Summer 2013 - News









THIS is it –the new style REVIEW; - I hope you find the Website to your liking and easy “to navigate” and I am, of course, open to suggestions as to how it can be improved. There are some advantages to this form of communication. I have been able to include a school history, a section on Trivia and some interesting OBs. The photo gallery will no doubt grow but there are limitations because of cost and time.  Then there are the charities which have a close association to Beaumont and links to St John’s and Jerry Hawthorne’s Blog – we are on our way.

 I am hoping to update THE REVIEW four times a year with editions Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and back numbers will be placed in “The Library”. Obituaries, which like global warming, are on the increase, I have put in a separate section. There is a “Last updated Box” on the Home Page and a Notice board for anything of immediate importance the Committee would like to draw to your attention. If needs be, I will E-Mail you on matters of urgency.


THE REVIEW is available in PDF for those who wish to print a hard copy - Click here to download PDF version of this page.





GUY with Lavinia and Charlie.


When is the right time to go? When to leave to pursue other interests and hand over the reins, Cash in that annuity and take to the hills? Knowing when to leave is one of the great wisdoms of life and one of the hardest to get right. The problem is that you only know you have left the party too soon when you have actually left the party too soon. If the decision is taken wisely then whatever ones personal feelings, it is admirable seeing someone saying “OK, I’m done here”, especially when they hand over an organisation, which by rationale should have been on its last legs but has in fact strengthened- such as the BU. Guy gave us fair warning a couple of years ago that he, in his words like Miss Jean Brodie, was “Past his Prime”. The problem was that understandably no one wanted the responsibility of maintaining such a standard, and I, like the rest of you, didn’t volunteer. Well, rather like Halford Hewitt at Deal Golf Club “I was pounced on” and so find myself writing these words on your behalf.


John Flood wrote to Guy after a lunch and on getting home at half midnight; -


Gratias Agimus Tibi


“Having got home, having taken delivery from you of five boxes of your latest tireless effort, I read from cover to cover your last and truly superb Beaumont Review and with a tinge of sadness that this is your last.


The BU is hugely indebted to you for its exceptional success as a union and those who continue to celebrate and live the spirit of Beaumont. Firstly, your outstanding generosity of both time and finance, coupled with your undoubted talent in the production of so many fantastic Newsletters and Reviews. Secondly, the heart breaking closure of Beaumont 46 years ago. You have centred upon this positively, considering it could not have been more destructive of what had been so important to us. You have ensured that The Union has bound its old boys together in an ever more intense way, for which you have a substantial personal responsibility, respected by many whose Alma Maters continue to thrive. As Fr Alastair Russell put it in his article in The Tablet “The Spirit of Beaumont” in 1965 – “ Something rather wonderful  was being made to die”.


How right you were to elevate the title of your publication from mere newsletters to “Beaumont Review” in succession to those that bore that name. I have just removed the “!” for fear of being labelled by you as a Lady’s maid writing to a young man.


How can the BU adequately reward you for all your time, dough and titanic efforts on our behalf? – It will undoubtedly be in the minds of many of your readers. In the meantime, I record a personal and heartfelt “Thank You” for your being instrumental in sustaining the Spirit of Beaumont for the tremendous enjoyment of those who have in common their passage of time together at Beaumont, and as continuing members of The Union.


Editor; there is of course retirement and RETIREMENT – Guy can console himself that he is not Frankel,  now retired at the age of five and as the world’s finest stud will be expected to perform 130 times a year. But then perhaps one is in the wrong business, what can he spend the money on and will he ever be allowed to say “enough is enough”.





Well, I am not going to bore you with my life’s story and I will keep it as brief as possible. I came up to Beaumont in 1957 from St John’s with my twin brother Richard. We were following in the footsteps of our elder siblings Mike (53) and Chris (54). I also had various Outred and Tolhurst cousins and my uncles had first come to Old Windsor just after the Great War.

I cannot say that my time at Beaumont was a great success either from my point of view or that of my masters. I was in the B stream and excelled only at history, a subject the Js would not allow me to study at A level.- I was made to do French ( I had failed the O level), English and Geography. I was “thrown off” the French course, failed English and was left only with Geography. I wished to go into the army and I managed my entry to Sandhurst by being tutored for the Civil Service Exam by Pip Hinds who was Captain of the School that year. This was arranged by Fr Smalley – the only J with whom I seemed to have some empathy. Sport wise – I was dropped from the First XV half way through the season and likewise was demoted from the Trial VIII for lack of commitment – my interest was in horses which were not on the Curriculum. I was not on easy terms with the Rector - Fr Costigan. Beaumont had taught me that unless you showed academic or possibly conventional sporting prowess you were on your own – a hard lesson but a good one. Something though about the place must have rubbed off on me as I registered my racing colours in those of the school at Weatherby’s.


RAW%20006 rw5
       The Jockey          The Soldier



I had a marvellous Military career firstly with the Eleventh Hussars and on amalgamation with The Royal Hussars – (I lost my Regiment and Alma Mater). I held a trainer and amateur jockeys permits, played and then ran the Army Polo Association and was Chief Instructor of the Forces Pony Club and ran the communications for the Badminton Horse Trials. For the benefit of the tax payer I served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and despite having no background in science became the Army’s expert on Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare. In between times, I married Annie a “Girl in Pearls” as they say in Country Life and one in a million.


honor%20bapt%20030 website%20041



 Denied substantive promotion – The Military Secretary considered I had spent too much time at the stables, I resigned and retired and went to live in S W France at the early age of 42 with my young wife and two daughters. For almost 25 years, I indulged myself restoring an old mill, painting, writing and inevitably riding both hunting and Competitive Carriage Driving (think Prince Philip).- I was even invited by the French to compete with them at Royal Windsor. (And yes; I do now speak passable French)


For many years, I thought the BU had perished and it was with mild surprise that a Newsletter found its way to me in France and it struck a chord, and that combined with meeting French people who had Beaumont connections further awakened my interest. My love of both social and military history took over and I started researching into those who had been to Old Windsor. It was fascinating that so small a school had produced such influential people in their own field throughout the World – hence the two Runnymede Books that has been a way of raising sum funds for HCPT and the last one for The Union itself.


Finally some of you have found my E-Mail address a bit odd – perhaps this cartoon goes a little way to explaining it: -



My Team of Norman Cobs  - The Snobcobs

 (I think they must have just spotted Mike Bedford)


THE WAY AHEAD.  ( Sorry, if it sounds like another Government initiative)  


I count myself lucky that I can offer a different style of Editorship by adopting the World Wide Web to keep us all in touch – I accept it may not suit everyone and I, like most of you, will miss that envelope arriving in the Post with all the “Gis-Gos” together with Guy’s well chosen even - handed words by way of Editorial. I stress that this Site is not a personal Blog and its success depends on your input and news. I appreciate that as we all get older we seem to be doing less, achieving little and then promptly forgetting what it was in the first place.  

Rather like the move from The Dinner to The Lunch, it has come about by force if circumstance. The Union has no subscription and we have been extremely fortunate in recent times to have had the sponsorship of Alan Day and Mercedes-Benz and then through Guy and on his retirement out of his own personal pocket. One or two others have also been particularly generous in their time, work and expense for the benefit of the remainder. However, this cannot continue. Publishing and postage is expensive – I am certain I don’t have to tell you that; I am concerned about those who do not have access to the internet as it is important to keep them informed like anyone else. For the first time since 1998 I am asking everyone for a small voluntary donation. Details further on






In Guy’s final Review SPRING 2013, he mentions that Patrick Burgess (63) is currently serving as High Sheriff of West Sussex and as such is the Sovereign’s judicial representative. Although now a mainly ceremonial role, I for one will be on my best behaviour around the county for the next twelve months. In recent times, Gerard de Lisle (58) was High Sheriff of Leicestershire 1989 following in the footsteps of several members of his family. – Have you a photo Gerald?


Patrick is not the only one “to turn out in best bib and tucker” this year as Tim Fitzgerald O’Connor (60) is serving as Master of his  Livery Company – The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers. For the historians, the Company was incorporated in 1493 and received their charter in 1693 and was formed for the craftsmen involved in the embroidery of banners, badges, regalia and uniforms. Although they still promote their craft, like most of the City Livery Companies, they support many charities throughout the UK. As Master, Tim’s nominated charities for this year are The Felix Fund for the families and experts working in Bomb Disposal and the S W Scotland Rest & Recuperation Centre for injured soldiers. Two really worthwhile causes. Perhaps I might remind you that Michael Clinton (36) was awarded the George Medal & Bar during WW2 for bomb disposal. Tony Crouch (39) was another expert in this field; see OBITURIES.

 Patrick Burgess has already served as Master of his Company - The Feltmakers. I cannot help but think “been there, done that and got the T-shirt”.




While on the subject of appointments Peter Drummond-Murray of Mastrick has I believe recently retired as Slains Pursuivant of Arms as such he was the private officer of arms of the Chief of the Clan of Hay – the Earl of Erroll, Lord High Constable of Scotland.


This is not a beauty contest but I am sure you would like to see the trio in all their finery.


burgess tim
Patrick Burgess Anda and Tim Fitzgerald O’Connor






Peter Drummond-Murray





His Honour Judge Michael O’Sullivan (60)


His Honour Judge O’Sullivan  was Called to the Bar in 1970. He was appointed as an Assistant Recorder in 1991, as a Recorder in 1995, and as a Circuit Judge in 2004. He became a Judge by Request of the 1st Tier Health Education and Social Care Chamber in 2009 and a Parole Board Member in 2010.


Michael retired in February on his 70th birthday after nine years on the Canterbury Bench. By all accounts he will be remembered as the rugby loving lawyer – he is still president of the Folkestone Club having played, coached and refereed and is passionate for the game. His reputation was as an avuncular but firm judge known for his charm and terrific sense of humour. He needed it, when he had to appear after his wig suffered near terminal damage in the washing machine before being set upon by his dog. He also cherishes the Paper headline “Judge tells pervert he may dress as a woman”. When in Ireland with a fellow Judge they got themselves involved in an affray beside a Dublin Canal  - they were attacked by some cantankerous Canada Geese. There was a saying  at the Crown Court that “First aid, accidents, Michael O’sullivan and disaster are never far apart”. Michael is going to be sadly missed “ A great man at the Bar, a great supporter of the Bar but most of all for his laughter”.


The BU send Michael our very best Wishes.





Jean Vanier (37) to Receive the Pacem in Terris

Peace and  Freedom Award


For the first time in its history the US-based award is being taken overseas, to France, where Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport, Iowa, will present the award to Vanier in the village where he founded L’Arche in 1964.


The award honours Pope John XXIII and commemorates his 1963 encyclical letter Pacem in Terris (“Peace on Earth”). Previous award recipients include John F Kennedy (posthumously), the Rev Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Cesar Chavez, Sister Helen Prejean and Lech Walesa.


“As [the late] Bishop Gerald O’Keefe said, ‘We don’t honour them, they honour us,’” said Mgr Marvin Mottet, a founder and recipient of the award established in 1964 by the Davenport Catholic Interracial Council.


A celebration will be held at August 25 at St Ambrose University in Davenport to honour Vanier and L’Arche, which has a community in Clinton called The Arch. Bishop Amos, who spent an evening with The Arch community, plans to participate in the celebration along with Clinton and US L’Arche members.

“Giving Jean Vanier the peace award draws attention to our efforts in L’Arche to live in peace,” said Franciscan Sister Maria Zeimen, interim community leader of The Arch. “Part of the mission of L’Arche is to work together toward a more human society. We try to do that in L’Arche by living together as brothers and sisters.


“No matter how different we are in age, gender, religion, nationality, intellectually or socially, we recognize the unique value of each person and that we have need for one another. Since we have 140 L’Arche communities around the world, we give witness to that worldwide.”


Vanier, who no longer travels overseas, believes it is important that a ceremony be held in the United States where L’Arche feels honoured by the award. It isn’t about him, but about the vision of L’Arche, which is being lived out in so many countries and particularly in the United States, a representative of Vanier said in an email.


“We in L’Arche in the United States are so grateful to hear that Jean Vanier has been named for this honour,” said Joan Mahler, who leads L’Arche USA. “Jean has devoted his life to peacemaking. In his many books and talks – and more importantly, in how he lives his life each day – Jean teaches us that our fragilities and weaknesses can be pathways to peace when acknowledged and shared with loving compassion.”


L’Arche was born of Vanier’s desire to do good for people with disabilities, but in sharing life with them he discovered how much they enriched his life.


“The desire to live together, not as ‘educators’ and people with disabilities, but as sharers in a life of communion, highlighted by contrast the great gulf more often fixed in our divided world between the strong and the weak, the powerful and the vulnerable, the clever and the disabled, between those with a voice in human affairs and those with none,” wrote Vanier’s biographer, Kathryn Spink, in The Miracle, The Message, The Story.


The Canadian, who gave up a promising career as a naval officer, considered the priesthood and then a career as a university professor, found his true vocation at L’Arche. Described as a gifted retreat leader and speaker who recognised his own failings and weaknesses, Vanier inspired countless individuals worldwide to embrace L’Arche and to bring it to fruition in 40 different countries.


Vanier, still lectures almost daily in retirement and continues to lead retreats and train young assistants, said Dan Ebener, director of stewardship and planning at the Diocese of Davenport. Kent Ferris, diocesan social action director, said: “Pacem in Terris Award recipients always seem to have relevancy for the year they are honoured.


“Maybe during this Year of Faith, this is our reminder to love gently.”


Catholic Herald 21 June.







Philip Tolhurst


Many of us are not quite as active as we were, so it is good to hear that some still excel or remain at the top of their sport. After many, many years I met again my cousin Philip Tolhurst (67) at a big birthday party for Peter MacNally (the only cousins that went to Stonyhurst).

Philip is of course part of a very large OB clan and the brother of the late Wilfred (62) tragically killed a few years ago sailing in the Regates Royales off Cannes in 2008.

 Philip has sailed nationally and internationally with his boats all named Warlord in the big Farr 40 class and is one of the country’s leading helmsmen. His sailing interest led him to be chairman of the board of trustees for Raleigh International and he was deputy chairman for the British America’s Cup challenge. He is a member of The Royal Yacht Squadron and president of the Royal Burnham and his latest accolade is chairman of the International Sailing Federation; the sport’s governing body which provides the rules and regulations for all competitions including the Olympic Games.


Philip is still senior partner of Tolhurst Fisher Solicitors. (Editor- At least I’m not the only one where sport has played such an important part in ones life)






Living close to Midhurst, I find myself in the Polo Mecca and although I am no longer active in the game, I enjoy watching matches at the highest level. We still of course have Henry Stevens (58) very much involved on both sides of the Atlantic and I came across his Web page which I thought you would find of interest; -



How are you connected to polo?    Umpire

What’s the name of your home polo Club?  Cowdray Park and Gulf Stream Florida

What’s the highest handicap you have achieved?   3

What’s your preferred position?     2

Where’s your favourite polo destination?     Gstaad

What’s your favourite polo book?       Polo

What’s the secret to improving your game?     Practice.

Where do you work?       UK, Europe, USA.

What other interests do you have aside from polo?    Rugby.




I don’t know about the Rugby but I can see why Henry is attracted to Polo


Guy said that one of the aspects he enjoyed most  of being the editor was that he was in contact with people from all around the world and I have recently been in E-Mail communication with John ”Juan” Nelson (49) to get some photographs of both his father and himself. I have found that talking to Argentinean players at Cowdray and you mention the name Nelson, their eyes light up as they recall meeting, knowing, playing with various generations of the family.




John Nelson receiving The Royal Windsor Trophy from The Queen at Windsor;

It is the most prestigious medium goal competition in England.


In one E-mail John wrote  “I played for many years out here in Argentina but was never very good at the game, though I took a team  to England in 1957. We were invited to Windsor and won several trophies – the Royal Windsor and the County Cup and several at other clubs including Cirencester .The same year I played in a team with Prince Philip to win the Cowdray Gold Cup. I still ride on my farms and very much enjoy farm life. I have five sons, two of which play polo up to 6 and 7 goal handicap  but I convinced them not to become pro’s as I preferred them to make a living with their heads rather than sitting on their asses”.

Editor’s note; John is far too modest,  though compared to his father Handicap 9 with his Olympic victory, 6x Argentine Opens, 2x US Opens, 2x Cup of America, Roehampton and Hurlingham in England to mention but a few, I can understand his reticence. The best English player at the moment rates a 7 goal Handicap.




      Jack Nelson (09) (second from right) Captain 1922 Argentinean Olympic gold Medallists.









 Scarlet and gold colours of Philip Brown


Philip Brown (54) has for a number of years had horses in training with Andrew Balding at Park Houses Stables, Kingsclere (he also trains for the Queen). This season Philip has some eight horses mainly 2 and 3 year olds and had a winner in May at Newbury with Prairie Ranger.


 “Best of luck PHILIP for the rest of the season”




Mention the word “Birthday” and we are all getting into the league of some fairly grown up ones and I was happy to be involved in a couple of OB celebrations.




  Hans-Christoph Massenbach or to give him his full title Hans-Christoph Gemmingen Freiherr von Massenbach (54) came over to Petworth here in West Sussex from his home at Lindau in Bavaria to celebrate his 75th with his family and friends who had looked after him in the post War years. These turned out to be a bevy of Ogilvie- Forbes. The best known in that family was Sir George OB (09), the diplomat who did so much to rescue Jewish children with the Kindertransport from Germany. This particular group were the children of a younger brother who went to Ampleforth on the grounds that he could take his pets there. (I had no idea that the offer of a place for a “pet Budgie, hamster or rabbit” could be such an inducement). Hans–Christoph had a week of celebrations and a Mass that included a rousing “Kaiser Hymn”. In fact, he completed his national service with the Royal Sussex and was awarded the MBE when he served as British Consul in Düsseldorf.





Next up is David Flood (51) with the Rowan and Martin “Fickle Finger of Fate Award” pointed in his direction.  David celebrated his 80th in style with not one but five separate parties which might sound somewhat gourmand but then why not. On this occasion, he entertained some thirty siblings, nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces. Apart from his brother John he was also joined by his cousin Michael Bohane (49). David has always been a great supporter of the BU and has organised the Mass for Remembrance Sunday at the War Memorial for many years. We send him our best wishes.






Michael de Burgh


Michael (41) was 90 on the 11th June. Whether it is because the family can trace their lineage to Charlamagne and their arms granted by Richard the Lionheart, but Michael is as active as a man half his age. He was awarded his colours in the first XV, and at the age of 19 was commissioned into 9th Royal Lancers and joined the Regiment commanded by his uncle Ronald MacDonnell (16) in the Italian campaign. He was wounded on the Coriano Ridge where Ronald was killed.


Michael’s three sons followed him to St John’s but with Beaumont’s closure went on to Worth. His wider family includes Chris de Burgh the singer and songwriter and Mike de Wolff (62) is a nephew.


On a personal note I have got to know Michael through our parish at Petworth of which he is one of the mainstays – the de Burgh motto of “Salvation from the Cross” says much of the man and his faith; Michael still goes out to Lourdes.


He is photographed here, attending The Cavalry Memorial Parade at Hyde Park in May and it is worth recording that among others that have served in this fine Regiment were Pat Dudding (38), Victor Berry (42) and the late Anthony Motion (47). My brother Mike Wilkinson (53) served with the 9/12th Royal Lancers on their amalgamation.








Philip Brown and his wife Patricia



He might have been racing at Epsom the day before, but the next day 26th April, Philip Brown hosted his annual lunch for his contemporaries from the early Fifties. This year he also included a few young “whipper-snappers” from later years who occupied the nursery table. The venue was historic Warren House at Kingston which Philip owns and runs as a conference and special venue centre and as such it has won many awards. As one of those there that enjoyed Philip’s generous hospitality, it certainly earned a BU accolade and rosette.


In his short words of welcome, Philip stressed that this was not an alternative BU lunch and urged all there to make the effort to attend the main event in October.


So another reminder 7th October at the Caledonian Club – put it in the diary now.    





Warren House







Anthony Rogers from Hong Kong                        


We have had a few BU in Hong Kong.  Pip Mayer was the first BU I came across out here, but he left for the colonies now called the United States.  At one stage Chris Kelly, Richard Butt and Bill Orchard were all, but that was probably 30 years ago.  Peter Johansen has left but comes back quite frequently as he remains very active with Swires, he's been kept on the main board after retirement age.  

Ian Swabey was out here, but I never knew him at Beaumont because he was a Captain by the time I was in Ruds, and I was reluctant to look him up as he was a solicitor and I was a barrister and I did not want it to be thought I was touting.  (My wife would put that down to Jesuit upbringing).  Anyway I met a year or so ago at a wedding in Phuket.  

Apart from that Richard Mills-Owens was also a barrister out here - Guy was trying to get in touch with him at one stage, but unfortunately Richard has almost totally lost his memory.  Simon Li comes over from the States on occasions and I expect he is here now as his father has just died and there is a quiet funeral for him.


Finally I have been recently been in touch with Fr Hughes, who I think came as a scholastic ("Mr Hughes") after you left.  He seems well and is at Oxford.


I am thinking of reviving Anthony Northey's attempt to get our year together next year as it will be 50 years since we left, Anthony had got the relevant names that Guy had and we will probably take it from there.


Editors note; Anthony was Chairman at the Dinner a couple of years ago. He was a Judge of the High Court and a Justice of Appeal. In 2011, he was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star the highest Honour in Hong Kong that replaced the British Honours system. It is awarded to eminent persons who have given very distinguished service to the community. Quite an accolade from a communist regime for a man who made strong protests against Beijing’s views on constitutional matters during his time in office,


Henry Hayward (64)


Wrote to let me know that during a lunch at Leander, he had met a retired Professor of Medicine. This man’s father had a good friend who had worked during the War years on experimental steam engines and timing mechanisms at Beaumont. Apparently a Mr Refroy, in charge of College maintenance was involved with him. There was track, an impressive engine that could pull carriages and organised from a house outside the grounds.  A Professor Low, seconded from the Admiralty, was in charge and it was all very hush-hush. So much so, there seems to be no record of what was termed important War work.


Perhaps some of our OB’s of that period might remember Mr Refroy described as “a modest and extremely nice man”.  


David Hamilton (57)


Wrote to Guy Bailey


  I read the article on your meteoric career with great interest. I retired 5 years ago after a career in international banking and finance spanning 48 years, mainly covering the Asia Pacific area, where I was at one time based in Tokyo (in which location I regained the acquaintanceship of scholastic Michael Milward S.J. from Sofia University who dined with us on several occasions) and then I worked for a long time as head of lending for a Saudi Arabian Bank. More recently I worked for 5 years in Vienna ( - the 'best years!' -) in financial systems for an offshoot of Creditanstalt and finally  4 years in Lausanne with the Finance Department of the financial subsidiary of ( - wait for it! -) the National Iranian Oil Company. I enjoyed working with the Iranians more than any other nationality and found them most amiable, although of course they have to endure an obnoxious regime and a bad press. I still visit my friends in Switzerland fairly regularly and maintain my active interest in the Anglo-Swiss Club organisation. My wife unfortunately contracted Parkinsons 14 years ago so I went straight into retirement as her carer as the disease advanced, but then we all have these little crosses placed on us in our lives don't we.


Like you, I found great value in my Jesuit education which has given me inner strength in life, although I did find it a tough place in the earlier years. Perhaps it took a long time to realise fully what a strong platform it gave me.


If you want a funny story I can quote my experience as a Latin scholar in the sixth, with Kevin Ryan, Jeremy Attlee and 'Ap' Hughes, amongst other pupils, and with Mr Wells ( I think that was his name) as our classics tutor from Oriel College. I had read out a passage from Horace about a particular lady which contained the words 'Veni mihi nuda pede'. I had translated this passage in my written work as 'come to me naked on foot'. Mr Wells made the following red marginal note in my translation: 'Your craving for sensation betrays you into inaccuracy'. He said it should translate as 'come to me in bare feet' - One of the many humorous moments at Beaumont. Another one I recall was when someone in the refectory discovered a caterpillar on their lettuce leaf and was egged on to go and show it to dear Fr Brogan on the head table. He studied it carefully and then said in a loud voice 'Don't tell the others, they'll all want one'.


 Charles Halliday (60) the way the photo of a rugby team (last Review page 4)  is almost certainly of the Junior Colts 1958......the people in the picture were all a year below me, and I was in the J Colts in autumn 1957....that team was run by a lay master called JB O'Malley, who taught us (in Grammar I) Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem 'Pied Beauty', the first line of which he declaimed at the top of his voice....''Glory be to God for dappled things.....for skies of couple colour as a branded cow'' a strong (at least at the time I thought it strong) Irish accent.



Donald Houlihan (60)


Remembered Fr Hilary Thomas SJ whose obituary appeared in the May edition; -.


I remember a few things about Fr. Thomas. He taught at St. John's (perhaps not me) and was there as a scholastic in 1951 when I started and I think still there in 1955 when I went to Beaumont.

I recall his slightly eerie (to this 9 year old at least) attic room with practically wall to wall impaled butterflies from his large self-gathered collection and his graphic description of how he got them there. He organised the scouts with much enthusiasm and played football on the playground with his habit rolled up. This seemed a bit unfair as he was considerably bigger than any of us.

In my experience he treated me much more as an equal than many Js did. There seemed to be a sympathetic respect there, which I appreciated at the time. A gentleman, he never looked down on you.


Editor – sadly, I think he was replaced by the very dubious Mr Hackett SJ.


John Davidson Parker (45) “I was pleased as always to receive the latest issue of the BU Review. My name is on the list as John Parker although I changed it Davidson Parker many years ago (Davidson is an old family name) – (Editor I will try and rectify this). I live in Wimbledon with my wife Hanna and our daughter lives in Kenya with her family.

I knew the late Hilary Thomas very well when we were both at prep school – Donhead Lodge. He was competent at Latin and I would frequently request his assistance with my translations. He had a younger brother who also became a Jesuit and went out to Africa as a missionary. Unfortunately, he was eaten there by cannibals.

I’m a retired medic but my first love was poetry which started when I was at Beaumont. My favourite subject is religion. You could say I suppose that “religion is my pigeon” to misquote Graham Green. John’s latest offering;


                                         WHAT’S NEW


                             The Holy Father’s been elected

                             But not the one that was expected

                             We’re getting secular as a nation

                             Which doesn’t boost the congregation.


                             We gave up Lent in world war two

                             And Limbo disappeared it’s true

                             The Latin mass in every land

                             Was said but few could understand

                             These were big changes that’s for sure

                             Encouraging but we need more


                             Priests will soon have to step in line

                             They’ll marry – that would be fine

                             While women need to swell their ranks

                             And drape a cassock round their shanks

                             And if these measures don’t go well

                             The Pontiff might abolish Hell


                            If all of this is way off track

                            At least he’ll want the Falklands back!


Editor – While on the subject of Poets, you will find among the Obituaries Roger Venables (29) who died last year a month short of his 101st birthday. I came across his name by chance looking through some BU papers, programmes etc sent to me by my brother Christopher (54) who on hearing that I was taking on this job kindly offered to send me all his memorabilia.






The Late Roger Venables


Sir Arthur Quillar Couch, author and critic wrote of Roger’s collected works “they seem to me not only considerable as poems, but high and distinguished”.



Ludo de Vleeschauwer (43) informed us of the deaths of two of his contemporaries – Peter “straw” Colesworthy and Robert Ousley. He also included a photo of the VIII of that year but sadly it was not of good enough quality to reproduce. However, among those he named and apart from Straw, Robert and himself, the Captain was Laurence Dowley from Madras. Laurence was also Captain of Rugby and Boxing a feat to equal that of Harry Hewett (Harry was Cricket rather than Boats).  Laurence served in the Irish Guards on leaving school. Another to be commissioned in the Micks was John Russi, the son of an OB former Cavalry officer and breeder of polo ponies. George Collier joined the RAF and trained aircrew. He was up at New College Oxford and later joined the RNVR and became at estate agent. (His brother, a Captain of Boxing became a priest). Another RAF man was Tim McElhaw and like Ludo went on to Trinity Cambridge. Tim as I recounted in “The Playing Fields” was the last pilot to engage in close aerial combat in wartime. This was in the Arab/Israel conflict of 1948. Finally the cox was Hugo Pigou, later a Captain of Boats and the son of an OB – he went out east to Singapore to join the trading conglomerate Bousted & Co and was later in Borneo.



David Liston (52)


Since coming to London from years spent in Northern Ireland, David has joined The Little Ship Club which has its clubhouse close to Southwark Bridge with a marvellous view of the River. There is a bar and restaurant capable of hosting up to 120 people. It has car parking and convenient for the Underground at Bank or Cannon Street. He offers it as a possible venue for BU gatherings.



Rose MacQueen wife of Andrew (53)


Wrote to tell us that Andrew has not been well for the last eight months and can no longer act as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at the Church in Sidmouth. However he still enjoys The Review and had a visit from Richard Barnes this spring; they were contemporaries, and Richard was a close neighbour in Worcester till they moved to Devon some sixteen years ago. Funnily enough Richard had told me that he was staying in the same B&B as Hans Christoph Massenbach’s friends –the Ogilvie Forbes; the small world cliché.


Andrew’s younger brother Richard (55) died in Zimbabwe at the age of 47; their contemporaries will recall that their family lived in Rhodesia and they came to Beaumont from St George’s Salisbury as it then was.



Ann Thompson-Hill daughter of Sidney Darwood (31)





Contacted me in response to the Colts XI photo; her father was not killed in the Battle of Britain but in the Fall of France. He was a Flt Lieutenant with B flight 111 Squadron based at Vitry-en-Artois and was shot down south of Mons on the 18th May 1940 at the age of 26. He had married Betty Simpson in August 1938 and their first daughter was born the following year. Betty received a photograph of his initial grave on a canal bank not far from the crash site sent by a local priest; he is now buried at Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery. Ann his second daughter was born four months after he was killed.

Sidney is mentioned in Peter Cornwall’s book – The Battle of France, Then and Now. 


Michael Younger (64)


Just writing to say thank you for the free advertising for our
old family brew on page 7 of the Spring Review! -  A picture of
two enthusiasts tapping a barrel of Wm Younger’s Scotch Ale.
Wm Younger’s which formed part of the great Scottish and
Newcastle group, was sold off to Heineken who then decided
in their infinite wisdom to sell the Younger and the McEwan
beer brands on to a new group.  I see McEwans on the local
supermarket shelf here in St Andrews, but the Younger brand
seems to be lagging behind. Such is life!   Cheers!


younger%202 website%20056




A Reminder of Tony Parrish (58) and George Stanton (58) about to  -






Editor: They forgot to tell Tony that it doesn’t work for Italians






 The Snuff Club


Chatting with Martin Patmore (60), he told me about the Snuff Club that he had founded in view of the ban on smoking. Denied the enjoyment of a cigarette, Martin paid a visit to a tobacconist in the City and acquired some exotic sounding “Abdullah 28” and introduced it to his friends. Apparently Fr Brogan then First Prefect felt reluctantly he could not ban it as there was nothing in the rule book and it seemingly had no undesired effects on the boys. Martin may not take “a pinch” these days but he has a fine collection of snuff boxes.


 The Late Andrew Clasen (56)




In the last Review Sue Clasen offered Andrew’s Blazer to a good home. I took up the offer on behalf of the BU, bearing in mind that I hope eventually to have a memorabilia room somewhere-preferably at St John’s. It turned out that Andrew’s blazer is unique; he did not row in any of the senior VIIIs as Andrew was a sculler. He was the first Beaumont boy to win a sculling title at a Regatta and he coached himself. In 1956, he had bad luck at both Twickenham and Kingston when he suffered cramps in the closing stages of the course. At Staines, he earned the success for which he had worked so hard throughout the year. He won his first two heats easily and in the final beat the competitor from London R C by half a length. For this performance he was awarded full Henley colours. I should add that at the same event The VIII under Rory Nicholas won the Junior/Senior Eights having their revenge on Tiffin who had beaten them a fortnight earlier at Henley.


Editor’s note Andrew’s father – Leopold worked with another OB Colonel Herbert Holt under Brigadier Willie van Cutsem running the Political Intelligence Bureau during WW 2.





 Editor; This invitation was sent to my grandmother, the ward of my Uncle Toby Gilbert who was playing in the XI of 1928. Note the headdress.

I went back to Lords in May, the first time since the Oratory match of ’62 (sadly, not one of Beaumont’s finest matches) but this time to watch New Zealand play England. By this you can gather I am not a noted fan of cricket and was only inveigled there by the thought of good company and an excellent picnic. The place seemed to have changed radically since my last visit and seeing the stands all around the ground made one realise that two OB records will never be bettered. The 6 sent to the back of Lord Harris’s Memorial Garden by Charles “C E” de Trafford (83) considered the biggest hit of all time and the 6 that arrived in the St John’s Wood Road off the bat of Peter Bird (56) – a schoolboy best.


I also recall my first visit to Lords and not for the game – I was introduced to the late Nigel Found (in formal attire) and his sister Angela – I thought her stunning with her blonde hair, good looks and wearing a chocolate coloured dress. Both she and Nigel were on the committee for the Centenary Ball but I have no idea what happened to Angela in later life. Perhaps some OB will duly inform me. 



St Leonards MayfieldCongratulations


The convent school has just celebrated its 150 years and in view of the fact that a fair number of OB mothers, sisters, wives and ex-girlfriends passed through that establishment the BU sends its warmest congratulations. At least, unlike Ascot, they never had the pleasure of a nocturnal visit by Bill Gammell (60) and Roger Fiennes (60) which earned the miscreants a panning on their return.








To celebrate forty years of trading Anthony (60) and Annie have opened a new flagship gallery.

This is their second gallery on Pimlico Road and “will exhibit exceptional pieces of furniture and arts of work from the 16th to the 19th centuries of both historical interest and impeccable provenance”.




John Wolff  -  Wrote about the adventure of getting Bro. Michael Strode now aged 89 off Caldey Island for the annual pilgrimage.


Michael was very keen to get to Lourdes at Easter. The weather forecast for the few days before was terrible so he did not want to rely on a tourist boat to get off the Island.
He booked a friend to come and get him with a rigid inflatable two days in advance of flying to make sure. There was a lot of doubt about even that but luckily a gap in the weather appeared.
The photos were taken in the harbour on Caldey so the waves would have been much larger outside. You can see how well wrapped up the owner driver is to get an idea of the conditions.

When I was on Caldey a few weeks later an islander commented that when they saw what was happening on the quay they thought they were shooting the next James Bond film!




Brother Michael Strode setting out for Lourdes


Robert Wilkinson (62) after a few years absence went out with Mike Bedford’s Group.” I found little had changed except that we were now accommodated at the Hotel Moderne and the staff looked after us exceedingly well even if we did empty their supply of Armagnac by day 2.

There were the usual OB pilgrims Derek Hollamby, Bill Gammell, Tony Outred, Mike de Wolff, Richard Sheehan, Thierry de Galard (who had been warned by Dominique that he was probably putting his immortal soul in danger by coming with the BU rather than the Knights of Malta.) I was informed that the previous year, Hollamby had a “Mr Bean” moment when he locked himself out of his room in the night without a “stitch on” and had to go to reception without even a flower pot to cover his modesty; he was well remembered by the staff.

I would not wish you to get the impression that we were in Lourdes just for the party. Our spiritual needs were looked after by Fr Victor Camilleri - a Franciscan and chaplain to the Maltese community in London. The weather was dreadful but our hearts were uplifted every time we visited the Grotto and the amazing sight and sound of the HCPT Mass. We had the annual BU night and the singing of the Carmen and The Pater Noster when joined by Patrick Burgess and John Flood. Amongst Mike’s group was Maureen Mullally-Clarke the sister of the late Jimmy and Michael McAleer and we also had with us an Old Oratorian Judge – Keith Hornby who is a member of their old boys committee - we took a great deal of pleasure in seeing him in the invidious position of wearing a Beaumont Rugby Shirt and even threatened to have it published on their website.

All good things come to an end with praying and playing in equal measure and this one did with our coach trip to the Hotel Du Palais at Biarritz for a light champagne lunch. (Mike says that we are the only coach allowed through the gates) – I have to say if I were a guest staying there, I would be horrified that such a famed establishment  would countenance a coach coming up the drive, but then such are Mike’s powers of persuasion and we are the BU after all.







Well, The Wilkinsons are off to Dublin for the Dinner which Richard Sheehan (63) has organised and which Kevin Kenny (64) has agreed to host at The Kildare Street Club during Horse Show Week. - I am looking forward to a great evening. There will be a report in the next Review.

At the time of going to press, we will be at least a dozen with another dozen possibles. The previous recorded BU Dinner was in the Centenary year at The Shelbourne with Vincent Williams of Tullamore in the Chair and the great all round sportsman Percy Purcell the respondent.


The last time I came back from Ireland, a good number of years ago, together with my brother Richard (62), Michael Tussaud (62) and a chum Peter Tabor (Stonyhurst) we were detained by the Constabulary on our return but that’s another story.





At the beginning of this Review, I mentioned that the B U is short of funds and it is only through one or two individuals that we do not constantly ask for help - None of us like putting out the “begging bowl”. Printing and postage is expensive and although costs are being reduced by the use of this website; nothing is for free.  We now need a little support again, so after 15 years, we are asking for a small voluntary contribution.


Please send a cheque made payable to The Beaumont Union to;


John Paton Walsh

Tan House, Tanyard Lane,Bridge Street,

Kington. HR5  3DX






One of the advantages of this job is that I can be my own “self-publicist” and urge you to buy a copy of my books “The Playing Fields of Runnymede” and its sequel “Once More to Runnymede”, the latter being sold to boost BU funds and will be published shortly. It will help pay for this Website.


 I cannot offer any critical reviews of “The Playing Fields”. However, Jerry Gilmore (60) told me that he had taken the book with him on holiday to Thailand and read it from cover to cover. My immediate reaction was for someone to go to an exotic location with all that it has to offer and read my book is either a great recommendation or “should we be concerned about Jerry”.







It is a further historical overview and social

commentary on the last one hundred and fifty

years illustrated by those for whom Runnymede had

significance beyond “the birthplace of the greatest

constitutional document of all time”.


The meads were the playing fields of Beaumont.

It was a small school, unique in so many ways,

but today forgotten except by a few.


Some remarkable people from all around the World

sent their sons to be educated there.

Many achieved the aspirations of their privileged

education; others did not.


In keeping with the thoughts of Montaigne;

“My concern is not to depict the individual as he exists

but to show him in the act of becoming. I paint the passing of time

and my story changes with the passing hour”.


The book follows a similar format to “The Playing Fields” and includes a chapter on the Beaumont Union.
Watch the Website for Publication Date.




Philip Stevens 




This is more than just another book to add to the masses on the Great War. It sets out to fill a gap written by a layman for the layman, and summarises the key events and contributions of key individuals, some well known others unknown but with a story to tell. To get a true picture of this monumental event in history, it is necessary to grasp the fundamentals, be they military, political, social or simply human. The slaughters of Verdun, Somme and Passchendaele are no more than statistics without the stories of those that fought, drowned and died there. It is designed to capture the imagination and feed the mind of that ever increasing number of people who seek a better understanding of the Great War.


Philip Stevens (63) the youngest son of “CP” was a professional soldier being commissioned in The Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. Like the majority of Officers he realised and appreciated the value of military history and after leaving the army and pursuing a career in banking, he also became an articulate battlefield guide. His book is proving more successful than his publisher had hoped for and there will be 2nd edition next year to coincide with the War’s centenary.


 Fr Joe Dooley would be “amazed”. He always said “Stevens is no historian but he never let that put him off”.  




This next book is not written by an OB but it is about the work of one - Sir Mark Sykes                




James Barr





Having scoured  the Mid –East diplomatic archives from the Sykes / Picot  agreement in 1915 to the proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948, James Barr  presents the story of the British and French  struggle to undermine each other  in this region  with the skill of a thriller writer and the balance of a judge. At the height of the struggle the British appeared to score a knock-down when, in 1944, they manoeuvred the French out of Picot’s allocation. However with Machiavellian dexterity the French, without offending their Arabic colonies, switched their support to the Jewish cause and to the Stern Gang in particular. In so doing they fuelled the fires that eventually forced the British to abandon the Sykes allocation. The effort which each side puts into frustrating the other, explains much that continues to wreck attempts at an entente cordial to this day.