Shrewsbury School

OS - In memoriam

This page contains notices received of recent deaths only and funeral/memorial service arrangements, where known.

A list of all known recent Old Salopian deaths appears at the beginning of the Obituaries Section of the current edition of The Salopian Magazine

For more details, please contact the Salopian Club Office: oldsalopian@shrewsbury.org.uk or telephone 01743 280 892 

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 Robin Moulsdale (I 1941-46)

Staff 1951-81

Robin Moulsdale, revered former Housemaster and teacher, sportsman of distinction, sometime President of the Old Salopian Club and, in the second half of his life, mystic seeker, has died at the age of 93. Robin was born on 6th October 1928 in Berkshire where his father, himself a distinguished games player, was a housemaster at Bradfield College.

 From Durlston Court prep school, then in Swanage, Robin followed his brother to Ingram’s Hall where, by the time he left in 1946, his list of schoolboy successes was impressive: praepostor, captain of an unbeaten football XI, captain of fives, editor of The Salopian. Both his father and brother had been to Emmanuel College Cambridge, so it was natural that Robin should follow them there, reading History and English and obtaining a Golf blue and a Fives half-blue.

 After a short spell teaching in a prep school, he joined the Shrewsbury School staff in 1951, invited back to teach by Jack Peterson at the instigation of Tom Taylor, the master-in-charge of football, who saw in Robin a worthy successor. With other young bachelors, Robin played a large part in the revitalisation of Shrewsbury after WWII, making his energetic presence felt in many areas. In Old Salopian sporting activities he played a part unrivalled, save perhaps by Alan Barber in an earlier generation: captain of four winning Arthur Dunn sides, winner (with Dick Kittermaster) of the fives Kinnaird Cup on three occasions, a tireless Saracen and for many years a major figure in the Halford Hewitt golf competition.

 In 1955 he married Julie Millen, first met on the ski slopes, and the next decade was punctuated by the arrival of their five children. But if Robin’s schoolmastering career might so far seem to be set in a conventional mode, things were about to change. ‘As soon as I grew up, which was a few years after I started teaching,’ he later wrote, ‘I began to be very critical of a lot of things in public schools.’ His progressive ideas were to be seen in practice when he took over Moser’s in 1962, and over the next 14 years he not only radically transformed the House but also played a major part in transforming the School, spearheading a change of emphasis from a hierarchical power system to a co-operative and caring community, steering into uncharted waters through the turbulence of the 1960s. In his own words, ‘I make every senior boy a monitor; each has his own sphere of responsibility but no power to punish; I am saying to them: this is the next stage in your development, to take responsibility for others …’ Away went beating, privilege and douling; yet structure remained, boundaries were clear. There was nothing sloppy or lax about Moser’s, and in the record of School achievement, few Houses could point to a more sustained record of success. Let one former Moserite speak for most: ‘He was an enormous influence on me … we didn’t realise how much of an influence until after we had left. He is a big part of my character.’

 In 1979, following in the footsteps of his staff colleague David Brown, Robin travelled to India on sabbatical leave and become a lifelong follower of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho. This revelatory experience changed his life completely and led him away from Shrewsbury, in 1981, and, after Julie’s tragic death from multiple sclerosis in 1988, to his second marriage to Gyanrani whom he had met in an ashram. Gyanrani was a devoted soulmate, and survives him. After Shrewsbury, Robin taught for a while in the state sector in Gloucester, revisiting India several times, also spending time in Oregon, developing his understanding of the teachings of Osho, and latterly of another mystic, Douglas Harding. In the last decades of his life he lived in Bridgnorth, visiting Shrewsbury School as often as he could, in support of School and Old Salopian football. 

 Robin seemed able to hold in complete balance both sides of his life. In the words of his oldest son, Johnny, ‘Right to the end he could be utterly conventional, following the football scores and taking an interest in his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whilst never putting aside his central passion for meditation and self-exploration.’ In 1999 he was thrilled to be invited to be President of the Old Salopian Club, an office he served with his trademark enthusiasm, remaining to the end of his life deeply interested in all matters Salopian.

 Richard Hudson          

       

WATSON Dr William Humphreys (‘Tiger’) MBE, MC, Légion d’Honneur, died peacefully on 29th December 2018 aged 97 years, six weeks after the death of his beloved wife of 68 years, Wyn.
Last surviving commando of the raid on St Nazaire in 1942.
Over fifty years of dedicated medical service in Britain and overseas. Greatly loved for his compassion, integrity and cheerfulness.
He will be missed by his four children and nine grandchildren.
Service at The Alington Hall, Shrewsbury SY3 7BA at 4pm on Saturday 26th January 2019.
No flowers by request please but donations to Oxfam, the Severn Hospice and The Stroke Association. Enquires to Clive Pugh Funeral Directors 01743 244644

Professor Sam Berry, Ch 1948-53, passed away on 29th March 2018.  He was 83.  Professor Berry was Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London, a past President of Christians in Science, the Linnean Society, the British Ecological Society and the European Ecological Federation.  A funeral service was held at 1.30pm on Monday 23rd April 2018 at St Nicholas’s Church, Sevenoaks TN13 1JA.

Andrew McLean, SH 1980-84, passed away unexpectedly on 27/01/2018.  He was 51.  A funeral service was held in the Main Chapel of the Wilford Hill Crematorium, Loughborough Road, Nottingham NG2 7FE on Monday 19th February 2018 at 12.40pm.

 

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