Births, Deaths & Marriages

Peter Rex RIP

News of the death of Peter Rex, former Head of History, on Sunday 25 March in Ely aged 82, led to a flurry of emails from former pupils with an illuminating range of memories of the man himself.

Mike Halloran
A true legend is he.  Long Live Rex. Even after all of the years that have passed, I can still hear his dulcet voice banging to and fro in my head.  He loved to correct my Americanisms. We colonials drove the man batty.

I can still recall stories he would regale us with in class about the evolution of the English language. Dunsmore Heath anyone?  Hill Hill Hill to those of us in the know.

Mr. Rex’s historical perspective was vast and frightening and I plan on adding all of his tomes to my collection.

I will admit with some certain glee and snobbery that I probably learned more from that one man than I learned from anyone since then in the subjects that he taught.

At the time… I had no idea about the massive imprint he was having on my small childish American brain, but when I make comments on various websites across the vast electronic world of ours I post as if I were Mr. Rex himself.  In fact I have used "pusillanimous prig" more than any human being should be allowed to, not only in posts on the web, but in everyday conversations. It still works as a very sharp dagger that most people will never ever try to argue with you past the point at which this two-word weapon is brandished.

I mourn for his passing as I mourned for the other larger than life characters in the Wm. Shakespeare that he taught me to love.  

Noel Ruddy
So Mr Rex has passed on. I was very sad to hear the news. He featured large in my years at Princethorpe and, unlike many of his contemporaries, I don't believe he had any nickname.  The call "Rex is coming" was enough to terrify even the hardest! He could be very intimidating but whilst he tolerated no nonsense he had a very sharp sense of humour if he was in the mood. He taught me everything from British Constitution to History to English to RE.  His nemesis in my day was a guy called Bernard Fox - their battles were nigh on legendary! Fond memories. A real character who lives long in the memory, and who will continue to do so.

Chris Hobley
As an ex-Princethorpian I was saddened to hear of the death of Peter Rex.

In Year 7, I was a very nervous child and Mr. Rex found me upset and sitting on my own in a classroom at lunchtime. I felt rather alone as most of my friends had gone to different schools. Despite his reputation, I fondly remember his kindness (without his audience!), and calming words. I jumped to my feet and never looked back!

I don't think he ever realised my appreciation.

Alex Darkes was asked to give the eulogy at Peter's funeral in Ely on Wednesday 11 April. To read the Eulogy click here.

He comments, "There were a few OPs present including Eddie Tolcher, Mike Loughnane, who came over from Cambridge, and Zara Healy. We gave him a good send-off and I think that Christina was very pleased that the day was a true celebration of Peter’s life. Amazingly despite suffering with ill health for many years he managed to write seven books in retirement. He had become totally deaf in recent years. Christina is still hale and hearty and in very good form. Richard, their son, who lives in Cambridge, has six sons who all did their grandfather proud, taking part in the service, either singing, reading or playing the organ."

William the Conqueror: The Bastard of Normandy by Peter Rex and published by Amberley Publishing was released in paperback on 28 April 2012

RIP Geoff Clarke 1924-2012

Former Head of Physics, Geoff Clarke, died on Good Friday aged 87. He had been suffering with cancer for some time. The funeral, conducted by Fr Teddy O'Brien, took place on Monday 23 April at Oakley Wood Crematorium.

Former pupil Martin Holland (1975) attended the funeral and commented, "I went along to say goodbye to a good bloke. The service was introduced as a celebration of a very full life and the stories and reflections made me feel very humble."

"I met Geoff’s wife, Michael and his son, Chris. Chris remembered our year as the one which occasionally popped down for a glass or two of home made beer and cider."

Fellow past pupil Clem Clements, who dropped in to see Geoff earlier in the month, remembers him fondly. "He really was a great teacher, teaching us about things that would prepare us for life as well as Physics. He also spent 14 years in Brunei where he helped set up a Sixth Form School and his wife (Micheal Clarke) helped start the International School where my kids have been all these years. I'm so pleased I got to see him and spend some time with him."

The final word goes to OP, Alex Darkes, "I think that in our time Geoff was one the best things to happen to Princethorpe. He was not only a natural school master but also knew how to deal with people. I found him hard working, inspiring, very reasonable and balanced in his views; he could also turn his hand to anything.

He put a lot of energy into everything he did inside and outside the classroom. He was a big hockey man, too (not that I added anything at all in the sports arena!) I think we must have been the last lot of Sixth Formers he taught because at the end of L6 he took off for Brunei to “top up the pension fund” as he put it. I remember him telling me that in Brunei he would be paid in real money whereas in England he had only been paid in brass washers!"

Tragic News and Condolences

Over the past few weeks tragic news has reached us of the untimely deaths of three Old Princethorpians.

Julian Mynott who left the College in 1986, died, with his youngest son Freddie, in a tragic boating accident near his home at Barford in May.

Nicola Thompson, a member of the Sixth Form between 1991 and 1993, died over the Easter weekend after losing her battle against cancer - leaving two small children.

Alex Chapman who left the College in 1990, was killed in a car accident on the A46 in April.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of their families and friends at this extremely sad time.

Welcome To The World Dylan!

The Old Princethorpian was delighted to hear of the safe arrival at 7.55pm on Monday 16 April of Dylan James O'Keeffe. Dylan weighed in at a healthy 8lb 12oz.

Congratulations to proud mum and dad, Seamus and Elizabeth and of course ML is thrilled to be a grandmother! 

Congrats To Andy and Sonia

Many congratulations to Andy and Sonia Davies, nee Bassan, who married in the Princethorpe Chapel on Saturday 28 April, before a reception in Northamptonshire.

Although bride Sonia was ready to jump the brook in her fantastic strapless wedding dress, plans for photos in the bluebell woods had to be ditched when the wet and muddy conditions got the better of them!

The happy couple jetted off for a three week holiday to the Thailand and Vietnam, and are now set for a five month move to the Czech Republic.

We wish them all the very best for their future together!