Tony spent virtually all his working life at Felsted School, finishing as Second Master, and undoubtedly a school institution. In retirement he worked for some time as an important member of GAP. Of these activities, I can say little, though I shall learn more at his memorial service.
I can really only speak of him as a member of Lyon House whom I knew peripherally, as one does, while at School. (I was in School House and two years his junior) and subsequently and more intimately, as a wonderful supporter of the ‘Q’ reunion since 1996.
In this latter capacity, we became friends and I soon learnt to appreciate his great qualities for which I shall always remain grateful. He thoroughly approved of the reunions and was unstinting in his sound advice and helpful comments. He wrote long, beautifully scripted letters, to which I was happy to reply, as far as I was able, in a similar manner. Thus we got to know each other and I recently had a happy stay in his little bungalow. He visited me at Dulwich, of which he was sensibly critical; Tony always appreciated life to the full and commented thoughtfully.
Tony was a Classical scholar and teacher. Always happy to be a source of information, his interest extended, naturally, to a love of the English Language, which he found to be a fascinating hobby. He used it precisely and exactly; his letters are models of this. We would discuss the ‘Oxford Comma’. He had a fine collection of reference books, and obviously consulted Fowler frequently. He might have had one or two disagreements with him! We discussed the possibility of writing together, him in the ascendant, obviously, ‘English Grammar for Footballers’. We both found a certain hilarity in the arrogance with which rôle models(?) strangulate their native tongue.
Another of Tony’s passions was cricket. It is a pity he did not live to see the retrieval of the Ashes this summer. He would have rejoiced at that, though not at the accompanying ‘love ins’ throughout the match. Tony was always a great 2nd XI and 2nd XV man; usually captain, always conscientious, never envious of those more gifted than himself, always unfailingly loyal to House, team or School.
A good friend of mine remembers how, as a fourteen year old watching a house match, a winger, a giant member of the Sherborne 1st XV, in Westcott house, was charging down to the tryline, seemingly unimpeded, when a small person, who possibly did not have even his house colours at the time, appeared from nowhere and felled this goliath at my friend’s feet. He never forgot that; it was the year that Lyon House (Rosses then) first won Three Cock. Tony’s house spirit carried him through life.
Tony was a good, honest interesting person; totally reliable; a genuine friend; some may say he was pedantic in his attention to detail and correctness; that is not a fault in my book. He was, as Thomas Wentworth said of himself to his king (who was to betray him) ‘I am for thorough, My Lord’.
Tony was always thorough in the nicest possible way, and never betrayed the high standard of service to others to which he devoted his life. An Old Shirburnian in the best possible way.
Sam Smart (a 41 – 44)