, including Chief Architect at Wedgwood.

Outside work Peter enjoyed sailing and was a keen squash player and skilled golfer. However, cars were to be his lifelong passion, fuelled by early visits from Stowe to Silverstone.

Peter died suddenly on 6 August 2023, and will be remembered with great affection by all who knew him.

Dr George Satchwell (Grenville 54)

After a relatively short illness, Dr George Satchwell of North Curry near Taunton in Somerset, has passed away.  He died on September 20th aged 87, nearly 88.

Died July 2022

Mr Robert Dudley Lightfoot (Walpole 41)

Robert or Bob as he was affectionately known, died peacefully on 28th July 2023 at Springhill Care Home, Accrington.  He celebrated his 99th birthday earlier this year.

Born in Whalley nr. Burnley, he was educated at Mostyn House on the Wirral before attending Stowe. He completed his education at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Whilst at Stowe he excelled at many sports representing the school at rugby, athletics and cross country. He also had a passion for golf which he was still playing well into his 90’s.

He retained a strong affection for Stowe although visits were few and far between in his latter years. In 2018, with his family, Bob was able to visit Stowe for a final time, meeting Walpole’s House Master and Head of House.  

Mr John Moore (Chandos 62)

Died 25 June 2023

Mr James Bolton (Cobham 51)

Died 4 May 2023.

Mr John Beaumont (Cobham 08)

Died May 22 2023

Mr John Hodge (Temple 50)

Died 31 May 2023

Mr John Dean (Chandos 54)

John died on 28 April 2023. His family and friends gathered in the Stowe chapel for a fitting celebration of his life.

Mr Ian Dowdeswell (Grafton 59)

Ian passed away in February 2023. The top entry scholar in September 1954 he was also a fine sportsman excelling in squash and tennis being awarded his colours at just 15, as well as playing rugby.  As recollected by a friend 'he was just one of the good guys'.

Mr Timothy Smallman (Grenville 57)

Died 8 March 2023

Mr Alasdair MacCormick (Chatham 54)

Died 28 April 2023

Mr Nick James (Bruce/Lyttelton 68)

Died on January 21 2023

Mr John Hill (Grenville 69)

Died on September 2 2022

Mr Ian Whitecourt (Walpole 64)

Died November 2022

Mr Jim Jones (Temple 85)

Died on April 11 2022

Mr Sean Burns (Grenville 79)

Died on 16 March 2023.  

Sean Burns, Administrator to Tristan da Cunha passed away Thursday 16th March 2023 aboard RV Meteor, on his way to Cape Town.

The Ascension Island Government announced the official naming of a newly discovered seamount as "Burns Seamount" in his memory. This significant geological discovery was made on 13 November 2022, by the RRS Discovery while navigating the northeast of the Ascension’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) en route to the Island.

Mr Tony Sparshott (Former staff 1964 - 1986)

Died on January 27 2022

Mr Geoffrey Ehrlich (Grafton '67)

Geoffrey died in New Zealand on 31st October 2023.

Dr John Eliot Hodgkin (Chatham 41)

John died peacefully in Salisbury on 29th July 2023, aged 100.

Mr Hugh Fenwick (Cobham 51) 

Hugh passed away on July 10 2023. 

Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
(The Rt Hon Lord Justice Simon Brown, Chatham 55)

Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Supreme Court justice, 2009-12, was born on April 9, 1937. He died on July 7, 2023, aged 86. Whilst attending Stowe he took a shine to history and won the school history prize.




Mr Richard (Tony) Pearce (Bruce 47)

Tony died peacefully in his sleep Saturday 6 May 2023 aged 94 after a short illness. A loving husband to Rosemarie, father of two sons and 5 grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.

Mr George Clarke (Former staff, 1950-1985)

George died peacefully on Sunday 18 June 2023 aged 98. Dearly missed by all who loved him. Funeral to be held at New Forest Crematorium on Tuesday 18th July at 2 p.m. No flowers please. Donations in memory of George for The Landmark Trust may be made online at www.grassby-funeral.co.uk or cheques can be made payable to the charity and sent c/o Grassby Funeral Service, 8 Princes Street, Dorchester, DT1 1TW. Webcast details for the service available via the Old Stoic office.  

Mr Patrick Gilson (Walpole 79)

Patrick died on Sunday 18 June 2023 and his funeral will be on Thursday 27 July at midday at Clandon Wood, Epsom Road, West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7FN.

Mr Wendell Harris (Cobham 63)

Wendell died on Sunday 11 June 2023, aged 78. He was at Stowe between 1958 - 1963 and he loved his time at school. Wendell attended many Old Stoic events.

Mr Nicholas Honeyman Brown (Grenville 63)

 Nicholas passed away on 17 May 2023. 

Mr William Partridge (Cobham 67)

William died on 18 April 2023. He died suddenly at his farm, near Hunterville in New Zealand. William spent his life farming, following an agricultural degree from Wye College. New Zealand was tailor made for him.

Mr Timothy Garratt (Cobham 61)

Tim died suddenly but peacefully at home on 9 February 2023. A man of the future and a man of ideas, he was planning his garden as he died. During his lifetime he positively impacted the lives of so many people in so many different ways. Tim was 80 years old when he died, and had lived in CHAGFORD, Devon for 48 of those years. For many years he had been a Partner in RENDELLS estate agents and the Honorary Secretary of the CHAGFORD SHOW. He was a much loved and respected member of ST MICHAEL'S CHURCH, in Chagford. He is mourned by many, not least by his beloved wife Vanessa, his two sons, Alastair and James, their wives, and his nine grandchildren.

Mr Ivo Forde (Walpole 67)

(Mathew) Ivo Hubert Boys, aged 74, in a tragic car accident on 5 April 2023 in Norfolk. Loving husband of Mary (Poppins), beloved father of Emily, Libbit, John Henry and Tommy and cherished Grand I to Jock, Ivo, Edward, Eliza, Felix and Florence. Ivo joined the Old Stoic Society Committee in 1995 and in 2009 became the Chairman and School Governor. There will be a celebration of his life/wake at Burnham Thorp, at 2.30pm on Friday 19 May 2023.

Mr James Corbett (Temple 56)

James passed away on 2 January 2023. 

Mr David Costain (Walpole 60)

David died peacefully on 25 March 2023, An Old Stoic, farmer and out and out countrymen who was an incredible all round sportsman and possibly the finest game shot in England, David will be missed and fondly remembered by all that had the pleasure to know him.

A service celebrating David’s life will be held on the 28 April at 12.30 pm at the Landican Cemetery, Arrowe Park Rd, Woodchurch, Birkenhead, Wirral CH49 5LW.

Mrs Liz Zettl  (Former staff 1938-1942)

 Liz passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday 10 March 2023 at the age of 105 ½. Liz was such an incredible character and told such wonderful tales about Stowe and JF Roxburgh.

A private cremation will be held on Thursday 30 March, followed by a Thanksgiving Service in the R C Church of St Bernadine, Chandos Road, Buckingham at 12.00 noon.

Mr Michael Royds (Chatham 49)

Michael died peacefully on 12 March 2023 aged 91. Much loved husband of Vicky for 66 years, loving father to James, Radcliffe and Sophie and proud grandfather of Tom, Rosanna, Amelia, Harry, Jack, Mollie, Orlando, Matilda and Fabian. Service of Thanksgiving at St Mary's, High Hesket, CA4 0HS at 2 p.m. on 5 April 2023.

Col David Murray Brown (Chandos 51)

Colonel David Murray Brown died peacefully at home on Wednesday 8 February 2023. A Service of Thanksgiving will take place on Tuesday 18 April at 12pm at St Margaret the Queen, Buxted TN22 4AY.

Mr Mark von Bergen (Chatham 68)

Mark died peacefully after a short illness on 15 January 2023.  Mark was a partner at Ernst and Whinney (now Ernst and Young) and worked as an accountant and then a management consultant for his career. He leaves two children Emma and George.

Mrs Bette Fox (Former Housemistress - Nugent, 2001 - 2006)

Bette passed away on 15 January 2023. Her funeral service will take place on Wednesday 15 February, at 11:30am, at Crown Hill Crematorium, Milton Keynes, followed by a Reception at Stowe at 13:00pm.

Mr Christopher Poulsom (Temple 61)

Christopher passed away on 5 January 2023. A memorial service to celebrate his life at Jesus Church, Troutbeck at 1 p.m., on Friday 3 February 2023 open to all. Donations left in his memory are to Parkinson U.K. or Westmorland R.D.A. online via fishwicksfunerals.co.uk.