Terry Potesta RIP
Old Wimbledonian Terry Potesta died in Australia on 12 July 2021 aged 83. He was suffering from cancer.
Terry was at the College in the early 1950s but moved after a few years when his father, who was in the Army, was posted to Germany. Terry moved to a Services school, Prince Rupert's School, in Wilhelmshaven. He completed his National Service in the Royal Air Force and then received a Regular Commission.
Over his career he served widely around the world including Cyprus and Hong Kong. His last appointment, as a Group Captain, was as Station Commander at RAF Uxbridge.
On leaving the Royal Air Force he became Bursar at an independent girls' school in Surrey. After retiring he and his family moved to Australia and settled in Sydney where he continued with his passion for building and flying model aircraft.
His wife, Carole, predeceased him in 2016. His daughter, Skye, survives him.
Desmond Hawken RIP
News has been received of the death, on 21 May, of Desmond Hawken (1946-1953).
Des was a keen supporter of the rugby club for many years after leaving the College in 1953. He was a regular on the touchline until he moved to St Austell Cornwall over 20 years ago.
He was a very fine golfer, and was prominent in the annual OW tour to Trevose Golf Course.
He had a fully active life, enjoying walking the Cornwall Coastal Path until he was diagnosed with a stomach tumour just 6 weeks before he passed away.
Requiescat In Pace.
Tony Herring RIP
We were saddened to hear of the death of Tony Herring, old boy and stalwart of the OWRFC for many years.
The following obituary is reproduced from the Catena which is the magazine of the Catenian Association which is an international body of Catholic laymen.
Kingston upon Thames Circle was saddened to hear of the death of Tony Herring on 30 January.
Anthony Edward Herring was born on 15 August 1936 in Surbiton, Surrey. His father worked in shipping, and when during the Second World War the ships were redirected to Glasgow, the Herring family was relocated to Scotland. At the end of the war the family returned to Surrey.
At 11 years old, Tony passed the scholarship exam for Wimbledon College where he flourished both academically and on the rugby pitch. His tales of school were happy ones, and after A-levels and a brief apprenticeship, Tony took up a place at Imperial College London to study aeronautical engineering.
Tony continued to play rugby for the Old Wimbledonians, and through the rugby club, over 60 years ago, he met Joy and they married at St Raphael's Church in Surbiton. Tony began his career as a graduate trainee at Farnborough. Mark and Joanna were born and the young family lived in a little house in Fleet.
Tony's work moved to Hawker Siddeley in Kingston. Katy and Theresa were born, and the Herring family became part of St Anne's parish in Banstead where Father Anderson asked him to take over the cub scout pack, a role he performed for many years. Through Church, St Anne's School and the cubs and scouts, Tony and joy made lifelong friends. Long summer holidays were spent driving tractors with Tony's cousin Michael on his farm in Kent.
At Hawker Siddeley, Tony's career progressed, and he worked on the Hunter aircraft, the Gant, the Harrier, the Hawk and the Sea Harrier. In the 1980's, Tony began a three-year tour in Munich, working on a NATO project designing the Tornado aircraft. This opened up new adventures and horizons for the whole family in Europe.
Life after Munich relaxed into a familiar pattern. Tony's children were growing up fast and off on adventures of their own. Tony could always be relied on to help out, there was seemingly nothing he couldn't fix, mend or make.
Tony joined the Kingston Circle [of the Catenians] in June 1989 and after serving as chamberlain and vice president, he became president in 2001. Tony and Joy were enthusiastic, active participants in the Circle's social life and for over ten years Tony organised the monthly pub lunch.
In his 50s, Tony became a grandpa. he had five grandchildren in seven years and took to being a grandfather with pride and interest, all his grandchildren looked to him with love and trust.
Tony's successful, interesting career culminated as director of Military Aircraft Projects at Farnborough. At 60, he retired and Tony and joy finally had time to enjoy holidays and adventures together. They explored England and France, visited friends and family and spent time with their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Tony loved to garden, and he spent peaceful hours growing vegetables in his beloved allotment, enjoying the company of scavenging robins and occasionally an audacious fox. As time went on, Tony and Joy moved to Tadworth and became active members of St John's parish.
To the end, Tony's energy and passion endured. he was generous with his time, thoughtful and caring, ready to drop everything to help a friend in need. His biggest frustration arose from problems for which he could find no solution, the ones that didn't involve screwdrivers- and for those he had his faith, and joy by his side always, in all things. A prefect team.
May he rest in peace
David Mildner RIP
We have received the sad news that another great Old Wimbledonian, David Mildner, has passed away recently in the USA.
Although a long term resident in the states, David stayed close to the College and he generously funded the annual Mildner Scholarship for College boys wanting to read a scientific subject at Oxford or Cambridge.
His classmate Gavin Taylor has sent the following detailed obituary which gives a great summary of David's life and achievements, and shows how much he was admired and respected by his contemporaries from the Class of '55.
David Mildner, hailed globally as “Neutron Scattering’s 1st Rock Star” at NCNR - the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research - has died in Maryland aged 76 years.
David was brought up in Wimbledon and educated by the Jesuits at Donhead School and then at Wimbledon College, a prominent member of the “Class of ‘55” (not the US version with Elvis Presley and other ordinary world rockstars!); he eventually became a very popular and effective Head Boy in 1961, in a then rapidly changing social and academic world. Wimbledon was not then noted for emphasis on or excellence in the sciences, but, independent as always, David won a scholarship to Worcester College, Oxford, to read Physics in 1963, graduating well in 1966.
His family had emigrated to America during the Wimbledon College years, and David joined them after Oxford, in his own words “barely knowing his younger siblings”. This was the time of the draft for the Vietnam War, for which David was eligible, but fortunately (despite some rarely-mentioned-now commune lifestyle and mass D.C. protest marches) he escaped and subsequently entered graduate school at Ann Arbor, Michigan, working on such would-be Rock Star toys as nuclear research reactors, neutron and proton recoil generators and even a time-of-flight diffractometer. From 1973 -1977, back temporarily in England, he joined the Science Research Council at the Rutherford Laboratory, worked at Harwell, and contributed considerably to the design of the ISIS neutron source.
Disappointed that so little changed despite Britain’s joining of the (then) European Community, while he had changed so much, David returned to the USA, becoming associate Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri, teaching and continuing his researches, and also able to visit (professionally) atomic research sites in France and England.
For all his life the most “British” of characters, he was nevertheless obliged to become a US citizen in 1989 to be able to join NIST in Maryland, specialising (he once explained) on the characterisation and development of focusing concepts for cold neutrons, more latterly using capillary optics. He has been able to spread this gospel in France, Russia, the UK, Greece, Portugal, and India often as an International Atomic Energy Agency expert, as well as working on US Department of Energy review committees - it was just as well he loved travelling so much.
He kept playing and then refereeing rugby throughout all these years, formerly a referee in the Oxfordshire Society, and now in the Potomac Society, an activity which in the US involved long-distance, even inter-state, travel for any game, and consequently a very understanding domestic partner. David found this in his second wife, Maryanne, a NIST co-worker whom he proudly described as an an artist, a former hippie who went to Woodstock, but whom he had somehow failed to meet during his Washington protesting period. They lived close to NIST, and even after retirement, David visited, taught, reminisced and consulted there until very recently, still publishing learned papers.
David’s health and lifestyle was badly impaired by cancer episodes, and then tragically by the onset of Parkinson’s Disease in the last two years. His beloved travelling was curtailed, and he relied more and more on Maryanne, although his brain was still sharp enough to challenge and rail at fake news and cartoon-villain politicians, at home and in the UK.
Obviously his former classmates didn’t have a monopoly on claiming David as “one of us” - certainly, most of us don’t understand a single word written of his Rock Star status and achievements. He was, though, and remains, “one of us”, “a great bloke”, “a class act”, in many ways a misfit (such as being a British American, a rugby-pitch Professor, or indeed, a scientific Rock Star) but one who was always welcome, who always fitted in, who belonged among us.
CHARLIE O’ROURKE (OWA 1975-80) RIP
It is with great sadness that we have to report the recent death of Charlie O’Rourke.
Following a very short illness Charlie passed away on Thursday 8th October aged 58.
Charlie was experiencing a variety of symptoms for a short time and once investigated it was discovered that he had widespread pancreatic cancer that led to a series of strokes. He was hospitalised for only two weeks before a blood clot travelled to his lung and he passed away peacefully.
His wife Belinda, children Sadie, Louis and Josh and many friends will mourn him every day.
“He leaves a very big hole in our lives. We know that he will be missed by many."
An online memorial page (https://charlesorourke.muchloved.com/) has been opened where people can add memories and pictures of Charlie which Belinda and the family would love people from the old boys to do so.
Donald Nuttman RIP
Clive Nuttman contacted us with the sad news of the passing of his father Donald, an 'old' Old Wimbledonian and has kindly sent the following (as well as a couple of photos of the College 1st XV from 1942-1944 which can be seen in our Archive):
Donald was at the school from 1937-44 and became an accountant in his working life.
From the late 40s to the early 60s he played rugby and (occasional) cricket (2nd XI) for the OWs, captaining the 1st XV sometime in the late 50s/early 60s, retiring from playing when the family moved in 1964 to Hythe, Kent where he refereed for a few years.
Among memories from his playing days, he was in the same team as the McPartlin brothers; I believe Joe went on to play for Scotland and he renewed contact with John who lived nearby in Kent, as well as Mike Davies.
As captain, he plucked a very young Peter Ostling from the 3rd XV to play first team rugby, the beginning of a journey as an excellent hooker that led to Blackheath, the Barbarians and the national squad (although I believe he did not actually get capped?).
If anyone knows Clive or his father and wants to get in touch then please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can pass on your details.
Paul Donovan RIP
We received the sad news that Paul Donovan passed away on Tuesday 29th September 2020. He was 88 and died peacefully at home, with his wife and daughter present.
Paul was at the College from 1942 to 1948. He was in the 9th Wimbledon Scouts and played rugby in the First XV, including one visit to Dublin to play Belvedere College. He was also an accomplished sprinter.
After following an Arts and Classics choice, he left in the 6th form and joined Shell, for whom he worked until his retirement.
He then opened a successful art gallery in Cranbrook, Kent.
May he rest in peace.
Kevin, seen here on the far right, with his three brothers, Brendan, Declan and Finbar.
We received the following sad news from Finbar Murphy-O'Connor who was a teacher at Wimbledon College from 1971 - 1977.
My brother Kevin died suddenly on Saturday 11 July 2020, aged 88, after an aorta aneurysm in Hove, Brighton.
Many Old Wimbledonians will remember Kevin as a keen follower of Wimbledon College and the Old Boys being a stalwart of the Old Dowegian, particularly in their sporting ties.
There will be a Requiem Mass in Hove on Monday 27 July 2020 at 11:30 am.
It will take place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Brighton:
The Church of the Sacred Heart
39 Norton Road
The mass will be live streamed at http://www.sacredhearthove.org.uk/videos.html
There is limited capacity, so please inform his brother Finbar by phone on 01273 706484 or email email@example.com if you are planning to attend.
Paul Layet RIP
It is with sadness that we have received the news that Paul Layet passed away on the 20th May aged 72.
Paul went to the College from St. Cecilias primary school and was at the College from 1960 - 1966. He attended the class of 66 reunion lunch last July.
At the College he was an excellent all-round sports man and he captained the Rugby Seconds and the Cricket Firsts. He was a very pleasant and likeable boy at the College and in life. He captained the Old Boys rugby team but suffered an injury that kept him from playing for most of the season.
He had been battling prostate cancer in recent years. His funeral is in June and his wife, Elizabeth plans to hold a memorial service at a later date if possible.
The Times published his obituary on 27 May.
The funeral page can be found here should anyone wish to make a charitable donation in memory of Paul or add a message to the Book of Remembrance.
Times Obituary for Paul Layet
RIP Justin Daurat
We are very saddened and shocked to hear about the passing of Old Boy Justin Daurat, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in April.
Justin attended Wimbledon College between 1991 and 1993 and played over 100 games for the Old Wimbledonians Football Club between 1995 and 2010, also managing the 3rd team for a period.
‘Jae’ was a very popular member of the club whose passion for music was as big as his Love of football. Many locals may recognise him from his regular stints as karaoke compare or talented singer at the Raynes Park Tavern.
Unfortunately we have very few other details. Please however keep those he has left behind in your prayers.
Chairman Old Wimbledonians FC
The OWA are sad to announce the passing of Bryan Snalune a few days ago. No further details are known.
Bryan taught at the College for many years ending up as Deputy Headmaster. He became an integral part of the OWCC for much of that time. He was a very canny quickish off-spin bowler who used his height to get loads of bounce. He was a Captain’s dream in tight situations because he was difficult to score off and could keep an end quiet for many overs. He was no mug with the bat either.
Above all he was a delight to have in the team with a wry sense of humour and laughter was never far away wherever he was.
In his career after leaving the College he became Headmaster at Bishop Thomas Grant in Streatham Hill and subsequently went on to higher realms in the educational establishment.
May he rest in peace.
Thanks to all of you for your messages of condolence, these have been passed on to his wife. There will be a private cremation soon and a Memorial Service in due course.