There will always be debate as to the best 1st XV that Sherborne has ever produced. The unbeaten 1952 side has a serious claim to the title as that year it won against some very strong opposition and seven of its members went further than any players in Sherborne history, by winning the Public Schools Sevens at Rosslyn Park. Greg Read was the inspirational captain of that 1952 side, a brilliant and elusive runner, who was so good that he played for the Harlequins whilst still at school. He left at the end of that Autumn term but fortunately was eligible to play in the Sevens team, captained by Richard Leonard. Greg and Richard were lifelong friends, a truly formidable combination for the school, and later for the Sandhurst XV, as they proved at Rosslyn Park in the very close final against Clifton.

Greg had a most distinguished Sherborne career for he was a natural leader, more than able on the Maths and Science side and was not only an outstanding rugger player but also played in the XI for two years. He went to Sandhurst, was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment, commanded the 3rd Tanks, was promoted to Brigadier at a very young age and became Director of Battlefield Development and Combat Doctrine. However, he found work at the MOD no substitute for commanding men, turned down promotion to Major General and resigned his commission. As all those who served under him knew, he was a brilliant, decisive officer who read widely and thought deeply, a military philosopher, who would almost certainly have reached the very top had he lived in a full scale fighting war.

His second career was equally successful, as Clerk to the Vintners Company for 12 years. He masterminded the most important development of the Vintners company property since the Great Fire of London and set them on their present course for decades. He retired to the Chalke Valley, near Salisbury, where amongst many other achievements such as taking a second degree, he was President and Chairman of South Wilts Mencap.

Greg’s eyes sparkled all his life with the delight of being alive. He was a man of integrity who fought for the great causes in his life and was held in the greatest affection by all who knew him.

Richard Morgan (d 58)

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