This is the 2017 obituaries page


To view 2013 click here


To view 2014 click here


To view 2015 click here


To view 2016 click here





2017 Obituaries






From The Daily Telegraph:-


Major General Christopher Tyler who has died aged 82 was Governor and Keeper of the Jewel House of the Tower of London and from 1989 to 19994 and the first Roman Catholic to hold the post since the reformation; he was also the first international rugby referee to be wired for sound on live television when the England team played Japan in 1971.


Christopher Tyler was born at Dover on July 9 1934, son of Major General Sir Leslie tyler KBE Cb and Louie Franklin, the Irish daughter of an Army doctor.


Despite standing at 6ft 2ins for most of his adult life, he was known as Tich by his family after his sister Norma named him after Tichopher in preference to Christopher. In 1936  his father was posted to Malta , where the family remained through the siege until late 1942 when Tich, his sister Norma and mother Louie returned to Britain ( a journey that took 10 weeks by ship from Alexandria, Durban to Liverpool).


Tich was then sent to prep school at St John ’s Beaumont, where in June 1944 his father paid him a visit prior to his departure for the Normandy beaches on D Day ’44. He was not at all happy to see his father arrive in the classroom, as he had already informed his schoolmates that daddy had already parachuted into France and was defeating Hitler all by himself.


At Beaumont, he was runner up at his weight in the All England schools boxing championship of 1952. In that year he commanded the guard of honour that Beaumont provided at the funeral procession of King George VI from Windsor Station to St George’s Chapel.


In the same year he Entered RMA Sandhurst and was commissioned into REME Corps in July 1954. The following month 2Lt Tyler was appointed as the commander of the Sandhurst Drill Squad which had been invited to perform at the Edinburgh Tattoo. The appointment included commanding the full parade of 500 ranks in the Finale.


After a short tour in 16 Parachute Brigade, in 1955 aged 21 Tyler went up to Trinity College Cambridge to read Mechanical Sciences. At the end of his second year he was asked to leave having failed his exams.


However, after winning a bet with the college that he could get a First in the exam re-sits that summer, they allowed him to return and complete his degree.


During his first year at Cambridge, there was a shortage of referees for the inter-college rugby matches. He volunteered and soon found that he was being appointed to referee games of a higher standard than those in which he had been playing. One season later, he was appointed to the RFU County panel at the age of 22, a record that has never been broken.


In recognition of this achievement he was admitted to the Hawks’ Club despite the fact that he had not won a Blue in any sport.


At the conclusion of the 1969 Calcutta Cup match, for which he had been running the line as reserve referee, two large kilted Scotsmen in the stand decided that they wanted the beautifully embroidered touch judge’s flag which had been entrusted to his care. Fortunately, a Sunday Newspaper carried a photograph of the struggle, which enabled the Scottish RU to identify the marauders and retrieve the flag.


In the autumn of 1971 the RFU organised a short tour to the Far East which included two international matches against Japan, where rugby union was still a fledgling sport. Tyler was invited to accompany the England team as referee.


Sony Corporation had recently developed technology for referees to commentate live on television during the match and as a result Tyler became the first referee to commentate and explain his decisions live on television.


Meanwhile, he had specialised in aeronautical engineering in the early days of the Army Air Corps, returning years later as Chief Aircraft Engineer at Middle Wallop during the Falkland’s War in 1982.


He attended No 1 Army Staff course then returned to Airborne Forces with a tour at RAF Farnborough (in Barnes Wallis’s former department) on ultra-Low level Airdrop and High Altitude Low opening Heavy –Drop. This was followed by two tours in the Parachute Logistic Regiment latterly as Commanding Officer.


His last REME appointment was in 1985 in HQ I (BR) Corps as Commander Maintenance. In 1986 he was Deputy Commandant at RMC Shrivenham. His final service post was from 1987 -89 at the NATO HQ in Oslo as Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) and Senior British officer Allied Forces Northern Europe.


He retired from the Army in July 1989 and was appointed Resident Governor and Keeper of the Jewel House at the Tower of London.


One year, the State Opening of Parliament fell on November 5th, so he decided to hold a Guy Fawkes Lunch for the officers of the Honourable Artillery Company who fired the Royal Salutes from the Tower Wharf. The specially selected menu consisted of: Fishy Tails (Whitebait) as the starter: a main course of Unexploded bangers, Chips off the Old Block and Has Beans- followed by Bomb Surprise.


In addition Tyler oversaw the construction of the new Jewel House, entertained the G7 Heads of State in 1991 under John Major’s administration, and satisfactorily retrieved a raven which had managed to fly to Southwark despite having one wing clipped.


During his term in the Tower, REME celebrated its Golden Jubilee, which had included a period when the Corps provided the Palace and Tower Guards.


He retired as Governor of the Tower in 1994 and until 2004 was Secretary of The Royal Humane Society, a charity formed in 1774 to give awards for bravery in saving human life.


He had a brief spell as Chairman of Army and Combined Services Rugby, A liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Turners, he served as Master in 2000, and was Honorary Colonel of REME(V) from 1994 to 2000.


In 1958 he married Suzanne Whitcomb, the daughter of a wartime RAF officer. She survives him with a son and three daughters









Paul died 25 February. He came to St John’s 1936 to 1940 and was due to move up to the College that autumn however American colleagues of his father offered him the chance to go to the US to “escape" the blitz.  So he found himself in Georgetown Prep instead.  However, he was always fond of his St John’s days and was a member of the Beaumont Union when he returned from the States. He went up to Clare College Cambridge to study law and was articled with Turbeville, Smith & Co. he eventually became senior partner of Charsley, Leonard & Co solicitors in Slough. He was married to Pamela Saunders and had two daughters.


 As a family, they nearly always attended the Remembrance Sunday mass and continued that tradition while good health was with them.











Richard was the son of Richard Devaux (27) and with his cousin George was the first great grandson to come to Beaumont. The Hoghtons were a family of Stockbrokers. Richard arrived at Old Windsor in 1951 and left with his boxing colours.




Gilbert Conner wrote:-


 I arrived at the church, allowing 20 minutes for a ten minute walk, but the church was full and the coffin was at the door. So I had an excellent view from the back of the church.




The priest, Fr Thomas Regan OSB, explained that Richard had been the chairman of Our Lady of Lourdes & St Cecilia's Church Parish Council and the Area Riding for the Disabled and that these were his favourite charities, so there was a collection box for donations. Richard, having won medals for swimming and been Captain of Boxing at Beaumont, was called up as a National Serviceman where he gained a commission.




After which he returned to work for his old company, before returning to serve a full career in the Royal Signals as a regular officer. He married his wife Lisa at an early age, inviting Ron Shepherd (BU) to be his best man.  Richard and Lisa, between then had four children, of which they were justly proud: Matthew became a doctor and Bob a Marine Architect, Susie a senior business executive, while Tracey ran her own jewellery business, until Richard  became unwell and be nursed in a nursing home and her mother needed to be helped at their home.


Richard died on 31 March.










Michael was born 13 January 1936 the son of Brigadier W J Allen CBE and came to Beaumont from Cumnor House in 1949. He left for Sandhurst in 1953. After two years in Inkerman Company he passed out to the Royal Engineers. He studied both at Shrivenham and London University and in 1959 married Annette Walters. Mike’s career was with the Army and was awarded an MBE for his service in the Falklands after the war.  He and Annette retired to Burley in the New Forest where they played a large part in village life.  Did B & B for many years. Mike was a voluntary driver for the local hospital and was a Governor at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital for many years.  Mike used to go to the lunches that Philip Brown organised at Kingston, but latterly did not go as his hearing was very bad and he could not cope. At one of the lunches he met up with John Boocock and realising they lived close by they became firm family friends.  He and Annette had 3 sons, Julian, Richard and Mark and several grandchildren.  A Memorial Service for Mike was held at St. John the Baptist C of E Church, Burley, New Forest, on Friday 18th. May.















Christopher was the son of Major General Sir Leslie Tyler KBE CBE Director Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (REME). He entered Beaumont in 1943 and left in in 1952 having been Captain of Boxing and Prefect of Sodality. He went on to Trinity Cambridge for Engineering and followed in his father’s footsteps with a commission in the REME and there then followed a series of postings and commands that would take him to the highest rank in the Corps. He was created a CB in 1988. The following year he was appointed Resident Governor of The Tower of London and Keeper of The Crown Jewels responsible for the day to day administration.


 At school Christopher was not a rugby player per se but he became one of the Army’s most prominent referees. In 1967 he was a touch judge and reserve referee for the Australia Match against the Combined Services and accompanied England on their 1971 tour of the Far East: He eventually became Chairman of the Army Rugby Union Referees.


Christopher was also destined to be Chairman of the United Services Catholic Association, Secretary of The Royal Humane Society and Master of the Turners Livery Company and a governor of St Johns.


He was married to Suzanne Whitcomb and they had a son and two daughters and nine grandchildren.  Christopher died peacefully on 11 April. 






Alvaro was the son of Alvaro Holguin y Caro one time Colombian ambassador in Paris and a grandson of Carlos Holguin 24th President of Colombia. He came to Beaumont in 1940 from St Peter’s Southbourne and was to spend the war years at the school. A Captain, he was also prefect of The Sodality. On leaving he went on to Haut Ecole - the Ecole de Sciences Politiques in Paris and France’s most prestigious academic institution. After that, Alvaro’s career was in banking and he was the Director for Chase Manhatten in Paris where he made his home. In 1958 he married Marie-Laure Brute de Remur and they had three sons and a daughter. He died peacefully 30 April and his funeral was held at L’Eglise de la Sainte Trinite in the 9eme Arrondissement.


Alvaro will be remembered by the BU for the yearly dinners and lunches he arranged in Paris for OBs in France during the Fifties and early Sixties.









The environment and man’s treatment of it was to become an important issue in the latter part of the 20th century and it now has an impact on all our lives. It is not just in the work place but how we relax and enjoy ourselves, as travel and holidays have increased enormously world wide  and these  have to be looked at from the point of sustainability. Lubomir Chmelar was not a native American but has spent the greater part of his life in The States. He was of Czech nationality but Lubomir came to Beaumont in 1947 from Nairobi, where his parents had settled at the start of WW2.




As a small boy, Lu as he was usually called, and his parents had a remarkable escape from Nazi tyranny. In 1939, they were living in Baghdad when his father was recalled home to Zlin by his company. They drove to Beirut in an 8 cylinder ivory coloured Packard that been a wedding present and where it was loaded onto the ship for passage to Trieste.  After a pleasant voyage, they arrived at the port where the car was badly damaged when a rope broke from the unloading crane and it crashed onto the quay. Lu’s father telephoned to say that they would be delayed pending repairs to be told that German troops had entered Prague at 4am that morning. The Chmelars then moved to Serbia, where Lu’s father Josef was involved in the undercover smuggling of those in danger of arrest, particularly Jews out of Czechoslovakia. With War about to engulf them, they moved to Kenya and escaped the fate that befell many of their immediate family and countrymen. In one of those extraordinary coincidences, the daughter of a Jewish doctor they had assisted to escape Prague, came to Nairobi as a doctor herself and looked after the Chmelars in their declining years.




Having been in both the Rugby XV and the Boating VIII, Lu left Old Windsor for Oxford University, where he studied engineering with the idea of returning to Kenya. It was a chance meeting with his future wife Tiree that led instead to his emigrating to the United States and settling in New York in 1962. They bought a run-down townhouse in the Chelsea neighbourhood and restored it and this piqued his interest in historic preservation. With the fall of communism, Lu was able to return to Czechoslovakia more regularly and led to the founding of the Prague-Vienna Greenaways that consist of 250 mile long network of hiking and biking trails between the two cities. The route takes you through historic towns and villages as well as some of the most picturesque countryside in Europe. The objective was to promote and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the region by developing sustainable ecological tourism.




The Chmelars modelled their project on the River Hudson Valley Greenaways in New York and having seen what could be achieved, they raised funds from various international organisations to develop and support the network in the Czech Republic. The success of this enterprise has inspired similar projects in other eastern European countries including Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia; it is not just a tourist trip but a method to promote cultural and professional exchanges and understanding between different peoples. The Chmelars received various awards from both the American and Czech administrations for their life’s work of contributing to the close relationship between the two countries. Lu also restored various historic houses in his native country, and up until his death owned a property in the Moravian town of Mikulov in the heart of the wine producing region.




 Lu died on Friday, June 24th 2016 He was 81 and  is survived by his four children, Pascal, Damian, Melissa, and Lydia; as well as his ten grandchildren. A memorial celebration of Lu's life was held at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, New York.








Roger Johansen writes:


Mike Bedford possessed not only an amazing facility for emerging from some of life's swamps  smelling of roses, but also for giving a vivid impression of having enjoyed being up to his backside in alligators.  After a group of us enjoyed a splendid dinner and cabaret at the Savoy Hotel on the eve of Mike's departure for the Chrysler Corporation's selling fields in Vietnam, the bank manager  wrote expressing surprise that Mike had issued a cheque to pay for the festivities knowing that there were insufficient funds in the account.  The bank official may well have recalled that some time previously by an unfortunate switching of envelopes he had received a love letter from his customer, intended for Mike's girlfriend of the time.  The lady was not only well stacked, but well-heeled to boot, and on receipt of the explanation, intended for the bank, of his temporary lack of funds, immediately sent him a cheque to relieve the situation.     


John Bedford, who unfortunately pre-deceased his younger brother many years ago, summed up Mike's charm when he said:  “Whatever one thinks of him, one always comes away from spending time with him in a happier frame of mind.”   John showed his understanding of his brother's character when, speaking at Mike and Mandy's wedding, he said: “When he was selling cars in Panama no man was too elevated to discourage him from approaching, and no woman too low...”   


Mike's lifelong association with Labrador's seemed to create a sort of symbiosis whereby he acquired the friendly, exuberant bounciness of the breed, however if one had to liken him to a fictional animal, he was Tigger to the life.  Speaking of Labradors I recall with lasting pleasure the occasion when he and Mandy visited us in Herefordshire, accompanied by their chocolate Labrador (Cocoa of course), who joyfully plunged into every decorative pond in the garden.   We went to a remote pub at Craswall in the Black Mountains, and there a middle-aged and very up-market lady made a great fuss of the dog: “Oh, what a lovely dog.” etc etc.  Mike observed tolerantly, and when she asked: “What breed is he?” replied without hesitation, “He's an Atlantic Crossing.”  “Oh yes?”   “Yes Alcock and Brown!”  Not original perhaps, but timed to perfection.  Equally apt, and probably more original was Mike's response to a priest friend who told him that he was: “Not just a priest, but a Canon”, “Well I hope you've got the balls for it!” 


Sometimes Mike's timing let him down, and there were occasions when he offended, usually women of a certain age and disposition, however it is true to say that one never saw the slightest trace of malice or meanness in his character.  He was generous with both his time and his hospitality, and succeeded in using his love of wining and dining to create an enviable client list for his company Duty Driver.  His heroes from an earlier age of Beaumont OBs included the Wolff brothers, Gus, Freddie, and Jack, and he admired them not only for their success and bonhomie, but also for the hard work, care and love they gave to the volunteers and the children of the Handicapped Childrens' Pilgrimage Trust.  He went on to emulate the brothers Wolff by leading pilgrimage groups himself, and in later years he lent encouragement with the unique band of supporters, the BOFs. 


Mike's firm adherence to his faith was inspirational, and his Presidency of the City Branch of the Catenian Association was an achievement that he never trumpeted, but bore witness to the enormous respect in which he was held by his peers in the Catholic establishment.  His was a rumbustious exterior that concealed a surprising sensitivity: one cannot be a successful salesman or marketing man without an awareness of the feelings of others.  His departure from this life leaves a lasting void in the lives of many, and Mandy in particular, who remains in our love and thoughts.         



Hugh Everard Scrope (34 -41)

Hugh passed away 11 February 2016.


 He was a scion of the Scrope dynasty, of Danby, co York, which can claim 5 Garter Knights, 2 bishops, one archbishop of York, a Lord Chancellor, 4 High Treasurers, and 2 Chief Justices, and the baronies of Scrope of Bolton and Scrope of Masham. Hugh was the 6th son of Stephen Scrope and his wife Ethalburga (Waterton, a granddaughter of Charles the naturalist and a descendent of 8 Saints). Hugh followed his brothers John (killed WW2) and Geoffrey (Lt Col, Knight of Malta and Vice president of the Heraldry Society) to Beaumont leaving to join the RAFVR. After the War he married Betty Wilkinson. Apart from that we know little of his life except that he owned a famous Percival Mew Gull; details below-




Scrope’s Percival Mew Gull G-QAEXF

“The 1938 King's Cup Race was a 1,012 mile event and  Alex Henshaw who owned the plane at the time came in 1st at 236 mph and Giles Guthrie in his red "standard"  G-AEKL placed 2nd. Edgar Percival flew a third Mew Gull, the E3H (G-AFAA) and finished 6th. Percival might easily have won, but as well as being made scratch-man by the Handicappers, he left the fine-tuning of his airscrew pitches until just before the race and his ground-crew were still tinkering with them as Alex Henshaw took off.


Alex Henshaw attempted to take the England – Cape Town Record in 1939, taking off on 5 February 1939 from Gravesend, landing at The Cape the next day, covering the 6,377 miles course in 39 hours and 25 minutes, averaging 209.44 mph while in the air. The return trip was just 11 minutes longer. It is interesting to note that during all of Alex Henshaw's adventures in this aircraft it was never damaged.


Henshaw sold G-AEXF to Frenchman Victor Vermoral in late 1939. During WW2 the aircraft was stored in a hangar in France with several owners continuing to hide it from German authorities. In 1950, Hugh Scrope found and bought it, and with Doug Bianchi's help, refurbished the aircraft to fly it back home to England. After restoration, G-AEXF continued its racing career but it was damaged in a landing accident in August 1951 at Shoreham.  It was sold in 1953”.




CRAIG WALLER Desmond Sean on 9th December 2016, aged 67. Dearly loved by Susie and by his children, Nick and Michael and grandchildren, Tom and Charlie. Much loved by his mother, Prudence, he will be deeply missed by his brothers and wider family and by his many friends. His Requiem Mass was on Wednesday 4th January 2017, at St Dunstan's RC Church, Shaftesbury Road, Woking.




Fr Joe’s sister Teresa writes:-


'Father Joe' was born on 18 January 1931 in Preston, Lancashire. From a Jesuit parish (Saint Ignatius) and a Jesuit school (Preston Catholic College) it was not surprising that he joined the Order immediately after leaving school.


His first teaching post was at Beaumont, followed by Glasgow and then back to Preston.


When his subject, classics, became less popular he was moved to parish work and was parish priest in Clitheroe for twenty five years, getting to know all his parishioners and their children and keeping in touch with them even after he left. They remember him as a devoted priest and 'a lovely man'.


He spent the last eight years of his life in Stonyhurst, enjoying the countryside and often being visited by old friends and pupils.


Joe died on 7 February 2017 and will be buried at Clitheroe.