News and Stories

In Memoriam

Here we remember Old Sennockians and staff and share the obituaries published in Sennockian magazine.

If you would like us to include an obituary please contact us.

In Memoriam 2022-2023

John Brown (Grote 44) died 1 December 2022
Nicholas Bundy (Hardinge 73) died 5 July 2022
Surya Burathoki (staff) died 3 July 2023
Dr Katharine Draper (former Governor) died 12 October 2022
Jonty Driver (former staff) died 21 May 2023
Timothy Gould (Hardinge 63) died 7 January 2023
Revd John Robin Keeley (Hardinge 57) died 11 December 2022
Richard Kempton (Wordsworth 66) died in September 2023
Peter Lloyd (former staff) died 21 August 2023
Anthony Lunch (Sackville 63) died 20 October 2022
Professor Tom McLeish FInstP, FRSC, FRS (Fenton 80) died 27 February 2023
Anthony Miles (Fenton 63) died 16 March 2023
David Newby (Fenton 59) died 5 October 2021
Neil Payton (Grote and Tammadge 92) died 29 June 2022
Simon Prodger (Johnsons 78) died 8 April 2023
Richard Reid RIBA (Johnsons 57) died in November 2022
Sarah Rendall (nee Sackville-West) (Taylor 78) died 1 June 2022
Jess Search (Fenton 87) died 31 July 2023
Roy Stafford (School House 45) died 9 November 2022
Trevor Thomas (Park Grange 63) died 1 July 2023
Robert Wilkinson OBE (former Governor and Foundation Trustee) died 6 July 2023
Christopher Wood (Johnsons 50) died 21 January 2023

In Memoriam

William Boulton (School House 46) died in May 2022
Robert Bowyer (Hardinge 65) died 29 March 2022
Dr David Brancher (Fenton 46) died 8 September 2021
Graham Brill (School House 50) died 30 September 2021
Peter Brotherton (Wordsworth 67) died 19 September 2021
Walter Cheney (Hardinge 58) died 20 February 2021
Steven Cole (Caxton 70) died in December 2021
Revd Anthony Ford (Grote 58) died 15 December 2017
Peter Goddard (Fenton 45) died 16 February 2022
Patrick Green (School House 53) died 26 June 2020
Andrew Gunderson (Groves 75) died 9 November 2021
David Hands (OS 05) died in March 2022
Paul Harrison (former staff) died 19 April 2022
Anthony Howcroft (Hardinge 58 and former staff) died in September 2021
Roy Kekwick (Johnsons 45) died in 2022
Paul Kempton (Wordsworth 70) died 20 February 2021
Ian Longhurst (Johnsons 57) died in 2022
Victoria Lumb (Park Grange 94) died 21 March 2022
Ian Mateer (Fryth 66) died 12 October 2021
Chief Oladipupo (Ladi) Rotimi-Williams (IC 66) died 3 October 2021
Dr Debasis Roychoudhury (IC 68) died 20 November 2020
Jonathan Scotland (Johnsons 89) died in October 2021
Peter Sharp (Johnsons 57) died in March 2021
Richard Sibbald (School House 66) died 14 November 2021
Brenda Trenowden (Trustee) died 29 August 2022
Jonathan Van Stroud (formerly Stroud) (Fenton 74) died 18 April 2022
David Watson (Wordsworth 53) died 6 September 2020
Robert White (Fryth 71) died 21 November 2021

Jonty Driver

Former staff

Jonty Driver, poet, novelist, political activist and teacher, was one of Kim Taylor’s inspired appointments, joining Sevenoaks in 1964 in his first teaching post. An anti-apartheid  protester, his arrival from South Africa was delayed after he was arrested under the 90-day detention law and spent 30 days in solitary confinement.

He was born Charles Jonathan Driver in 1939 in Mowbray, a suburb of Cape Town, and attended St Andrew’s College in Grahamstown, where his father was chaplain. Jonty became involved in student politics while at the University of Cape Town, being elected President of the National Union of South African Students and becoming involved in student  protests. His father died just before his arrest and detainment.

Following a year teaching English at Sevenoaks, Jonty went to Oxford to study for an MPhil, before returning to the school in 1967. The following year he became Housemaster of the IC. At six foot four, he was a striking and commanding figure, but his teaching style was inspirational and encouraging, and he is remembered by Old Sennockians as a kind and hugely influential schoolmaster. After leaving Sevenoaks in 1973, he went on to other schools in England and Hong Kong, including three headships, completing his career as Master of Wellington College. Jonty was also a poet, novelist and biographer. He was an honorary senior lecturer in the School of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.

He was a great friend and supporter of Sevenoaks and stayed in contact with many Old Sennockians. It was a great pleasure to see him and his wife Ann, back at the school in June 2022 for the Annual Reunion Lunch. Sevenoaks played an important role in their lives and they had great affection for the school. Jonty is survived by his wife, Ann, whom he met and married in 1967, their three children, Dominic, Dax and Tamlyn, and eight grandchildren.

Timothy Gould 1944-2023

OS 1963

Timothy Gould was born in 1944 in Harrogate. He moved to Sevenoaks in 1951 where he boarded at The New Beacon School, which was to play a special and significant role throughout his life. He subsequently attended Sevenoaks School (Hardinge 1957-63), then Trinity College Dublin where he studied Mathematics. Tim started working in insurance as a Risk Assessor with Sedgwick’s in the City of London, then moved to AIG. He travelled all over the world with work including Hong Kong, Jordon, USA, Philippines and Chile. Towards the end of his career, Tim moved to Heath Lambert and then more local companies in and around Sevenoaks.

A keen and talented sportsman, Tim gained full colours at Sevenoaks School playing rugby and went on to play for England Schoolboys, Harlequins and Saracens. He played cricket (which secured him his job with Sedgwick’s) and golf, and enjoyed sailing, swimming, athletics, skiing and bobsleigh (which he did while at Sevenoaks). He was a member of several local clubs including Knole Park Golf Club, Chipstead Sailing Club and Holmesdale Cricket Club. Later, he shared his love of sport with his family taking active holidays in Cornwall, Switzerland and the South of France.

He met Judith Dance following an old boy’s cricket match at The New Beacon School where she was the matron. They married in the school’s St George’s Chapel in 1980. The chapel was also where their three children and, later, grandchildren were christened, and where both Judy’s memorial in 1996 and Tim’s recent memorial were held.

Tim lived at Silverley in Oakhill Road for 70 years, which his father had built and where he grew up, as did his children. He moved to Sackville Place for the last few months of his life. He was a fantastic father to Sophie, Annabelle and Emily, and dearly loved grandfather to Caspar, Pip, Thisbe and William.

Sophie Duncan

Tom McLeish FRS 1962-2023

OS 1980

Tom was one of the world’s true polymaths and will surely be fondly remembered for his irrepressible enthusiasm and insatiable curiosity about the world, his engaging and  entertaining manner, and his warmth, kindness and generosity to all.

Tom was born and grew up in North Kent. He joined Sevenoaks School in 1973 and there is no doubt that the remarkable teachers set Tom on the path to such an extraordinarily rich and fruitful life. It was from Sevenoaks that he was launched onto Emmanuel College, Cambridge to study Physics and Theoretical Physics, and gain a PhD in Polymer Physics.

Tom was a great supporter of Sevenoaks and enjoyed returning to give talks, meet staff and students and to hear about the school to which he owed so much. He also gave guidance as Chair of the Institute of Teaching and Learning Advisory Board.

Tom believed, passionately, that science is a God-given gift and spent a lifetime developing a theology of science. He worked tirelessly to make science engaging and accessible to all. Tom’s academic research started with the disentanglement of real-world polymers. He took existing ideas and made them much better; he introduced entirely new ways of thinking. Tom also took delight in showing how mathematical ideas can unite different scientific disciplines and was internationally recognised for his interdisciplinary research.

Two of his long-term projects speak volumes for his passions: the Ordered Universe Project involving a unique configuration of natural scientists, social scientists, humanities  scholars and artists to explore the work of the 13th century polymath Robert Grosseteste; and Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS) to create opportunities for church leaders to connect with science.

Tom won the highest prizes from the British, European and US Societies of Rheology – the Gold Medal, the Weissenberg Award and the Bingham Medal. In 2011 he was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society and became Chair of the Education Committee where he played a key role in national curriculum development and science education. Besides these achievements, Tom was Pro Vice-Chancellor at Durham University, and in 2018 he joined the University of York as Chair in Natural Philosophy – a title that he chose, and which fitted the unique academic that he was. In the same year, the Archbishop of Canterbury presented Tom with the Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship. Tom also authored many books, including Faith and Wisdom in Science and The Poetry and Music of Science.

Tom lived life to the full. He loved hill-walking and scuba diving, singing and playing the French horn, and travelling the world. He loved Schumann, the Old Testament book of Job, and spending time with his wife Julie, four children and their growing families. He was a lay reader in the church and took any opportunity to share the faith and hope he had in
Jesus – right until the end. Tom loved people and was widely and deeply loved.

Julie McLeish

Anthony Miles 1944-2023

OS 1962

Anthony Warren Miles passed away on 16 March 2023 at home in San Francisco, California. He was born in Wimbledon and spent his early years in Derbyshire, after which his family moved to Sevenoaks.

Anthony attended Sevenoaks Prep, then Sevenoaks School from 1957 to 1962, where he became Head Boy under Headmaster LC (Kim) Taylor, supporting the school as a benefactor in later years. He went on to Clare College, Cambridge where he obtained his undergraduate degree in English and served as College President. After Cambridge he attended Yale University on a Mellon Fellowship, where he earned an MA in American Studies and met and married his wife, Landra. After two years back in Europe, Anthony returned to the United States to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Anthony worked for 29 years at the Boston Consulting Group, first in Boston, then in California. From 1970 he and his wife lived in San Francisco and at Lake Tahoe. On retirement, he joined the boards of the San Francisco Symphony, St. Luke’s Hospital, Presidio Golf Club, California Pacific Medical Center, and the Brotherton Fund.

Anthony is survived by his wife of 55 years, Landra, his two sons Marcus and Aidan and his beloved granddaughters, Adabel and Elora, and by his brother John Miles and his sister Penelope Goulden, both living in Kent.

John Miles (OS 1970)

Simon Prodger 1959-2023

OS 1978

Prodge, as he was universally known, was born into a family steeped in cricket and was brought up initially in Kenya. Prodge’s father Peter played for Kenya and East Africa so it was firstly there, and then after the family returned to the UK, that the young Prodge fell in love with cricket.

Prodge was fuelled with a natural spirit of enquiry and curiosity. He liked learning, not so much from the textbook, but through observation and self-discovery. At Sevenoaks, Prodge didn’t find the academic side of life straightforward – the dyslexia with which he contended was poorly understood – but he excelled at sport. Cricket was his real passion and he relished the competition of league cricket playing at Harlow CC, Hoddesdon CC, Harefield CC and Watford Town CC. Beyond this, he played for Stroud Green CC in Haringey, represented the MCC on 113 occasions, was a regular for the Kenya Kongonis and Stragglers of Asia and, in later years, for Bucks Over-50s.

Prodge’s contribution as a cricket player was enormous, and so too was the service he gave to the game as an administrator and trustee of many cricket-related charities. As MD of the Club Cricket and National Cricket Conference, as trustee of the Club Cricket Charity and East Africa Character Development Trust, he fought tirelessly to represent the recreational game and community clubs and in establishing the National Asian Cricket Council and the African Caribbean Cricket Association, to help players from these communities become better integrated into cricket’s mainstream. Suffice to say there’s a theme running throughout Prodge’s cricketing involvements; he sought to make it a game for everyone. It was entirely fitting that the MCC honoured Prodge posthumously with a Community Cricket Hero award.

Someone remarked to me recently: ‘In every conversation with Prodge, he made you feel as if you were his only friend.’ Of course, he had thousands of friends. But such was his remarkable capacity for making every person he encountered feel special.

Nick Gandon

Wilkinson OBE 1933-2023

Former Governor and Trustee

Bob, born Robert Purdy Wilkinson, grew up in Seaham, County Durham and was head boy at Ryhope Grammar School. He read politics and economics at the University of  Durham, where he met June Palmer. They married in 1957 and celebrated 65 years together.

After graduating, Bob’s national service with the Royal Army Educational Corps took him to Trieste, after which he returned to Durham to study for a diploma in education. He was a teacher, briefly, and subsequently a stockbroker in the City of London. His interest was the enforcement of financial regulations and prevention of insider training, and he was appointed the first inspector of the London Stock Exchange, a position he held until 1984, and subsequently Director of Surveillance. He was key to modernising the London Stock Exchange’s Regulatory News Service (RNS), and instrumental in establishing the Securities and Investments Board, now part of the Financial Conduct Authority. Bob was awarded an OBE in 1990 for his services to the Stock Exchange, and he advised many international governments on financial regulation matters.

Bob became a Governor of Sevenoaks School in 1990 and the Chair from 1999 to 2002; he oversaw significant changes including the switch from A-levels to all Sixth Formers  taking the IB Diploma. He also served as Chair of Trustees of the Sevenoaks School Foundation from its inception in 2004 to 2012. He was a great and longstanding supporter of the school, and three of his grandchildren, Jonty, Jeremy and Laurence, are all Old Sennockians.

Bob had a passion for cricket and could be seen regularly watching school matches at Solefields, and at the Vine Cricket Club – he celebrated 50 years’ membership of the club in 2019. Even when his health deteriorated, we kept him up to date with news of sporting events, especially rugby, football and cricket – he would have been delighted about England’s third-test win over Australia at Headingley!

Bob will be sadly missed by all who knew him, particularly his devoted wife June, daughters Katie and Suki, seven grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

Jonty Warner (OS 2005)

Surya Burathoki 2023

Former Staff

It was with great sadness that we announced the death of our colleague Surya Burathoki in July. Surya joined Sevenoaks School as a Marshal in 2014. He is fondly remembered for his kindness and graciousness, and for greeting everyone with a smile. Surya was a constant source of support when the school faced many challenges during Covid. He quietly battled cancer in recent years, but still joined us back on campus when he felt able. Surya is greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues across the school, particularly the Marshals team. Our thoughts are with Surya’s family.

Robert Bowyer 1947-2022

OS 1965

Born in Cheshire, Robert moved to Petts Wood as a baby. He was educated in Chislehurst and at Sevenoaks School where he enjoyed academic subjects and excelled at sport, in particular running and rugby. He loved mountain walking trips and forming friendships with pupils from different parts of the world.

Rob joined Latham & Co, London as a trainee accountant but realised that this wasn’t the right career for him. Friends persuaded him that he had the qualities to make a good teacher and suggested that he enrol at Trinity College, Carmarthen; there he met his wife Elizabeth.

He taught Maths in Broadstairs and was later appointed to a post in a special school in the Forest of Dean. Five years on he became Head of Special Educational Needs at Milford Haven School. There he rekindled his interest in outdoor activities, leading Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions, later becoming an assessor. He was involved with the National Association for Special Educational Needs and became Pembrokeshire’s SEN Adviser, facilitating the integration of pupils with learning difficulties into mainstream schools. Rob had a particular ability to empathise with pupils who presented challenging behaviour and to enthuse and encourage youngsters of all ages, finding their positive qualities and providing opportunities in which they could flourish.

Rob also served on the local council, becoming Mayor of Fishguard and Goodwick in 1993. He was especially proud to have been involved in the twinning of the towns with Loctudy in Brittany. He worked hard to raise funds for local and national bodies, and lobbied ministers in Cardiff and Westminster on important local issues.

In retirement Rob became a Rotarian and a local supporter of the RNLI. He was an avid newspaper reader, a follower of politics and interested in history. He grew vegetables and enjoyed cooking his produce. He adored travelling and, as a proud European, was passionate about France where he frequently visited his daughter and family. He was also very keen on driving over tortuous mountain passes, eating in Michelin star restaurants and discussing rugby in the local bar wherever he stayed!

His death was a great blow to his family and friends. He cared passionately about others and lived life to the full. He was a proud father to his three children and loved being a grandfather and godfather, always cheerful, positive and greatly loved, admired and respected by all who knew him.

Liz Bowyer

Paul Harrison 1953-2022

Former Staff

I think of Paul, who taught English at Sevenoaks from 1979 until his retirement in 2017, walking towards the station, briefcase, rolled umbrella; that particular smile as he asks a gentle, courteous question; the surprising – no, wholly unsurprising – width of his knowledge: and realise how much the school and his friends owe him, someone who shared so generously of his intellect, humour and kindness. Recalling his time in prelapsarian Kabul, writing of India, talking of the garden at Magdalene, his enthusiasm enveloped one. With the arts also: never conservative in his taste he was nonetheless more an admirer of Borromini than Bauhaus, a reason why at Cambridge, and to the immense benefit of so many future pupils, he switched from Architecture to English Literature. He enjoyed others’ views and interests: you might mention a lesser Edwardian novelist – J Meade Falkner for instance – and he would light up and say he’d just seen a copy in Hall’s Bookshop. To the end he remained open to new pleasures: Fauré’s chamber music or an unfulfilled wish to see the Cambridge exhibition of the treasures of ancient Uzbekistan.

Besides his learning, the backdrop to his life was his family and the lovely flat in Tunbridge Wells that it delighted him to tell you was where Thackeray’s sister had stayed. The elegant bookshelves lining the
corridor he built himself. But sustaining him, especially in his illness, were his wife Louisa and son Thomas: their importance for him would be hard to exaggerate and they were indeed fortunate in each other.

As a teacher he ranged from The Tale of Genji to The Winter’s Tale, a play ‘reserved for especially privileged classes’. He liked to quote Thomas Mann, ‘Only the exhaustive can be truly interesting’ – and it is a rare teacher able to embrace both. Education, teaching, were about opening windows to those things that really matter. As he wrote to me: ‘I’ve always been grateful for attending a school where art and music were taken as seriously as anything else: I remember (one of those “spots of time”) listening to some pieces of Debussy piano music one sunny morning in a Sixth Form class, thinking to myself, “Life can get no better than this: whatever unpleasantnesses may be in the world, this will be there too.”’ As on so many things, how right Paul was.

John Guyatt, Undermaster 1990-2003

Revd John
Robin Keeley

OS 1957

John Robin Keeley, a former Head Boy at Sevenoaks, passed away in Australia. He was an ordained priest, a commissioning editor for Lion Hudson publishing and The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), and a tutor. Robin was a dearly loved husband to Pauline, father to Bridget and Caroline, stepfather to Christa and Zoe, and a lovely grandad and great-grandad. He was a man full of gentleness and compassion, great wit and humour, a good listener and a wise counsellor.

Pauline Keeley

Anthony Lunch 1945-2022

OS 1963

Anthony Lunch was born on 13 February 1945. He learnt to sail, aged 10, at Chipstead Sailing Club, moving on to that hotbed of sailing talent, Sevenoaks School. Of this time, Anthony said: ‘Before long I was a very junior member of the Sevenoaks team and from then on my abilities improved and my love of team racing was fuelled by exciting fixtures and senior boys’ expert tuition. All this culminated in the Public Schools Championships when we were lucky enough to win and bring home a new Firefly to join the school fleet. In all my years of racing, this remains one of the highlights!’

After Sevenoaks, Anthony spent 12 months doing Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) as a teacher in The Gambia, then read Geography at Mansfield College, Oxford to. He became involved in the Oxford University Yacht Club (OUYC), sailing in and winning the Varsity Match in all his three years – the final one as Captain and Vice- Commodore. In his final year, he represented the British Universities in their tour of the United States, where he met Martine. They are reported to have made a dashing couple and their long-lasting union was a constant in the rest of his life.

Anthony joined Unilever as a graduate trainee, then became Managing Director of Phildar UK before his entrepreneurial drive led him to start a number of ventures. In 1990 he founded the Sermathang Project in Nepal to educate hundreds of children in the Helambu area, and built a new school in 1995, and in 2000 he founded the volunteering organisation MondoChallenge, and subsequently the MondoChallenge Foundation.

Anthony returned to OUYC as Commodore in 1979, becoming Vice President in 1985 and President from 2001-18. When he stepped down, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the RYA, presented by Princess Anne.

Our thoughts are with Martine, his children Chris, Nick and Cecilia and their families who have lost a loving husband, father and grandfather.

Nick Lunch

Neil Payton

OS 1992

My younger brother Neil was born in Farnborough, Kent. He attended The New Beacon, where his interest in sport was nurtured. He joined Sevenoaks School in 1987 aged 13 as a member of Grote House. His love of sport flourished throughout his Sevenoaks years. In the Middle School. Neil was a member of the football, cricket and rugby 1st teams, and captain of his rugby team for three years in a row. In the Sixth Form he played for the 1st XI football team, and 1st XV rugby team for two years, becoming vice-captain in his final year. He was also part of the school’s rugby squad for the six-week round-the-world tour with matches in Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand. Outside school, he was a keen golfer and in his final year as a junior golf member at Knole Park Golf Club, he became junior captain.

After studying Economics at university, Neil based himself around London and worked in the City until 2022. He spent as much time as he could with his two sons, Finlay and Theo, and continued playing sport. In 2016 he married Penny and with his two stepdaughters, Amy and Katie, lived in the Shepperton area where he could always be found socialising with friends and family and enjoying life to the full.

Neil died on 29 June 2022 after a very short illness, surrounded by his family, and is greatly missed by all.

Trevor Payton (OS 1990)

Richard Reid

OS 1957

Richard was a renowned urban designer, town planner and architect. He was a member of RIBA and studied architecture at the Northern Polytechnic 1957-63, and later at the Academia Britannica, Rome, as a Rome Scholar in Architecture. He was also a lecturer and external examiner at numerous architectural schools in the UK, Europe and the USA before setting up in practice in 1987.

Richard was born in 1939. He joined Sevenoaks in 1952, first as a boarder at Park Grange, and later Johnsons, during the headships of James Higgs-Walker and Kim Taylor. When he started at Sevenoaks, the Art department was just a classroom in a corner of Park Grange. Big changes came with Kim Taylor and a group of hugely talented and enthusiastic teachers, including Bob White. New facilities were still years away, but the department was relocated above a Manor House garage and the art students helped Bob White to redecorate. Richard later said, ‘He didn’t just put a few colours in our paint boxes, so to speak, but provided the most profound, enthusiastic and inspirational teaching for a class I was so lucky to be a part of.’

Richard, who was known at school as Dick, lived in Sevenoaks all his life and walked home on many Sunday afternoons with his fellow boarders for tea and cakes at his parents’ house. His father, Robert, was a war correspondent who famously broadcast de Gaulle’s entry into Notre Dame during the liberation of Paris for the BBC. After university Richard travelled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East, eschewing cameras in preference for drawing and painting the whole way.

Richard Reid and Associates is best known for its award-winning work at Lower Mill Estate in Cirencester, for the masterplan of Kleinzschocher, Leipzig, and for the masterplan and urban design of the Bertalia-Lazzaretto district of Bologna. They were awarded the prize for the best small house in The Sunday Times British Homes Award 2012. The achievement that gave Richard the most pleasure was the listing of Epping Civic Offices in 2017. The work of the practice has been included in numerous exhibitions at the Royal Academy, the Heinz Gallery, RIBA and the V&A. Richard worked for many years as a planner and urban designer for The Corporation of London and was a Freeman of The City of London.

Richard was married to Thalia and they had two daughters, the elder of whom, Tamasin, also attended Sevenoaks School.

He devoted his life to architecture and wrote and illustrated many books on the subject. He was still drawing right up until his death in November 2022.

Thalia Reid and Gerry Diebel (OS 1976)


OS 1978

Sarah Sackville-West’s father and mother moved into Knole House when she was one, the youngest of five daughters. She went first to Miss Grainger’s in Sevenoaks, and to Walthamstow Hall, then, aged 11, soon after her mother died, she went to Bedales School, where she was well prepared for co-education. After O-levels she was one of the seven brave day girls who joined the Sixth Form at Sevenoaks School, where her father, Lord Sackville, was Chairman of Governors. Sarah was determined to go to Oxford in her father’s footsteps; she was very much helped by Richard Hanson, who encouraged her to read widely in English Literature, and she much enjoyed learning to etch and paint with Bob White in the Art Room.

She went to Oxford to read English; at St Peter’s College she was, again, one of the first girls – an unlikely bluestocking. After Oxford she worked briefly in the City of London and wrote a novel. She moved to publishing, reading manuscripts for the literary agent Tessa Sayle, working for Sidgwick & Jackson, and filling a double-page spread every week as literary editor of the Catholic Herald – all at the same time. Then she discovered Andrew Edmunds and his wonderful shop and restaurant in Soho, and helped him catalogue and sell his 18th century caricatures – she became particularly knowledgeable in Hogarth and Gillray.

Through all her time in London she kept a foothold in The Old Laundry Cottage at Knole, and was very pleased to see friends from Sevenoaks School, and to watch over the next generation. She married Simon Rendall in 1992 and devoted the rest of her time to looking after him and their two boys, Freddy and Edward.

Simon Rendall

Roy Stafford

OS 1945

Roy was born in Beckenham and attended Sevenoaks School from 1942 to 1945. He graduated from Imperial College London with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After National Service with the RAF, he served with the Church Mission Society and moved to Kenya, where he taught Physics at Maseno School. He led a team of Kenyans and Italians to translate the Bible into the Luo language, the second most widely spoken tribal language in Kenya.

He later taught Physics at Ware College, Hertfordshire, before joining the faculty of All Nations Christian College. He travelled widely both teaching and learning with his wife Jan in Africa and Asia at the request of national Christian leaders. Roy was always grateful for the privilege of having been at Sevenoaks and proud of being an Old Sennockian. He passed away peacefully after a long illness at home in Ware.

Jan Stafford

Van Stroud

OS 1974

My brother Jonathan ‘Waffles’ Van Stroud (formerly Stroud) died suddenly on 18 April 2022, aged 66. After leaving Sevenoaks School in 1974, Jon spent a gap year working on the construction of the M25 before hitchhiking around the entire coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. He studied Sociology at York University and qualified as a social worker. Jon spent many years providing emergency out-of-hours support to people in crisis in North London where he lived, as well as overseeing the best interests of children in foster care, many of whom regarded him as a second father.

Jon married Jenny Van Hague, and settled down in Muswell Hill where together they raised three wonderful children, Maisie, Connie and Samuel. When he wasn’t working Jon enjoyed hosting epic dinner parties where he showcased his phenomenal cooking skills, as well as being a master sourdough baker and tending his allotment. Jon also enjoyed travelling to meet up with his children in far-flung places including India, Georgia, Ukraine and Canada. His immediate family, five siblings and his wide circle of friends will forever miss his good company.

Duncan Stroud (OS 1979)

David Brancher 1929-2021

OS 1946

David, or Twig Brancher to fellow Old Sennockians, was in Fenton House during the 1940s and notably took several Gilbert and Sullivan acting and singing leading parts et al under Mr IC Cole’s direction – I was his bridesmaid in Trial by Jury – by then a contralto on the verge of voice-break. David retired fairly early from the British Army to start a second successful career as a university lecturer, latterly at Bristol. After my own Army service, my wife Sonia and I became residents of historic Abergavenny where, by excellent coincidence, David and Pip Brancher also lived, and where David played a leading role in local government affairs. He passed away aged 92 and will be profoundly missed by so many firm and
admiring friends, God bless him.

Brigadier John Skinner (OS 1952)

Walter Cheney 1940-2021

OS 1958

Walter was born in Sevenoaks and a pupil at the school from 1953 to 1958. He then attended the London School of Printing, gaining the Diploma in Printing Administration. He joined the family firm
of Cheney & Sons of Banbury (at the time the oldest family firm in the country, dating back to 1767) and was there for 28 years, where he became a Director and, eventually, Company Secretary. Following
this he was employed for ten years as Secretary to the Trustees of the Oxford Diocese.

Music and fellwalking were Walter’s great loves. He won the School Music Prize and from the age of ten played the cello for 35 years, becoming a member of the Banbury Symphony Orchestra. He was also a keen member of the Banbury Choral Society and their Secretary for over 20 years. In retirement he moved with his wife to
the Yorkshire Dales where he could indulge his love of fellwalking. A new hobby was calligraphy, which linked happily with his
background in printing.

Walter fulfilled several roles in the local church as choir member, PCC Secretary and Steward. He also served the local hospital as a Chaplaincy volunteer for 17 years, where his ministry as a quiet, gentle, courteous man was much appreciated.

Katharine Cheney

Andrew Gunderson 1956-2021

OS 1975

Andrew attended Sevenoaks School during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He spent his formative years in Otford and went to the village primary school. Andrew later moved to Cornwall and lived there with his wife for 36 years. A year ago he underwent brain surgery to remove a tumour. He appeared to have made a good recovery and was starting to play tennis again when he died suddenly at home just days before his 65th birthday. Andrew had announced plans to retire from his work as Head Gardener and Lecturer at Duchy College Rosewarne, Cornwall. His position brought him into contact with several well-known names including HM King Charles. He leaves his wife Alison, children Adam and Rachel, and two grandchildren Oscar and Rosa.

Frank Baldwin

Tony Howcroft 1940-2021

OS 1958

Old Sennockian and sports coach Anthony Russell
Howcroft was born in Gravesend on 29 July 1940.
He attended a local convent school then joined
Sevenoaks School in 1951, moving to the town in the
same year with his parents.
From the very beginning at Sevenoaks, Tony’s passion
for sport was his main sense of direction and he
contributed to the school’s sports programme from
thereon. He had a natural flair for all sports and in
1957 as a 15-year-old represented the 1st XI cricket
team and was awarded his full colours at the end of
his first season.
Tony could have made a mark in club cricket as an
excellent all-rounder, but his contribution to school
athletics and particularly tennis channelled him away
from being a first-class cricketer. With his natural
athleticism and dedication to fitness and strength
training he also found himself in the 1st XV. He was
a mobile flanker (wing forward, we would have said
in those days) with good hands and a sound defence.
After school he ventured into club rugby, was soon
recognised, and represented the 1st XV at Sevenoaks
RFC. The pinnacle of his rugby career was playing
against a London Welsh celebrity side which included
JPR Williams!
Eventually squash and tennis became the centre of
his sporting activity. He qualified as an LTA tennis
coach, acquired a part 3 Squash Rackets Association
coaching certificate and became a member of the
United States Professional Registry UK. He returned
to Sevenoaks School to develop a squash programme,
becoming a dedicated, innovative and well-respected
coach and producing Kent Cup-winning teams.
Academically, Tony never felt that he had achieved
what he could have done at school, but he later
gained additional A-levels, a Postgraduate Diploma in
Recreation and Leisure Practice, a BA in Sociology and
Social Policy and Administration, and a further degree
in History and International Relations, which had
become a consuming interest for him.
After school, travel became a very important part of
Tony’s life, and there were few parts of the world he
did not visit, from the Norwegian Fjords and the Arctic
Circle; Nepal and the Himalayas, as far as Everest
base camp; the USA; the Andes; East Africa, taking in
Kilimanjaro and a visit to his beloved gorillas; South
Africa; Tanzania; Australia; to Israel in a kibbutz, and
Russia – the most significant of them all, as it turned
out, where he met a doctor, Kadriya Agisheva, in
2001. The couple married in 2006 and spent the best
16 years of Tony’s life together. He stepped into a
father’s role quickly and spent many hours supporting
Kadriya’s daughter, Victoria, through her middle school
years and her studies at Tonbridge Grammar School.
Tony was the most unassuming, modest gentleman,
a scholar and a true friend who was respected and
well-liked by everyone.

Peter Hill, former Head of PE and Sport

Paul Kempton 1951-2021

OS 1970

My younger brother Paul was born in North London. The family moved to Sevenoaks in 1953 where he attended St Thomas’ primary school, then Sevenoaks School from 1963 to 1970.

Paul was a member of the athletics and rugby teams and will be remembered as one of the ‘bouncers’ practising three to four hours daily after school in Johnson Hall (then a gym). With James Forder, son of the housemaster of School House, he was a leading light in the squad that won the senior team prize in the Kent Schools Trampoline Championships in 1966, and he was selected to compete for England in the European Schools Championships in Germany later that year.

He originally intended to qualify as a building surveyor, but decided to switch to insurance, joining Pickford, Dawson & Holland, which later merged with Lloyd Thompson and Jardine Matheson, where he met his wife Sally in 1980. Paul lived and breathed insurance, so he and Sally resolved to strike out on their own and set up Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited in 1990, initially with three employees. Based in Sevenoaks, the company quickly expanded thanks to Paul’s broad knowledge of the insurance market and his drive and determination to succeed.

Paul was an innovator with a keen eye for new market opportunities. Probably his biggest commercial success was to move into the new but burgeoning self-build insurance market in 2010. He created the Self Build Zone and Build-Zone insurance brands followed by Build-Zone Survey Services, firmly cementing Sennocke’s leading position in the sector.

He had a huge impact on the many people he met and worked with, and who have fond memories of him. His legacy continues through the company he created, which will undoubtedly continue to live up to the values he instilled in his employees.

Paul was a keen golfer, a member of Wildernesse Golf Club and a great supporter of the Old Sennockians Golf Society, which he represented with distinction for over 30 years in the Grafton Morrish Tournament, held annually on the north Norfolk coast.

He passed away on 24 May 2021 after a short battle with cancer, leaving his wife Sally, three children (two of whom attended Sevenoaks School) and two grandchildren.

Richard Kempton (OS 1966)

Ian Mateer

OS 1966

Ian was a student at Sevenoaks School from 1961 to 1966. The school was especially progressive under the leadership of Kim Taylor, who listened to what pupils wanted. Ian persuaded the school to invest in an old motorbike to be taken apart and rebuilt. This earned him the nickname ‘Motorbike Mateer’, instilling a passion which stayed with him his whole life. Soon after leaving school he trained as a chartered accountant and joined Grindlays Bank, living and
working in Paris, Geneva and London.

Ian married Sharon in 1971, and they had two children, Sarah and Russell. In 2006 he retired to Swanage and became a valued
member of the Coastwatch team and enjoyed country dancing. His main passions were travelling the world and motorcycles. He died peacefully at home on 12 October 2021 and was taken to his funeral in a motorcycle sidecar.

Sharon Mateer

Chief Ladi

OS 1966

Oladipupo, known as Ladi, attended Sevenoaks School from 1965 in the Sixth Form. He went on to University College London to study Law. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1972. In the same year he married his beloved wife Dr Henrietta Maria Williams, a fellow student and the daughter of Chief Louis Orok Edet, the first indigenous Nigerian Inspector General of Police. The marriage was blessed with four children: Rotola, Kunle, Yewande and Mary, and five grandchildren: Ayomide, Ayokunle, Ayoluwa, Thomas Eniola and Henrietta Maete Williams.

Mary Williams (OS 1999)

Jonathan Scotland 1971-2021

OS 1989

After a determined battle with cancer, Jonny passed away at home in East Sussex in October 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He leaves his wife Sonia, their two children Eva and Joe, a large extended family and his many friends from around the world. He will be greatly missed.

Iain Lea (OS 1989)

Peter Sharp

OS 1957

Peter was born Peter Edmund Jefferson and adopted by May and Percy Sharp, from his extended family, at around the age of nine.

He was a boarder in Johnsons, and although he didn’t say much about his academic success, he loved sport, especially cross country running. After leaving school he did National Service with the RAF, which he loved. He went into banking and worked for Barclays, NCR and Facit Addo, after which he set up his own company selling computers and computer supplies.

Peter did not enjoy good health and when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003 he decided to retire in order to enjoy a few years of quality retirement. Alas, this was not to be as his health had deteriorated and he was very poorly. We bought him a golden retriever puppy whom he adored and who brought him so much pleasure. Peter died peacefully at home last year with his family at his side. He received outstanding care from our local surgery and Hospice in the Weald.

Ann Sharp

Dr Debasis Roychoudhury 1950-2020

OS 1968

Dr Debasis Roychoudhury, known as Roy to his friends, was born in Calcutta on 9 June 1950. He went to Calcutta Boys’ School where he took an interest in sport, especially hockey. After passing his Senior Cambridge examinations his parents sent him to Sevenoaks School in 1966 to study A-levels. He was a boarder in the International Centre and learned to adapt to a new environment and culture and played cricket for the school’s 2nd XI.

In 1968 Debasis went to London Hospital Medical College; he graduated with a BSC (Hons) in Biochemistry, and later a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree. During those years he tried his hand at dramatics and joined the Tagoreans, the oldest Bengali cultural organisation in the UK. He played the bangle seller in Tagore’s Chandalika in London and toured with the group in a minibus around Europe. He also joined the university hockey club and won the trophy for the hospital in 1974.

Debasis went on to train in General Practice and gained further qualifications: Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine and Diploma in Cardiology. He spent his working life devoted to his patients. He took time out to serve as Medical Officer in the 1986 Hockey World Cup in London and the 1987 Veterans Tournament in Australia, in which he also played. He continued playing hockey internationally with Havering Hockey Club until 2008.

Debasis enjoyed the simplest pleasures in life. Throughout his life he touched many people with his generosity and kindness.

Debjani Roychoudhury