Eric Aldie Neilson Mercer 1926-2019 (W 40-43)

We are sad to share the news that Eric Aldie Neilson Mercer (W 40-43) passed away peacefully in New Zealand on 17th October 2019 at age 93. He attended Sedbergh during the early part of WWII.

Robert John Tweedale 1927-2019 (SH 41-45)

The OS Club has received the sad news that Robert John Tweedale (SH 41-45) passed away on 22nd December 2019, aged 92.

Lionel Victor Walsh 1930-2019 (SH 44-47)

Lionel Walsh

The OS Club is sad to announce the passing of Lionel Victor Walsh (SH 44-47), who died on 10th October 2019 aged 89. Please see below an obituary from The Baron.

Lionel Walsh, one of the most distinguished foreign correspondents of his generation, died on Tuesday in his native Yorkshire aged 89.

He joined Reuters in 1956 and stayed until 1972 when he moved to the BBC, but returned to Reuters for a second stint until 1981. In the early 1970s he was the first economic affairs editor for Reuters general news service.

President John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in Berlin and the Israeli trial of Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann were among the stories he covered. After a career that had taken him from London to Bonn, Geneva, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Warsaw, he joined the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris to build a new press and public relations department as director of public information.

In 1983 he was appointed head of the press department of the Paris-based International Energy Agency. The young Walsh, ex-national serviceman, amateur boxer and artist, began his career in journalism as a walk-in recruit at the Harrogate Advertiser, deciding on the spot not to join his father’s photographic business.

It was not the first time a newspaper played a significant role in his life. In his online memoirs, Lionel Walsh: My Life and Times, Walsh described how at the age of two he won a nationwide competition organised by the Sunday Dispatch to find “The Bonniest Baby in Britain”, thanks to a photograph sent in by his father. The prize money helped his parents send him to Sedbergh public school.

“My first and perhaps greatest triumph!” he wrote.

Half-paralysed by a stroke in 2004, Walsh was wheelchair-bound.

He retired first to central France and in 2009 moved back to Sheffield to be nearer his son and daughter, Terry and Theresa. Click here for the original notice.

David Brook Sutcliffe 1934-2019 (W 48-53)


We are sad to share the news that David Brook Sutcliffe (W 48-53) died on 11th November 2019, aged 84, after a short illness. Please see below an obituary from The Times.

David Sutcliffe – Liberal Founder of three United World Colleges, one in Wales, one in Italy and one in war-torn Bosnia

In the middle of Mostar, on the boundary between the Serb and the Bosniak districts, was the ruin of a school. Before the Bosnian war, the Mostar Gymnasium had been one of the finest schools in the country. Now the war was over, its reconstruction, like that of the city’s old bridge, had become a symbol of the tentative reconciliation between the county’s feuding tribes.

David Sutcliffe saw an opportunity in this ruin. He had been the headmaster of two United World Colleges (UWC), institutions that instilled a liberal, internationalist and peaceful ethos in their students, and encouraged them to engage in community service. Now he and his colleagues were looking for the site of a third.

UWC Mostar opened in the restored gymnasium in 2006. It was at that time the only school in the country where Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats shared a classroom. Sutcliffe would often select students on the basis not purely of their ability, but also of their lucklessness in life. The school’s financial situation was precarious – every year the staff convened to discuss whether they should accept another group of students.

Managing the logistics of the school in this tense and disordered environment required a dedicated network of supporters. Sutcliffe steadily built up this network to include Kofi Annan, the one-time secretary general of the United Nations. “It is very difficult to succeed here,” Sutcliffe liked to recall a Bosnian politician telling him, “but if you do it is a great victory.”

David Sutcliffe was born in 1934 in London, to Dr Richard and Eileen Sutcliffe. The family had ties to Guernsey, the German occupation of which gave him an early impression of the disruption that war brings. Aged 12, he would cycle around the island with an air rifle strapped to his back; that is, if he was not canoeing on the open sea or climbing the cliffs to reach birds’ nests.

Sutcliffe was educated at Sedbergh, a boarding school in Cumbria, and then St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read French and German. After graduating, he taught for four years at Salem, a school in Germany set up by the educator Kurt Hahn. Hahn’s vision of a holistic curriculum would shape Sutcliffe’s teaching career. At Salem he met his wife, Elizabeth, a fellow teacher there. They married in 1961 and had three children: Michael, who became an executive in the oil and gas industry; Veronica, a GP; and Edward, who worked in the Metropolitan Police and died of a brain tumour in 1993.

Sutcliffe then spent a year at Gordonstoun, the school in Scotland also set up by Hahn and best known for educating Prince Philip and Prince Charles, before assisting Hahn in the founding of Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan, the first of the UWCs. The school is housed in a 12th-century castle. He taught German there and led its first canoe lifeguard unit. The school also an an inshore lifeboat station, which he later managed. Under his direction the students set about trying to improve the rubber boats they used, testing prototypes to destruction. In this way, they designed the first rigid inflatable buoyancy craft, or “Rib”.

The headmaster, Desmond Hoare, sold the patent for the Rib to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for £1, a decision that struck in Sutcliffe’s craw: “We lost an opportunity of funding the college. It would not have occured to Desmond to get a commercial advantage out of it.”

Becoming headmaster of the school in 1969, Sutcliffe set up a summer school for inner-city students and an arts centre for the local community, and vigorously supported the introduction of the International Baccalaureate (IB). In 1976 he convinced the heads of other schools that taught the IB to donate money to prevent the collapse of the qualification. Sutcliffe could be a severe figure of authority when he needed to be. If he was displeased with a member of staff, he would leave a note in their pigeonhole, the deeper his ire, the smaller the piece of paper. Yet he was also magnanimous. Students he had hardly spoken to were often surprised by how much he knew about them. He abided by Hahn’s maxim that, between teachers and students, “respect is not enough, affection is not necessary, what is wanted is trust.”

In 1982 he left his post at Atlantic College to set up UWC Adriatic, a school in Duino, northern Italy, near Trieste. Like the school he would later set up in Mostar, UWC Adriatic was, in its early days, a rickety enterprise – for the first year the students lived and took their lessons in a nearby hotel because the school building was not ready. At a UWC conference in Prague in 2000 Sutcliffe said that “it must become our joint task to take international education not to where it can be afforded, but to where it is urgently needed.”

As his venture in Bosnia shows, Sutcliffe was a man with an appetite for adversity. An avid sailor, in 1976 he had taken a sabbatical to compete in the Observer Single Handed Trans-Atlantic race, in a boat smaller than those of most of the challengers. Ferocious weather beset the race – two people died and 47 of the 125 yachts had to retire or be rescued. Yet among all the violent squalls, Sutcliffe found the time to read War and Peace as well as the entire works of Shakespeare.

David Sutcliffe, teacher, was born on November 26, 1934. He died of prostate cancer on November 11, 2019, aged 84.

Alan William Parkes 1960-2019 (S 74-77)

The OS Club is sad to announce the passing of Alan Parkes (S 74-77), who died in November 2019, in Taiwan, aged 58. Please see below an obituary written by his friend David Culley.

Words such as flamboyant and extrovert could be used to describe Alan Parkes (son of G.H.F.’Bobby’ Parkes) – sadly Alan passed away last week in Taiwan, a country he’d lived in for some 10 years. Alan was born on December 21st 1960, into what could be described as an automotive family. Father Bobby was a director of Small & Parkes, manufacturers of brake and clutch materials – their company subsequently bought by Cape Industries (BBA Mintex). Automotive notables such as Sir William Lyons and Jaguar E-Types were among family friends.

Alan attended Sedbergh School from 1974 until 1977, boarding in Sedgwick House. In 1977 Alan was a member of the house rugby (juniors) team and he also won the coveted Formby Cup at Altcar (a training camp for cadets) for the highest individual score in shooting. He was born to a French mother and has a sister, Julia.

Alan set the chins wagging a couple of times at Morecambe Car Club events when he entered a ‘quarry bash’ in a Metro 6R4, and then an autotest at Halton Camp when his chosen vehicle was a Ferrari! He once upset his father when Alan’s car (registration NUK 1 E) appeared, emblazoned on the Sun newspapers ‘Page 3’ – a partially clothed young lady adorning the bonnet. Alan eventually sold the registration to entertainer Roger DeCourcey. Alan was actively involved with Subaru USA and their Motorsport activities prior to moving to Taiwan where he was heavily involved in race circuit design and Motorsport out there. Alan Parkes, R.I.P.

George Marshall Fish, OBE, JP, DL, FCIOB 1928-2018 (SH 42-46)

We are sad to share the news that George Marshall Fish, OBE (SH 42-46), died on 7th November 2018, aged 90. Please see below an obituary courtesy of John Harlow (H 47-51).

George Marshall Fish was born in Nottingham and went to the Dolphin School in the city and after it was evacuated to Winkburn Hall. He attended Sedbergh School in 1941, entering School House, where he found great success in both high jump (winning in the Junior High Jump in 1943) and cricket, where he was a member of the 2nd XI in 1945 and the 1st XI in his final year in 1946. He loved the fells and became very skilled in water colours and pen and ink drawing. He did his National Service with the Royal Artillery and served in the South Notts Hussars afterwards.

His father had died in Sept 1939 when he was at the Dolphin School but his mother had carried on the business founded in 1840 of Thos Fish & Sons, a very well respected, high quality builders and joinery company. He was extremely well liked by all his workforce. In February 1952 he married his first wife, Jo Lowater.

George had construction and design in his blood and he was always thinking around problems and drawing sketches of a solution. [He built my house in 1968 and his help and advice was vital]. If you ever had a building project in mind George would offer his ideas, which from his perspective were always the right ones. According to his family he could be quite dogmatic and was not easily argued with. William, his eldest son, and Charles, the youngest, joined him in the business, while James the middle son became a Quantity Surveyor with Gleeds.

The business grew and prospered building quality houses, and working for local architects on major buildings. The business was taking on larger projects locally and in the Midlands under his two sons, after he stepped back from control. In 1969 he became a Justice of the Peace for the City of Nottingham and was made the Chairman of the County Magistrates Court Committee in 1984. The city needed a large new Court Complex but the local Councils were not keen to find the money. After two years, a study visit went to the USA to gain ideas for the new court and bridewell. George had his own ideas on design and full-size models were built with help and input from all the agencies to alter the Home Office standard designs and improve the layout for the benefit of both the JP’s but also lawyers, prisoners and the public. He visited well over ten other cities to look at their new courts. He also told the architects how, if they altered their design, it would be easier or cheaper to build. The money he saved was used for superior materials and today they still have years of further life.

The new courts were opened by the Lord Chancellor in 1993. A Royal Visit from HM the Queen followed and his enormous voluntary effort was rewarded with the OBE. He helped with the design and build of new courts at Mansfield and work at other courts in the County. He was Chairman of the Nottingham bench from 1994-96 and made a deputy to the Lord Lieutenant. George lived at the Manor House in Bulcote for 40 years, an avid cricketer with a cricket square in the grounds for the village team. His first wife, Jo, died, and he married an old school friend of hers in 2011, Jean Roberts. He is survived by his three sons and their children and grandchildren.

Robert Christopher Robinson 1930-2019 (H 44-48)

The OS Club has received the sad news that Robert Robinson (H 44-48) passed away in July 2019 at the age of 88.

John Gilfillan Luscombe Robinson 1933-2018 (H 47-51)

The OS Club is sad to announce the passing of John Robinson (H 47-51), younger brother of the above, who died in July 2018 at the age of 84.

Dr John George Coxon 1920-2019 (W 34-38)

Sadly the OS Club has been informed that John Coxon (W 34-38) passed away in July 2019 at the age of 99.

Major Andrew Archibald Steele “Archie” Scott 1918-2019 (S 32-37)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Archie Scott (S 32-37), who died in Inverness on Friday 1st November, aged 101.

‘Archie’ Scott did not look a few months short of 102 and neither did he ever act his age. He climbed his last Munro (Ben More, Mull) at the age of 85. He distilled illicit bottles of whisky at 92 and passed his Advanced Driving Test later the same year – the oldest person in the UK ever to do so. For over a century he walked without a stick, was still fishing at 101 and drove his car up to six weeks before his death on 1st November in Inverness. Throughout his life he ranked his Sedbergh years as among his happiest – excluding the time spent in classrooms! – for nurturing his love of sport and honing his skills.

Known as Andrew till the age of two and ever after as ‘Archie’, he was born in Edinburgh in 1918 with rugby in his genes. His father was the revered JMB Scott – twenty-one caps for Scotland between 1907-1913 – and on his mother’s side was Uncle Fred, FH Turner (S 1903-1907), whose fifteen caps included captaining Scotland five times. (This is the FH Turner who, along with his friend Ronnie Poulton-Palmer, featured so prominently in the school’s recent commemoration of those killed in WW1). Archie entered Sedgwick House in 1932, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Jock, his father and two uncles (the other being Fred’s brother, WS Turner (S 1898-1901), also a noted sportsman, also killed in the war).

Archie Scott Making A Clean Break V Amopleforth Buskholme 1937
Archie Scott Making A Clean Break vs Ampleforth, Buskholme 1937

Fast and nippy on the rugby pitch, Archie played scrum-half or centre with equal ease and was in the first XV for two years. So determined was he to captain the team that he stayed on an extra term for this sole reason, only to find the previous season’s captain had changed his mind and decided to stay on too! Nevertheless he enjoyed the season which culminated in his selection for the Scottish Schoolboys XV. In cricket he excelled with the bat, regularly being top scorer, and applied himself to fielding with rapacious dedication. He always credited the cricket master at the time, JM Coldham, for providing him with a solid foundation on which he was able to develop his techniques. His good eye-hand coordination also served him well as captain of fives and squash.

Had WW2 not intervened he might have had the opportunity to represent his country more often but as it was, he very nearly lost out on his only cricketing cap. One evening in 1946 he received a phone call from the secretary of the Wayfarer’s Cricket Club (Edinburgh) which he knew was about to embark on a lengthy tour of Ireland. He was told he’d been selected to play but he felt he couldn’t ask his employer for more time off and declined. Over lunch the following day he picked up the Evening News and read the names of the Scottish XI chosen to play Ireland in Cork; his was one of them. It transpired that the Wayfarer’s secretary was also the selector of the national side. Too late, he’d turned down his chance to play for his country! After a panicked phone call of explanation – and his replacement magnanimously standing down – he joined the team, hitting three fours (third highest score) in a match that was drawn. He continued playing cricket for minor clubs well into his middle years.

He served as a gunner in WW2 and took part in eleven named battles, narrowly escaping death on two occasions; from shrapnel which killed two companions, and a schu-mine whose lid was only marginally depressed by his foot landing on the hinge. After the war he married and worked for Scottish Malt Distillers (now Diageo) for forty-three years, latterly as a director in charge of Safety and Housing. In his long retirement he enjoyed family, fishing, hill walking and driving. His wife, Anne, predeceased him by four months after sixty-seven years of marriage. Their combined ages came to three months short of 200 years. He is survived by his daughter, Jane, son Alastair (S. 1966-72), grand- and great-grand children. All his life he remained a staunch supporter of Sedbergh and the school appeals.

I can see him yet, on a walk, unaware I’m looking, taking up his stick which he occasionally carried but seldom used other than as now, executing his trademark square cut and dispatching an imaginary ball to a distant boundary; one of the few boundaries he recognised.

Please use this link to read another obituary written by his son, Alastair,

Professor John Barr Cavanagh 1918-2019 (SH 35-38)

We are sad to share the news that John Cavanagh (SH 35-38), professor of applied neurobiology at the Institute of Neurology in London and founding member of the British Neuropathological Society, passed away on 15 October 2019, aged 98. John was an expert in toxicology and had fond and vivid memories of his time at Sedbergh. With a subscription to The Times, his obituary can be read here.

Professor David William Brocklesby 1929-2019 (S 42-46)

Sadly the OS Club has been informed of the passing of Professor David Brocklesby (S 42-46) on 20th September.

Please see below an obituary kindly provided by fellow retired veterinarian, David Weaver (W 44-48), which was written by his daughter, Helen.

David was born in Grimsby on 12 February 1929. After leaving Sedbergh School he did two years of National Service befoer studying veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College, London. He had been inspired to do a veterinary degree by his great uncle Bert who was a vet in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

After graduating he held a Colonial Office studentship for a year, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which was to shape his veterinary career.

In 1955 he joined the East African Veterinary Research Organisation at Mugugua in Kenya, under the British Overseas Aid Scheme as a veterinary research officer, rising to become principal scientific officer.

In Kenya, his work mainly concerned the epidemiology and biology of Theileria parva, the causative agent of East Coast fever of cattle. This resulted in the publication of over 120 scientific papers and, after presenting a thesis on ‘Parasites of the family Theileridae off the African buffalo occurring in East Africa’, he achieved the degree of DrVetMed and was elected to membership of the Royal College of Pathologists. While studying in London, he met Jennifer Hubble, who was at medical school with his sister, Sue. They married in 1957 and Jenny joined him in Africa where they started their family: Sarah, Susan, Richard and Helen. They had a busy life in Kenya and many friendships were made while playing squash on the court he had built, playing tennis tournaments and going on trips to the coat, as well as raising an orphan giraffe called Penelope.

The family returned to the UK in 1966 and, after a short spell as head of the animal health research department of Fisions, he joined the Institute for the Research on Animal Diseases (IRAD) at Compton, Berkshire, and became head of the department of parasitology, continuing his work with tick-borne diseases. He worked primarily on haemoparasites, particularly Babesia bigemina, the cause of redwarter in cattle, and his team discovered Babesia major in British cattle.

In 1978, he left IRAD and moved with his family to Scotland, to become professor of tropical animal health and director of the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (CTVM) at Edinburgh University. Under his stewardship, the standing of the institution as a centre of excellence in teaching and research was upheld. He worked with the Overseas Development Agency and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure funding for the centre. David continued to travel widely, maintaining collaborations with other international institutions, attending conferences and acting as a consultant and examiner. He was chairman of the council of the Royal Commonwealth Society in Scotland and a council member of the RCVS from 1985-1989.

In 1983 he was elected as a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and, in 1984, a fellow of the RCVS. At the CTVM he was known for having to have two waste paper baskets in his office which allowed him to simply extinguish the fires that he creased while lighting his pipe.

In the 1991 New Year’s Honours list, he was delighted to be appointed as a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for his outstanding contribution to veterinary research and education.

Alongside his distinguished career, David was a devoted family man, always there to support his children. He and Jenny were well known for being welcoming and generous hosts to the many friends their children brought home. They retired to the Borders in 1991, enjoying spending time with their children and nine grandchildren, walking their retriever dogs, bird-watching and following local and international rugby.

Sadly, David lost Jenny in 2012 and spent his last years at home in Paxton, where he died peacefully on 20 September 2019.

Anthony Noble Frankland CB, CBE, DFC 1922-2019 (H 36-41)

Noble Frankland at the Imperial War Museum in 1961
Noble Frankland at the Imperial War Museum in 1961

The OS Club has received the sad news that Anthony “Noble” Frankland (H 36-41) CB, CBE, DFC, director of the Imperial War Museum, passed away on October 31st 2019, aged 97. He flew in Lancaster bombers as a navigator in the last war for which bravery he was awarded the DFC.  He went on to write the official history of RAF Bomber Command. He was for many years Director of the Imperial War Museum. His funeral will be held in St Helen’s Church, Abingdon, Oxfordshire on Friday the 22nd November.

Please see below an obituary from The Times.

Visionary director of the Imperial War Museum whose history of the air offensive against Germany became a cause célèbre

In 1966 the Queen visited the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London to open an extension that Noble “Bunny” Frankland, its director, had persuaded the Treasury to fund. Minutes after she and her entourage had passed, a deluge of oil fell on to the red carpet. It came from a reconnaissance aircraft that had, at Frankland’s behest, been hoisted aloft and suspended from the ceiling, without anyone first checking that its engine had been drained. Lesser men would have sunk to the ground, clutching at their heart, but Frankland, a veteran of Bomber Command, was made of stronger stuff. He merely counted his blessings.

His appointment as director arose from fortuitous circumstances. In May 1960, as a 38-year-old deputy director of studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, he had left his Oxford home one morning without the papers he had intended to read on the train. Consequently, he read The Times more thoroughly than usual and saw an advertisement inviting applications for the post. Conscious that his work at Chatham House was reaching its peak, he applied and got the job, against some brawny competition.

At the time the museum offered a rather dispiriting display of wartime memorabilia confined to one building. Frankland knew that as director he would face a formidable struggle to achieve modernisation and to secure the additional government finance that would be needed for an extension of the buildings.

In April 1967 Frankland visited Portsmouth to investigate the acquisition of the six-inch gun turrets of HMS Gambia, a Second World War cruiser. She was a rust bucket waiting to be towed away for scrap, but beyond her, in good condition, lay another cruiser, HMS Belfast, then in use for accommodation, but destined for the same fate.

His initial idea was a joint venture with the National Maritime Museum (NMM) to keep Belfast as a stand-alone museum piece. Sceptics, including the Duke of Edinburgh, pronounced her a rusted hull, but after the NMM pulled out, and after many manoeuvrings through the Whitehall labyrinth, Frankland secured her for the IWM. Just after first light on October 15, 1971 he stood on Belfast’s bridge as she was towed to her prominent place in the Pool of London, where she lies today.

He also turned his attention to finding space for aircraft. Christopher Roads, keeper of the department of records at the museum, discovered Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire, where the Home Office had plans to build a prison. Frankland’s request to park a few historic aircraft in one of the empty hangars led to the establishment in the mid-1970s of Imperial War Museum Duxford, which is now home to almost 200 Allied and enemy aircraft, together with tanks, vehicles and small naval vessels.

At the IWM itself, Frankland went on to transform a moribund and dusty collection of relics from two world wars into a vibrant institution devoted to learning and scholarship. Researchers who have sought material from its archives, students who have sought inspiration and schoolchildren who have gasped in delight at the aircraft suspended from the atrium roof owe their thanks to him.

Frankland’s wish to present the museum and its collections more positively was met by the introduction of special exhibitions. They came about after WP Mayes, keeper of the art department, drew his attention to a closed gallery containing exhibits from the Zeebrugge raid of St George’s Day 1918. The operation to block the German-occupied Belgian port used by U-boats to attack Allied shipping in the Channel had only limited success, but the heroism displayed on that day provided a morale boost after the Ludendorff offensive of March 1918. Frankland made certain that the exhibition featuring the raid was widely covered in the press.

Frankland in 1981 with General Perky, the museum’s mouser
Frankland in 1981 with General Perky, the museum’s mouser

Other exhibitions on his watch included the Foundation of the Royal Flying Corps and Women at War. Exhibitions on Colditz, the Real Dad’s Army and the War Exhibition, opened by the Prince of Wales in 1980, were among the best attended.

At a stroke he had found a way to project the museum on to the national canvas. He also recognised the potential of the IWM film and photographic archives as a means of enlightening the public on how the two world wars had been fought and won. The epic, 26-episode TV documentary The World at War, narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, was a notable example of this.

When Frankland retired from the IWM in 1982 its staff had increased from 70 to 342. The one surprise was that he had resisted an approach by the government to include the Whitehall Cabinet War Rooms in the IWM, questioning their commercial viability. However, not long after his retirement they became part of the museum’s portfolio and were opened by Margaret Thatcher in 1984.

For all his vision on how history could be given popular appeal and its display made commercially viable, Frankland was a rigorous and uncompromising historian, as impatient of ill-informed opinion as he was of those who, as he would put it, did not detain themselves to use precise terminology.

Although charming with a courtesy of the Edwardian era, he was not easy to work under. A casual remark or unsupported opinion would bring a rebuke all the more stinging for the precise but still courteous language in which it was delivered. He used understatement, spoken or written, to powerful effect, memorably describing the tongue-tied Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, whose biography he wrote, as “no conversationalist”.

Anthony Noble Frankland was born in 1922, the son of Edward Frankland of Westmorland. He was educated at Sedbergh and Trinity College, Oxford, where after the war he took an MA in history. He had completed 84 bombing missions as a navigator with RAF Bomber Command in 1943-44 and was awarded the DFC. Later Frankland and Sir Charles Webster wrote the official history of those years, The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany 1939-1945. It was published in 1961 and became something of a cause célèbre.

The argument was whether the human and material costs justified the impact that the campaign had on the defeat of Nazi Germany. Bomber Command lost 47,293 air crew killed or missing in the campaign. German civilian casualties were far greater than those inflicted by the Luftwaffe in Britain but, although seriously damaged, the German war industry struggled on.

Frankland during renovations of the IWM reading room in 1969, after it was damaged in an arson attack
Frankland during renovations of the IWM reading room in 1969, after it was damaged in an arson attack

Frankland had written a dissertation on the effectiveness of the bombing campaign while working in the air historical branch of the Air Ministry. Yet his RAF experience had provided objectivity rather than bias. One night over Munich in 1944 one of the Lancaster air-gunners suggested that he draw his blackout curtain to see what was happening outside. The sky was illuminated by searchlights, flares and anti-aircraft fire over the blazing city below. Appalled, he drew the curtains and concentrated on his charts.

The book’s most prominent critic was Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris, the former air officer commanding-in-chief Bomber Command, who before reading it condemned Webster as a “communist” and Frankland as “a disgruntled navigator”. Webster died around the time the book was published, leaving Frankland alone to face a barrage of criticism, including from distinguished historians who, as he put it, “did not allow their judgment to be impeded by reading the work”. After reading the four-volume history, Harris conceded that it was thoroughly researched, “although it exaggerates our errors and decries our victories”.

In 1944 Frankland had married Diana Tavernor, a German translator at Bletchley Park. Subsequently she became his research assistant. They had a son, Roger, a retired probation officer in Lancaster, and a daughter, Linda, who is a former chief executive of the Faculty of Public Health UK. Diana died in 1981, a year before he left the museum. Despite the loss he kept busy, making plans for new galleries at Lambeth and delivering the Lees Knowles lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge.

In 1982 he retired to his handsome house and garden on the bank of the Isis near Eynsham, Oxfordshire. That year he married Sarah (Sally) Davies, whom he had known since his time at Chatham House, where she was an archivist. She died in 2015 and he is survived by the children of his first marriage and three stepchildren: William Mackesy, a lawyer and artist, Cathy Fleming, a company secretary, and Serena Mackesy, better known as the author Alex Marwood.

Frankland continued to write by working in the royal archives at Windsor on a biography of the Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s son, published in 1993. He was also the author of two novels: The Unseen War (2007) and Belling’s War (2009) and was awarded the Légion d’honneur in 2016 for his involvement in the liberation of France in 1944.

His memorial will be the thriving Imperial War Museum, which he saw as being dedicated not only to the art of war, but also to the evolution of human society.

Noble Frankland, CB, CBE, DFC, director of the Imperial War Museum, was born on July 4, 1922. He died on October 31, 2019, aged 97.

Malcolm Brian Taylor Bromley 1937-2019 (L 50-54)

The OS Club is sad to announce the passing of Malcolm Bromley (L 50-54), who died in January 2019 aged 81.

Dieter Pevsner 1932-2019 (S 46-49)

The OS Club has received the sad news that Dietrich Pevsner (S 46-49), one of a small group of idealists who made up the editorial team at Penguin Books, passed away in October, aged 87. Please see below an obituary written by his son, or click here for the original article from The Guardian.

My father, Dieter Pevsner, who has died aged 87, was one of a small group of idealists who made up the editorial team at Penguin Books in the late 1950s and 60s and were instrumental in establishing the wide range of affordable literature that we all take for granted today.

Dieter was editorial director in charge of Penguin’s blue-spined non-fiction Pelican editions, as well as its Special Series and Penguin Education books. He was given considerable freedom to commission works by the Penguin founder, Allen Lane, and among the notable titles he nurtured were the paperback edition of EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1968) and the controversial Risinghill – Death of a Comprehensive School (1968), by Leila Berg.

Born in Leipzig, Germany, Dieter was the younger son of the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and his wife, Karola (nee Kurlbaum). Of Jewish heritage, he came to settle in Britain with his family in 1936, but happened to be on holiday in Germany in 1939 as the second world war broke out. He and his brother, Tom, were smuggled by a family friend from the Rhineland to Denmark, where they managed to get on to the last freighter going to the UK, enduring five days of seasickness in the North Sea before reaching the safe haven of Grimsby.

Risinghill: Death of a Comprehensive School by Leila Berg, 1968, was one of the controversial titles published by the Penguin team. He was a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral prep school in Oxford before going to Sedbergh school in Cumbria and then taking a modern languages degree at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1950. It was there that he met Florence (nee Tate), his wife of more than 60 years.

In 1972 Dieter left Penguin Books, together with his close colleague Oliver Caldecott, to found Wildwood House, a publisher with an eclectic list that included JP Donleavy and Studs Terkel. Wildwood also introduced Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury cartoon strips to the UK by publishing The People’s Doonesbury in 1981, and acted as an early distribution outlet for Virago, the feminist publishing house.

In 1986 he embarked on the last phase of his publishing career, as director of the Nuffield Maths and Science Curriculum Trust, a role he loved for its intimacy and its opportunity to collaborate with teachers and the wider educational establishment.

On retirement in 1993 he indulged his interests in walking, travel, music and singing. He was chairman of the Schubert Institute UK and an active member (and onetime chairman) of the Highgate Choral Society for more than 30 years.

He is survived by Florence, their three children, Mark, Steve and Ruth, and three grandchildren, Roland, Beth and Ava.

Gerald Douglas Henderson Smith 1928-2019 (H 43-47)

The OS Club has received the sad news that Gerald Smith (H 43-47) passed away in September, aged 90.

Clive James Forgie Turner 1936-2019 (E 50-54)

Sadly the OS Club has been informed that Clive Turner (E 50-54) has passed away at the age of 83. Please see the following edited eulogy from brother-in-law Robert Blayney, with additional Sedbergh information provided by lifelong friend Sir David Kelly, CBE (SH 50-55).

Clive was born on September 16th 1936 in Calcutta, where his father was working with James Finlay & Co. Glasgow. The family was unable to return to Britain until the war ended, when Jim Turner bought a farm in Kirkcudbright and became a dairy farmer. The Turner family had strong connections with Sedbergh School. His father Jim Turner (J.F.A.Turner) (E 1923-1928) had gained his Rugby Colours in 1927 and grandfather, George Turner (E 1887-1892), had captained the rugby XV in 1891. Thus, Clive became the third-generation Turner at Sedbergh in 1950. He was Head of School and in the rugby 1st XV during his last year, 1954. The Sedberghian of December 1954 notes, “We have to congratulate…the Head of School C. J. F. Turner on achieving his 1st XV Colours – without which he would hardly have been fit company for either his father, who gained his Colours in 1927, or his grandfather, who captained the XV in 1891.”

It was during this time that Clive played on the same 1st XV as Tony Hudson (E 50-55), with whom he shared a great friendship which lasted throughout his life. Indeed, all his life, Clive had a strong bond with the school, even remembering the words of school songs by heart.

In 1955 he started National Service in the Navy. This was unusual – for an OS not to be commissioned in the Army during National Service – but also to achieve a commission in the Royal Navy was even less usual and harder to achieve, signifying great quality. Afterwards, Clive entered St.John’s College, Cambridge in September 1957, as he turned 21. Sir David Kelly notes, “The record of Heads of School shows: C J F Turner (E 50-54), followed by A C Hogarth (W 49-55), followed by D R C Kelly (SH 50-55) and then J A Walker (SH 50-55). Later all four of us overlapped at St John’s, Cambridge, when the total number of Sedberghians at Cambridge was some 30 or 40. The links between St John’s in particular going back to Roger Lupton, whose crest is in one of the stained glass windows in the Hall, were very strong in those days (and it has to be said competition for places was much less). We were all very privileged and fortunate.”

Expecting to follow his family’s long connection with land management as a career, Clive’s plans changed suddenly and positively when he met Jill Matthews from South Africa during a skiing holiday from Cambridge. While still at St.John’s he became engaged to Jill, and in October 1960 when he was just 24, they were married in Johannesburg where they made their home.

Clive’s first job was with Anglo American, before moving to Central Mining Investment Corp in 1963. His big move came in 1968 when he joined UAL Merchant Bank which had recently been launched by Anglo American as South Africa’s first merchant bank. In 1974 he became a general manager, and in 1984 he was appointed an executive director of UAL. In 1988 he spearheaded UAL’s greater emphasis on their unit trust operations and in the early 1990’s he was elected Chairman of the South African Association of Unit Trusts.

He made golf and sailing his main leisure interests though he was a skilled hand at fly fishing. He is survived by his wife, Jill, and their three children and seven grandchildren. His memorial service was held on October 4th in the same church in Johannesburg where he and Jill were wed.

Michael Longhurst 1945-2019 (W 58-63)

The OS Club is sad to announce the passing of Michael Longhurst (W 58-63), who died aged 74 in France on 26th September. Iain Macmillan (W 1953-58) caught up with Michael in Cognac about 10 years ago. Michael went to France straight after leaving Sedbergh and worked in the Bordeaux wine trade. Subsequently he joined Hennessy, the French brandy distiller based in Cognac, and latterly had responsibility for much of their export business. Iain was in his last term at Sedbergh (Winter 1958) when Michael arrived and was very touched when Michael recalled that, as Head of House, Iain had been good to him when he was a new boy. He told Iain that he had had to make his own way up to Sedbergh by train from the South of England – never having been there before. Quite a daunting prospect for a boy of 13.

David Alban, Former Member of Staff (1952-1976) and Honorary OS

Lesley Alban and family would like to inform the OS community that former member of staff, parent and Honorary OS, David Alban, sadly passed away at home on Wednesday 18th September, aged 92. Please click this link to read an obituary written by his son, Mike Alban (P 80-85), as well as a timeline of David’s years at Sedbergh School from 1952-1977.


* Names in gold indicate an obituary link.

First Name(s)SurnameHouseat SedberghDate
Robert JohnTweedaleSchool House1941-1945December 2019
David BrookSutcliffeWinder1948-1953November 2019
Alan WilliamParkesSedgwick1974-1977November 2019
(Maj.) Andrew Archibald Steele "Archie"ScottSedgwick1932-1937November 2019
David RobertGreenwoodHart1958-1963November 2019
Eric Aldie NeilsonMercerWinder1940-1943October 2019
Lionel VictorWalshSchool House1944-1947October 2019
(Prof.) John BarrCavanaghSchool House1935-1938October 2019
Anthony NobleFrankland (CB, CBE, DFC)Hart1936-1941October 2019
DieterPevsnerSedgwick1946-1949October 2019
Gerald Douglas HendersonSmithHart1943-1947September 2019
(Prof.) David WilliamBrocklesbySedgwick1942-1946September 2019
Clive James ForgieTurnerEvans1950-1954September 2019
MichaelLonghurstWinder1958-1963September 2019
DavidAlbanFormer Lupton Housemaster (67-76) and Member of Staff1952-1976 (Staff)September 2019
Anthony "Graeme" De BraceyMarrs (MBE)Honorary OS1939-2019 (Honorary OS)August 2019
Robert ChristopherRobinsonHart1944-1948July 2019
Victor Derek "Vic"OldfieldLupton1939-1943July 2019
Alastair JohnTurnbullSedgwick1955-1960July 2019
Jonathon James Charlton "Jon"HardeySedgwick1963-1968July 2019
(Dr) John GeorgeCoxonWinder1934-1938July 2019
Benjamin WilliamBennettHart1942-1944June 2019
(Dr) Geoffrey William Syme "Geoff"BurgessHart1956-1960May 2019
SheilaDonaldWidow of David Donald (OS) -
Former Headmaster of Cressbrook School (49-76)
(David Donald)
May 2019
Frederick Wilson "Freddie"HoultSchool House1951-1955May 2019
Richard AnthonyHuckSedgwick1973-1978April 2019
Roger Martin BrowneHollinsheadPowell1959-1964April 2019
David HunterO'BrienHart1945-1951April 2019
Thomas Edward "Ted"RichardsonEvans1941-1945April 2019
David ArthurGilliatPowell1948-1953March 2019
John HampdenHyattSedgwick1941-1946March 2019
Ian DouglasSangwinHart1954-1958February 2019
Michael TheodoreBroadbentSchool House1967-1972February 2019
Donald BarrettMackaySedgwick1948-1953February 2019
DouglasEynonSedgwick1949-1953February 2019
Peter EdwardRickittEvans1960-1964January 2019
Malcolm Brian TaylorBromleyLupton1950-1954January 2019
Robert James "Bob"SykesEvans1947-1950December 2018
George William "Bill"FrankEvans1944-1948December 2018
(Dr) Walter GrahamMathewsSchool House1943-1947December 2018
(The Rev) Peter J DAllenFormer Teacher, Chaplain, and Second Master1987-1993December 2018
Richard HughThomasFormer Physics Master1967-2002December 2018
George MarshallFish (OBE)School House1942-1946November 2018
Peter MylesHutchinsonHart1951-1955November 2018
Edward Stuart "Zeke"SmithEvans1946-1950November 2018
James RobertBruce-LockhartSchool House1954-1959November 2018
David GoodmanBlanchePowell1947-1951October 2018
(The Rev) David RoyHolmesLupton1947-1952September 2018
Charles GraemeWatherstonSedgwick1949-1953September 2018
(The Rev) James Henry "Jim"SmithSchool House1946-1950September 2018
John BlackburnTalbotWinder1940-1943September 2018
William Fawcett "Billy"BanksHart1942-1946September 2018
Neil MelvinMackayLupton1940-1945September 2018
Graham HurndallSmithHart1949-1952August 2018
Samuel John WilloughbyBarkerEvans1993-2000August 2018
William Lewis RobertsonScottEvans1949-1953August 2018
(Sir) Henry Arthur HughCortazziSedgwick1936-1941August 2018
Michael IanGriersonLupton1957-1963July 2018
Peter DonaldMcQueenEvans1951-1956July 2018
James AlexanderRobertsonSedgwick1948-1952July 2018
John Gilfillan LuscombeRobinsonHart1947-1951July 2018
Andrew SnowdenHartonEvans1963-1969June 2018
Richard JohnRossiterWinder1948-1953May 2018
Stephen Herbert KayButcherWinder1942-1947May 2018
Timothy Wace "Tim"RobertsLupton1951-1956April 2018
David FrancisBarkerWinder1936-1940April 2018
Peter MorleyYorkePowell1952-1957April 2018
(Prof) Robin StuartSharpWinder1950-1954April 2018
Stuart RobertPatonHart1977-1982March 2018
(Prof) Robert Cairns BrownAitkenWinder1947-1951March 2018
Christopher KennethMylneSedgwick1940-1945March 2018
Geoffrey RichardHagueSedgwick1939-1944March 2018
Dudley Charles DowslandMooreLupton1955-1959March 2018
(Sir) John ArchibaldFordSchool House1935-1939February 2018
John ReedHindmarshPowell1958-1963February 2018
John DouglasHileyLupton1953-1958January 2018
Hugh FrederickLockhart-BallEvans1961-1966December 2017
John François de WerdtDuvoisinEvans1949-1953January 2018
James EdwardSugden (OBE)Hart1960-1964December 2017
GrahamShepherdSedgwick1942-1946December 2017
Anthony MartinRussellHart1947-1952December 2017
Colin PatrickCrabbieLupton1960-65December 2017
Victor H BrookeDowseFormer Schoolmaster and Lupton Housemaster1963-2000November 2017
Peter Graham CarletonTaylorPowell1967-1971November 2017
Anthony NorburnCravenSedgwick1937-1941November 2017
Michael LindopBottomleyWinder1938-1943November 2017
David Graeme SalvesenMacmillanWinder1949-1953October 2017
Kenneth JohnMcCrackenSedgwick1952-1957October 2017
Stephen AllinsonJayHart1940-1943October 2017
Michael RoydenRichardsEvans1944-1948October 2017
(Prof) Henry KennethWhiteWinder1938-1941October 2017
George BNewbyWinder1956-1959October 2017
Nigel AnthonyHurstLupton1974-1978October 2017
Ian Harold MRobinsonPowell1938-1941September 2017
Patrick EdmundJollyLupton1978-1983September 2017
Leslie "Les"FletcherFormer School Lab Technician1965-1996August 2017
Robert EdwardHodgesSchool House1979-1986August 2017
Alastair JohnBreckenridgeSedgwick1955-1960July 2017
Richard Woosnam Ward "Dickie"DaweFormer Winder House Tutor1954-1963July 2017
David McNabBertramEvans1947-1951July 2017
Christopher Graham "Chris"WellsEvans1960-1965June 2017
(Prof) John SeymourConwaySchool House1943-1948June 2017
Hugh HighleySugdenSchool House1962-1966June 2017
William Henry RaymondMeageenSchool House1950-1955May 2017
Philip Angus NewhamRobothamHart1979-1984May 2017
Jeremy Frank CollingeFisherSchool House1944-1949May 2017
N Peter C PMeadowsFormer Winder Housemaster1959-1990April 2017
(Dr) Frederic SalkeldPlumptonPowell1946-1951March 2017
David MichaelBehrendSedgwick1941-1945March 2017
Richard "Rick" DavidAbbottLupton1968-1973March 2017
Peter RodneyHydeHart1957-1962March 2017
(Dr) Roger JamesMawbySedgwick1952-1957February 2017
Richard DrummondHardwickPowell 1955-1960February 2017
(The Rt Hon The Lord) David CharlesWaddington (PC)Winder1944-1947February 2017
Garth RogerNicholasHart1944-1949February 2017
Peter WalterPhillipsSedgwick1947-1952February 2017
Noel WilfridBerrySchool House1955-1960February 2017
William EdwardGreenhalghPowell1945-1949February 2017
(Sir) ChristopherBlandLupton1951-1956February 2017
Peter MichaelPoole (CBE, TD, JP, DL)Lupton1943-1946February 2017
Colin JamesSherwoodPowell1949-1952February 2017
John AlexanderGossipSchool House1944-1949December 2016
Andrew PhilipBradshawWinder1968-1973December 2016
Florian LouisDeVitoSedgwick2008-2010November 2016
Michael JamesWilsonPowell1957-1962November 2016
Paul JamesPageLupton1978-1983November 2016
Peter LowsonAddisonSchool House1945-1949October 2016
Timothy CharlesMilesonSedgwick1996-2003October 2016
(Dr) Samuel KribbYoungHart1941-1945October 2016
John RichardThompsonHart1949-1954October 2016
Ewan Douglas DavidBellWinder1951-1956October 2016
Michael RobinFowlerHart1949-1952July 2016
Robert PaulLester (MBE)Winder1930-1936July 2016
(Dr) Timothy MartinVentersSchool House1958-1963June 2016
Neil PollockMageeLupton1957-1961April 2016
(Sir) John SetonCasselsLupton1942-1946March 2016