John Bainbridge died on 27 August 2015 at the age of 83. He entered Wagner House as a Foundationer in January 1946 at the age of 15 and left in July 1949. He led a very active life at school, being a member of the Choir and Orchestra, Stage Electrician for the Dramatic Society, Secretary of the Radio Club and a member of the Natural History Society. He was captain of Golf and played cricket for Wagner, was in the Shooting VIII, a qualified swimmer and life-saver, and was a House Monitor.
On leaving school John proceeded to Bolton College of Technology. He went into engineering and joined the Royal Navy, travelling all over the world. He married Pat and they had three children, Mark, Judith and Philippa and then, following Pat’s death, he later married Pam. Both John and his younger brother, Michael (who died in 2007) were out of contact with the school until 1998, and John and Pam finally visited the school in November 2007. John had been Sales Director of Bainbridge Marine Services in Broadstone, Dorset for many years until retirement. He was President of Wimborne Probus Club and Chairman of Wessex Friends. His final years were plagued by ill heath when he had serious problems with his lungs. He leaves eight grandchildren.
Brian died at The British Legion Care Home, Mais House, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex on 16th July 2015 where he has resided since 2010. Brian entered St Edmund’s in the Junior School in 1937 and later moved up to Watson House in the Senior School where he enjoyed successes at Cricket, Football and Fives. He went with the School when it was evacuated to Cornwall at the beginning of the Second World War, but left after just one term in July 1940.
Brian saw war service as a Spitfire pilot with Desert Air Force during the Italian Campaign and after the war qualified as a Chartered Accountant. After qualifying in 1951 he joined the De Haviland Aircraft Co. from whence he went into the City for thirteen years as a Finance Director. Various Public Company appointments followed until the last years of a long business career were spent as Chairman of several Public Companies and was based in North Yorkshire where he retired in 1988.
He is survived by his two sons and three daughters, together with thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Brian wrote the above obituary before he died at the age of 90. He had worked for Tate & Lyle, Louis G Ford and the Graham Group in Eastbourne in his later years and even in his final years was still giving talks to groups of children and adults about his war experiences. In October 2012 he visited St Edmund’s for the first time since he left in 1940 and brought a replica Spitfire which was to be seen on the cricket pitch for two days and talked about his WW11 days. When he was 89 he even managed to fly again in a Spitfire and a Tiger Moth, which he had trained in. A remarkable man!
Denys Collins entered Baker House in September 1934, the middle of three Collins brothers who came to St Edmund’s in the 1930s as Foundationers. We learned of his death through mail being returned but do not have any other details. His elder brother Paul (R P S) died in 1998 and we believe his younger brother Mervyn (J M S) has also died. All three brothers went into the Navy.
Denys went to Pangbourne Nautical College and then spent 12 years in the Royal Navy before going into teaching for 25 years, at the Outward Bound School, Aberdovey, then secondary schools in England, Cyprus and East Africa before returning to sea in the Merchant Navy. He was Captain of O.M. Missionary Ship ‘Lagos’ and also of the Mission Ship ‘Redeemer of Seacare’. He suffered a severe heart attack in 1993, but recovered and continued to play his church organ and belonged to various church synods and committees as well as doing a bit of sailing in his 20-foot boat.
Bahram Djazaeri died on 24 May 2014 at the age of 64. He joined Baker House with his twin brother Behzad in January 1949 and we have just learned from Behzad of Bahram’s death and will be writing more about his life in the coming weeks. Both of them were in the School Tennis VI in 1968 and left in July of that year. Bahram went on to St Andrew’s University.
Roger Henry Ellis
Roger Ellis, a remarkable Chaplain at St Edmund’s from 1984-2000, sadly passed away in August 2015. What follows was written by his family and is, I feel, the best way to remember this wonderful man.
Roger Ellis sadly passed away on 22nd August, a much loved husband, father and grandfather. He had a wonderful life touching so many people’s lives. He had been unwell for many years and in accordance with his wishes we had a quiet funeral service for him with his immediate family on 8th September 2015. He requested that we wait until after the funeral to inform all of his friends and colleagues.
Roger Henry Ellis was born on 14th August in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. His schooling took him to Pretoria and then to Durban. From an early age he developed a love for the Church and was very engaged with his local church. He completed his first degree at the University of Natal before he was awarded a scholarship to study at Selwyn College, Cambridge. It was here that he met his wife, Diana, then a student nurse at Addenbrookes Hospital, and they were married in 1965.
Roger and Diana then moved to Oxford where he began study for an MPhil and was ordained as a priest. In 1968 he was invited back to South Africa to take up a senior lecturer position at the University of Natal. In South Arica Roger and Diana had their three children, Jonathan, Beverley and Graham. Roger became Warden of Denison Residence and led worship at the cathedral in Pietermaritzburg.
In 1976 Roger and his family moved to the UK, initially as priest in Wortham in Suffolk and then for 7 years at St Aidan’s Church in Doncaster. After re-energising this parish, he moved on to become Chaplain at St Edmund’s School, Canterbury, where he relished the association with the Clergy Orphan Corporation. He then moved back to parish life in Dymchurch, Burmarsh and Newchurch on the Romney Marsh. He finished his career as the Rural Dean for the Romney Marsh, before retiring with Diana in Salisbury.
Throughout his life Roger touched so many people with his incredible ability to communicate faith in a way that people could immediately understand and relate to in order to help them in their lives. He made the mystery of God real to so many people through his brilliant preaching and his one to one communication skills. His central belief was to see love in action as a way to understand God. He saw love and God as inextricably connected – and this insight helped so many people.
He will be loved and remembered always by his family and people spread across the UK and the world. May he rest in peace.
If you would like to pay tribute to his life, it may be that you could offer some support to the charities in his memory that Roger was supporting most recently: British Diabetic Association, Sense, Christian Aid, Red Cross and SeeAbility.
We have set up an email address if you would like to contact the family about Roger – firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger will be remembered with great affection by a huge number of people connected with St Edmund’s. He truly revitalised the school during his time there and nor should one forget his amazing ability to raise large sums of money for good causes.
Christopher Gill died in Pembury Hospital on 28th July 2015 at the age of 86. Born in Wandsworth when his father was Vicar of Upper Norwood, he was only six years old when his father died at the age of 70. After attending Broadwater Manor Prep School in Worthing he entered St Edmund’s as a Foundationer in September 1942 when the school was in Cornwall and was School Captain for four terms from the time the school returned to Canterbury in October 1945 until December 1946. He was centre half in the football 1st XI, leader of the Orchestra and a member of the Choir.
After doing his two years of National Service from 1947-49 in the RAF, working in radar, he went up to Selwyn College, Cambridge in October 1949, initially reading Modern Languages before transferring to Theology. From 1952-54 he was at Ely Theological College, where the Principal was then Canon Henry Balmforth, Headmaster of St Edmund’s from 1932-41. Ordained Deacon in 1954 and Priest in 1955, he was Curate at Portslade from 1954-58 and then at Goring-by-Sea from 1958-60, and in 1955 he was married to Marigold and their two sons, Philip and Timothy, were born in 1956 and 1957.
In 1960 Christopher was appointed Chaplain at St Edmund’s, a position that he was to hold until 1976. He was an exceptional Chaplain who brought a great deal to chapel services by his imaginative approach, the introduction of record-playing equipment and not least by his own splendid voice. He also reignited interest in St Edmund and St Edmund’s Day, taught French as well as Divinity, and coached football to many junior school teams. Many will have fond memories of ‘Zorro’ rushing around in his flowing gown!
In 1976 he decided that he ought to move on and was appointed Chaplain of The Bennett Memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells where he taught until 1989 and was Chaplain until 1992. He was also an Honorary Curate at the Church of King Charles the Martyr from 1977-93, where he worshipped regularly and sang in the choir until his final year.
Marigold sadly died in 1995, but Christopher continued to lead a positive life for the next 20 years, travelling frequently to Germany, where Philip and his family now live, and also to France. His appearance in the 2003 Channel 4 TV series ‘Wreck Detectives’ was one of the highlights of his later years.
Modest, unassuming, but with a deep-seated religious faith as well as sincerity and firmness of purpose and a great sense of humour, and with his love of music, television and reading, he will be remembered by all who knew him with huge affection.
Jeremy Perkins died on 10th July 2015 at the age of 80. Following prep school at Hillsbrow in Reigate, Jeremy entered St Edmund’s in January 1949. Initially in Wagner House, he moved into Watson when the houses were reorganised following the reintroduction of Warneford after the war. He had a very successful school career and was an excellent all-round sportsman. He was both House Captain and School Captain in his final year. He was captain of both cricket (three years in the 1st XI) and hockey and also in the football 1st XI. He was runner-up for the Victor Ludorum in athletics, winning both the 100 yards and 440 yards, captain of golf and CSM in the CCF. He was also a member of the Choir and the Chapel Council.
Jeremy left from VI.1 in July 1953 and took a Short Service Commission in the Army from 1954-57, spending part of his time in Middle East Land Forces in both Egypt and Cyprus and playing some hockey and cricket for the army during this time. On coming out of the Army Jeremy went into advertising and publicity, working for a number of companies, including having business connections in the Middle East. In 1985 he set up his own company, Chameleon Advertising Ltd in Richmond in south-west London. He then worked for Irwin-Jordan Ltd in Kettering, but in 1993 decided to leave Oakham in Rutland where the family had been living for many years and moved to Reigate where he became Secretary of Reigate Heath Golf Club, a position which he held with great success for many years during which he became much loved in and around the Surrey golf scene.
He was a Past President of Rutland Lions Club, an ex-county hockey player and selector (Norfolk) and a keen golfer with a single figure handicap as well as being a keen watcher of Rugby.
Jeremy married Angela in October 1959 and they had a son Hugh (St Edmund’s 1972-77) born in 1961 and a daughter Adrienne born in 1963.
Jeremy was a stalwart and dedicated member of the St Edmund’s Society for many years. He was Assistant Secretary from 1959-63, Chronicle Representative from 1969-75, a Committee Member from 1974-79 and President in 1984. He loved St Edmund’s passionately and always said that he had spent some of his happiest days at the top of St Thomas Hill.
Barrie Leppard died on 22 November 2017 at the age of 75. He joined the Junior School in September 1952 before moving into Watson House in 1955, becoming a House Monitor in his last year. He was a Corporal in the CCF and left in July 1960 from VI.2 after taking his ‘A’ levels. He was not a great team sports person although later in life he showed considerable sporting talent. Just before leaving school he wrote a letter to the editor of the Chronicle bemoaning the lack of a Jazz Society at school as part of one’s musical education.
He was brought up at home in the pub/hotel environment. In his early years his parents ran the Station Hotel in Sidcup before taking over The Spotted Dog in Penshurst which was soon to become the Best Pub in Kent. His first enterprise, whilst still at school, was to organise a weekly dance in the hotel hall. After leaving school Barrie helped his parents at The Spotted Dog. He also became a member of the British water ski team competing in the ‘trials’ Commonwealth Games in New Zealand in 1963. He then married Dawn and took over The Chafford Arms at Fordcombe near Tunbridge Wells in 1966. Dawn was less enthusiastic than Barrie about this and having originally said that she would stay only for four years she finally left after sixteen years. A lost soul after this, Barrie then met and married Ann, who proved to be his saviour. He extended the pub and turned it into something to be really proud of during his forty years there as landlord.
As well as being an excellent water skier Barrie was also a competent snow skier. He also enjoyed golf and made many friendships taking part in these sporting activities. In addition to all this he ran a small shoot on the Penshurst Place estate. He always kept dogs and enjoyed running his dogs on the shoot. Later in life he had an operation for prostate cancer and then his kidneys started to fail and he had to have dialysis. After forty years at The Chafford Arms he and Ann retired to Dorset, but in retirement his health deteriorated further in the years leading up to his death. He had no children, but is survived by Ann and also by his elder brother David who was at St Edmund’s from 1951-57.
Kelvin Atkinson died on 8th February 2010 at the age of 53. He entered the Junior School as a foundationer in 1967 and moved into Warneford House in 1969. He was Drum Major in the CCF, secretary of the Art Society and Judo Club and a keen cross-country runner and left school in 1974 to attend St Augustine’s College, Canterbury, where he qualified as a teacher.
One of his posts was at Sir William Nottidge School, Whitstable (now the Community College). His brothers, Martin and Vaughan, were also at the school and they, with their sister Julia, who was at St Margaret’s, Bushey, write:
“It is with deep regret that we have to inform you that our younger brother Kelvin passed away on 8th February 2010, aged 53 years.
Kelvin suffered with MS for many years and was wheelchair bound. Eventually most of his organs failed and he could not cope with life, something which he told us so often before his death. At Kelvin’s funeral we sang ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer’ and both Martin and Vaughan have vivid memories of Kelvin singing at the top of his voice in the Chapel of St Edmund’s School. During his life he became a successful teacher, played the violin and generally lived life to the full. He will be sadly missed.”
Edward Aisbitt died on 23rd November, two days after reaching his 100th birthday – only the third recorded Old Boy to have achieved this milestone. He entered the Junior School as a foundationer in January 1919.
In the Senior School he was a member of North House and then of Warneford, following the introduction of the new house Sports colours and was a Sergeant in the O.T.C. He left from the Upper Sixth in July 1926.
After graduating from London University, Aisbitt embarked on a lifetime of schoolmastering, firstly at Forest School from 1933-38 and then at Bradfield, where he taught Chemistry, from 1938-68. In retirement Edward and his wife Rosa lived in Minehead, although shortly before his death they had moved to Salisbury, where their son Richard lived. They also had a daughter, Katie, as well as four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.